GMG reader asks: Where have all the foghorns gone?

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Question

“I’ve been living in Gloucester now since 2013 (and love it of course!). When we first moved to the city, we could hear the foghorns during inclement weather. However, about a year ago, I noticed that I no longer hear them. I loved this soothing sound on a gray day and am wondering what happened? Have the foghorns been turned off? Thanks!” –Patricia

Answer

Sort of. The foghorn sound has not changed but their frequency has dropped significantly because the systems are no longer automated in situ on light house grounds. Instead, foghorns are on demand now, manually kicked in by vessel operators. They are VHF automated to frequency 83 Alpha.  Five or more consecutive clicks sets the foghorn off for 30, 45 and 60 minutes depending upon the lighthouse.

The USCG in Gloucester explained that the USCGNortheast out of Boston tends the Cape Ann Lighthouses, albeit Thacher Island North Light which is private. The USCG  division responsible for all technology elements is called the “Aids to Navigation Team”, aka the USCGNortheast ANT unit.

Since 2010, slowly but surely the USCG has been replacing the automated VM-100 fog detector systems with  “Marine Radio Activated Sound Signal” or MRASS systems. VM-100 were problematic as parts were no longer fabricated and the systems were deemed less reliable and obsolete. Boaters rely on common knowledge. Many access USCG light list, GPS on their cellphones, chartplotters, and radar. When the weather hedges to the odds of even one boater being confused by fog, evidence suggests crowdsourcing engages the signal. Expect frequency to increase in summer when more boats are on the water.

The change was not without controversy. See the history of transition in Maine. Locally, a 2013 Gloucester Daily Times editorial expressed support of the Rockport Harbormasters’ opposition. Because of broad push back, the roll out was slowed down for better outreach and acceptance.  The “drop date” requiring all foghorns nationwide to be in compliance was May 1, 2019.

“The upkeep of the MRASS foghorns is so much easier,” explains Petty Officer ONeal of the USCG ANT in Boston. “All the foghorns from Plymouth to Newburyport have been converted. Eastern Point was switched over yesterday.”

I sympathize with this lament for the foghorn. And I appreciate the challenge of maintenance and adaptation. Understandably safety, navigation, cost and care were essential topics of discussion, less so audible texture, mood, sense of place & culture. (Never mind the challenge of mastering dead reckoning when vision fails.) The allure of the sound from shores, often traveling great distance, is in the ear of the listener. Beguiling. Haunting. Soothing. Despondent. Scary. Annoying [see bestselling author Elizabeth Stuart Phelps LTE complaints ca.1880 about the whistling buoy off Mother Ann and that’s no foghorn] What do you think, GMG readers, and vessel experts?

Like train engineers blowing the whistle obliging ogling toddlers, maybe a few boaters will queue the sound in dreary weather for pining landlubbers. Technology changes that’s certain. Perhaps the poetic qualities will be baked into future foghorn design despite obsolescence.

The MRASS system is robust and here now. Thanks to USCG Gloucester and Petty Officer ONeal USCGNortheast ANT unit Boston for confirming details and to GMG reader Patricia for a great inquiry!

 

 

 

 

GloucesterCast 317 With Adam Curcuru, Dave McKechnie, Jim and Pat Dalpiaz, Chris McCarthy, Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 1/17/19

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GloucesterCast 317 With Adam Curcuru, Dave McKechnie, Jim and Pat Dalpiaz, Chris McCarthy, Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 1/17/19

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Topics Include:

Podcast notes:
Coast Guard Help Information from Adam Curcuru
Pisces Closing 50%Off Sale
Alchohol vs marijuana
Polar Vortex Has Been Broken
You Have To Own More Than One Guinea Pig In Switzerland Because They Are Such Social Animals
Mr Swan In the Ice
Phylis A Fundraiser
Jeff Denoncour giving talk at Cape Ann Museum On ecology of Crane’s Beach Saturday at 3PM need to register
Lobster Buoy Auction to Benefit Cape Ann Art Haven- January 25th

IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans curated by Ken Hruby at Rocky Neck

The creative response to military service is vast.

Several Gloucester and Cape Ann artists and writers were veterans officially engaged as combat documentarians and/or military artists, like Larry O’Toole (1908-1951), marine artist, official USCG artist and WWII Veteran.

Ron Gilson visiting Larry O'Toole oils commisioned ca1945 by Ben Pine for YMCA and Master Mariners moved to Essex Shipbuilding-  then O'Maley ©c ryan.jpg
Author and historian Ron Gilson viewing Larry O’Toole murals at O’Maley Innovation School, originally commissioned by Ben Pine ca.1945; after fire and demolition, temporarily relocated to Essex Shipbuilding Museum ; rescued and returned to Gloucester by Raye Norris. When he was a teenager, Gilson helped O’Toole with general art handling-studio assistance such as readying and moving these murals.

 

Addison Center’s 1866 portrait of Ulysses S. Grant is to the left upon entry in City Hall. (On the right is a 1946 memorial commission by Marguerite Pearson to 5 WWII marines: Sherman B Ruth, Ralph Greely, Wilfred Ringer, John M. Sweet, and Robert M. Maguire.)

Others created art in response to their service experience like fine artist, Robert Stephenson (1935-2013).

Good Morning Gloucester readers have been following an indeliable original illustrated series, Stories from Vietnam, with illustrations and writing by David Hussey. The Gloucester Writers Center established a Veterans Writing Workshop in the fall of 2013 and published a compilation book, The Inner Voice and the Outer World, launched in December 2017.  Cape Ann Veterans Services brought copies of the children’s picture book, Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhoodand super volunteer readers, into local Kindergarten, first and second grades to read aloud in the classes. Copies of the book were gifted to the classroom libraries. (Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood ©2012 is by Valerie Pfundstein with illustrations by Aaron Anderson and foreword by John Vigiano Sr., a Marine Veteran and retired FDNY Captain, who honors his sons’ memories –both lost on 9/11– by volunteering his time and resources to Gold Star families and wounded heroes.) Gloucester native and Gold Star mother, Anita Coullard Dziedzic, helped support this outreach through Cape Ann Veterans Services, to honor her son Sgt. David J Coullard.

© c ryan Bradley Smith poet and veteran
Artists-veterans throughout Cape Ann. Bradley Smith, poet, veteran

NEXT MONTH, Rocky Neck Cultural Center will present a visual arts group exhibition featuring artists who are currently active or served in the military curated by fine artist and veteran Ken Hruby:

IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans, Curated by Ken Hruby
May 17 – June 24, 2018

Courtesy photos credit info and press release below from Rocky Neck.

  • Mourning the Loss of a Comrade, GySgt Michael Fay, USMCR- Served in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Walking in Two Worlds, US Army Signals Linguist Cara Myhre, Served in Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Haunting Memories, Lt. Col. Deveon Sudduth, US Army, Served in Iraq
  • Ready for Ga Noi, Sgt. Robert Louis Williams, USMC, Combat Artist, Served in Vietnam
  • Woman Marine, GySgt Michael Fay, USMCR, Served in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Through The Elephant Grass, Sgt. Robert Louis Williams, USMC, Combat Artist, Served in Vietnam

PRESS RELEASE – “The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) proudly presents “IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans”, a multi-media, juried exhibition of over sixty works by more than thirty combat artists from the military services and by veterans making art from their experiences in zones of combat…Congressman Seth Moulton of the 6th congressional district of Massachusetts, himself a Marine Corps veteran of four tours in Iraq, states of this exhibition, The ‘incommunicable experience of war,’ as Oliver Wendel Holmes once described it, indeed often defies explanation by words alone. That veterans can share some of their experience through art can help us all better understand what they went through. And as a veteran myself, who returned to war with a camera after I left the Marines, I know how cathartic art can be for those of us who were there. The work of combat artists is important for civilians as well, to deepen their understanding of the lives of our service men and women, and their families. “In War and After” is an a very important exhibition for both communities.”

Few people are aware that when US military forces go to war, some of them carry, in addition to their weapons, their sketch pads, graphite pencils, watercolor brushes and cameras. These are combat artists, tasked to not only serve the combat mission but to record that mission in ways only an artist can.

Continue reading “IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans curated by Ken Hruby at Rocky Neck”

Army vs Navy Flag Football at Newell!

Cape Ann’s First Annual Veterans Flag Football Army/Navy

High Noon land and sea Saturday, December 9, 2017 at Newell Stadium Gloucester High School– easy back and forth from Middle Street Walk and the game. Austin Dorr & Mayor Romeo Theken have the coin toss. Carlos Goulart and Daniel Collins are the refs. GHS boys soccer is ‘kicking in’ some Gatorade and water support.

Army Navy Flag Football at Newell

Action photos and Sail GHS announces 5pm Wednesday talks!

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Hilary shares photos from the last sails of the season and announces upcoming Wednesday 5PM talks:

“Here are some pics from yesterday as we wind down our season on the water.

Sail GHS will be conducting weekly chalk talks at FHL House with visiting experts in the field (notably, our own coach, Gordon Baird ,as well as Jamie Chicone,stationed here with the USCG, aboard Key Largo) every Wednesday @5 PM with pizza to follow. Visitors are welcome.

FHL House is the Fitz Henry Lane House at Harbor Loop. They “sail Mon-Thurs, 3-5:15 thru Oct 27”. Go check them out and join in sometime!

Continue reading “Action photos and Sail GHS announces 5pm Wednesday talks!”

Like the Coast Guard doesn’t have a hard enough job!

Like the Coast Guard doesn’t have a hard enough job!

SEATTLE — Coast Guard personnel assisted in the removal of an activist who secured himself to the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger in Bellingham, Wash., Sunday morning.

Matt Fuller requested Coast Guard assistance down from the vessel’s anchor chain at approximately 4:30 a.m. and was taken to Coast Guard Station Bellingham.

Coast Guard personnel transported him in good condition to Station Bellingham were he was met by EMS and the Bellingham Police Department but was not arrested.  Fuller was released in good condition.

The Coast Guard has cited four people for violation of the 100-yard safety zone around the Arctic Challenger and has terminated the voyage of two vessels determined to not have had the required safety gear including operating without navigational lights after sunset.  A small inflatable raft was held due to lack of proof of ownership.

“The Coast Guard has a duty to promote the safety of life at sea, which includes the encouragement of safe navigation in our ports and waterways by all waterway users, said Lt. Cmdr. Justin Noggle, chief of enforcement at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, in Seattle. “The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment Rights of people to safely and lawfully assemble on the water.  To that end, we will enforce those laws and regulations necessary to ensure the safety of the maritime public.”

Violation of the safety zone can result in possible civil or criminal penalties. Whether intentional or unintentional, interference with these vessels has the potential to result serious injury, death or pollution in the highly sensitive ecosystem of Puget Sound.

Pair Chains Themselves to Shell Ship Near Seattle to Protest Arctic Drilling

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Two people have chained themselves to a support ship that is part of Royal Dutch Shell’s exploratory oil drilling plans and currently moored in Washington state.

Eric Ross of the Backbone Campaign said on Saturday morning that Matt Fuller joined student activist Chiara Rose in suspending themselves from the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger, which is in Bellingham Bay.

Rose suspended herself from the ship with a climbing harness on Friday night in protest to Shell’s plan for Arctic drilling.

Image: Activist Chiara Rose suspended herself in a climbing harness onto the anchor chain Reese Semanko
Activist Chiara Rose suspended herself Saturday in a climbing harness onto the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger in Bellingham Bay, Washington. She is leading a protest against Shell’s plan for Arctic drilling.

The Coast Guard cutter Osprey spent the night monitoring Rose but took no action, Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer said Saturday morning. “We’re really most concerned for her safety and the safety of everyone involved,” Shearer said.

Ross said both Rose and Fuller are fine and are not being harassed by the Coast Guard. But he expressed concern for Rose’s health and said she must be getting dehydrated and tired after her night above the water.

Authorities spoke with the woman and asked her to remove herself. “There’s no plans right now to do anything further,” Shearer said.

The ship isn’t scheduled to leave the port for several days.

— The Associated Press

Chickity Check it!- THE U.S. COAST GUARD MOBILE APP @USCGNortheast #USCG

Available for download May 16, 2015

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The USCG Boating Safety App features include:

  • Find the latest safety regulations
  • Request a vessel safety check
  • Check your safety equipment
  • File a float plan
  • Navigation Rules
  • Find the nearest NOAA buoy
  • Report a hazard
  • Report pollution
  • Report suspicious activity
  • Request emergency assistance

About the App

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Ahoy Ye Coywolfe!

From USCG Northeast;

“The Coast Guard Cutter Pendant spotted a coyote running across their bow! What would you do?”

Check out and Like their Facebook Page

@uscg Cutter Grand Isle Decommissioned Yesterday After Many Years Of Service In #GloucesterMA 2/26/15 5:45AM

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Check it out here on their Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/USCoastGuardNortheast?fref=nf

From USCG Northeast;

“Our beloved Coast Guard Cutter ‪#‎GrandIsle‬ will be decommissioned tomorrow.
July – September 1996: GI received a CG Unit Commendation for participating in the response to the Trans World Airlines Flight 800 Crash. The plane was on its way to Paris from New York and experienced an explosion 16NM off the coast of Moriches Harbor.”

For our many many posts about Gloucester’s Cutter- https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/?s=GRAND+ISLE

17 Abandon HMS Bounty off N.C. coast

The HMS Bounty which was the feature ship in Gloucester’s Schooner Festival Last Summer was taking on water out at sea and it’s 17 person crew just abandoned ship.

Uhmmm does this not beg the question-

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING OUT TO SEA ON THIS BOAT WHEN THEY’VE BEEN FORCASTING THIS STORM FOR OVER A WEEK?”

Somebody’s got some splainin’ to do!

17 abandon stricken ship off N.C. coast

By NBC News staff

Seventeen people aboard a replica of the HMS Bounty abandoned ship early Monday while stranded at sea off the North Carolina coast, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release.

"The 17 person crew donned cold water survival suits and life jackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The ship issued a distress signal late Sunday and was taking on water, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The owner of the 180-foot, three mast ship — which was built for the 1962 Marlon Brando movie, "Mutiny on the Bounty" — lost communication with the crew and alerted the Coast Guard to the situation.

Here she is when she arrived in Gloucester Last Summer-

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UPDATE: Coast Guard responds to vessel in distress 160 miles from hurricane’s center

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard has received word that the crew of the HMS Bounty has abandoned ship approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras N.C., Monday.

The 17 person crew donned cold water survival suits and lifejackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies.

The Coast Guard continues to monitor the situation and assess the weather conditions to determine the soonest Coast Guard aircraft or surface assets can be on scene to conduct effective rescue operations.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina initially received a call from the owner of the 180-foot, three mast tall ship, HMS Bounty, saying she had lost communication with the vessel’s crew late Sunday evening.

The Coast Guard 5th District command center in Portsmouth subsequently received a signal from the emergency position indicating radio beacon registered to the Bounty, confirming the distress and position.
An air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City launched aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft, which later arrived on scene and reestablished communications with the Bounty’s crew.
The vessel was reportedly taking on water and was without propulsion.  On scene weather is reported to be 40 mph winds and 18-foot seas.

More Pictures of the HMS Bounty In Gloucester Last Summer-

Gloucester Welcomes HMS BOUNTY

Posted on August 31, 2012 by Marty Luster


HMS Bounty coming to the Gloucester Schooner Festival

Len Burgess Submits-

September 1st & 2nd.

HMS Bounty…at one with the sea…global voyager…movie star…dedicated to preserving the fine art of square-rigged sailing.

      The HMS Bounty is one of the most famous ships in the world. Known for the storied mutiny that took place in Tahiti in 1789 on board the British transport vessel, the current Bounty, a replica, has survived to tell the tale. Built for the 1962 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” with Marlon Brando, HMS Bounty sails the country offering dockside tours in which one can learn about the history and details of sailing vessels from a lost and romanticized time in maritime history. Since her debut in “Mutiny on the Bounty”, HMS Bounty has appeared in many documentaries and featured films such as the Edinburgh Trader in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans Chest with Johnny Depp.

 

Video- Coast Guard medevacs 60-year-old man southeast of Gloucester

The Coast Guard medically evacuated a 60-year-old man from a charter vessel 19 miles southeast of Gloucester, Mass., Thursday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Boston command center received a call at 12:16 p.m. from the 75-foot charter vessel Yankee Clipper, reporting that a 60-year old man aboard was experiencing chest pains.

A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew and a Station Gloucester 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew immediately launched to assist.

The man was safely hoisted from the 47-foot Motor Life Boat to the helicopter and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

"Helicopters provide the Coast Guard the capability to assist mariners in urgent need of medical care in a prompt, timely and effective manner," said Lt. j.g. Jared Carbajal, Public Affairs Officer at  Air Station Cape Cod.

Coast Guard searches for missing kayaker, requests public assistance

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BOSTON — The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing kayaker after a red kayak was located in the Annisquam River south of Wingaersheek Beach, Mass., Tuesday.

A good Samaritan located the kayak near the mouth of the Mill River at approximately 3 p.m. and notified the Coast Guard.

The kayak is a Field and Stream model and has a serial number of XLJ95913C111.

A Coast Guard Station Gloucester 25-foot Response Boat-Small crew is currently searching the area.

"We aren’t sure if the kayak simply broke free from a mooring or if there’s someone really missing," said Ens. Michael Barker, the command duty officer at the Coast Guard Sector Boston Command Center. "Along with sending out a search crew, we are asking the public to let us know if they have any information regarding the owner of the kayak."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sector Boston Command Center at 617-223-5757.

The Coast Guard recommends kayakers and other paddlers place a Paddle Smart sticker with their name and phone numbers where rescuers may reach them or a friend or relative in the event their kayak is found. Paddlers and kayakers can also use a waterproof, permanent marker to write the information on their craft.