Marine Tracker

I do like to live beside the seaside!  When I’m home I blessed with seeing the English Channel on most days even if it’s just a peep from the car to and from work.  It looms at me when I come down the hill towards home, an ever changing scene that I’ll never tire of.

One of the things that I started to notice when I moved to the coast was that the marine landscape changes with the weather.  When a storm is forecast there are more boats in the bay. Great big tankers and container ships sometimes shelter inshore in numbers when there’s a storm brewing.  The fishing fleet crowd into the inner harbour as well. Our sea craft are a great forecaster.

But during the COVID-19 crisis we’ve had a different type of marine visitor. Without anything to do when holidaying was banned the passenger liners arrived. They’ve stayed with us for the long haul. Although they’ve left us now the luxurious Holland American fleet were most familiar. However they were joined by others too, Tui and Cunard to name a couple more of the companies. Sometimes up to eleven ships were holed up within sight of here or just around the corner so that their bows peeped out from beyond the headland. By the way ‘The World’ in today’s photo didn’t visit this time. I took this picture in Bordeaux in 2018 when just before I had spotted it visiting Torquay. This particular craft is residential, a floating home. I wonder how the people living there occupied themselves during 2020.

There’s just the one at the moment, P&O’s ‘Arcadia’ but it may be joined by others again soon. The cruise liners come and go, presumably to stop their engines seizing up and to empty their toilets!  We imagine what life must be like for the skeleton staff.  Are they confined to staff quarters or do they stretch themselves out in the posh suites, put on shows and lounge around the pool? The locals got quite fond of the ships. There was even a collection to buy their crew Christmas presents. In return horns were tooted and portholes were lit up to spell out birthday greetings. That must take a bit of thought and forward planning but I suppose those on board had plenty of time on their hands.

Being nerdy, I’ve got Marine Tracker on my phone to monitor the comings and goings.  I’ve told others about it and surprisingly quite a few have followed suit. It seems that I’m not the only one with an inner geek. 

Not only does Marine Tracker show me what the liners are up to but I see when the little MTS tugs are out delivering supplies or picking up crew from passing cargo ships. I have a good idea about where the local fishing fleet are casting their nets too.   This little app is like the Facebook of the seas. I now know the comings and goings of all my maritime ‘friends’!

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