Sunday, March 10, 2013

ShipPlotter: No Coast Guard? You too can Monitor Oil tanker traffic in Douglas Channel

Conversations over a Sunday morning Breakfast/Brunch at Burnaby's James Street Cafe and Grill covers many a topic.... from Morse Code to ... Semaphore (if Christy is looking for another way to skirt her Office's requirement according to the LAW which prohibits the shredding, deleting, burning of emails, documents, calendars, videos, notes, reports, etc..... MEMOs)  to Digital Decoders and eventually to digital decoder ship locations in Real Time.

For good measure we talked, He talked (same fellow) who came up with the Nelson "Galvania" Skalbania Post idea for the BlogBorgCollective ..... (Galvania's) using iron filings to "fertilize" the waters surrounding the Islands of Galapagos and Haida Gwaii.... DUMB move on the part of Planktos Corp., dumping 45 tons of the iron into the Galapagos, without consulting Marine scientists........ and then repeated their performance without informing the Federal Government of Canada.  Especially in light .... sunlight extremes between the two Islands.... Galapagos Island on the Equator.... with two seasons, SUMMER, and Haida Gwaii with two seasons WINTER.  

Mustn't forget to mention the other topic....keywords being:  Graph(ite) Accumulators... new technology.... with Toyota-like-Prius comes to mind because when that car's batteries goes DEAD, and they do, the price tag to replace the batteries is close to $4,000, and then there are the fees to dispose of them (the batteries)(extra).  Same holds true for the solar panels to assist the Province in creating access to BC Hydro's Net Metering (Smart Meter) system, whereby YOU, the homeowner, becomes an Independent Power Producer...... The problem lies not so much of the idea of having solar panels, typically on the roof of your abode, but more so with the storage of the accumulated energy.... the battery silos,  ..... like the Prius', need to be replaced.    The expected money"saved", is lost to maintenance charges.


ShipAIS and "Ship Plotter" are two programs (hardware required too) looks like the perfect devices to track tankers and other resource transportation vessels like those two puny tugs that Enbridge is supposed to be tagging, afore and astern, on the mammoth tanker vessels for the Northern Gateway Douglas Channel run between Kitimat and the Open waters of the Pacific Ocean. ..... to and fro.    The system would also open a new hobby, one that complements HAM operators and chasers of Police and Emergencies, with Scanners that currently exist......

 Ship Plotter

.......The AIS system faithfully reported all the ship, tug, and ferry traffic and since it was a clear day, it was easy to relate the display to the real world. All the shipping info and positions seemed to be very accurate. In fact, a tug was returning from berthing a ship and as I approached Oakland outer harbor from the opposite side of the container pier, I noticed the tug being plotted on ShipPlotter on the other side. I couldn't see the tug since it was on the other side of the pier but knew it was there and took action to avoid the tug as we both "popped" out at the end of the pier.

Sailing the Bay (San Francisco) on Sunday was easier as well especially with ShipPlotter accurately showing course & speed for the high speed ferry traffic (30 - 35 knots) coming south from Vallejo, CA.

As far as performance, ShipPlotter was plotting shipping as far out as 25 nm. Much farther than the radar. But, when the radar did detect a ship, it was easy to identify and track. .......
 Communities along the shores, between Prince Ruper and Hartley Bay, could use the software, and hardware, to supplement the non-existent Coast Guard vessels which were sent to Newfoundland's treacherous Green Water coastline, complete with Icebergs.

UPDATE:  Anonymous 6:00pm recommends.....   And it's certainly impressive!!!!  And... if you look from on high you can see the overall ship traffic going in, and out of the Port of Vancouver.... and then THINK about the marine traffic that is being proposed to go into Kitimat........

 There is one other source, the need to track up to date, real-time weather forecasts....real time???  HF Weather Fax Marine Radio

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