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Saturday, February 4, 2023

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  • Maritime Musings (41) (X)

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Ideal X

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 26, 2013

On 26 April 1956, the ship Ideal X departed Port Newark, New Jersey on a voyage to Houston, Texas. The ship had been launched in 1945 as the T-2 tanker SS Potrero Hills. The ship had made many voyages in the intervening eleven years, but this was different.

CG 36500

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 19, 2013

The US Coast Guard motor lifeboat 36500 is the only one of the many hundreds that were built between the 1930s and the 1950s to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. On 18 February 1952, during a severe winter storm off Cape Cod…

USS Enterprise

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 14, 2012

The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was deactivated at Naval Station Norfolk on 1 December 2012, after 50 years of ground-breaking service. The 1,123-foot long vessel was laid down in 1958 and entered service in 1962 as the world’s first nuclear powered surface warship.

Albatross

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 14, 2012

The albatross is the largest of all birds in terms of wingspan (up to 12 feet). It can be found soaring above all ocean waters of the Southern Hemisphere and above the North Pacific. It is largely absent from the North Atlantic, probably due to loss of habitat.

SINKEX

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 31, 2012

The United States Navy disposes of many of its old, obsolete, and decommissioned warships by sinking them in deep ocean waters. This practice, called a sinking exercise or SINKEX, involves removing toxic and hazardous substances to the maximum practicable extent…

Chinese research icebreaker Xue Long

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 25, 2012

The Xue Long (Snow Dragon) is the premier polar vessel of the People’s Republic of China. It was built in the Ukraine in 1993 and modified upon its acquisition by China in 1994. Its major function is to serve as a resupply vessel and scientific research platform in the Antarctic and the Arctic.

Abel Tasman

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 4, 2012

Abel Tasman (1603-1659) was a Dutch merchant and explorer. He is credited with the European discovery of Australia and New Zealand. He joined the Dutch United East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie - VOC) in 1633 and was promptly…

Other experimental ironclads

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 23, 2012

When the Union Navy learned that the Confederate Navy was building an iron-clad warship to threaten the wooden-hulled blockade fleet, it launched a crash project to build its own iron-clad warships. Of the 17 proposals submitted, the Union Navy selected three for construction.

Joshua James - Lifesaver

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 16, 2012

Joshua James (1826-1902) served as a lifesaver for 60 of his 75 years. Born in Hull, Massachusetts, he joined the Massachusetts Humane Society (an organization modeled on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution – RNLI) at age 15 after his mother and one of his sisters died in a ship wreck.

Henry Hudson

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 22, 2011

Little is known of Henry Hudson prior to 1607, when he was hired by the Muscovy Company of the Kingdom of England to find a northern route to the Far East. He and a crew of ten sailed on the 80-ton Hopewell. They reached the east coast of Greenland and traveled north to the ice pack.

Alfred Thayer Mahan

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 16, 2011

Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) was born at West Point, where his father was an instructor. After graduating with distinction from the US Naval Academy in 1859, he served blockade duty on a number of warships during the Civil War. Mahan was promoted at…

Georg Wilhelm Steller

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 5, 2011

Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709-1746) was a naturalist and zoologist, noted for being the first European to set foot in what is now Alaska and for describing and documenting some of the unique animal life of the region. He was born in Windsheim, Bavaria and studied at the University of Wittenberg.

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 14, 2011

A canal connecting Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay was envisaged as early as the mid-seventeenth century, when it was realized that the two bodies of water were separated only by a relatively narrow strip of land. A canal company was first founded in 1802…

Cruise of the Corwin

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 10, 2011

The United States Revenue Cutter (USRC) Thomas Corwin was built in Portland, Oregon in 1876, becoming the first federal government vessel built in the state. She was finished and commissioned in San Francisco in 1877. San Francisco remained her homeport for her entire period of government service.

Perihelion

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 4, 2011

The whoosh you experienced at about 1900 UTC on Monday, January 3, 2011 was the sun passing by on its closest approach to the Earth – a mere 91,402,505 miles away. This recurs every year, often at night when it can’t be observed. The date and…

Back from the (almost) dead

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 5, 2010

The requirement for scanning of 100% of maritime shipping containers in overseas ports prior to loading on a ship bound for the United States was enacted into federal law (with various caveats) by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.

Thames Barrier

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 8, 2010

The Thames Barrier is a 1,710-foot wide movable flood control barrier across the River Thames just downstream from central London. After a ten-year construction period, it was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on May 8, 1984.

St. Lawrence Seaway

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 14, 2010

The St. Lawrence Seaway is a system of locks, canals, and channels providing a connection for ocean-going ships between the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Small vessels had historically traveled this route, although portage was often required around rapids…

Turkish Straits

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 20, 2010

The Turkish Straits consist of two narrow straits in northwestern Turkey, the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, and the Sea of Marmara that connects them. The Turkish Straits lie between the Black Sea to the east and the Aegean Sea, which is a region of the much larger Mediterranean Sea.

USCG Districts

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 6, 2010

The US Coast Guard adopted the concept of geographic districts when it absorbed the US Lighthouse Service in 1939. Previously, it had no formal segmentation of its chain of command based on geography. Rather, the chain of command was grouped around function.