The Untold 9/11 Boat Lift Story


A short tribute to the volunteer civilian flotilla that helped 500,000 people get home across the water from Lower Manhattan after the attacks on the World Trade Center

Originally posted on Boating Safety Tips, Tricks & Thoughts from Captnmike:

Evacuation of 500,000 people from Lower Manhattan on 9/11 by boat

Evacuation of 500,000 people from Lower Manhattan on 9/11 by boat

Following the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001, a problem faced by many New Yorkers was how to get home.

I remember pictures of people walking across bridges and other images of mass migration as people tried to get home.

The boat lift of half a million people from Lower Manhattan was done by a volunteer civilian flotilla that just showed up when the call went out.  The flotilla just materialized when the Coast Guard put out a Marine Assistance Broadcast asking any vessels that could help, to please report to Lower Manhattan to help evacuate stranded commuters.

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2014 – Special Notice To Mariners

Coast Guard District 13, Special Notice To Mariners

Coast Guard District 13, Special Notice To Mariners

The Special Notice To Mariners is an annual safety publication for all Mariners, published as a 116 page PDF document by the Coast Guard District 13.  D-13 has included information from many sources in one handy place.

The Special Notice to Mariners in intended to help all Mariners in the Pacific Northwest and has information useful to all Mariners from recreational boaters to Professional Mariners.  This collects in one place, important contact information (Radio Frequencies, phone numbers, email and web sites) for the Coast Guard, proper procedures to follow if you have an on-board emergency,

There is a section on Search and Rescue, what to do if you are the object of a SAR or need to declare a May Day (you can contact the Coast Guard even if you don’t have a May Day situation, but are having difficulties of some sort).  Procedures to follow for towing, Helicopter Rescue, abandon ship procedures and other emergency situations.

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Navigators Piloting and Charting Reference Card

Navigators Piloting and Charting Reference Card

Navigators Piloting and Charting Reference Card

The Navigators Piloting and Charting Reference Card puts the commonly used coastal navigation formulas and symbols on one handy card for easy reference.  This card helps prevent mistakes when tired, or when doing your Navigation Class homework.

Even with today’s use of GPS and chart plotters, being able to calculate Speed / Time / Distance as well as properly plot a course on a chart is a useful skill.  Electronics can fail and if you take a Coastal Navigation Class or Coast Guard Masters Class you will get to know very well the formulas and constants on the Navigators Piloting and Charting Reference Card

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A Face Plant at Speed

sailing, spinnaker

A Face Plant at Speed in Big Wind

Running with the spinnaker up in good wind with a planing hull is a rush when the boat pops up out of the water and starts planing.

If the wind is too big serious damage can be done, from the simple like destroying a sail when the spinnaker is “shrimped” and wrapped around the keel, putting crew overboard, injuring the crew, breaking the mast or other damage to the boat.

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Correcting chart discrepancies at Alaska’s Whale Passage


The difficult struggles NOAA goes through to bring us updated charts were highlighted for Alaska’s Whale Passage. Frequent 7 knot currents, currents so bad that surveys could only be done in one direction, areas last surveyed 100 years ago, projected currents not at all like the actual currents, charted depths twice the actual depths (charted 48 ft. but the actual was only 24 ft.)
Hats off to NOAA for yet another chart update in tough conditions.

Originally posted on NOAA COAST SURVEY:

by Ensign Sarah Chappel, NOAA Ship Rainier

NOAA Ship Rainier recently surveyed Whale Passage, which separates Whale Island from Kodiak Island, Alaska. The area has never been surveyed with modern full bottom coverage methods, and some project areas were last surveyed by lead lines around a hundred years ago. The area frequently experiences 7 knot currents, making rocky or shoal areas particularly treacherous. Whale Passage is a high traffic area for fishing vessels, U.S. Coast Guard cutters, barges, ferries, and small boats, which is why updating the area’s nautical charts is so important.

entrance to Whale Passage

Strong currents push around Ilkognak Rock daymark at the entrance of Whale Passage. (Photo by LTJG Damian Manda)

The dynamics of the passage and surrounding area create several challenges for the hydrographic survey teams. The local tidal and current models are not well-known. To resolve this, Rainier was instructed to install four tide gauges in the…

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Making Spiral Pelican Hook Lanyards & Key Fobs

Spiral Portuguese Sennit, key fob

Spiral Key Fob using a Spiral Portuguese Sennit

After I wrote the original article on Lanyards & Key Fobs, some friends saw the spiral version and wanted to know how to make the spiral key fobs.

Making a Spiral Portuguese Sennit, key fob is not too difficult and the spiral gives a new texture and color pattern.

Either the original flat Lanyards and Key Fobs or the Spiral versions are easy to make with a bit of practice.  These make great little gifts for people, make them in their college or favorite colors.

If you have friends with sailboats with Pelican Hooks on their lifelines, make them a set Red & Green Lanyards for their Pelican Hooks, if you are in a bit of a joker mood, install them with the colors reversed.

I have given many Key Fobs & Pelican Hook Lanyards to friends and others as gifts, since everyone seems to like different colors, I made a large assortment of many different colors and line types then let people choose their favorite color.

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Coast Survey improves access to data on thousands of wrecks and obstructions


NOAA keeps getting better, now the public has access to information on 13,000 wrecks and 6,000 obstructions.
Great job folks

Originally posted on NOAA COAST SURVEY:

Knowing the locations of shipwrecks and other obstructions has always been important for safe navigation ‒ but mariners are not the only people who want to know about wrecks. They are also important for marine archeology, recreational diving, salvage operations, and fishing, among other interests. Now, Coast Survey has improved our Wrecks and Obstructions Database, giving everyone easy access to new records to explore.

Web-based map of wrecks

Coast Survey’s wrecks and obstructions database provides info on thousands of wrecks.

Historically, Coast Survey has maintained two separate sources of information on wrecks. We recently combined the sources, bringing together information on nearly 20,000 wrecks and obstructions.


Coast Survey established the Automated Wreck and Obstruction Information System (AWOIS) database in 1981 to help estimate the level of effort required to investigate items during a planned hydrographic survey, but maritime users were also interested in AWOIS’ historical records. However, because the emphasis is on…

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Round Turn and Two Half Hitches

Round turn and two half hitches - fender knot

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches, great knot for tying fenders and all around useful knot

A great Fender Knot is the Round Turn and Two Half Hitches, it is also a great all around knot for both using on a boat and at home.

I find the Round Turn and Two Half Hitches just as quick if not quicker to tie and much more secure than the more commonly used Clove Hitch.

The Round Turn part of the knot provides friction on the item it is tied around, the friction lets you control a load with ease.  When tying a fender the Round Turn lets the fender be held up using just your finger tips while tying the Round Turn and Two Half Hitches.

If I use a Clove Hitch, most of the time I will use Two Half Hitches to secure the Clove Hitch to keep the Clove Hitch from slipping.

The Round Turn and Two Half Hitches is my preferred knot for Tying to a Bull Rail.

A Towboat Hitch / Capstan Hitch is another great knot when you need to tie a line to a single post or a winch on a sailboat.

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