I couldn’t resist getting this shot of a Cypriot bulk carrier off Sea Point this last weekend:

Not because it’s a particularly spectacular bulk carrier: it’s not. No, simply because – despite its unspectacularity – the fact remains that it’s a Ship… Called… Dig… Ni… Ty:

Also, (and probably only because the Dignity is quite new and has been elusive up until now), my photo has (currently, at least) become the go-to image for marinetraffic.com’s Dignity page.


Yeah. That’s fame right there. Please form an orderly queue for autographs. Selfies extra.

Here’s what you see when you track global shipping by satellite

There’s recently been a bit of interest in the satellite tracking of global transportation.

Remember when we showed you a visualisation of what the flights over Africa and the world looked like? And remember I mentioned that Marine Traffic was a great app for your mobile device? Well, combining those two ideas, gives you this:


Amazing, hey? The southern hemisphere land masses look like they’re being suspended on numerous cotton threads. And you can see why we so regularly observe big ships going around Cape Agulhas.
In addition, you can see the immense importance of the Suez and Panama Canals, and the English Channel, too.

Sadly, if you want to have this global AIS-satellite data added to your current (and free) terrestrial-based Marine Traffic portfolio, it’s going to cost you upwards of €269 (R4,000) per month. Eina!

The World is in Cape Town

It seems that way. Tourist numbers have never been higher [awaits statistic-carrying doom and gloom merchants with evidence to the contrary]. Everywhere is PACKED! For some reason, we decided to take a trip down to the V&A Waterfront yesterday to soak up some of the Christmas spirit, see some fishy stuff, play some cave golf and see The World.

Not the entire world, obviously. That would require a ridiculous amount of time and effort [and money – Mrs 6000], but the residential cruise ship and playground of the rich and famous.

She is in Cape Town for the New Year before heading north for Lüderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia and then back past Cape Town and the Southern Cape bound for Durban later in January 2012.

With penthouses going for around $14,000,000 [a cool R115m], maybe Mrs 6000 has a point about The World being a bit pricey, but with only 165 residences and over 200 crew, it sounds like you get decent service.

It’s also very, very nice to look at. Get down to the V&A Waterfront and avoid the rather hectic security near the jetty to have a gander.

Follow The World on MarineTraffic.com by clicking here or see some more photos here.

Port Pourri

Much excitement Chez 6000 today as I discovered a new website. And yes, it’s suitably nerdy, so you’re going to love it too.

Right, so you know when you are passing the harbour in Cape Town or looking down at it from the Mountain? [Joburg readers will have to try to imagine the scene, it’s like looking down at a pool of acid drainage from a mine dump, but with ships and a higher pH]
Anyway, you know when you do that and you see all the ships and you wonder about what they’re doing there and where they’ve been?
Well now you can find out, thanks to MarineTraffic.com. And what’s more, you can see which ships are on the move and where they are going.

Some green ships and a red ship off Agulhas this evening.

And should you wish to impress your friends with your impressive knowledge of all things nautical, all you have to do is click on a boat and you get all sorts of “interesting” info about the vessel in question:

Which is all well and good, but which does require you and your friends to have a sea view from your office. Or to have your laptop on the beach. And that’s not ever so helpful.

If only there was an app for your phone so you could have the information to hand, wherever you were.

And of course, there is: for Android (QR code below), for iPhone and not for BB.

Perhaps it sounds rather dull, but it’s actually quite addictive. Soon you’ll be tracking tankers, cargo ships, German Navy vessels and mysterious “Unspecified Craft” around our shores. And because it’s free, you can try it risk-free and simply delete it for a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied.

You’re welcome.