Saturday, April 19, 2014

Nova Star is a star for sure

The ferry Nova Star arrives in Portland, Maine April 16, 2014 - click
Photo: J Craig Anderson Maine Today Media
   The newest ferry that will link Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia arrived to a huge welcome in Maine last Friday.  The 530 foot Nova Star is the thirty-fifth in a long line of ships to run that route, and it comes after a number of years without a ship, but the Cat ran from Bar Harbor to Nova Scotia during that time.
  With room for 1200 people, 335 automobiles or 36 semi trucks or busses it will make the trip in 10 hours, all the while burning 970 gallons of diesel an hours.  It can be a critical link it travels 210 miles instead of a 750 mile trip on highways.  There are lounges, dining facilities and a casino among the many comforts, staterooms are on there too.  Come enjoy the ride.
You can see how the mileage differs - click to enlarge
Source: Google Maps
The Lounge on Nova Star
Photo: Maine Today Media

Friday, April 18, 2014

North Dakota "socks" and the coffee guys in Maine

click to enlarge
  I read the story about the illegal dumping of radioactive waste by the oil companies getting rich and taking shortcuts in North Dakota.  Profits mean more to some companies than public health.
  My mind works in "wanderous" ways, so I'm thinking about dogs being exposed to that pile of junk.  Then I wondered what the coffee guys in Bangor, Maine would do if they say the dog.  Wouldn't you have thought of that too? No? Well I think of things like that, here's what happened.

click to enlarge
  The dog, who somehow made it from western North Dakota to Bangor on one of the "oil trains" wander by the trio waiting for McDonalds to open on Union Street.  Paul does think, in fact knows it's a dog, but says it isn't.  He pretends it's a Jack Rabbit.  He uses the term "jack rabbit" a lot and he's not even from South Dakota. (Google this term "south Dakota jack rabbit")
  Pretty silly stuff if you ask me.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Add some color

Things to see during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Photo: Jordan Stead
  Each year the tulip farmers in Washington's Skagit Valley celebrate their crop.  The actual crop is bulbs, but the flowers are sold as a "secondary" crop and has a lot of value.  The color is dazzling and there is much to see.
  Take a short tour:

Patterns in color
Photo: Jordan Stead seattlepi
A Field Worker cuts flowers for market

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's here, almost

click to enlarge
  Well weather radar now suggests that snow will fall for four hours starting at 3:00am, that's 3 minutes ago and stop about 7am.  I have an appointment at 11:15 so all should be okay.  As I noted in an email to Wilbur yesterday at this time it was 52 degrees.  Up and down and all over the map with this stuff, and of course it rained all night so the streams are over their banks and there is one ice jam on the Saint John River that forms part of our border with Canada.
  Yesterday was fairly uneventful and I don't expect much more of today.
Photo: Timeline Photos
Ahhh! Spring

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ice out in Bangor, Maine 1914

The Bon Ton Ferry and the Eastern Steamship Terminal - 1914
Photo: Courtesy Dick Shaw to the Bangor Daily News
  100 years ago last Sunday the ice was finally off the Penobscot River and things started to finally move after a long cold winter (kind of like this year).  Important was the return of the Bon Ton Ferry that moved passengers from Brewer to Bangor, along the line now occupied by the Chamberlain Bridge.
It also meant the "large turbines" of the steamships with names like Belfast and Penobscot could resume shipping and passenger service to coastal Maine and Boston.
  The lumberjacks had worked all winter up river cutting trees for the sawmills, there were over forty along the river from Old Town to Bangor in those days.  When the log were felled they were piled on the river banks awaiting ice out and the log drives on the river started again.  Read more:

The Steamship Penobscot, one of the large turbines, see from Brewer
Photo: Penobscot Marine Museum

Monday, April 14, 2014

The sailing lady is getting a new dress

The Spirit of Massachusetts in full sail
Photo: AP
  The 125 foot schooner, Spirit of Massachusetts, is onshore in Portland, Maine for a well deserved overhaul.  The owners, Ocean Classroom Foundation, determined that the lady needed a new dress.
May she turn out as beautiful as everyone is dreaming of.
Crews move Spirit along Commercial Street
Photo: John Ewing, Maine Today Media
High and dry
Photo: John Ewing, Maine Today Media

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The U S Navy's newest ship

The USS Zumwalt DDG 1000 under construction
AP photo
  Yesterday in Bath, Maine the Navy's newest ship was commissioned, the honors done by the late Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's two daughters.  The 15,000 ton ship is the lead ship in it's class, a stealth ship that is built for both in-shore and open sea combat.  It will be armed with missiles that fly low and undetected by radar, and will receive the electro-magnetic rail gun when testing is complete.  The rail gun, which used magnets instead of explosives to fire a projectile, will be able to send the payload 100 miles at 7 times the speed of sound, and with pin point accuracy. 
  The ship is automated in such a was that only 130 crew members will man her.  An additional 28 man aviation crew will be on board with two helicopters, or one fixed wing VSTOL aircraft or UAV.
Watch this short video of her ride to the water (which took hours):