Thursday, July 08, 2010


WhitchallengerWhile on the subject of Ships and things, something I had not given much thought to until my stay in Southampton docks was how there is an entire industry related to ships arriving, staying in and leaving port.

Asides for the obvious of berths, tugs and cranes and things of course.

When big ships arrive and leave, they need a qualified harbour pilot on board. He ensures the ship gets exactly where it's supposed to without any issues. Of course the pilots need taking out to the ships outside the port, and fetching back in again in all kinds of weather and seas.

Also, the big boats get escorted within the port - a role skipper John is well acquainted with!

Once a big cruise ship has arrived there is all kinds of activity, both land and sea based to take care of it. Food and drink for the passengers, crew changes, parking attendants and removal of the waste.

The thing that particularly attracted my attention to all this 'big boat business' was the Whitchallenger, which is a massive fuel tanker which brings the fuel to the various big ships about the port.

It's all perfectly obvious now.

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