Friday, April 13, 2018


45 degree days-nights grey, no wait !!  sunny, correct that ....its a gale,  hail, rain, sleet, wind white caps in the bay....  like living inside a cocktail shaker here at A dock. The picture is Rhody days  18-20 May, see the rides up on the boardwalk !!  OUR ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF BEING HERE IN FLORENCE (Port of Siuslaw) is on 15 April....


Up in Seattle,  the Washington State Ferries are deeply concerned about bicycles...you know, those sitting on deck when you pull into port and all the cars have unloaded .... where are the riders?   overboard?

The Coast Guard says "In the last 18 months, 12 bicycles have been left aboard ferries", does this mean that the owner could have gone overboard?

Legally, and responsibly, until the bicyclist from the bicycle can be confirmed safe, there ought to be a search undertaken. A bike recently left aboard a vessel led to a $17,000 expense (in helicopter and crew costs) searching for a missing person along the ferry route when, in fact, no one had fallen overboard.  

“When bicycles are left behind on a ferry, the Coast Guard assumes the worst and searches in the event the bicycle operator may have fallen overboard,” explained Captain Linda Sturgis, commander for the Coast Guard’s Puget Sound sector, in a statement. “We join the Washington State Ferry system in requesting that bicycle users not bring rented bicycles on board the ferries, instead, leave the rented bicycle at the pier and board as a walk-on passenger.”

Sounds like a real problem, huh?  when we lived up there we questioned the car coming aboard with 5 people, leaving with three ....?  and notice they do not tell you about the cars left on the ferries... as a local you have this great way to dispose of a unwanted car..... go onto the ferry.

Monday, April 9, 2018


 SUN ! no wind, clear skies....

Saturday was a bad day in Turkey, a Maltese-flagged 74,269 DWT bulk carrier named Vitaspirit failed her steering gear  while transiting Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait. 

The South-bound ship was approaching the Second bridge across the Bosphorus, when it veered out of control, it missed the bridge, but ran over and seriously damaged the 19th Century Hekimbasi Salih Efendi Mansion on the shore, which is used to host weddings and concerts.

 The mansion’s roof and upper floors collapsed and the video (below) shows the basement slumping into the water, but,   no one was reported to be injured in the collision.
After losing its steering gear, the bulk carrier’s anchor was dropped in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the ship, it however, snagged electic  power cables with its anchor. The ship suffered only minor damage, and was assisted by three tugs and SAR vessels, to be backed out from under the bridge while traffic on the strait was briefly stopped in both directions.

The video below shows the inside of the mansion. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018


0100 Hrs the reain moved in, the wind followed an hour later, gusts up to 33 MPH in 3-4 minute intervals subsided to 35 MPH by 0900, 45-50 degrees, and supposed to last all day...
 George Sarelakos looks like he's part of a Greek naval operation ready to storm an island or take down smugglers attired in his Scuba gear.
He and four other volunteer divers do have a challenging mission: clearing the plastic trash from the sea floor that's suffocating Greece's marine life.
In a heavy rain, they struggle to clamber off the rocks along a stretch of coast south of Athens favored by day-trippers looking for a nice place to swim within driving distance of the Greek capital.
"Most beaches are clean because they're tidied up by municipalities. But the big problem is on the seabed. It's is like a garbage dump," Sarelakos said.
In January, the European Union launched a major campaign to reduce plastic waste across its 28 member states.
Greece starts the 12-year program with major disadvantages: An alarming rate of single-use plastic consumption, a waste management system largely neglected during a decade-long financial crisis and the longest coastline in the EU — nearly double the length of India's.
Within an hour, Sarelakos and his rubber-suited companions bring up large clumps of garbage, mostly old tires, tied into bundles with rope. A curious dolphin inspects their work before darting off to a nearby fish farm.
"All this is death for sea life. It's a problem that most people are totally unaware of," Sarelakos says.
In a 2015 study, researchers trawled five coastal areas in the eastern Mediterranean and found that 60 percent of the marine litter detected was in the Saronic Gulf bordering greater Athens. And 95 percent of that trash was plastic, much of it single-use items like supermarket carrier bags or water and soft drink bottles.

The EU plans to make all plastic packaging on the market recyclable by 2030, and wants member states to crack down on single-use plastic, with consumers using no more than 40 lightweight plastic bags annually by 2025.
A few countries have already zoomed past that target: Finns on average use just four plastic bags a year. But for Greeks — now accustomed to sipping coffee out of plastic cups using plastic straws and with kiosk beverage coolers within easy reach of every city dweller — it's become part of the lifestyle. They use 296 bags per year, according to the EU Commission.
Local surveys suggest the number is even higher.
Greek stores began charging for plastic bags on Jan. 1 — a relatively small step for a country still heavily reliant on coal-fired power plants and which is regularly fined for its large number of unregulated garbage dumps.
Only 16 percent of trash is recycled here, compared with the EU's average of 44 percent. Nearly everything else ends up buried in trash dumps.
At Fyli, the country's largest landfill on the outskirts of Athens, bulldozers constantly reshape mountains of garbage in a quarried hillside, squeezing out a dark liquid called leachate to leave enormous stacks of brown-coated plastic. A steady flow of garbage trucks is coordinated by loudspeaker, and their entry is accompanied by packs of seagulls ready to swoop on the fresh new trash.
The site's environmental officer, Ioanna Kapsimali, is another volunteer diver in the Athens marine cleanups. She says it's impossible to contain all the plastic at the landfill.
"Plastic is the most difficult material, given its chemical composition," she said, noting that it's so light it can be blown away by the wind and end up in the sea. "That happens with quite a large amount (of plastic). It causes problems because the plastic breaks up and is ingested by fish, birds and other animals."
Pieces of trash, including bottle caps and cigarette lighters, end up in the stomachs of birds and marine creatures, who are also often tangled in plastic nets.
A few lucky creatures end up at Maria Ganoti's animal clinic in Athens. The director of the Greek Wildlife Care Association recently treated an injured seagull.
"We've had cases where animals have died and in the autopsy we find plastic items in the stomach, usually pieces of synthetic rope, which had been mistaken for a worm or a small snake," Ganoti said, speaking over the loud squawk of injured birds.
"If the animal swallows a large piece of plastic, it doesn't get broken down. It takes up space in the stomach and at some point . it will starve to death."
According to pollution activists, Greeks are largely unaware of their country's plastic problem because bathing water quality remains high in most parts of the country and most of the pollution is not visible.
But visit a Greek shoreline not used by swimmers and that picture can quickly change.
Conservationists say the Kolovrechtis Marsh north of Athens is threatened by a trifecta of environmental assaults: plastics washing up on its shores, fertilizers used by surrounding farms, and waste from nearby factories that include a ferronickel plant. The trash ending up at the small, protected nature spot endangers the nearly 200 types of birds found there, including hawks, herons and green-headed wild ducks.
On a three-hour trash collection with volunteers and municipal workers, plastics were cleared from a small strip of beachfront on the edge of the marsh — including 3,476 plastic bottles and 549 plastic bags.
Spanish volunteer Fran Vargas joined the effort, digging into the sand with his hands to pull out buried plastic bags. Nearly everything he found was single-use plastic.
"We know that no matter how much garbage we collect, it will always only be a fraction of what is going into the sea," he said. "So this is about making a point: That this is a big, big problem and that we need to stop using plastic — now."

Friday, April 6, 2018


More grey and rain 45-50 warmer degrees though...


Last Saturday, a fire broke out near the Panamanian flagged (Chinese crew) Coal ship "Ever Judger" at Balikpapan Bay, Borneo, Indonesia. Two individuals -  fishermen - were killed, and one of the Judger's crewmembers suffered burn injuries. All 20 members of the Judger's crew were successfully evacuated. Indonesian police are questioning the crew as the oil continues to pollute local waters.

Last Friday,, when oil began spilling into Borneo’s Balikpapan Bay, the oil  spread to cover an area of nearly 13,000 hectares and pollute 60 km of coastal ecosystems, including mangrove wetlands and a marine mammal habitat where at least one protected dugong was killed, and it has destroyed the areas fishing industries. The spill created an overpowering stench sweeping across Balikpapan, a city of 700,000 people. 

Where did the oil come from? For the first four or five days, there was only denial and finger-pointing. 
The only oil refinery in the area is owned by the Indonesian state-owned oil company, Pertamina. 

Pertamina officials denied that the refinery or its pipelines had anything to do with the spill. They said that testing of the oil indicated that it was marine fuel and not crude oil from their facility. Balikpapan is a busy port serving one of Indonesia’s biggest thermal coal mining regions. Nevertheless, there were no reports of ship casualties which might have caused a such a large spill. Local police questioned the crew and took fuel samples from the MV Ever Judger in Balikpapan Bay. The samples were sent ashore for analysis.

For the next several days, the refinery, Pertamina Unit V, continued operating as usual while the spill continued to grow. Finally, on Wednesday, the oil company was  identified as the source of the spill —  a cracked 20-year-old underwater pipeline from to its refinery in Balikpapan. Pertamina says its sonar equipment revealed the punctured pipeline had been moved 100 meters from its original position. 

The oil company is now suggesting that a bulk carrier loaded with coal may have snagged the pipeline with its anchor. Reuters quotes Oil and Gas Director General Djoko Siswanto: “We suspect the pipe was dragged by the ship that caught fire. At the time it was bad weather, so they had to drop anchor,” Siswanto said, noting it was an area where ships were not supposed to anchor.