Contributor Post Created with Sketch. New Virus Hobby: Marine Traffic!

 

Seal Beach Pier, L.A. Harbor, Palos Verdes, Catalina off to the left.
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.

The Warship’s details.
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.

The path of the USNS Mercy.
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.

USS San Diego, coming into port.
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.”

Carnival Miracle announcing “We’ll Be Back.”
Got any new virus hobbies or rabbit holes you would have never gone down that you want to share?

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  1. cirby Member

    I don’t have any new hobbies, but I have so many existing ones that it’s not hard to find something to do.

    VR, some Arduino electronics projects, music gadgets, et cetera.

    Still learning Blender.

    Due to the “you can go outdoors if you’re exercising by yourself” loophole, I’m getting back into cycling shape, at least a little.

    Basically, the only difference between quarantine-type isolation and my normal life is that I have to get takeout instead of eating at the restaurants.

     

    • #1
    • March 27, 2020, at 4:39 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We live the country, but are in the flight path to Dulles Airport. I enjoy “FlightTracker24” to get details on the flights coming in from Japan, Dubai, Europe and so on. It also tracks the local rescue helicopters.

    • #2
    • March 27, 2020, at 5:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I like Marine Traffic – my son is a mariner and I use it to keep up with his life.

    I have taken up my onewheel as a way to get in the air.

     

    • #3
    • March 27, 2020, at 5:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. GeezerBob Coolidge

    I discovered the Marine Traffic app several years ago and use it often when we are ensconced in our place near Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. There is a fairly busy port there, though not as busy as Pireas, the port of Athens. At Thessaloniki, there is daily tanker traffic as well as frequent appearances of container ships and the occasional cruise ship. It is an enjoyable diversion.

    Here is our place, the port is in the distance.

    https://pepperandvinegar.blog/2019/08/06/the-beach-at-peraia/

    • #4
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. Joe Escalante Contributor
    Joe Escalante

    cirby (View Comment):

    I don’t have any new hobbies, but I have so many existing ones that it’s not hard to find something to do.

    VR, some Arduino electronics projects, music gadgets, et cetera.

    Still learning Blender.

    Due to the “you can go outdoors if you’re exercising by yourself” loophole, I’m getting back into cycling shape, at least a little.

    Basically, the only difference between quarantine-type isolation and my normal life is that I have to get takeout instead of eating at the restaurants.

     

    Blender is ambitious.

    • #5
    • March 28, 2020, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • Like