The Most Recent Ship Report Podcast:

National Data Buoy Center: a rewarding agency to work for

Today we conclude this week's interview with Craig Kohler, operations branch chieg for the National Data Buoy Center. We've learned a lot about this agency and its network of high tech data buoys in US and international waters. Today Kohler talks about how rewarding it is to work for an agency that does good teamwork at low cost, and provides valuable information to scientists and to the public. Show transcript here:

Archive Podcasts:

A gem from the archives: the sinking of the Meteor

Jun 26, 2024

I need to take the next few days off, and so we’ll hear a few shows from the Ship Report archives.

The two part show that you’ll hear today and tomorrow is a listener favorite: the true story of the sinking of the commercial fishing boat Meteor on the Columbia River Bar, told as no one else can by Michael McCusker.

You can hear Michael Thursdays on KMUN radio in Astoria, with his insightful show, “A Story Told.”  Among the many hats Michael has worn in his life is being a commercial fisherman. Here’s his story of how he was the last man standing as the boat he was working on, the Meteor, sank on the bar.

We’ll hear the finale tomorrow

Show transcript here:,pdf


The Panama Canal

Jun 21, 2024

Today we have a ship arriving from France, which means she likely traveled through the Panama Canal. We’ll talk about that historic waterway, it’s problems with drought in recent years and how a coming La Nina climate trend might help alleviate that.

Show transcript here:,pdf

Buoys in the ‘hood

Jun 20, 2024

Today I thought we’d talk about some of the most ever-present and often ignored (by people on land) things in our river neighborhood – and that’s navigational buoys. Vital for mariners, they sit in the water day and night doing their work, making the watery highway safe for travel.

Each buoy is unique, by color, numbers and sound, and they have lights so they can be seen at night. Mariners would have trouble getting along without them.

Show transcript here:

Research vessel Atlantis visits Astoria

Jun 18, 2024

There’s a very special ship at the Port of Astoria right now: the research vessel Atlantis is at the dock, taking a temporary break from her research work in the Pacific Ocean. Such vessels often stop into Astoria because we are conveniently near the ocean, to get supplies and change crews. The Atlantis is a famous ship, espeically known for the submersible Alvin which can carry scientists deep below the surface.

Today we’ll talk about her and the Alvin, and I’ll share my memories of being aboard her for a tour.

Show transcript here:

Ship mystery solved: what was all that smoke?

Jun 14, 2024

A listener contacted me and sent me a video to ask about huge quantity of smoke spewing from a passing container ship. The situation did indeed look rather dire, with lots of smoke billowing in the air.

Turns out this situation was not an emergency, but was instead white steam from the ship’s scrubbers. We’ll talk about what that means, why some, but not all, ships have scrubbers – and what they do to improve life for all of us.

Show transcript here:

Nehalem River canoeing death highlights an overlooked aspect of water safety

Jun 13, 2024

The death of a canoist on the Nehalem River last week offers a good reason to talk about water safety in a different way. Most people think the water dangers here are on the coast: the beach with its sneaker waves and rip currents, the Columbia River Bar, and the river’s cold water and strong tides. But equally dangerous hazards await even in smaller waterways with seemingly calm conditions. All bodies of water demand respect and proper gear to stay safe.

The best protection against all of these hazards is life jackets – and it’s high time we decided they’re “cool” so people will wear them.

Show transcript here:

More on wildlife rehab: what’s the success rate when saving oil-soaked birds?

Jun 12, 2024

Today we hear Part 2 of my interview with Ginger Nealon, wildlife rehabilitation coordinator for the Wildlife Center of the North Coast, based in Olney, Oregon. They’ve been helping oil-soaked birds that were injured in a recent oil spill. Today we’ll talk about how successful such efforts are, what you can do if you find an oil soaked bird, and how to contact and support the Center, which is a non-profit that is always in need of donations, and volunteers.

A reminder that the hotline to report an oil soaked bird in Oregon or Washington is 1-800-22BIRDS. If you’d like to reach the wildlife center of the north coast, they’re wildlife rescue hotline number is 503-338-0331.

Show transcript here:

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