Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rio time-lapse

from ScientiFantastic

In this compilation video, most of the locations are within the city of Rio De Janeiro, but also the famous Iguazú Falls on the border of the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentinian province of Misiones.
In 2011 Iguazú Falls was announced as one of the seven winners of the New Seven Wonders of Nature by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation.

 >>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

No wonder the beautiful city of Rio De Janeiro was chosen to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper.
Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", identified by UNESCO in the category Cultural Landscape.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova, balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon.
Some of the most famous landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer ("Cristo Redentor") atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its cable car.

Friday, September 6, 2013

First view inside of a ship in Google Street View

A $60 million research ship funded by a Google executive (Eric Schmidt) R/V Falkor which set sail from San Francisco last month to study a "dead zone" in the Pacific Ocean and other mysteries of the sea.

 Falkor ship docking at the Exploratorium pier
>>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

The 272-foot vessel, Falkor, carries an unmanned submarine that will travel deep into the ocean off Vancouver Island to study an area where sea life dies each year from a periodic lack of oxygen, called hypoxia.
Researchers speculate that the cause may be a changing climate or caustic runoff like sewage from land.

The Falkor is funded by the Schmidt Ocean Science Institute, which was co-founded by Google executive Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy. (see Forbes)
After stopping to study the dead zone, the ship named for a flying creature in the movie "The NeverEnding Story" will move on to study a submarine volcano, the Axial Seamount, about 300 miles west of Oregon.
A microbiologist will study the tiny organisms living for millions of years inside fissures in the volcanic rock, and another scientist will study viruses that have adapted to the unique habitat.

And scientists working aboard the Falkor are treated to amenities not found on the usual research ship: a sauna and down-filled bunks among them, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
"It may not be needed up here," Victor Zykov, the institute's director of research, told the newspaper about the sauna.
"But when we're up in cold Canadian waters, the scientists and crew will surely appreciate it after a long day on deck."

Waiting this program, the Google Oceans team has launched the projet to collect indoor StreetView inside the ship in a prove of concept way to show the Business Photos possibilities for photographers, agencies and business owners.

Falkor located right off the pier at the SF Exploratorium

Now with over 300 panos on 9 different levels, this is the most complicated Google indoor Street View collect to date.

Research Vessel Highlights

Jump to any of these to begin exploring :
click on the different pictures to play with the panoramic 360° pictures.

Google team also captured wet and dry labs, quarters, tool sheds, galley, kitchens, gym, library, networking, decks and lounges, towers and a few staff Easter eggs for fun...

Control Room : geophysical watch standing room containing multi-beam sonar processing, ROV controls, general ship operations etc. Google team rebooted a Windows blue screened before we took the shots so Eric Schmidt would not get slack for it later

Engine Room : the cleanest engine room most have ever witnessed. All in Google colors too!

Bridge : bonus points if you know the function of the circles on the front windshields.
Remember you can zoom into areas / control boards on street view to get a better view.

Sauna & Lounges : after over 6 years as an employee, it really does look like what one would expect Google on a boat to be. 

Helideck : the ominous dramatic clouds later cleared from the tower, but we think it looks awesome this way. Look for the Oracle America’s Cup catamaran in the bay.

Crows nest : to capture the views from the very top, we turned off the radar due to higher levels of radiation in the hopes of me one day having children and taking advantage of Google's great parental benefits and daycare services.
The view includes the Bay Bridge, financial district skyline, Exploratorium's solar grid, Coit Tower, and a smattering of navigation and data collection devices (GPS, Inmarsat C...)

By the way, the Google Ocean team announces GME terrain launch with cooler views in 3D in parnership with the SOI's multibeam sonar bathymetry data during their recent KT Boundary expedition last March 2013 to map the asteroid that ended the Cretaceous period (65 million years ago) hitting Earth in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, forming what is today called the Chicxulub impact crater.

 see with Google Maps Engine

Links :

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Is the ocean the real final frontier?

White flocculent mats in and around the extremely gassy, high-temperature (>100°C, 212°F) white smokers at Champagne Vent, Northwest Eifuku volcano, Marianas Trench Marine
(NOAA 2004)

From Slate & Future Tense (by Katherine Mangu-Ward)

The sea is the underdog, but it has some advantages over space.
We’ve been to the moon and just about everywhere on Earth.
So what’s left to discover?
In September, Future Tense is publishing a series of articles in response to the question, “Is exploration dead?”
Read more about modern-day exploration of the sea, space, land, and more unexpected areas.

We shall not cease from exploration and the end of our exploring shall be to return where we started and know the place for the first time.
That tidbit of T.S. Eliot is stolen from Graham Hawkes, a submarine designer who really, really loves the ocean.
Hawkes is famous for hollering, “Your rockets are pointed in the wrong goddamn direction!” at anyone who suggests that space is the Final Frontier.
The deep sea, he contends, is where we should be headed: The unexplored oceans hold mysteries more compelling, environments more challenging, and life-forms more bizarre than anything the vacuum of space has to offer.
Plus, it’s cheaper to go down than up.

Graham Hawkes: Fly the seas on a submarine with wings (2008)
Graham Hawkes takes us aboard his graceful, winged submarines to the depths of planet Ocean (a.k.a. "Earth"). It's a deep blue world we landlubbers rarely see in 3D.

Is Hawkes right? Should we all be crawling back into the seas from which we came?
Ocean exploration is certainly the underdog, so to speak, in the sea vs. space face-off.
There’s no doubt that the general public considers space the sexier realm.

James Cameron teams up with NASA scientists to explore the Mid-Ocean Ridge, a submerged chain of mountains that band the Earth and are home to some of the planet's most unique life forms.

The occasional James Cameron joint aside, there’s much more cultural celebration of space travel, exploration, and colonization than there is of equivalent underwater adventures.
In a celebrity death match between Captain Kirk and Jacques Cousteau, Kirk is going to kick butt every time.

In fact, the rivalry can feel a bit lopsided—the chess club may consider the football program a competitor for funds and attention, but the jocks aren’t losing much sleep over the price of pawns and cheerleaders rarely turn out for chess tournaments.
But somehow the debate rages on in dorm rooms, congressional committee rooms, and Internet chat rooms.

Damp ocean boosters often aim to borrow from the rocket-fueled glamour of space.
Submersible entrepreneur Marin Beck talks a big game when he says, “We can go to Mars, but the deep ocean really is our final frontier,” but he giggles when a reporter calls him the “Elon Musk of the deep sea,” an allusion to the founder of the for-profit company Space X who is rumored to be the real-life model for Iron Man’s Tony Stark.

Even Hawkes admits that he “grew up dreaming of aircraft”—though he means planes, not spaceships—but “then I got to look at this subsea stuff and I saw this is where aviation was all those years ago. The whole field was completely backwards, and that’s why I jumped in.”

 Mariana Trench reaches a maximum-known depth of 10,911 m (36,069 feet)
At this depth (the deepest point on earth), the pressure is more than 8 tons per square inch, 
or the equivalent of an average-sized woman holding up 48 jumbo jets.
>>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

While many of the technologies for space and sky are the similar, right down to the goofy suits with bubble heads—the main difference is that in space, you’re looking to keep pressure inside your vehicle and underwater you’re looking to keep pressure out—there’s often a sense that that sea and space are competitors rather than compadres.

They needn’t be, says Guillermo Söhnlein, a man who straddles both realms.
Söhnlein is a serial space entrepreneur and the founder of the Space Angels Network.
The network funds startups aimed for the stars, but his most recent venture is Blue Marble Exploration, which organizes expeditions in manned submersibles to exotic underwater locales.

As usual, the fight probably comes down to money.
The typical American believes that NASA is eating up a significant portion of the federal budget (one 2007 poll found that respondents pinned that figure at one-quarter of the federal budget), but the space agency is actually nibbling at a Jenny Craig–sized portion of the pie.
At about $17 billion, government-funded space exploration accounts for about 0.5 percent of the federal budget.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—NASA’s soggy counterpart—gets much less, a bit more than $5 billion for a portfolio that, as the name suggests, is more diverse.

But the way Söhnlein tells the story, this zero sum mind-set is the result of a relatively recent historical quirk: For most of the history of human exploration, private funding was the order of the day.
Even some of the most famous examples of state-backed exploration—Christopher Columbus’ long petitioning of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, for instance, or Sir Edmund Hillary’s quest to climb to the top of Everest—were actually funded primarily by private investors or nonprofits.

But that changed with the Cold War, when the race to the moon was fueled by government money and gushers of defense spending wound up channeled into submarine development and other oceangoing tech.

“That does lead to an either/or mentality. That federal money is taxpayer money which has to be accounted for, and it is a finite pool that you have to draw from against competing needs, against health care, science, welfare,” says Söhnlein.
“In the last 10 to 15 years, we are seeing a renaissance of private finding of exploration ventures. On the space side we call it New Space, on the ocean side we have similar ventures.”
And the austerity of the current moment doesn’t hurt.
“The private sector is stepping up as public falls down. We’re really returning to the way it always was.”

And when it’s private dough, the whole thing stops being a competition.
Instead, it depends on what individuals with deep pockets are pumped about—or what makes for a good sell on a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter.

Looking for alien life forms?
You probably think you’re a natural space nerd, but you’re wrong.
If the eternal popularity of “Is There Life on Mars?” stories is any indication, an awful lot of people are just hoping for some company. We really have no idea what’s hanging out at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, but there are solid reasons to think the prospects for biological novelty (and perhaps even companionship for humanity) are better down there than they are in Mars’ Valles Marineris.

Want a fallback plan for when that final environmental catastrophe occurs?
Underwater or floating habitats may offer fewer challenges than space colonies if you’re looking to quickly build a self-sustaining place to live when things cool down, warm up, dry out, or otherwise return to fitness for human habitation.

If you’re just looking for wide open spaces, the vastness of space may ultimately prove your final frontier, but Söhnlein has a very human take on the question: “For myself,” he says, “I’d probably go with the oceans. Humanity has millennia to explore the cosmos. But I have only decades or—depending on who you believe—centuries. And there’s plenty to discover down there to fill my lifetime.”

Links :

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wine Island may be wiped off map

Wine island shown after Hurricane Isaac

From Houmatoday

Terrebonne's Wine Island may soon be wiped off the map.

 Wine island shown before Hurricane Isaac
In Terrebonne Parish, there are two excellent, successful examples of how barrier islands can be reconstructed or can be stabilized (for a period of time!) via leveeing techniques.
Wine Island (formerly called Vine Island) was located near the mouth of the Houma Navigation Canal.
The Parish implemented a plan whereby a ring of stones was placed where Wine Island used to be and dredge material was placed inside.

Hurricane Isaac in 2012 took what little remained of the barrier island and swept the sandy shoal that remained outside the ring of rocks built to protect it.

>>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

NOAA chart #11355 new edition 30
Removal of Wine Island and modified oil well platforms in vicinity.
Deconflicted numerous Bridge, OVERHD Cable and pipeline area labels to improve legibility in and around Houma.
Numerous NTM corrections.

Tim Osborn, regional manager of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey, said the agency is moving swiftly to update its nautical charts because what remains is a serious hazard to boaters.

Rocks were put around the island decades ago to stem erosion, but Hurricane Isaac proved to be the island's downfall.
The shoal that remains has migrated outside the rock barrier.
“No one has any buoys or lights marking the area, so if you're moving into the area to do some fishing, that ring of rocks just at the waterline poses a major hazard,” Osborn said.

With no immediate plans by the parish or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore the island, Wine Island's name could also be stripped from nautical charts.
“It has ceased to be an island,” Osborn said.
Wine Island's degradation reflects a larger change across the coastal Louisiana landscape, Osborn said, and the loss of important coastal habitats that may not be reclaimed.

Earlier this year, the office remapped Plaquemines Parish's coastline, removing 31 place names, after finding that many of the lakes, bays, bayous and passes that once existed no longer have the defining features required to be included on the map.
The barrier island didn't just provide hurricane protection.
Wine Island was an important nesting habitat for thousands of birds.

“Wine Island is the poster child for the multiple uses of our barrier islands,” Terrebonne Coastal Restoration Director Nic Matherne said.
“The island provides us with storm protection, but before people were here we had wildlife, and the birds that use these islands regularly.”

 Wine Island - Before Gustav
Wine Island, a barrier island off the Terrebonne Parish coast, in 2007.

Wine Island, off the Terrebonne Parish coast, has vanished after Hurricane Gustav.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

During the 2008 season, 11,000 pairs of birds nested on the island.
Nesting birds prefer islands that are small and remote because they can't support larger predators that could disturb the eggs or eat the young, said Kerry St. Pé, director of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program.
Nearby Raccoon Island still hosts the largest colony of brown pelicans in Louisiana.

St. Pé said that scientists from the estuary program recently travelled to Wine Island to evaluate it for possible future plantings or restoration projects.
“We were asked to go look at it, and there was just nothing left,” he said.
“We elected not to reestablish any vegetation because the island was too far gone.”
For many years, Terrebonne was committed to restoring the island, St. Pé said.
“Wine Island has a long history of being protected and restored by Terrebonne Parish,” St. Pé said. “In the early years Terrebonne really took an interest in Wine Island, and the island was ringed with rocks.”
Dirt dredged from the Houma Navigation Canal has been used at least four times to bolster the island since 1991.
But recent storms took their toll.
Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 reduced the island to almost nothing, and its plant life was wiped out. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers then opted not to include Wine Island in its plan to restore Terrebonne's barrier islands.
Scientists deemed the island unsustainable.
Hurricane Isaac then washed away the remains.

An aerial view of Wine Island in the Gulf of Mexico, shows it dotted with thousands of seabirds, which mate and nest on the tiny spit of land.
Coast Guard observers conduct multiple daily overflights of sensitive sites like these to ensure that booms are correctly placed to protect them from contamination by oil from the BP spill.
photo : Isaac Pacheco

It's not just Wine Island. All of Terrebonne's barrier islands are undergoing severe erosion, including the Isles Dernieres and Timbalier islands, Matherne said.
Terrebonne is building a levee system to provide it with storm protection, but the ecosystem outside that levee protection provides vital support to wildlife as well as protection, he added.
Matherne said that help is coming for Terrebonne's barrier islands.
Earlier this year, a plan was announced to spend $340 million in early restoration dollars from BP oil spill fines on barrier islands in Louisiana, including a $110 million project to restore beaches, dunes and back-barrier marshes on Whiskey Island.
The rest of the parish's islands are also in the state's plans for post-spill restoration, Matherne said.

But St. Pé said that you can't just restore the islands.
You have to also restore land inside the system.
Less land inside the system means the islands are subject to a greater volume of water that must drain past each day, which translates into increased erosive forces.
In addition, barrier island work is more expensive because you have to haul equipment and dredging material from far away.
But St. Pé said rebuilding smaller islands preferred by birds as nesting habitat is just important.
He suggested piggybacking dredging projects to build smaller islands on top of larger projects.
The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is aiming to rebuild some of these smaller islands in Plaquemines Parish.

Links :
  • HoumaToday : Terrebonne barrier island disappears after Gustav (2008)

Diana Nyad completes Cuba to Florida swim at age 64

CNN's Sanjay Gupta talks with 64-year-old Diana Nyad about her record breaking swim
from Cuba to Florida : an intrepid swimmer and an inspiring can-do spirit !

From Huffington Post

Looking dazed and sunburned, U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad walked on to the shore Monday, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage.

 >>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<
"In the 70s, I gathered all the nautical charts of the warm waters of the Earth.
Then I remembered the very moment my eyes gazed on Cuba," she said.

Length of real track : about 110 Nm

Nyad swam up to the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her journey in Havana on Saturday.

 United States endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is greeted by a crowd as she walks on to the Key West, Fla., shore Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. Nyad arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday.
(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

As she approached, spectators waded into waist-high water and surrounded her, taking pictures and cheering her on.

"I have three messages. One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you're never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team," she said on the beach.

"I have to say, I'm a little bit out of it right now," Nyad said.
She gestured toward her swollen lips, and simply said "seawater."

U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, adjusts her goggles before jumps into the water and start her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, Saturday.

Her team said she had been slurring her words while she was out in the water.
She was on a stretcher on the beach and received an IV before she was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
"I just wanted to get out of the sun," she said.

It was Nyad's fifth try to complete the approximately 110-mile swim.
She tried three times in 2011 and 2012.
Her first attempt was in 1978.

"It's historic, marvelous," said Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich, the Hemingway Marina commodore who helped organize the Cuba side of Nyad's multiple attempts.
"I always thought she could do it given her internal energy, her mental and physical strength, her will of iron," said Diaz Escrich, whom Nyad has described as a longtime friend.
"More than the athletic feat, she wants to send a message of peace, love, friendship and happiness ... between the people of the United States and Cuba," he said.

Her last try was cut short amid boat trouble, storms, unfavorable currents and jellyfish stings that left her face puffy and swollen.
This time, she wore a full bodysuit, gloves, booties and a mask at night, when jellyfish rise to the surface.
The new silicone mask caused bruises inside her mouth, making it difficult for her to talk, she told her team when she was about 2 miles from land.
Doctors traveling with Nyad were worried about her slurred speech and her breathing, but they didn't intervene, according to Nyad's website.

Nyad's journey began Saturday morning when she jumped from the seawall of the Hemingway Marina into the warm waters off Havana.
She stopped from time to time for nourishment, but she never left the water.

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad, positioned about two miles off Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, swims towards the completion of her approximately 110-mile trek from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Nyad, 64, is poised to be the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage.
(AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

The support team accompanying her had equipment that generated a faint electrical field around her, which was designed to keep sharks at bay.
A boat also dragged a line in the water to help keep her on course.

Sumaya Haddin, of Miami, had been tracking Nyad's swim before her family's trip to Key West this weekend.
She was surprised to see Nyad's flotilla from a parasail off Smather's Beach on Monday morning.
She thought Nyad wasn't due for another day.
"You couldn't see her, you could just see the boats. It was very exciting," she said.

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Diana Nyad, positioned about two miles off Key West, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, swims towards the completion of her approximately 110-mile trek from Cuba to the Florida Keys.
Nyad, 64, is poised to be the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without the security of a shark cage.
(AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

Haddin said Nyad still had her fighting spirit when she got to the beach.
"Getting into the ambulance, she had her peace sign up, her fist up. She was still fired up."

Australian Susie Maroney successfully swam the Strait in 1997 with a shark cage, which besides protection from the predators, has a drafting effect that pulls a swimmer along.
In 2012, Australian Penny Palfrey swam 79 miles toward Florida without a cage before strong currents forced her to abandon the attempt.
This June, her countrywoman Chloe McCardel made it 11 hours and 14 miles before jellyfish stings ended her bid.
In 1978, Walter Poenisch, an Ohio baker, claimed to have made the swim using flippers and a snorkel.
Critics say there was insufficient independent documentation to verify his claim.

Nyad first came to national attention in 1975 when she swam the 28 miles around the island of Manhattan in just under eight hours. In 1979 she swam the 102 miles from North Bimini, Bahamas, to Juno Beach, Fla., in 27.5 hours.
Nyad is also an author of three books, a motivational speaker and has been a reporter and commentator for NPR.

Links :
  • GeoGarage blog : Swimming from Cuba to Key West without leaving the water

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

NOAA publishes updated Cobscook Bay area chart

 >>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<


Northern Maine fishing vessels will be able to navigate more safely around the dangerous Cobscook Bay beginning this month with the publication by NOAA of a new edition of the area’s nautical chart.
The chart includes a new detailed illustration ‒ called a "chart inset" ‒ of the waters around Falls Island, providing safer passage for mariners who transit those waters.

While NOAA cartographers had updated Chart 13394 (“Grand Manan Channel”) over the past several years, using depth measurements and obstruction locations acquired during a major hydrographic survey in 2010, a new inset was needed specifically for Falls Island.

The Falls Island inset on Chart 13394 depicts new depth soundings and updated shoreline

“Larger, more detailed scale coverage depicting updated hydrography helps mitigate the dangers inherent to navigation in dangerous areas,” explains Cmdr. Shep Smith, chief of NOAA Office of Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division.
“This new inset provides even more detail for these waters west of Cobscook Bay, where fishing vessels contend with one of the earth’s highest tidal ranges, powerful currents, and treacherous conditions.”

The inset hydrographic data was acquired by a NOAA Coast Survey navigation response team who conducted a full bottom survey in the Bay from June to October 2010, at the request of the area fishing community and U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

The inset also has updated shoreline depictions, acquired by aerial photography from NOAA National Geodetic Survey’s Remote Sensing Division in 2011.

The new inset, called “Falls Island,” is created on a 1:20,000 scale and shows a significant amount of detail. Chart 13394, Grand Manan Channel (Northern Part), was first published in 1992.
Prior nautical charts of Cobscook Bay go back to the 19th century, when the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, NOAA’s predecessor organization, first began its survey of Maine in 1863 and published the nautical chart Eastport to Moose Cove in 1893.

Polish captain ran his ship aground as he tried to sail from Scotland to Belgium - because he FORGOT that England was in the way

Inside Out looks at how a modern cargo ship ploughed into the Farne Islands right next to an operational lighthouse.
The MV Danio got caught on rocks on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast on 16 March, 2013.
Investigators looking into what caused the cargo ship to run aground have discovered a member of crew on watch "fell asleep".
Owner of the vessel, Frank Dahl, said the incident was down to "human" error.

From DailyMail

  • MV Danio cargo ship hit Farne Island, off the Northumberland coast
  • Farne Island nature reserve is home to 80,000 pairs of seabirds and a large grey seal colony
  • Captain had been sailing from Perth, Scotland, to Antwerp, Belgium
  • Coastguard claims captain forgot land juts out into the sea and was using unapproved navigation system similar to a car's Sat Nav
  • Lookout on ship was asleep when the vessel hit land, documentary claims
A polish captain ran his massive ship aground off the British coast after plotting a straight line from Scotland to Belgium - forgetting that England was in the way, it is claimed.

Prat Nav: The ship's captain headed in a straight line from Perth, Scotland, to Antwerp, Belgium, forgetting England was in his way
“Well, OK, we’re sailing from Perth and we’re going to Antwerp and we’ll draw a line and we’ll go the quickest way possible”.’

Blundering Tadeusz Dudek had been using an unapproved GPS device to navigate - similar to a car's Sat Nav, an investigation revealed.

>>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

Danio grounded on the north side of Blue Caps

And the lookout on board the 80 metre-long MV Danio cargo ship was asleep when time the enormous vessel crashed into Farne Islands, off the North-East coast, last March.
The disaster at the Farne Island nature reserve, in Northumberland, sparked fears at the time it would break up and its 27 tonnes of diesel fuel and 1,500 tonnes of timber would decimate the wildlife for decades.

Coastguard surveyor Alan Thompson told a BBC Inside Out documentary: 'They basically said "well OK we're sailing from Perth and we're going to Antwerp and we'll draw a line and we'll go the quickest way possible", without really thinking.'
Following the accident coastguard surveyor, Alan Thompson, detained the vessel at Blyth port.
He said from the evidence they looked at there was a serious failing of the ship's safety management system.
He says: 'He was using an unapproved electronic chart plotter, which is basically a bit like your GPS for the car.'
Mr Thompson says from the time the Danio left Perth to the time it went to ground, there were two positions on the chart.
He said: 'They basically said 'well OK we're sailing from Perth and we're going to Antwerp and we'll draw a line and we'll go the quickest way possible,' without really thinking.'

 Disaster: The stricken MV Danio sitting on a mud bank on Farne Island after its captain did not realise he was approaching land

Usually a bridge look-out should still have spotted the Farne Islands and its flashing lighthouse.
Mr Thompson added: 'If he's fallen asleep it will alarm in the captain's cabin and if the captain doesn't acknowledge it, it will ring everywhere.
'Now the Danio did have a very basic bridge watch alarm, but it was switched off.'

Danio on Farne Islands (Photo Seahouses RNLI)

But the German owner of the Danio, Frank Dahl, tells the BBC in Poland - where the vessel is being repaired - stresses it was his company policy to use it and he blames the Captain and the First Mate for the accident.
He tells the programme: 'The technique is perfect, it's the humans that make mistakes'.
He subsequently fired Captain Tadeusz Dudek, and the first mate.

Captain Dudek via telephone then tells the BBC in broken English about whether the first mate did fall asleep and Captain Dudek replies: 'It is what he told in his statement and it looks like it is true.'
And he admits that if he had used the alarm system the accident could have been prevented, adding: 'Yes but I forgot. For sure this would not happen (if the alarm had been used).'

Blunder: Captain Tadeusz Dudek's ship hit Farne Island, which is home to 80,000 pairs of seabirds and a large grey seal colony

Eventually the ship was floated away but new research shows the captain was trying to sail a straight line from Scotland to Anterp, in Belgium - and forgot about England's jutting-out coastline in the middle.
Built in 2001, the ship was sailing six months ago with a cargo of timber but just six crew.

When it ran aground, a lifeboat was scrambled to the scene from Seahouses and as the weather worsened and the drama unfolded, wildlife wardens on the Farnes feared an environmental disaster.
The islands are home to about 80,000 pairs of seabirds and a large grey seal colony.

Warning: A lighthouse on Farne Island warns approaching ship of the dangers in the seas nearby

National Trust Ranger, David Steel, says: 'To have a boat like that run aground and obviously if it had started breaking up with fuel oil and the likes spilling into the sea, it would have been devastating.'
Inside Out also reveals that 95 per cent of Britain's freight is shifted by sea and last year a third of all ships detained for serious breaches were found in the North East.
However British authorities have still to decide whether to bring criminal charges in the case of the Danio.

Links :
  • BBC : Farne Islands stranded ship: MV Danio's crew 'fell asleep' 
  • BBC : Danio's officer was asleep on duty as ship ran aground

Monday, September 2, 2013

US NOAA update in the Marine GeoGarage

34 charts have been updated in the Marine GeoGarage
(NOAA update June-July-August 2013)

  • 11355 ed28 Intracoastal Waterway Catahoula Bay to Wax Lake Outlet including the Houma Navigation canal
  • 11409 ed43 Anclote Keys to Crystal River
  • 12251 ed32 James River Jamestown Island to Jordan Point
  • 12346 ed13 Hudson River Yonkers to Piermont
  • 12372 ed11 FOLIO SMALL-CRAFT CHART Long Island Sound-Watch Hill to New Haven Harbor
  • 13217 ed68 Block Island
  • 13278 ed3 Portsmouth to Cape Ann; Hampton Harbor
  • 13394 ed30 Grand Manan Channel Northern Part (Metric);North Head and Flagg Cove
  • 11434 ed39 Florida Keys Sombrero Key to Dry Tortugas
  • 11447 ed40 Key West Harbor
  • 12208 ed77 Approaches to Chesapeake Bay
  • 12210 ed22 Chincoteague Inlet to Great Machipongo Inlet;Chincoteague Inlet
  • 13213 ed19 New London Harbor and vicinity;Bailey Point to Smith Cove
  • 13218 ed10 Martha's Vineyard to Block Island
  • 13325 ed12 Quaddy Narrows to Petit Manan lsland
  • 18720 ed39 Point Dume to Purisma Point
  • 18740 ed65 San Diego to Santa Rosa Island
  • 25677 ed45 South Coast of Puerto Rico Guanica Light to Punta Tuna Light;Las Mareas
  • 11324 ed68 Galveston Bay Entrance Galveston and Texas City Harbors
  • 11356 ed32 Isles Dernieres to Point au Fer
  • 11412 ed11 Tampa Bay and St. Joseph Sound
  • 11428 ed24 Okeechobee Waterway St. Lucie Inlet to Fort Myers; Lake Okeechobee
  • 11542 ed14 New River;Jacksonville
  • 12326 ed42 Approaches to New York Fire lsland Light to Sea Girt
  • 12332 ed12 Raritan River Raritan Bay to New Brunswick
  • 12368 ed23 North Shore of Long Island Sound Sherwood Point to Stamford Harbor
  • 13223 ed1 Narragansett Bay. Including Newport Harbor
  • 13229 ed6 FOLIO SMALL-CRAFT CHART South Coast of Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay
  • 13287 ed51 Saco Bay and Vicinity
  • 13298 ed24 Kennebec River Bath to Courthouse Point
  • 18649 ed26 Entrance to San Francisco Bay
  • 18724 ed28 Port Hueneme And Approaches;Port Hueneme
  • 18725 ed32 Port Hueneme to Santa Barbara;Santa Barbara;Channel Islands Harbor and Port Hueneme;Ventura
  • 18746 ed77 San Pedro Channel;Dana Point Harbor
Today 1024 NOAA raster charts (2166 including sub-charts) are included in the Marine GeoGarage viewer.

How do you know if you need a new nautical chart?
NOAA chart dates of recent Print on Demand editions
See the changes in new chart editions

  • 11355 ed30 Removal of Wine Island and modified oil well platforms in vicinity. Deconflicted numerous Bridge, OVERHD Cable and pipeline area labels to improve legibility in and around Houma. Numerous NTM corrections.
  • 11409 ed30 Numerous NM corrections and new shoreline and age. Updates to the Channel limits and shoreline in the approach to Hernando Beach.
  • 12251 ed24 New channel framework for James River.
  • 12346 ed12 New hydrography near Yonkers. New No Dishcarge Zone. New Regulated Navigation Area. Anchorage Area limits revised near Yonkers, Hastings-on-Hudson and Greystone Station.
  • 12372 ed36 New shoreline for Faulkner and Goose Islands and Port of New London. New hydrography south of Fishers Island and Watch Hill. No Discharge Zone limits revised.
  • 13217 ed17 New shoreline for Block Island.
  • 13278 ed28 New hydrography offshore of Seal Head Point. New shoreline for Portsmouth Harbor and Isle of Shoals. New channel framework for Newburyport Harbor. Revised No Dishcarge Zone limits.
  • 13394 ed5 New inset for Falls Island. New shoreline in the vicinity of Falls Island.
  • 11434 ed29 Numerous new hydro surveys affecting Keys reflected in this edition.
  • 11447 ed38 New hydro in Key West
  • 12208 ed16 New hydrography offshore of Sandbridge Beach and Cape Henry
  • 12210 ed39 New extension at Chincoteague Bridge. New Hydrography offshore of Parramore Island north to Assateague Island.
  • 13213 ed43 New hydrography in Thames River north of Bailey Point to Smith Cove. New shoreline for Port of New London. Revised No Dishcage Zone limits.
  • 13218 ed42 New hydrography added along east coast of Block Island and offshore of Newport Neck. New shoreline for Block Island. Traffic Separation Scheme Precaution Area slightly modified. No Discharge Zone limits revised. Ferry route added between Point Judith and Block Island.
  • 13325 ed16 Revised Maritime Boundary Limits
  • 18720 ed34 Includes new positions for Traffic Separation Scheme. Also includes numerous NTM corrections.
  • 18740 ed44 Includes new positions for Traffic Separation Scheme. Also includes numerous NTM corrections.
  • 25677 ed22 New hydrographic data, new shoreline on 70% of the chart. New pilot boarding area.
  • 11324 ed38 New shoreline including changes to the Port Bolivar Ferry Terminal and slips, New hydrography
  • 11356 ed40 Numerous changes to the hydrography throughout the chart.
  • 11412 ed46 Significant shoreline changes and new hydrography
  • 11428 ed36 Numerous NTM corrections.
  • 11542 ed18
  • 12326 ed52
  • 12332 ed24 New channel framework for Ward Point Bend reach. Numerous Notice To Mariner corrections.
  • 12368 ed28
  • 13223 ed43 New hydrography for Rhode Island Sound and East Passage.
  • 13229 ed32 New hydrography in Chatham Harbor and the North Channel in the vicinity of Bishop and Clerks rocks. Revised Maritime Boundary Limits. Numerous Notice To Mariner corrections.
  • 13287 ed13 New shoreline for Cape Elizabeth and Richmond Island.
  • 13298 ed11 New Restricted Area around Bath Iron Works.
  • 18649 ed68 Includes complete hydrographic update for charted area of Pacific Ocean, and significant portions within San Francisco Bay. Also includes numerous NTM corrections.
  • 18724 ed3 Includes new positions for Traffic Separation Scheme. Also includes numerous NTM corrections.
  • 18725 ed30
  • 18746 ed39 Includes new positions for Traffic Separation Scheme. Also includes numerous NTM corrections.

  • Note : NOAA updates their nautical charts with corrections published in:
    • U.S. Coast Guard Local Notices to Mariners (LNMs),
    • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Notices to Mariners (NMs), and
    • Canadian Coast Guard Notices to Mariners (CNMs)
    While information provided by this Web site is intended to provide updated nautical charts, it must not be used as a substitute for the United States Coast Guard, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or Canadian Coast Guard Notice to Mariner publications

    Please visit the
    NOAA's chart update service for more info.

    The problem with the Chagos Islands

    Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia BIOT, Chagos Archipelago
    This joint U.S. and U.K. operation is situated on a tiny atoll about 1000 miles from India and tasked with providing logistical support to forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
    How It's Unique:
    Diego Garcia's remoteness, though, allows it to be a key hub for tracking satellites, and it is one of five monitoring stations for GPS.
    Additionally, the island is one of only a handful of locations equipped with a Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance system for tracking objects in deep space.
    As an atoll, the land itself is rather oddly shaped, too.
    From end to end, Diego Garcia is 34 miles long, but its total area is only 11 square miles.

    From OpenDemocracy

    The UK government announced on July 8th that it will commission a new study into the feasibility of resettling the Chagos Islands (British Indian Ocean Territory), one of Britain’s few remaining overseas territories and home to the exiled Chagossians.
    These are the indigenous people of the archipelago who were expelled in the 1960s and 1970s to make way for a US military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands.
    The announcement is welcome news for supporters of the Chagossians’ right to return.
    Nevertheless, a dangerous double standard regarding the scope of the review risks undermining the process before it has even begun.

    >>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

    First, some background.
    In 1965, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) was carved out of Britain’s existing imperial holdings as a new colonial jurisdiction.
    BIOT was endowed with a sole purpose: to serve the defence and security needs of the UK and its US ally.
    Given this raison d’étre, the indigenous inhabitants of BIOT were deemed surplus to requirements by both London and Washington.
    In a shameful episode told elsewhere, officials knowingly misrepresented the Chagossians as migrant workers, as a prelude to their forced deportation.
    Ever since, the Chagossians have campaigned for a restoration of their right to return.

    The government has always opposed the Chagossians’ claims, chiefly at the behest of US military planners who prize the seclusion that Diego Garcia provides.
    In 2002, however, the government’s case against resettlement was buttressed by a supposed feasibility study that found resettlement of the “outer” Chagos Islands – that is, the islands other than Diego Garcia – to be impracticable and prohibitively expensive.
    It now appears that this report was manipulated by government officials bent on blocking resettlement.

    It goes without saying that the upcoming feasibility study must be undertaken with a truly open mind and free from political interference.
    But there is an additional caveat that must also be adhered to: the study must be geared solely towards unearthing the truth about the feasibility of resettlement of BIOT.

    This might sound uncontroversial, but there are several reasons for concern.
    It is no exaggeration to say that, over the past five decades, the Pentagon’s designs for Diego Garcia have driven the way that the entire jurisdiction is organised and governed – including the expulsion and continued exile of the Chagossians.
    Moreover, in 2010 a small but passionate and highly organised – and well-resourced – group of environmental scientists and conservationists persuaded the government to proclaim a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in BIOT.
    Between them, the US military and conservation groups have managed to frame BIOT as something other than a homeland.
    To policy-makers, BIOT is a military asset or a chance to brandish “green” credentials. It is less and less the home of an exiled people.

     Naval support facility (NSF) for US Navy
    >>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

    It is unquestionable that military-security and environmental concerns pertain to BIOT.
    The future of the territory is not simply an issue of whether the Chagossians are able to resettle there.
    Nor should anybody pretend otherwise.
    Yet it is absolutely critical that the study be conducted without prejudice or deference to either of these issue-areas.
    To do otherwise would be to bias the study against resettlement from the outset.

    Allowing military-strategic or environmental considerations to pollute the feasibility study would also be double standards.
    Consider, for example, the government’s public consultation on whether to establish the Chagos MPA.
    Whitehall made clear in its consultation document that any decision regarding the MPA would be made “without prejudice” to the Chagossians’ right of return.
    Respondents to the consultation were encouraged to divorce the issues – supporting environmental protection in BIOT, the public was assured, did not entail a rejection of the Chagossians’ human rights.
    The two issues were neatly compartmentalised, presented as distinct and discrete from one another.

    Of course, it borders on the absurd to suggest that London and Washington have taken the Chagossians’ concerns into account when making decisions regarding the creation, expansion and continuation of the US base on Diego Garcia.
    Nor did either government consider issues of environmental protection when blasting and dredging Diego Garcia’s lagoon or paving a runway big enough to accommodate a space shuttle.

    Instead, military-security and environmental issues always have been scrutinised on their own merits without regard to the broader political milieu that envelops the Chagos Archipelago.
    Such single-mindedness has allowed the strategic and environmental value of the Chagos Islands to be fully investigated and widely aired, with the proponents of the military base and advocates of the MPA alike thus being able to make their respective cases to the public and to policy-makers.
    These interests have had their say.

    Depriving the Chagossians of the same opportunity to have their desired future for BIOT – that is, a restoration of the right to return and permission to resettle – to be fully explored would be a double standard, another shameful chapter to an already “sordid tale”.
    As such, the feasibility of resettlement must be established with reference solely to the feasibility of resettlement per se, not with reference to the US military’s interests or the views of a select group of conservationists.

    At the broadest level, evaluating resettlement on its own terms means that the resettlement of Diego Garcia should not be ruled out a priori.
    Everybody knows that the US would not countenance such an outcome, but any decision to bar resettlement of Diego Garcia must be made in public as a naked political move and not under the guise of impracticability.
    Resettlement of the outer islands with access to the logistical and medical facilities on Diego Garcia should also be considered.
    Open mindedness regarding a reformulation of the currently anti-resettlement MPA framework must be a given.

    It is outrageous that the UK government maintains that BIOT is uninhabitable while thousands of US troops and auxiliary workers live in relative luxury on Diego Garcia.
    Resettlement of BIOT by its indigenous population is far from impracticable.
    Of course, nobody is suggesting that all of the Chagos Islands, some of which are little more than outcrops, are capable of supporting human habitation – but it is patently untrue to suggest that the territory as a whole is incapable of once again being home to the Chagossians.
    The only barriers to resettlement are political in nature.

    In short, the new feasibility study into resettlement must concern itself solely with facts.
    Can the Chagos Islands support human habitation?
    Once the facts have been established, it is the right and proper job of policy-makers to weigh the possibility of resettlement against the countervailing interests of the US military and members of the conservationist community.
    If the government chooses to prioritise the “special relationship” or warty sea slugs over the rights of human beings, then it is free to do so – but only under the full glare of public accountability, that is.

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