Blog

Rik van Hemmen's picture
Monday, December 29th, 2014

Christmas Poetry

 

Many years ago Arthur Mournian gave me a quirky little book named Nautical Poetry, which was a collection of (what the editor considered to be) the best nautical poetry. It contained some good stuff, but not this Robert Louis Stevenson poem that was sent to me over Christmas by my friend and former colleague John Luard.

 

It should have.

 

 

Christmas at Sea

 

by Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)

 


 

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'-wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

  read more »

So here, at the end of the year, I have spent a few moments pondering the maritime events that affected my life. As usual, this is a personal list, but checking back against prior lists I am surprised that this list making can be very unpredictable. It almost seems that these annual lists carry a hidden common thread, and this year it seems the things that affected me most are not as clearly eventful as prior years. Instead they appear to be subtle, occasionally disturbing and occasionally promising and sometimes both.

 

Here we go: read more »

Harry Ottaway, past President of Martin & Ottaway, getting his balance on the SS SEA WITCH in drydock (stern section), August 2, 1979.

  read more »

Rik van Hemmen's picture
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Big Load Afloat

 

As a company maybe we love salvage more than anything else, but load outs must come in as a very close second.

  read more »

Inventions are often difficult to track, but they often start with a loose comment.

 

Hannah came into my office and asked for my portable CD drive. Not too long ago CD drives were built into computers, but USB memory sticks are rapidly rendering CD's old hat.

 

Out loud Hannah wondered: “How long do you think these CD’s will be around?”

  read more »

Rik van Hemmen's picture
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Ryszard Kaczmarek Can Do!

 

Maybe too often do we tout the power of interning and mentoring, but this week we received a heartwarming note from one of our past interns which started as follows:

 

Since you deserve a partial credit for your support, I thought you would want me to share this great news I received last week.

 

The attachment in that email shows that our 1990’s Virginia Tech AOE intern, Ryszard Kaczmarek has been selected as Naval Sea Systems Command 2015 Engineer of the Year and is a Federal Engineer of the Year Finalist.

 

Today Rich is a Naval Construction Battalion Lieutenant Commander. That makes him a Seabee and therefore makes him the acme of “Can Do!”.

  read more »

True or not, this joke is attributed to Abraham Lincoln:

 

A farmer’s young son comes running into the house.

 

Out of breath he says: “Pa, Pa, the hired hand and Sis are in the hayloft. The hired hand has dropped his pants and Sis has pulled up her skirt! Pa, I think they are fixin’ to pee on the hay.”

 

The farmer says: “Son your facts are correct, but your conclusion is all wrong.”

  read more »

Note: I posed a question at the bottom of the original blog and in August 2016 added two book to the bottom of the list in response.

 

Books are fun, but very occasionally I have encountered books that have actually changed my understanding of humanity and the world.

 

Only a very small number of books actually unlocked pieces in my life’s puzzle, and helped me decode complex problems a little quicker and indentify false truths.

 

This is the short list of those books. (In parentheses I added the approximate date I read them and how I found out about them):

 

  read more »

Rik and I will be presenting our co-authored paper titled "Game Theory for the Maritime Professional" at the SNAME Maritime Convention this Wednesday from 1300-1400 hrs in the Technical Track 1 section, Sandalwood A&B room on the 4th Floor.  If you'll be at the SMC, come check it out!
 
 
read more »

 

Watch a cool video produced in the 1940's by the US Navy on the salvage of the SS Normandie (USS Lafayette) here.  Frank A. Martin of Martin & Ottaway valued this vessel for the US government before the fire/capsize.