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I’m assuming others have stumbled upon a new virus hobby while cooped up. Here’s mine: marine traffic! Working from home, I have an ocean view in Seal Beach in Orange County, CA, which is nice, but what is all this traffic out there?
I have a clear view of every ship lining up to dock in the L.A. Harbor to my right, and the Naval munitions dock at Anaheim Bay to my left. But I know almost nothing about them.
Inspired by James Lileks’s Flight Tracker app he was touting on one podcast, I wondered if there was one for marine traffic. I found it. It’s called … Marine Traffic! — and it’s addictive. I now feel like the Harbor Master with all the ships of the world on my screen, and I can zoom into the ones I see out my window. It didn’t take long to become obsessed.
I now know what these military ships are and where they come from, and where they go next. I monitored the hospital ship USNS Mercy‘s arrival at Terminal Island this morning.
I know if I’m looking at tankers or empty container ships, where they are flagged, what their names are, how fast they go, etc. I can follow every tug boat or Catalina Express shuttle. I watch three Carnival Cruise ships — the Panama, the Miracle, and the Imagination — take turns using the dock at the Spruce Goose Dome, then go around in circles between me and Catalina until it’s their turn again. The Miracle flashes a message to shore at night saying “We’ll Be Back.”
Got any new virus hobbies or rabbit holes you would have never gone down that you want to share?Published in