6 Months in a Leaky Boat

Mar 8
Posted by leafworks Filed in bands

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Cork Harbour

Dec 26
Posted by leafworks Filed in Ports

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Cork Harbour
* www.corkharbour.ie * Cork, Ireland (Eire) *

Spectacular views of Cork harbour abound from atop Curraghbinny Hill overlooking the waters. It is one of the world’s finest natural harbour’s with many river estuaries feeding it. The Rivers Douglas, Owenacurra, and Lee drain within and allow some portage for ships to communities along their banks to the harbour. The Harbour itself is a Special Protected Area because of the avian species that inhabit its banks. More historically, it is known for being the last port of call for the “The Titanic“. It is also home to three military installations: the historic jail site “Spike Island”, Fort Carlisle, and Fort Camden. The oldest yacht club in the world, known as the RCYC, as “The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork” was founded in 1720 C.E. The Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC) that studies ocean energy operates from the harbour, and along its banks are located eight out of the ten world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

A natural harbour and river estuary at the mouth of the River Lee. Based on its navigation area, it is the second largest natural harbour in the world … the first being Port Jackson in Sydney, Australia. Cork City, the largest city at its bank, is slightly upstream on the River Lee from the Harbour while its suburbs of Black Rock, Mahon, Passage West, Rochester, and Douglas are much closer to the harbour. Smaller towns around the lower harbour area are Monkstown, Ringaskiddy, Ballinacurra, Midleton, Passage West, Crosshaven, Raffeen, Great Island, Whitegate, Aghada, and Cobh. There are numerous islands in the harbour such as Harper Island, Hop Island, Haulbowline Island, Great island, Fota Island, Little Island, Spike Island, Rocky Island, Brown Island, Weir Island, Brick Island, Corkbeg Island, and Hop Island. Cork Harbour had a number of fortifications (such as Fort Charles) built around it during the 17th century C.E. to protect essentially Cork City. Haulbowline installed fortifications during the 18th century in order to protect anchorage in Cobh. When America was gaining its independence, Cork Harbour built forts at Fort Carlisle and Fort Camden. The harbour didn’t have too much military importance until the Napoleonic Wars took place one naval headquarters were transferred here becoming an important anchorage to guard the English Channel and maintain blockades of France. Fortifications continued to be developed thru the 19th century. Fort Templebreedy was built just to the south of Fort Camden beginning of the 20th century. Once Irish Independence was won, Cork Harbour was included with Lough Swilly and Berehaven in a list of Naval British sites that would remain under control of the Royal Navy even though the Haulbowline Island naval dockyard was given to the Irish in 1923. With Irish Independence however, controlling and maintaining the Cork harbour became a difficult operation. It became a low Priority and disadvantage to keep for the English, so in 1938 the British Government handed them over to Ireland unconditionally. At this point, Ireland ceased using most of the military installations for military purposes as there was no need for them. Fort Carlisle was renamed Fort Davis and used by the Defence Forces for FIBUA training. Fort Camden was renamed Fort Meagher and is currently being renovated by local volunteers and enthusiasts as a tourist attraction. Fort Westmoreland was renamed Fort Mitchell Spike Island Prison and is also being used as a tourist attraction. Haulbowline Island’s fortifications are now the headquarters of the Irish Naval Service.

Today the Harbour is one of the most important industrial areas located in Ireland where shipbuilding, steel-making, and fertilizer manufacture took place even though today they are on the down-climb and replaced by the pharmaceutical industry. Here firms like Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Janssen Pharmaceutica, and others are conducting major business. They however too have been affected by the economic crisis and the 100+ pharmaceutical companies in the area have been affected during recent years. Transport through the harbour include import and export of oil, livestock, dairy, pharmaceuticals, grain, ore, cars, and other merchandise. It is also a major tourist port with numerous cruise ships and ferries coming to port here.

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Glenlee

Nov 9
Posted by leafworks Filed in Ships

Galateaantiguocartagena0fs-wikipediacommons
Wikipedia Commons: public domain because its copyright has expired.

Glenlee

The Glenlee was a three-masted bald headed steel-hulled Barque ship. It was first launched on December 3, 1896. Today she stands as a museum ship on Pointhouse Quay in Glasgow, Scotland. It is part of the Riverside Museum. She was built in 1896 at the Anderson Rodger & Company shipyard in Glasgow for Glen-line Glasgow shipping company / Archibald Sterling & Co. Ltd. The Glenlee has a hull length of 245 ft, a beam of 37.5 ft, and a depth of 22.5 ft. Her full length is 282 feet. Rigged with only double topallant sails double top sails over, she was never equip with royal sails, all in order to save in costs. The square sails were a little wider than the sails of a standard rigging to gain sail area for more propulsion. When the ship was launched in 1896 for her maiden voyage, as a ballast to Liverpool then onwards to Portland, Oregon. She traded cargo for 23 years under “Red Ensign” to Cape Horn and Australia. She was renamed the “Clarastella” in 1919 when changing hands to the Italian Society di Navigazione”, registered in Genoa. She was repaired and equip with two auxiliary diesel engines in 1922. Later that year she changed hands as the “Galatea” to be used as a sail training ship. She went through a bunch of changes and improvements. A flying bridge was installed on the poop deck with a flying jib boom attached to the spike bowsprit. She went through more revisions and repairs in the 1981 while in her Spanish port of registry. Here underwater hull was re-plated, de-rigged down to a hull, and towed to Seville to be used as a floating museum, but winding up in dry storage forgotten. Others claim she was purposely sunk in the harbor by removing her bronze sea cock valve yet was later salvaged by the Spanish Navy. Whatever truth to her fate, she was scrapped. In 1990, British naval architect Dr. Sir John Brown found her and re-salvaged her by making her hull seaworthy returning to Glasgow months later from Seville. Original parts belonging to her were tracked down and re-incorporated into her body. A modern-day Franken-ship of sorts. She was renewed to her original “Cape Horn” status, painted gray with gun ports added. Except for the hull and masts though, a new ship essentially had to be re-built. All changes from the Spanish and previous owners were removed and she was made as close as possible to her original design. She was given back her original name of “Glenlee” by the Lord Provost of Glasgow on July 6, 1993 and recognized as part of the National Historic Fleet Core Collection. She became a museum ship and tourist attraction offering educational programs, events, exhibitions, and a venue for the West End festival.

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Photo Wikipedia Commons – Public Domain

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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
3.0 Unported license. Wikipedia Commons.

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Gulf fisherman: “There is no life out there”

Oct 29
Posted by leafworks Filed in Environmentalism, Health and Diet, Life on the Sea, Seafood

Gulf fisherman: “There is no life out there”

By (cross-posted from Grist post at http://grist.org/news/gulf-fisherman-there-is-no-life-out-there/)

Fried oyster sandwich
jshyun
There are many ways of preparing oysters. BP has the recipe for destroying them.

If it’s true that oysters are aphrodisiacs, then BP has killed the mood.

Louisiana’s oyster season opened last week, but thanks to the mess that still lingers after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, there aren’t many oysters around.

“We can’t find any production out there yet,” Brad Robin, a commercial fisherman and Louisiana Oyster Task Force member, told Al Jazeera. “There is no life out there.” Many of Louisiana’s oyster harvest areas are “dead or mostly dead,” he says.

 

In Mississippi, fishing boats that used to catch 30 sacks of oysters a day are returning to docks in the evenings with fewer than half a dozen sacks aboard.

It’s not just oysters. The entire fishing industry is being hit, with catches down and shrimp and shellfish being discovered with disgusting deformities. One seafood business owner told Al Jazeera that his revenue was down 85 percent compared with the period before the spill. From the article:

“I’ve seen a lot of change since the spill,” [Hernando Beach Seafood co-owner Kathy] Birren told Al Jazeera. “Our stone crab harvest has dropped off and not come back; the numbers are way lower. Typically you’ll see some good crabbing somewhere along the west coast of Florida, but this last year we’ve had problems everywhere.”

Birren said the problems are not just with the crabs. “We’ve also had our grouper fishing down since the spill,” she added. “We’ve seen fish with tar balls in their stomachs from as far down as the Florida Keys. We had a grouper with tar balls in its stomach last month. Overall, everything is down.”

According to Birren, many fishermen in her area are giving up. “People are dropping out of the fishing business, and selling out cheap because they have to. I’m in west-central Florida, but fishermen all the way down to Key West are struggling to make it. I look at my son’s future, as he’s just getting into the business, and we’re worried.”

Ecosystem recovery is a slow process. Ed Cake, an oceanographer and marine biologist, points out that oysters still have not returned to some of the areas affected by a 1979 oil well blowout in the Gulf.  He thinks recovery from the BP disaster will take decades.

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Niagara River

Oct 27
Posted by leafworks Filed in Rivers

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Niagara River

A massive river that flows between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie for approximately 35 miles in length. It is home to the famous “Niagara Falls” both on the U.S. and Canadian sides. It is dotted with falls, whirlpools, and rapids along its course. There are also several islands along the run of the river: The two largest and most popular are the Navy Island and the Grand Island. Other popular ones include Goat Island, Luna Island, and Squaw Island. The river forms the border between Ontario, Canada and New York, USA. Many legends amiss around the river, as does its name origin. An Iroquois belief is it was named after a branch of the Neutral Confederacy called the “Niagagarega” in the late 17th century. Others state it was named after the Iroquois village “Ongniaahra” or “point of land cut in two”. Today the river is dotted with, especially within the Falls area, hydroelectric power stations. The two most famous of which is the Sir Adam Beck Hydro-electric Power Station in Canada and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in the U.S.A. It was America’s first waterway to harness large scale hydro-electricity. Ships coming down the Niagara River use the Welland Canal of the Saint Lawrence Seaway to bypass the Falls. The Falls drop over 325 feet along its gorge fallway. It has two tributaries – the Welland River and Tonawanda Creek which were adapted into Canals for ship traffic such as the Erie Canal and the Welland Canal. The first European exploits of the area begin in the 17th century with French explorer Father Louis Hennepin published in the 1698 “A New Discovery of a Vast Country in America”. Some of the first railways built in America were built along this river, including the inclined wooden tramway built by John Montresor in 1764 called “The Cradles” and “The Old Lewiston Incline”. The River has seen its share of battles and wars, including ones between Fort Niagara (U.S.) and Ft. George (Canada) during the French and Indian War, American Revolution, Battle of Queenston Heights, and War of 1812. It was also very important during the American Civil War as a point where slaves crossed via the Underground Railway to Canada.

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Bronze Age Boat to be Launched into the Unknown

Mar 10
Posted by leafworks Filed in Experimental Archaeology, Parts of the Ship, Projects, Ships

cross posted from http://news.yahoo.com/press-call-first-experimental-archaeology-bronze-age-boat-171213120.html?goback=.gde_815227_member_217483070

 

Press Call:
A First for Experimental Archaeology -

Bronze Age Boat to be Launched into the Unknown

PRWeb – Thu, Feb 28, 2013

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   A unique project to recreate a 4000 year old boat will reach its dramatic conclusion on Wednesday 6 March as she is launched into the waters of Falmouth Harbour.

Falmouth, Cornwall (PRWEB UK) 25 February 2013

A first for experimental archaeology and a first for the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, the 50ft long 5 tonne prehistoric boat has been reconstructed as part of a collaborative project with the University of Exeter. A team of volunteers, led by shipwright Brian Cumby, have spent the last year building this one of a kind craft out of two massive oak logs using replica methods and tools, such as bronze headed axes.

Project director Prof Robert Van de Noort from the University of Exeter says: “The launch really is the moment of truth for this project. The very nature of an experiment means that we can’t know for sure what will happen. The boat has already given us a few surprises along the way, so the launch really is a leap into the unknown.”

Where:    The slipway between Falmouth Watersports Centre and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth
When:    Wednesday 6 March, 12 noon
Contact:    Michael Sweeney michaelsweeney(at)nmmc(dot)co.uk 01326 214558 or Tamsin Loveless tamsinloveless(at)nmmc(dot)co.uk 01326 214536

NB: The launch really is in the lap of the gods. High winds or torrential rain may force the launch to be delayed but if the gods are smiling on us it will be a sight to behold!

Note to Editor:
Find out more about this project on its dedicated Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/2012BCBronzeAgeBoat

And view time lapse footage of the entire project at http://www.youtube.com/falmouthvideos

Michael Sweeney
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
01326 214558
Email Information

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Traverse Board

Feb 23
Posted by leafworks Filed in Navigation and Measure

091712-052

Traverse board:
http://www.piraterelief.com/plank/?p=265

“Traverse board: The ship’s crew used a traverse board to plot the ship’s speed and course over four hours, which was the length of time of one watch shift. The speed and compass direction were plotted on the board at thirty-minute intervals. At the end of the watch, the information plotted on the traverse board was charted on paper. The information helped pilots with estimating the ship’s location” ~ Diorama/display in the Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo 091712-52.jpg) Traverse board: http://www.piraterelief.com/plank/?p=265.

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Maritime Navigation:

Feb 23
Posted by leafworks Filed in Life on the Sea, Navigation and Measure

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Navigation:

http://www.piraterelief.com/plank/?p=271

” Navigation: Ship pilots of the 1500s had few tools to help them navigate unfamiliar waters. Pilots had to be familiar with astronomy, maps, math, physics, and seamanship to direct the ship successfully. Shifting winds and currents, and sometimes hurricanes made navigation difficult.

The Cross Staff: was used to measure the angle between the horizon and the sun or North Star. Combining this information with data from astronomical tables provided the latitude.

The Hourglass: A sand clock or hourglass was used to measure time. It took thirty minutes for the sand to empty from the upper to the lower chamber. The clock was turned upside down to repeat the process.” ~ Diorama/display in the Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo 091712-53.jpg) Navigation: http://www.piraterelief.com/plank/?p=271.


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Florida Coast: Ship wreck Artifacts

Feb 23
Posted by leafworks Filed in artifacts, Shipwrecks

Ship Wreck artifacts:
http://www.piraterelief.com/plank/?p=277

Welcome to our collection of Shipwreck Artifacts. We will be adding pictures from various shipwrecks and their artifacts on this archive from our travel tales and explorations around the world so visit back frequently for new additions.

Shipwreck artifacts are cultural items, once belonging to humans in maritime history that has been recovered after a shipwreck, maritime tragedy, or loss. Underwater archaeologists recover most of these finds, but sometimes these are found washed ashore or even inland as topical geology changes on the planet.

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Date with disaster: Adventurers sail through wave of tsunami debris

Aug 7
Posted by leafworks Filed in Cultural Issues, Environmentalism, Life on the Sea

shared via WordPress “ShareThis” plug-in:
from http://grist.org/pollution/date-with-disaster-adventurers-sail-through-wave-of-tsunami-debris/

By Jim Meyer

Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen

The Pacific Ocean is a pretty darned big place. The hull of the 72’ former racing yacht, Sea Dragon, not so much, especially when crammed full of research equipment and 14 full-sized human-type people not necessarily accustomed to the rigors of the open ocean. But that’s just what the intrepid team of oceanic avengers from the 5Gyres Institute are up against as they race across the Pacific on a collision course with the great field of debris washed away from Japan by last year’s devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Imagine cramming into an RV and driving from Nome, Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego with the cast of Road Rules Season 9. (That would be the Maximum Velocity Tour, but I’m sure you knew that, gentle reader.) Now try to imagine that the I-5 is heaving 30 to 40 feet into the air, is full of sharks, and generally wants you dead. Add to that, Theo won’t stop spraying you with the super soaker he brought for some reason, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the potential horror involved here.

Scientist, adventurer, and Gulf War veteran Marcus Eriksen previously floated the length of the Mississippi on a raft made of plastic bottles and sailed from California to Hawaii on a boat made of trash to raise awareness of the pollution problem facing us all. What he saw changed his life. “I couldn’t believe how much waste was littering our coast lines,” he says.

Eriksen and his wife, Anna Cummins, co-founded the 5Gyres Institute in 2009 to study the Earth’s 5 great subtropical gyres – enormous, slow-moving whirlpools on the ocean’s surface – and raise awareness of the horrifying levels of garbage floating within. These great pelagic depressions (I think I just named Jimmy Buffet’s next album) serve as the Earth’s mighty bellybuttons, collecting all sorts of unwanted refuse, the vast bulk of it, plastic.

The most infamous of these gyres holds The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and while the notion of an island of garbage a thousand miles across is an exaggeration, what is actually out there might be far more insidious. “Those 5 gyres make up about 21 percent of the planet’s surface, and they are covered in this thin confetti of plastic,” says Eriksen, who has trolled for trash across the high seas.

This confetti, made of particles the size of fish-food, is often coated with a thin layer of industrial chemicals and petroleum, creating little poison pills that fish in turn eat and absorb. But very little is known about how this stuff travels, and that’s where the tsunami debris comes in.

Some of the debris has already made landfall in North America, most notably a Harley Davidson discovered on a Canadian beach earlier this year (perhaps the first time a Harley has made it over 4,000 miles without breaking down) and shockingly, a 66 foot-long concrete dock covered in millions of invasive organisms that washed up on the Oregon coast.

But according to Eriksen, this debris is only the vanguard. “The stuff washing up in British Columbia right now, that is the stuff affected by wind,” he says, speaking via satellite phone, noting that anything peeking above the surface of the Ocean acts as a sail, speeding its journey east. “But what’s subsurface, what’s beneath the waves, hasn’t made its way across yet.”

For an organization dedicated to studying the effects of plastic pollution in the sea, last year’s catastrophe provided a unique opportunity. “You don’t often get a chance to take an entire city, put it in the ocean, and see what happens to all the stuff,” Eriksen says. “That’s what happened here.”

Eriksen and his team of scientists, journalists, and environmentalists sailed from Yokahama Japan on June 10. They sailed half way across the ocean until finding their first piece of tsunami debris on June 17, then turned south to travel the length of the debris field. “What’s left behind is going to be plastics and anything that’s trapping air, say lightbulbs, car tires still on the rim, insulated refrigerators, boat hulls,” Eriksen says.

Eriksen says the stuff should help answer some questions: “What’s the impact on marine life? How much is out there, and what kind of pollutants are sticking to the materials that are left behind? Are there going to be mountains of trash washing up along the Hawaiian beaches a year from now?”

In the meantime, Dr. Eriksen and his shipmates are bunking a foot from their boat-mates, spending a goodly portion of their days heaving along with their storm-tossed decks, and all in the name of a cleaner, plastic-free sea. Follow the adventures of these ocean adventurers at the fantastic 5Gyres blog.

Jim Meyer is a Baltimore-based stand-up comedian, actor, retired roller derby announcer, and freelance writer. Follow his exploits here.
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