Following “Ever Charming”

Monday, Feb. 6th (1:30pm) The kids and I went on a harbor cruise, touring the Los Angeles Port. Fabulous 45 minutes out in the channel! This was “Port- Part 2” Fieldtrip.

One of the many highlights was coming up alongside a H-U-G-E cargo ship. The kids and their friend from school were fascinated (as was I) watching the big, heavy duty cranes load cargo containers onto the “Ever Charming” ship from Germany.

  • Monday, Feb. 6th (6:00pm) When we came home later during the day, we looked online at the website: http://www.marinetraffic.com and found that “Ever Charming” has been moored at this Evergreen shipping dock in San Pedro for 3 days. There it was, in live satellite feed, marked at the port. So awesome!
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7th (7:00am) This morning we looked online at the website again and ‘lo and behold were shocked to learn it had departed at 4:55am. We saw it on the map, already having past Malibu and nearing Santa Barbara. It even displayed the track it had followed.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7th (4:45pm) Now it has past Half Moon Bay on its way to San Francisco. Its destination is the Port of Oakland.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7th (7:17pm) It is almost passing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. If you were standing on that bridge right now, you’d definitely see it!
  • Tues. 2/7 (7:27pm) It’s already passed under the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s on its way to passing Alcatraz Island.
  • Tues. 2/7 (8:30pm) It has also passed under the Bay Bridge. It is now moored in the Port of Oakland.
  • Wed. 2/8 (8:00am) Still in Oakland.
  • Wed. 2/8 (10:45pm) Ohhhhhh I’m excited! It’s destination has been posted. Taiwan!!! But it says its ETA is Feb. 27th. Whoa! That’s a long time. Can’t wait to tell the kids in the morning!
  • Thurs. 2/9 (7:30am) Kids are sitting at the breakfast counter. Just logged on to the site. They see that ‘Ever Charming’ has returned under the Bay Bridge, back under the Golden Gate Bridge and is now out in the Pacific Ocean, having just left the bay. Its destination reads: US OAK > TW TPE. We’ve just looked up what those letters stand for. It’s headed to Taiwan (Taipei). Super exciting! I also just learned that it all depends who you ask- the people who live in Taiwan view themselves as an independent country. But if you ask others, they are part of China.
  • Thurs. 2/9 (6:15pm) WHAT!??! It’s “out of range”. No data. No records. No point on the map anymore for the ship! Just realized that no ships in the Pacific Ocean are visible. The website only shows marine traffic as it pertains close to land. Wow- wonder why that is. Okay, this morning it said its ETA would be Feb. 27th. That really confuses me. Why would it take 18 days to cross the Pacific Ocean? We’ll need to check in daily and see when it reappears on the map.
  • Fri. 2/10  Out of range.
  • Sat. 2/11 Out of range.
  • Interesting addition to following our ship….
  • On Saturday our dear friends the Ballards went on a whale-watching trip. While they were out on their boat they took notice of a ship that was docked at the exact same port that our Ever Charming had been! That ship that the Ballards spotted was the “Hatsu Crystal”. As soon as Jacob and Natalie saw their family photos, they wanted to start tracking the Hatsu Crystal as well.
  • So here we go……tracking two ships now:
  • Sun. 2/12 Ever Charming: Out of range.
  • Hatsu Crystal: left Port of L.A. Headed to Oakland, CA.
  • Mon. 2/13 Ever Charming: Out of range.
  • Hatsu Crystal: still on its way to Oakland
  • Tues. 2/14 Ever Charming: Out of range.
  • Hatsu Crystal: has arrived in Oakland! The kids watched it go under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco while they were eating their breakfast of scrambled eggs and heart-shaped waffles  (thank you Ludwigs!) Very, very interesting! It took Ever Charming one day to go from San Pedro to Oakland. And yet Hatsu Crystal took 3 days to cover the same distance. Why?? Natalie’s hypothesis is that it is carrying more cargo or heavier cargo than Ever Charming was carrying- so it had to go slow. Jacob thinks that maybe Ever Charming is a more powerful ship with a stronger engine. We should have taken note of the knots speed of Ever Charming; never thought about doing that. We did take notice that Hatsu Crystal was going 11.2 knots as it was coming in from the Pacific Ocean headed to the Golden Gate Bridge. Saw it moor at the same dock, just past the Bay Bridge.
  • Wed. 2/15 Ever Charming: Out of range.
  • Hatsu Crystal: ohhhhhh no!!! We forgot to look at it this morning! I’m checking it right now at 8pm and it’s now out of range!!! Oh man! We missed it! We didn’t find out its next destination. It’s so bizarre how once a ship leaves the coast of any type of land, it totally goes off radar. It’s as if the ship doesn’t even exist anymore. We were hoping to see if it would head to Taiwan, China just like Ever Charming. We’ll just have to keep checking every day.
  • Wed. 2/15 (late-pm) By talking with my beloved friend Heidi, I learned there was a component on this marine traffic.com website where I could create my own fleet of ships to watch! And in so doing it shows the ships that are otherwise mentioned as out of range. So interesting!
  • Ever Charming: Surprise! Surprise! All these days it’s been ‘out of range’ I’ve assumed it was trekking across the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Not the case at all. It’s headed north and is now passing by Alaska. It is headed to Taiwan but by the outline of the land. Sooooooo fascinating!
  • Hatu Crystal: is headed to Taiwan as well!
  • Sat. 2/19 Now this is very, very interesting. It’s been 4 days since I’ve checked their whereabouts but Ever Charming is in the exact same spot in that part of water by Alaska. Weird. And even more interesting- Hatsu Crystal, though it had left 6 days after Ever Charming from Oakland, it is already in the same part of the ocean by Alaska, almost seeming to pass up Ever Charming. What is going on?? I’m taking note of this. It says that the Lat/Lon for Ever Charming is: 54.516171/-167.4287   19.8 kn/277. And the stats for Hatu Crystal say:  Lat/Lon 54.5389/-167.543  14 knots” I’ll be keeping my eye on this!
  • Thurs. 2/23– Ever Charming has made it to Taiwan!!!! It’s ETA was 2-27, so it has arrived 4 days earlier than expected. Soooooooo exciting to see it once again! Jacob and I are sitting here at the computer in wide-eyed amazement at the hundreds upon hundreds of cargo ships along the coastline of China. Absolutely amazing how many of them there are! Makes sense in light of how many things we have been picking up and reading “Made in China”. Now the next big question: Where will Ever Charming go to next? As of now, Hatsu Crystal still shows that it’s in the Bering Sea up at Alaska; new info. has not been posted for several days on that ship.
  • Mon. 2/27- Ever Charming docked in Taiwan. Before it was just hanging out waiting in the China Sea. I’m thinking that in the logistics mgmt. plan at the dock, they couldn’t bring the ship in until the 27th. But it only stayed for a short while before redirecting to Xiamen, China. Left in the afternoon (around 4/4:30pm). Today, Hatsu Crystal also arrived in Taiwan.
  • Tues. 2/28- Ever Charming is now in Xiamen, China (CNXMN) Today Hatsu Crystal also started heading to Xiamen, China. Oh, and I just checked (8pm) and it now has a new destination listed on its itinerary. CNHKG. It’s still in the dock at Xiamen, but looks like tomorrow it’s headed to Hong Kong!
  • Thurs. 3/1- Ever Charming is in Hong Kong. Hatsu Crystal is now in Xiamen.
  • Fri. 3/2- Ever Charming is headed out of Hong Kong and Hatsu Crystal is passing it by, on its way into Hong Kong
  • Sat. 3/3- Both Ever Charming and Hatsu Crystal are docked in Yantian, China

I am hooked. This stuff is absolutely fascinating to me! So much of it intrigues me!

What exactly is in all those cargo containers?

How in the world is all of this stuff organized and managed at the port?

When you watch the cranes taking containers off and then forklifts loading them up on trucks, and then those trucks driving away….how in the world is it all kept straight what is where and who’s taking it and to what location?

It is mind-boggling that within range there are 36,607 ocean vessels out in the water right now. How far-reaching is that range?

Just looking at the world map, it is AMAZING how many ships are out at sea right now! I just checked out the Aegean Sea, east of Greece. The place is teeming with cargo ships and tankers!! Amazing!

Now I just checked out the Panama Canal on this website. This is soooooooooooooo amazing!!! I seriously can’t wait to show this to Jacob tomorrow! We have been studying about the 4 main oceans, the 7 continents, that items have a “Made in________” label, that things are exported/imported and all that fun geography stuff. And as we were discussing oceanic routes that possible ships might take in order to deliver their goods, we started talking about “what if there was a short cut to get from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean”? That’s when we started our conversation about the Panama Canal.

But this is cool beyond cool! Clicking on the satellite image of this website, getting a minute by minute live feed of the placement of every ship in the ocean all over the world. So we can now see all the ships waiting to pass through the Panama Canal. This is crazy cool to me!!! You can click on every little dot and discover the country of origin of that ship!

So we’re going to keep our eye on “Ever Charming” and see how long it stays in Oakland, CA. and where it heads after that. Will we be able to see it eventually go back to Germany? I don’t know. But how cool would that be!

The combination of home school learning and technology is making me one very, very happy mama right now!

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