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55 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

Guess I’m glad we aren’t scheduled to go through the Suez Canal today or tomorrow!

https://www.thejournal.ie/suez-canal-blocked-container-ship-5389882-Mar2021/

 

 

 

Thanks for posting this Clay.

 

She is stuck in the long straight section between Port Suez (southern entrance) and Great Bitter Lake. This section is still single lane, so the canal is completely blocked. If it happened north of the lake, the canal is now double lane for many miles, so it wouldn't be blocked.

 

Fortunately, any cruise ships heading North today would be ahead of the boxboats, so would have passed before the canal was blocked.

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On 3/17/2021 at 1:44 PM, Peregrina651 said:

Just stopping by to put my feet up for a few minutes with a caffe latte (which in RL is now out of my diet) while I check in with CC.

 

 

Coffee -- just plain coffee -- is never out of my diet (what I'm having right now ...and continually amazes my DH how I can drink the stuff at night and still go to bed quite easily).  HOWEVER.. if we're talking sweet coffees -- a caramel macchiato is my favorite (double shot too!).

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11 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Thanks for posting this Clay.

 

She is stuck in the long straight section between Port Suez (southern entrance) and Great Bitter Lake. This section is still single lane, so the canal is completely blocked. If it happened north of the lake, the canal is now double lane for many miles, so it wouldn't be blocked.

 

Fortunately, any cruise ships heading North today would be ahead of the boxboats, so would have passed before the canal was blocked.

This tweet says it all. 

32F99CD8-539E-44F5-ADC7-4EBADCCFFF23.jpeg

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It will certainly chaotic, especially with the ships already in the canal astern of the one stuck. Most of them will be unable to turn around and most cargo ships don't steer too well going astern, so they will have required multiple tugs to tow them out.

 

Regarding this chap's tweet regarding the QM. While the cause could be a QM failure - putting the wheel the wrong way, too much wheel, etc I'll suggest that is not the most likely cause, as they have multiple steering stations on the Bridge these days that are switched at the press of a button.

 

When docking, if the QM was incapacitated for any reason, I could press a button and take control in a second. On one ship, I even had a joystick on the chair arm that had a Captain's over-ride.

 

Preliminary reports indicate initial cause was a strong gust of wind. Time will tell what other contributing factors were present.

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Haha, if it were only the helmsman.  This will, as the saying goes, be a "career limiting move" right on the Captain.  As a former captain on tankers and freighters, I can only say "glad I didn't do that".  I am sure it is a mechanical failure (at least one would hope so) but that still goes on the Captain's record.  Must be truly wedged in as we saw quite a few hefty looking tugs docked at places along the canal.  As soon as they get the right equipment there it will be yanked out of there like a cork out of wine.  The good news is the Suez is basically a big sand ditch.  If this had happened entering the locks in the Panama Canal you might have had a real damaging closure.  Again though, I feel for the Captain.  

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The Ever Given is one of the world's largest container ships.  Over 1,300' in length and near 200' in the beam.  I am not sure if she is single screw but a great many box ships are.  In any case, her bottom and sides would be producing some strange ship dynamics in relation to the bottom and sides of the canal and, if as reported, a sudden blast of wind might have caused loss of control but I would guess a bit of inattention coupled with a "lump" in the topography of the bottom or sides of the canal producing bank suction would much more easily cause such a mess.  It takes considerable "wind gust" to move a 200,000GT ship.

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Hey Andy and Jim....while we're talking ship measurements...could use your expertise over on the Viking Sky Survivors thread relative to this Norway tunnel project. John brought up a good question as to whether or not it will be able to handle ships as large as Viking ocean. (?)

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Posted (edited)
On 3/1/2021 at 1:02 PM, SoBaycruiser said:

We booked the March 1 Northern Lights trip... a year from today!  We think the Explorers lounge will be a fantastic place to be

 

Back in March of '19 I loved it up there, until people seated in the chairs started literally sliding from one side to the other (due to the events of the 23rd). Rather entertaining to watch actually until things got really crazy!  Would have been interesting to have still been up there when the piano tore loose from the floor. Amazing the thing didn't shift forward and potentially crash right through the windows and perhaps wind up in the ocean. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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Here's some good pictures of the situation in the Suez Canal.  The bow appears to have really dug in and the stern is wedged into the other side.  Probably damage to the running gear.  The momentum of this quarter mile long ship is hard to fathom...

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjzzaGKx8nvAhWzHTQIHU3pBRsQ0PADegQIDRAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fworld-middle-east-56516151&usg=AOvVaw1cBOqHeEXbPjjVeEUgoF8L

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1 hour ago, Jim Avery said:

Here's some good pictures of the situation in the Suez Canal.  The bow appears to have really dug in and the stern is wedged into the other side.  Probably damage to the running gear.  The momentum of this quarter mile long ship is hard to fathom...

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjzzaGKx8nvAhWzHTQIHU3pBRsQ0PADegQIDRAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fworld-middle-east-56516151&usg=AOvVaw1cBOqHeEXbPjjVeEUgoF8L

 

Jim,

 

I find the gust of wind cause most interesting, but it has to have other contributing factors, as I can't imaging a fully loaded box boat being impaled into the bank from a gust of wind. Cruise ships and ferries with low draft and high freeboard are very susceptible to wind, but deep draft cargo ships are less susceptible. Box boats with 50'+ drafts and full stacks of boxes will drift more than a tanker, but nowhere close to that of a cruise ship or Ro/Pax ferry. For example, my last command had only 17' draft and 80'+ above the water, so at docking speeds we went faster sideways than ahead - basically, dockings in 32+ kts were a controlled crash, hopefully more former than later.😀

 

If wind is a contributing factor, I suspect it probably came from Stb'd side, pushing the ship towards the port shore. The pilot may have requested stbd helm to regain track, then it was compounded as the wheel sniffed the port bank, sheering the bow sharply to stbd. If they already had stbd helm applied, it would have been almost impossible to correct in the short time available.

 

I have experienced bank effect a few times, with the first time being S'bd in Suez in 1976, when the canal was about 1/2 the current width.

 

The other consideration, while the canal is about 1,200 feet wide at the surface, with the angle of repose required at the sides, the full width at the bottom is less than 500 feet. Therefore, with a beam of about 200 feet, they don't have much room to spare. The angle of repose is also what is causing the delay in refloating the ship, as the bow is well impailed into the bank.

 

If anyone wants to research it, google "Bank effect shiphandling" 

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Great explanation Andy.  Bank and bottom effect suction in restricted waterways is scary.  It tends to make one want to do just the opposite of what would seem right to do.  I got my first trial by fire in the Houston Ship Channel. 😱

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6 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Haha, if it were only the helmsman.  This will, as the saying goes, be a "career limiting move" right on the Captain.  As a former captain on tankers and freighters, I can only say "glad I didn't do that".  I am sure it is a mechanical failure (at least one would hope so) but that still goes on the Captain's record.  Must be truly wedged in as we saw quite a few hefty looking tugs docked at places along the canal.  As soon as they get the right equipment there it will be yanked out of there like a cork out of wine.  The good news is the Suez is basically a big sand ditch.  If this had happened entering the locks in the Panama Canal you might have had a real damaging closure.  Again though, I feel for the Captain.  

 

So true Jim. Didn't matter how good we were, as we all knew we were only as good as our last docking. On one of our smaller ships (280') we did 16 dockings per day.

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Andy,

 

Really helpful explanation!  What an engineering achievement it was to build the canal; and not a small achievement to safely maneuver such a large ship in the canal.

 

We rode through the canal southbound on Orion in August 2018.  Was quite an adventure!

 

Jerry

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7 minutes ago, MarkTapley said:

Andy,

 

Really helpful explanation!  What an engineering achievement it was to build the canal; and not a small achievement to safely maneuver such a large ship in the canal.

 

We rode through the canal southbound on Orion in August 2018.  Was quite an adventure!

 

Jerry

 

Thanks, but please remember this is just an informed guess, on the cause when reports state gust of wind with no mechanical malfunction and the ship is impaled a few feet into the bank.

 

The prop may also be missing a blade or 2 and will be well polished.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Clay, interesting article.  But.... it is obviously written by someone with no shipboard experience.  Offloading fuel, ballast water etc. without bringing the center of gravity down by offloading containers as well invites a much more serious problem.  In it's simple form, taking weight from the bottom of the ship while already loaded to the sky with heavy containers means capsize.  It is a real balancing act to actually load and sail these huge box ships.  Hiring Smit is a great step.  They are the world's best at difficult salvage jobs.  This will cost Evergreen many millions for sure.    To Andy's point, this article speaks to the bow being impaled in the dirt some 15 meters.  Just what Andy surmised..

Edited by Jim Avery
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I have a great story for the Explorers Lounge.  I read on BBC that they are trying, in the UK, to set up a scheme for "covid passports"..   Not for international travel, for entry to pubs.......  Now that's getting serious!🍺🍺

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17 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:


 

Simple solution.  Get the Egyptian military to build temporary sand dams in front of and behind the ship.  They have the equipment and the experience to create causeways across the canal, so relatively simple to create the dams.  Then pump water over the dams into the “lake” that the ship is in, raising the water level enough to float the ship free.  Get the ship straigtened out and then have the dredgers open up the front dam and sail the ship away.  Then clear the remains of both dams and restart traffic.  Easy-peasy (in theory....).

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As a professional watcher and occasional poster on Viking's Cruise Critic boards, I want to add my thanks to Andy and Jim for being so kind and generous for their professional insights and comments on cruising and shipping issues in general! Many other regulars contribute so much to make these boards a regular "must read" habit.

 

We, DW and I as cruising novices, signed up for Cruise Critic shortly before our 1st cruise aboard the Viking Sea in 2015. We have benefited greatly from the questions and comments asked and answered on this forum.

 

Now, 8 cruises later (6 on Viking oceans' ships, 2 on Viking River ships) we have gained a lot of experiences and wonderful memories. Despite having 2 Viking cruises cancelled in 2020 we have booked 3 more: a South Atlantic Crossing in the late fall of this year, a Great Lakes cruise aboard the new Viking Explorer ship, the Octantis, in May 2022, and a 15 day cruise on new Viking Mississippi. God willing the COVID 19 virus will not be a factor and the cruises won't be cancelled.

 

Thank you all for sharing your wisdom and views. A deserved thank you to Photo Pro, the OP, for coming up with the idea for the "Virtual Explorer's Lounge". We had the privilege of meeting him at the Meet and Mingle gathering on board a shared Viking Ocean cruise.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jim Avery said:

I have a great story for the Explorers Lounge.  I read on BBC that they are trying, in the UK, to set up a scheme for "covid passports"..   Not for international travel, for entry to pubs.......  Now that's getting serious!🍺🍺

 

Sounds like I need to get my 2nd UK passport😁

Edited by Heidi13
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Senior Gator,  will you be starting the  Miss River Cruise in St. Paul or ending in St. Paul MN?

 Either way, let me know and I will take you both out for lunch  while you are tied up on the Lower Landing in my home town!😍

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On 3/25/2021 at 10:01 AM, Jim Avery said:

Not for international travel, for entry to pubs.......  Now that's getting serious!🍺🍺

LOL....

On 3/24/2021 at 2:30 PM, Jim Avery said:

The bow appears to have really dug in and the stern is wedged into the other side.

Perhaps the ship needs to be renamed "Never More" instead of "Ever Given" ...?  The washing machine that we ordered a few weeks ago already is probably stuck somewhere in the line-up.

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