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16  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: Shipping routes : Straight of Belle-Isle Canada on: March 22, 2013, 03:35:17 am
Well Steve, I guess you will find out if the shipspotting is good or not!

6 months?  Does this mean we will not see you along the shore of the St Lawrence this coming summer?
17  Shipspotters all over the world / Help and Advice / Re: Heavily photoshopped photos on: March 22, 2013, 03:32:45 am
I favor the natural photo more than photoshopped.  I like to deal with reality although there are places where photoshopping might be used to good effect, especially with dark photos.  The over the top photos should head to the wastebasket.  Over the years I have noted a lot of photos with way too much saturation and this is as much a problem as extreme photoshopping.

Since I reap the benefits of the site without putting in any work on it I would go along with Ken's statement.

I suppose there could be another category of majorly photoshopped photos but that is probably a bit much.

I am kind of amazed at what some photographers seem willing to do to make their photos -at least in their eyes - more acceptable to the site.  Judicious restraint does not seem to be practiced by the masses.
18  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: Opening of the Saint-Laurent seeway on: March 12, 2013, 07:44:08 am
Passing all the ice down the numerous locks of the Welland Canal might be problematic and certainly problematic would be clearing the ice in the numerous harbors of the Great Lakes, plus keeping the St Marys River, St Clair River, Lake St. Clair and Detroit River open.  Plus Lake Erie freezes over completely or almost completely almost every year as well as significant parts of the other lakes.  The Coast Guard keeps the Strait of Mackinac open currently but I doubt they have the ships to do much more than what they currently do.

Ice cover near the shorelines is good protection against shoreline erosion during winter storms and any open water dramatically increases evaporation at a time when some of the Great Lakes are at or near their historic lows.

Not sure how many of the Great Lakes bulkers can deal with significant ice and if the Seaway was open, the Lakes would probably be open and the Great Lakes bulkers would be running.

I don't see keeping the Seaway open during winter at federal expense at this time.

There is not enough money in the world to get me to sail the length of Lake Superior in the dead of winter.
19  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: Great Lake Bulkers Sailers : Is this safe? on: December 31, 2012, 05:10:45 am
As others have said, this is an everyday occurrence in the North American Great Lakes in both Canada and the U.S.  I have seen it performed hundreds of times when the Great Lakes ships go through the Soo Locks, the Welland Canal and the locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Since those locks are operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the bilateral St Lawrence Seaway and so on they are accepted maneuvers by federal agencies of both Canada and the United States.  It is so common one would be surprised that anyone would actually question the practice.

It is actually quite safe and very graceful in its maneuver and takes just a few seconds.

It is just the way we do things here in the Great Lakes.  I have also seen the crew members that swing down to the lock surface handle heavy cable with bare hands in zero degrees Fahr. temperatures.  These people are pretty tough and proud of it.  Not many left.
20  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: Transatlantic Route on: December 26, 2012, 06:21:59 pm
     The Great Circle route often seems illogical until you think it through.  Get a globe and a piece of string and place one end of the string at Southampton and then locate the string on Baltimore, or more properly, the entrance to Chesapeake Bay and that will show you the shortest route between the two locations.
     Another thing to do is look up on AIS the east or northeastern coast of North America and you will see the ships along the coast heading to their respective ports.  I like to shipwatch at the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel highway near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and a lot of the ships approach the Bay from the north/northeast, hence the Great Circle Route.  Add in the string of ports along the northeast coast before Baltimore (Halifax, Quebec City/Montreal,Boston, New York City, etc) and that route makes commercial sense as well.
    I have flown over the Atlantic between the US and Europe a few times and those flights take the Great Circle route as well. I remember seeing lots of icebergs on one flight.  At my summer home in northern Vermont on the Canadian border we are right under both the east-west and west-east flyways between North America and Europe and there are several dozen aircraft flying this route every day, many of them coming from inland locations.
     Not being a mariner I have wondered if ships will take a more southerly route at this time of the year to avoid storms in the North Atlantic
21  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: Awesome photos of the sinking of the Bounty during hurricane Sandy on: November 09, 2012, 04:18:25 am
I can see how "awesome" could be used to describe the photos but here in the U.S. it is a very overused word, especially by young people who use it constantly to describe things that are less than awesome.

Perhaps dramatic might be a better word.

I have a professional knowledge of hurricanes and like others I am both amazed and appalled that the Bounty would sail into a hurricane.  I can only speculate that they were trying to slip between the storm and the coast when it was predicted the storm would curve east over the Atlantic and not make landfall.  But that forecast was very short lived and was changed for the storm to make landfall in the New York City/New Jersey area which it did with a 14 foot storm surge.

The Bounty was far from the first ship to encounter serious problems and flounder off Cape Hatteras, one of the well known graveyards of the Atlantic.

Has anyone heard if the Bounty has actually sunk?  The photos show it on its side in the water but I have not heard or seen anything since they were taken.

FWIW Hurricane Sandy was 1,100 miles in diameter and now is being called the largest storm (in surface area) to make landfall in the United States.
22  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: Beautiful photos of BIG E's final entry into Norfolk on: November 06, 2012, 03:45:59 am
Marvelous photos.  I consider myself fortunate to have photographed her a few times from the CBBT bridge outside of Norfolk.  Always hate to see a ship like this go.
23  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: HMS Bounty sunk by hurricane; 14 rescued, but 2 crew members still missing on: October 30, 2012, 08:17:21 pm
The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy at New York City now changed from 13 feet to "almost 14 feet".  Many smaller recreational vessels and a few commercial vessels sunk or blown or washed ashore with the surge.

The U.S. Coast Guard posted a few photos of the HMS Bounty afloat on her side in the Atlantic. I tried to upload them to the site but they did not meet the minimum specifications.  The captain is still missing; one fatality, the rest of the crew rescued from harm's way by Coast Guard helicopter.

Looks like the shoreline and harbor area of New York City, New Jersey, Long Island and Conn. are in a state of shambles from Hurricane Sandy.
24  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: HMS Bounty sunk by hurricane; 14 rescued, but 2 crew members still missing on: October 30, 2012, 03:25:03 am
The ship was off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina a well known graveyard for ships sunk in storms.

This storm is especially notable, not so much as a very powerful hurricane but a hurricane that is exceptionally large, several hundred miles in diameter, and which has merged, or is merging with storm systems coming across North America and a high pressure system to the northeast which is feeding it energy.

I am almost 400 miles west of New York City in Ohio and we are having 50 mile per hour gusts of wind with rain and later tonight and tomorrow snow, all from this storm.  Waves of 30 feet or higher are forecast on the Great Lakes and gale force winds are or will occur on each of the Great Lakes.

A 13 foot storm surge hit Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, an all time record.  Much of lower Manhattan is flooded as are several coastal communities in New Jersey, Long Island and Conn. are flooded.

Massive inland flooding is probable from 6 to 12 inches of rain as the storm moves inland.

Millions are without electricity.
A historic ferry was sunk at its pier in New Jersey and I am sure there will be others.

This is not a "normal" kind of storm.

I appreciate your comments Captain Ted.

25  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: HMS Bounty sunk by hurricane; 14 rescued, but 2 crew members still missing on: October 29, 2012, 05:07:59 pm
Given the advance notice of the path and dangerous conditions from Hurricane Sandy one must ask why this vessel was sailing south to Florida from Conn. and thus into the teeth of the storm.  A tragic loss.
26  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: Murder aboard Canadian ship off the coast of Labrador on: September 28, 2012, 01:53:36 am
Thanks for the update.  I suspect there is a lot of info that is not being released.  Obviously the authorities know the cause of death.  Since there are a small number of crew members I would think the Mounties would have suspect(s).  I also would think that for a start they would make the crew take a lie detector test even though it is not always reliable. I am not a Mountie - but I wanted to be one when I was a kid - but it would seem to me with a fairly small number of people on the ship they could find out who has alibies and, again, come up with a list of suspects. I am not sure I would want to be on that ship on its next trip if a murderer is loose.

Not to be flip about someone's death but this almost reads like a good shipboard murder mystery.  Thanks again Steve for the update.
27  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: Murder aboard Canadian ship off the coast of Labrador on: September 23, 2012, 05:26:24 pm
I would think the list of suspects would be quite small!
28  Shipspotters all over the world / Trip reports / Re: Southeastern United States Roadtrip Advice on: September 20, 2012, 05:00:53 pm
Savannah is excellent if you can coordinate your visit with the arrival or departure of a ship. I think most of the traffic is container ships. There have been a fair amount of photos posted on that can give you an idea of the kinds of photos you can get -- basically very close to the ships since the river is not that wide.  And there is a park on the beach at the entrance to the river.  The port of Savannah has a web page that can give you an idea of the frequency of ships.  I think it is the main port for both WalMart and Volkswagon but I could be mistaken.

I have met people that say Wilmington, NC is worth a stop but have never been there.

Have never been to Jacksonville - Florida is the only one of the 50 states I have not visited-but the cruise ships are all scheduled so you can easily find out the arrival and departure dates.

My favorite would be Norfolk and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel but that is a little out of the way.
Have fun!  Dave
29  Shipspotters all over the world / Trip reports / Re: visiting alabama on: September 19, 2012, 04:44:27 am
The best place in Alabama would be in the Mobile area.  I have not been there but have looked at maps in detail in anticipation of maybe going there some time.  There appear to be parks along the bay and also on a barrier island off Mobile. Not sure how busy the port is - it probably has a web site.

Pensacola, Fla is right next to Alabama and is worth a visit just for the Naval Aviation Museum and the white quartz sand beaches.  There is some shipping in there but not a whole lot.  Some of the Army bases in Alabama have excellent museums, especially Fort Rucker whch has an Army aviation museum.  Nothing to do with ships but interesting places to visit.

 If you are in north Alabama the steel mills near Birmingham are worth a visit - one of the closed mills is open for tours, etc. I also believe that near Birmingham is an inland port for tugs and barges.

There are some inland waterways in Alabama that have barge and tug traffic if you are interested in that type of thing.  The Alabama River is navigable and has its outlet in Mobile Bay. Same with the Tombigbee River which is to the west of the Alabama River and parallels it to Mobile.

The type of tug you would see would be pushing the barges, as many as a dozen or more, and they are not like the tugboats you would see in a salt water port.  Very different and ranging from large to small.

There is a shipbuilding facility that builds a lot of US Navy vessels in Pasgagoula, Mississippi just west of Mobile and I would also look at Biloxi and Gulfport, Miss. and if you go there you are just a few miles from New Orleans and the Mississippi River.  I was going to go to all of those places on a trip but a very destructive hurricane beat me to it and I have not been able to get down there since.

The Intercoastal Waterway which provides sheltered passage for smaller work boats like tugs and barges, etc parallels the coast through that whole area.

The best port by far would be New Orleans. Very busy. Lots of photos taken there posted on shipspotting and if you look at AIS there are huge numbers of all types of ships and smaller tugs, etc.  You can stay outside the city and commute in to avoid expensive hotels.

Also some distance south of New Orleans is a major port for the boats that service offshore oil producing rigs.  Again, it really shows up on AIS.

You do not want to be in the New Orleans area in Feb. during Madri Gras.  And from May until Sept. the weather is very hot and humid - basically equatorial and not a fun place to be at least by my standards.

I would study Google Earth maps and satellite images and also AIS to get an idea of the traffic at an individual place.  You can get an idea of what motels would cost by looking up places on a website such as Travelocity.  Offseason, smaller places, which might not be listed on a site like Travelocity might have much lower rates.

Right now if I had carte blanche to visit any U.S.port it would be New Orleans and also following the Mississippi south until the roads end and a couple of places along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
30  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: MSC Flaminia is on fire in the middle of the North Atlantic on: July 16, 2012, 04:05:59 am
Thanks for the answer Captain Ted.
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