Wednesday, June 21, 2017

GCaptain: Who is at fault? USS Fitzgerald- ACX Crystal Collision

AIS track of the ACX Crystal

 Who is at fault? USS Fitzgerald, ACX Crystal //GCaptain

By Captain John Konrad (gCaptain) Every ship, regardless of nationality or purpose, is required to carry one terse book . This book is titled the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions but is better know by its acronym “COLREGs”. The chapters are short and to the point and ship officers are required to make marks of 90% on COLREGs tests taken to keep up their licenses. In order to pass this stringent requirement sailors have developed mnemonic aids to help them remember the contents. When the crew loses control of steering, the COLREGs demands that the ship display two red lights in a vertical line. The mnemonic for this rule is “Red over Red, the Captain’s dead”. Sailboats are required to display a red and green light and its said “Red over Green, sailing machine”. There are many more like this but one important rule for avoiding collisions with Navy warships is missing: “If it’s grey stay away.”3
While the media, with a very little hard data, attempts to understand the erratic maneuvers of the containership ACX Crystal on the night of her collision with the Destroyer USS Fitzgerald… professional mariners are certain that a long investigation will find the US Navy ship at fault.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Erie Canal route: New Genesee fermentation tanks going the old fashioned way.

We haul'd some barges in our day
Filled with lumber, coal, and hay
We know every inch of the way
From Albany to Buffalo.
Bruce Springsteen - Erie Canal Song
Image may contain: outdoor and water
The Rochester NY Genesee brewery opened bidding for new fermentation tanks.  A Chinese company got the job.  The problem was how to get them to Rochester - they were too long for the interstate highway system: but not too high for the low bridges on the Erie Canal.  But a technical problem remained: only one barge could fit in a lock.  One solution- two tugs - meant undesirable expense.  Coeymans Marine Towing got the job - and the solution: double locking.   Will vanDorp of Tugster explains:

It's called double locking.  Tug pushes tow 1 + 2 (front to back) into lock; crew steady 1 inside chamber and then uncouple tows 1 from 2; tug "backs out" of chamber entirely with tow 2.  when lock raises tow 1 to upstream level, canal infrastructure capstan moves tow 1 to the wall above the lock and crew secures it.  lock chamber is drained and tug pushes in with tow 2, which is then raised.  When tug and tow 2 are at upper water level, they maneuver in behind tow 1 and remake the entire tow, which is then moved to the next lock and the whole process is repeated. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Echo Bay Dory Skiff — Chase Small Craft

I have had it in mind to build a boat since we bought our house in Maine in 2008.

This is the most likely desin found so far.  It rows well (like our Susan Skiff from The Apprenticeshop in Rockland - and it has a sailing rig!

Echo Bay Dory Skiff — Chase Small Craft


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Thomas Stanley Gorman (RIP) - Returned Volunteer

Image result for thom gorman chef millbrook vermont

On the 50th anniversary of "India 50"  our Peace Corps training group Volunteers are reconnecting.  There have been a couple of reunions.  This one is harder to put together but thanks to email we are doing pretty well.

Unfortunately we have learned that Thom Gorman -the red bearded guy from Maine - and perhaps the most well-liked member of our group died six years ago.

As you can see from this nice remembrance he and his wife Joan ran a Vermont Inn which featured Indian food! - gwc

Thomas Stanley Gorman - Valley Reporter

Thomas Stanley Gorman, chef/owner of Millbrook Inn and Restaurant in Fayston, Vermont, died of cancer on December 23, 2010, at Fletcher Allen Medical Center in Burlington.

Thom was born on April 19, 1945, in South Portland, Maine. He spent his childhood in southern Maine before attending Boston University. Upon graduation, he spent two years in the Peace Corps in India with his wife, Jeanne. This experience shaped Thom in many ways, exposing him to a new culture for the first time. It also sparked a lifelong love for Indian cooking.

After his return to the United States in 1969, Thom worked as a salesman, first for Procter and Gamble and then in the college textbook division at Holt, Rinehart and Winston. He was promoted to an editorial position in 1977 and worked on science textbooks.

In 1979, Thom moved to Waitsfield. He and his wife Joan purchased Millbrook Inn, which they initially ran as a bed and breakfast. Six months later, Thom and Joan opened a restaurant in the inn, featuring Indian food, homemade pasta and desserts, and fresh local produce from their garden. For over 30 years they cooked together and served local food - long before the term "localvore" was in common use. In recent years, they also started hosting themed wine dinners, pairing the best local ingredients with wines from around the world. Thom loved the challenge of cooking new types of food and would research these meals carefully. He also enjoyed sharing his knowledge and love of how to cook Indian food through cooking classes, which he offered every summer as part of the Vermont Festival of the Arts.

Cooking was Thom's life work, but travel was his passion. In over 30 years of avid traveling, he and Joan visited all 50 states and every continent, except Antarctica. An intrepid hiker and skier, Thom climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, hiked to Machu Picchu, and trekked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, with Joan always at his side. He especially loved South Africa, which he and Joan visited numerous times.

Thom also loved Waitsfield and was a familiar face around town, especially in Mehuron's Supermarket and at the Waitsfield Farmers' Market. He learned to downhill ski at Mad River Glen and loved nothing better than a great run on Lynx to Beaver. He also loved living in Vermont and all the people in this community and many others who came to eat in the restaurant and stay in the inn.

Thom is survived by his beloved partner in life, travel, and business, his wife Joan Gorman; daughter and son-in-law Mara Gorman and Matt Kinservik of Newark, Delaware; daughter and son-in-law Sheila and Brian Fadrosh of Shoemakerville, Pennsylvania; grandsons Tommy and Teddy Kinservik, Alex Moquin, and Johnny Fadrosh; foster son Jerome Wortman; siblings Janet Cotter, David Gorman, Marilyn Hanft, and Paula Flanders; father- and mother-in-law Daniel and Sonia Handelsman; numerous adopted family members and friends from around the world; and his dog "Riley."

A potluck memorial remembrance of Thom's life will be held at the Basebox at Mad River Glen on Wednesday, January 19, at 6 p.m. Please contact Lorraine Wargo at 496-3621 for more information.

Donations can be made in Thom's memory to the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 305, 4177 Main Street, Waitsfield, VT 05673 or to the Stark Mountain Foundation, P.O. Box 1221, Waitsfield, VT 05673.

The Gorman family would like to thank Dr. Neil Hyman, Dr. Paul Unger, and the many other staff members at Fletcher Allen who provided such wonderful care to Thom at the end of his life.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Jackie Robinson statue - Dodger Stadium

I'll always be a Brooklyn Dodger fan.
A bronze statue of Brooklyn Dodgers' legend Jackie Robinson is unveiled outside Dodger Stadium before the team's baseball game with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Maine Lobstermen's Union Votes to Buy Hancock County Lobster Business | Portside

Maine Lobstermen's Union Votes to Buy Hancock County Lobster Business | Portside


Purchase of Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound's wholesale operation means lobstermen will have more control over the prices they get for their catch, a spokesman says.
Penelope Overton
February 25, 2017
The Maine Lobstering Union voted Saturday to buy a wholesale lobster business near Mount Desert Island to help its fishermen net a bigger share of the profit in the booming, $1.5 billion-a-year industry.
At a closed-door meeting in Rockport, members voted 63-1 to buy the wholesale side of the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, which includes a tank that can hold up to 180,000 pounds of lobster, for $4 million, said Local 207 President Rocky Alley.
“We can’t wait to start buying and selling our own lobsters,” Alley said. “Right now, fishermen sell at the dock, and we get what we get, with no control. But there is lots of money made off lobsters after they leave the dock, and some ought to stay with us fishermen.”
The vote enables the Maine union to borrow money from a Kansas City bank and to borrow $1.1 million from fellow locals in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as far south as Maryland to purchase the Lamoine-based wholesale business.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Winter storm forecast: When they go low, we go high

Before the storm

from the soon to be defunded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Friendship, Maine 04547
Today March 14, 2017
TodaySnow before 5pm, then snow, possibly mixed with sleet. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 32. Windy, with a northeast wind 15 to 20 mph increasing to 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.TonightRain, snow, and sleet before 2am, then freezing rain likely between 2am and 3am, then snow likely after 3am. The rain, snow, freezing rain, and sleet could be heavy at times. Areas of blowing snow after 3am. Low around 25. Windy, with a northeast wind 25 to 35 mph becoming north 15 to 25 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Little or no ice accumulation expected. New snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The revival of burlesque dancing in the Midcoast - PenBay Pilot

The revival of burlesque dancing in the Midcoast - PenBay Pilot: Burlesque dancing, like many other fringe art forms, enjoys a mysterious, titillating reputation, because most people only have a vague idea of what it’s all about.

The revival of burlesque dancing in the Midcoast - PenBay Pilot

The revival of burlesque dancing in the Midcoast - PenBay Pilot: Burlesque dancing, like many other fringe art forms, enjoys a mysterious, titillating reputation, because most people only have a vague idea of what it’s all about.

The revival of burlesque dancing in the Midcoast - PenBay Pilot

The revival of burlesque dancing in the Midcoast - PenBay Pilot: Burlesque dancing, like many other fringe art forms, enjoys a mysterious, titillating reputation, because most people only have a vague idea of what it’s all about.

Monday, January 30, 2017

When you are old - 莫文蔚- 当你老了

当你老了 - 莫文蔚


When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Le Cléac'h smashes Vendée Globe race record in spectacular style - Vendée Globe 2016-2017

Finish arrival of Armel Le Cleac’h (FRA), skipper Banque Populaire VIII, winner of the sailing circumnavigation solo race Vendee Globe, in 74d 3h 35min 46sec, in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on January 19th, 2017 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendee Gl

When French sailor Armel Le Cleac'h won the 24,500 Vendée Globe race his nemesis Alex Thomson was 38 nautical miles behind: a margin of difference of 1/10 of 1%!
It was one of the most thrilling finishes the solo round the world race has ever seen. It had been  74 days of round-the-buoys racing intensity when Le Cléac'h was finally crowned victor in the long-running battle with British skipper Alex Thomson for the top spot in the solo round the world race, regarded as one of the toughest sporting challenges known to man.

 News - Le Cléac'h smashes Vendée Globe race record in spectacular style - Vendée Globe 2016-2017

Le Cléac'h, 39, from Brittany, sealed the win – and a place in the Vendée Globe history books – crossing the finish line at 1537 UTC to complete the course in 74 days, three hours and 35 minutes. His time sets a new record for the race, beating the previous record of 78 days 2 hours 16 minutes set by French sailor François Gabart in the 2012-13 edition by three days, 22 hours and 41 minutes.

Meanwhile toward the back of the fleet on day 70 Rich Wilson aboard Great American IV has rounded Cape Horn.  He has 6,300 nm to go.  This is his LOG of the Cape Horn rounding.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Alex Thomson sets solo 24 hour distance record // Vendee Globe

After 21,000 miles and 71 days only 75.96 miles separates the two leaders.  With 700 nm to go in light air. A Thursday January 19 finish is expected in Les Sables D'Ologne, France.
Alex Thomson sets Solo 24 hour distance record
Thomson has been playing catch-up since Le Cléac'h took the lead on December 2 but as the race enters its final few days he has transformed from the chaser into the hunter, ruthlessly stalking his French rival in the hope of being able to deliver the killer blow before the race is up. 
The British skipper delivered a timely warning to French skipper Le Cléac'h today when he smashed the world record for the greatest distance sailed solo in 24 hours. Hugo Boss skipper Thomson maintained a staggering average speed of 22.4 knots in the 24 hours leading up to the 0800 UTC position update to notch up 536.8nm. The distance breaks the 534.48nm record set by François Gabart in the 2012-13 Vendée Globe that he went on to win, beating Le Cléac'h by just three hours. In that respect the new record could be considered a good omen by Thomson, who is aiming to become the first Brit in the race's 27-year history to win it. He actually beat Gabart's record two weeks into the race, sailing 535.34nm in 24 hours, but the rules of the record state it must be superseded by one whole mile. Thomson previously held the record between 2003 and 2012 with a distance of 468.72nm. The new record will now be ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.
p.s. Rich Wilson on Great  American IV is making 12 kts. 150 miles from Cape Horn and 7,100 from the finish

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Approaching the Horn // Rich Wilson // Great American

Great American IV, skipper Rich Wilson (US) at start of the Vendee Globe, in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on November 6th, 2016 - Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendee GlobeGreat American IV, skipper Rich Wilson (US) au départ du Vendée Globe, aux Sable
Rich Wilson's Great Americcan IV

These are the harshest conditions that the singlehanded fleet have experienced at Cape Horn! Indeed, a depression in the Southern Ocean is generating a NW’ly wind, which is really packing a punch as it hits the Andes cordillera. The situation is expected to last throughout Sunday with a temporary lull tonight before another unsettled system rolls over the top of Patagonia on Monday. The sea state is particularly dangerous as it funnels through the Drake Passage (just over 400 miles wide), further complicated by the fact that the Vendée Globe competitors have to respect the Antarctic Exclusion Zone (AEZ) which is only 80 miles south of Cape Horn.

The four sailors involved have already taken steps to prepare for the storm: Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Matmut), Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline), Alan Roura (La Fabrique) and Rich Wilson (Great American IV) have really slowed up since Saturday, whilst trying to get in as much southing as possible to skirt the AEZ where the wind is lighter. However, some 250 miles from Tierra del Fuego, the wind is already reaching more than twenty knots and the foursome is expected to make their entrance into the Atlantic with 35 to 40 knots of breeze, peaking at 50 knots in the squalls.
Rich Wilson (Great American IV): “We rocketed through the night in a manner that is not at all my style. Yet there seemed an opening to get to Cape Horn if we went very fast and the wind gave us the chance, so we did. It was shocking and noisy and bouncy and noisy and big seas and the boat ricocheting and noisy and fast, fast, fast. And yet, when all was said and done, our little boat icon on the position reports showed 14.9 knots. So for the leaders of this race, who routinely would have little boat icons showing 19 knots, or 21 knots, what must that be like on board other than petrifying. It’s the one aspect of this I do not understand: how can those sailors tolerate that stress? When we do a tack gybe, the first part is to roll up the fractional gennaker. This is a long, hard, grind on the pedestal winch at high speed, or as fast as you can muster. For me, my asthma becomes problematic, not that I have an asthma attack or an anaphylactic episode, but just the fatigue of breathing at a level of 70-80%, when I clearly need 100%. These boats are monsters to manoeuvre singlehanded. Maybe if the storm delays a little bit it will be better. But hope has little role at sea. We await the next weather report forecast and will continue making our plans.”

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hot and sour fish soup

Port Clyde Fresh Catch

Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Maine
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch scallions; whites cut into ¼ inch pieces, greens cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces shitake mushrooms, stemmed, and sliced ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored, cut into large chunks
  • 12 ounces firm white fish (pollock) cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 ounces bay scallops
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites and cook until slightly tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the ginger and cook about 1 minute. Add 7 cups water, the soy sauce, sugar, salt to taste, ¾ teaspoon pepper and the mushrooms. Cover and bring the broth to a simmer. Mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water and gradually stir into the broth. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring; the broth will thicken slightly.
  2. Add the scallion greens, tomatoes and white fish to the broth, and simmer until the fish is opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the scallops, vinegar, and salt and pepper to ta(the scallops will cook instantly from the heat of the soup). ladle into bowls.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Two leaders cross the equator - Vendee Globe

Sailing aerial images of the IMOCA boat Hugo Boss, skipper Alex Thomson (GBR), during training solo for the Vendee Globe 2016, off England, on September 16, 2016 - Photo Cleo Barnham / Hugo Boss / Vendée GlobeImages aériennes de Hugo Boss, skipper Alex

News - Thomson joins Le Cléac'h in the north after record-breaking run - Vendée Globe 2016-2017

Sunday, January 8, 2016

Alex Thomson has become the second Vendée Globe skipper to pass the Equator back into the northern hemisphere, setting a new race record in the process. The British skipper of Hugo Boss passed zero degrees latitude at 1712 UTC yesterday, 16 hours and 49 minutes behind leader Le Cléac'h. Thomson's passage from Cape Horn has taken 13 days, five hours and 30 minutes, smashing 2012-13 Vendée Globe winner François Gabart's existing record for the passage by 14 hours.

The 42-year-old Brit took 62 days, five hours and 10 minutes to cross the Equator heading north after starting the solo round the world race from Les Sables d'Olonne in France on November 6 – more than three days ahead of Gabart's record-breaking run. Incredibly Thomson rounded Cape Horn on Christmas Day lagging behind Le Cléac'h by almost 500 nautical miles, but favourable conditions in the South Atlantic saw him reel in his French rival, at one point getting to within 50nm of Le Cléac'h's Banque Populaire. The delta separating the pair was this morning fixed at 146nm as both skippers tried to wiggle their way through a very active Doldrums located just north of the Equator. Le Cléac'h had a slim advantage at the 0400 UTC rankings with speeds of seven knots compared to a painful four knots for Thomson. The unstable, light winds currently stretch around 600 miles to the north of the duelling pair, hampering their progress towards the finish line.

Meanwhile American Rich Wilson is in 14th position.  At 128 west he is still 3,000 miles from Cape Horn at 66 west.  He is 6,000 nm behind the leaders with 9,000 nm to finish.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Northern shrimp study: Maine trawlers, trappers selected