Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP)

Flip

 

What do you think a lighthouse keeper would do if he spotted this floating on the ocean in front of his lighthouse? My first reaction would be to run and call for help!

This article came from the Military Photography website on Facebook with credit to  Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Launched in 1962, the bizarre research vessel Flip (Floating Instrument Platform) can go from a horizontal to vertical position while staying afloat and stable in heavy seas – even in 80-foot waves. That allows it to perform oceanographic research measurements with great accuracy. Inside the crew areas is a strange Escher-like world of doors in floors, portholes in ceilings, and tables bolted to walls. . . more

[su_youtube url=”http://youtu.be/3hYafJIr1B4″ width=”460″ height=”360″]

Later I was thinking it is too bad that this technology was not available for the Canadian weather ships that used to be off our Canadian coasts. They could have operated nicely with a ship that only rose three (3) inches in eighty (80) foot waves!

More information and links on this Wikipedia article.

Travel – Maine Open Lighthouse Day

I do not usually promote Facebook, but I discovered today a page for lighthouse enthusiasts – Maine Open Lighthouse Day. The Facebook page is located here. The notification of this event was from the Sun Journal website:

Open Lighthouse Day set for Sept. 17

 Published on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 12:12 am | Last updated on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 12:12 am

AUGUSTA — The third annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day will take place rain or shine Saturday, Sept. 17, with many of the state’s coastal, island and river lighthouses planning to welcome the public.

Eighteen thousand people visited 25 open light stations during last year’s event, and 5,000 people climbed up light towers for the lantern room view. The event is coordinated by the U.S. Coast Guard, in partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation. It is the largest event of its kind in the country.

What is particularly interesting are the large number of lighthouse photos to view (click on “photos” on the left of the Facebook page). Enjoy!

Now we need a Canadian One!

Illustrated Map & Directory Locates Every Lighthouse in the United States 

RHINEBECK, N.Y., Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –Every year millions of travelers visit the historic beacons that light the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes and inland waters. To aid those voyages of discovery, Bella Terra Publishing – http://www.bellaterramaps.com – has produced an all-new edition of the United States Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide. More than 75,000 copies of the map have been sold since 1999, with the last update in 2004.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110802/NY44218 )

New US lighthouse map

The United States Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide locates nearly 800 standing lighthouses across the 50 states. The detailed cartography and comprehensive directory are complemented by 46 original watercolor illustrations, most of them specially commissioned. Lighthouse buffs can engage in armchair travel, plan future trips, or simply enjoy the evocative paintings—from Portland Head, Maine, to Kilauea Point, Hawaii. See the rest of the story here.

VIDEO-The Lighthouse and the Aircraft Carrier

This is based on an actual radio conversation between a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier (U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln) and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. (The radio conversation was released by the Chief of Naval Operations on 10/10/95 authorized by the Freedom of Information Act.) 

Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid collision. 

Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision. 

Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision. 

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again,divert YOUR course. 

Canadians: No, I say again, you divert YOUR course. 

Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH–I SAY AGAIN, THAT’S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH–OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP. 

Canadians: This is a Canadian lighthouse. Your call. 

– Author Unknown 

Now this is quite funny, but what is even better is that it is not true and has been around from at least the 1960s according to some websites. Check out the US Navy website where they contradict the “facts”! 

Click the screen below to see a video version of the same joke.

A funny video with a United States warship against a lighthouse, somewhere in the Irish Sea. . .

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It looks like this joke has world-wide acclaim. Here’s a Scottish version . . . 

In the middle of foggy night in the North-west Atlantic…..two lights are heading directly for one another… and on the radio an American voice is heard saying “We suggest you alter course by 10 degrees to port”.

Back comes the reply “We suggest YOU alter course by 10 degrees to port!”

Then the American voice says “This is the battleship USS Missouri leading the American Atlantic battle fleet. You had better alter course by 10 degrees to port.”

Back comes the reply “This is the Outer Hebrides lighthouse, but it’s your call, Jimmy”. 

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and before the days of TV . . . … a 1939 book shows:

The fog was very thick, and the Chief Officer of the tramp steamer was peering over the side of the bridge. Suddenly, to his intense surprise, he saw a man leaning over a rail, only a few yards away.

“You confounded fool!” he roared. “Where the devil do you think your ship’s going? Don’t you know I’ve got the right of way?”

Out of the gloom came a sardonic voice: “This ain’t no blinkin’ ship, guv’nor. This ‘ere’s a light’ouse!”

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And not to be left out, here is a German language version:

 While we are in the German section, might as well add this one too! :-)