Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The Maltese Vessel


The Bulk Carrier Knossos

Joel Cairo: You always have a very smooth explanation ready.
Sam Spade: What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?

Wilmer Cook: Keep on riding me and they're gonna be picking iron out of your liver.
Sam Spade: The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

--The Maltese Falcon quotes from IMDB

I'd seen a couple of small whale spouts just off Ocean Beach, probably migrating Gray Whales, after walking down there yesterday morning. The beach sand was packed so hard from all the rain that I didn't get any in my shoes for once. The sun was shining, but it was not warm. I stood on the beach with my eyes watering slightly from the cold wind, trying to catch a third, and better, glimpse of the whale, which appeared to be moving south. I even watched the offshore flight of gulls on the chance one of them would see the whale and check it out. No luck.

When I got home and set out on my bike, I returned to the Cliff House with my camera, this time to watch whales instead of clouds. I didn't see any whales, but I did see a Maltese-flagged bulk carrier named after the ancient Greek city of Knossos (home of the Minotaur!) heading into port. 

Knossos is a city on the island of Crete, about 600 miles east of the tiny but densely populated Republic of Malta (not to be confused with Malta, Greece). The sailing vessel Knossos was just arriving after traveling almost 6,000 miles from Tianjin Xingang, a Chinese port on the Yellow Sea about 100 miles southeast of Beijing. I'd have thought the Knossos would be riding lower in the water if it was full of goods from China, but maybe it's carrying something relatively light, like textiles (compared to iron ore, for instance).

The Knossos Entering San Francisco Bay

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