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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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  • Maritime Musings (14) (X)

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Barnacle

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 23, 2013

The lowly barnacle has intrigued and been detested by mariners from time immemorial. It is a small arthropod with a complex life cycle. Once the fertilized egg is released into the water by the female, it hatches into a nauplius – a one-eyed larva consisting of a head and a tail fan for locomotion.

European discovery of Florida

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 2, 2013

On 2 April 1513 (500 years ago, for those who have lost count), a fleet of three Spanish ships commanded by Juan Ponce de León sighted land west of the Bahamas. He believed it to be another island and named it La Florida (the Flowery Isles) in recognition of its verdant landscape.

Belt and suspenders

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on February 1, 2013

Following the grounding of the conical drill unit (CDU) Kulluk on Sitkalidak Island, a number of environmental advocates have called for a ban on oil and gas drilling in Arctic waters. The argument is that such offshore drilling in a harsh environment…

USS Somers

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 18, 2012

The brig USS Somers, launched in April 1842, was the second vessel of the United States Navy to bear that name. Like its predecessor, it was named in honor of Lieutenant Richard Somers (1778-1804) who died with his crew when the bomb ketch Intrepid…

Amelia Island

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 29, 2012

Amelia Island is the northern-most portion of Florida on the Atlantic coast. Georgia lies just across the St. Marys River. This political separation today is of little significance, but it was highly important in earlier times. Some years after…

SS Ideal X

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 27, 2012

The ship that became famous as the Ideal X began life as a mass-produced T-2 tanker called the Potrero Hills, launched on December 30, 1944 by the Marinship Corporation of Sausalito, California. It changed ownership and names several times after the conclusion of World War II…

Right whales

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on February 17, 2012

There are three species of right whales (four if you include the bowhead whale). These are the North Atlantic right whale, the North Pacific right whale, and the Southern right whale. They acquired the name “right” from whalers, because these whales are commonly found near land and because…

Kort nozzle

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

A Kort nozzle is a hydrodynamically-designed shroud that encircles a ship’s propeller just outside the blade tips. The entire assembly of the propeller and the nozzle is referred to as a ducted propeller. The concept of the ducted propeller…

Salish Sea

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

The Salish Sea extends from the southern end of Puget Sound, near Olympia, Washington, north through Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia to Desolation Sound, and west to where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific Ocean. Its name derives…

HMS Rattler

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 2, 2011

A steam-powered side-wheeler with the tentative name HMS Ardent was under construction in Sheerness when the Royal Navy decided to begin its own experiments with screw propulsion. When commissioned in 1844, the newly-named HMS Rattler became…

War of Jenkins’ Ear

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 15, 2011

Relations between Spain and Great Britain during the 1730’s were strained to say the least. Spain had granted to British ships extensive trading rights in Spanish colonies in the Americas and now rued the decision. There were numerous confrontations…

Sikorsky HH-52 Seaguard Helicopter

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 1, 2011

The first modern amphibious helicopter capable of regular rescue operations in the offshore marine environment was the Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard. This aircraft could cruise at 98 miles per hour, had a range of 474 miles, and could carry ten passengers in addition to a crew of two.

Biofouling

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 8, 2011

Biofouling is the accumulation of microorganisms, algae, plants, and/or animals on wetted surfaces, particularly the hulls of ships. This became a significant problem as European mariners started making extended sea voyages in the late fifteenth century.

DGPS

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on February 11, 2011

The Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) is an augmented version of the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) operated by the US Air Force. The GPS was originally designed to provide two levels of service: an open-signal L1…