Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Seeing stars again: Naval Academy reinstates celestial navigation - Capital Gazette

USNA Celestial Navigation

My father commanded a 110 foot sub chaser on convoy escort duty in the north Atlantic.  Every day they had to report their noon position - determined by using a sextant like that above.  The advantage of celestial navigation is that it is three dimensional.  It helps you orient yourself in space.  - gwc

Seeing stars again: Naval Academy reinstates celestial navigation - Capital Gazette

by Tim Prudente

The same techniques guided ancient Polynesians in the open Pacific and led Sir Ernest Shackleton to remote Antarctica, then oriented astronauts when the Apollo 12 was disabled by lightning, the techniques of celestial navigation.
A glimmer of the old lore has returned to the Naval Academy.
Officials reinstated brief lessons in celestial navigation this year, nearly two decades after the full class was determined outdated and cut from the curriculum.
That decision, in the late 1990s, made national news and caused a stir among the old guard of navigators.
Maritime nostalgia, however, isn't behind the return.
Rather, it's the escalating threat of cyber attacks that has led the Navy to dust off its tools to measure the angles of stars.
After all, you can't hack a sextant....

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Friendship - First Storm - Christmas Week 2015

Maine-built Boat Wins Sydney Hobart Race

Maxi yacht Comanche powers through heavy swells outside Sydney’s harbor during the 71st Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, Australia’s premiere bluewater classic race, on Dec.26, 2015.
Portland Press Herald - East Boothbay- built boat wins 628 mile Sydney-Hobart Race
Comanche - the East Boothbay built maxi - has won the Sydney-Hobart Race.  It was a brutal race in which 29 of 108 starters retired after the first night. At the helm as they crossed the finish line was Aussie lass Kristy Hinze-Clark, wife of owner Jim Clark who founded Netscape.  She was, presumably, wearing foulies, not the suit she chose for the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Good and The Bad for Atlantic Menhaden | National Geographic (blogs)

Very interesting perspective on Bunker (as we call them) fishery by Carl Safina, the well known and conscientious conservationist. Basic point: we need Cod food more than cat food, or worthless fish oil at GNC.The Good and The Bad for Atlantic Menhaden | National Geographic (blogs)

by Carl Safina  Co-authored by Elizabeth Brown

On May 5th the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission met to make pivotal decisions about the management of Atlantic Menhaden – arguably one of the most important fish in the sea.

Two keys decisions were up for discussion:

1.) What to set the Atlantic Menhaden catch limit at. Or, in other words, how many Menhaden should the fishery be allowed to take from the ocean.

2.) Whether managers should take a “big picture” or ecosystem-based approach to managing Atlantic menhaden. This means taking into account the important ecological role Menhaden play in the ocean as a key food source for many species.

The Menhaden fishing industry was pushing for an increase to the catch limit put in place back in 2012 to rebuild this species. Their reasoning being that the latest population assessment for Menhaden indicates it is in a better state than it was a few years ago, so they should be allowed to take more fish from the sea. The Menhaden fishery is the largest on the U.S. East Coast. The majority of Menhaden (80%) are ground up for use in fish oil dietary supplements, fertilizers, and animal feed. This industry is controlled by a single company, Omega Protein. The remaining 20% of the Menhaden catch is used by commercial fishermen for bait.

Ocean conservationists, recreational anglers, and eco-tourism businesses were more concerned about whether managers would leave enough Menhaden in the ocean to support its vast array of predators. Menhaden provide food for several important recreational and commercial fish, such as striped bass, weakfish, cod, and bluefin tuna, seabirds like osprey and eagles, and whales. Menhaden, along with other small prey fish, are the glue that holds the ocean ecosystem together. More than 10,000 people wrote to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission prior to the meeting pushing for a big picture approach, urging them tonot increase the Menhaden catch limit until they account for the needs of its predators.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Manhattan Island before they snipped off the top

What you want to see in this map is the line at the right which -when you enlarge the image- is labeled Spuyten Duyvil Creek. The first curve in the S is now the tidal basin in Inwood Hill Park. The creek then winds around Marble Hill, joining the Harlem River. To the left of Marble Hill is a thin line. That creek was dredged and the hillside blasted to form the Ship Canal, enabling freight to move via barge from the Hudson to the Sound (East) River.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ports on Oneida Lake

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween weekend 2015

Halloween weekend.  We were with them in spirit and via Instagram and Facebook,

Port of Macedon, New York

Thursday, October 29, 2015

China court finds in favor of NGOs under new environmental law // JURIST

JURIST - China court finds in favor of NGOs under new environmental law

by Ashley Hogan

[JURIST] The Nanping Municipal Intermediate People's Court of Fujian found in favor [Xinhua report] of two environmental groups on Thursday under a new environmental law. The court ordered defendants to restore destroyed vegetation and pay compensation for the damage that resulted from of an illegal mining expansion. This was the first environmental protection case decided since the Environmental Protection Law[text, PDF; LOC backgrounder] took effect on January 1. The law allows NGOs to directly sue polluters in the public interest, and the victory by Friends of Nature and Fujian Green Home[advocacy websites] suggests that other environmental groups will have more power to combat pollution under the new law.
According to many experts, climate change [JURIST backgrounder] as a result of global greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most pressing and controversial environmental issues [JURIST report] facing the international community today. China has long come under international criticism for lax environmental laws and enforcement, but has taken more proactive steps in recent years. In July China's Qingdao Maritime Court ruled [JURIST report] that a lawsuit against ConocoPhillips China and China National Offshore Oil relating to a 2011 oil spill could proceed under the new environmental law. Also in July China set a 60 percent per capita carbon dioxide emissions reduction goal [JURIST report] for 2030. The announcement followed a November agreement with the US to cut its greenhouse gas emissions [JURIST report].

Cod's decline traced to warming Gulf of Maine // NY Times

Cod's decline traced to warming Gulf of Maine // NY Times

by Erica Goode
Rapid warming in the Gulf of Maine contributed to the collapse of cod fishing in New England, and might help explain why the cod population has failed to recover, even though fishing has largely ceased, according to a new study.
Fisheries managers have tried to reverse the cod’s decline in the gulf by imposing increasingly severe limits on fishing since 2010, reducing quotas to the point that recreational cod fishing has been effectively closed and few commercial fishermen now set out intending to catch cod.A team of marine scientists found that rising temperatures in the gulf decreased reproduction and increased mortality among the once-plentiful Atlantic cod, adding to the toll of many decades of overfishing.
But the quotas, the study’s authors say, were based on population estimates that did not take into account the temperature changes and therefore were set too high. Even when fishermen stayed within the quotas, they were in effect overfishing, the researchers write in their report, which appears in the Oct. 30 issue of the journal Science.
“The failure to consider temperature impacts on Gulf of Maine cod recruitment created unrealistic expectations for how large this stock can be and how quickly it can rebuild,” the researchers write.
The study uses data about water surface temperatures to look at warming trends in the gulf since 1982 and compares the rate of increase to ocean waters in other parts of the world. From 2004 to 2013, the scientists found, temperatures rose faster in the Gulf of Maine than in 99.9 percent of the global ocean.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Greenland Is Melting Away - The New York Times

Rivers of melting ice - video

Greenland Is Melting Away - The New York Times


ON THE GREENLAND ICE SHEET — The midnight sun still gleamed at 1 a.m. across the brilliant expanse of the Greenland ice sheet. Brandon Overstreet, a doctoral candidate in hydrology at the University of Wyoming, picked his way across the frozen landscape, clipped his climbing harness to an anchor in the ice and crept toward the edge of a river that rushed downstream toward an enormous sinkhole.

If he fell in, “the death rate is 100 percent,” said Mr. Overstreet’s friend and fellow researcher, Lincoln Pitcher.

But Mr. Overstreet’s task, to collect critical data from the river, is essential to understanding one of the most consequential impacts of global warming. The scientific data he and a team of six other researchers collect here could yield groundbreaking information on the rate at which the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fastest-melting chunks of ice on Earth, will drive up sea levels in the coming decades. The full melting of Greenland’s ice sheet could increase sea levels by about 20 feet.

“We scientists love to sit at our computers and use climate models to make those predictions,” said Laurence C. Smith, head of the geography department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the leader of the team that worked in Greenland this summer. “But to really know what’s happening, that kind of understanding can only come about through empirical measurements in the field.”

For years, scientists have studied the impact of the planet’s warming on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. But while researchers have satellite images to track the icebergs that break off, and have created models to simulate the thawing, they have little on-the-ground information and so have trouble predicting precisely how fast sea levels will rise.

Read more

Inlets and Outlets~Jersey shore

Monday, October 26, 2015

Our wildest dreams are ...what Ortiz does in real life.

Miguel Cabrera, Chris David, Jose Bautista, David Ortiz

Boston - Baseball Prospectus

by Matthew Kory

The significance of Bautista’s homer is hard to overstate given the drama of the inning, of the series, of the man. But this is a Red Sox site so you know it had to come around to this sooner or later: thanks to Bautista, now Blue Jays fans are starting to understand how Red Sox fans feel about David Ortiz.
I should say this isn’t meant to talk down to Blue Jays fans or devalue what Bautista accomplished for greater Toronto and batflip-kind.  He has quite probably been the man to turn baseball around in Toronto, and not just with one well-timed homer, but with his own career renaissance. They say you have to walk a mile in a person’s shoes to understand them, and watching Bautista’s bat explode on the ball and the man explode in the moment, it made me think of the treatise on overcoming adversity that Ortiz has authored in Boston, the moments he’s pulled the Red Sox through, the chains of history he’s brushed aside as if they were nothing because they were nothing to David Ortiz.
A year after joining the organization, one that hadn’t won a World Series in 85 seasons at the time, Ortiz kept the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS with game winning, game-ending hits in both game four and game five. He homered off of Kevin Brown in game seven after Johnny Damon was thrown out at home plate with the all too familiar doom threatening to take hold. But no, because Ortiz wouldn’t let it, crushing the ball into the right-field bleachers off Brown and taking all the pressure off his teammates like stabbing a balloon. Oh, he also won the ’04 Division Series with a two-run homer in the 10th inning after Vlad Guerrero had hit a grand slam to tie the game in the seventh. That’s three game-winning hits, two of them homers, in a six game stretch of playoff games, if you’re the counting sort. Then, if we’re really going to do this, he homered in the first inning of the World Series against the Cardinals, as if to say we’re not done yet. We’re gonna take this whole thing. And all that? That’s just one season

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fordham 47, Holy Cross 41 - OT

Fordham 47, Holy Cross 41 - OT
Fordham is ranked # 10 in the NCAA Football Championship Series division
The tying 48 yard field goal as time expired

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Landing craft provides vital ‘barging’ in Thousand Islands - Professional Mariner - October/November 2015

Landing craft provides vital ‘barging’ in Thousand Islands - Professional Mariner - October/November 2015

story and photos by Will Van Dorp

Capt. Jakob “Jake” Van Reenen was watchful as the 10-wheeler fuel truck inched down the dock and into the cargo well of Seaway Supplier, a 1954 landing craft.

The instant the truck’s front tires touched Seaway Supplier’s deck, it began to push the vessel away from the dock. Van Reenen reacted, throttling forward to keep his vessel flush with the dock, until loading was completed safely. The fuel truck was then carried across the St. Lawrence River to Grindstone Island to deliver its cargo. At the dock on Grindstone, the same careful control of the vessel throttle was necessary for an uneventful offloading.

Seaway Supplier is the newest acquisition of Seaway Marine Group, owned and operated by Van Reenen in the St. Lawrence River town of Clayton, N.Y. His other boats are smaller and associated with TowBoatUS, although Seaway Supplier is also used in small boat salvage. His family has spent summers in the Thousand Islands since his great-grandfather kept a houseboat there. He now lives in Clayton year-round.

Locally, what Seaway Supplier does is called barging. A customer would say something like, “What is the charge for barging my car over to Grindstone?” But whether you call it a self-propelled barge, LCM-8, or Mike-8, as others say, Seaway Supplier is U.S. Coast Guard-certificated and classified as a freight ship. It was launched in 1954 as U.S. Army LCM-8010, a product of Higgins Industries in New Orleans. Two twin-pack Detroit Diesel engines (four 6-71s) generate about 600 hp, turning two 34-inch-diameter three-bladed screws. The outboard engines of each twin pack also drive air compressors for the air-assist ramp and steering. The inboard engines are belted to battery chargers as well as dewatering and fire pumps.

Monday, October 5, 2015

24 and counting - Friendship - Blueberry fields forever

Starting our 25th year. - gwc

Friendship River meadow

Blueberry fields forever

Our landing

Welcome to Heron Bend

Friendship River from Blueberry Lane

Camden Hills - the view from the dump
I-95 bridge Piscataqua River southbound

The ghost fleet

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Heritage Cup 2015 - award ceremony

Here I am celebrating my 2d place finish at the 2015 Heritage Cup awards ceremony.  I always feel like a salmon returning to spawn at Sea Cliff - the cove where I first sailed en famille at age 8 on our 18 foot center board boat - a Cape Cod knockabout.  Still sailing small boats and still loving it.   
The race course was north from host Hempstead Harbor Club to Weeks Point G1, downwind across to the harbor to the mouth R2, close reach to R8, finish.  Sailing single-handed I took second, beating the schooner Myth, which struggles going to windward. Ahead of me at the first mark by 100 yards was the Friendship Sloop Natanya.  But they rounded the mark, shook out the reef for the downwind leg in 17-21 kts NE and left me in their wake.
Golden Eye - Bob & Mike Emmert- Regatta Chairmen

Natanya - Friendship sloop

Picking up the mooring single-handed

The trick on this is that the boat should come head to wind, ideally in irons at the mooring.  As that happens you go forward with the lobsterman's gaff.  You can snag the dinghy painter or the pickup mast.  But...a current carrying you beyond the mooring or too much headway carries you beyond the mooring.  So you have to try again.
The other method is a line from bow to stern with a carabiner that you can snap onto the  painter.  I used to do it that way.  Maybe I should again. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Top Ten Sailing Books - Halcyon Yacht Delivery

Endurance Shackleton's Incredible Voyage Alfred Lansing

My favorite is Lansing's account of the famed voyage of Shackleton and comrades whose ship was crushed in the Antarctic ice. Another is Miles Smeeton's Once is Enough, the account of his twice wrecked ketch which was dismasted as they approached Cape Horn.  And, of course, the incomparable Joshua Slocum's classic Sailing Alone Around the World.

Top Ten Sailing Books - Halcyon Yacht Delivery

Once Is Enough Miles SmeetonSailing Alone Around The World Joshua Slocum

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015