Less than a year after the project’s groundbreaking, the Washington Avenue Pier (Pier 53) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania opened to the public on August 15th. In conjunction with the Delaware River Waterfront Commission and designer Jody Pinto, Goetz Composites fabricated the translucent FRP beacon that serves as the park’s focal point.
Paying homage to the 19th and 20th centuries’ large scale immigration via Pier 53 is a public boardwalk featuring an installation called the “Land Buoy.” It stands 55 feet tall and looks east over the Delaware River. Though only one third of a nautical mile wide at the Land Buoy’s location, the river – and Pier 53, specifically – served as the gateway to well over 600,000 immigrants from the time of its opening in the 1870s, until it was demolished in 1915.
In designing the Land Buoy, it seems Jody Pinto envisioned a final navigational marker after a long journey from Europe. The solar-powered blue light topping the installation provides a unique beacon on approach to Pier 53. The Philadelphia Inquirer commends Pinto for “simultaneously conjuring a ship’s crow’s nest, a lighthouse, and the spiral stairs of an immigrant rowhouse – approach, arrival, settlement, all rolled into one powerful form.” The newly restored wharf provides an appropriately simple setting for peaceful remembrance of the site’s eventful past.
Following our post last month on the kick-off of the 2014-2015 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Alvimedica arrived in Cape Town, South Africa and secured a fifth place finish. Despite being on terra firma once again, their hard work did not stop (except maybe for a quick round of showers that I can only assume were much needed).
During the team’s time in port, they underwent medical tests performed by researchers hoping to make developments in the field of heart health. By allowing the doctors to run the tests immediately before and after the leg from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa, they are hoping to learn about how stress can manifest itself in cardiovascular system functioning. Findings will not only help to prove (or disprove) the researchers’ hypotheses, but will also provide information to the sailors that could help them to perform more successfully.
November 19th marked the beginning of the Volvo Ocean Race’s second leg as the sailors set out for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in some exciting conditions. With breeze ranging from 5 knots to 40 knots, it’s hard to imagine there was not a significant effect on the sailors’ heart rates.
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The movement toward modern composites emerged in the marine industry in the 1960s and 1970s. Carbon fiber was first patented in the latter decade and has been used experimentally and commercially in boatbuilding ever since. Composite manufacturers in Bristol, RI are responsible for much of the improvement and innovation in the field, and Eric Goetz has been a key player along the way.
Click here to check out last week’s spotlight article on the Rhode Island Composites Alliance – including a video interview with Eric Goetz – on the RI Foundation’s In Our Backyard to see where the composites industry is now.