On December 18, 2014, in Environment, by CaptRR

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 11.20.59 AM

The website is here.

Great stuff for an overview

(Thanks to current Zenith Maritime student Chris Holm for the link.)


Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and chorus, arrangement by Hans Zimmer (from Crimson Tide). Video footage – Marine Nationale de France.


‘Tis the season…for boat fires!

On December 17, 2014, in Safety, by CaptRR


My buddy Tim Flanagan has the post over at NAVAGEAR.

Every winter there are boat fires – fires which rapidly lead to marina fires except in the most fortunate circumstances.  And these fires are almost universally electrically caused.

Why do they happen so frequently in the winter?  Because (up here in the north, anyway), it is in the winter when the boat’s electrical system is most taxed, keeping the boat warm.


Sucia via drone

On December 16, 2014, in General Boating, by CaptRR

More on Sucia Island State Park HERE.

(Thanks, to Matthew Lombardi via facebook for the link)


I have have seen the future, and it looks amazing

On December 15, 2014, in Shipping, by CaptRR

Gizomodo is reporting:

Welcome to the oX Bridge. This is what Rolls-Royce believes the future of shipping will look like, with autonomous ocean-going vessels becoming a reality by 2025.

Developed in conjunction with the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and Aalto University, the video explores a world of shipping that’s far more complex than what we’re used to. Think ships stacked with containers in such a way that hardcore data analysis is required to load and unload; smart workstations that automatically recognise crew members when they walk into the bridge; or augmented reality displays to help the captain identify and navigate hazards like icebergs. In other words, everything we think might appear in cars of the future, but pumped up some big ol’ steroid and put on to a ship instead. [Design Boom]

The complete Gizmodo post by Jamie Condliffe  is here.


Escape from Alcatraz

On December 15, 2014, in History, Interesting, by CaptRR


I was 10 years old when the escape happened and lived only five miles from The Rock.  We all knew they’d end up in our back yard, or so the media would have us believe.

Gizmodo is reporting:

A New Simulation Shows How the Alcatraz Escapees Could Have Survived

In 1962, three inmates at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary attempted one of the most daring and ingenious escapes of all time. They got out of Alcatraz, but where they ended up is still a mystery. The FBI concluded they most likely drowned. But the inmates did have a slim chance at survival, according to a few Dutch hydrologists who have reanalyzed the tides that night.

The three men, Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Morris, concocted an elaborate and famous escape plan that included a homemade periscope, a raft made out of raincoats, and even dummy heads with real human hair. Once they made it out, though, they would have been at the mercy of the tides of San Francisco Bay.

At the American Geophysical Union conference this week, a group of Dutch scientists will present a reconstruction of the tides of that fateful night. Olivier Hoes of the Delft University of Technology was studying the flood risk to industrial sites around the Bay, when he realized his simulations might have some historical relevance.

Don’t miss the simulation in this post by Sarah Zhang here.


The Longship

On December 14, 2014, in History, by CaptRR



via Wikipedia

Longships were a type of ship invented and used by the Vikings for trade, commerce, exploration, and warfare during the Viking Age. The longship’s design evolved over many centuries, beginning in the Stone Age with the invention of the umiak and continuing up until the 9th century with ships like Nydam and Kvalsund. The longship appeared in its complete form between the 9th and 13th centuries. The character and appearance of these ships have been reflected in Scandinavian boat-building traditions until today. The particular skills and methods employed in making longships are still used world wide, often with modern adaptations. They were all made out of wood, with cloth sails (woven wool) and had lots of details and carvings on the hull.

The longships were characterized as a graceful, long, narrow and light wooden boat, with a shallow-draft hull designed for speed. The ship’s shallow draft allowed navigation in waters only one metre deep and permitted random beach landings, while its light weight enabled it to be carried over portages or used bottoms up for shelter in camps. Longships were also double-ended, the symmetrical bow and stern letting the ship to reverse direction quickly without a turn around; this trait proved particularly useful at northern latitudes, where icebergs and sea ice posed hazards to navigation. Longships were fitted with oars along almost the entire length of the boat itself. Later versions had a rectangular sail on a single mast, which was used to replace or augment the effort of the rowers, particularly during long journeys.[1] The average speed of Viking ships varied from ship to ship, but lay in the range of 5–10 knots (9.3–18.5 km/h) and the maximum speed of a longship under favorable conditions, was around 15 knots (28 km/h).[2]

Longships were the epitome of naval power in their time, and were highly valued possessions. They were often communally owned by coastal farmers and commissioned by kings in times of conflict, in order to quickly assemble a large and powerful naval force. While longships were used by the Norse in warfare, they were mostly used for troop transports, not warships. In the tenth century, longships would sometimes be tied together in offshore battles to form a steady platform for infantry warfare. During the 9th century peak of the Viking expansion, large fleets set out to attack the degrading Frankish empire by attacking up navigable rivers such as the Seine. Rouen was sacked in 841, the year after the death of Louis the Pious, a son of Charlemagne. Quentovic, near modern Etables, was attacked in 842 and 600 Danish ships attacked Hamburg in 845. In the same year 129 ships returned to attack up the Seine.[3] They were called “dragonships” by enemies such as the English[4]because they had a dragon-shaped bow. The Norse had a strong sense of naval architecture, and during the early medieval period they were advanced for their time.[5][6]

(Ed. note:  I’ve had a fascination with all things Viking for years and have longed to see Iceland.)


Rio de Janeiro Blues

On December 13, 2014, in History, by CaptRR

Rio 2

SS City of Rio de Janeiro built by John Roach & Son in 1878 at Chester, Pennsylvania, regularly transported passengers and cargo between Asia and San Francisco.

MarineLink is reporting:

NOAA and its partners released 3D sonar maps and images of an immigrant steamship lost more than 100 years ago in what many consider the worst maritime disaster in San Francisco history.

On Feb. 22, 1901, in a dense morning fog, the SS City of Rio de Janeiro struck jagged rocks near the present site of the Golden Gate Bridge and sank almost immediately, killing 128 of the 210 passengers and crew aboard the ship. Fishermen in the area, hearing the ship’s distress calls, helped rescue 82 survivors, many plucked from makeshift rafts and floating wreckage. The dead included Chinese and Japanese immigrants as well as the U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong, who was returning to the U.S. with his wife and two children. The entire family died in the tragedy.

The complete MarineLink post by Greg Trauthwein is here.




Gizmodo is reporting:

Things have gotten so bad with the human predilection for dumping plastic in the seas that, bythe latest predictions, there are now more than five trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans.

The study, published this week in PLoS One, saw scientists from across the US, France, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand use data from 24 ocean expeditions in 1,571 locations to reach their conclusions. They found that a staggering 250,000 tons of the stuff now bobs in our seas.

The complet Gizmodo post by Jamie Condliffe is here.

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