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At anchor today in Stumptown

The last few ships I've seen at the grain elevator by the Steel Bridge have been duds. No piracy, no accidents, no near-misses in the North Sea. Today's ship, the Zhonghai, a Panamax bulk carrier under the Panamanian flag, is, sadly, no exception.

It's big, it's pale blue, it needs a paint job, and the name Zhonghai (or Zhong Hai) is surprisingly common--for ships, people and companies. I can't quite figure out what it means. Maybe "loyal sea"? (kernelm might know...)

Blah-blah through Gibraltar, as every cargo ship on the planet seems to do eventually. Blah-blah Long Beach two weeks ago, blah-blah San Francisco last week...

I assume Zhonghai spent the days between last Sunday and today making a tiny northbound silhouette on the horizon off the West Coast. Now it's cozying up to the Steel Bridge and taking grain.

So, nothing much to say. But check out what my googling did turn up: This mesmerizing application from San Francisco. Give it a couple of seconds to load.

Recommended for map geeks and ship geeks alike, it's the coolest thing I've seen online all day.

Edited on 2008-04-24 to add: In the time since I wrote this journal, I've been studying a little Mandarin. It now seems fairly obvious to me, though I didn't have any means at the time of noting the Chinese characters on the ship's side under the Pinyin version of the name, that Zhong Hai was probably 中海, meaning China Sea.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2006 12:36 am (UTC)
Huge cheers for "At Anchor Today"!! Yippee!! And that link and the resultant details.... fucking rad! See this is why I read your posts. Thanks
Sep. 28th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed! I'm embarrassed to admit how long I lingered over the little arrow-ships flying in and out of San Francisco Bay.

Love the Tom Baker icon!
Sep. 28th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC)
Thanks! IMO he will always be the best Doctor.
Sep. 28th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
Ah! I was in complete agreement with you till I saw David Tennant.
Sep. 28th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC)
Of course, you know that we're only a breath away from that SF Bay boat application being every one of us and our cellphones or cars, right?
Sep. 28th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
Um..... I don't want to think about it. Let's pretend we are flying colored triangles instead!
Sep. 28th, 2006 03:44 am (UTC)
that map is awesome! the little arrows are messmerising...
Sep. 28th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
I know! I stared and stared. I loved the little high-speed passenger boats (ferries, I would imagine) zipping across the bay.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 28th, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC)
Well, bummer, dude! It's very cool. It's a satellite image of San Francisco Bay--pretty fascinating in itself--and there are little moving arrows representing all the ships in the bay, in real time, color coded so you can tell oil tankers from tourist boats.

You can see a time-lapse image of the day so far, with all the little arrows darting around. There was one yesterday where a blue arrow went zipping directly toward--and apparently into an orange arrow. Turns out blue arrows are tugs and pilot boats, and orange are cargo ships.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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