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Speaking Of Skimmers

The Newport News, Virginia Daily Press has an article on one that is billed as the world’s largest: Giant oil skimmer makes stop in Norfolk on way to Gulf cleanup

NORFOLK — A giant tanker billed as the world’s largest oil skimming vessel will sail Friday to the Gulf of Mexico after a brief stop at the Port of Hampton Roads, with no guarantee it will be allowed to assist in oil-cleanup efforts.

The Taiwanese-owned ship, dubbed the “A Whale,” is one of the world’s largest supertankers at 1,115 feet in length and a nearly 200 foot beam. It was converted last week at a Portuguese shipyard to skim oil off surface waters.

The six-month-old, Liberian-flagged A Whale is designed to work 20 to 50 miles offshore where other, smaller skimmers have trouble navigating and ingest oily water into 12, 16-foot-long intake vents on both sides of its bow.

The vessel needs approval from the EPA and Coast Guard.

The EPA and Coast Guard aren’t the problem, the problem is BP agreeing to using the ship. Since it is so large, it will probably be expensive, which disqualifies it in BP’s plan. There are other large skimmers in the world, and BP hasn’t contracted with any of them. If they bring up the “Jones Act”, that is just bogus. There are no comparable US vessels, so it isn’t competing with anyone.

June 26, 2010   Comments Off on Speaking Of Skimmers

Mississippi’s Turn

Gulf Gusher symbolMcClatchy reports what everyone who has been following the oil forecasts already knew: No skimmers in sight as oil floods into Mississippi waters.

But it did bring the governor back to the state for a change: As oil threatens Mississippi, Barbour at GOP fundraisers

BILOXI, Miss. — Gov. Haley Barbour rushed back to Mississippi from Washington early on Friday upon news that large amounts of oil is threatening the Coast, and said his national political work is not distracting him from guiding the Magnolia State through the BP disaster.

Barbour on Thursday held Washington fund-raisers for the Republican Governors Association, which he heads, and for one of his political action committees, which is raising money for GOP congressional candidates. His fund-raising is receiving some national media attention and fueling speculation that he is already gearing up for a run for president in 2012.

BP controls the money, so they allocate the resources, and they don’t do anything without a written report, as Pensacola found out. Many of the people complaining would raise hell if the Federal government just took over by requiring BP to set up another escrow fund.

Jimmy Buffett doesn’t even live on the Mississippi Coast any more but he helps out: Jimmy Buffett and friends present unique animal-rescue SWAT boat to USM

Called SWAT, for Shallow Water Attention Terminal, the shallow-draft boat boasts a silent electric motor contributed by Evinrude.

A canopy – built to 7 feet to accommodate 6-foot 7-inch research lab professor Jim Franks – provides protection from the sun, Jimbo Meador told a crowd of about 30 people gathered for the event that included christening, blessing by the Rev. Chris Cumbest and launch.

The vessel is 17 feet long and can easily carry three to four people, plus numerous animals.

The vessel delivery was followed by a reception on the beach. The lab plans to start using it in the marshes and estuaries of south Mississippi in the next several weeks, according to USM.

Jimmy is helping to rescue birds, while Haley Barbour is out-of-state raising money for Republican politicians. Maybe if the governor of Mississippi had spent a little time at the meetings on the problems and stopped complaining about people who criticize the oil industry, the state would be in better shape.

June 26, 2010   Comments Off on Mississippi’s Turn

Stage Two – Day One

World CupGood day for South America, and bad day for Asia as Uruguay beats the Republic of Korea 2-1 in the first game and heads to the quarter finals.

La Celeste hold their own in the very tough South American CONMEBOL, which has five teams in Stage Two.

I’ll update with the United States v. Ghana results later.

Well, they took it to overtime, but the final is United States 1-2 Ghana, so Africa has a team in the quarter finals of the first World Cup in Africa.

With Mexico facing Argentina tomorrow, things don’t look good for CONCACAF representation, but El Tri have beaten La Albiceleste before.

June 26, 2010   Comments Off on Stage Two – Day One

Tropical Storm Alex

Tropical Storm AlexPosition: 17.7N 88.4W [10 PM CST 0300 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [290°] near 12 mph [19 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 65 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 105 miles [165 km].
Minimum central pressure: 997 mb ↑.

It is 20 miles [30 km] Northwest of Belize City on shore.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast of Belize, the East Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal to Cancun, Mexico.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

June 26, 2010   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Alex