Thursday, September 29, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Now, here's the article by Ms. Hobson (lightly edited) I mentioned earlier. I hope you will enjoy reading it and seeing some of the wonderful images included.
"Since I qualified as a diver nearly 10 years ago, I’ve been lucky enough to see more incredible marine life than I can name – from finding a turtle resting under some coral on my first ever night dive in the Great Barrier Reef to coming eyeball to eyeball with grisly-looking ragged tooth sharks in South Africa.
The underwater ‘cultural arts park’ is already home to 16 other wrecks but Lady Luck will be a special attraction: as well as exploring the captain’s deck, engine room and 16 staterooms, divers will be able to see the work of renowned local artist Dennis MacDonald, including a faux casino, on the deck. Lady Luck is expected to boost tourism to the area by attracting 35,000 divers each year."
|USS Oriskany (aircraft carrier)|
Thursday, September 15, 2016
A bit about Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. first:
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Holmes was educated at Phillips Academy and Harvard College. After graduating from Harvard in 1829, he briefly studied law before turning to the medical profession. He began writing poetry at an early age; one of his most famous works, "Old Ironsides", was published in 1830 and was influential in the eventual preservation of the USS Constitution. Following training at the prestigious medical schools of Paris, Holmes was granted his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1836. He taught at Dartmouth Medical School before returning to teach at Harvard and, for a time, served as dean there. During his long professorship, he became an advocate for various medical reforms and notably posited the controversial idea that doctors were capable of carrying puerperal fever from patient to patient. Holmes retired from Harvard in 1882 and continued writing poetry, novels and essays until his death in 1894.
The ship: USS CONSTITUTION (OLD IRONSIDES)
"Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
and many an eye has danced to see
that banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout
and burst the cannon's roar -
the meteor of the ocean air
shall sweep the clouds no more!
Her deck, once red with hero's blood
where knelt the vanquished foe
when winds were hurrying o'er the flood
and waves were white below
No more shall feel the victor's tread
or know the conquered knee
the harpies of the shore shall pluck
the Eagle of the sea!
Oh, better that her shattered bulk
should sink beneath the wave;
her thunder shook the mighty deep
and there should be her grave:
nail to the mast her holy flag,
set every thread-bare sail,
and give her to the God of storms,
the lightning and the gale!
September 16th, 1830
Well, it worked! Here she is just last year entering dry dock in Charlestown Navy Yard for her periodic overhaul.
Until next time,
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
|Littoral Combat Ships actually underway|
There have been a continual string of breakdowns of these fragile vessels, some as early in their careers as occurring on their shakedown cruise. And now, the fourth of them has failed, to the extent it had to be towed across the Pacific to Hawaii for repair/rebuild/replacement of machinery.
The littoral combat ship USS Coronado is returning to Pearl Harbor from the Western Pacific after experiencing an engineering casualty last week, officials with the Navy's Third Fleet confirmed.
The incident comes just days after the Navy acknowledged that another littoral combat ship, the USS Freedom, had sustained significant damage to one of its diesel engines.
The Coronado departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Aug. 26 for an independent deployment to the Western Pacific, Third Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Ryan Perry told Military.com in a statement.
"USS Coronado (LCS 4) experienced an engineering casualty today while transiting to the Western Pacific," Perry said in the statement. "The crew took precautionary measures and the ship is currently returning to Pearl Harbor to determine the extent of the problem and conduct repairs."
The Coronado is the fourth littoral combat ship to be sidelined by an engineering casualty in less than a year, following breakdowns by the USS Freedom in July and the USS Milwaukee and USS Fort Worth in December and January, respectively.
However, the ship is the first of the Independence-class littoral combat ships, made by Austal USA, to suffer such an issue. The other ships are all part of the Freedom Class, made by Lockheed Martin Corp. The news of the Coronado's breakdown was first reported by Navy Times.
Third Fleet officials did not elaborate on the nature of the Coronado's engineering casualty, but said it appears to be unrelated to recent propulsion problems involving the Fort Worth and Freedom.
The Milwaukee required repairs after a clutch failed to disengage while the ship switched from gas turbine to diesel engine systems, resulting in damage to the clutch gears and forcing the crew to cut short a transit from San Diego to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and receive a tow to Virginia for repairs.
And so it goes...
Until next time,
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
|Peking in her berth at South Street Seaport Museum|
Last weekend was is the final chance step aboard Peking — the storied, black and white ship that has towered above the South Street Seaport since 1974. She’ll be hauled back to her birthplace in Hamburg, Germany, next spring and will be replaced by the Wavertree, another tall ship that has more New York history than the Peking.
The South Street Seaport Museum has been in financial straits since Hurricane Sandy and started negotiating a deal with Germany back in 2012 to get the Peking back home.
The museum was willing to give her away as a gift but needed the cash to get her across the Atlantic. Finally the German government agreed to invest over $30 million in bringing the Peking back and restoring her for her new home at the Stiftung Hamburg Maritim, the maritime museum of Hamburg.
Captain Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum, said the decision to give Peking to Germany is in the best interest of the museum and the ship.
“It’s also good for Hamburg; they’ll have a restored ship they can be proud of. She was built in Hamburg and sailed from there. She belongs on the Hamburg waterfront. And it’s good for Peking; she’ll have the resources and the attention she deserves.”
Built in 1911 by the German company F. Laeisz, Peking is part of the last generation of sailing ships, constructed right as steam-powered vessels started to dominate the market. She is reputed to be the last square-rigger to double Cape Horn.
The Peking arrived in the city in 1974 at the ripe age of 63 after narrowly avoiding spending the rest of her life in a scrapyard. She has a long history as a merchant ship from South America to Europe, where she transported nitrates, essentially bird droppings to be used as a fertilizer, between the two continents. She later fought in World War I, spent some time as a training ship and eventually became a school for boys in England, where she was briefly renamed the Arethusa. Peking eventually outswam her usefulness and was headed to the scrapyard when a wealthy navy lieutenant rescued her and brought her to the South Street Seaport Museum, where she has lived ever since.
|Peking as she sits today|
Until next time,
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
This week has had a couple of interesting historical events that should be mentioned, but we will not dwell on them as we have a brand new and I think interesting topic for you. Of note: 1851 (August 22) U.S. schooner AMERICA tops the best of the British fleet in a race around the Isle of Wight, winning the "100 Guinea Cup" which was then donated to the New York Yacht club with the understanding it would be contested internationally.
|The "low black schooner" America|
It became, of course, the America's Cup, named for the schooner, not the country. There are currently a series of races being contested that will eventually lead to a two boat match race in Bermuda in 2017 - for the Cup.
Another item of interest, though not really maritime, is the landing of the British at Benedict MD from whence they marched through Bladensburg, shredding the American forces positioned there to stop them, and marching on to the American capital, Washington City, and burning a number of public buildings, including what is now called the White House (then it was the Presidential Mansion). A thunder storm of stunning intensity put out the fires and the British left, returning to their ships to sail on to Baltimore where they met a quite different reaction. More on that in a few weeks.
But the item of focus for today is the exploratory expedition of E/V Nautilus under auspices of Naval Historical Foundation and NOAA to film and explore the WWII light carrier Independence sunk off the coast of California in some 2600 feet of water. Of note is that the expedition will be broadcast live over the internet, something which world, renown undersea explorer, Dr. Bob Ballard, has fostered for some time. Following is the NFH article only lightly edited about the event and we will post more as more is available.
|The lower image represents a high gain sonar shot of the ship as she lays on the bottom, with pertinent features identified with the ship as she once was.|
Friday, August 19, 2016
|CONSTITUTION sails on 200th anniversary of her victory over Guerrier|
Bravo Zulu, Old Ironsides!
Until next time,