Gizmodo is reporting:

After months at sea patrolling the Persian Gulf region, the USS Ponce and its shiny new laser cannon have successfully confronted and destroyed not only an unmanned aerial vehicle but also an incoming speed boat and other moving targets—all without breaking a sweat.

“We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality,” Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research, said in a press statement. “Laser weapons are powerful, affordable and will play a vital role in the future of naval combat operations.” And, according to reports, the LaWS performed its duties with nary a hiccup, regardless of the prevailing conditions.

The complete Gizmodo post by Andrew Tarantola is here.


Oh Crap

On December 10, 2014, in Environment, by CaptRR


Gizmodo is reporting:

Cruise ships dump a billion gallons of sewage in the ocean every year

The U.S. EPA estimates that a 3,000-person cruise ship generates 150,000 gallons of sewage per week — enough to fill 10 backyard swimming pools. This adds up to more than 1 billion gallons of sewage a year for the industry.

The complete Gizmodo post by Adam Clark Estes is here.


The weather outside is frightful

On December 9, 2014, in Environment, by CaptRR

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 7.50.47 AM


Forecast as of 3:00 am PST on December 9, 2014
Gale Warning in effect through Wednesday morning
Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands-
S wind 30 to 40 kt…easing to 20 to 30 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 5 to 7 ft…subsiding to 3 to 5 ft in the afternoon. Rain.
Se wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 25 to 35 kt late. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft building to 4 to 6 ft. A chance of rain in the evening…then rain after midnight.
Se wind 30 to 40 kt…becoming S 20 to 30 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 5 to 7 ft. Rain.
Wed Night
S wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft.

Safe Speed

On December 9, 2014, in Rules of the Road, by CaptRR

 Rule 6 – Safe Speed

Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions. In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account:

(a) By all vessels:

(i) The state of visibility;
(ii) The traffic density including concentrations of fishing vessels or any other vessels;
(iii) The manageability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;
(iv) At night, the presence of background light such as from shore lights or from back scatter from her own lights;
(v) The state of wind, sea and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards;
(vi) The draft in relation to the available depth of water.

(b) Additionally, by vessels with operational radar:

(i) The characteristics, efficiency and limitations of the radar equipment;
(ii) Any constraints imposed by the radar range scale in use;
(iii) The effect on radar detection of the sea state, weather and other sources of interference;
(iv) The possibility that small vessels, ice and other floating objects may not be detected by radar at an adequate range;
(v) The number, location and movement of vessels detected by radar;
(vi) The more exact assessment of the visibility that may be possible when radar is used to determine the range of vessels or other objects in the vicinity.

(Thanks to Doug Pine for the link via facebook)


McCain wants the Jones Act repealed

On December 8, 2014, in Shipping, by CaptRR


gCaptain is reporting:

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Senator John McCain said a more than 90-year-old law that requires ships servicing coastal businesses to be built and mostly staffed by U.S. crews will be repealed sooner or later if lawmakers keep fighting the trade restriction.

The complete gCaptain post is here.

Jones Act via Wikepedia

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-261), also known as the Jones Act, is a United States federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine.[1] Among other purposes, the law regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27 of the Jones Act, deals with cabotage (i.e., coastal shipping) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.[2] The Act was introduced by Senator Wesley Jones (R-WA).

Laws similar to the Jones Act date to the early days of the nation. In the First Congress, on September 1, 1789, Congress enacted Chapter XI, “An Act for Registering and Clearing Vessels, Regulating the Coasting Trade, and for other purposes,” which limited domestic trades to American ships meeting certain requirements.[3]

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 has been revised a number of times, the most recent revision in 2006 included recodification in the U.S. Code.[4]

The Jones Act is not to be confused with the Death on the High Seas Act, another United States maritime law that does not apply to coastal and in-land navigable waters.


Here’s some Jones Act Fact Checking:


The Statesman Journal is reporting:

The death of an endangered Puget Sound orca found on Vancouver Island in Canada might have been related to pregnancy issues, a research group said Friday.

The 18-year-old female that washed ashore Thursday was a member of the J-pod, one of three families of southern resident killer whales that spend time in the inland waters of Washington state and Canada.

The complete Statesman Journal post by Phuong Le is here.


Chicago’s Christmas Ship

On December 6, 2014, in Coast Guard, by CaptRR



The USCG is reporting:

Crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw begin decorating their ship in preparation for weekend festivities, Dec. 5, 2014. The Mackinaw is in Chicago to help re-enact the tradition of the original Chicago Christmas Ship from the late 1800s and early 1900s, and partnering with the Chicago maritime community to bring more than 1,200 Christmas trees to needy families in Chicago. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf)

The complete USCG post is here.


Branson to launch Cruise Line

On December 5, 2014, in Uncategorized, by CaptRR

Sir Richard Branson promoting his Virgin Atlantic airline (in the Bellagio fountain, Las Vegas). File photo courtesy Virgin Atlantic

Eccentric billionaire Sir Richard Branson has made good on rumors of launching his own Virgin cruise ship brand with the formation of Virgin Cruises.

USA Today has the story here.


LA Fire Dept Marine Unit investigated by CG

On December 4, 2014, in Coast Guard, by CaptRR


The LA Times is reporting:

Criminal investigators with the U.S. Coast Guard are probing an elite group of Los Angeles firefighters at the city’s port to determine whether federal licensing records were falsified for crew members assigned to large fireboats, The Times has learned.

In June, a special agent of the Coast Guard Investigative Service requested 10 years of LAFD logs, journals and other records that document the operation of the department’s fleet of five fireboats, according to a copy of the request obtained by The Times.

The complete LA Times post by Ben Walsh and Richard Winton is here.

(Thanks to Doug Gould for the link.)



On December 3, 2014, in Incidents, Rules of the Road, by CaptRR

(Thanks to Chris Holm for the link)

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