|WAR GAMES ON CAPE COD CANAL
War games will take place next week at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal near the Sandwich Marina. Mariners and the general public should not be alarmed. Officials said this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the Massachusetts National Guard, the Coast Guard, the FBI, FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as local police and fire departments will be working together in a homeland security exercise. Without giving away too many secrets about the different scenarios that will unfold each of the three days, the first exercise will involve a ship docked at the marina and another day it will involve the nearby Sandwich power plant.
OUTER CAPE WATERS POSSIBLE NO DISCHARGE AREA
The Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management submitted an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to designate the state coastal waters from Chatham to Provincetown, including Nauset Harbor, as a vessel No Discharge Area. If approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, the coast of Outer Cape Cod, from Provincetown to Chatham, will become a no discharge area up to three miles from shore. The regulated area would cover 179 square miles. Massachusetts already has 60 percent of its coast designated as no-discharge areas, and the Outer Cape area would bring the percentage up to 67 percent. To qualify for no-discharge status, the area must have enough pump-out facilities to support the local boating population. There is some question whether the Outer Cape has that capability.
MORE SEALS RESTING ON BEACHES
Seal sightings have been more common than usual. Marine scientists from the New England Aquarium say they are monitoring three or four seals a day in the Boston area. Not since 2001 have so many adult harp seals been observed in this area. The wild animals can weigh 300 pounds, which is bigger than most bears in New England. Beach walkers, unaccustomed to seeing seals, have been getting too close. The seals bite, putting people and sometimes their dogs, at risk. The aquarium warns people to heed federal law and stay at least 150 feet away from seals resting on the beach.
NEW METHOD TO COUNT FISH
A new way of counting the fish population shows that the fish stocks are more stable than previously believed. This is according to a University of Washington researcher, Dr. Trevor Branch, who said using biomass data from stock assessments instead of catch data is more accurate and gives a completely different picture of the number of fish in the ocean. In other words, instead of focusing on the landings, scientists should be examining the actual state of the ecosystem or what is called the biomass data. The doctor's way of counting the fish shows that most fish stocks are now stabilized and in complete recovery.
MARSHFIELD HARBORMASTER TO GET NEW BUILDING
Marshfield Town Meeting approved funds for a new harbormaster office building that was requested by the Marshfield Harbormaster. The trailer that is currently being used is simply too small for the 13 assistants who work in the department. The new building would also be in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act including its public restrooms. A cost of $1.4 million was listed, but Harbormaster DiMeo said the actual cost to the town would be $400,000, contingent on receiving a pending grant from the state.
NFL PLAYER SAVES THREE TEENS
Professional football player Ted Larsen, who plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, saved the lives of three teens while he was out fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Larsen said he was out in his boat with his girlfriend when he heard on his marine radio the Coast Guard broadcast a message asking mariners to assist another boater in distress. Larsen said when he heard the GPS coordinates of the boater in trouble he knew that he was close. He headed for the broadcast position and spotted the three teenagers. Two of them were in the water holding on to a kayak and the third teen was in distress with another kayak. The football player used his strength to pull the three out of the water and brought them and their kayaks safely back to shore. The Tampa Bay Buccaneer said that you've got to be aware of the weather and know that the ocean can suddenly turn on you.
MORE BOATERS BUT FEWER SALES
The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports there were more boaters, but fewer sales of new boats in 2010. Of the 231.5 million adults living in the United States, 75 million of them participated in recreational boating. This is the highest proportion of participation in recreational boating since 1999 and does not include kayakers and canoeists. However, new power and sailboat sales declined an additional 10 percent in 2010 compared to 2009, and sales were off by 35% in 2009 compared to 2008. The manufacturers' association notes that there are an estimated 17 million boats currently in use in the United States.
FORBES FAMILY YACHT FOR SALE
And last on today's nautical news, the Forbes family's famous yacht, the Highlander, a 151 foot Feadship is listed for sale. The late Malcolm Forbes said he chose the green color for the yacht when he built her in 1985 because it was the color of money. Some other interesting facts about the ship was that it had five staterooms or bedrooms, each a different color, six salons or living rooms, and 14 heads or bathrooms. There were also six staterooms for the crew. Aboard the Highlander were two tenders, a 19-foot Cigarette boat and a 23-foot Donzi boat, two BMW motorcycles, and a Bell Jet Ranger III helicopter. It crossed the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Great Lakes, and cruised the Amazon River. Some of its most valuable art hanging on its bulkheads or walls were Andy Warhol's "Hamburger" and a stained glass door from Queen Victoria's cabin on the royal yacht Osborne. The famous yacht has hosted everyone including Sir Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, John Stossel and even the cast of the "The Sopranos." Liz Taylor would often be seen aboard and one year she was aboard with Malcolm Forbes when they docked at Marina Bay in Quincy.