Nautical News: For the week of July 7, 2013

ATTENDANCE AT BOSTON’S 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION DOWN

Whether it were the heat, terrorists, or new security regulations, the crowd and the number of boats were greatly reduced at Boston’s 4th of July celebration on the Charles River. There was plenty of space in front of the Hatch Shell right up until Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops took the stage. Prior to the concert, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick blamed the noticeably low turnout on the 90 degree temperature, but many others, including the boaters, blamed it on the new security regulations.


SECRETARY OF STATE PLAYS ON BOAT WHILE EGYPT IN TURMOIL

There is a big brouhau developing over the White House covering up where Secretary of State John Kerry was while Egypt was burning. Eyewitnesses and photos showed Kerry playing on his 8 million dollar sailboat named Isabel and then kayaking and dinghying around the island July 3rd, 4th, and 5th, while the White House said that was absolutely absurd and denied that Kerry was aboard any boat. The state department then corrected their report after a CBS reported showed them pictures of Kerry playing on his boats. The State Department’s revised report said that Kerry was briefly on his boat on July 3rd, but worked around the clock all day dealing with the crisis in Egypt including participating in the President’s meeting with his national security council. The White House’s about face reminded reporters about Kerry windsurfing in Nantucket. That video was used in an ad back in 2004 painting the then Democratic nominee for president as a flip-flopper.


NANTUCKET COAST GUARD SEARCHES FOR KAYAKER

And speaking of Nantucket, the Coast Guard searched all afternoon for a possible missing kayaker in Nantucket Harbor after the Nantucket harbormaster found an empty kayak and a paddle. The search eventually ended after the owner of the kayak called the Nantucket police late in the afternoon to report that he and another male had been on board the kayak and they had capsized earlier in the afternoon. He told police that boaters on a passing sailboat picked them up and returned them to shore, but were unable to retrieve the kayak. The owner of the kayak said he decided to contact officials after seeing photos of his kayak online and learning of the search. A Coast Guard helicopter, a Coast Guard boat, the Nantucket Police Department, and the Nantucket Harbormaster all were involved in this search.


MAN FALLS OVERBOARD TRYING TO RETRIEVE HIS FISHING POLE

And on the Connecticut River near Old Saybrook, the Coast Guard suspended their two day search for a recreational Massachusetts fisherman who fell overboard from a 19 foot boat. Another man on the boat told authorities that his friend fell overboard while trying to retrieve his fishing pole that went into the water. When he disappeared out of sight, the man and the missing man’s two sons who were also on the boat all jumped into the water to rescue him. As it turned, they needed to be “rescued by a passing vessel” and were unable to find the missing man. A rescue helicopter and Coast Guard boats conducted the search covering more than 150 square nautical miles but had negative results. A Coast Guard official said the subject was not wearing a lifejacket and added that if he was, he would have been found. That was the lesson learned from this case.


FISHERMEN WANT GOVERNMENT TO BUY DOGFISH FILETS

Fishermen, desperate for additional revenue, want the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy more dogfish fillets to create more demand for the abundant, but low valued fish. In past years, NOAA Fisheries declared a shortage of dogfish and prevented the fishermen from catching them. Now the government says there are too many dogfish. In fact there is such a large supply of them that the price is so low, they are simply not worth catching. So fishermen, who are businessmen, know how the law of supply and demand works. Increase the demand and make it worthwhile. As one fisherman said, “When life gives you lemons, you drink lemonade.” So to increase demand, fishermen want the government to buy dogfish and distribute the fish to schools, prisons, charities, and other institutions. After all, dogfish are a low-fat source of protein and a good source of vitamins B6 and B12.


SAILING WORLD MOURNS DEATH OF TED HOOD

The sailing world is mourning the death of Ted Hood, a yachtsman, yacht designer and builder, and sailmaker who captained the winner of the 1974 America’s Cup. Ted Hood was 86. Richard Hood said his father died in a Middletown, Rhode Island nursing home from pneumonia and heart troubles.


PORTUGUESE MAN OF WAR JELLYFISH ARRIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS

Portuguese man-of-wars have been reported washing up on south coast beaches and on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. A man-of-war can resemble a floating blue plastic bag while in the water, leaving its venom-filled tentacles, which average 30 feet long, hidden from view. When they wash up, their tentacles can still deliver a painful sting to humans and animals. So far, about thirty people, including two lifeguards, have reported they were stung.


SOLAR POWERED BOAT DEPARTS BOSTON TO STUDY GULF STREAM

The MS Tûranor Planet Solar, the largest solar boat in the world and the subject on last week’s Nautical Talk Radio, has departed Boston with three scientific team members from the University of Geneva and a researcher from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on board. The scientists on board will be studying the ocean’s eddies in the Gulf Stream between Boston and St. John’s, Canada. They said the eddies influence heat exchanges with the atmosphere as well as the growth of phytoplankton where the powerful current leaves the east coast of the United States. However, the trip to Iceland has been canceled because of the low angle of the sun in Iceland would not generate enough solar power.


PARASAILING ACCIDENT LEAVES TWO GIRLS IN CRITICAL CONDITION

It seems like every year we report a story about a parasailing accident. This time it happened in Panama City, Florida. Two teenage girls are in critical condition with head trauma and back and neck injuries after their parasailing line detached. Witnesses said the girls were then blown into a power line before striking a vehicle in a condominium parking lot and landing on the pavement. The owner of the parasailing company blamed the accident on a sudden change in the weather.


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