Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lights, camera, avalanche? Webcam shows 10,080 Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier in Washington State

File:Camp Muir Mt Rainier.jpg

Camp Muir is located in Washington (U.S. state)

Another remote part of our world is less remote. Credit what you might call MuirCam.
Mount Rainier National Park officials have installed a webcam at Camp Muir, the 10,080-foot base camp used by many climbers of the 14,411-foot peak. They call it Washington's highest webcam.
Images from the webcam are expected to be of wide interest to climbers, who will be able to check weather and cloud levels.
Weather may be the webcam's biggest challenge. No heating system is in place to keep it from icing up. A random check of the view earlier this week showed a gray blur — which accurately describes much of our July. See

American Outrage - movie trailer - 1863 Ruby Valley Treaty (Nevada)

American Outrage from Gage & Gage Productions on Vimeo.

Bidder 70 - movie trailer

Bidder 70 from Gage & Gage Productions on Vimeo.

Troubled Waters... movie trailer

Troubled Waters from Gage & Gage Productions on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


We have sold our house and all of our stuff and moved on the boat full time July 1. We are starting the great loop from Port Clinton, OH in Lake Erie on August 1, 2011. It has been a lot of planning and work but I know it will all be worth while once we get started in 4 days. You can follow our trip at

Our second night will be spent at Ray Batt's (One of the moderators of this forum) yacht club in Detroit and I hope we can share some stories and beers. Of all of the projects that I did, the inverter was by far the most challenging and I couldn't have done it without the extensive help of Tony from Boy N Sea.  I will hopefully have internet access most of the time and will be able to follow this site.

Pitch a tent to see Alaska's Inside Passage

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Temperature is 60 degrees F at 71 1/2 North off Greenland

Last Update July 28th at 00:01 GMT
Last U

After making good time and seeing my first icebergs the wind changed back to the north. I had two days of 15-20kts head winds with super think fog. I never have been a fan of the fog but when you are sailing blindly, surrounded by icebergs with no radar, things get a bit dodgy. Finally when the fog broke I looked around and saw five bergs within a mile of me. Since then the weather has been very nice, but very little wind. Over the trip the temperature has slowly dropped, to the point that in the fog the other day it was in the 30s. Yesterday it was 56 (13c) and today it was 60 degrees (15c)! 60 degrees at 71 1/2 North?! I’m thinking about heading to the beach and going for a swim (just kidding). Yes the skies are blue and the days are warm, but there is no wind and wind is what matters. It’s been slow going the last five days and I have a feeling that this is the way its going to be up here.
When you look at my PredictWind tracker you will see that I’ve been staying close to Greenland. The center of Baffin Bay is still covered in ice. Theres only a rather narrow corridor of ice free water up here and that corridor is off of Greenland. The warm weather should hasten the ice’s retreat. I should really say ice-less and not ice-free because there is still a bunch of bergs. I can deal with ice bergs but pack ice is something very different. Speaking of ice bergs I’ve seen more then I can count. From giant growlers the size of a large office building to bergy bits the size of a VW bug. The bergs are natures sculptures, each one unique and as they melt and break apart their beauty changes and evolves. Some are bleach white but most have a tint of blue or sometimes pink. The largest are both majestic and intimidating. Its worth sailing up here just to see them.
To every upside there is a downside. Icebergs are amazingly beautifully, but man is it hard to sleep when they’re around. Hitting a berg would be like running into a giant rock. The ice has no forgiveness and would sink my little boat in record time – and I’m seeing more ice every day. Yesterday I counted 17 bergs without moving my head – they seem to be everywhere. This is when it would be nice to have some crew. I didn’t sleep for 3 days and only got a couple hours sleep last night broken up in 20 minute intervals. Because the sun never sets up here my concept of time has been destroyed. I no longer know if its night or day. When I do look at a clock I’m always shocked “it’s 3am? But I thought it was 9!”. The good thing is when I get out off Baffin Bay I won’t have as many icebergs but in the North West passage I will be dealing with ice pack. At least by the end I will have seen many different types of ice. Outside of sleep deprivation, all is well. I just hope the wind picks up a bit, I still have 400 miles to the mouth of the NW passage.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


   Main photo: Wilhelm Schurmann (l) at Fishers factory with sonar tech Brian Awalt and side scan sonar. Bottom inset: German Type IX U-Boat similar to the discovered U-513, Top inset: U-Boat Captain Friedrich Guggenberger.
    The remains of the German submarine U-513 were recently discovered off the coast ofBrazil. The sub was sunk by bombs dropped from an American plane in July 1943. Only 7 of the 53 men on board survived the attack.  One survivor reported, “suddenly the bombs began to fall, one fell off the starboard side, and 3 fell right in front, then exploded...”.  Although Brazil had been technically neutral at the beginning of the war, it allowed the US to establish air bases from which it could launch attacks on submarines that were becoming a serious threat to allied shipping. As a result, Brazilian ships became a prime target for the U-boats. During the first half of 1942, German subs sank 13 Brazilian merchant vessels.  In August, the U-507 sank 5 Brazilian ships in 2 days killing more that 600 people. In all, 21 German and two Italian submarines were responsible for the sinking of 36 Brazilian merchant ships, causing 1,691 drownings and 1,079 other casualties. The sinkings were a major reason the Brazilian government ultimately declared war against the Axis.
    Researchers from Kat Schurmann Institute and Vale do Itajai University located the U-513 almost 68 years to the day after it sank. Using a combination of high tech equipment the 252 foot long submarine was discovered lying at a depth of 245 feet, 75 miles off the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. Members of the Schurmann family, founders of the Kat Schurmann Institute, were actively involved in the search.  The family had procured a JW Fishers side scan system shortly after opening the institute, an organization that was devoted to fostering sustainability and preservation of the oceans and coastal habitats. The primary use for the sonar was to map the reef structures off the Brazilian coast. The hunt for the submarine started out as a hobby for family patriach Wilfredo when he was told the story of the sub’s demise by a fellow mariner while sailing the Caribbean.  Over the next eight years he spent many hours gathering information. He studied official accounts of the sinking, read survivors stories, talked to submarine officers in the Brazilian Navy, and even acquired a book titled “The U-Boat Commanders Handbook”. But one of the most useful sources of information proved to be local fisherman.  They told him about the “rippers”, obstructions on the ocean floor that would grab fishing nets and tear them up. Wilfredo was provided with the coordinates of some of these rippers. Combining pieces of information gleaned from historical accounts along with the position coordinates, the researchers were able to determine the most probable locations that would hold their prize.  At every opportunity a group from the institute, includingSchurmann’s sons, would take the side scan out and survey the underwater obstructions. The youngest son, Wilhelm,  had attended a training course at  Fishers factory in Massachusetts and was well versed on the operation of the side scan and use of the SONAR VIEW software.  On July 14, 2011 their hard work paid off and the side scan produced definative images of the remains of a pressure hull on the ocean bottom.  The final resting place of the U-513 was had been uncovered.
    Interestingly, the submarine was captained by Friedrich Guggenberger, who was one of the seven survivors of the sinking.  The captain had gained notoriety in the submarine corps while commanding another U-boat in 1941. He torpedoed the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, which despite the British Navy’s efforts to tow it to port, sank the next day. After the war, the German Navy was reestablished and Guggenberger joined the service again. In the 1950s he travelled to US and studied at the Newport War College in Rhode Island.  He eventually rose to the rank of admiral in the German Federal Navy and went on to become Deputy Chief of Staff in the NATO command Allied Forces Northern Europe. 
    For more information on the side scan sonar or any of Fishers underwater search systems go to  For more information on the Schurmann family or Kat Schurmann Institute go to  For more information on Vale do Itajai University go to

Why use side scan sonar?  How does it work?

  Side scan sonars are one of the most sought after and effective tools for underwater search.  The reason; they can search large areas quickly and "see" what's on the bottom regardless of water clarity.  A side scan finds things by sending out a sonar beam which sweeps over the bottom, reflects off any object laying on the bottom, and returns to the towfish.  The sonar beam is tramsmitted and recived by transducers mounted on each side of the towfish.  The received signal is sent through the tow cable to a topside processor box.  After the sonar data is processed, it is sent to the laptop computer for display.  The displayed image is a highly detailed two dimensional picture of the ocean, lake, or river bottom, and any objects lying there.
   Side scans with low frequency transducers have excellent long range capability, but lower resolution.  Side scans with high frequency transducers have high resolution, but shorter range capability. JW Fishers offers three side scan systems; the SSS-100K with a maximum scan range up to 600 meters per side for large search areas, the SSS-600K with a max scan range of 75 meters but high resolution to locate small, soft targets like drowning victims, and the dual frequency SSS-100K/600K which combines the best features of both high and low frequency in one system.  
To receive a technical data sheet on side scan sonar or any of Fishers underwater search systems go to or email to 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Humpback whale rescue video - whale gives show after being rescued.

The coolest video you will see all week - click URL below to view video - enjoy!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

REAL SCIENCE: 1958 : Arctic Ice Same Thickness As Today

Some amazing gems in this article. A fascinating explanation of what causes ice ages.
Ice was the same thickness in 1958 as today, and “steadily thinning.”
Arctic Ocean is ice free during ice ages. This is plausible. We know that the Bering Strait was ice free when people crossed from Asia to North America.
This is what I have been saying. In situ melt is not the cause Arctic ice loss over the last 20 years. The whole summer extent game is a mindless distraction.
Rising sea levels trigger ice ages
Scripps used to do actual climate science!

- - - snip - - -

With Arctic Ice at Record Low, NSIDC Director Serreze says “we are on track to see an ice-free summer by 2030. It is an overall downward spiral.”

Ice extent (from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 2011 in red).
We’re at a record low Arctic sea ice extent and volume:
The area of the Arctic ocean at least 15% covered in ice is … lower than the previous record low set in 2007 – according to satellite monitoring by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. In addition, new data from the University of Washington Polar Science Centre, shows that the thickness of Arctic ice this year is also the lowest on record.
In the past 10 days, the Arctic ocean has been losing as much as 150,000 square kilometres of sea a day, said Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC.
“The extent [of the ice cover] is going down, but it is also thinning. So a weather pattern that formerly would melt some ice, now gets rid of much more. There will be ups and downs, but we are on track to see an ice-free summer by 2030. It is an overall downward spiral.
The trend is painfully obvious to all who aren’t blinded by ideology.  Indeed, many, including me, believe we’ll see virtually ice-free summers within a decade.
What do the experts — and deniers — predict for the September sea ice extent minimum?  The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) has released its second Sea Ice Outlook reportfor July.  Just about all the cryo-scientists think the Arctic will easily beat last year’s minimum:
We received 16 responses for the Pan-Arctic report (Figure 1), with estimates in the range of 4.0 to 5.5 million square kilometers for the September arctic mean sea ice extent. The median value was 4.6 million square kilometers; the quartile values were 4.3 and 4.7 million square kilometers, a rather narrow range given the intrinsic uncertainty of the estimates on the order of 0.5 million square kilometers. It is important to note for context that all 2011 estimates are well below the 1979–2007 September climatological mean of 6.7 million square kilometers.
Credit: Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS).
It’s good that SEARCH has clearly posted the anti-science site WattsUpWithThat projection.  WUWT have been insisting for years that the ice has been getting thicker, when it has in fact been thinning, and last year they tried to rewrite history and claim that they hadn’t guessed wildly too high (see “Disinformers puzzled by reality, try to game prediction contest“).  Doesn’t look like they will be any closer to reality this year.
Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice Blog has more details on what’s going on up North.  He ends his post:
July 2011 could match or even beat July 2007.  Somebody call the UN. We are witnessing cryocide. ;-)
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