Sunday, July 4, 2010

The "A Whale" - Not a skimmer - The Gulf not a lawn

A lawn mower (Photo from Wikipedia)

 UPDATE: From MarineLog A Whale continues skimming operations

If you cut the blades off a lawn mower  and fastened them underneath a tractor trailer truck would the result be a very large lawn mower? Or would the result be a tractor trailer truck, with lawnmower blades affixed underneath, good for neither hauling freight nor mowing lawns?

What about the vessel "A Whale"?  Is it really the world's largest skimmers or is it a tanker/bulker with slots cut into the hull and being sold as a skimmer?

The lawn mower analogy comes from the ship owners themselves,  CEO Nobu Su told reporters that A whale  was “like a lawnmower cutting the grass,” and that is would be:  "effectively doubling the skimming capability of the oil response effort,"

 Skimming oil from the surface of the sea under the influnce of the wind and current is not like mowing the lawn and the A Whale is more tanker then skimmer, a tanker with slots cut in the hull.

 The best reporting I've seen on the A Whale is here: Oil-eating Whale or ‘white elephant’? This is the only report I have seen where someone with some maritime expertise was consulted, namely Dennis Bryant, known here via the  site Bryant's Maritime Blog 

We should hear some reports on the A Whale soon, it is currently being tested in the Gulf. I haven't seen the math on the speed of the ship, the width of the swath being picked up, percentages of oil recovered and so forth, I don't think reporters are doing a very good job of covering this story.



hightide said...

Lawnmower = great analogy. I referenced this in a post on a (goofy) CNN story on the A Whale. Thanks!

bigsoxfan said...

Well put. Should have fitted a smaller vessel with "gang" skimmers a la the golf course.