Archive for 08/11/2011

Hydro International –

When summer break comes around, some teachers choose to spend it learning. Every year, more than 30 teachers from across the USA head out on NOAA ships to assist scientists with ocean research. The educators deepen their understanding of the marine environment by working side-by-side, day and night, with the scientists who study it. And their students end up with a closer connection to the ocean and a better understanding of what NOAA does.

Now in its 21st year, NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program has given more than 600 teachers the chance to participate in science at sea.

This summer, Sue Zupko, a teacher of gifted students at Weatherly Heights Elementary from Huntsville, AL, and Jason Moeller, a science educator at the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee, have embarked on scientific voyages. As soon as she heard about the programme, she wanted to apply so she could share some firsthand knowledge of oceanography with her students. Zupko was accepted into the program and joined the crew of the NOAA Ship Pisces in Florida to take part in a deep water coral survey.

 “Deep-water coral are amazing,” said Zupko. “I never would have even given these corals a thought if I hadn’t been a NOAA Teacher at Sea aboard the Pisces, studying them.  To me as a scuba diver, and probably to most people in general, corals are brightly colored and found in warm, tropical waters with an array of fish and invertebrates living among them.  But deep-water corals are usually found at depths of 100 feet or more, making them inaccessible to the average person and even to many divers.”

Coral is important to the marine ecosystem because it provides shelter for fish, protecting them from predators and ocean currents, and creates habitat in deeper waters. Zupko assisted researchers as they used a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) to explore the deep water coral.

Full story…

News Today –

A plucky Brit has battled illness, injury and shark attacks to become the first man to circumnavigate the entirety of Australia completely unaided in a kayak.

Stuart Trueman, 48, completed his mammoth kayaking adventure on Thursday morning after a staggering 16 months on the water.

The kayak king, originally from Frisby-on-the-Wreake, Leicestershire, completed the 16,000 kilometre stretch two weeks ahead of schedule.

He was rewarded with an emotional reunion with wife Sharon, who paddled the last 4km by his side, as well as about 100 fans who gathered on Cable Beach in Broome, Western Australia, to applaud his astonishing efforts.

Since setting off from Broome in April, Stuart has undertaken an immense odyssey, paddling the coastline solo in his 5.2m kayak – which could only store five days water.

Stuart has battled through searing heat, freezing temperatures, storms and cyclones and faced sharks and crocodiles to complete his journey.

He also had to contend with bouts of food poisoning, hyperthermia, heatstroke, exhaustion, an infected spider bite, broken bone, torn ligament and a wrist injury which almost halted his entire trip.

“The crux of the trip had to be The Great Australian Bight which is said to be the longest line of sea cliffs in the world and is patrolled by Great White sharks,” said Stuart, who now lives in Sydney.

“To paddle for days without hope of resupplying my food and water in an area where the weather can turn and make the sea a dangerous place to be was the ultimate challenge.

“During a 35 hour paddle I got caught out by bad weather. Suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion I hallucinated and had a vivid out of body experience, which is as near to the limit as I wish to go.”

Full story…

Simon Edge – 

He was one of the most notorious privateers of all time, plundering Spanish possessions in the Caribbean for his own personal gain. 

When he died he had built up one of the biggest fortunes in Jamaica. So when archaeologists discovered his sunken flagship full of unopened cargo boxes and coral-encrusted chests, you can imagine their commercial sponsors would be over the moon at the prospect of doubloons and pieces of eight.

Actually what they are hoping for is rum. For the gentleman in question was the Welsh-born Sir Henry Morgan, a man who bent all the rules of diplomacy in his pursuit of treasure and was one step up from a pirate (although he sued two newspapers that called him that). He was the inspiration for the Errol Flynn film Captain Blood but today he is best known as the swashbuckling mascot of Captain Morgan’s Rum – the company putting up the money for the salvage.

“When the opportunity arose for us to help make this discovery mission possible, it was a natural fit for us to get involved,” says marketing manager Ali Wilkes. “The artefacts uncovered during this mission will help bring Henry Morgan and his adventures to life in a way never thought possible.”

Although details of his early life are sketchy, Morgan seems to have been born around 1635 – in the reign of King Charles I – in Glamorgan. He arrived in the West Indies in his early 20s, shortly after the English had captured Jamaica from the Spaniards – and may even have been a soldier in the victorious army.

Full story…

Iwan Berry –

Recent work by American writer John Amrhein, author of the new book Treasure Island: The Untold Story, has unearthed a possible link between Robert Louis Stephenson’s 1883 book Treasure Island, and two buccanneering brothers from Rhuddlan.

Owen and John Lloyd, who started their careers as respectable merchant sailors, turned to piracy in 1750 when they stole from a Spanish galleon, the Guadalupe, after it was forced to dock in the port of Teach’s Hole, Ocracoke – the same island where the notorious Blackbeard was killed in 1718.

The Lloyds had been entrusted with transporting the eight tonnes of silver pieces of eight and other treasure aboard the ship by its captain, Juan Manuel Bonilla, after it was damaged by a storm.

The brothers had been victims of the Spanish during King George’s War, and exacted their revenge by stealing the Guadalupe’s booty.

Like Stephenson’s renowned Captain Flint, Owen sailed to the West Indies and buried the Spanish treasure in the British Virgin Islands.

Mr Amrhein said: “I would like to stress that this incredible, yet untold story is the prequel to Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Treasure Island is the story of going back to the island where treasure was buried in 1750. My book is the story on how it got there.

“Further, there would be no Pirates of the Caribbean without Treasure Island, and there would have been no Treasure Island without the exploits of one Owen Lloyd from Flintshire.”

Full story…

gCaptain – 

Today DNV’s summer students presented the results of seven weeks of intense and targeted work with a concept for year-round drilling and exploration offshore north-east Greenland. More than anything their work unfolded a massive need for new technologies, improved standards and increased arctic research.

But that’s not all; the students predict that drilling in the Arctic could be up to four times as expensive as drilling in the North Sea.

DNV’s summer project is an annual program organised during the summer months for students in their final year of a master’s degree program. This year, ten students with varied cultural and academic backgrounds have been working intensely for seven weeks with the project Drilling in the Arctic.

The focus has been on developing a comprehensive concept for drilling in the complex, rough and challenging conditions that are prevalent around the north-east coast of Greenland. One of the premises for the project was that the risk associated with drilling in this part of the Arctic should be similar to the risk of drilling in the North Sea.

“We know that the world needs more energy. And we know that much of this energy is located in unfriendly areas of the world. These are complex issues that the world’s leading scientists, researchers and engineers spend considerable time and resources on. I am therefore impressed by what these ten students have been able to process and produce throughout seven short summer weeks.

And even though their calculations show that the costs associated with drilling in the Arctic could be substantially higher when compared to drilling costs in the North Sea – their concept also clearly demonstrates that it is possible to engage in safe and sustainable drilling in these areas of the earth in the future,” says CEO Henrik O. Madsen.

Full story…