Nautical News: For the week of February 10, 2013

COAST GUARD WARNS MARINERS OF BLIZZARD

The Coast Guard warned all mariners of the blizzard a day in advance broadcasting radio messages not only from their base but also by plane. Air Station Cape Cod had a jet plane flying offshore to communicate directly with the vessels they saw.


CONGRESS ASKED TO BAN THE SALE OF E15

After losing their appeal in court to prevent the sale of E15 ethanol, the National Marine Manufacturers Association approached Congress to change the law. Staff members from the Marine Manufacturers Association met with more than 70 legislators in the House and more than 50 members of the Senate to highlight their concerns about the sale of E15 which they claim will have devastating effects on marine engines. In addition to showing pictures of new engines damaged from using E15, they also warned of skyrocketing food prices. Republican senators say Congress should now change the Renewable Fuel Standard and the President should admit that his plan simply did not work out the way he thought.


SAFE BOATING CLASSES START

The Massachusetts Environmental Police will be teaching nationally approved safe boating courses. All classes are free of charge. Graduates in the 12 through 15 year old age group will be issued a safety certificate allowing them to operate a motorboat without adult supervision, as required by state law. The same is true for 16 and 17 year old youths who wish to operate a jet ski. The course runs 10-12 hours in length and classes are for anyone 12 years of age and older. Family participation is encouraged. On the South Shore, classes will be offered in Quincy at the Hough’s Neck Maritime Center and in Hull at the Nantasket Beach Saltwater Club.


FEWER STRANDINGS OF MARINE MAMMALS THIS YEAR ON CAPE COD

The number of marine mammals reported as stranded in January along the Cape Cod Bay shoreline is less than a tenth of the count from the same time last year according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare. In 2012, there were 375 dolphins that stranded. So far this year, there have only been nine stranded marine mammals: two common dolphins, two harbor porpoises, and five harbor seals. All were found dead. Scientists believe that the dolphins strand in Cape Cod waters because of the shape and contour of the ocean floor.


GREAT WHITE SHARKS RETURN EARLY TO CAPE COD

A 16 foot long female great white shark named Mary Lee has hundreds of thousands of internet followers as she swims up and down the east coast. She was caught and released off Cape Cod and a satellite tag was implanted in her last summer. She made it as far south as Jacksonville, Florida before heading back north. Last week, Mary Lee was located about 60 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. Mary Lee’s swim north in January is changing scientific views on great white physiology and their capacity to handle temperature changes. However, Mary Lee is one of only two great whites ever tagged in the North Atlantic so the habits of other great whites might still be a mystery. The other great white, named Genie, also headed south for the winter, but her travels have been harder to track since she doesn’t surface as much as Mary Lee. Genie’s last position was recorded on January 19th off the South Carolina-Georgia border.


MEDIA WARNED NOT TO DEMONIZE SHARKS

In a related story, a new study claims that sharks are not man eaters after all. There is no basis for believing that sharks like the way humans taste. Swimmers and surfers, often dressed in black wet suits simply look like seals. It is all a case of mistaken identity when a shark attacks a human. The researchers of the study want reporters to stop demonizing sharks as if they were serial killers. Actual attacks have happened only on extremely rare occasions and not all shark attacks are fatal. In reality, there are on average about 100 shark encounters in the world annually, and fewer than 10 are fatal. The study was published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.


AD FOR BOAT FOR SALE GETS OWNER ARRESTED

A Craigslist ad for a boat for sale got the advertiser arrested. The ad read that the owner of the boat would accept a trade for marijuana or a combination of marijuana and cash. Undercover cops answered the ad and took the guy into custody after finding three pounds of marijuana with him. He claimed the marijuana was for medical purposes.


WORLD RECORD SET FOR KAYAKING OVER WATERFALL

And last on today’s nautical news, twenty-four year old Tyler Bradt paddled his kayak to the edge of a waterfall and went over on purpose. He set a world record for free falling 189 feet down the Palouse Falls in Washington state in hi kayak. He said that when you are at the edge of the top of the falls, you have to keep one blade in the water to control the angle of your approach. The key is to take a couple of strokes to get going just a little faster than the water around you before you drop. There is absolutely no turning back. That’s when he moves into his tuck position so he won’t land flat on his back or go upside down. He said, “When you land you want to be fully forward on the front of your deck with your paddle off to the side so it doesn’t come back and hit you.” The goal is to land with the boat vertical and your feet down. It didn’t exactly go according to plan. When he hit the bottom. he got jackknifed out of his tuck position and hit the back of the kayak. He landed upside down and was underwater for 10 or 12 seconds. Fortunately his kayak surfaced and rolled right side up. Other than getting the wind knocked out of him and a sprained wrist, he was fine.

About John Shea