Archive for 08/26/2011

Hydro International –

Satellite measurements that for another year there will be a below-average ice cover in the Arctic. As sea ice melts during the summer months, two major shipping routes have opened in the Arctic Ocean. While the Northern Sea Route above Russia (also known as the Northeast Passage) has been open to shipping traffic since mid-August, recent satellite data show that the most direct course in the Northwest Passage now appears to be navigable as well.

Located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Northwest Passage can be a short cut for shipping between Europe and Asia – but with the opening of the sea route comes the potential for both sovereignty claims and marine species migration across the Arctic Ocean.

In 2007, Arctic sea ice hit a record low since satellite measurements began nearly 30 years before. That same year, the historically impassable Northwest Passage opened for the first time. Unusual weather contributed to 2007’s record ice loss: skies opened over the central Arctic Ocean and wind patterns pushed warm air into the region, promoting a strong melt.

One year later, satellites saw that the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route were open simultaneously for the first time since satellite measurements began in the 1970s – and now it has happened again. 

Every year, the Arctic Ocean experiences the formation and then melting of vast amounts of floating ice, but the rate of overall loss has accelerated. During the last thirty years, satellites observing the Arctic have witnessed reductions in the minimum ice extent at the end of summer from around 8 million sq km in the early 1980s to the historic minimum of less than 4.24 million sq km in 2007.

Full story…

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Richard Shears –

A Japanese diving instructor managed to survive being abandoned by a boatman in shark-infested waters by swimming 20 miles to shore in 24 hours.

Hishashi Koze had been left for dead following a routine dive off Borneo’s Santubong peninsula with two other diving colleagues.

The three men had gone underwater for a third dive, only to be abandoned when boatmen on the surface lost sight of their air bubbles underwater and assumed they were in trouble.

Mr Koze, 39, was then left alone himself after trying to swim after the boat and losing sight of his two colleagues.

Exhausted, sunburned, dehydrated and emotional, Mr Koze managed to swim back to Malaysia’s Borneo island, where he told how the dive boat he was on had headed back to the shore after the boatman had decided there was no hope of finding him and his two companions alive.

But Mr Koze’s friends, Satoo Makoto, 40, and Ngu Teck Hua, 52, were soon picked up by a passing fishing boat.

Mr Koze, however, lost touch with his friends and did not see them being rescued – he did not even see the fishing boat that picked them up.

‘I kept thinking “I must survive – I must survive”,’ he told The Star newspaper of Malaysia.

Full story…

North Carolina Maritime Museums –

The North Carolina Maritime Museums have announced program cancellations and closures due to Hurricane Irene.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum has postponed the Aug. 25-27 “Flags Over Hatteras” Civil War Sesquicentennial Conference until a tentative date in November. Due to a mandatory evacuation, the Museum will be closed beginning Thursday, Aug. 25, and will reopen once re-entry onto Hatteras Island is permitted by Dare County officials.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort will be closed Friday, Aug. 26 – Sunday, Aug. 28. The following programs have been cancelled:  Marine Life Cruise on Friday, Aug. 26; Knotting and Splicing class on Saturday, Aug. 27, and Sunday, Aug. 28; and the Kayak Local Waters trip on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

And, the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport will be closed on Thursday, Aug. 25 through Monday, Aug. 29.

The three North Carolina Maritime Museums are the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum located in Hatteras, the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort and the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport.

All three museums are part of the Division of State History Museums in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future