One of the other boats I’m paying attention to that’s stuck in the Suez debacle and has decided to wait it out is THIS one:
I know, I know, I can hear you saying “What the fuck, Liv. That’s not a ship, that’s an attachment for my vacuum cleaner that lets me suck up dirt out of hard-to-reach crevices.”
Nah man, hear me out! It’s a boat I promise!
This is the FJORD FSTR, and it is currently anchored amidst the ships nearest the canal entrance in the Red Sea, waiting for the clusterfuck to unfuck itself:
Now, much like you probably do, when I first happened to click upon the VesselFinder profile of this vessel and saw that photo, I had some serious questions. Namely, uh:
what is that for, and uh,
why does it look like no boat in the history of boats has ever looked before?
it says it’s a passenger ship and it looks HUGE, are there hundreds of disgruntled passengers stuck on there???
Scrolling through the specs on FJORD FSTR’s profile for the beginnings of answers, one SUPER interesting thing immediately jumped out at me:
WELL. Now that deserves some googling.
(Aside: hehe, “year of built”)
Anyway. Google was super helpful and immediately eager to fill me in about this ship, and inform me that she is:
a fancy-ass catamaran-style car and passenger ferry,
destined to operate across the strait between Denmark and Norway (“between Kristiansand and Hirtshals”, to be specific),
equipped to hold 1200 passengers and MANY cars,
capable of a top speed of 70km/h (!!!)
totally brand spanking new.
I’ll take “the company that ordered her literally only took possession from the shipyard on February 26th” for five hundred Alex!
Turns out there ARE no passengers on this ferry yet, because it hasn’t even reached its actual operating location yet!
After being launched at the shipyard in the Philippines last month, it has been picked up by employees of the operating company (Fjord Line) who have been taking it home from the store the only way you can, with a 109m long massive floating lego block: by driving it there, empty and shiny and with the dust covers probably still on the instrument dials, in what was expected to be about a 4 week trip with an April 1st arrival.
Now, obviously from the Philippines to Denmark is a looooooong trip. It’s been a long trip so far just to get to the Suez Canal, an approximate route shown here in blue, and I’m sure both the crew and the ferry company paying by the hour for them to sail the shiny new toy home would much prefer that the rest of the trip be the much shorter Mediterranean route in pink, rather than going the looong way around Africa. But boy oh boy is there something funny about them going so far, after nearly a month at sea, only to end up stuck in traffic just a week or so of sailing away:
(I have no idea if they would or wouldn’t cut through the English Channel, but I didn’t feel like trying to draw it while not putting a line through Kent or whatever)
No wonder they’re willing to wait around in line and gamble that the canal will be cleared sooner rather than later! Especially when you consider that they already sold off the ferry it’s supposed to be replacing lol.
But wait, there’s more!
I may have lied, a little bit, earlier, when I said that there were no passengers on the FJORD FSTR during this delivery voyage. That is, strictly speaking, only half true.
While nobody has paid to take part in this voyage so far, there are some additional folks onboard who are not crew, but are being paid to be there:
Oh yeah, you read that right.
In addition to the 11 Fjord Line crew members operating the ship, for their passage through the particular bunch of waters they have currently been (unexpectedly) spending a week sat in, FJORD FSTR has embarked an unspecified number of persons who make up a “specially trained safety team”.
All this in the interest of deterring any potential pirates who (in the minds of these Danes) might look at this gargantuan floating slide whistle and start rubbing their hands together eagerly — or whatever paranoid Scandinavian ferry owners imagine tempted pirates might do. (Why desperate people like the Somali pirates would go after the big red empty Borg Cube when there are literal dozens of loaded-full cargo ships anchored as far as the eye can see nearby, is beyond me, but who am I to question rich Scandinavians lmao.)
So like, next time you’re having a weird week, try asking yourself:
“But am I having a weirder week than 11 sailors trapped indefinitely on a massive empty ocean-going luxury vape pen, with a team of hired guards, in the middle of the Red Sea during a crisis, hoping desperately against all clues to the contrary that they’re not about to live out the catalyzing incident of a Bond film?”
Odds are, probably not.
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Cruise ships dismantled for scrap after pandemic sinks industry (reuters)
view more at tifoti.com
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Cool SK8 tricks to try with friends!
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“The bank effect and the big boat blocking the Suez“
text version under the readmore
By Brendan Greeley.
The hardest thing about teaching someone how to drive a boat is that it’s not at all like driving a car. To steer a car, you turn the wheel until your nose is pointing where you want to go, then you straighten out and go there. This works because the car is attached to the road. It’s when the car itself is no longer attached to the road that things get weird. When you turn too hard, for example, the rubber in your tyres loses purchase on the street, and you are “in drift”. The normal rules no longer apply.
When you drive a boat, you are always in drift. You are attached to nothing. Stuff happens in the water beneath you that does not make any intuitive sense. Sometimes your stern (your tail) moves faster than your bow (your nose), and in a different direction. Sometimes both stern and bow are moving in the same direction at the same speed, but it’s not the direction the bow is pointed. On a boat, you don’t always go where you’re pointed.
On Wednesday, the Golden-Class container ship Ever Given made an unplanned berth in the sand on both sides of the Suez Canal, stopping trade between Europe and Asia. Evergreen Marine, which operates the Ever Given under a Panamanian flag, told the Financial Times in an email that the ship was “suspected to have met with a sudden gust of strong wind, which caused the ship’s body to veer from its course and accidentally run aground”. At press time the ship was still where it came to rest, tended by several tugs. It may be there for a while; you can check for yourself on VesselFinder.
It’s hard to describe what happened as a “grounding”, though. Container ship groundings are not unheard of in the Suez Canal. Sand comes up from the canal floor at a 4:1 ratio; if a ship drifts out of the fairway, it’s most likely to dig a shoulder into that sand and wait for a tug. Last March the OOCL Japan, a container ship about the size of the Ever Given, had a mechanical failure in the Suez Canal, lost steering, took the ground, was refloated in several hours and continued on its way.
[image: Changes to the cross-section of the Suez Canal over time © Suez Canal Authority]
That’s not what happened on Wednesday. The Ever Given had been part of a northbound convoy, still at the southern end of the canal. That section is lined with riprap — stacked boulders on the side of a waterway. Riprap is supposed to catch waves and protect sand and mud from erosion. It is not supposed to catch boats.
But the Ever Given has punched through the riprap at a steep angle, and wedged its bow bulb in the soft sand beyond it. This was not a grounding. It was a walling.
It certainly was windy along the Suez Canal. According to Meteoblue, which provides weather data to apps and corporate clients, winds peaked above 30mph at the Suez Protectorate on Wednesday, not far from the Ever Given. Most harbours would fly a small craft advisory at that speed. But it wasn’t unprecedented. Wind peaked above 30mph twice in 2020 at the same location, in March and again in May.
A gust of wind is by definition an accident, an act of God we all understand. It makes sense, in a car-like way: you think you’re pointed one way. Then something hits you, and you’re pointed another. But the initial explanation offered by Evergreen steps gingerly around another possible reason: Ever Given is a very large boat. And very large boats in confined channels do not move in car-like ways.
On Wednesday afternoon Alphaville spoke to Evert Lataire, head of the Maritime Technology Division at Ghent University in Belgium. He had spent his day looking at a VesselFinder video of Ever Given’s track through the canal for the same reason Alphaville went digging: honestly, what is more exciting than a major shipping disaster with no reported injuries or oil spilled? Lataire studies hydrodynamics, the science of how liquids exert forces as they move.
Sailors talk about hydrodynamics the way CEOs talk about macroeconomics: they either treat it with mystical reverence, or they claim to understand it and are wrong. Unlike with macroeconomics, though, if you know what you’re doing you can test the propositions of hydrodynamics on actual, physical models in a lab. As in: you build little boats and then you drag them through the water, in a towing tank. Hydrodynamics is what a five-year old would do, if a five-year old had a PhD.
Lataire works with Flanders Hydraulics Research at what he calls the world’s most accurately constructed shallow-bottom tow tank. He’s currently helping build an even bigger tank, to generate more data for a ship simulator to certify pilots. The tanks are shallow-bottomed, because hydrodynamics in shallow water are different. When a boat moves through the water, it pushes the water out of the way — it displaces it. “Where the water needs to be displaced, in a deep ocean it can go under the ship and that’s not a problem,” says Lataire. “But if it needs to go into shallow water, like the Suez, the water simply cannot go under and around.”
The Suez Canal is basically just a 24m-deep ditch dug in the ground to let the ocean in. When a ship comes by and displaces the water, the water has nowhere to go; it gets squeezed in between the ship’s hull and the floor and the sides of the ditch. A ship in a canal can squat, for example — it can dig its stern into the water. When water gets squeezed between a ship’s hull and a sand floor, it speeds up. As water flow speeds up, its pressure drops, pulling the hull down to fill the vacuum. The effect is more pronounced at the stern, and so the ship settles into a squat: bow up, stern down.
Lataire wrote his dissertation on a similar phenomenon as a ship passes close to a bank: the bank effect. The water speeds up, the pressure drops, the stern pulls into the bank and, particularly in shallow water, the bow gets pushed away. Stern one way, bow the other. A boat that had been steaming is suddenly spinning. It’s a well-identified phenomenon; in 2009 Ghent University’s Shallow Water Knowledge Centre put together a whole conference about it. Clever pilots on the Elbe, according to Lataire, will use it to shoot around a bend.
However: the more water a ship displaces, the stronger the effect. And the closer the side of the hull is to the shore, the stronger the effect. The bigger the ship, the faster the bow shoots away from the bank.
Most of the research and design on ship hulls goes into efficiency and stability at sea. But at sea is not where the Ever Given got stuck. And ships have gotten big, fast, which means the consequences of shallow-water hydrodynamics are changing by the year. In 2007, Lataire points out, the biggest container ships carried 8,000 containers. Some ships are now close to 25,000 containers. The Ever Given, finished by Imabari Shipbuilding in Japan in 2018, carries just over 20,000 containers.
By any historical standards, the Ever Given is a monster. But it’s a monster in a specific way: it’s fat. The more containers you can stack on a single ship, the cheaper the marginal cost of each new container. But the specific engineering of container ships mean that they can’t get longer; they have to get wider. An oil tanker is a shoe box with a lid: hull on the bottom, oil in the middle, deck on top. But a container ship is a shoebox without a lid: hull on the bottom, then containers all the way up. It’s not as strong without the lid.
There are definitely hydrodynamic forces in the open ocean, it’s just that the ocean is usually in charge of them. And the biggest stress on a ship’s hull in heavy weather happens along the longitudinal bending moment — lengthwise, between the bow and the stern. The longer a ship gets, the worse the stress gets when a wave pushes up in the wrong place. As far as length goes for container ships, “we are at the limitations of welding and steel quality,” says Lataire. “I will not say that it is impossible to weld thicker plates, but in a way this is the economic limit.”
So container ships can’t get longer, and they can’t stack any more containers fore and aft. Instead, they stack them taller. And wider. Container ships haven’t become monster long; they’ve become monster beamy. Ever Given, for example, is too beamy for the Panama Canal. This is why we need big towing tanks in Belgium dragging tiny models of container ships through the water to figure out what happens: we keep making bigger ships, but we’re still learning how big ships work.
So now you understand why Evert Lataire spent the morning looking at a YouTube video of Ever Given’s location on VesselFinder. The trouble starts around 0:10. The ship is moving north, with westerly winds — they are coming from the ship’s left, pushing it to the right. To compensate, the ship has adjusted its heading to the left, into the wind, to make sure the combination of screw and wind continue to push it at the correct bearing, towards the Mediterranean. Sometimes in a boat, if you are getting pushed right, you need to head left to go straight.
Then, around 0:14, the ship lurches left, into the wind. Lataire thinks there might have been not a gust, but a temporary lull, meaning the Ever Given was overadjusted to its left, moved to the left, and its beamy hull began to hug the windward bank. Then everything happens quickly, in a way that looks a lot like the bank effect. Bow shoots away from the bank. Stern continues to hug the bank and move north. Ship spins. Bow bulb punches through the riprap.
Trade comes to a halt. Wind definitely played a role, but there was probably something else happening, too. The ships keep getting bigger. But everything on Earth stays the same size.
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so i did a thing
have fun with it (please, though, give credit.)
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Does anyone else like watching the progression of ship names and conventions and how they change depending on the fandom? Like, for instance, in anime, you often use the first one or two syllables of the characters name and put them together so: kiribaku, sasusaku, etc.
But then an OLD anime, specifically yaoi fandom, convention was to use the order to indicate the “seme” (top) and “uke” (bottom. my GOD the fact that I can remember this smh), so sasunaru or narusasu.
And then in western fandom, you used to have a slash, so luke/leia, kirk/spock, which of course, gave rise to the slash fandom name. Because people would say “I like x slash y, you know, as a relationship”. Then, for a long time you’d often have a portmanteau of two characters names, depending on if there was a similarity between them, typically at the vowel: spirk, klance, destiel, sterek. But NOW it’s gravitating more towards mashing the whole name or a nickname together: deancas, sambucky.
But then, you can also get really fandom-specific naming conventions, like Invader Zim, with ZaDR or ZaDF where the ship name was an acronym for the characters involved, and the relationship style, romance or friendship in this case.
And of course, it’s all very fluid, so you’ll see all of these naming conventions (and more!) mixing and matching through different fandoms and times.
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i love how author’s notes at the end of a fic on ao3 are always either like “tysm for reading i love u all this fic makes me so happy i could cry and i would really appreciate it if u left some kudos and a comment only if u want to tho” or “fuck this i am so sick of writing that i can’t even look at a keyboard anymore it’s 5:37 am and i haven’t slept in 32 hours i’m running on caffeine and spite u all are going to hell for reading this and i am going to laugh with satan when i see u there”
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Reading fanfic has heightened my paranoia. Somebody could be directly across from me on the other side of the room with no reasonable way of being able to see my phone screen but I always have that nagging feeling that somehow everyone in the room knows exactly what sins I’m committing and are severely disappointed in me.
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“.... Aye. That one. What say you?”
THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL (2003) dir. Gore Verbinski
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Me re-blogging things from my different fandoms within a few minutes:
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Week Ending June 14th, 2021
Dean Winchester & Castiel, Supernatural
Luz Noceda & Amity Blight, The Owl House
Caleb Widogast & Essek Thelyss, Critical Role
Sam Wilson & Bucky Barnes, the Marvel universe
Bakugou Katsuki & Midoriya Izuku, Boku No Hero Academia
Dreamwastaken & GeorgeNotFound, Streamers
The Darkling & Alina Starkov, Shadow and Bone
Kaz Brekker & Inej Ghafa, Shadow and Bone
Victor Salazar & Benji Campbell, Love, Victor
Evan Buckley & Edmundo Diaz, 9-1-1
Ethan Winters & Karl Heisenberg, Resident Evil Village
Kara Danvers & Lena Luthor, Supergirl
Draco Malfoy & Harry Potter, the Harry Potter universe
Steve Rogers & Bucky Barnes, the Marvel universe
Catra & Adora, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Beauregard Lionett & Yasha Nydoorin, Critical Role
Ladybug & Chat Noir, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Hannibal Lecter & Will Graham, Hannibal
Lan Wangji & Wei Wuxian, Mo Dao Zu Shi
Remus Lupin & Sirius Black, the Harry Potter universe
The number in italics indicates how many spots a ship moved up or down from the previous week. The ones in bold weren’t on the list last week.
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"Enemies to lovers" this, and "there's only one bed" that, FUCK THAT.
My favourite troupe is where one character has a bad habit of bottling up their emotions or concealing big secrets, while their impulsive sunshine pal just really likes wrapping their arms/resting their hands on the other character's shoulders casually in conversation as their form of affection
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Finding out that a new ship you got into has a ton of fanfiction on AO3 is like a pirate finding a treasure chest full of gold.
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Imagine your otp
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I don't make the rules here
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I feel incredibly exposed...
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