Filed under: FotoFriday, life, Oceans, storytelling, work | Tags: Avery Point, Cornell University, Excelerate Energy LLC, Lab of Ornithology, right whales, RV Connecticut, University of Connecticut, WHOI, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Today I’m excited to introduce you to a guest blogger. Dominic Hix started his maritime career in the US Navy serving almost 10 years in the field of Navigation. He served another 4 years in navigation in the Coast Guard, was a volunteer signalman aboard the Liberty Ship Museum, SS Jeremiah O’Brien, and has spent the last 3 years working as a deckhand aboard tourboats, a dredging company tug and most recently aboard a research vessel. Here’s his story and pictures from a trip he made earlier this week.
The University of Connecticut’s research vessel, the RV Connecticut, is designed to perform as a platform for a variety of projects along coastal waters. With a length of 76 feet, an average draft of 8½ feet and a beam of 26 feet combined with a large working deck she makes a preferable platform for organizations seeking a small, shallow-draft vessel that can still provide adequate working space.
Recently, the Connecticut, acted as a platform for a team of WHOI riggers so that they could swap out some whale monitoring buoys along the Boston shipping lane. These buoys are part of a listening system designed to track the movement of endangered right whales through the busy Boston shipping lane.
First of a series of videos found on YouTube about Jobs@Sea.
YouTube – Coast Guard Boatswain Mate of the Watch
ONBOARD THE USCGC BOUTWELL — Interview with Joseph Klemencic, from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, about his job as the boatswain mate of the watch (BMOW). The Boutwell is currently deployed as U.S. Coast Guard representatives for the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum (NPCGF). This forum was developed to increase international maritime safety and security on the Northern Pacific Ocean and its borders. (Coast Guard video by Petty Officer Jonathan R. Cilley)
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Filed under: maritime, work | Tags: financial crisis, maritime, shipping, Wall Street Journal
The financial crisis is creating some rough waters in the shipping industry.
Evidence is mounting that the credit crunch is obstructing global trade.
The drumbeats began in August when two Korean ship builders canceled orders because buyers weren’t able to produce initial payments.
The beat got louder as the Baltic Dry Index of shipping rates plunged. It’s now down more than 90% from its mid-May peak.
Then the Globus Maritime shipping company said on Friday it had to sell one of its ships for 29% below an earlier agreed-upon price. Globus, which is listed on London’s AIM exchange, blamed falling shipping activity and increasing difficulties in securing trade finance.
Broadly, shipping and commodities markets are rife with talk that banks are refusing to honor letters of credit from other banks and holding back guarantees commodity buyers and sellers need to ship all manner of metals and soft commodities.
Spurring some of the chatter early this month were the widely disseminated, gloomy remarks of a Thai shipping executive at an industry conference in Singapore. His view — that credit was frozen — was echoed by Moody’s Economy.com, which last week said stocks were piling up as cargo ships got stranded at ports pending the flow of financing. A Maersk Broker report made similar points.
The near-cessation of global credit is at the root of this particular rout.
Also in today’s Wall Street Journal, MARSHALL ECKBLAD wrote an article titled Shippers Hit by Credit Crunch where in he describes the trickle down effect of tightening credit on global shippers. Continue reading
Filed under: FotoFriday, maritime, work | Tags: Foto Friday, Marine Domain Awareness, Michelle V. Agins, New York Times, photography, US Coast Guard
Luis Estrella, 26, a boatswain’s mate third class, patrols the waters from the Staten Island Ferry to the Outerbridge Crossing to Newark Bay on a Marine Domain Awareness patrol, which involves a four-man crew that works two 12-hour shifts over 48 hours.
The patrols work in three areas — the upper Hudson River, Lower Manhattan and the Newark Bay area — to protect the infrastructure and to assist in search and rescue operations.
About the Lens Series:
For the past three months, Michelle V. Agins, a staff photographer for The Times, worked the night shift alongside them, patrolling New York Harbor for security breaches with the United States Coast Guard, presiding over the empty pews with the night watchman at the Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue at 29th Street, feeding infant twin boys with a baby nurse in Park Slope, riding an ambulance all over with emergency medical technicians. Here Gary Louhisdon, a security guard at the American Museum of Natural History, walks among the exhibits, much as Ben Stiller did in “Night at the Museum.”
Each week for the next three months, photographs will appear of other members of the city’s secret club that meets after midnight. Please, they asked, do not call it the graveyard shift. They are not dead.
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Filed under: Environment, life, maritime, work | Tags: 2008, Blog Action Day, poverty, shipbreaking
If you write a maritime or any other type of blog and are not participating in Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty, please consider linking to this post. Thanks.
Today is Blog Action Day 2008. This year’s theme is Poverty and in the maritime world you don’t have to think to hard about where poverty resides.
Southern Asia is notorious for it’s shipbreaking industry where governments allow unscrupulous businessmen to purchase dying ships which are then scrapped by teams of poorly trained and equipped workers for a few dollars a day. The conditions, as Bob Simon reports in the following 60 Minutes segment, are about as close to hell on earth as you can get.
The Ship Breakers
Several professional photographers have tackled this subject with increibly powerful images including Edward Burntysky Shipyards, Building and Breaking, Brendan Corr’s End of the Line, and Sebastiao Selgado’s coffee table masterpiece Workers. However, there are also some powerful images posted on Flickr.com that convey the incredibly hazardous conditions which threaten these workers.
September 1, 2008 report from NDTtv.com:
YouTube – Hazards of the Ship Wrecking Trade
Shipbreaking by the International Metalworkers Federation:
YouTube – Shipbreaking
Amazing photo essay Shipbreak: A Biology of Steel by Claudio Cambon
Shipbreaking in Bangladesh website
ILO’s Is There A Decent Way To Break Ships by Paul Bailey
Unfortunately this human and environmental crisis is not going to be solved anytime soon and at least not until first world governments step and take responsibility for the full life (and death) of ships that carry their nation’s goods.
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First of all, let me preface this post with the fact that some of my favorite people are harbormasters.
That being said, according to the New Bedford Standard Times there’s a storm brewing in one of the country’s premiere ports. (Council questions assistant harbormaster appointment Sept. 25, 2008)
The controversy is basically how many harbormasters does it take to manage the top fishing port in America. Currently there’s 6 but the Harbor Development Commission wants to bump it up to 7. The New Bedford City Council seems to think that’s too many but Kristin Decas, executive director of the Harbor Development Commission responds:
“…seven is not too many assistant harbormasters for a port such as New Bedford with an active commercial fleet, passenger ferries, cruise boats, shipyards and a large number of recreational vessels.
…Fairhaven has five assistant harbormasters, Dartmouth has three and Falmouth has four. Also, by comparison, Salem has 17, Winthrop has 11 and Beverly has 14.”
Ms. Decas makes good points although this does have a bit of a how long is a piece of string feel to it.
What I found most interesting is how the article ended:
The city’s harbormaster is Lazarus Chongarlides. He is serving with a lifetime appointment. He has declined to retire, despite being in his 80s and infirm. He is paid $55,000 a year.
Wow, good work if you can get it! Although with lifetime appointments, it might be tough!
The USS Intrepid is due home (Pier 86 in NYC) this Thursday, October 2nd. Hopefully her trip will be less eventful than her 2005 departure when she ended up making an unscheduled interim port of call about 10 feet off the isle of Manhattan.
It was all closely chronicled below in the videos below from the History Channel’s popular MegaMovers. It’s an inside look at some professional maritime problem solving with some really great footage. Enjoy!
Make sure that you watch MegaMovers on October 17th (11 am or 5 pm) for their Ships on Land episode.
Welcome home Intrepid!
YouTube – USS Intrepid: On The Move part 1