By the Numbers

Before I leave the subject of the ship I wanted to set out the numbers.

Seattle to Pusan 4616 nm
Pusan to Yantian 1143 nm
Yantian to Kaohsiung 340 nm
Kaohsiung to Shanghai 592 + 43 “river in” nm
Total 6734 nm

As the First Mate on the Baltimore told me, 1 nautical mile is the rough equivalent of 1.15 statute miles. So in all I travelled about 7744 miles aboard the Hanjin Baltimore in about 24 days, or around 322 miles per day on average (although that leaves an inaccurate picture because it includes in-port and drifting days).

The “river in” miles getting to Shanghai were on the Yangtze River.P1000664 Wikipedia has a good explanation of the importance of the Yangtze in Chinese history and at present. The ship traffic on the approach to Shanghai is heavier than I saw anywhere else. Getting to the city involves gradually directing the ships into two lines, then merging those lines together with a third one from the south channel. The ships finally approach Shanghai in one line going the same speed. Pilots are brought aboard by what look almost like jet skis and left to scale the ladder onto the ship while their driver heads back to the large ship that houses the pilots. Sometimes pilots are deposited onboard by helicopter drop, winching them down from the helicopter to the port bridge wing onto a large black mat with a “P” circled in white. I would have liked to have seen that.P1000692

The pilot came to the bridge and spent most of the time hollering in Chinese over his cell phone on what appeared to be personal business. I noticed that the Captain kept a close eye on the pilot’s directions to the crew and, on at least one occasion, intervened and  politely but firmly overrode him.

About Saint Expedite

Retired early, then took a trip across the Pacific from Seattle by container ship. From China I stopped in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Holland, Denmark, England and Ireland before heading home to Puget Sound. This blog is an account of my travels. Write to me at SaintExpedite@frozenheads.net
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