This summer, the French 60′ foiling trimaran Hydropteresailed 2215 nautical miles from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The winds were not favorable and the passage was not terribly fast at about 11 days, compared to the four day record set by the 110-foot trimaran Geronimo in November 2005. Nevertheless, as most hydro-foiling sailboats are limited to relatively calm water, the ocean passage was itself an achievement. Hydroptere was not however, despite all claims, the “the first flying hydrofoil to cross an ocean.” In fact, she was not the first by almost a half century.
In the late 1960s and early 70s, an engineer named Dave Keiper designed and built the world’s first hydrofoil sailing yacht, a 32-footer named Williwaw. Keiper cruised 20,000 miles around the Pacific sailing twice to Hawaii from the West Coast and back and then on to the South Pacific as far as New Zealand in 1976. Keiper died of heart failure on June 27, 1998 at the age of 67. Keiper’s book Hydrofoil Voyager: WILLIWAW, From Dream To Reality and Toward the Sailing Yacht of the Future has recently been republished. A video of Willawaw underway:
Maersk Line has posted a 3-minute time lapse of the M/V Adrian Maersk, 6,000 TEUs, passing through the newly expanded New Suez Canal. As reported in Maritime Executive: The New Suez Canal was inaugurated by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in a ceremony held at the port city of Ismailiya on August 6. The $8 billion project took 11 months to complete, included the widening and deepening of 35 kilometers of the existing Canal up to a depth of 24 meters, as well as digging and creating 37 kilometers of the so-called ”second lane,” running parallel to the existing Canal.
El Farowas often referred to in the media as a container ship. It is an easy mistake to make as the file photos showed her carrying stacks of containers on the main deck.El Faro, ex-Puerto Rico, ex-Northern Lights, was built as a roll-on roll-off ship in 1975 at Sun Shipbuilding. She underwent several refurbishments and as she carried containers on deck, might have been called a ro-con. Nevertheless, below decks, she was designed to carry wheeled vehicles. When she sank she was carrying 391 containers topside and 294 cars, trucks and trailers below deck. Why is this important? Tragically, it may help explain what happened to the ship and her crew.
“Earlier today, the Coast Guard confirmed that they located a life ring floating at sea which was identified as belonging to the EL Faro. A HC130 plane spotted the ring and a H60 helicopter confirmed it was able to retrieve the ring and the ring was stenciled with markings from the El Faro.
The US Coast Guard has resumed the search for the U.S. flagged ro/ro cargo ship, El Faro, with a crew of 33, still missing after losing power and communications in the path of Hurricane Joaquin. The 735-foot ship was bound for San Juan in Puerto Rico from Jacksonville, Florida. TOTE Maritime lost contact with the ship on Thursday at 7:20 AM EST and notified the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard reported that at approximately 7:30 AM Thursday, the Coast Guard Atlantic Area command center in Portsmouth, Virginia, received an Inmarsat satellite notification stating that El Faro was beset by Hurricane Joaquin, had lost propulsion and had a 15-degree list. The Coast Guard reported that the ship was believed to be near the worst of the Category 4 hurricane, in up to 150 mph gusts and 30-foot waves.
The bosun’s gear on the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry. A nice rig. My only concern would be managing the lanyards. Easy to catch on things while climbing about.
From the Oliver Hazard Perry blog: Being a full time sailor aboard any Tall Ship is a difficult job encompassing an incredible amount of knowledge and tasks. Everything from complex rigging knowledge and how to sail a square rig ship, all the way to woodworking and organization. It’s not an easy job and it goes well beyond the normal 9-5, but most sailors wouldn’t trade it for anything. Here are some of the tools carried around on a day to day basis that make sailors lives easier.
The Clipper Round the World racer CVA24 LMAX Exchangehas suffered an unexpected reversal of fortune. The LMAX Exchange crew handily won the first leg of the race from London to Rio, 100 miles ahead of its closest competitor. Now the boat is hard aground on a sandy beach 42 miles southwest of Marina da Gloria, in Rio de Janeiro. According to the Clipper Race site, CV24 LMAX Exchange was transferring to another marina to be lifted for the application of new hull branding when the incident occurred around midnight local time last night. There were no injuries.
Will oysters help to clean up Chesapeake Bay and New York Harbor or will climate change take them out? The question came to mind recently when I read about the world’s largest man-made oyster reef recently finished on Harris Creek on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The 330-acre Harris Creek reef is the first of 10 planned reefs which will be stocked with more than 1 billion oysters.
In New York City, there is a similar project, on a smaller scale but with comparable ambitions. The Billion Oyster Project’s goal is to return 1 billion oysters into the New York harbor over the next twenty years. So far they have restored 16 million, which is not a bad start. The BOP is also actively educating a new generation of students in the science and engineering of ecosystem restoration.
We, residents of a blue marble of which 71% is covered by water, have long assumed that the rest of our solar system was relatively dry. It may be time to change that opinion. Yesterday, NASA announced strong evidence of liquid water on Mars. “Mars is not the dry, arid planet that we thought of in the past,” said Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters, in a press conference on Monday. Mars apparently has seasonal rivers of flowing briny water. Mars was once at least partially covered in water. “If we go back 3 billion years and take a look at Mars, Mars was a very different planet. It had what we believe was a huge ocean, perhaps as large as two-thirds of the northern hemisphere,” said Green. “But something happened. Mars suffered a major climate change and lost its surface water.”
For the last five years we have followed the construction of two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships which were built in France under contract to Russia. If the wind named Mistral is said to “drive men and horses mad,” these ships may be a nautical analogue. When they were ordered by the Russians in 2010, France’s NATO allies were openly critical fo providing the ships to Russia. As reportd by the Economist: The Mistral is a mighty, 199-metre-long vessel that carries tanks and helicopters, and can conduct and manage amphibious landings. Kaarel Kaas, of the International Centre for Defence Studies, a think-tank in Tallinn, says that such ships would “transform the power balance” on Russia’s borders.
Now reports from Dubai say that the once proud Cunard flagship is “a floating wreck” which has been moved from her berth in Dubai Drydocks World to a holding berth in Port Rashid. It appears that the Queen Elizabeth 2 is officially dead, along with all plans for her restoration and move to an unnamed city in Asia, according to a source at Drydocks World. Thanks to Alaric Bond for passing the news along.
On Sunday, September 27th, sailors, as well as landsmen and women who happen to be looking up, will see a total lunar eclipse where the moon will turn a coppery red as it passes through the shadow of the earth. Lunar eclipses are often called “blood moons.” Because the moon is also at this closest point to earth, the moon will also appear to be just slightly larger than normal, often referred to as a “super moon.” This will be the first “Super-Blood” moon since 1982. The next lunar eclipse and super moon together will not happen again until 2033.
If you can’t get outside, NASA’s live stream will begin at 8 pm EDT from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and will also feature a live look from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
The ocean sunfish or mola is found in most of the world’s oceans and is not unusual in Boston waters. Nevertheless, seeing one was obviously a shock to Michael Bergin and his friend Jason “Jay” Foster who came across one while fishing in Boston harbor. Bergin starts yelling, using colorful (Not Safe for Work) language, to express his amazement at what he identifies variously as a sea turtle, a baby whale, a flounder, a tuna and “Moby Dick.” The video is oddly amusing and has gone viral with roughly a million views so far. The Boston Globe suggests that Bergin is “basking like a sunfish in Internet fame.”
In August we wrote about Dream Symphony, which, for a brief period, looked as if it would be the largest sailing sailing in the world at 463 feet (141m) long. Now a slightly larger sailing yacht at 147 meters has emerged from the Nobiskrug yard in Northern Germany. The yacht, built for Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, has three of the tallest freestanding carbon-fiber masts ever built, each over 100 meters tall and weighing 50 tonnes each. When completed sometime this year, the yacht will have 8 decks and will feature a glass underwater observation area. The cost of the new yacht is estimated to be more than $400 million.
While the vessel may be the largest sailing yacht ever built, it is by no means the most attractive and may just possibly have the worst name. While under construction the code name used was White Pearl. It appears that the actual name will be Sailing Yacht A. Melnichenko’s current 394 foot long motor yacht was originally named simply A, but is now designated Motor Yacht A. The name is said to be from the initials of its owner Andrey and his wife Aleksandra.
Myint Naing, a Burmese man, recently made it home 22 years after being taken aboard a Thai fishing trawler, where he worked as little more than a slave. In the last six months an estimated 2,000 enslaved fishermen have been freed from captivity from Thai-Indonesian fishing ventures.
The trawlers fished for low value fish, often called “trash fish” that are used as feed stock for aquaculture, such as pond-raised shrimp. The trash fish are also used in pet foods.
As reported by the New York Times: Every year, thousands of migrant workers like Myint are tricked or sold into the seafood industry’s gritty underworld. It’s a brutal trade that has operated for decades as an open secret in Southeast Asia’s waters, where unscrupulous companies rely on slaves to supply fish to major supermarkets and stores worldwide.