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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New ACR Firefly Pro Series Rescue Strobe Light

ACR Rescue Lite 4F & New ACR Firefly PRO Series

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.

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Why Whale Poo & Dead Whales Are Good For You & The Oceans

Dead Whale in the Ocean

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.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

A note on the where traffic comes from – most of the traffic here comes from search engines, several times the listed referrals.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Coast Survey’s little known role in the case of the Amistad


A bit of hidden history from the NOAA Archives

Originally posted on NOAA COAST SURVEY:

Coast Survey Brig Washington Coast Survey Brig Washington

Lt. Thomas R. Gedney, a U.S. Navy officer commanding the U.S. Coast Survey Brig Washington on August 20, 1839, was surveying the area between New York’s Montauk Point and Gardiner’s Island. He “discovered a strange and suspicious looking vessel off Culloden Point, near said Montauk Point,” according to his statement to Connecticut District Court Judge Andrew T. Judson. Gedney and his officers took possession of the vessel. The ship captured by the Washington proved to be the Spanish schooner called L’Amistad – the ship carrying Africans who revolted against their captors and tried to sail back to Africa… Thus began a little known piece of U.S. Coast Survey history. (It is so little known, in fact, that the 1997 movie Amistad did not mention Coast Survey.)

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is presenting a new exhibit of six murals at the Smithsonian’s…

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