Wednesday, October 03, 2012

USS Constitution and others...

This summer's issue of "Sea History" published by the National Maritime Historical Society, located in Peekskill, NY has some interesting entries in "Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News" some in regards to the USS Constitution some to the RMS Titanic in its recent summer 2012 issue.

First the Battleship Iowa has officially been transferred from the US Navy to the Pacific Battleship Center, taken out of "mothballs" where its been since 2001 and will become a museum ship in San Pedro, California, where the women in the first row of Craig Ferguson's show last night, the "Late Late Show" were introduced as from. They also received a dinner gift. Iowa's Governor, Terry Branstad signed a bill promising $3 million toward the Iowa ship preservation.

Australian Billionaire Clive Palmer is having built a modern, true to form, replica of the RMS Titanic in a Chinese shipyard and plans to complete the original RMS Titanic ill-fated voyage and arrive in New York harbor someday. Improvements to Titanic II include: welds not rivets, a large bulbous shape of the bow to improve fuel efficiency, bow thrusters and an enlarged rudder like modern cruise ships. It will also have four smoke-stacks like Titanic which by the way in the original, only needed three, the fourth there for esthetics.

I'm to believe it or not, the third largest US Navy installation in the world is in the state of Indiana, which I'm giving to understand settles archaeology controversy simply by stating anything such as artifacts in the ground from before its statehood, belong to the state of Indiana. By the way National Archaeology Day is not too far off, October 20, 2012 celebrated in 50 states and other countries(?)...
About 40 trees from the Naval Support Activity Crane (Indiana) are being selected for upcoming dry dock repairs on the 1797 Navy frigate USS Constitution scheduled to begin in 2014.
The NSA Crane "has approximately 53,000 acres of land forested with white oak, the same species used in the original construction of the ship."
It was during Tyrone Martin's tenure as commander of Constitution in the 1970s that he had thousands of acreage at NSA Crane dedicated to "Constitution Grove," to supply the historic warship with suitable timber for future restorations. The new timbers will be shipped to Boston in fall of 2014 and the restoration is expected to take about two years. (;
It's there reported that space enthusiast, Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of had mounted an expedition and has found the original five booster engines that had launched Apollo 11 into space and thus to the Moon in 1969, found off the coast of Florida. NASA retains ownership, the Smithsonian is the official repository and NASA is reviewing a recovery proposal by Bezos. Applause, applause to his efforts.

There's also other news some not so spectacular. You can now visit the Holiday Inn Key Largo and take a canal or dinner cruise on the African Queen restored to appear as it did in the famous John Huston 1951 film of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Bogart's son, Stephen Bogart helped the re-launching ceremony in April. Probably not the same Steve Bogart I went to Newfield High School with, a motorcycle enthusiast: 1967 Velocette, Kawasaki 500cc when they came out, and others, he borrowed my Kawasaki 650cc in Washington, D.C. to take a ride around the reflecting pool in the May Day demonstration, while Ginni and I stood there dumbfounded. I was walking it around like a dog I guess. Guy who sold it to me, based-on a Japanese police bike, it was sold or his wife would have left him with the kids! Or she with them if he had another accident. But that as the man said is another Chautauqua.
A collection of historic flags from USS Constitution and a 3-pound cannonball once removed from the ship's hull netted $784,500 at auction at Freeman's Auctioneers and Appraisers in Philadelphia on 30 April.
Anyway, the National Maritime Historical Society is a wonderful source of information and sea history which for some people helps fill in the space between the ears and years. I am also glad it is in New York which has a long tradition of waterways, the Hudson River, the Erie and Champlain canals, etc. Maybe someone will provide an article on the southern US canals of Alabama and Mississippi, having once worked alongside the Tombigbee River which became a part of the Tennessee and connected to the Alabama barge canals across northern Mississippi not far from its interesting city, Columbus. In this blog I've stated that after Congressional debate, instead of an "Energy Island" for NYC, it was built. And I was fortunate to work on its archeology.

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