Tag Archives: Navy

U.S. Navy’s M.A.S.K.

The U.S. Navy has the one of the largest wave test tanks in the world.  It’s called the M.A.S.K. or Maneuvering And SeaKeeping basin.  It is located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Carderock, Maryland.  Check out the video to see the capabilities of this facility:



We offloaded last week in Esquimalt, British Columbia just West of Victoria on Vancouver Island. Esquimalt is home to the Canadian Navy (West Coast) and has a really nice shipyard where we offloaded and had one of our deck cranes repaired. Here are some photos:










Takin’ Er Down A Notch

Just before I shipped out in early January, I made  stop at at The Stag Barbershop in Snohomish, WA (my hometown). Bob, my barber for years and ex-marine, knows how to make it “high and tight”.  He rounded the edges more than normal to make it easier for the next person who cut my hair.

The next time, was me.  It worked O.K. but could have been much better.
This time, Orlando, one of my shipmates and retired Navy took it down for me.  He did a pretty good job.



Still, one more thing to look forward to when I finally get off this steel beach…..a real haircut from the Marines.

Epic Fail: Reserch Vessel

I was made aware of this photo onboard my new ship and had to go take a picture of the picture hanging in the lounge. The Thomas G. Thompson was built in Pascagoula, Mississippi and launched in 1990 by Halter Marine and owned by the U.S. Navy. Here is a photo from the christening ceremony:


Finnish Icebreaker Fennica visits Everett / Looking for seagoing job.


Last week, while heading to the Everett Marina, I was stunned to find another large blue and white ship docked next to the Aviq. Edision Chouest’s Aviq has been in Everett for quite a while and other than seeing her in the bay one time, it looks like a ghost town. I haven’t seen any activity onboard at all. Rumor has it, she’s headed to South America soon. Who knows? I will miss gawking at her if and when she departs. I’d still like to get a tour of her if anyone has any connections.

This week, there was a second large vessel tied up on the opposite side of the dock. A quick check of Marine Traffic showed the name “Fennica”. I had to go a check her out a little bit, so I went for another little tour of the harbor and snapped some pictures. Of course I didn’t have a real camera with me, so all I can offer are more cell phone pictures. Fennica’s decks were crawling with activity. Of course, since I was right there, I took more pictures of the Aviq (how could I resist?). I also snapped one of a Mexican Tug named Gavoita that has been anchored in the harbor for a few weeks. I have not seen any activity onboard her or heard why she is here. There is also a shot of a MSC Freight ship in there. I didn’t get the name, but she is identical to the “Carl Breshear” which has also been in port for several weeks.

Here are some photos:


















Wikipedia had a good amount of information about Fennica. Click Here to see all of it.

“MSV Fennica is a Finnish multipurpose icebreaker and platform supply vessel. Built in 1993 by Finnyards in Rauma, Finland and operated by Arctia Offshore, she was the first Finnish icebreaker designed to be used as an escort icebreaker in the Baltic Sea during the winter months and in offshore construction projects during the open water season. Fennica has an identical sister ship, Nordica, built in 1994.”

Another interesting note:
“In November 2011, Shell Oil Company signed a three-year contract with Arctia Offshore and chartered the Finnish multipurpose icebreakers Fennica and Nordica to serve as primary ice management vessels in the Chukchi Sea during the summer seasons of 2012–2014. The primary purpose of Fennica is to protect the drillship Noble Discoverer by steering large ice floes so that they don’t endanger the drilling operation.[24][23] The decision to charter the Finnish icebreakers to support Arctic offshore drilling has been widely criticized due potential environmental damage in case of oil spill. On 16 March 2012, some 52 Greenpeace activists from five different countries boarded Fennica and Nordica at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard to protest Shell’s drilling operations in Alaska.”

In other news, I’m on the hunt for a seagoing job on a vessel over 200 GRT. It also needs to be on Near Coastal or Oceans. This is needed to complete my RFPNW course I took last month. It turns out, in my area, most of the vessels over 200GRT are factory trawlers working in the Bearing Sea fishing for cod, sole, etc. Most of those vessels are already gone for their season. I don’t have the commercial fishing experience anyway that they require, unless you count last summer that I spent commercial tuna fishing off the Washington Coast with my buddy Marlin Mike (not quite what they had in mind when they said “commercial fishing experience”). I think we made enough to pay for our diesel two or three times and didn’t make enough to cover expenses on the other trips (it sure was fun though). I’ve also talked to several of the universities that have large reasearch vessels and several other outfits. There are lots of tug boats in the PNW, but 99% of them are 199GRT or less.
To be honest, it’s one hell of a circus trying to find the right size vessel that has an opening. I remember when I was just starting out in the job market as a punk kid. All of the places wanted experience, but you first had to get a job to get any experience. It sort of feels the same way right about now. I could go on and on, but I won’t bore all of you. I’m motivated and won’t stop. The hiring managers at these places have all heard from me several times and will probably get tired of me. I won’t be denied!

The restoration of PT658. The last functional PT Boat of WWII.

PT Boat Photo

A group of dedicated WWII Vets have and saved and completely restored PT658. She is the last functional PT in existance today. These vets spent countless hours restoring PT658 over a 15 year period. PT658 is berthed in the Columbia River, near Portland, OR. If you in the area, stop by and visit.

Watch the video of the restoration here:

Here is the offical website for PT658:

PT658 from Wikipedia:

Well done to all the vets who saved this piece of history!