Heading to the water? Know these safety tips


A nice guide to all the Washington State waters, including lakes and local resources to help you with local regulations and information, from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Originally posted on Ear to the Ground:

With the weather warming up, now’s the time to start preparing for safe and fun water recreation. Use our graphic (below) for tips to help you enjoy your favorite water adventure on DNR-managed lands while preserving both Washington’s landscapes and yourself.

DNR-managed lands offer a wide variety of boating opportunities, such as catch-and-release fly-fishing on Merrill Lake, kayaking the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, and sea kayaking to Cyprus Island.

Follow these tips for safe and fun water recreation on DNR-managed land. Follow these tips for safe and fun water recreation on DNR-managed land. (CLICK image to enlarge.)

Don’t let warmer weather mislead you, water temperatures are cold. Before heading out for a day on the weather, remember to dress for the water, have a life vest, and be prepared for changes in weather. For safety information check out our sister agency’s  boating program and check in with your region’s DNR office for local conditions:

Kayakers take advantage of nice weather to paddle around in puget sound. Photo: DNR. Kayakers take advantage of nice weather to paddle around…

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Coast Survey adds historical publications to online collection


More history from the massive archives of NOAA including early Coast Pilots and other historic documents including earth movements of the California Earthquake of 1906

Originally posted on NOAA COAST SURVEY:

by Melissa Volkert, Coast Survey communications associate

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has added a wide range of publications to our Historical Map and Chart Collection. The collection of publications consists of annual reports, catalogs, United States Coast Pilot, Notes on the Coast, and special reports.

Collection logo The collection contains over 35,000 documents from the earliest days of the U.S. Coast Survey.

  • Annual Reports are yearly publications, from 1837 to 1965, that detail the many scientific and technological activities of Coast Survey.
  • Aeronautical charts, U.S. nautical charts, charts of the Philippines, and the old U.S. Lake Survey charts are detailed in Catalogs.
  • The Coast Pilot collection carries two centuries of volumes, from the 1876 version of the American Coast Pilot, through the 1800s and 1900s, until the 2012 versions of the U.S. Coast Pilot.
  • Written in 1861 by the Coast Survey while Superintendent Alexander…

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USCG Adm. Zukunft: The Man, His Mission

USCG Adm. Zukunft.   Photo credit USCG  Patrick Kelly, Photographer to the Commandant.

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

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Developing products for “precision navigation”


Shows the challenge NOAA and others face to provide safe navigation, more precise charts and channel markings as ships get larger and channels stay about the same size. More precision is needed on depths as well as understanding how reliable any measurement is.

A one degree roll on a Very Large Crude Carrier can cause the ship to touch bottom in some areas!

Originally posted on NOAA COAST SURVEY:

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are first up

by Capt. Richard Brennan, chief, Coast Survey Development Lab

The increased size of vessels entering U. S. ports, coupled with the diminishing margins that must be navigated with reference to the seafloor, provides NOAA with the opportunity to develop new products to support precision navigation. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are testing grounds for current product development, since developing products for these ports will allow us to examine the value of precision navigation products under actual at-sea conditions. The channel leading to the Port of Long Beach has an authorized depth of 76 feet, allowing drafts of 69 feet. A major concern for this port is high sea swell conditions that can be present when ultra large crude carriers enter port. These large swells can cause vessels to pitch, which results in a significant change in their…

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Fascinating Engineering Facts About the RMS Titanic

RMS Olympic and Titanic

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

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.

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Anchor Hitch

Anchor Hitch

Anchor Hitch

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.

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So you want to chart an artificial reef?


A nice explanation on how NOAA, The Army Corps of Engineers and others work together to improve fish habitat while keeping the waters safe for boaters and freighters.

Originally posted on NOAA COAST SURVEY:

There are literally millions of pieces of data on nautical charts. How do cartographers determine which data to put on the charts? Two Coast Survey cartographers, Paul Gionis and Lance Roddy, explained some of the processes, protocols, and NOAA charting requirements to participants at the Florida Artificial Reef Summit earlier this month. (See the archived video of their presentation, starting at 55:40.) Among their many duties, these cartographers are responsible for vetting artificial reef public notices and permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and for acquiring source data from the state and county reef coordinators.

By explaining the nautical chart aspects of planning, creating, and maintaining fish havens, they hoped to smooth out the permitting and charting phases.

(By the way, in case you’re wondering what we mean by “fish haven,” Coast Survey’s Nautical Chart Manual defines them as “artificial shelters constructed of rocks, rubble, boxcars, boats, concrete, special…

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Free 2015 Coast Guard Light List

2015 Light List Cover

2015 Light List Cover

The U.S. Coast Guard has just released the 2015 Light Lists in PDF format for all volumes except Volume V (Volume V is only published in even years).  The Light List Volumes are available as a free download or in bound books for purchase at your local marine and charting supplier.

Light List Volume VI covers Puget Sound as well as Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and the outlying Pacific Islands.  For those boating in the Puget Sound area the other areas covered can make for a very thick volume.

A boater can print just the pages needed for their area to save on ink and paper.  Caution is advised to not try and fine tune the exact pages too close as the Light List Lights are arranged by Chart Number and it is very easy to miss one of the chart numbers needed for your area.

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