New Bacteria Eating Away At Titanic

When the Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912 and sank the following morning, no one could have guessed that the wreck would ever be found. But in 1985 the first pictures of the sunken ship surfaced and set the world on fire. The Titanic is arguably the most famous ship to have sunk and the story of her sinking made for a hit movie in 1997. Though the movie also had a romantic flair, which was mostly fabricated, the sinking of the ship portrayed what was known about the sinking at that time. Subsequent research has revealed other sections of the ship, including a portion of the ship’s keel, located some distance from the bow and stern sections.

But there is now a more serious threat to the once great ship, that will reduce the remains to nothing more than a rust stain on the ocean floor. In a recent article the new foe is described as:

The wreck is covered with rusticles; the knob-like mounds have formed from at least 27 strains of bacteria, including Halomonas titanicae.

In the 25 years since the discovery of the wreck, the Titanic has rapidly deteriorated.

While the disintegration of the Titanic makes preservation of the ship impossible, the bacteria doing the damage may be useful in accelerating the disposal of other old ships and oil rigs. Further, it could also help scientists develop paints or protective coatings to guard against the bacteria for working vessels.

While the loss of the wreck over time concerns Dan Conlin, curator of maritime history at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, he notes scientists know much more about the Titanicthan most shipwrecks.

“What is fascinating to me is that we tend to have this idea that these wrecks are time capsules frozen in time, when in fact there all kinds of complex ecosystems feeding off them, even at the bottom of that great dark ocean,” Conlin said.

So while the once grand ship may end up as nothing more than a memory, we are fortunate to have not only a movie about the ship sinking, but also a lot of video documenting what the remains looked like. Over the years many artifacts have been retrieved giving us a glimpse on how life once was on the luxury liner.

Comments welcome.

Source – The Christian Science Monitor

Holland America – Intoxicated Passenger Drops Anchor While Ship Is Moving

A Holland America cruise ship had an unusual experience when one of their passengers dropped the anchor while the ship was in motion. It is also alleged that the intoxicated passenger also released a buoy along with the anchor. According to a report, the actions could have resulted in damage to the ships propeller or rudder, and in addition could have caused puncturing of  the ships hull.

In a CNN report it states that:

A surveillance video shows Ehlert taking multiple steps to deploy the anchor while the ship was in motion. The MS Ryndam’s maximum speed is 22 knots, which is approximately 25 mph, according to Holland America’s website.

Ehlert confessed to dropping the ship’s anchor when questioned by special agents from the FBI. He admitted to being intoxicated at the time and detailed the multiple steps he took in deploying the anchor, including entering an area marked as off-limits to passengers.

“There is probable cause to believe on November 27 that Rick Ehlert did attempt to damage, destroy, disable, or wreck a vessel,” FBI agent John Manning stated in the affidavit.

Ehlert was arrested Sunday on a felony charge and taken into custody. He has not yet hired an attorney, according to the office of the magistrate who is handling the case.

When I read this story I was amazed that a lone passenger could even drop the anchor. One would think in an era when security should be intense that the anchor would be secured in such a manner that only an authorized crew member could drop anchor. I would have also thought that the anchor could not be deployed while the ship was moving.

Comments welcome.

Source – CNN

Cruise Ship Internet

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I’m sorry about the bad image and sound quality. We are on a cruise ship in Hawaii right now. I’m using the Internet via a connection provided to me from Ustream.tv. This is, of course, a mobile broadband connection. I came up with some tips to help you deal with this type of connection, if you ever happen to be on a cruise.

  • Buy larger packages of time. Most cruise ships have Internet available. The company will have packages available for sale. Always go with more minutes.
  • Find a friendly cruise ship. All companies work differently with their connectivity. This company was pricey, so I’m not using its connection.
  • Get a sponsor if you can. I was lucky to have Ustream.tv sponsor me for this connection.
  • Turn it into a business expense. This will minimize the impact of the out-of-pocket cost. So long as I stream live from the ship and do some videos like always, it’s a business expense.
  • Do what you can do offline. Write the blog post out offline, then post it once you get online. Or get your emails ready to send, then get online. This will save you a lot of time and expense.
  • If you can, rely on your existing phone for your connectivity. Some devices do work as a modem, and will work very well.

I would also recommend reading:

Cruise Tips

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Ponzi and I are on a Hawaiian cruise this week; we both truly love cruises because they’re so flexible. You can be leisurely or adventurous. You can go enjoy things on land or on the ship itself and return to your room with ease. Here are some tips we came up with to help you enjoy your next cruise.

  • Dine late or early if you can. If you go during peak hours, it’s going to be insanely busy on the ship. On this particular cruise, if you dine late you don’t pay the normal rate. You can find specials that they normally won’t have.
  • Casual vs. Formal: There’s usually a formal night in most restaurants on the cruise. They require you to dress up, and I’m just not comfortable with that. Be prepared, and bring at least one dressy outfit with you. Check to see how the particular cruise you are going on handles dining before you sign up.
  • Book excursions early. The whole idea of cruises is to go many different places. Booking early guarantees that you get the trips and times you want. We’ve learned over time not to overbook. We’re taking things nice and casual this time. In the past we’ve overbooked and it made things hectic.
  • If you can, get a room with a view! Rooms on the interior are cheaper, yes. However, if you’re going to go, save the extra money to get a room with a deck with an amazing view. It’s definitely worth the extra expenditure. We eat our breakfast on our private patio, while watching the ocean.
  • I’m not wearing the band on my wrist because I need it — I wanted to show you. It’s a band that sends out electrical pulses at timed intervals that will keep you from being seasick. If you know you may suffer from motion sickness, you should think about picking one of these up. The power and settings are adjustable. If you don’t want one of these, at least pick up some Dramamine or motion sickness patches. Even if you normally don’t get motion sickness symptoms, it’s still a good idea to be prepared with the Dramamine.

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