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  • The USCGC EAGLE 1987
    by MLBaron on November 22, 2008 at 5:22 PM
    1922 Views - 0 Comments

    The USCGC Eagle (WIX-327) (ex-Horst Wessel) is a 295-foot (90 m) barque used as a training cutter for future officers of the United States Coast Guard. She is the only active commissioned sailing vessel in American government service. She is the seventh U.S. Navy or Coast Guard ship to bear the name in a line dating back to 1792. Each summer, Eagle conducts cruises with cadets from the United States Coast Guard Academy and candidates from the Officer Candidate School for periods ranging from a week to two months. These cruises fulfill multiple roles; the primary mission is training the cadets and officer candidates, but the ship also performs a public relations role. Often, Eagle makes calls at foreign ports as a goodwill ambassador. This video clip appeared in the 1987 Blessing of The New Bedford Fishing Fleet.

    by MLBaron on November 22, 2008 at 5:21 PM
    1473 Views - 0 Comments

    The USCG Cutters Vigilant and Unimack had colorful careers and were prominent fixtures at New Bedford State Pier. First built and commissioned by the U. S. Navy in 1943 as a Barnegat Class Small Seaplane Tender, she served during WWII and saw action in the Caribbean. After the war she was transferred to the U. S. Coast Guard and performed duty on weather stations, fisheries, immigration, and drug interdiction patrols. She also served as a training vessel for reservists, U. S. Coast Guard Academy Cadets, and OCS Candidates. She was returned to the U. S. Navy in 1988 for decommissioning and final disposition. After serving her country and humanity for 45 years with dignity and pride, the U. S. Navy sunk her in 150 feet of water off the coast of Virginia to act as an artificial reef, where she continues her tradition of service by providing a habitat for wide variety of marine life. USCGC VIGILANT (WMEC 617) is the third of the Coast Guards RELIANCE class medium endurance cutters. She is the twelfth cutter to bear the name VIGILANT, dating back to 1790 when the original VIGILANT was built for the Revenue Cutter Service. The present VIGILANT was commissioned on October 3, 1964 at Todd Shipyard in Houston, Texas at a cost of 2.3 million dollars. From 1964 to 1989, VIGILANT was home ported in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In February of 1989, after twenty-five years of active service, VIGILANT was decommissioned to undergo an 18 month Major Maintenance Availability at the Coast Guard Yard. On November 16, 1990 she was again commissioned and proudly rejoined the active fleet at her new homeport of Port Canaveral, Florida.

    by MLBaron on November 22, 2008 at 5:19 PM
    1296 Views - 0 Comments

    Ernestina is designated by the Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark. Originally built at the James and Tarr Yard in Essex, Massachusetts and launched February 1, 1894 as the Effie M. Morrissey, she has sailed on through the centuries to become one of six remaining Essex-built schooners. This video clip first appeared in the 1987 Blessing of the New Bedford Fishing Fleet.

  • The Fairhaven Project
    by MLBaron on November 19, 2008 at 3:42 PM
    1593 Views - 0 Comments

    Northeast Maritime Institute in Fairhaven, Mass., is partnering with the U.S. Department of State in ?The Fairhaven Project? a project aimed at building bonds of friendship between youths whose homes and communities have been torn apart as a result of political conflict and war. The project aims to give a hands-on vocational experience, combined with an up-close-and-personal bonding, with the supposed enemy at the same time. ?Since early American sailing history, Fairhaven has been a safe harbor for sailors. It?s no less so for this group,? said Bob Senseney of the Federal Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, which put the project together. Students will learn the basics of coastal navigation and seamanship and be challenged through a variety of team-building exercises designed to build long-term friendships and a spirit of reliance on each other as a community. They will also study marine ecology as a means of teaching the future leaders of these countries that there are alternatives to violence. The inaugural program was run for three weeks in August 2008. Participants were filmed as part of an upcoming documentary. For more information, visit our website: www.thefairhavenproject.com

  • Fishing at Ft. Phoenix
    by MLBaron on November 11, 2008 at 2:43 PM
    1415 Views - 0 Comments

    A couple of fisherman enjoy a mid fall evening at Ft Phoenix, Fairhaven,MA. The view is always spectacular from this vantage point and is a long time favorite site for wedding photographers, videographers and tourists.

  • "ISLAND HOME" Dockside Fairhaven
    by MLBaron on November 10, 2008 at 9:19 AM
    1808 Views - 0 Comments

    She serves the 7 mile route between Woods Hole and Marthas Vineyard since March 5, 2007. Constructed by VT Halter Marine Inc, of Moss Point, MS, to a design by the Elliott Bay Design Group of Seattle, WA. She has a 255 length with a beam of 64. She is powered by two EMD Diesel engines delivering a total of 6000 HP with a top speed of 16 knots. For her route, she has the fastest crossing time of approximately 30 35 minutes. The freight deck can accommodate 60 vehicles with an additional 16 on hydraulic lift decks, for a total capacity of 76 vehicles. The freight deck can be configured to hold motor coaches, trucks or semi-trailers. She is capable of carrying a total of 1,200 passengers. Passenger amenities include a contemporary interior design, ergonomic seats in comfortable arrangements, a quiet area, spacious bathrooms and Free Wi-Fi internet access.

  • Cargo ship enters New Bedford
    by MLBaron on November 9, 2008 at 6:56 AM
    2006 Views - 0 Comments

    The cargo freighter "CAPE BELLE" registered to Monrovia enters New Bedford-Fairhaven Harbor, Sun Nov 9 11AM. The ship was escorted by a New Bedford Police Boat and assisted by tug "Miss Yvette" registered in Boston,MA. It later was tied up on the north side of the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge. www.westislandweather.com By BECKY W. EVANS Standard-Times staff writer November 30, 2008 6:00 AM Most Viewed Stories * India violence hits home * Fire on Tremont Street causes minor damage * Police arrest two New Bedford teens for West End armed robbery, car chase * Wallet found, turned in at Rite Aid * Harbor dredging shows good results as more, bigger cargo ships turn to New Bedford's port * Federal judge rules that state's ban against Internet wine sales is discriminatory * Black Friday in SouthCoast: 'It was crazy' Just as the city's majestic whaling ships once loomed large on the waterfront, another type of vessel is drawing attention to New Bedford Harbor and helping to stimulate the local economy. Welcome to the age of the refrigerated cargo vessel. As many as 12 of the vessels, which measure about 450 feet in length overall, are expected to arrive in port this winter (three have already come and gone). The massive ships, known as "reefers," will be carrying clementines, oranges and other citrus fruit grown in Morocco and bound for buyers in Toronto, Montreal and the Canadian Maritimes. Each vessel will unload its cargo at Maritime Terminal Inc., creating about 50 jobs for longshoremen and warehouse workers, said Pierre Bernier, who manages the freight forwarding division at the cold-storage facility on MacArthur Boulevard. More than 1,100 trucks will visit the terminal over the next three months to load and transport the fruit to Canada, he said. About five of the 12 vessels will create additional jobs when they are restocked with frozen herring and mackerel caught by New Bedford fishermen and processed locally, Mr. Bernier said. The vessels will carry the exports back across the Atlantic to Western Africa, he said. The vessels' port presence will be felt throughout the local economy from gear and repair shops to ice and fuel docks, said Kristin Decas, executive director of the New Bedford Harbor Development Commission. "They will contribute to economic growth through the use of our amenities here in the port. Whether it's the support services or the restaurants ... it's just a real win for the port," Ms. Decas said. When the refrigerated cargo vessel Cape Belle broke down in Buzzards Bay earlier this month, a local tug boat towed the ship into port for repair. Overall, the incident probably contributed $50,000 to the local economy, Mr. Bernier said. He estimates that each reefer that makes a port call injects about $1 million into the New Bedford economy. Attracting refrigerated cargo vessels to the port is "an important component of our effort at trying to expand import and export trade," Ms. Decas said. The HDC is working on a report that will quantify the economic impact of the port's current maritime activities, she said. It also will outline economic opportunities in global and domestic markets that the port could capitalize on in the future. A three-phase navigational dredging project (the third phase is likely to begin in late December) in New Bedford Harbor has paved the way for the refrigerated cargo vessels, which draw 20 to 24 feet of water. The first and second phases of the state-funded project, which began in January 2005, restored the depth of the federal channel and other parts of the harbor to 30 feet. Decades of accumulated sediment and toxic sludge had made parts of the harbor too difficult for large vessels to navigate. "It brought the channel to the necessary depth to accommodate these cargo ships," Ms. Decas said. "It increased our competitiveness in the global market." The city is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a plan for dredging shallow portions of the federal channel in the outer harbor and Buzzards Bay. Ms. Decas said the goal is to make the depth of the shipping lanes consistent with the 30-foot depth of the inner harbor. Currently, refrigerated cargo ships must occasionally wait for the tide to rise so they have enough water to navigate the channel in the outer harbor, she said. Due in part to dredging, refrigerated cargo vessel traffic at Maritime Terminal is growing, Mr. Bernier said. The company's shipping program increased 35 percent from last year, he said, noting that about 5 more vessels will make port calls this year. New Bedford competes for the vessels with the ports of Wilmington, Del. and Philadelphia. The Whaling City has an edge on the competition, however, given its closer location to Morocco and Canada, Mr. Bernier said. He credited Teamsters Union Local 59 and Longshoremen's Union Local ILA 1413 for supplying a capable labor force that helps make the port competitive. "We have a good setup with them," he said. "They do a really good job." Philip Sullivan, vice president and business agent for New Bedford's local Teamsters, said the union has about 14 workers employed at Maritime Terminal's warehouse during the shipping season. He said the work brought in by the cargo ships allows the workers to earn a lot of overtime pay "just in time for Christmas." It takes one to three days to unload the fruit from the refrigerated cargo vessels. "You try to unload it as quickly as possible because of the perishable project," Mr. Sullivan said. The greatest challenge to further expansion of Maritime Terminal's shipping business is the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge, Mr Bernier said. "Every time a ship comes in and out, it is an obstacle," he said. The Brazilian Reefer, which unloaded citrus in New Bedford earlier this month, had to dock at State Pier instead of Maritime Terminal because "she was too wide" to fit through the bridge opening, he said. The swing-span bridge, which was built in 1906, pivots open to create two passages. One opening is 88 feet wide and the other is 92 feet wide. The narrow openings make it difficult and dangerous for some of the larger vessels to pass through, especially in strong winds, Mr. Bernier said. According to Ms. Decas, New Bedford and Fairhaven are looking at alternatives to the bridge. The towns are working on the scope for an environmental impact report that would examine three alternatives: no action; moving the bridge; or replacing the bridge with a double-leaf bascule bridge. Ms. Decas said the bascule bridge appears to be the most "common-sense approach" because it could be done within a more reasonable time frame and at a more reasonable cost than moving the bridge. It is too early in the process to know how much the bridge would cost, she said. The double-leaf bascule bridge would have two connecting platforms that each would be lifted by a counterweight, creating a single, wide path through which reefers and other large vessels could pass. Ms. Decas said the new bridge would "open up huge opportunities" for the North Terminal area, a 50-acre marine industrial site to the north of the current bridge. The refrigerated cargo vessels that make port calls in New Bedford hail from countries around the globe such as Lithuania, Liberia and the Bahamas. As it welcomes foreign vessels and crewmen, Maritime Terminal must adhere to new security measures established by the Maritime Transportation Security Act and Accountability for Every Port Act. As of Oct. 15, the Coast Guard is requiring truck drivers, vendors, contractors and other workers at certain port facilities in the Northeast to carry Transportation Worker Identification Credentials, known as TWIC. Mr. Bernier said adapting to the new rules has taken considerable effort. "It is challenging, but so far, so good," he said. New Bedford Police Sgt. Jill Simmons said her port security unit is present when the massive cargo ships make their way in the early morning from the outer harbor, through the hurricane barrier and down to Maritime Terminal. The unit sends out a patrol boat that follows the ship and communicates with commercial or recreational vessels that might get in the way. "Basically, we are running traffic control," she said. "We go out and meet them and peek around the corners." The unit also is on hand in case anyone were to jump off the cargo ship and try to swim to shore, she said. Although it requires extra work, Sgt. Simmons said she is happy to see the cargo ships enter the harbor. "It's a great thing, because it's pumping a ton of money into the economy," she said. Contact Becky W. Evans at

  • West Island Dogs split on Vote
    by MLBaron on November 1, 2008 at 6:46 AM
    1530 Views - 2 Comments

    Silas, a Siberian Husky obviously is for the McCain/Palin ticket, Shelby a boxer mix is for Obama,who's always nipping at the husky's heels. And then there's Sunny, the older of the three, a yellow lab who's up in years is still on the fence. All three still appear to be getting along despite their differences. Maybe the fresh ocean breeze will help Sunny make the right decision.

  • West Island Wx Station Trail Bike
    by MLBaron on November 1, 2008 at 6:38 AM
    1994 Views - 0 Comments

    This rig is a GMC Mountain/Trail bike with heavy duty suspension w/21 speeds. It has all Topeak cargo gear which includes a front handle bar bag, portable cell-phone pouch, and a slide-off rear pack. There are front and rear rack mounts, tire pump & gauge, portable Kestrel weather station, 2 on board cameras (Vado units),and a Garmin GPS receiver. Other features include: a high powered lighting system with hi-lo rechargeable dual headlights, and 2 rear programmable red strobe lights for the road. One of my favorites is the self sealing tire tubes (about 5 bucks each from Wal-Mart)and they work great! Also included is a Hikers First-Aid kit, 4 1-liter water bottles, 2 heavy duty locks, wireless speedometer, bike tool kit. The bike is powered by a vintage 1957 motor: ME. (with 8" Chippewa Steel Toe Loggers) I usually try to ride at least 100 miles a week to stay in shape hauling this rig around. I keep tire pressure at 40lbs and have added weight in cargo bags. It's harder to pedal around, but I consider this "reserve" energy. When I increase tire pressure to 60lbs and lighten the load my endurance is longer and faster if need be. After a good run, nothing tastes better than a nice high calorie Fried Clam Plate at Gene's Lobster Shack in Fairhaven. www.westislandweather.com

  • West Island Bike Trail w/ SUNNY
    by MLBaron on November 1, 2008 at 3:54 AM
    8567 Views - 0 Comments

    Any season out back on the island isn't better than the other. However-you can't beat the explosion of Fall color and the aromas of another approaching winter lingering about. Sunny-of the West Island Weather Station, a 10 yr old male yellow lab gets his routine run. His pals Silas, a Siberian husky and Shelby-a boxer mix are off trail looking for squirrels.

  • Save West Island Video 1987
    by anonymous on October 5, 2008 at 2:51 AM
    6232 Views - 0 Comments

    This video clip helped promote Save West Island in 1987. 2008 Marks the 20th anniversary of it's successful mission. After almost two years of lobbying, fund raising and hard work by our group, it became "politically correct" for those who hesitated to finally join in and support our cause. A long awaited urgent message was received. In December of 1988 the Save West Island newsletter announced that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has concluded an agreement for the purchase and acquisition of over 338 acres of pristine wetlands and forestry of West Island for 1.6 million dollars. Tears of joy, disbelief, and relief befell the membership at the final meeting of Save West Island Inc. at the Fairhaven Town Hall. Today the land is known as The West Island State Reservation dedicated to my late dear friend and compatriot David L. Szeliga. The island reservation is a habitat for common, rare, resident and migratory birds. Save West Island Inc. received the distinguished National Award "A" from the National Audubon Society for "Excellence in Environmental Action". See menu bar above: West Isle STATE PARK for more info. Special thanks to Senator William Q. "Biff" MacLean,Jr. and all the membership and staff of SWI.

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