SS Portland, side scanned slickly

 SS Portland courtesy Klein Associates

I’ve gotten fascinated by side scanning sonar, largely because products are coming to market that are inexpensive and easy enough to interest sport fishermen and amateur Captain Cooks. I’ll have entries on those soon, but first let’s look at what can currently be done with commercial grade side scanning, usually done with a towfish. Above is the wreck of the 291’ SS Portland, which sank off Cape Cod with great loss of life during a blizzard on Nov. 26, 1898. The image, which is not a photo, was collected with a Klein 3000 towfish (below). In the larger version, fish are obvious near the bow, which, incidentally, is actually attached to the rest of the boat (the black area is typical side scan distortion created when the gear moves along the track shown as a line). Bigger images and a fascinating description of the Portland disaster are here, and lots more scans in Klein’s gallery section.

Klein 3000 towfish

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

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