Nita: A Big Boat Blocking Traffic

My current fascination is the Ever Given, the huge ship stuck sideways in the Suez. For one, it’s such an apt metaphor for my life, especially with Nita in front of me, sideways, on my laptop. For another, the memes are hysterical. (I’d have used this for the happiness post, but it seems mean since the Big Boat is blocking 12% of the world’s shipping, which somehow makes the world seem smaller and more understandable but still hard luck on shipping and anybody expecting anything from China.) I can’t pick a favorite. There’s the “Steal His Look” meme which is a great visual joke, there’s the “This is the most action Cape Horn of Good Hope has gotten since 1850″ which makes me feel smart because I get it (I like a low bar), and there’s the Evil of Sauron and two hobbits . . . I love them all.

I think the world just needed a big boat stuck in the Suez Canal right now.

(Note: Right before I posted this, the Big Boat became partially unstuck. Still funny.)

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24 thoughts on “Nita: A Big Boat Blocking Traffic

  1. If you replace your « writing I need to do » by « marking, I need to do » then that’s basically me in the picture.
    The good news is that I am done with teaching for the weirdest academic year of my life but now it only means that mountains of marking are coming my way :(. My least favourite part of the job.

    +10
  2. I love the ones along the lines of “whatever mistakes you’ve made this week, I bet they can’t be seen from space” alongside the satellite photos of thd Ever Given. It’s all about perspective.

    +14
  3. There was one comparing moving the ship to Austin Powers trying to turn a golf cart around in a small hallway.

    +8
  4. I was watching a news piece about the situation and the newscaster said something like, “It turns out that there is another route that ships can take, which involves going around Africa!” The reporter’s amazed facial expression was funny enough, but then the station put up an image of a map with an animated red line going around Africa to Portugal, as a helpful explanatory aid. I don’t know why that was so funny to me, but I couldn’t stop laughing. And it made me remember why it’s been so long since I’ve watched a televised news show.

    +11
    1. There are shipping maps that show the ships that are in transit at any given time. Many ships still do go around the Cape of Storms.

      As a member of a port city, I’m very grateful for the added economic activity we will see from the companies that added to existing traffic by diverting around the continent. I’m sorry for anyone who has delayed deliveries as a result!

      My stuckness is the classroom clutter. Very sad that I haven’t managed to get the new education assistants to help me. They got hogged doing administration. Exactly where we didn’t need them! Argh.

      +6
    1. Yes, but we had it for five days.
      Don’t be sad because it got unstuck.
      Be happy it was stuck and there were memes.
      Really good memes always restore my faith in humanity. Hey, look, lots of people with senses of humor!

      +18
      1. It was only funny because we knew there would be a solution but wasn’t it a lovely respite this week? Especially if you got into the nitty gritty of tugboats, dredgers, Lloyds Open Form and marine cost averaging. Such a weird and interesting world. I read Hungry as the Sea by Wilbur Smith when I was a teenager and found the world fascinating then so it was also a bit of a weak link to childhood. Nice.

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        1. Oh, Clive Cussler also has a Dirk Pitt book about these very large boats. Without giving away more than minimal plot he thinks they are crazy too

          And, good news from my side: Venice has finally temporarily banned large cruise ships from Venice and it looks like in the future they will have to dock at the mainland after that (depends on news reports). They have been futzing about this since 2019 when a cruise boat bashed into the Venetian port (I was there! I got to see the chaos of boats around it in person although it wasn’t until later I found out what was going on). Anyway, those cruise boats have been destabilizing Venice which is only built on centuries-old wooden stilts after all. It is great they have been banned because I adore everything about Italian history and art history and I’ve been worried for decades. So anyway they decided on the ban only after the Everclear- whoops- Ever Given got stuck. So a lovely positive consequence of the problem.

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          1. That’s brilliant, Kicki. I, too, have been waiting for ever for those massive cruise ships to be banned from the lagoon.

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        2. Somebody pointed out that it was a simple problem without need of any complicated explanation: Big Boat Stuck Sideways in Canal. You didn’t need any advanced knowledge or long articles on the science, just Big Boat Stuck.

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  5. I’ve only ever been through “The Ditch” twice, on the way to the Indian Ocean and Diego Garcia, then back to the Mediterranean. I saw more of the world on that cruise (Serving on the USS Puget Sound) than on the rest of my naval career. Strangely enough, we were never in any danger of blocking the canal.

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  6. I have been unsurprised by any of this, because it was so thoroughly covered in Emma Lathen’s A SHARK OUT OF WATER! Recommended reading.

    Also loved the assist from the supermoon, which caused the tide to rise higher than usual (and raised the water level in the canal higher than it was when the ship grounded).

    +7
    1. Emma Lathen! Now there’s a blast from the past. I started reading her (their) books when I worked at an insurance company and was learning about finance.

      +1
      1. I’m rereading them — they’re a little heavy on traditional relationships; we’re more used to seeing women in executive positions — but I do love John Putnam Thatcher and the crew.

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