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Monday, July 5, 2010

A monumental transit from Gujarat to Hong Kong - an Anchor

I have a statcounter in my blog – and one of the most read is ‘sad end to glorious career – Mont”. I am one of those whose closest encounter to a ship is from the beach. It pained to read about the deathknell brought about by manslaughter. Here is another interesting news of the same vessel MV Mont aka Seawise Giant, Jahre Viking, Knock Nevis… It would have sailed thousands of time as a part of the ship but being transported as cargo would make more news than ever before…

Here is a close look of the bow of the ship – you can see an object hanging from a hole – that is the anchor, a heavy object mostly made of iron. The anchor is used to keep the vessel moored whilst at mid sea. The anchor is attached by means of a chain, cable or mooring line. The hole in the hull is known as ‘hawsepipe’. The anchor and its connected chain are so heavy that they can be manipulated only by machine powered by electric or hydraulic motor and this is known as windlass.

Anchor works by resisting the movement force of the vessel which is attached to it. They work by sheer mass and by hooking into the sea bed. ‘aweigh’ is a jargon which describes the anchor hanging on the rope and not resting on the bottom. The early days anchors were baskets of stones, large sacks of sand, wooden logs filled with lead etc., By anchoring the ship is prevented from drifting away due to water currents or tide. The anchor reaches the bottom with the length of the iron cables and grip or hooks on the sea bed.

A museum is a building which houses collection of articles of historic importance, kept for public viewing. For those having passion on maritime objects there are specialised maritime museums where replica, parts or the ship itself would be accessible. There are many maritime museums in the world; the Mystic Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut reportedly is the largest but there are some which have more historic objects. There is one at Hong Kong, funded by Hong Kong's international shipping community. Their mission is to stimulate public interest in the world of ships and sea with particular reference to the South China coast and adjacent seas and to the growth of Hong Kong as a major port and international maritime centre.

This article is about the recent prized acquisition – “ a 36 ton anchor” belonging to a historic ship. That ULCC vessel (Ultra Large Crude Carrier) was the world’s longest ship until she was beached to be broken up after 35 years afloat. Built for Mr CY Tung in 1979 and subsequently sold by his family, the ship was owned and operated by Norwegian shipping interests for the rest of its life. Yes, it the same MV Mont / Jahre Viking/ Seawise Giant and its anchor had 20 links of chain, of 7m long in the shank, 4.45m across the flukes and 1.13m thick.

Photo :

Instead of being scrapped, it was shifted from the beaches of Gujarat to the Government Shipyard in Hong Kong. It is reported that the India office of Wilhelmsen Ships Service arranged for the purchase, documentation and land transportation of the anchor onboard a 40 foot flat rack container from the scrapyard in Alang to Pipanav port and thereon onboard the Nedloyd Barentz to Hong Kong.
This has been gifted to Hong Kong Maritime Museum by an anonymous donor recognizing the involvement of Norwegian shipping in Hong Kong waters since the early 19th century. The transportation of the anchor from India to Hong Kong was sponsored by the Government of Norway. The anchor arrived in Hong Kong on 17 June and was transported to the Government Shipyard for storage by Wilhelmsen Ships Service Hong Kong using a crane barg.

In some ways, it is the vessel getting back from the funeral ashes and some remnants of the largest vessel of 260851 GRT admeasuring 485.46 metres from tip to tip presenting a glimpse to the posterity.

May be once in my life, I get an opportunity to see this and many other things at a Maritime museum.

With avid interest in marine
S. Sampathkumar.

1 comment:

  1. Really love this article
    Sad to see such an engineering marvel go but modern times just couldn't incorporate her
    Many Thanks