Friday, June 28, 2013

Coast Guard Members Receive Awards For Tall Ship Bounty Rescue

Elizabeth City Coast Guard members receive awards for tall ship Bounty rescue

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Coast Guard honored 26 crew members Wednesday at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., for their efforts during the tall ship Bounty rescue.

Rear Adm. Steven Ratti presented the Distinguished Flying Cross to Petty Officer 2nd Class Randy Haba and Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Todd, both rescue swimmers at the air station who rescued 14 of the 16 Bounty crew members.

Rear Adm. Steven Ratti, the Coast Guard's 5th District commander, presents a Distinguished Flying Cross medal to Petty Officer 2nd Class Randy Haba, an aviation survival technician at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., at the air station Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Haba is a Stratton, Colo., native and received the award for his efforts in rescuing crew members of the HMS Bounty, which sank during Hurricane Sandy off the coast of North Carolina. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill
The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to members who distinguish themselves by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. The act must have been in the face of great danger and well above normal expectations.

The remainder of the HC-130 Hercules and MH-60 Jayhawk personnel received awards ranging from commendation medals to air medals.



Rear Adm. Steven Ratti, the Coast Guard's 5th District commander, presents awards to an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., at the air station Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The crew received awards for their efforts in rescuing crew members of the tall ship Bounty, which sank during Hurricane Sandy off the coast of North Carolina. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill)

Aircrew members stand at attention during an award presentation held at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The personnel shown each received an award for their efforts during the rescue of crew members from the tall ship Bounty, which sank during Hurricane Sandy off the coast of North Carolina. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill)

Rear Adm. Steven Ratti, the Coast Guard's 5th District commander, presents a Distinguished Flying Cross medal to Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Todd, an aviation survival technician at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., at the air station Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Todd is a Tucson, Ariz., native and received his award for his efforts in rescuing crew members of the HMS Bounty, which sank during Hurricane Sandy off the coast of North Carolina. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill)

"The Mother Ship" The Maine Windjammer Project


"The Mother Ship" by Doug Mills
Victory Chimes "The Mother Ship" under sail on Penobscot Bay.[07-13-2012]



Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Ultimate Tall Ship Photo Safari



The Ultimate Tall Ship Photo Safari
Story and photos By
 Doug Mills
Maritime Editor
RCN America Network

Since I was a little boy I have dreamed of sailing on the Victory Chimes. I would watch her sail in and out of the harbor year after year and dream.
Never give up on your dreams! On July 4th 2011 the Victory Chimes sailed from Rockland, Maine to participate in the Great Schooner Race, the largest annual gathering of tall ships in North America. I  was on board, with my son,that week to host the ultimate tall ship photography cruise.
This this was our chance to see and photograph these tall ships put through their paces at the Great Schooner Race. We got to experience firsthand the romance of sailing these historic ships.

   This was not my first trip out on the “Big Boats”,but it would be my first full week sailing, my first time participating in The Great Schooner Race and my first time leading a photography workshop.
   We boarded the Victory chimes on Sunday after supper and spent the evening getting settled into our cabins and getting to know the rest of the passengers and crew.
Day 1
   We sailed after breakfast with a heavy fog on the bay.  Passing North Haven in the fog we turned up the bay toward Cape Rosier and Castine.  By noon the fog had been replaced by bright sun.  As we sailed into Castine harbor the afternoon sun became clouded by oncoming thunderheads.
   Through the late afternoon the fleet assembled in Smith’s Cove just east of Castine.  What a sight to see all this history anchored in one cove.  Many of these historic boats were over 100 years old!
   Lobster dinner and a spectacular sunset and it is time to turn in.

Day 2
   What an amazing sight, to come up on deck and find the water like glass with the last of the morning fog still clinging to the water and the morning sun bright overhead.
   Today is race day!  This morning all the captains meet on board the Victory Chimes to determine the final course for The Great Schooner Race of 2011.  After breakfast all the boats make sail and head out through Castine harbor toward the starting line.
   The race starts at 11;00 AM in spite of a lack of wind.  The wind did pick up by mid-afternoon with the Mary Day crossing the finish line first.
   The fleet anchored East of Stonington with fireworks and another great sunset to end the day.


Day 3
   After breakfast we sailed into Stonington Harbor in the morning fog.  What an amazing town.  Once a busy port shipping Maine granite all  over the world, now it is a busy fishing village.  The harbor is filled with colorful lobster boats and the shops were like stepping back in time to the 50’s.  Everywhere you turned there was another exciting picture!  By noon we were back on the boat and sailing east.
   Our destination for the night would be Wooden Boat Cove, a place that attracts sailors of wooden boats like honey attracts bears.  This little cove in Brooklin, Maine is the home of The Wooden Boat School and Wooden Boat Magazine.  This is a place that is very close to the heart of the sailing industry, a place almost sacred to those who sail these old wooden boats.
  Thunder showers at sunset set us up for some spectacular photographs to end the day.

12th International Human-Powered Submarine Races (ISR)



12th International Submarine Races to be Held at
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
June 24 – 28, 2013
… Unique Human-Powered Engineering Design Competition…
CARDEROCK, MD. November 27, 2012 –The Foundation for Underwater Research and Education (FURE)
announces that the 12th International Submarine Races (ISR), a biennial engineering design competition, is scheduled to
be held the week of June 22-26, 2013, at NSWC Carderock Division in West Bethesda, Md.
The Foundation supports the ISR during the two-year process to design, build and take part in the human
powered submarine competition. FURE’s objective via the ISR is to raise interest and participation in engineering
education and to increase competence and awareness among ocean engineering students.
This will be the 12th in the series of alternate summer races that test the creative skills of young engineering
students from colleges, universities and technical and high schools from throughout the world. Teams wearing scuba gear
compete in one- and two-person “wet” submarines designed to run submerged along a 100-meter measured course in the
Carderock model basin. The ISR began in Florida in 1989 and has been held here since 1995.
“The Carderock Division is proud to host the 2013 ISR at our David Taylor Model Basin facility,” said Division
Commander Capt. Stefanyshyn-Piper. “We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting event that puts engineering skills
learned in the classroom and in the lab to a practical test. We know all participants will be hard at work on their new
designs, and we all look forward to seeing the innovative approaches they will bring to next year’s competition.”
The purpose of the subraces is to provide an educational opportunity for aspiring young engineers. Their
participation in the design, construction, and operation of a human-powered submarine offers real-time application of
theoretical knowledge, hands-on problem-solving and teambuilding skills. Each year, teams strive to either set new speed
records or bring innovative approaches to propulsion, guidance or other technical requirements of submarine design.
Race organizers install specialized timing equipment in the Carderock model basin to determine the exact speed of each
vehicle. Underwater video and times are displayed on television screens. Prizes are awarded in a number of categories,
including speed, design, best use of composite materials and innovation.
The subrace engineering design competition is an investment in the future of our young people, not only to help
them compete in the global technology economy, but to provide a better trained and experienced resource pool of bright
and industrious students to help industry and the government fill future national needs. The ISR experience increases
their value to potential employers. Studies show that students who can put their classroom skills to practical use fare far
better in the post-college job market.
The 12th ISR principal sponsors include the Electric Boat Corporation, the Oceanic Engineering Society of the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Henry A. “Hap” Perry, the ISR founder. Many in-kind
sponsors also contribute. Additionally, ISR is one of many STEM outreach programs supported by NSWC Carderock
Division which is part of the Naval Sea Systems Command.


Open Call for Art

Open Call for Art


Constellation Gallery, a nonprofit art gallery at 511 Congress Street in Portland Maine invites artists from all over the world to submit art to their "Art Without Borders" show which runs from July 26 to August 26th.  This will be the first show in which non-members of the Maine Artists Collective will be allowed to enter work to be adjudicated into a show.  Gallery hours are Monday to Sunday, noon to 4 pm.

Any kind of art (except for sculptures needing pedestals) is being accepted for this show including painting, photography, digital art, printmaking, collage or assemblage. There is no theme for this show and there is no fee.  Artists may submit up to 10 images as jpgs (1,280 pixels on the longest side at 72 dpi, jpg compression level 8). 

The deadline for images emailed to gallery@constellationart.com is July 1st, 2013. Artists will be notified by July 8th and those included in the show are asked to submit images (1,280 pixels on the longest side at 300 dpi, jpg compression level 8) toanntracy51@gmail.com by July 10th. 

Work must be delivered to the gallery no later than July 22nd.  If art is being mailed or sent via UPS or FedEx,  artists must include return postage in a separate envelope or the work will not be returned.

All work must be ready to hang (no saw tooth hangers please) and marked on the back with the artist's name, title of work, type of work and price.  Constellation Gallery will take a 50% commission on any work that is sold.  Artists will receive their checks by the end of September.

Dates to Remember:

July 1st - Deadline for image submission to 
gallery@constellationart.com

July 8th - Artists notified

July 10th - Accepted artists to send high resolution images (1,280 pixels on the longest side at 300 dpi, jpg compression level 8) to anntracy51@gmail.com

 July 22nd - Deadline for work to be delivered to gallery.

July 26th to August 26th - Exhibition run

August 2nd - Artists reception


Video: Coast Guard Medevacs Man From Fishing Vessel

An Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, attached to the Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, hoists a 43-year-old injured man from the fishing vessel Alaska Juris to conduct a medevac of a fisherman from the vessel June 21, 2013, less than 100 miles southeast of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The Alaska Juris is a 218-foot Seattle-based catcher processor and the Boutwell is a 378-foot Coast Guard cutter from San Diego on patrol in Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Kodiak.




"Racing Home" The Maine Windjammer Project

"Racing Home" By Doug Mills

The American Eagle racing home to Rockland. [06-16-2012]




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hear in the Wild

NEW ORLEANS — Pictured here is a 10-foot alligator found in Charley Pond at Coast Guard Communications Station New Orleans, January 3, 2005. Alligators are one part of wildlife located at the communications station that the unit co-exists with. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Communications Station New Orleans.)
NEW ORLEANS - On the outskirts of New Orleans, one local Coast Guard unit learns to co-exist with wildlife in order to fulfill their mission.

With a crew of 25 and one of the biggest pieces of property the Coast Guard owns, this tight-knit crew maintains the field and takes care of assets worth more than $31 million.

“With a piece of property that is 2,000 acres, it’s a lot to take care of with a small crew,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Walton, a machinery technician at Coast Guard Communication Station New Orleans.

Pictured here is one of the many towers located in the fields of Coast Guard Communications Station New Orleans, June 13, 2013. The unit maintains the receivers and transmitters to preserve a signal used for communication in military and civilian vessels and aircraft. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Vega.)
Communication Station New Orleans serves as the ears of the Gulf Coast. The unit has hundreds of acres full of antennas and satellites. The crew maintains the receivers and transmitters to preserve a signal used for communication in military and civilian vessels and aircraft.

“Every year at Communications Station New Orleans we provide the Gulf with more than 2,000 voice broadcasts, 1,000 weather fax broadcasts, more than 1,500 navigational technology broadcasts as well as 35,000 automated distress system tests and actual distress calls,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Samuel Sasser, a electronics technician at Communication Station New Orleans. “These systems provide communication support for more than 400 Coast Guard operations.”

Pictured here is a close up photo of communication equipment at Coast Guard Communications Station New Orleans, June 13, 2013. The unit maintains the receivers and transmitters to preserve a signal used for communication in military and civilian vessels and aircraft. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Vega.)
With a large mission and a small crew, one of the biggest challenges they face is the nature and wildlife that comes with the large property.

“We have to deal with wildlife and all the debris that comes from trees dying, downed trees, windstorms, all that dams up all the culverts,” said Walton. “That means we have to take a guy and put him in the water with the risk of alligators and snakes and have people watch out for him so they can actually take their shovels and dig out all the canals and ditches.”

The station often confronts drainage issues. They have a canal that has to be maintained from their side of the levee on the property that goes off into an industrial cut to drain off the water that builds up.

“Alligators don't bother us much, but they do get in the drainage ditches, sometimes when the guys are mowing the yards we have alligators walk across the parking lot,” said Walton. “There are also snakes, tons of snakes, any kind of snake Louisiana has is on this property.”

The wildlife at the communication station affects nearly every aspect of their mission from the culverts, the fields and even the roads.

“We got a couple of beavers that like to dam up all our ditches,” said Walton “We can tear down all their dams and two days later they are all back up, so the beavers win each time.”

“These beavers have been building a dam on this road for a couple of months. As soon as it rains for any period of time the dams will cause the roadway to flood.” said Lamb. “That makes it a hazard for us, we need the roadways to reach the different parts of our unit. There isn't much we can do about the beavers. This is their habitat and we are just a part of it.”

Field maintenance for the station is a daunting task to keep up due to Louisiana weather. The unit has more than 750 acres to mow and maintain. Spring showers cause the grass to grow rapidly, which makes it difficult for crews to maintain most of the fields that are below sea level.

“Whenever it rains, even when its dry for two weeks, the fields are still wet, and with the swamp bottoms, we have to wait a long time before we can mow the fields.” said Walton.

The fields are kept mowed to prevent them from affecting the towers and antennas found all over the unit. There are various towers, ruts and waterways that are maintained along with all the mowing that takes place, and the communication station is well prepared with the right equipment to handle the job.

NEW ORLEANS — Pictured here is one of the many towers located in the fields of Coast Guard Communications Station New Orleans, June 13, 2013. The unit maintains the receivers and transmitters to preserve a signal used for communication in military and civilian vessels and aircraft. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Vega.)
“The equipment that we use is tractor-size and the mowing equipment is a lot larger scale than most other Coast Guard units use; our tractors are a lot larger, and our mowing deck is a lot larger,” said Walton. “This is commercial industrial farm equipment that people are using that is pretty technological which requires people to learn and get qualified on to maintain these fields.”

Weather isn't the only factor that affects the fields. The communications station has a large population of wild hogs that love to cause trouble for the unit.

“The hogs in our unit are a hazard to the field and our equipment. They will come out when the fields get wet and dig up the ground looking for bugs and grub or even just to roll around in the mud,” said Seaman Craig Lamb of Communication Station New Orleans. “The hogs that run around the station can root up the guide wires on our antennas and mess up our cable that can cause several thousand dollars in damage and potentially hinder communications in the gulf.”

To deal with the pesky swine, the unit incorporated a hunting policy for all active duty military in the area.

“The hunting program is a good way to maintain the population of those wild hogs. It’s a morale booster at the same time as doing government work,” said Walton “We don't waste any of them either; we will take them and have morale cook off and eat what we harvest off the property.”

Wild hogs aren't the only risk to the towers and field equipment. Hurricanes are a well known risk to the New Orleans area. True to the Coast Guard motto, the communications station is Semper Paratus in a hurricane response.

“During a hurricane response we have a skeleton crew that stays behind to maintain the unit which consists of five people. We maintain the generators to make sure they will be online for the receivers and transmitters to maintain a signal,” said Walton. “If it does come to a point to where it is unmanageable to stay, the skeleton crew will evacuate and we will make sure all the generators are online ensuring power is transferred over so those towers can maintain their signal.”

The station can keep a two-week cycle to keep a signal out, pending any damage to any equipment or towers being down on the storm without the crew even being on the facility. They also play an important part in keeping the public informed of dangerous weather conditions.

“We have broadcasts for Coast Guard and civilian vessels as well as aircraft on the Mississippi River and throughout the Gulf. We send out weather broadcasts, navigation notices, and emergency notices to mariners so that any vessels can get out of the storms way and get to safety,” said Sasser. “In addition to radio broadcast, we have a digital selective calling system which is automated distress system located on vessels out on the Gulf, if any of them should go down, this system lets us know who and where they are,” said Sasser.

NEW ORLEANS - Pictured here is Charley Pond located in Coast Guard Communication Station New Orleans June 13, 2013. Alligators are one part of the wildlife located at the communications station that the unit co-exists with. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Vega.)L
Whether it’s wildlife or the forces of nature, they are yet another example of how the Coast Guard does more with less. Communications Station New Orleans provides excellent and vital service behind the scenes.

Where snakes and sticks outnumber cellphone signals, Communication Station New Orleans’ transmissions are clear.

Their service and vigilance is the answer to the question - is anyone out there?


Coast Guard responds to boat fire in Delaware Bay


CAPE MAY, N.J. — The Coast Guard responded to a vessel fire aboard an 80-foot yacht Tuesday in the Delaware Bay.

A fire broke out in the engine room of the Different Drummer II, while the crew was transiting from Annapolis, Md., to Boston.

The Different Drummer II had three adults aboard who were alerted to the engine room fire while they were transiting near the The Miah Maull Shoal Light, a lighthouse on the north side of the ship channel in Delaware Bay, southwest of the mouth of the Maurice River. They discovered black smoke in the engine room and engaged the boat's onboard halon fire fighting system, which left the yacht disabled and drifting into the main shipping channel.

The Coast Guard was notified of the incident at 1:55 p.m.

A 25-foot boat crew from Coast Guard Station Small Fortesque arrived on scene at 2:20 p.m., and a 45-foot boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cape May arrived on scene at 2:30 p.m.

The crew aboard the 45-foot Response Boat—Medium (RB—M) took the 100-gross-ton Different Drummer II in a stern tow, pulling it eight miles for more than two-and-a-half hours before transferring the duty to TowBoat U.S.

The Different Drummer II is homeported in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Station Cape May operates one of the Coast Guard's newest small boats that boasts an improved design, new ergonomics, and enhanced safety features, making boat crews more effective in performing their multiple missions. The RB-M is part of the Coast Guard’s plan to standardize and revitalize its shore-based boat fleet.


"Summertime Fog" The Maine Windjammer Project


"Summertime Fog" By Doug Mills


Schooners Heritage and Summertime in a summertime fog at North End Shipyard in Rockland Maine. [07-11-2010]





Monday, June 24, 2013

Atlantic Canada 7 Day Forecast

Atlantic Canada 7 Day Forecast

Today, 24 June
A mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of showers or thundershowers late this afternoon. Wind southwest 20 km/h. High 25. UV index 8 or very high.
Tonight, 24 June
Partly cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers or thundershowers this evening and after midnight. Fog patches developing this evening. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 18.

Tuesday, 25 June
A mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of showers or thundershowers late in the afternoon and in the evening. Fog patches dissipating in the morning. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h early in the evening. High 28 except 23 along the Strait.

Wednesday, 26 June
Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Low 15. High 21.

Thursday, 27 June
Cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Low 12. High 16.

Friday, 28 June
Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Low 12. High 21.

Saturday, 29 June
Cloudy. Low 14. High 21.

Sunday, 30 June
Cloudy. Low 17. High 23


"Racing The Wind" The Maine Windjammer Project


"Racing The Wind" By Doug Mills
The schooner Heritage racing the wind in Penobscot Bay off Rockland Maine. [07-13-2012]