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|WAKE AND BOW WAVE
|PICTURE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE: When the ship cuts through the water it has got to leave a wake of
some kind. But there are different wakes for different conditions. There is one at the top of the page as
we were making good progress. That is the bow wave, actually, from part way back from the bow.
At a very low speed -- too slow for a bow
wave -- in the Lemaire channel.
For this and the next four pictures, we were moving
pretty fast -- near Cape Horn -- and kicking up a very
healthy bow wave. But there was more. The sea was
sending some pretty healthy waves at us, and what you
see here is the combination of the ships wave and the
ABOVE (LEFT): We are leaving Ushuaia, Argentina to head down the Beagle Channel, which required a
long graceful turn.
ABOVE ( RIGHT): In the Beagle Channel.
HOW TO CONTROL A MODERN SHIP
Look closely. Does the ship's wake look the same in both pictures? In fact that is a half a wake in
the top picture. Like many modern ships, each of the Amsterdam's propellers is located in its own
rotating pod called an "Azipod", which also contains the electric motors. The pods can be rotated to
turn the ship, which doesn't even have a rudder. Together with the side thrusters, this gives better
control. Only one of the 2 azipods is lined up,with the ship during the turn, and the other is pointed
to the side. So we only see the wake generated by one of them. See demos after the 3 minute mark
in this promotional video.
I got some better pictures of side thrusters on a previous trip to Alaska. BELOW LAFT: A thruster
on the Holland-America ship, the Statendam, throws water to the side near Skagway. BELOW
RIGHT: A row of pictures of the Statendam rotating under the action of these thrusters at Seward,
Alaska. A Photograph. A Video Demonstration on a smaller boat. On a big oil rig.
|Here is a short
segment on azipods
and thrusters and
how to control the
ship that also
appears in Gallery 5
on the Beagle Channel.