The Costa Concordia disaster spawns something new

I’m sure readers recall the grounding, refloating and salvage of the cruise liner Costa Concordia a few years ago.  It was one of the most complex and difficult marine salvage jobs in history, and success was far from a foregone conclusion. Whilst the ship is no more, the technologies developed and used to salvage her wreck are now being applied in a new and innovative way. Scottish marine salvage group Ardent is adapting the tanks it used to refloat the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship wrecked off the Italian coast in 2012, to decommission North Sea oil platforms. It is one of several companies trying new ideas to

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Quick road trip

Miss D. and I are heading out for a couple of days, doing a quick writing research trip while she has a couple of days off work.  Blogging will be light for three to four days.  I’ll try to put up something every day, as time allows. Please say a prayer for traveling mercies for us, if you’re so inclined:  and we’ll do the same for all of you traveling this Thanksgiving.  Stay safe out there! Peter

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Ship versus crane – ship wins

The Italian roll-on/roll-off ferry Excellent was docking in Barcelona, Spain yesterday after its regular trip from Genoa, Italy.  Things didn’t go as planned. The fire started by the falling crane, among a group of containers, grew worse, spreading a pall of smoke over the harbor.  It took a while to bring it under control. I imagine the officers of the Excellent have a little explaining to do, both to the harbor officials and to their employers . . . Peter

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A reader weighs in on the Tac Tool debate

Yesterday’s post about the Ka-Bar Tac Tool produced a number of comments and e-mails among those who know about and use such things.  One extended reply was submitted by reader Raven, who agreed to share it with all of us.  Given his background and experience, I found it interesting. My comments are not too well organized but do come from 50 years of manual labor- mechanical, logging, commercial fishing, woodworking etc. Modern life is packed with gadgets- any hobby or vocation is filled with trinkets to part people from their money- newest and best gimmick on the block syndrome- everyone looking

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The rain in Spain – submarine edition

I’m sure those who follow musicals remember this song from the 1964 movie “My Fair Lady“. I daresay the Spanish Navy and Navantia are wishing, round about now, that they too had “got it” years ago concerning their new S-80 class of submarines. The saga began in 2013, when it was discovered that while the new ships would submerge, coming up again was likely to be a little … er … problematic.  As you can imagine, this would have done little to enhance crew morale. A new, Spanish-designed submarine has a weighty problem: The vessel is more than 70 tons too heavy, and officials fear if it

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