Monday, August 19, 2019

GHOST SHIP

19 August 2019: Ready for a ghost story? Cue the music .... While not the first occasion of this happening, it is surely rare enough to attract some attention. 
                        
                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



A huge freighter, presumed lost, ran aground on a sandbar near Thongwa township in Myanmar’s Yangon region after disappearing almost a decade previously. Local fishermen were stunned to witness the reappearance of this “ghost ship,” tattered and time-worn but bearing no evidence of its journey since going off the radar.
Most mysteriously, the freighter carried no cargo or any trace of its original crew members.


Neighboring countries had firmly believed that the container ship, named “Sam Ratulangi PB 1600,” was lost to the depths of the ocean. Fishermen reported the baffling reappearance before bravely boarding and inspecting the ship for clues. The navy, coast guard, and police joined in the hunt on the massive 177-meter-long freighter weighing in at an estimated 26,510 tons.
 “No crew or cargo was found on the ship,” said Thongwa municipality MP Ne Win Yangon, as quoted by the Myanmar Times. “It was quite puzzling how such a big ship turned up in our waters,” he continued. “The authorities are keeping a watch on it.”
After a detailed investigation, however, Myanmar officials found the answers they were looking for.
According to ABC7, the ship was being towed to a salvage yard in Bangladesh when the tugboat lost control during a storm. Broken tugboat cables were still attached to the freighter when it grounded. Myanmar navy representatives backed up the idea that the ship was being towed, reporting that “two cables were found at its head,” said the BBC.
Bangladesh was the likely destination. The country has a significant ship-breaking industry; hundreds of commercial freighters are scrapped in Chittagong every single year, and the Sam Ratulangi was probably destined for the same fate.
Based on clues from the navy’s coastal radar, navy crew scoured the waters for a tugboat near the site of the washed-up ghost ship Sam Ratulangi, and found one. A tugboat vessel named “Independence,” said Straits Times, was carrying 13 Indonesian crew members about 50 miles from Yangon’s shores.
The 13 crew members offered up some illuminating information. The Independence had been towing the Sam Ratulangi toward a salvage factory in Bangladesh two weeks earlier. However, some of the ship’s cables detached in a bout of bad weather and the crew decided to leave the battered freighter behind.
The 18-year-old Sam Ratulangi was last spotted off the coast of Taiwan in 2009, and bore the flag of Indonesia.
The Burmese Navy inspected the ship on August 30, 2018, and discovered significant damage including rust and a huge split in the hull from having been beached on a sandbar for several days.
According to the Independent, the Sam Ratulangi is not the first ghost ship that has haunted Asian waters. In recent years, a number of mysterious vessels have been identified drifting off the shores of Japan. In some cases, the corpses of crew members were found on board; in others, the ships were deserted.
The Sam Ratulangi, however, is the first of its size to have emerged so mysteriously after so long lost at sea.
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, keep an eye peeled. One never knows when another ghost will appear out of the mists!

Until next time,
                                       Fair winds, 
                                         Old Salt


Monday, August 12, 2019

SQUARE WAVES - NOT A MYTH

12 August 2019: OK - not everyone has heard of "square" waves and many who have just dismiss the concept as a joke or a myth, like sea dragons, monsters, and the Bermuda Triangle. Well, friends, thanks to CoastalLiving.com, here is photographic (and not "photoshopped") proof.  Not just amazing, but kind of scary as well,if you are out on the water, or swimming in the sea. 
                                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Square Waves Are an Actual Thing — and If You See Them, You Should Stay Away From the Water

The phenomenon is thought to have caused many shipwrecks over the years.

Like sand on the beach and a breeze in the air, waves are an expected and welcome part of any trip to the sea. They’re fun to splash in, soothing to listen to, and thrilling to ride, if surfing’s your thing.

But anyone who’s ever seen The Perfect Storm or The Poseidon Adventure knows that not all waves are so friendly. And unfortunately, the ones that might cause danger don’t all come with a glaring warning sign on them.

That’s the case with the beautiful phenomenon of a cross sea. Formed both in the open ocean and nearer to coastlines, the rare event happens when wind from two separate weather systems collides, causing waves to move in competing directions. When the wave systems intersect, it creates a grid-like pattern in the sea, reminiscent of squares on a chessboard.



When on land, the unusual sight is cause for a photo opp. But while the waves might seem like they’re moving gently along, it’s definitely not something you’d want to be caught in. That’s because cross seas are notorious for creating powerful rip tides that are difficult to escape from. (Imagine having to dodge waves from both sides at one time while swimming.) According to the European Space Agency, cross seas are also thought to have caused a large number of shipwrecks over the years, with waves that can reach nearly 10 feet high.

While the unique wave patterns can occur anywhere, they tend to stick closer to shore and hang around for just a short moment. Isle de Ré, an island off the west coast of France, however, is said to have a better chance of seeing the rare squares due to its geology. So, if you’re hoping to witness this fascinating scene in person, you might want to head to Europe (and keep your eyes peeled at your hometown beach, too).
Just remember to stay out of the water.
                                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Interestingly, Isle de Re is the site of some major boat building operations as well as the shipyard where the reproduction frigate Hermione was built.

So now you have been warned! 

Until next time,
                                Fair Winds (without square waves, please!)

                                    Old Salt




Monday, August 5, 2019

PRISTINE 15th CENTURY WRECK FOUND IN BALTIC

 5 August 2019: This story and accompanying images are quite amazing and I urge you to watch the attached video as well. Thanks the to University of Southhampton England for this story.
                                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


An international team of scientists, including archaeologists from the University of Southampton, has revealed the remains of an intact and astonishingly preserved Early Modern Period (Late 15th – early 16th Century) shipwreck in the Baltic, using state-of-the-art underwater robotics.

This unknown ship (or okänt skepp) is probably the best preserved shipwreck of its period to be discovered in recent times. It was first detected with sonar by the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) in 2009, but earlier this year, as part of work carried out by survey specialists MMT, the wreck was identified as having great archaeological and historical significance.
The discovery and further inspection was led by Dr Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz, MMT’s maritime archaeologist and deep sea archaeological expert, in collaboration with the Centre for Maritime Archaeology (CMA) at the University of Southampton, Deep Sea Productions and the Maritime Archaeology Research Institute of Södertörn University (MARIS).


Dr Pacheco-Ruiz, who is also a Visiting Fellow in Maritime Archaeology at Southampton, comments: “This ship is contemporary to the times of Christopher Columbus and Leonardo Da Vinci, yet it demonstrates a remarkable level of preservation after five hundred years at the bottom of the sea, thanks to the cold, brackish waters of the Baltic.

“It’s almost like it sank yesterday – masts in place and hull intact. Still on the main deck is an incredibly rare find – the tender boat, used to ferry crew to and from the ship, leaning against the main mast. It’s a truly astonishing sight.”


From the archaeological survey, it is believed that the shipwreck could date between the late 15th Century and the early 16th Century. This would place it earlier than the warship Mars, which sank after an explosion in the First Battle of Öland in 1564 and Henry the VIII’s Mary Rose (1510-1545 AD) as well as the Swedish warship Vasa (1628 AD).

The dating of this wreck underlines the importance of the discovery. It is rare to find a ship in such an astonishing condition that predates the larger and more powerful vessels involved in the later Northern Seven Year’s Wars (1563-1570) – a period of great importance which defined the path of modernisation of Scandinavian nations.
Unlike the scattered remains of the Mars, which exploded in battle, this newly discovered wreck lies on the seabed with her hull structure preserved from the keel to the top deck and all of her masts and some elements of the standing rigging still in place. Clearly visible are the bowsprit and a rudimentary decorated transom stern, as well as other rarely seen elements, such as the wooden capstan and bilge pump. A testament to the tension on human relationships of the time are the swivel guns, which are still in place on the gun deck.
The project to explore this wreck demonstrates the ongoing, successful partnership between MMT and the University of Southampton, which has also recently been showcased in the discovery and archaeological survey of more than 65 perfectly preserved shipwrecks in the Black Sea. Some of the wrecks date back to Ottoman, Byzantine Roman and Greek periods, found at depths of more than 2,000m as a result of a rich collaboration between industry and academic research.

For this latest survey in the Baltic, MMT welcomed students of maritime archaeology from the University of Southampton, as well as students developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for subsea robotics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), to join the expedition team on-board Stril Explorer where they received training in deep sea archaeological methods and techniques – a key component in the partnership between these two institutions.
An international team of scientists, including archaeologists from the University of Southampton, has revealed the remains of an intact and astonishingly preserved Early Modern Period (Late 15th – early 16th Century) shipwreck in the Baltic, using state-of-the-art underwater robotics.
This unknown ship (or okänt skepp) is probably the best preserved shipwreck of its period to be discovered in recent times. It was first detected with sonar by the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) in 2009, but earlier this year, as part of work carried out by survey specialists MMT, the wreck was identified as having great archaeological and historical significance.

The discovery and further inspection was led by Dr Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz, MMT’s maritime archaeologist and deep sea archaeological expert, in collaboration with the Centre for Maritime Archaeology (CMA) at the University of Southampton, Deep Sea Productions and the Maritime Archaeology Research Institute of Södertörn University (MARIS).
Dr Pacheco-Ruiz, who is also a Visiting Fellow in Maritime Archaeology at Southampton, comments: “This ship is contemporary to the times of Christopher Columbus and Leonardo Da Vinci, yet it demonstrates a remarkable level of preservation after five hundred years at the bottom of the sea, thanks to the cold, brackish waters of the Baltic.

“It’s almost like it sank yesterday – masts in place and hull intact. Still on the main deck is an incredibly rare find – the tender boat, used to ferry crew to and from the ship, leaning against the main mast. It’s a truly astonishing sight.”



From the archaeological survey, it is believed that the shipwreck could date between the late 15th Century and the early 16th Century. This would place it earlier than the warship Mars, which sank after an explosion in the First Battle of Öland in 1564 and Henry the VIII’s Mary Rose (1510-1545 AD) as well as the Swedish warship Vasa (1628 AD).

The dating of this wreck underlines the importance of the discovery. It is rare to find a ship in such an astonishing condition that predates the larger and more powerful vessels involved in the later Northern Seven Year’s Wars (1563-1570) – a period of great importance which defined the path of modernisation of Scandinavian nations.
Unlike the scattered remains of the Mars, which exploded in battle, this newly discovered wreck lies on the seabed with her hull structure preserved from the keel to the top deck and all of her masts and some elements of the standing rigging still in place. Clearly visible are the bowsprit and a rudimentary decorated transom stern, as well as other rarely seen elements, such as the wooden capstan and bilge pump. A testament to the tension on human relationships of the time are the swivel guns, which are still in place on the gun deck.

The project to explore this wreck demonstrates the ongoing, successful partnership between MMT and the University of Southampton, which has also recently been showcased in the discovery and archaeological survey of more than 65 perfectly preserved shipwrecks in the Black Sea. Some of the wrecks date back to Ottoman, Byzantine Roman and Greek periods, found at depths of more than 2,000m as a result of a rich collaboration between industry and academic research.

For this latest survey in the Baltic, MMT welcomed students of maritime archaeology from the University of Southampton, as well as students developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for subsea robotics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), to join the expedition team on-board Stril Explorer where they received training in deep sea archaeological methods and techniques – a key component in the partnership between these two institutions.
                                       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I suspect more may be forthcoming of this story and should we find it, Maritime Maunder will bring it to you. And a thank you to reader B. Westerfield for putting us on the story.

 Until next time, 
                                            Fair Winds, 
                                                  old Salt