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Author Topic: Transatlantic Route  (Read 4344 times)
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Michael Nesbett
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« on: December 26, 2012, 02:42:02 pm »

I've been tracking ships going out of Southampton, UK to Baltimore, USA.

Almost all of the vessels depart Southampton, UK , head south in the English Channel, around the southern tip of the UK and then west across the Atlantic to Baltimore, USA

One vessel, the Florida Highway went from the port of Bremerhaven in to the North Sea,  then southward through the English Channel to the port of Southampton, UK.  Upon departing Southampton, UK it went back northward up the English Channel, into the North Sea, around the northern tip of the UK and Ireland and then into the North Atlantic.   I have not seen her since.

 No other ports were schedule between Southampton, UK and Baltimore, USA and none were listed on the route schedule.

Why would a Ro/Ro vessel take this circuitous route to Baltimore, USA out of Southampton, UK?
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samson46
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2012, 04:14:55 pm »

Great Circle navigation: taking the shortest route between two points on a sphere (the Earth) which, by tking to northerly latitudes, avoids the latitudes where the Earth is "fattest".
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Ancient Mariner
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2012, 04:44:20 pm »

GC sailing as mentioned, although the saving is likely minimal by the time you add on the extra steaming time for sailing back up the North Sea.

I would have to wait till I was back on the boat to get a look at the charts before working it out. 
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Magogman
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2012, 06:21:59 pm »

     The Great Circle route often seems illogical until you think it through.  Get a globe and a piece of string and place one end of the string at Southampton and then locate the string on Baltimore, or more properly, the entrance to Chesapeake Bay and that will show you the shortest route between the two locations.
     Another thing to do is look up on AIS the east or northeastern coast of North America and you will see the ships along the coast heading to their respective ports.  I like to shipwatch at the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel highway near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and a lot of the ships approach the Bay from the north/northeast, hence the Great Circle Route.  Add in the string of ports along the northeast coast before Baltimore (Halifax, Quebec City/Montreal,Boston, New York City, etc) and that route makes commercial sense as well.
    I have flown over the Atlantic between the US and Europe a few times and those flights take the Great Circle route as well. I remember seeing lots of icebergs on one flight.  At my summer home in northern Vermont on the Canadian border we are right under both the east-west and west-east flyways between North America and Europe and there are several dozen aircraft flying this route every day, many of them coming from inland locations.
     Not being a mariner I have wondered if ships will take a more southerly route at this time of the year to avoid storms in the North Atlantic
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Michael Nesbett
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 02:13:25 am »

Update:

the Florida Higway was originally scheduled to port in Baltimore, MD on Dec 23.  As soon as she headed north up to the North Sea her date was changed to Dec 24.  Upon nearing the northern tip of the UK/Ireland her the port date was changed to Dec 24, then Dec 26, then Dec 27 and now her next port is scheduled to be Brunswick, GA on Dec  27 with Baltimore, MD scheduled for Dec 30.  She was also scheduled to port in Charleston which will now be on Jan 2, 2013.

I don't understand her routing and I don't understand the port/date changes.  The small part of the globe vs the "fat" part of the globe doesn't seem to be an underlying rational, at this point.

Is the Master of the Vessel Captain Peachfuzz from the Rocky and Bullwindle's world?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 02:17:37 am by Michael Nesbett » Report to moderator   Logged
Captain Ted
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 02:46:49 am »

Going from Southhampton back to Dover Straits and up over Scotland would be only good to do when the weather south is worst then north. I did once the same from Antwerp to Philadelphia
Under normal weather condition I would not go that way, but through the channel into a GC towards Cape Race and then down to Philadelphia. Only bad weather to the south could make me go the other way. Not the saving of a few hours.
Perhaps they used also weather routening ?
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NOW!!!,,,if we could get rid of the sailors,,how safe shipping would be !!!!!!!!
kyle pesely
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 02:53:52 am »

no, chances are hes a Filipino or Indian national, as is typical nowadays on PCTC's lol

as random as all these changes may seem, you have to remember that ships are commerce based vehicles, and as such they follow the market, so perhaps some cargo has been switched to a different buyer, or more cargo is now requiring shipment short-notice, and the Florida Highway was deemed by the Ship's Agent as the one to do the job. you never know.

what i do know, is that despite the seemingly random port changes mid-voyage, i can almost guarantee that the Master of this particular ship isn't making any sort of executive decisions concerning vessel routing and port calls. whats more likely is that hes getting fax's and email's from his bosses at the company telling him that before going to Baltimore, he now has to re-formulate his passage plan to include a stop in Brunswick.

kyle
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Captain Ted
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 01:29:22 pm »

Master,s changing port of calls not by themselve it comes ""ALWAYS" either from the charterer or operator. Also not from the agents in preceding ports. Most CP,s (Charter Parties) have even a rider in which explicitely tells the Master that changes in rotation/port of calls/routes are only advised by them and nobody else.
Therefore I am pretty sure that this Master did not do that by himself. The choosing of the route, S through the channel or around UK north, that is his decision. We get the deirections where to go but how we get there is our business. Unfortunately this is also on the decline but there is one big issue. If a Master chooses a route and is directed by the charterer/operators to take another route, WHOM,s responsibility is it then when something goes wrong. As long that is not clear in fixed laws I will always take the route I want and deem safe.
Another reason why I don,t like public AIS,, speculations about nothing from peoples who don,t know what the regualtions/common practices etc are in the very same buisness they speculate about.
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NOW!!!,,,if we could get rid of the sailors,,how safe shipping would be !!!!!!!!
Kelvin Davies
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 08:50:30 pm »

Regardless of who decided which way round to sail, Florida Highway has just managed a bit of a trick.
Disappearing from AIS before Christmas Day, it suddenly arrived in Baltimore around midnight yesterday and has now departed Baltimore, headed for Charleston. The puzzle is; how did it get into Baltimore without any AIS signals prior to arrival? Surely, one would expect something from around St Johns, Halifax etc, not to mention around the coast of New England?
Maybe gave the AIS kit a few days off for the holidays!
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Captain Ted
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 04:10:17 pm »

Kelvin
no tricks
I passed already ships in 5 miles distance and no AIS and once passed,,bingo AIS there
or the other way around. AIS is based on VHF frequencies, basically they have a range equal to vision plus 50 %,(if from the point of the atenna height the vision would be 10 miles the signal reaches generally 15 miles,,sometimes much more based on atmospheric conditions and sometimes also much less)  So if the vessels was 20-30 miles away from the coast, no AIS will reach the shore line. Of course, beside all that it can also be a plain AIS failure
or the Master plainly switched the signal off, which he can do too for whatever reason
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NOW!!!,,,if we could get rid of the sailors,,how safe shipping would be !!!!!!!!
mooringman
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 02:01:57 am »

I sailed on a paper vessel almost two years from UK and Germany to Newfoundland. We made the west bound trip in Ballast.Mostly we were advised from the UK weather service (Charteres option)to take the GC route via Pentlands to Newfoundland.Especially in the winter month November to March ,because we mostly had better weather in the north.One trip we made in December with an average from 15,5 knots with easterly winds the whole trip.In the south was westerly to SW'ly 8 to 10.......not good for a ship in ballast.....!
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