Sunday, October 31, 2021


 31 October 2021: Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate it! Pandemics not withstanding, we expect children in costume to be ringing our doorbells looking for candy and sweets hand outs! 

About two weeks ago, we erroneously reports the Golden Ray  ship wreck in Georgia(USA) had been cleared completely. That report was some weeks premature. It has now been finished and only the shoreline cleanup and flotsam washed up needs attending. From the local news broadcasters:



ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — The final giant chunk of an overturned cargo ship was removed from waters along the coast of Georgia on Monday, almost a year after demolition began on the wreck that tipped over with 4,200 automobiles in its cargo decks.


Weighing more than 4,000 metric tons (4,410 U.S. tons), the eighth and last section of the South Korean freighter Golden Ray left the wreck site off St. Simons Island after a crane lowered it onto a big barge outfitted with a special cradle to hold the wreckage.

“This is the end of the wreck removal phase,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Himes, a spokesman for the multiagency command in charge of the demolition.

But the salvage job isn’t over. Big pieces of the ship’s side and other debris were left behind after the ship’s center, the most damaged part of the vessel, was cut in two, Himes said. Those were the final two sections removed.

 Cleanup of that debris and stray wreckage that fell from the other larger sections, including some cars, will take two weeks or longer, Himes said. Then crews will remove metal shipping containers and rock placed around the partly submerged wreck to stabilize it during demolition, as well as take down the giant mesh barrier installed around the site to contain debris.

That should all be finished before the end of the year, Himes said.

Meanwhile, the last two large sections taken from the wreck site must be broken down further before they can depart Georgia for a salvage yard in Louisiana. Himes said that likely won’t be done until early 2022.

The ship capsized onto its side on Sept. 9, 2019, shortly after departing the Port of Brunswick. All crew members were rescued safely, but salvage experts deemed the ship itself, measuring 656 feet (199 meters) long, was a complete loss.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board reported the combined losses totaled more than $204 million. The agency concluded an officer’s error in calculating the ship’s stability left its center of gravity too high, causing the vessel to capsize.

They settled on a plan to straddle the shipwreck with a towering crane and use a long anchor chain powered by winches and pulleys to slowly saw it into eight giant pieces for removal.

Demolition work began last Nov. 6 and was periodically interrupted by breaks in the chain, one big fire that engulfed the wreck after being sparked by cutting torches and leaking oil that fouled 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) of beach and marsh grasses.

Some conservationists have asked the multiagency command overseeing the demolition for a formal assessment to determine the extent of the ecological damage from oil spills and other pollutants that came from the wreck. No decision has been announced.


So, now it's done. The final phase - the shoreline cleanup - should be well in hand by year's end. Ecological damage assessment remains to be accomplished, but will likely be significant.

Until next time,

                                  Fair Winds,

                                          Old Salt

Sunday, October 24, 2021


24 October 2021: Generally, at least once per summer, we see some inexperienced mariner get caught in a current near a bridge, or misjudging the opening of a draw in a sailboat. The results can be anywhere from embarrassing to disastrous with masts down and hull damage. Sometimes the event results in a bit of scratched fiberglass/paint and possibly a strained muscle for the crew. But always embarrassment! It is indeed rare to see a professionally crewed vessel get caught in the same circumstances. And almost never one this size!

This is Cisne Branco (White Swan) Brazil's tall ship and Navy trainer.

 Here is the first link: 
 Cisne Branco - Extremis

Rescue attempt!

2nd link: click here:
Now the tug is in trouble:

We are unaware of any loss of life, but  there certainly could have been on the tug.


Sometimes, even the pros have problems! 

Until next time,

                                    Fair winds,

                                            Old Salt

Sunday, October 17, 2021


 17 October 2021: The floating island the size of Rhode Island drifting around in the Pacific has long presented a major problem both to the environment and shipping. Various attempts have been made to remove it, but the problem is just too immense to fix easily or quickly. Finally, a solution and system has been developed to address this issue. From


Ocean Cleanup's supersized system proves its worth with "massive" haul

Back in August, the Ocean Cleanup Project returned to the waters of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with a redesigned trash-collecting system that was its largest yet. This upsized approach appears to be paying some dividends, with System 002's final phase of testing hailed a success and marked by a "massive" haul of plastic waste.

The Ocean Cleanup Project first popped up back in 2013 with grand plans to clean plastic from the oceans using massive floating barriers, and the system has undergone a number of reinventions since.

The System 002, nicknamed Jenny, that was launched in August marked a significant departure from previous iterations, as it ditched a passive design in favor of active propulsion. This meant rather than relying on floating system that moved with the wind and the motion in the ocean, the horseshoe-shaped Jenny would be towed along by crewed vessels at either end.


The idea was to move Jenny through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch at a steady speed of 1.5 knots, funneling plastic waste into a retention zone at the far end. With a length of 800 meters (2,640 ft), Jenny is also the biggest system deployed by the Ocean Cleanup Project, and its first large-scale system.

After towing Jenny out to the patch in mid-August, the Ocean Cleanup team kicked off a trial regime involving more than 70 separate tests to see if it is up to the job. The most recent of these took the form of a "full duration" test, designed to completely fill up Jenny's barriers over the course of six weeks. This final test of the system was completed over the weekend, and to great success, according to the team.

"It all worked!!! Massive load. We’ll try to get the footage to land ASAP to share," tweeted Ocean Cleanup CEO Boyan Slat.

The team is still processing its catch so we can expect more information to be forthcoming on how much Jenny is capable of cleaning, but one thing is clear it will take many Jennies to put a dent in the issue. Millions of metric tons of plastic waste wash into the ocean each year, and many have doubts about the capacity of trash-catching barriers to tackle the problem, and whether these efforts might do more harm than good.

amazing amount and content

For its part, the Ocean Cleanup crew is well aware of this, and is simultaneously endeavoring to prevent plastic waste entering the ocean through a river-based collection system called "The Interceptor." It still sees the accumulated waste in the ocean as a major problem that needs solving, as the longer it remains swirling about in the seas the more of it breaks down into problematic microplastics that are difficult to track and pose all sorts of problems to the environment.


Pretty good job, we think. And while we are on the subject of "cleaning up" some of you may recall we have posted several pieces in the past on the Golden Ray disaster in St Simons Sound, Georgia (USA) and the efforts spanning nearly 2 years to clean that mess up. Well, dear readers, it's done. They have completed the removal and now all that remains is the clean up of oil and other residue along the shore line. But the ship, cut up and carried off, is gone!

 Until next time, 

                                     Fair Winds,

                                                 Old Salt

Sunday, October 10, 2021


 10 October 2021: This post is a bit poignant for this writer as I spent many weeks and months chasing the aircraft carrier USS Kittyhawk through the South China Sea during the early 60's. She was engaged in flight ops against Vietnam and the destroyer on which I served then was one of her plane guard ships as well as engaged in coastal intervention of shipping and shore bombardment. Night plane guard duty was one of the more challenging assignments we had as our station was 1000 yds astern and just outside the carrier's wake. Our masthead lights served as a landing aid for pilots returning from nighttime missions over enemy territory. Their planes were frequently too badly shot up to land and were directed to land on the water alongside. Our job was to rescue the pilots before the aircraft (which had the buoyancy of a brick) sank. Always exciting (but probably more so for the airmen!). From



Two United States naval aircraft carriers, the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS John F. Kennedy, have been sold for one penny each.

USS John F, Kennedy docking in Boston (while commissioned)
 While that may sound ominous at first, the ships were not sold to be used but instead taken apart as a Texas firm will break them down to make money from the collected scrap metal.

The last conventionally powered aircraft carrier built for the U.S. Navy in 1968, the decommissioned USS John F. Kennedy was sold to a salvage company for 1¢, to be towed from its present home, the former Philadelphia Navy Yard, to Brownsville, TX. 

USS Kittyhawk at sea

Both ships served the nation for decades, and the discounted price reflects the fact that the company will profit from selling the ship's metal for scrap, officials said.

Naval Sea Systems Command, the U.S. Navy sub-organization, confirmed the sale of the ships to International Shipbreaking Limited, based in Brownsville, Texas, USA Today reported.

The process of towing and ship-breaking is expensive, and the navy often pays ISL large sums of money to recycle its ships, the Brownsville Herald reported.



So, the end of an era! And I would be remiss if I neglected to mention that a week or so ago, the U.S. Navy DEcommissioned the first LCS (Littoral Combat Ships - or as theie crews designated them, Little Crappy Ships) which this site had editorialized as terrible wastes of money as they would be no good at any mission for which they were ostensibly designed. The ship was taken out of service some 10 years before she would normally be removed.....

Until next time,  

                                          Fair Winds,

                                                      Old Salt