Rik van Hemmen's blog

December 15, 2011, in Rochester, New York to inspect a pier on behalf of the Department of Justice with regard to a fatal boater's crash on a dark night in 2008 on Lake Ontario.

 

It was surprisingly warm for this time of year, but the USCG Boatswain in charge of the 47 foot MLB and his crew performed a risk assessment and decided we should wear the mustang suits for the night time trip.

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The Normandie is by far my favorite passenger vessel from a design point of view (on a pure love/looks basis, the pre-war Nieuw Amsterdam II beats her by a small margin).

 

Years ago I came across a set of drawings in our office with a last correction date of February 9, 1942 that show the conversion of the Normandie to an unnamed troop carrier drawn by Cox & Stevens.

 

It always was a mystery to me why we had this set of drawings, but recently, for the Bahrs Bar and Museum project, I was reading "Normandie, Her Life and Times" by Harvey Ardman (quite a good read by the way) and on page 273 there was mention of a Normandie valuation by Frank S. Martin. read more »

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Friday, November 11th, 2011

Exxon Valdez? Enough already.

 

My sister, Annemarie, who, as an ex tall ship sailor, has good salty connections sent me the words to this famous chantey.

 

So here we go:

 

What’ll we do with a drunken sailor (3x)

Earl-aye in the morning?

 

Hooray and up she rises (3x)

Early-aye in the morning

 

 

 

Shave his belly with a rusty razor

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Put him in the long boat till he’s sober

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Put him in the scuppers with a hawse pipe on him.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Put him in bed with the captain’s daughter.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Beat him with a cat ‘til his back is bleedin’

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Put him in the bilge and make him drink it

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Truss him up with a runnin’ bowline.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Give ‘im a dose of salt and water.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Stick on ‘is back a mustard plaster.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Send him up the crow’s nest till he falls down,

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Tie him to the taffrail when she’s yardarm under,

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Soak ‘im in oil ‘til he sprouts a flipper.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Put him in the guard room ‘til he’s sober.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Make him the skipper of an Exxon tanker.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

That’s what we do with a drunken Sailor,

Earl-aye in the morning

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High tech comes in many flavors. Some of it is just completely new like the Lever building in New York City or maybe an IPad, but I like high tech when it reaches back and reaches forward. In yacht design occasionally I get to see such instances. I particularly like those designs that use wood in novel ways. Last week I finally got the chance to sail on a 1980's Dick Newick wooden trimaran that has been taunting me on its mooring on the river near my house for many years (I am digressing a little here, bear with me). 

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Monday, September 19th, 2011

World Maritime Day

 

The world is filled with anniversities, commemorations and memorials.

 

IMO also has special days and September 29, 2011 will be World Maritime Day. It would be easy to be cynical about yet another "special" day. But if there can be a national pickle day, or even a day that commemorates the Irish, it is simply a non brainer that each year we stop for a minute and contemplate the effect of martime on the world. This year the day will take special notice of piracy and the effect it has on today's maritime commerce. 

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Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The passing of a real engineer

 

Today marks the passing of a real engineer. Keith Tantlinger was the engineer who designed the shipping container components that realized Malcolm McLean's vision.

 

The New York Times recognized Mr. Tantlinger's importance to humanity by publishing his obituary.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/07/business/keith-tantlinger-builder-of-cargo-container-dies-at-92.html?_r=1&emc=eta1 read more »

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Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Robert Fulton

Francis A. Martin, the founder of Martin & Ottaway, was a grandnephew of Robert Fulton, the first successful steamboat operator (I will not get into the debate as to who invented the steamboat, but I agree it was not Robert Fulton). Robert Fulton is a rather elusive figure who was a prolific inventor and technical promoter and a pretty good painter too.

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Thursday, May 5th, 2011

A first (as far as I know)

Since 1995 Martin & Ottaway has been based in Monmouth County on the North Jersey shore, but many of us have known the shore for much longer than that. One of Chris Hanges' favorite Jersey hangouts was Bahrs Landing in Highlands, a short distance from the Seastreak ferry.

 

Bahrs Landing still is a Jersey shore favorite and plays a part in the life of many a Monmouth County resident past and present. The restaurant decor is traditional "shore shack" with sawtooth fish jaws, rustic ship models and a diver Dan suit, but the last time I stopped by I noticed a diorama containing three generations of the Columbia Bar lightship. These scale models were quite a step up from the crude models that are associated with the traditional shore shack style. Jay Cosgrove, the fourth generation Owner of the restaurant, was right there and I asked where he picked that beauty up. 

 

 

So this is the story in a nutshell: One of his customers, Henry Schaeffer, a long time Atlantic Highlands resident, is an avid ship model builder, who is now near 80 and had moved some time ago to a retirement community in central Jersey. Advancing in age, he was wondering what to do with his ship model collection, and contacted Jay if he could donate his ship model collection to Bahrs' Restaurant for free lunches in perpetuity.

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The Maritime Industry is the single most important driver for the world as we know it today. Before maritime commerce was established, trade consisted of horses and carts on bad roads, and since horses and carts can only move limited amounts of product trade was inherently deeply restricted.

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Museums are scary things. It would be interesting to figure out when the first true museum was created. I am not talking about curio collections, like animal zoos, that must go back to prehistoric times and church collections that focus on relics, I am talking about institutions that are interested in preserving objects that have human significance. Institutions that preserve objects that provide specific references to our human development. Art would be a part of that and so would be religious objects, but our real progress is measured by all aspects of humanity; commerce, finance, technology, education and trade, and it seems to me there are more and more museums for all these aspects of humanity everyday.

 

 

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