The Lynx is a 76′ long on deck, topsail schooner inspired by an American privateer and letter of marque vessel of the same name from 1812. The schooner was built in Rockport, Maine and is operated by the the non-profit Lynx Educational Foundation. The Lynx provides day sails as well as a range of educational programs. The schooner is intended to serve as a living history museum to educate children and adults about both seamanship and history.
For many years, St. Pete, FL was the winter home of the the replica HMS Bounty which sank in Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The St. Pete Chamber of Commerce has been in discussions with the Lynx Educational Foundation for some time. “There’s been an overwhelming amount of support” for having the Lynx use St. Petersburg as a permanent winter home, said Don Peacock, executive director of the Lynx Educational Foundation. “We’re looking at this as a long-term program.”
A beautifully shot video of a beautiful ship, the three-masted top-sail schooner Oosterschelde. The schooner with a sparred length of 164′ is described as “the last remaining representative of the large fleet of schooners that sailed under the Dutch flag at the beginning of the 20th century. As the largest restored Dutch sailing ship the ‘Oosterschelde’ is a monument for Dutch shipbuilding and maritime navigation under sail.”
I hope everyone who celebrates the American holiday is having a wonderful Thanksgiving. The holiday is associated with a group of English settlers now known as the Pilgrims who arrived on the Massachusetts coast around 1620 on the ship Mayflower. Now, the Mayflower II, a replica built in Devon, England and sailed to United States in 1957, is undergoing an extensive renovation and rebuild. She was hauled last Friday at the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport.
More teething problems on USS Zumwalt, the US Navy’s newest, most advanced and most expensive destroyer. While transiting the Panama Canal, the ship lost propulsion on its port shaft. Two of the four bearings that connect the ship’s port and starboard electric motors to the drive shafts were reported to be leaking. Both of the shafts locked and tugs were called to help complete the passage through the canal.
Douglas Reeman needs our help. If you have ever read any of the thirty volumes of the nautical adventures of Richard Bolitho, you probably know the author by his pen name, Alexander Kent. In total, Reeman has written close to 60 books and has made an indelible mark on the literature of the sea. Now, at 92 and in failing health, we have the opportunity to, in some small measure, make his path easier. A message from his wife Kim:
Last week, a humpback whale swam into the Hudson River as far north as the George Washington Bridge. Humpbacks have been returning to the waters around New York in significant numbers in recent years, although a whale swimming in the inner harbor is extremely rare. Ninety miles to the east, in the Shinnecock Canal on Long Island, tens of thousands of menhaden, also known as bunker fish, clogged the canal. There were so many fish in the restricted waterway that they used up all the oxygen in the water and died. A clean-up is underway.
In a very real sense, the two events were related.
The wreck of HNLMS De Ruyter and two other ships are missing.
In 2002, amateur divers discovered the wrecks of three Dutch warships sunk off Indonesia in World War II. The three ships; the HNLMS De Ruyter, HNLMS Java and HNLMS Kortenaer; were found at 70 meters deep, 60 miles off the Indonesian coast. Now, something very strange has happened. Two of the three wrecks have disappeared, while a significant portion of the third is missing.
A team of divers who were attempting to film a documentary on the 75th anniversary of the ship’s sinking, were surprised to be able to see the imprints of the missing ships on the sea floor. The remains of HNLMS De Ruyter and HNLMS Java are completely gone, the Dutch Defense Ministry says, while a large portion of the HNLMS Kortenaer is missing.
One theory as to what happened to the ships is that illegal scrap metal scavengers progressively cut up the wrecks to sell the metal for scrap. Scavengers operating grabs from barges can “nibble” away at shipwrecks.
William Worden pointed out that “Romania’s Tudor Vladimirescu, stationed at Galati, is older than Skibladner by two years, having been built in Hungary as a Danube towboat and later converted to passenger service. Her oscillating engine was originally a two-cylinder simple, but was later converted to a compound. She has received a new superstructure at least three times, the most recent being ultra-modern. She does not regularly operate; nonetheless, it does appear that she is the oldest operable steamer in the world.”
In recent years, humpback whales have been more common near New York City, delighting whale watchers as humpbacks swim and often breach within sight of the New York skyline. A whale in the inner harbor is far less common. Yesterday, the Coast Guard issued a notice to mariners to proceed with caution around Liberty Island. Petty Officer Steve Stromeir said the whale doesn’t appear to be hurt and is just swimming around the island.
Humpback whales are back, or, at the very least, there seems to be a good case for cautious optimism. In 1986, at the beginning of the moratorium on commercial whaling, the global population of humpback whales had dropped by 90% due to whaling. North Atlantic humpback populations dropped to as low as 700 whales. Now just shy of thirty years later, humpback whales have made a dramatic recovery.
In 1970, the US government listed all humpback whales as endangered. Now, scientists have divided the world’s humpback whales into fourteen distinct populations. Nine of these populations are no longer considered to be endangered. Humback whale communities in Central America, off northwest Africa, in the Arabian Sea and in the western north Pacific are still considered to be endangered. A population near Mexico is listed as threatened.
Everyone likes superlatives. The oldest, fastest, newest, largest and so on. Often superlatives need to be very specific to be made to apply. HMS Victory, for example, is the oldest naval ship still in commission, while USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat. (Technically, USS Constitution is not currently afloat. BothHMS Victory and USS Constitution are now in drydock — a permanent condition for Victory and a temporary state for the Constitution.)
The National Historic Landmark and ex-presidential yacht Sequoia has fallen on hard times. In a recent ruling, Delaware judge Sam Glasscock describes her current condition. “The Sequoia, an elderly and vulnerable wooden yacht, is sitting on an inadequate cradle on an undersized marine railway in a moribund boatyard on the western shore of the Chesapeake, deteriorating and, lately, home to raccoons.” The judge awarded ownership of the yacht to FE Partners, a Washington based investment firm backed by an Indian investor.
The 104-foot yacht Sequoia was designed by John Trumpy and built by Mathis Yacht Building Company in Camden New Jersey in 1925. Between 1933 and 1977, she served as presidential yacht in seven administrations from Herbert Hoover to Jimmy Carter.
Not so big a difference –supermoon vs normal full moon
The media has been full of stories about tonight’s “supermoon,” which is the largest in 68 years. Supermoon is the popular term for what astronomers call a moon perigee–syzygy. This means that the moon is at its closest point to earth in its elliptical orbit and that the earth, moon, and sun are in alignment, resulting in a full moon. The last time the moon was this close to the earth was in 1948, and the next comparable supermoon will be in 2032.
Also associated with the supermoon is the so-called “king tide.” Tides normally vary with the phase of the moon, being higher or lower on days where the moon is full or there is a new moon. The king tide associated with a supermoon, called a perigean spring tide, is generally a few inches higher than a normal spring tide.
The National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island is having a one-day model ship exhibit on Saturday, November 19th from 11:00 am to 4:00pm, featuring models and demonstrations by members of the Ship Model Society of New Jersey.
From the NLM press release: Their members will demonstrate the building of a small model ship and will also be available for conducting appraisals for repairs of ship models that you may own. Their membership spans all skill levels, from neophyte to highly the accomplished and a wide range of interests, from gadget guru to historical re-creator. We invite you to join us for this special event and to see these amazingly accurate creations.
As a special added attraction, “Augustin Fresnel” will make a special appearance at 2:00 pm to speak to us about the creation of his famous Fresnel Lens used for more than 100 years as a beacon of caution and direction for mariners worldwide.Continue reading →
Bow of USS Independence, seen for the first time after 65 years. Photo: Ocean Exploration Trust
On Veteran’s Day, a post about a veteran ship, USS Independence, a light aircraft carrier that served in key battles at the Pacific toward the end of World War II. After the war, she was used as a target in atomic bomb tests in Bikini Atoll. In 1951, the ship was scuttled near the Farallon Islands off the coast of California. Now, 65 years later, an expedition, led by Robert Ballard and partnered with the Ocean Exploration Trust and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has returned to the sunken ship.
USS Independence was built in New Jersey and commissioned in 1943, the first of a new class of carriers designed from converted cruiser hulls. She took part in the attacks on Rabaul and Tarawa before being torpedoed by Japanese aircraft. She returned to the conflict in time to launch strikes against targets in Luzon and Okinawa and to serve as part of the carrier group that sank the remnants of the Japanese Mobile Fleet in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and in the Surigao Strait. With Japan’s surrender, USS Independence brought US troops home as part of Operation Magic Carpet. USS Independence received eight battle stars for her service in the war, and was recognized for sinking Japanese the battleship, Musashi, during the Battle of the Philippines.
This August, the Tanzanian government announced that they were budgeting 31 billion Tanzanian shillings (roughly US$14 million) for the repair and refurbishment of three ships, including MV Liemba and the purchase of a new ship during the 2016/17 financial year. Of these funds, 5.6 billion shillings (roughly US$2.6 million) will be dedicated to the Liemba.
The destroyer USS Zumwalt was commissioned about three weeks ago. It is the latest and greatest, most high tech destroyer in the fleet. At a cost of around $4 billion dollars, it is also the most expensive destroyer ever built. The ship has two primary guns, 155 mm Advanced Gun System howitzers, intended to support ground forces in land attacks. These guns fire a Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP), a GPS guided round with a range of 60 nautical miles.
The only problem is that the Navy just announced that they are cancelling the high-tech ammunition because each LRLAP is simply too expensive to fire. Continue reading →
On a day distracted by a momentous national election, here is something wholly unrelated — the beautiful creatures called velella velella. As lovely as they are, these jellyfish, also known as “purple sailors” or “by-the-wind sailors,” can be an unwelcomed visitor. Last spring, velella velella by the thousands drifted onto Hallandale Beach, about 18 miles north of Miami.
“This happens about every three years. We are flying our Purple flag for dangerous marine life,” city officials said on social media. Similar incidents occurred on Pacific Northwest beaches in 2015.