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Sunday, September 22, 2019

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  • Maritime Musings (40) (X)

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The 1929 Grand Banks earthquake

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 24, 2015

At about 5:02 pm on Monday, November 18, 1929, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck beneath the Laurentian Continental Slope about 250 miles south of the island of Newfoundland. The water there is about 7,000 feet deep. The earthquake was felt as far away as New York, Bermuda, and Montreal.

Battle of Actium

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 23, 2015

After the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., the Roman Republic was led by the Second Triumvirate, which consisted of Octavian (the adopted son of Julius Caesar), Mark Antony (the magister equitum of Caesar’s army), and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (a political ally of Julius Caesar).

New Siberian Islands

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 6, 2015

The archipelago called the New Siberian Islands is not new, having existed for eons and containing fossils from the Late Pleistocene (over 100,000 years ago) and probably earlier. Bedrock on the islands is significantly older. The archipelago is comprised of three groups of islands.

HMS Endeavour

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 2, 2014

The bark HMS Endeavour was built in 1764 as the collier Earl of Pembroke. A type known locally as a Whitby Cat, it had a broad, flat bow, a square stern, a long box-like body with a deep hold, and a flat bottom. Originally ship-rigged, it was…

Sea otter

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 31, 2014

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a member of the weasel family that ran away to sea. It is the smallest of the marine mammals and the only one that does not rely on fat (blubber) for warmth. Rather, it has the thickest coat of fur of any mammal – up to one million strands of hair per square inch.

Taiping Island

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 24, 2014

The Spratly Islands are a group of islets, cays, atolls, and coral reefs located in the southern portion of the South China Sea. Taiping Island (also called Itu Aba Island) is the largest of these islets and the only one with fresh water springs.

Teak

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 20, 2014

Teak is the common name for the Tectona grandis, a member of the verbena family native to the hardwood forests of India, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is a large deciduous tree, growing to a height of 130 feet, with gray and grayish brown branches.

Malacca

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 8, 2014

The Strait of Malacca is named after Malacca, now part of Malaysia. In about the year 1400, Parameswana, the last Raja of Singapura, was expelled from the area around present-day Singapore by local rivals. He relocated to the fishing village of Malacca…

Elephant seal

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 1, 2014

Elephant seals are large seals represented by two species, the northern elephant seal and the southern elephant seal. Both were hunted to near extinction through the end of the nineteenth century. The smaller northern elephant seal is found in the eastern portion of the North Pacific Ocean…

McMurdo Sound

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 14, 2014

McMurdo Sound (approximately 35 miles long and 30 miles wide) connects the Ross Sea to the north to the Ross Ice Shelf on the coast of Antarctica due south of New Zealand. This body of water, frequently ice-covered, was discovered by Captain…

Drilling vessel Chikyu

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 10, 2013

The Japanese deep sea drilling vessel Chikyu is the first riser-equipped drilling vessel in the world designed and built for scientific work. It is capable of drilling in waters of up to 2,500 meters (8,125 feet) in depth. Its primary mission is to drill through the 7…

Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 22, 2013

Well into the nineteenth century, many believed that the region of the North Pole was open water, surrounded by floating ice. If one could only locate an opening in the ice, it would be possible to sail from the temperate region to the North Pole and possibly out the other side.

Fluyt

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 5, 2013

The fluyt or fluitschip was one of the first ocean-going ships built exclusively for commerce. Previously, ships tended to be built to perform the dual role of fighting battles and carrying cargo. Thus, their construction was fairly robust and they carried cannons, ammunition, and combat personnel.

Regional Scale Nodes Project

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 9, 2013

The University of Washington is leading the Regional Scale Nodes Project for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Ocean Observatory Initiative. The cabled underwater research facility is being constructed off the Oregon and Washington coasts.

Stad ship tunnel

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 10, 2013

In a move reminiscent of the Athos Canal, built 483-480 BC at the direction of the Persian Emperor Xerxes, or the Corinth Canal, built in the 1890’s by the Greek Government, Norway has tentatively approved construction of a tunnel through the…

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…

S.A. Agulhas II

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 18, 2013

The Agulhas II replaces the older and smaller Agulhas as South Africa’s supply vessel for its scientific and weather stations in Antarctica (SANAE IV located on a rocky outcrop several miles inland in the Queen Maud region); on Marion Island…

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.