Wednesday, July 19, 2006

all the ships at sea

I've been thinking about my father; his love of the newspapers. Not a surprise that he did not go to the sports pages first, or really ever. It did surprise me to learn how he would turn to the shipping news after scanning the front page. But then he always loved ports and said he would love to own a tugboat if ever he owned a boat at all. I recall being in Wall Street offices of his mother's lawyer, about 50 stories above street level, and how joyfully he drew my attention to the view of New York harbor, the ships at dock, the ships coming and going on the river, and the ones being nursed into and out of their berths.

So, if he were alive, wouldn't he like this new ship tracking service:, Live Tracker: Ship Locations

It comes from:
The WMO Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) Scheme

The international scheme by which ships plying the various oceans and seas of the world are recruited by National Meteorological Services (NMSs) for taking and transmitting meteorological observations is called the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Voluntary Observing Ships' (VOS) scheme. The forerunner of the scheme dates back as far as 1853, the year in which delegates of ten maritime countries came together at a conference in Brussels, on the initiative of Matthew F. Maury, then director of the United States Navy Hydrographic Office, to discuss his proposal for the establishment of a uniform system for the collection of meteorological and oceanographical data from the oceans and the use of these data for the benefit of shipping in return.

Odd connections: There's a historical monument to Matthew Maury near Goshen, Virginia. I'd see it when I did some bike riding in the area during time off from Boy Scout leader duties at a nearby Scout camp. I hadn't heard of him, but both my uncle and cousin knew all about him, the first because of associations with Washington and Lee University, where he was educated. The other because he's a geologist and oceanographer himself.

Addendum: I take my subject line from Edward R. Murrow, but I expect you knew that.

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