USCG Adm. Zukunft.
Photo credit USCG Patrick Kelly, Photographer to the Commandant.
Admiral Zukunft looked back on his first year as the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard in an interview he gave with MarineLink.com. The interview was wide ranging and covered the challenges the U.S. Coast Guard faces over the next several decades with expanding duties and tighter budgets.
Of interest to me are the challenges faced by the Cost Guard with Polar operations with only on heavy icebreaker the Polar Star. The Coast Guard also has only one research icebreaker The Healy ( A Luncheon Cruise & Tour on the Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy ). Both home ported here in Seattle
RMS Olympic and Titanic
A fascinating video on the RMS Titanic and the Olympic-Class ships by Bill “Engineer Guy” Hannack. The images and information is from the 1909 to 1911 editions of the Journal The Engineer. The video starts with the laying of the keel for the Titanic and the sister ship the Olympic and follows the lives of the ships including collisions and other difficulties.
Fore Boss Arms – one of two that held the port and starboard propeller shafts. Note the “Little Green Guy” for the scale.
The black and white images are enhanced with color to help show engineering and construction details.
Details start with the first laying of the keel blocks and keels. Construction, details are shown of the boiler and coal storage construction, ships engines (they had a turbine engine driving a third center propeller for higher speed in open water), propellers, and the propeller mounts.
The Anchor Hitch is a great knot for conditions that alternate between loaded and unloaded such as an anchor rode or where the end of a line might be flapping around.
The Anchor Hitch is a bit more difficult to tie and remember than the old standby the Round Turn and Two Half Hitches. However the Anchor Hitch is more secure.
The end of the line passing under the Round Turn makes the knot very secure since the harder the knot is loaded the tighter the end is held.
Some climbers are using the Anchor Hitch in place of the Buntline Hitch, they found they were not tying the Buntline Hitch correctly when in odd twisted positions.
The Spar Hitch is another little known knot that is great for tying fenders to a boat.
ACR Rescue Lite 4F & New ACR Firefly PRO Series
ACR has finally came out with a worthy successor to the classic Firefly Rescue Lite ACR / 4F. The ACR Firefly PRO Series is Brighter, flashes longer and has more functions (Strobe, Flashlight, SOS) than the 4F model. I found the ACR Firefly PRO Series at Fish Expo in Seattle and was quite impressed with the new Strobe Light. So impressed that I bought one for myself.
The strobes that came after the Classic 4F just did not seem as bright, and looking at other manufactures offerings they did not seem as bright either, which left me disappointed, over the years when I needed to buy new strobes for additional life-jackets. The Classic 4F originally had an expensive mercury battery, I changed the battery to a non-mercury battery to keep the 4F working and the 4F remained my favorite and attached to the life-jacket that I wore the most.
Dead Whale in the Ocean
Left out of many discussions about whales and other animals is the effect they have on the health of the ecosystem and how we are all dependent on each other.
Wolves in Yellowstone give healthier forests. Streams that have hatchery fish released are healthier when dead salmon are put on stream banks in the fall.
We are only just starting to understand some of the complex interdependency of plants and animals and how reducing the population of one can have far reaching effects on other plants and animals.
This short video explains what our hunting of whales to near extinction has had on the health of the oceans.