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Buzzards Bay

Massachusetts Maritime Academy is a fully accredited, four year, co-educational State College. The Regiment of Cadets and the Academy's unique educational style, prepares students for positions at sea and ashore as licensed professionals or skilled graduates ready to assume managerial positions.

As of 1999 at the end of Taylors Point, the Patriot State was still anchored at the academy's dock. The Enterprise is the new training ship of Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Formerly the Cape Bon, a ready reserve force vessel owned by the Maritime Administration arrived in Buzzards Bay in December 1999. Formerly the Velma Lykes, she was one of Lykes Lines' famous Far East Clippers, built in Avondale Shipyards. The Cape Bon saw service in Operation Desert Storm. The ship will undergo a $25 million conversion over the next year and is expected to enter service as a training ship in the winter of 2001.

Ready Reserve Force, or RRF, ships help to offset the shortage of militarily useful US -flagged ships. RRF ships are maintained in four-, five-, 10- or 20-day readiness status by the US Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration. When activated, these ships are under the operational control of Military Sealift Command. Ships with four- or five-day readiness status are berthed at ports throughout the United States allowing them to remain close to potential military load-out sites.

Buzzards Bay extends 30 miles across from the Rhode Island Sound northeasterly to the entrance of the Cape Cod Canal and is separated from Vineyard Sound by the Elizabeth Island chain. It is notorious for its Southwest winds that kick up a blow almost every afternoon, like clockwork (sometimes strong enough to demand a reef) And any fog that may appear in the morning usually burns off to a haze, or clears, with the afternoon summer sun. The Bay is more than 280 miles of jagged Massachusetts coastline, wetlands, beaches and wildlife habitat. Surrounded by 17 municipalities and a 430 square mile drainage basin, this estuary provides a livelyhood for many a shellfisher, recreation for residents and tourists alike. A well marked 8-mile approach, on the northwestern side of Buzzards Bay, guides you through the two massive gates that flank the 150 foot opening of the Hurricane Barrier into a well protected New Bedford-Fairhaven Inner Harbor. The 4,600 foot long barrier protects the the town of Fairhaven on the east, and the city of New Bedford on the west.

The 1st Inf Division was the original amphibious unit in the United States Army. The Division was consolidated in the winter of 1940-1941 at Fort Devens, Mass, its units having been scattered in a number of locations. In 1941 it spent several months loading on transports and landing on beaches at Buzzard's Bay, Mass, Onslow Beach, New River, N C, and other beaches. In January 1942 it made practice landings at Virginia Beach, and sailed for the United Kingdom in July and August 1942. This early training was very preliminary and contained no hint of the type of operation which was to take place in Normandy.

In FY-95, under ONR sponsorship, SSC San Diego developed an optical docking sensor with processor for installation on SSC San Diego's dedicated Odyssey vehicle (provided by SeaGrant). In March-April 1996 the system was employed in month-long AOSN vehicle docking experiments at Buzzard's Bay, MA, to demonstrate autonomous underwater docking. The ability to reliably mate with an underwater docking station provides the capability for Odyssey to recharge its internal silver-zinc batteries, giving the vehicle greatly extended endurance without requiring its return to the surface.

Underground structures such as pipes and underground storage tanks usually must be unearthed for inspections to determine their corrosion status and check for damage. These "dig-ups" are expensive and give little insight into mechanisms of the corrosion process. In addition, coated submerged structures, such as lock gates, bulkheads, and pilings used to support piers and bridges, need to be evaluated periodically to determine if recoating is necessary. The US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories (CERL) is developing a remote corrosion monitoring system using electrochemical impedance techniques [alternating current (AC)] and electrochemical polarization decay [direct current (DC)] for monitoring corrosion in underground pipes, piles, and steel encased in concrete. A patent was obtained for the DC polarization decay technique in September 1986 (US Patent 4,611,175). Long-term studies of the DC technique were completed on steel H-pilings at Buzzard's Bay, MA, and La Costa Island, FL, during FY95. The results of the electrochemical measurements generally correlated well with visual observations and flange thickness measurements conducted on the pilings.

In July 1999 DonJon Marine, a salvage company from New Jersey hired by the owner of the F/V CAPE FEAR, deployed the barge CHESAPEAKE 1000 to Buzzard's Bay while preparing to raise the CAPE FEAR. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Providence personnel were on scene to oversee the salvage operation, ensuring safety and protection of the marine environment. Once the CAPE FEAR was on the surface, Marine Environmental Response Group coordinated the removal of remaining diesel fuel and lubricating oils from the Cape Fear before it was towed to Fairhaven Shipyard, Fairhaven, Massachusetts. The Cape Fear sank 3 miles southwest of Cuttyhunk Island in 78 feet of water on January 8, 1999, taking the lives of two crewmen. The Coast Guard surveyed the vessel as part of their ongoing investigation into the cause of the sinking and the loss of lives while the CAPE FEAR was at Fairhaven Shipyard.



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