Archive for ‘shipping today’

January 23, 2012

wetropolis, or “let’s build a town on the Andaman Sea”

The CGI “photos” of Wetropolis (via Likhit) are fascinating, but I have reservations about the practicality of this seasteading project off the coast of Thailand, and not just because it looks so expensive that it’s probably by default a playground for the rich (I have to admire the chutzpah of putting actual Thai watercraft in the shot – it’s like showing Fred Flintstone’s feet poking out of the bottom of his sleek sportscar).

For instance, it might be a little sanctuary in the event of widespread flooding, but how does it then connect to the land, which probably won’t enjoy the same protection. And, didn’t some Tsunamis come through there not so long ago? How tall are those stilts? How fast can the living units go up and down on them? Is it actually a better idea than just living on a bunch of boats tethered together?

For my money, this gallery of 6 designs for floodproof homes pretty much covers the gamut of such projects, from the immediately practical and largely familiar to architect’s renderporn to the sustainability fantasies that schools and studios seem to be encouraging this year. And this project shows a very interesting proof of concept for something or other, although probably not commercial shipping.

November 28, 2011

technology and landscape

This is more interesting than anything I might have to say about it – the ironic effects of landmines on the preservation of natural landscapes, placing woods, meadows, and even remote country roads off-limits, fatally tainted terrains given back to animals and vegetation. Reminds me of the surveys of Bikini Atoll 50 years after the nuclear tests, which found wildlife in considerably better condition than that which had been exposed to tourism over the same period.

At the other end of the landthreat spectrum, Tsunami Escape Pod is a great name for a band, but the artifact sadly doesn’t look either as functional or as gojirapunk as you might hope. … it measures 4 feet in diameter, can house up to four  adults [um? For how long?] …Inside you won’t find any safety-belts or webbing and there doesn’t seem to be much padding – just a vertical bar which survivors are expected to hold onto while bouncing off buildings and debris. Right. Also, on the plus side a buoyant sphere is a good choice of shape for dealing with unpredictable threats but on the minus side, it’s completely uncontrollable, unstabilizable, and incapable of dealing with threats like sudden acceleration or crushing by other flotsam. Reminds me of Roger Dean’s retreat pod, only more paranoi.

It looks like even if you get swept out to see there’s no chance of escaping google – which is part of a robot vessel/sensor-pod scheme, to gather data about the oceans. Which in turn reminds me of how little we know about the deep sea, and how comparable such ventures are to the Mars Rover.

May 30, 2011

Incredible presentation of New York Harbour maritime urbanism

Worth checking out for the slides alone. This, I think, just might be what I do next: from the waterfront urban studies.

Christina Sun’s presentation for Coastlink’s Hamburg conference, on New York and the Hudson. Scroll down for grain elevators, disused factories and overloaded skiffs.

January 28, 2011

Catamaran: an Indo-Pacific Ocean History

In the spirit of The Global Schooner, this is more like the kind of “world” “early modern” history I’d like to see:

History of the Catamaran

Australian-built catamaran ferry for the Baltic.

July 18, 2010

Delightfully odd infographics via gcaptain: Knock Nevis and mapping of sumarine cables AND gulf oil spill roundup

Supertanker Knock Nevis, later MV Mont, was the largest ship ever built. Here are dodgy infographics comparing it to the Petronas Tower.

The virtual world requires a lot of actual hardware. Submarine cables run your internet. Except when they get severed in freak unexplained occurrences, as happened a lot in 2008. Here‘s a map that shows just how important NY City continues to be on the world stage.

I’ll get to this when I have time: 50 visualisations of the gulf oil disaster.

April 30, 2010

oil spill actually a leak, or “drainage”

image112 Maritime Monday 211Deepwater Horizon

So what happens if an active oil rig blows up and sinks? And the well-head isn’t capped off? It turns out oil continues to rise to the surface of the sea and feed a perpetual fire there. Yikes.

Deepwater Horizon story still unspooling. State of emergency declared in Louisiana, oil pool broadening uncontrolled, nearing coast. Not obvious what anyone can do right now…

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April 19, 2010

Would-be sovereigns of the seas

Cruise ship The World offers ultimate retirement home.

Ocean University hopes to repeat the success of The Scholar Ship. Not to be confused with Ocean Univerity of China.

The Seasteading Institute doesn’t aim to travel anywhere, it just wants to get away from all the filthy tax-grubbing landlubbers.

MS Sovereign, formerly one of Royal Caribbean International’s cruise ships, shows what ventures like The World ultimately model themselves on. Oasis of the Seas, with 6296 passengers and a strangely recursively watery name, far exceeds it. The extent of Royal Caribbean’s fleet is staggering: The Oasis class is the world’s largest class of passenger ships, and RCI has 2. It took the title from RCI’s own Freedom class (3 members, and fourth being built, 3634 passengers). Then there’s Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 (which is a liner, something rather different. 3056 passengers), then 5 Voyager class vessels (3114 passengers), 4 Radiance class (2500 passengers), 6 Vision class (2074 passengers, 2 of the ships having on-board golf courses), 3 Sovereign class (including the Sovereign itself, which has officially been expelled from the class following its shift to Pullmantur, a Spanish subsidiary of RCI, 2700 passengers), and the Empress (1850 passengers), operated, like the Sovereign, by Pullmantur.

Including Pullmantur passengers, I count a total fleet capacity of 71,458 holidaymakers. Since (I am told) cruise ships generally carry at least one staff member per passenger, that means they should have at least that many staff at sea.

They have sold 5 more ships to other seaborne entertainment and tourism companies.