Yachts All Around

Architects for rich people are falling on hard times, or at least not living it up quite the same way.

Never fear, they'll cope.

Norman Foster, the leading British architect who designed the Hearst Tower in New York, has added yachts to his résumé, recently creating a string of vessels for luxury boating company YachtPlus.

Eye on Safety

NTSB: More Emphasis Needed On Boating Safety

WASHINGTON, DC— Recent actions taken by the marine industry and state legislatures to advance boating safety are moving the industry in the right direction, but additional measures are required to further reduce recreational boating fatalities, injuries and accidents, maintains National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker.

In his address at the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA) annual conference in Las Vegas Wednesday, Rosenker focused on the use of personal flotation devices, which is on the NTSB’s Most Wanted list of safety recommendations, and the safety of sole state passenger vessels.


Name the Whales

Over at Greenpeace, they're having a whale-naming event.
Vote before Dec.7
Whale naming competition
More than 11,000 possible whale names were submitted but we are now down to the last 30 possible whale names...which ones will be given to the wonderful humpback whales currently travelling on the Great Whale Trail?

Choose your favourite name from among the 30 below and hit the submit button at the bottom of the page. You can only vote once but you can ask as many friends to vote as you like.

So vote now and get all your friends to vote too.Aiko - means 'little love' in Japanese
Amal - means 'hope' in Arabic
Anahi - means 'immortal' in Persian
Atticus - named for Atticus Finch, the main character in the famous book "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Aurora - is Latin for 'dawn'
Babu - means 'grandfather or old man' in Swahili
Bumi - (pronounced 'boo-me') means 'Earth' in Malay
Cian - (pronounced keen or kee-an) means 'ancient or enduring' in old Irish
Echo - means...well, echo
Gana - means 'song' in Hindi
Humphrey - was just too popular not to have here
Jacques - named for Jacques Cousteau, environmental activist, educator and explorer of the oceans
Kaimana - means 'divine power of the ocean' in Polynesian
Kigai - means 'strong spirit' in Japanese
Libertad - means 'freedom' in Spanish


Guarding the Oceans

Scientists urge $2-3 billion study of ocean health

OSLO (Reuters) - Marine scientists called on Sunday for a $2-3 billion study of threats such as overfishing and climate change to the oceans, saying they were as little understood as the Moon.

A better network of satellites, tsunami monitors, drifting robotic probes or electronic tags on fish within a decade could also help lessen the impact of natural disasters, pollution or damaging algal blooms, they said.

"This is not pie in the sky ... it can be done," said Tony Haymet, director of the U.S. Scripps Institution of Oceanography and chairman of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO).

He told Reuters that a further $2-3 billion would roughly match amounts already invested in ocean research, excluding more costly satellites. New technologies were cheaper and meant worldwide monitoring could now be possible.

"Silicon Valley has come to the oceans," said Jesse Ausubel, a director of the Census of Marine Life that is trying to describe life in the seas.


Lighthouse Collection

The Internet Public Library has a neat section devoted to lighthouses.


LI Oil Spill

Crews cleaning up oil along Long, Atlantic beaches
Environmental clean-up crews clad in yellow Tyvek worksuits combed the shores of Atlantic Beach and Long Beach Friday morning, collecting spilled fuel oil that began washing ashore on Thanksgiving Day. U.S. Coast Guard officials said there is still no indication where the oil came from.

Affected by the spill of what is estimated to be about 500 gallons of No. 6 crude oil -- a heavy, unrefined fuel that likely was stored cargo in a tanker and not fuel used to power a ship -- is about 3,000 linear feet of beach in Atlantic Beach and 1,500 linear feet of beachfront in Long Beach.

Crews are hopeful the congealed oil can be cleared from the beaches by high tide Friday, which is expected around 6 p.m.

The oil on shore ranges from specks the size of BBs or pellets to bigger globs the size of fried eggs. Officials said the cold weather and the heaviness of the crude oil helped keep it together in blobs, rather than being spread out in a film.

A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Conservation, Bill Fonda, said: "We haven't found any impact to wildlife yet." He said there was no sign the oil had diluted into the water -- and that most of the migratory birds had left the area, minimizing impact.

US Coast Guard

Tillerman's Boating Trivia

Tillerman did a Thanksgiving-related boating blog yesterday.


Drought Leaves Them High and Dry

The drought is tough for everyone in the Southeast, including boaters.

Boaters become fish out of water

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It was 4 p.m. Tuesday and traffic was gridlocked.

Not usually big news, but when vehicles are lined up bumper-to-trailer like they were at Lake Lanier's Shoal Creek boat ramp, it causes some grumbling, a few beeps of the horns and raised eyebrows.

The drought has closed most of Lake Lanier's boat ramps. Deanna and James Gabriel take their boat out at Shoal Creek boat ramp on Tuesday.

The sun was getting low, and boaters coming off the lake hoped to get home for dinner. And those putting in, knowing the striped bass were actively feeding in the late afternoon, wanted to catch a few fish before dusk.

The drought has been tough on boaters this fall. With water levels at lakes Lanier and Allatoona nearing record lows, boats ramps are being closed on a weekly basis. Shoal Creek, located off Buford Dam Road on the south end of the lake, is one of only two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat ramps on Lanier that were still open this past week (Tidwell to the west is the other one). It's not much better at Allatoona, which has only four public ramps open — Blockhouse, Galt's Ferry, Cooper Branch No. 1 and Red Top Mountain State Park (at Bethany Bridge) ramps.


Changing the Oceans

And not for the better.

A World Dying, But Can We Unite To Save It?
By Geoffrey Lean
The Independent
Humanity is rapidly turning the seas acid through the same pollution that causes global warming, the world’s governments and top scientists agreed yesterday. The process — thought to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans for 20 million years — is expected both to disrupt the entire web of life of the oceans and to make climate change worse.


Too Much Fishing?

Greenpeace Slams 'Unsustainable' Tuna Quota
ANKARA (AFP) - An international commission designed to protect bluefin tuna stocks has effectively increased the fishing quota for 2008 from what was already an "unsustainable" level, Greenpeace said Sunday.

"Countries are approving a bigger quota for a species that is on the verge of collapse instead of acting immediately to save it," said Sebastian Losada, Greenpeace Spain's Oceans Campaigner.

The environmental pressure group said the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), held in Turkeyhad approved a nearly 1,000-tonne increase in the 2008 catch.

Organisers issued no statement on the conclusions of the meeting -- attended by a Greenpeace delegation -- in the Turkish Mediterranean resort of Antalya.