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Article: Donovan Hohn on a transpacific container ship

Donovan Hohn is the author of Moby-Duck, and as part of his research for that book he took a ride on a container ship as it made a ten day trip across the Pacific Ocean. He wrote about it for Outside Magazine – technically this is an extract from Moby-Duck, so you can get a taste of what the book is like.

Hohn travelled with a German shipping company called Reederei, which allows (or allowed – I can’t find any sign of this practice on their current website) a small number of passengers on its working container vessels. Hohn weaves into the description of his voyage an account of the APL China, which encountered a typhoon on its way across the Pacific and upon arrival in Seattle in 1998, over 400 containers were missing and 1,000 damaged. This has been described as the worst container ship accident in history, with over $100 million damage. Unloading the containers was a delicate process.

Read the full article here. There is a photo gallery from Hohn’s journey here.


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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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