Features and updates about the Bramble, the crew, plans, and more.

Feature: Deep Trekker ROV


Testing the ROV “Brambot”

We have acquired an amazing ROV (remotely operated vehicle) for Bramble Reborn’s underwater sequences. This compact unit is called “Deep Trekker DTX2.“. It works like an underwater drone. We chose this model because of the short boot-up time, compact size, and because it’s self powered and can operate for 6-8 hours on one charge. We named it “Brambot”.

We’ll be using Brambot to explore the wreck of USCGC Spar, the Bramble’s sister ship, which was sunk off the coast of North Carolina as an artificial reef. We’ll also be using it to inspect the ship’s hull as we proceed through the Northwest Passage.

This video sequence shows us testing the unit out in an Olympic sized pool. It performed flawlessly. We can’t wait to test it out in open water in Lake Erie next week!

Feature: “Operation Crossroads” Special Effects

USCGC Bramble was assigned to “Operation Crossroads” in 1947. This was a series of atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific. Bramble was responsible for laying out the buoys that marked the test area.

Our documentary will recreate this historic event with computer generated special effects. Here are some test shots from the sequence that show the B29 bomber “Dave’s Dream” approaching the target zone.

Feature: Chief Ginter

This is Chief Ginter.  He is a veteran of USCGC Bramble including the trip through the Northwest Passage in 1957.  We’re going to interview him tomorrow, Thursday, June 20th.  It should be very interesting!

Feature: Interviewing Master Chief James Hiller

We had the great pleasure of doing a video interview with Master Chief James Hiller on Wednesday.  Master Chief Hiller is 81 years old and sailed on the USCGC Storis when it made the historic circumnavigation of the continent along with USCGC Bramble and USCGC Spar in 1957.  He had many fascinating stories to tell us.  We were spellbound.

He wore his uniform for the interview and looked amazingly fit.   This is really incredible when you learn that he had had open heart surgery only four days before!  His wife told us that he doesn’t even take pain killers.  Now that’s tough.

We’re looking forward to editing Jim’s interview into the documentary.  It will add an amazing first person perspective.

We can’t thank him enough for making time for us and sharing his special stories for all to enjoy.

Here he is getting ready for the interview…



Bramble Upgrades: Cranes & Mooring Gear

Finally, as part of the major overhaul underway on Bramble in Mobile, Alabama, work is being done on the Cranes & Mooring Gear:

  • Replace wires on main hoist and fast line
  • Replace wire on swing
  • Cut back wires on Tuggers
  • Replace FRC cable
  • Replace Bow Mooring cable
  • Remove the anchor chain, clean and repaint
  • Change out all Mooring Lines and install chafing gear

When all of the work is complete, we expect to leave for the Caribbean in early June. Once we feel the vessel is expedition ready, we’ll be heading for the tropical paradises of Belize, Roatan, and Utilla, then onwards to the Panama Canal. Stay tuned for updates!

Bramble Upgrades: Exterior

Work on the exterior of the ship is extensive:

  • Removing old brackets and metal part and pieces which are no longer needed
  • Removed old guard shack
  • Removed dog house over the aft passageway
  • Repairing handrails and bulwarks
  • Repairing and/replacing lighting as required
  • Waterblast and paint, Upper side shell, bulwarks, superstructure mast, stack etc.
  • Tool clean rust where necessary
  • Prime and Paint upper decks
  • New Teak Name Boards to be installed
  • New Award Boards & lettering to be installed
  • Black side shell paint, USCG Stripe andBRAMBLE EXPEDITION to be painted
  • Clean Hull, replace anodes and apply antifouling paint
  • Inspect Rudder, repair as needed
  • Inspect Propeller, repair as needed

Bramble Upgrades: Electronics

It’s 2019 and it’s time for Bramble to get an update to the Electronics Suite.

  • Satellite Compass x 2
  • Radars x 2
  • Depth Sounders x 2
    • Including new Hull transducers
  • FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared)
  • Multifunction Display: Chart Plotter / Radar / Depth
  • Navigation PC’s x 2 running Nobeltec Professional
  • DGPS x 2
  • AIS unit
  • Data Organizers x 2
  • SSB
    • w/SSB Modem for tertiary com back up
  • WX FAX
  • Environmental sensor
    • Wind Speed, Heave, Pitch & Roll
  • Hand Held VHF x 2
  • V-SAT high speed internet & VOIP
  • TV Satellite Dome
  • Iridium Communications (Internet & VOIP)
  • Uninterruptable Power Supplies

Also: Removal of older non-heritage equipment, antennas,and outdated wiring, replaced with up to code wiring, junction boxes connectors, etc.