The ShipWatcher Blog

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Minor fixes to ShipWatcher

Some of the ShipWatcher features weren't working when you viewed the site using the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE8), so I've fixed those problems.

Basically if you held your mouse over a webcam image, you were supposed to then see information about the ship. This didn't work in IE8. While I was testing this, I found out it wasn't working properly when you used the Firefox brower either.

ShipWatcher should work fine with these browsers now. If it doesn't, please let me know.

I've also applied these fixes to VQE2.COM - the Virtual QE2 webcam site.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Two postcards I came across this week which highlight how ocean travel has changed over 70 years.

Tegelberg PostcardDawn Princess Postcard

Tegelberg: (Info from Ronald Turner's web page)
Dutch passenger ship
Built at Nederlandscae Sb hij in 1938
Capacity: 640 passengers.
GRT: 14140,
Length: 170.5 metres,
Width: 22 metres,
Speed: 17/18 knots
Converted to a Troopship and chartered for the Ministry of War, Liverpool, in 1942, capable of housing 2681 troops.
Broken up at Kaohsiung in 1968 after 30 years of service.

Dawn Princess: (Info from Wikipedia)
Built by Fincatieri, in Italy in 1996.
Capacity: 1950 passengers, 900 crew.
GRT: 77,500
Length: 261m
Width 32m
Speed: 21 knots

My father travelled on Tegelberg between India and the UK in 1945. He tells me he remembers being aboard the ship, and how all the children were told to stay below decks at one point during the voyage while they buried a recently deceased Italian prisoner of war at sea.

Despite having 1/5 the GRT of a modern day cruise ship like Dawn Princess, Tegelberg was required to carry over 2,000 crew during her war service. One can only imagine how crowded that must have been.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sailing under the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Here's a video of our sail-in to Sydney Harbour, past the Opera House, under the Harbour Bridge as the ship's horn blasts a couple of times.

Sydney Harbour is spectacular, and sailing in during the day is a fantastic experience.

Video: Harbour Pilot boards Dawn Princess entering Sydney Harbour

Here's a video from our recent cruise aboard Dawn Princess.

We arrived late into Sydney, which was fantastic, because we got to see everything in broad daylight rather than in the early hours of the morning.

As we approached "The Heads" at the entrance to Sydney Harbour, the Pilot pulled alongside our ship and jumped aboard.

If you ever get the chance on your next cruise, keep an eye out for the pilot. It's quite spectacular watching them come aboard.

SS Kaisar I Hind

A painting of ship "Kaisar I Hind" outside the Wheelhouse bar aboard Dawn Princess.

Kaisar I Hind was built in Greenock for P&O in 1914 as a passenger liner.

At 11,430 GRT and 158m (520ft) she had a cruising speed of 18.5 knots, and operated a seasonal passenger service between UK and Bombay.

"Kaisar I Hind" is Hindi for "Empress of India".

Although she didn't have much cargo space, she had electric fans in every cabin, which were very popular with passengers.

She was almost hit five times by U-Boat torpedos during WWI. In fact, she was hit the fifth time, but luckily the torpedo failed to explode.

More info available here:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dawn Princess: "A Day in Brisbane"

Ship Dawn Princess is currently receiving maintenance at a drydock on the Brisbane River.

Brisbane is beautiful in winter, so I thought I'd record and upload a timelapse video from her webcam of a day on the Brisbane River, from sunrise to sunset.

The view is across the river from the cruise terminal where most ships berth. You can see the CityCat ferries zipping across the water all day, taking passengers into the city, and traffic moving up and down the river.

I hope you enjoy it. And if you're looking for a pleasant, relaxing place to visit during June, you can't go past Brisbane!