The Monterrey shipwrecks, Galveston Texas

It was the early 1800’s. A convoy of three ships in the Gulf of Mexico sailed with privateer crews carrying their cargo of guns, leather and tallow. Perhaps they were hoping to make some money or trade. Perhaps they sailed from the Texas territory or other places along the gulf. We don’t yet know the details but we do know this, today all three ships lay on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico beneath 4,500 feet of water.

This week archaeologists announced that they had found numerous items among the debris from these three wrecks which were discovered in 2011 during a deep water Shell Oil survey. They found anchors, muskets, cannons, a ship’s bell, bottles, remnants of a wheel, rolls of leather hide, navigational equipment and tallow which was used for making candles.

The three ships went down within site of each other which most likely means they sank during a storm. They are located 150 miles Southeast of Galveston Texas. In an article on ABC 13 Eyewitness News, Researchers led by a team from Texas State University in San Marcos called it the deepest shipwreck that archaeologists have systematically investigated in the Gulf of Mexico and in North America.

Objects from the wreckage were brought ashore on Thursday in five-gallon tubs with labels.

Researchers say they found about 60 artifacts, ranging from beer bottles to compasses to three British muskets and more.

“We also have an octant, sand clocks that they used to tell time on the ship, so there are a number of things that are extremely fragile, especially three muskets that we recovered,” said Fritz Hanselman with Texas State University. “They appeared to be British muskets. The wood is largely intact. The barrels are largely gone, but we were able to get diagnostic information from those guns themselves and those are probably some of the most fragile artifacts we’ve recovered.”

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Sources:
KHOU Houston Texas
ABC Local 13
The Chron
ABC Local 13

Cargo Ships Crossing the Ocean Without a Crew

Unmanned Cargo Ships could become a reality

Cargo ShipWe’ve heard of unmanned aerial drones being flown by a pilot sitting in office building on the opposite side of the planet, but Rolls Royce wants to do the same thing with cargo ships on the high seas.

According to an article on Bloomberg, Rolls-Royce’s Blue Ocean development team has set up a virtual-reality prototype at its office in Alesund, Norway, that simulates 360-degree views from a vessel’s bridge. Eventually, the London-based manufacturer of engines and turbines says, captains on dry land will use similar control centers to command hundreds of crewless ships.
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Sea Water for Fuel – The Navy Says, Yes We Can

Turning water into fuel

Ship to Ship refueling

Photo credit: A Navy fuel ship replenishes the the U.S.S. Mount Whitney (right) on the Mediterranean Sea in October 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Collin Turner/Released)

Imagine turning seawater into fuel. It sounds like something from a science fiction novel but the U.S. Navy believes it has worked out how and believes it will be able to implement the technology into ships within 10 years.
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MV Wilson Gdynia hits rough seas, loses steering

MV Wilson Gdyna

Stricken: The Caribbean MV Wilson ship in high seas off the west coast of Scotland. Photo Credit Murdo Maclean

The MV Wilson Gdynia a 3,600 ton cargo ship has run into high seas and 40 to 45 mile per hour winds causing her to lose steering 20 miles off the west coast of Scottland. She holds a crew of 8.

A life boat sent from nearby Barra Head is staying with the vessel in the event the crew needs to abandon ship.
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Card Modeling

My first attempt at Papercraft Card Modeling

Alice papermodel BismarckDid you know that highly detailed model ships can be made of paper? Neither did I until recently. I had been searching for plastic model kits when I came across a really nice looking ship model made from paper.

Papercraft card modeling is making scale models from sheets of cardstock on which the parts are printed using a regular computer printer. The pieces are then cut out, folded, scored and glued together to create a highly detailed scale model.

I thought it was cool enough to give it a try, but I knew I wanted to start simple (heck, I don’t even own a color printer). So I started with this very simple ship. It has only 13 parts and took me about 30 minutes to build.
Very Simple ship made of paper

Here is the template: http://www.gumhold.com/paper_free/Ship_150dpi.png
And here are the assembly instructions: http://www.gumhold.com/paper_free/Ship_inst.jpg

My finished boat:
paper craft boat

Photo credits: Alice Papermodel and Martin Gumhold.

J. G. McNease’s Debut Book

The Last NavigatorWhen people ask me how I managed to write an entire book, my only answer is by the grace of God. The idea to write The Last Navigator came from experiences I had during graduate school class in Hawai’i. When I embarked on my trip, my prayer was that God would reveal His Wonders to me in all of the beauty that is Hawai’i. It wasn’t difficult to see the works of His hands in such an incredible place. What I wasn’t prepared for was finding God in the cultural practices of Native Hawaiians and Polynesians.

During my coursework, I was fortunate enough to attend a show at the Polynesian Cultural Center on the island of Oahu. The show, called “Hā: The Breath of Life”, was a mixture of cultural dance and songs that represented the various Polynesian peoples in Hawai’i and the surrounding islands. Even though the show had nothing to do with God, per se, it had an element of faith that could not be denied. That element was “Hā”, which in Hawaiian means the breath of life. I reflected on this word for a while and realized that “Hā” is not just a Hawaiian term. In the Old Testament, God breathes Himself into Abram to make him Abra[ha]m. God’s breath of life is “Hā” as well and that revelation was extremely powerful to me. I could truly see God in all of Hawai’i, even in the non-Christian cultural features. It confirmed to me that God is indeed in everything.

As I was writing The Last Navigator, I attempted to show the reader this truth rather than simply stating it. I wanted to reach as many people as possible, Christians and non-Christians alike. I debated with myself on the matter quite a bit and eventually had to turn to God for answers. I prayed about it while writing, asking God to reveal to me the best way to let His Light shine through the words of The Last Navigator. His answer to me came when I was around chapter six. As I was typing, I thought of different ways to represent God in the story. Prolific Christian fiction authors, like C. S. Lewis, for example, seem to have little difficulty finding a way to weave God and the Bible into their novels so why am I having so much trouble? That’s when it hit me. God is described in the Bible as being “the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16 NIV) so what better way to intertwine the Bible into my story than to name God the Great Star. In the book, the Great Star is in everything, just as God is in everything. Lani interacts with the Great Star throughout the narrative and He guides her to her ultimate destiny. From that moment, I let God take the reins and the story seemed to tell itself. I was amazed when I completed the book and took the time to go back and read it. I could see God’s handiwork in each twist and turn of the story. It never ceases to amaze me how He never ceases to bless me.

Author Bio

jgmcneaseprofileJ. G. McNease is an administrative professional by day and an avid writer by night. In 2011, she received her Masters of Social Work degree from Louisiana State University in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her educational background, passion for the human condition, and Christian faith, among other things, have a significant influence on her writing and storytelling. Her interest in the Pacific Islands began during her graduate coursework when she traveled to Hawaii for a graduate class in 2010. While she was there, she found the Polynesian culture and history fascinating. As a result, she co-authored an academic article with her husband, Kyle McNease, titled, The Resounding Sounds of Cultural Resonance: Social Work Practice in the Hawaiian Context. In 2012, the article was presented at the 11th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Since her debut novel, The Last Navigator, J. G. McNease has written several other short stories which she hopes to compile into a collection of works. She has also begun working on the companion book to The Last Navigator, which has a working title of Through Ryan’s Eyes. She works and writes in Tallahassee, Florida, where she and her supportive husband currently reside. Learn more about J. G. McNease and her upcoming works at http://jgmcnease.wordpress.com.

Book Description

The ancient history of whales is rich with ancestral tales of superior wisdom, prehistoric tradition, and unending love. Through haunting songs and fluid dances, stories were told of the valor of warriors, the triumph of great chiefs, and the celestial songs of a mythical tribe of whales—the Navigators.

As a young female whale just coming of age, Lani finds herself daydreaming: not about the local boys, like her best friend, Prissy, but about the myth of the Navigators. When a new comer arrives at the islands and rumors spread about his connection with the Navigators, her imagination ran wild with possibilities. Against the will of her elders, Lani seeks out this new comer in an attempt to satisfy her inquisitive mind. What she finds is more than she ever bargained for. Breaking tradition, she leaves behind her duties as a female, her friends, and her family, and sets out on a quest for knowledge and truth. Along her journey, Lani discovers more than just the mystery of the Navigators. As lifelong family secrets are exposed, she makes unexpected—and unlikely—friends, experiences the pains of loss and faces the fear of death. Through her trials and tribulations, Lani discovers herself, finds her strength, and changes the history of whales forevermore.

A story of strength, self-discovery, love, and legacy, The Last Navigator resonates with anyone who has, or ever wanted to, know more and be more in life. It speaks to the hearts of young and old, inspiring us to be true to our heart’s desires and follow our dreams.