November 30, 2009 Read an article about Captain Lou (click
A) Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a saltwater recreational fishing license requirement that is the first of its kind in the commonwealth. In addition to buying a license, recreational fishermen will also have to report when, what, and where they caught their fish. The saltwater fishing license law takes effect January first, 2010. All recreational fishermen must register first with the national saltwater angler registry which is free to everyone. Then in 2011, the state will collect an annual fee of at least $10, but that amount is subject to change year to year.
B) The Coast Guard ended its search in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, for a 47-year old Rhode Island fisherman. Missing is Chester Kidd of West Warwick, Rhode Island who was fishing for quahog clams between Rocky Point and Quonset Point in Narragansett Bay aboard his 18-foot boat. For some reason, instead of calling the Coast Guard for help, he called a friend from his cell phone, stating that his boat was going down and that he needed help. The friend then called 911 which notified the Coast Guard. A Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod was diverted to the scene and a 41 foot boat was launched from Coast Guard Station Castle Hill. Local police and fire departments also helped with the search and found Kidd's submerged boat, but after searching for more than 26 hours and covering 284 square miles without finding the missing fisherman, the search was suspended.
C) President Obama has designated "Old Ironsides" as America's Ship of State. USS Constitution's primary mission will remain education and public outreach, but from now on, the President, Vice President, and members of Congress should use the ship for hosting visiting heads of state, signing legislation relating to the armed forces, and signing maritime related treaties. USS Constitution's 71st and current commanding officer, Commander Timothy Cooper, could not be more excited about this new law. The USS Constitution was launched into the Boston Harbor on October 21, 1797, and is the oldest active commissioned warship afloat in the world.
D) The J. F. K. aircraft carrier is now available for free if Boston wants it. The U.S. Navy is looking to donate the decommissioned aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy, under the condition it be used only as a museum or memorial. The Boston City Council will soon debate the idea of receiving and docking the warship. So far, no other city or organization has expressed an interest in the aircraft carrier which saw 18 deployments and 30 commanding officers over 38 years of service.
E) Although the tall ships were not welcomed this past summer by the Mayor of Boston, the American Sail Training Association announced that Boston still won the "Port of the Year" award for Sail Boston 2009. Sail Boston 2009 attracted the international maritime community to the city who displayed their interest and enthusiasm in greeting the tall ships. The award reinforces Boston's position as one of the international sailing community's most popular ports to visit.
F) The United States Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw will soon be The Christmas Tree Ship. The crew of the cutter spent much of this past week at the vessel's home port in Cheboygan, Michigan loading nearly 1,500 Christmas trees. Their final destination is Chicago, Illinois, where they'll be distributed to needy families. A junior officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw said the ship is all done up with Christmas lights, a wreath, carolers, and there's a helicopter fly over. It's a tradition that first started in the late 1800's aboard the Rouse Simmons. It carried on the annual practice for 30 years until it sank in 1912. Today, the tradition is carried on by the Coast Guard crew of the cutter Mackinaw. The trip to Chicago will coincide with the cutter's buoy retrieval mission. The Cutter Mackinaw is expected to arrive in Chicago by Friday, December 4th.
G) An unusual strong and persistent east wind this fall has blown many Kemp's ridley turtles to Hull and Quincy beaches rather than to Cape Cod. It is now too cold for the sea turtles, which were supposed to have moved south for the winter by this time. Kemp's ridley turtles can weigh up to 100 pounds, but they are the smallest of the turtle species that wash up cold stunned on the beaches. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kemp's ridleys are the most endangered of the sea turtles that swim in our local waters. The species is listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act.
H) The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation has received a $200,000 grant to search and remove old lobster traps that are lying on the bottom of the ocean. Scientists say that some of these traps are "ghost fishing" - trapping lobsters and fish, but most lobstermen disagree saying the lost traps aren't actively catching lobsters because they are so mangled and don't have any bait in them. In Maine, where lobstermen set more than 2 million traps, it is estimated that 5 to 10 percent - 100,000 to 200,000 - are lost in any given year. Nobody really knows the extent of Maine's ghost-trap problem, but most lobstermen feel the problem will get worse with even more lost traps because of the new federal regulations that require lobstermen to use a weaker type of rope that sinks to the bottom.
I) A Norwegian Cruise Line news release said one of its ships, the Norwegian Dawn, lost power about 95 miles north of San Juan and that the U.S. Coast Guard was notified. The ship had departed from Miami on Friday. After partial power was restored, the ship changed course and headed for San Juan. The cruise line is now helping passengers make travel arrangements to Miami, where the ship was supposed to arrive today. A spokesperson from the cruise company said Norwegian Cruise Lines will provide each guest with a 75 percent refund and a 50 percent future cruise credit. The Norwegian Dawn departed Miami last Friday, making stops throughout the Caribbean.
J) And last on today's nautical news, it looked like a spectacular Hollywood stunt, but for 32 year old drag boat racer Quinton Knight the experience of being catapulted into the water at over 150mph was very real. Spectators in Chandler, Arizona watched in horror as the driver was blown skyward and then cartwheeled across the water after his hydroplane boat flipped and disintegrated. Rescuers quickly pulled the man from the water. Incredibly, he only sustained a broken leg. Drag boat racing is considered one of the most dangerous sports in the world with the lightweight boats often crashing or bursting into flames. Powered by nitro methane, the drag boats can reach speeds of 250mph in just four seconds. Quinton Knight said that he has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.
| Listen to the live broadcast of "Nautical Talk Radio" with Capt Lou Sunday mornings from 11 - 12 noon on radio station 95.9FM WATD in Marshfield, Massachusetts, and around the world on www.959watd.com. You can also listen to the most recent show anytime during the week at www.nauticaltalk.com.
* Winner of Massachusetts/Rhode Island Associated Press "BEST TALK SHOW" - 2003
* Recipient of Joshua James Lifesaving Coin for public service from Commanding
Officer Coast Guard Station Point Allerton - 2003
* Recipient of American Lighthouse Foundation's "LEN HADLEY PRESERVATION
AWARD" - 2002
* Winner of Boston's Achievement In Radio "BEST INTERVIEW" AWARD
* Nominated Boston's A.I.R. "BEST PRODUCED PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROGRAM"