Drone Video — Gloucester Schooner Festival 2016 Parade of Sail

A wonderful drone video of last weekend’s Gloucester Schooner Festival by Martin Del Vecchio.

Drone Video – 2016 Gloucester Schooner Festival Parade of Sail

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HMS Tarpon, WWII Sub Sunk by Q-Ship Found Off Denmark

hmstarpon

British T Class Submarine

The wreck of HMS Tarpon, a British submarine sunk by a German Q-ship during World War II, was discovered last March in the North Sea, near Thyborøn, Denmark. The wreck was discovered in 40 meters of water by a Danish commercial diver and museum owner, Gert Normann Andersen, and Innes McCartney, a British marine archaeologist. Recently, DR3, a Danish television company broadcast a two hour long program featuring live images of the wreck.

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Liberty Ship S.S. John Brown Steaming to New York


S.S. John Brown, one of only two operational Liberty ships, is steaming toward New York harbor and is expected to arrive the morning of Saturday, September 10th. The historic ship will be berthed at Pier 36, 299 South Street, on the East River in Manhattan and will open to the public from 10AM to 5PM, from Saturday the 10th to Saturday, September 17th. On Sunday, September 18th, they are offering a “Living History Cruise” on the ship from 8AM to 4PM.  There will also be another “Living History Cruise” in Baltimore on October 1st. Click here to learn more.

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Saying Goodbye to Peking — Windjammer Leaves South Street for the Last Time

bow2thumbThis morning, the 1911 built, steel, four masted barque, Peking, left South Street Seaport, its home for more than 40 years, for the last time. For those of us who have known the ship for almost as long, it was both a sad and joyous day. The South Street Seaport Museum lacked the resources and even the berth space to support the Peking. The museum worked very hard to find a good home for the historic ship and they succeeded.  (See a video of the departure after the page break.)

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150 Years Ago Today — The Last Great Tea Race Ends in a Tie

Taeping

Taeping

In 1866, five clipper ships set out together from Foochow, China bound for England in what would be the last  Great Tea Race. On September 6th, one hundred and fifty years ago today, after sailing more than 15,000 nautical miles, the clipper ships Taeping and Ariel arrived in London, literally minutes apart, in what was effectively a tie. The Ariel arrived first, but was delayed in docking due to the tide, which allowed Taeping to get to her dock, beating Ariel by 28 minutes. The third finisher, the clipper ship Serica, docked an hour and 15 minutes after Ariel. The three ships left China on the same tide, raced for 99 days, and arrived on the same tide in London, all less than two hours apart. The clipper Fiery Cross arrived 28 hours behind Serica. followed, the next day, by Taitsing.

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Book Review: American Dunkirk, The Waterborne Evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11

 On Thursday, September 8th at 6PM. James M. Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf will discuss and sign copies of their new book, American Dunkirk: The Waterborne Evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11 on the historic ex-Coast Guard Cutter Lilac at Pier 25 in Manhattan. Click here to learn more. In the meantime, here is my review, originally published in gCaptain. Reposted with permission.

The great New York boatlift of September 11th, 2001, is one of the less well known and least understood of the events of 9/11. In around 10 hours, the mariners of New York harbor evacuated an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people trapped in Lower Manhattan by water. It has been called the largest rescue by sea in history and is often compared to Dunkirk, where a roughly comparable number of soldiers and civilians were rescued over a period of eight days. Now in their new book, American Dunkirk: The Waterborne Evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11, Professors James M. Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf examine how and why this nearly miraculous evacuation was accomplished and what lessons can be learned in the case of future disasters.

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Memories of Tug Races Past

tugrace2009Tropical Storm Hermine, which looked very nasty there for a while, drifted enough to the east to miss New York harbor. There were local reports of flooding at high tide, but overall, it has been a beautiful Labor Day weekend on the banks of the Hudson River. Prudently, one Labor Day tradition was postponed. The 24th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition which was to be held on Labor Day has been postponed to Sunday, October 9th, 2016. Given the forecasts for Hermine in the days prior to Labor Day, it would have been crazy not to postpone the race.

For those who miss the look of tugs with a bone in their teeth and roar of diesel engines on the river, here is a video of the 17th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race from 2009.

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American Dunkirk — Discussion & Book Signing, Sept 8 on Historic Cutter Lilac

adcover1A great event on the historic ex-Coast Guard Cutter Lilac at Pier 25 in Manhattan on Thursday, September 8th at 6PM. James M. Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf will discuss and sign copies of their new book, American Dunkirk: The Waterborne Evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11.  A panel discussion will follow.

From the Lilac Preservation Project press release: One of the great untold stories of 9/11 is the impromptu response by mariners that resulted in the biggest evacuation by water in history.

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The Titanic and Dihydrogen Monoxide

From the Dihydrogen Monoxide Awareness Community on Facebook.

watertitanic

I read it on the Internet so it must be true.

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24th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition Postponed Due to Hermine

tugracepostponedThe 24th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition which was to be held on Labor Day on the Hudson River has been postponed by the expected arrival on Monday of high winds and rain associated with Tropical Depression Hermine. The race and competition has been rescheduled to Sunday, October 9th, 2016.  Click here to learn more.

Hermine came ashore as a Category 1 hurricane in the Big Bend region of the Florida Gulf coast. The first hurricane to hit Florida in eleven years has resulted in significant flooding and wind damage. One death has been reported and 253,000 are reported to have lost power.  Hermine is now a Tropical Storm and is lashing Georgia and the Carolinas. The storm is expected to track up the Atlantic coast, arriving as Tropical Depression off New York City by Monday.

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Great White Shark Nursery Discovered Off Long Island

gwshark1North Pacific humpback whales feed in Alaska but they winter in the Hawaiian Islands, where they mate, calve and nurse their young. The Pacific grey whales do something quite similar, spend their winters in the warm lagoons of Baja, Mexico, having sex and giving birth. Now, shark researchers have located what they believe is a great white shark nursery off the south shore of Long Island.

Very little has been known about shark breeding and birthing patterns. Unlike whales, where the young migrate with their pods, the young great white sharks are believed to be left by their mothers and spend their first twenty years in the area where they were born. The research group research group Ocearch, led by Chris Fischer, has conducted over two dozen expeditions looking for and tagging great white sharks. Recently, however, the team has found and tagged at least nine great white pups near Montauk, Long Island.

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Ferry Collides with a Group of Kayakers on Hudson River

kayakferrycollisionYesterday, just before 6PM, a commuter ferry collided with a group of kayaks carrying ten kayakers, shortly after departing from the NY Waterway terminal at 39th Street on the Hudson River in Manhattan. The kayakers were part of a group organized by Manhattan Kayak Company and were traveling south when reportedly struck by the ferry shortly after backing out of Pier 79. At least two kayaks were reported to be struck by the ferry and most of the rest were said to have capsized.

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Update: Replica Continental Sloop Providence to be Repaired

Great news. The replica Continental sloop Providence will be returning to the water. The sloop was seriously damaged when she was blown over in a blizzard in Newport in January 2015.  For some time the future of the vessel was unclear. Recently, the sloop had been listed for sale in her damaged condition on Yachtworld. Now the Associated Press is reporting that Providence is going to be repaired. The owner, Thorpe Leeson, hopes to have the 61′ sloop in the water in a year.

From our post of January 27, 2015: The sloop Providence, a 1976 built replica of the Continental Navy sloop of the same name, was blown off her jack stands while on shore at Newport Shipyard in Newport, Rhode Island on Tuesday in blizzard conditions.  The ship was dis-masted and suffered hull damage when she fell over in winds reported to be gusting up to 60 mph. Thorpe Leeson, the sloop’s owner, told the Associated Press that extra supports were added beneath the ship as a precaution for the storm, but they failed in the high winds. Continue reading

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Freedom Class LCS in Service — 100% Failure Rate in Last Year

freedom2The LCS saga continues. The USS Freedom suffered another serious failure.  There are currently three Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) in service — USS Freedom, USS Fort Worth, and the USS Milwaukee.  In the past twelve months, all three of the ships in service have suffered major engine or propulsion gear failures, an unenviable record.

The Navy announced yesterday that the USS Freedom suffered damage to one of its two diesel engines, which will require either a major overhaul or replacement of the engine.  The Freedom Class LCS are powered by two Colt-Pielstick diesel engines and two Rolls-Royce MT30 36 MW gas turbines driving four waterjets.  The damage to the USS Freedom was reportedly caused by a leak in a pump seal which allowed seawater to leak into the lube oil system. How long the repairs will take and how long the ship will be out of service are unknown.

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Norsepower & Enercon Sailing on Rotors — Future of Commercial Sail?

norpowerrotors

M/V Estraden

Last week, the Finnish marine engineering company, Norsepower Oy Ltd, was awarded €2.6M in funding to further its research and development of the Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution technology. The new models of the technology will include the world’s largest ever Flettner rotor. The funding provided jointly by the European Commission, and the Finnish Government’s funding agency for Innovation, Tekes, will be used to optimize the Norsepower Rotor Sail design.

A Flettner rotor is vertical spinning cylinder which acts as a motor powered sail. When wind blows across the rotating cylinder, lift is developed at 90 degrees to the wind flow by what is termed the Magnus effect. Installed on the deck of a ship, Flettner rotors develop thrust similar to conventional sails, except that they can achieve roughly ten times the thrust per surface area as compared to a traditional rig.  Anton Flettner, the inventor of the rotors, sailed across the Atlantic in a two rotor ship in 1926. Flettner’s ship relied entirely on the wind for propulsion.  Current designs are intended to be primarily motor ships with rotor sail auxiliary power to reduce fuel consumption, with targeted savings from 5 – 30%.

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Red Rock IV in 57 Knots of Wind in the Bristol Channel

A video for a Saturday. Sailing on Red Rock IV  in 57 knots of wind in the Bristol Channel on June 28, 2016. Red Rock IV is a 43 footer designed by German Frers and built by Marland Marine for owner E Mandelbaum, as part of the Argentinian team to compete in the 1979 Admirals Cup.

57 Knots of Wind in the Bristol Channel (sailing from Swansea to Cardiff) from Mpandangare the Great on Vimeo.

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Obama Expands Papahānaumokuākea — Largest Marine Sanctuary with the Longest Name

pmarinemonumentThe Obama administration announced the four-fold expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a marine sanctuary northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. The expanded sanctuary will be the largest in the world at more than 580,000 square miles. As noted by the NYTimes: Created by President George W. Bush in 2006, the Papahanaumokuakea monument surrounds the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and is home to an estimated 7,000 marine and terrestrial species, a quarter of which are found nowhere else on earth.

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26 Hours of Information Recovered from El Faro Voyage Data Recorder

El Faro, Photo: TOTE Maritime

El Faro, Photo: TOTE Maritime

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced Wednesday that they had successfully retrieved 26 hours of information from the El Faro Voyage Data Recorder (VDR). The VDR was recovered earlier in August in 15,000 feet of water.  The US flagged cargo ship, El Faro, sank during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015, with the loss of all 33 aboard, northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, in the Bahamas.

From the NTSB  press release:

About 26 hours of information was recovered from the VDR, including bridge audio, weather data and navigational data. Investigators examined the VDR, found it to be in good condition, and downloaded the memory module data in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended procedures. Continue reading

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Latest US Attempt to Invade Canada Fails Again

porthuronfloatdown2On July 12, 1812, General William Hull led a force of roughly 1,800 US militia across the Detroit River to invade Canada. It did not go well. Within days Hull and his forces were driven out by British, Canadian and Native American forces. By August 16th, Hull surrendered Fort Detroit to the British without a fight.  This weekend, there was a sort of accidental re-enactment of Hull’s invasion, by an estimated 1,500 Americans on the nearby St. Clair River. Instead of being dressed as militia, however, most of the invaders were wearing bathing suits, were floating in tubes and rafts, and many were reported to be intoxicated.

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An Underwater Microscope Views Coral Up-Close

microcoralCoral are individual invertebrate polyps living in communities, which can grow to become vast reefs. Until recently, there was no way to examine the living coral polyps in their own habitat. Now, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC–San Diego have developed an underwater microscope that that makes that possible for the first time. As reported by Slate:

The first-of-its-kind microscope has two parts: a computer with a diver-friendly interface, and a microscopic imaging unit. It sports an electronically tunable high-magnification lens, a ring of LED lights for fast shutter speeds, and fluorescence imaging. “The system is capable of seeing features as small as single cells underwater,” according to one of its designers, Ph.D. student Andrew Mullen.

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