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Posted by Andrew Rossillo
Andrew Rossillo
Hello there, I’m the staff writer for SeaBirdAdventure.com. This is an exception
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on Wednesday, 03 August 2011
in Mother Nature's News

No Directions Needed, Sharks Spared Agony of Nagging Spouses

Kids always have and always will get embarrassed or annoyed when their mothers make a big deal about them leaving or express suffocating levels of worry about their children’s safety. But a techie/slightly geeky father’s concern for his child’s welfare tends to translate a bit differently than that which is expressed by mothers. When it was time for me to hit the road from the middle of upstate NY out here to Sunny San Diego, my dad gave me a GPS to take along since I was making the trek on my own…here’s your GPS, now go west young man!

While driving to my destination determined by as far West as the waters ofshark the Pacific Ocean would allow me to go, I would look over at my GPS and think with great relief that the elimination of one of the four directions would make navigation as simple as looking over to my right…no, left and using the big blue as my go-to orientation point, my salty wet North Star. [Is this guy going to write something about sharks or what?] I envisioned shedding shoes and socks while running to the water’s edge and tossing my GPS it into the ocean and drowning that witch of a navigation narrator who told me that I’d gone off the map every time I drove on a circular highway exit or entrance ramp. Wait…this is an earth blog…and that would be polluting…of course, I would craft a symbolic GPS made of seaweed and beach wood scraps and throw that in. Alas, even with a reference point as significant as the Pacific Ocean, I’m still heavily reliant on my GPS.

Why all the buildup? Because sharks don’t have the luxury of using the ocean as a giant navigation reference point like humans do, and electronic GPS devices definitely do not mix well with water. Do they swim around the ocean aimlessly, their direction influenced by the tastiest schools of fish, guided along a specific path by warmer waters? While some sharks do indeed express random navigation, “random walks,” while searching for food or canvassing the perimeter of their home territory, solid research proves that certain types of sharks actually demonstrate the ability to execute “directed walks.”


Shark Migration

While out on these directed walks, sharks have been observed to routinely cover precise distances between specific points in open ocean waters; even at night. They accomplish this through the generation of mind maps, charting out specific locations that consistently provide them with resources vital to their survival. In fact, some sharks are capable of navigating to predetermined points as far as 50km away!

So, one could imagine how much more embarrassing it’d be for a shark to ever have to ask for directions.

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Hello there, I’m the staff writer for SeaBirdAdventure.com. This is an exceptional gig because I’m given the opportunity to combine my love for writing with my love for Mother Nature and exciting new technologies. Plus, I get to do it all alongside some very talented, earth-conscious folks—very nice combination. But this certainly isn’t all about me. I invite all of you to comment on my blog posts, add your three cents, and even suggest future topics for me to write about. This is most definitely a combined effort. A blog post every single day? Sure thing…comin’ right up. Check back daily for new posts, tell your friends, tell your cat, and think and do green. To your green future, Andrew Rossillo

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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