Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Sailing Angels

One final Angel we saw near Edinburgh was moored on a BP tanker berth a mile or so east of the Forth Bridge. The Neverland Angel was filling up with North Sea oil, ready for export.

Those facts aren't as interesting as how I found out its itinerary.

Be prepared to waste hours of time on the Marine Traffic website.

This site aggregates data from VHF transponders fitted to most vessels to provide real-time maps of shipping around the world. It's compelling. We could see Neverland Angel's inbound path, cargo details and onward destination. (Right now, it's headed to the Black Sea.)

Towards the end of a walk in North Wales two years ago, I felt offended when two elderly men asked me if I was a ship spotter like them. (They'd seen me take photographs of a ship loading aggregate from a nearby quarry.) Looking at the wealth of information on Marine Traffic, I begin to see the attraction.

Posted by pab at 18:54 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!