Web Site Is Dedicated To My Granddaughter, Anna Bower
A Fact - there is 330 million cubic miles of water on this planet.
Spar Was A Sea Going Buoy Tender.
On December l st. 1946 Spar’s home port changed to
Wood’s Hole, MA. SPAR was moved again on June lst. 1957 to Bristol, RI.In
1957 SPAR conducted oceanographic operations through the Northwest passage.
culmination of this assignment occurred when the Coast Guard Cutters STORIS,
BRAMBLE, and SPAR became the first vessels to circumnavigate the North American
continent. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent his personal congratulations for
this significant accomplishment. This impressive history was further added too, in 1966 when SPAR logged over 17,000 miles and visited such ports as / Argentina Newfoundland, Reykjavik and Kefavick Iceland, Tromso Norway,
Copenhagen Denmark, Bremerhagen Germany,Kiel canal, Belfast Ireland and Jan
Mayen Island, while conducting an oceanographic charting expedition in the Northern Atlantic.
A Fact - earth weighs 6 trillion trillion tons.
The Spar's 17,000 Mile Voyage In "1966".
On July 15th the U.S.C.G.C. SPAR departed Bristol
RI to embark on a 17,000 mile voyage across the
North Atlantic - up past the realm of the arctic circle - throughout
Europe's many ports.
The Spar's Itinerary for "1966" voyage.
18th we arrived in Argentia Newfoundland ( refueled ) and Departed enroute to Keflavick Iceland.
we arrived at Keflavick Iceland & we ( refueled ) and took on Provisions.
August 4th we departed Keflavick
Iceland and was enroute to Reykjavick Iceland.
7th we arrived in Reykjavik Iceland and ( refueled ).
10th we departed Reykjvik Iceland enroute to Tromso Norway.
August 23rd we arrived in Tromso Norway & (
refueled ) and took on provisions.
26th we departed Tromso Norway, and completed the Survey work on
September 8th. We headed back to Tromso Norway.
9th we departed Tromso Norway enroute to Copenhagen Denmark .
September 14th arrived in Copenhagen
September 19th we
departed Copenhagen Denmark enroute to Bremerhagen Germany.
20th we arrived in Bremerhagen Germany & departed on the 23rd.
September 23rd we departed Bremerhagen
Germany enroute to Belfast Ireland.
September 27th we arrived in Belfast
Ireland & ( refueled ) and took on provisions .
30th we departed Belfast Ireland enroute to Argentia Newfoundland, 1,971
October 6th we arrived in
Argentia Newfoundland & ( refueled ).
9th we arrived back in Boston Massachusetts & we spent approximately two
weeks there before coming back home to her home port Bristol RI. October 23rd
1966. Putting a grand total of just over 17,000 miles under her belt along with
the crew & officers & the ten civilians on board who worked for the naval dept.
Sometime after August, 10th
the stop to "Jan Mayen Island" was incorporated into the cruise while
out at sea, it wasn't planned while we were still in Bristol RI it wasn't posted
on the itinerary. We were enroute to Tromso Norway when we were passing by Jan
One could say it was for some "R and R" / to get off our sea
Note: I Turned 21 years old in Keflavik Iceland, July 28th. 1966.
the Coast Guard.
scientific study of the oceanshas been a part of Coast Guard operations for
more than a century. It began when the first Revenue Cutter Service vessels
visited Alaska after the territory was purchased from Russia in 1867. They
added oceanographic survey work to the long list of their other duties.
Hydrographic Survey Work In The North Atlantic,1966.
If you were
not on this trip or one like it, then you will never know what is like being
on a 180 out at sea
( North Atlantic ) for just over 3 months. We had all types
of weather and two monster storms that lasted nearly two weeks each. Some
swells were being recorded in the ships log book at 70 / 90 feet high. The winds were just as bad. The Spar seen her crew members through
Results 1 - 10 of about 10,200 fo
G.JOHNSON ATLANTIC SURVEY "1966".Enter The Below Into Google - the first article.This information is for the crew members as well as the officers that served
U.S.C.G. Cutter SPAR WLB - 403 in 1966.
LEONARD G. JOHNSON ATLANTIC SURVEY
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE (
Click here )
Search Results - Click BelowClick here for North atlantic fracture zones near 53° - Elsevier
2 visits - Mar 28
by L Johnson - 1967 - Cited by 17 -Click Here Related articles
North atlantic fracture zones near 53°. G. Leonard Johnson a ...USCGC SPAR WLB/403 while returning from an Arctic survey collected bathymetric and magnetic data .... 15 (1966) 63.  D. V. Worthington and G. H. Volkmann, deep sea Reserch.
The abstract of the SPAR -WLB / 403 trip in "1966" was found on Tuesday, 3 / 9 / 2010.
Accession Number : AD0817251Title : OCEANOGRAPHIC CRUISE SUMMARY RECONNAISSANCE SURVEY OF NORTHERN MID-OCEANIC RIDGE.
Descriptive Note : Informal rept. 30 Jul-10 Oct 66,
Corporate Author :NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE NSTL STATION MS
Personal Author(s) :Johnson, G. Leonard
Report Date : JUL 1967
Pagination or Media Count : 7
A joint U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office and U.S. Coast Guard
geological, geophysical survey was conducted during the summer months of "1966"
on that portion of the mid-oceanic ridge that lies north of Iceland. Preliminary
analysis of the data delineates the general form, magnetic signature, and size
of the mid-oceanic ridge and several small related fracture zones. It was found
that the mid-oceanic ridge between Iceland and Jan Mayen has an average width of
about 60 miles and a poorly developed rift valley. East of Jan Mayen, the
mid-oceanic ridge is well developed with a rift valley and flank provinces. It
had been previously thought that the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone struck east-west in
the region east of 5 degrees W. and 71 degrees
N. Instead, it was found to be an en echelon feature
striking northwest-southeast. This fracture zone extends from the base of the
Greenland continental slope to the Norwegian coast. (Author).Subject
Categories :PHYSICAL AND DYNAMIC OCEANOGRAPHYDistribution Statement
:Approved For Public Release.Search DTIC's Public
STINET for similar documents. CAN PERFORM SEARCHES HEREMembers of the
public may purchase hard copy documents from the National Technical Information
Searched for: AD:(AD0817251)
Results 1 - 1 of 1 from 902591.
Result Page: 1 Click Below To See.
Click Here To View TR CitationTitle: OCEANOGRAPHIC CRUISE SUMMARY RECONNAISSANCE SURVEY OF NORTHERN MID-OCE...Personal Author: Johnson, G Leonard
Corporate Author: NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE NSTL STATION MS
Source Code: 250450
Page Count: 7 page(s)
AD Number: AD0817251
Report Date: 01 JUL 1967
Distribution Code: 01 - APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE
Report Classification: U - Unclassified
Collection: Technical Reports
10 Civilian scientists
attached to Naval Oceanographic
Office, autonomous underwater
and a shipboard survey system for physical oceanography data collection for
their demonstrations In "1966" On The
U.S.C.G. Cutter Spar WLB-403
That year,The SPAR conducted hydrographic operations throughout the
Northwest Passage in company with the cutters STORIS and BRAMBLE In "1957".
When she returned to her homeport in Bristol, RI.The Spar was the first
vessel to circumnavigate the North American continent. President Eisenhower
his personal congratulations for this accomplishment.
With most of
the Western Hemisphere transits already made the SPAR WLB/403
crossed the North Atlantic in 1966 up past the realm of the Arctic Circle.
We Encountered Two very bad storms while out at sea.Each Lasting
just under two weeks with swells being logged in on the bridge up to 70 to 90 foot. Winds up
to 90 MPH, well over hurricane winds which is 70 M.P.H. our destination was
Spitsbergen Germany. Norway where she was called upon to measure the Ocean
Topography in the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone area.During this
voyage, we were visiting ports in Argentia Newfoundland,Reykjavik Iceland, Keflavík Iceland
,Tromso Norway, Jan Mayen Island, Denmark Copenhagen, Bremerhagen Germany & Through The Keil Canal in Germany, and Belfast
Ireland.North Atlantic Fracture Zones Near - 53
and Planetary Science Letters- Click.
Volume 2, Issue 5, August 1967, Pages
445-448 - CLICK.
Maps of the sea-floor
geology identify the locations where fine-grained sediment
and associated contaminants accumulate. Remote-sensing techniques such as
side-scan sonar and high-resolution seismic reflection profiling allow detailed
mapping of the texture and distribution of sediment types on the sea floor on a
regional basis. These maps illustrate that sediment texture and other bottom
features are patchy and that major changes occur over a wide range of spatial
scales. The variability is due to the irregular bottom topography, past and
present sources of sediment, and the processes causing transport. Maps show
the location and extent of erosional and depositional environments and provide
a regional context for the interpretation of bottom samples and benthic
observations. Fine-grained sediments typically indicate areas of sediment
accumulation; coarse-grained sediments or boulders define areas where the
sediments are scoured and winnowed by currents.
Earth and Planetary
Science Letters- Click.
Volume 2, Issue 5, August 1967, Pages 445-448
US Naval Oceanographic Office.
Lamont Geological Observatory.
Mid-Oceanic Ridge, a broad fractured arch more than 40,000 miles long,
is the largest tectonic feature on the surface of
the Earth. Associated with the center of the ridge over much of its length is
an axial fracture or rift which is the locus of shallow earthquakes. An
extension of this world encircling ridge into the Greenland Sea and Arctic
Oceanwas first hypothesized on the basis of a well defined pattern of
earthquake epicenters and a few spot soundings 1,2. The topographic form of the
ridge was first revealed by precision depth records obtained during the
pioneer polar crossings of the nuclear submarines Nautilus 3 and Skate 4. The
Arctic Mid-Oceanic Ridge does not bisect the entire Arctic Basin but lies
midway between the monolithic, seismic Lomonosov Ridge and the Eurasian
This Entire North Atlantic Survey from the SPAR WLB / 403 In 1966 can be
See link below.
Purchas PDF (1004 K) | Related Articles
The detailed seismicity of Mid-Oceanic ridges
References and further reading may be available for this article.
To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.
U.K.A.E.A., Blacknest, Brimpton,
Reading, Berks, UK
Abstract ( Short )
Earthquakes occurring along the median rift of the Mid-Atlantic Ridgehave a
significantly different (body wave) magnitude-frequency relation from those
occurring along the fracture zones which offset the ridge. A number of possible
interpretations are presented.
Received 30 January 1968.Available online 21 October 2002.
Depositional ridges in the
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 6, Issue 6, 1969,
G. Leonard Johnson, Eric D. Schneider
Purchase PDF (1004 K)
| Related Articles
THE Mid-Oceanic Ridge, a broad
fractured arch more than 40,000 miles long, is the largest
tectonic feature on the surface of the Earth. Associated with the center of the
ridge over much of its length is an axial fracture or rift which is the locus
of shallow earthquakes. An extension of this world encircling ridge into the
Greenland Sea and Arctic Ocean was first hypothesized on the basis of a well
defined pattern of earthquake epicentres and a few spot soundings 1,2. The
topographic form of the ridge was first revealed by precision depth records
obtained during the pioneer polar crossings of the nuclear submarines Nautilus 3 and Skate 4. The Arctic Mid-Oceanic Ridge does not bisect the entire Arctic
Basin but lies midway between the monolithic, a seismic Lomonosov Ridge and the
Eurasian continental margin.
This Entire North Atlantic Survey from the
SPAR WLB / 403 In 1966 can be purchased. See link below.
seismicity of Mid-Oceanic ridges
References and further reading may be
available for this article.
To view references and further reading you must
purchase this article.
U.K.A.E.A., Blacknest, Brimpton, Reading, Berks, UK
Abstract ( Short )
Earthquakes occurring along the median rift of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge have a
significantly different (body wave) magnitude-frequency relation from those
occurring along the fracture zones which offset the ridge. A number of possible
interpretations are presented.
Atlantic Ocean Properties, Salinity
The waters at
the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean are saltier than those of any other
ocean - but not near Canada! The reasons for this high salinity are related to
the flow of currents, the rate of evaporation, precipitation, river inflow, and
melting of sea ice. Currents may bring high salinity water into the North
Atlantic from surrounding saltier seas. The rate of evaporation plays a role in
determining salinity. The higher the rate of evaporation, the higher the
salinity, because the salt to water concentration increases as water
evaporates. Increased levels of precipitation, as in equatorial regions, will
decrease salinity by diluting the salt water. River inflows also dilute salt
concentrations, and so too does the melting of sea ice. The outflow from the
Mediterranean Sea brings very salty water into the North Atlantic, and is the
contributing factor to the salinity of this part of the ocean.
Then and now in the Coast
between all of this Information that I have collected for the
while searching the archives for all this
information a lot of memories are returning to me. I remember the
10 civilians working under the navy's department bringing all
their gear and electronics on board. Getting ready for the survey.
I don't believe back then that the crew really knew what was
going on. I have more interest in it now then in 1966. Their equipment wasn't just placed anywhere it had to be secured
in a very special way and that was to weld all the equipment
to the decks. Where ever they choose to put It at the time I
wondered why are they welding all this equipment down. It felt like it
was going to be permanent for some reason but I soon learned
when we were out at sea why? If they hadn't have welded it to the deck it would have
been everywhere and severely damaged also someone could have been
hurt. The two storms we encountered while at sea would have been the
proof of such a mishap. Its kind of interesting to me now. I wish I
could go back as I think a lot of us do. The way the guard is
today is a different ball game. I'm not taking away the fact that
in our time years ago when we served in the Coast Guard.
A Coastie Always A Coastie. Tom Hough EN3 Some 48
Searching journal content for G. L. JOHNSON in author.
Click onto map below for
Click onto image below for
Wikipedia the free encyclopedia on the Spar
This ends our trip what it was about / where and when
during the voyage & completing our trip on Oct. 9th 1966 . We
were in Boston Mass. for two weeks then back to Bristol RI. Enjoy the
rest of the site.
Tom Hough EN3-1966
This song (Stranger on The Shore)I played this song on the juke box whenever I had liberty while attending
engineering school in Groton Conn. back in "1965" I wore the record out, it brings
back many memories for me. Soon after I graduated I was transferred to the
SPAR- wlb-403 in Bristol RI. In "1966" we went for one hell of a cruise, across the North Atlantic ocean, 17,000 miles worth.
Tom Hough EN3
U.S. Coast Guard
From my Daughter Andrea
Your web site is
I spent a good chunk of time looking at it today with my friend
at work. She loved it, too and asked me to email her the link so she can
continue to look at it at home. You should be proud of all of the hard work
you've put into this. It is so interesting and enjoyable to go through!
Can't wait to continue going through it (it's long!!!)
always, Andrea 4_10_2010
Thanks Andrea that means so much to Me.
My daughter "Andrea" below with her dog "Nicky"
Site Started On - 23 / November / 2009.
New site on - 2 / December / 2013
World Clock– Time Zones Click below
In 1963 the existence of a transform fault near latitude, 53N was first postulated on the basis of earthquake epicenter data by Bruce Heezen and Maurice Ewing. Also the study of ocean currents indicated that there should be a deep passage through the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In 1966 the area was investigated by USCGC Spar (WLB-403)on its return from an Arctic survey.The fault was named Charlie Fracture Zone after the USCG Ocean Weather Station Charlie at 52°45′N 35°30′W, athwart the fault. In July 1968 USNS Josiah Willard Gibbs (T-AGOR-1) conducted a more extended survey.It was proposed that the fracture zone be renamed Gibbs Fracture Zone, as fracture zones are generally named for research vessels. The proposal was accepted only in part, and currently the official name is Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone. Note that the double name refers to the two parallel fracture zones together. The individual fracture zones have to be referred to as Charlie-Gibbs North and South.
Report on the voyage. Click onto picture below for data information.
To see the only footage known from our trip in 1966 from Kyle Chapman's 8 MM camera he bought while over seas.Running time, approx. 15:00 Minutes
Click onto video below
"1966" North Atlantic Storms
With all honesty I can remember the one Storm's name we encountered & it lasted a day short of two weeks.
Her name was Hurricane Dorothy. The other storm I believe is Lois, 70/90 MPH winds. When the storm was over the officers took their chart readings and calculated that we had advanced one ( 1 ) mile in two weeks.
Going by this chart for 1966 the second storm seems to be Hurricane Lois. Just as bad as Dorothy.
Hurricane Archive Detailed tracking charts and info for tropical storms since 1851.
North Atlantic Ocean.
Click below for the two storms we encountered at sea.
Click on the right
Click here: A Dual Role for the U.S.C.G.C. SPAR wlb-403 in "1966"
The Origins of SPAR’s Great Adventure
The attached document is the official order that sent U.S.C.G.C. SPAR (WLB-403) and her crew on what would be a memorable adventure far different from her usual occupation of tending buoys in Southern New England waters, and thousands of miles from her home port of Bristol, RI. This mission came about for a number of reasons. A year or two earlier, the US General Accounting Office (GAO)—the government’s “bean-counting” agency—had done a study that concluded there were two more seagoing buoy tenders in the First Coast Guard District than were needed to effectively carry out the Aids to Navigation mission in New England. There were then five: LAUREL (Rockland, Maine), COWSLIP(Portland, Maine), CACTUS (Boston), HORNBEAM(Woods Hole), and SPAR (Bristol).
About the same time, there was a good deal of change in the air for the Coast Guard; the Ocean Station program was coming to a close, the service was soon to be transferred from the Treasury Department to the new Department of Transportation, and Oceanography was becoming more important as a potential new mission. Cold War tensions were high in the wake of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and the US Navy was deploying ballistic missile submarines (SSBN’s) to patrol arctic waters near the USSR; for this it needed highly accurate charts of the sea bottom so that submarine commanders could navigate safely to and from their assigned missions with minimum chance of detection.
Threatened with the prospect of losing 40% of its buoy tender fleet in the First District, the Coast Guard saw an opportunity to support the Navy (and enhance its military role) by using these capable ships as oceanographic platforms. Thus SPAR’s 1966 mission came about. Not long after she returned from the Norwegian Sea in October 1966, she was replaced by CACTUS (the oldest of the 180 Class), which was subsequently reclassified as WLB (O) —for Oceanography—and SPAR (as one of the newest of the class) went to Boston. The LAURELwas similarly reclassified not long afterward. Beginning in 1967, CACTUS’s missions were
almost exclusively in support of the US Naval Oceanographic Office.
Author, U.S.C.G. Captain David Wood (Ret.)
Click here for Document CGD1 OpOrd 8-66.PDF
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spar WLB - 403 out of Bristol RI.
Click below for 18 Pages of
original Spar wlb 403 "1966"
Cruise, PDF format
ARCTIC SERVICE MEDAL
These Are Two Maps Of The North Atlantic's Ocean Floor.
"Click Onto Maps To Enlarge" You will love the detail.
US Naval Oceanographic Office. Lamont Geological Observatory.
Tromso Norway, Click below for view