A post to go with the photo - I put up the photo because I don't want the WSJ cow pie at the top anymore.
What to call it? I was coming around Europa Point one night to pick up the Port of Gibraltar pilot when the pilot called and asked, "What kind of vessel are you?
This question sometimes requires a little thought because the best answer depends upon who is asking. The pilot was outbound on the pilot boat and wanted to be able pick us out of the crowd. Usually the most commonly understood answer is "car ship" or "car carrier".
Technicality the answer is RO/RO (Roll On / Roll Off), more specifically it is a PCTC (Pure Car Truck Carrier). The ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) classification is "Vehicle Carrier". I have never used this term except on paperwork.
I told the pilot we were a car carrier, I am trying to pick the pilot boat out of the lights of the anchored ships but I'm thinking, how hard can it be to see this thing, what ever you call it?