Friday, February 14, 2014

FTV February 14 - Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentines Day! I am very happy to send the Valentines Day wishes to family, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends from all the cadets on board the T.S. Kennedy.  I would also like to send some special Valentines Day kisses to Mia, my beautiful valentine.

The Kennedy has a variety of pyrotechnic (signal flare) devices onboard that serve a wide range of purposes. The Line Throwing Apparatus is one of these tools, it is used for sending a heaving line a distance of over one hundred yards to a nearby vessel. This safety apparatus would be employed If our ship ever encountered a lifeboat on the high seas. We would throw the line over to the stricken boat. The Line Throwing Apparatus would be used because it has a greater range than a hand thrown heaving line. The device consists of a small yellow box loaded with 350 feet of line; the rope must be folded neatly so that upon firing the device it will send out a straight shot of line without it becoming tangled in the air. Behind the folded line is a small pyrotechnic charge that is detonated by a cord on the back of the yellow box. Once detonated, this small explosion will propel the line in the direction that the yellow box is pointed. By aiming the unit at a 45-degree angle over the life raft, you can ensure that the line will go past the life raft and then fall down on top of it. The lifeboat can now be pulled to the safety of your ship.

The ship has several other means of employing flares for safety signaling. Three of the most common signal flares are:
  • Orange smoke – effective as a line of sight distress signal for daytime use only.
  • Red hand held – effective as line of sight distress signal by day and night, and very bright, with a good visibility range. These are very visible from an aircraft, and burn for up to 60 seconds.
  • Red parachute or rocket – capable of attracting attention in daylight for up to 10 miles, with a night-time range of up to 40 miles. The rocket launches the flare up to 300m and the flare burns for 40–60 seconds as it slowly descends under the parachute.
With only two days left before arriving in Miami, we are getting excited to be heading back to the States. Next stop is Miami, Florida USA.

Geography Friday
Wetlands like the Everglades are common throughout Florida and as a result the state is rich in biodiversity. It is home to many endangered species and marine mammals like the bottlenose dolphin and the manatee, reptiles like the alligator and sea turtles, large land mammals like the Florida panther, as well as plethora of birds, plants and insects. Many species, for example the Northern Right Whale, also breed in Florida due to its mild climate and warm waters. Florida’s flat topography sometimes makes determining watershed boundaries difficult. The shape of the land defines a watershed. Water will flow from a higher elevation to a lower one because of gravity. Rainfall that is not absorbed by the soil but flows to a body of water is known as run off; runoff collects in channels such as streams, rivers and canals. The small channels flow into larger ones and eventually flow into the sea. The channels or streams are also known as tributaries. 

Try this activity to see that the differences in topography — however slight or distinct — have an impact on which watershed the channels or streams belong to.
Use the physical map of Florida to identify the physical features described in the website
An ecosystem is a community of plants and animals that live together. South Florida is home to many different ecosystems including coral reefs, dunes,marshes, swamps, hardwood hammocks, mangroves, pinelands and scrubs.

What type of ecosystem will exist in a certain area is determined by how often fire occurs in an area, and changes in elevation (in some cases, only inches), water salinity (a measure of salt content), and soil type Click here to learn more.

Many unique animals including birds, reptiles and amphibians, mammals, insects and other critters make their home in South Florida. Pick the group of animals that interest you, and follow the links to learn more about these incredible critters!

No comments:

Post a Comment