Thursday, March 25, 2021

So Good: "The bank effect and the big boat blocking the Suez"

Ha! FTAV used the "Big Boat" nomenclature in the headline. 

We last consulted the writer, Brendan Greeley, on things nautical in September 2020's "Physics, Flotillas and Seamanship (plus pirates)" and prior to that, September 2018's "In Which FT Alphaville Takes On Sailing Yachts, Admiralty (Maritime) Law, and Dinghy Davits".

From FT Alphaville:

Brendan Greeley is FT Alphaville’s part-time boat correspondent. 

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 tires loses purchase on the 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 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....