Guest article by Julia Sokolova, a researcher at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in Saint Petersburg:
Nowadays, shipping companies working in the Russian Arctic, as well as the Russian Government, are actively discussing the possibility of expanding the navigation window in the Northern Sea Route (NSR). Several reasons contributed to this discussion.
Firstly, many studies show a stable tendency of ice cover decrease in the Arctic Ocean, intensified during the last decade. Secondly, modern shipbuilding allows designing vessels of high ice class. Last but not least, remote sensing data helps to reduce time costs for navigation in sea ice.
Since 2017, experimental voyages of LNG carriers through the NSR have been carried out during very early or very late dates. Comprehensive information about vessel movement, power engine work, along with reports on the ice conditions, allows assessing the efficiency of the chosen route and gives a more detailed picture of the ice situation along the entire NSR.
FleetMon kindly provided AIS data to the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI). The data helped our researchers to study the motion of LNG carriers Christophe de Margerie, Nikolay Yevgenov and Nikolay Zubov performing their late voyages during the polar winter in 2021.
FleetMon is sponsoring and supporting the Academic Sailing Association in Rostock since December 2019. As part of the sponsorship, FleetMon provided the sailing club with a satellite tracker, twelve AIS rescue transmitters, and two additional AIS-compatible life jackets. In the event that a crew member goes overboard, the transmitters on the life jacket send out an AIS signal that is visible to all ships in the vicinity. This makes it much easier to find the person in the water. We have been passionately following the association’s activities around its youngest sailing boat UNIVERSITAS ever since.
Recently, the UNIVERSITAS crew participated in the Rund Bornholm race during the Warnemünder Woche from 3rd to 11th July 2021. The Warnemünder Woche is an international sailing event and folk festival in the Rostock Baltic Sea resort of Warnemünde. The nine-day regatta is held off the coast of Warnemünde and counts around 2,000 sailors from up to 48 nations annually. This makes it the third largest regatta event in Germany after the Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) and the Travemünder Woche (Travemünde Week). In addition, the Warnemünder Woche is also a major cultural event, with numerous concerts and an extensive supporting program.
The 2021 edition of the long-distance regatta “Rund Bornholm” was characterized by light winds, which were quite challenging for the participants. A total of 35 yachts were at the start. The UNIVERSITAS crew kindly provided us with an experience report summarizing their impressions of the “Rund Bornholm” race.
We support students and researchers by offering access to the FleetMon API Suite and our extensive AIS Data Archive with historical vessel position and port call data. Read this guest article we received by Niklas Scherer, a master’s degree student of the University of Applied Sciences in Bingen, Germany.
The academic project investigates a correlation between specific weather conditions a vessel was exposed to and occurring cargo damage. AIS data and weather data were used to examine if certain weather conditions on maritime high-traffic lanes are likely to cause damage to freight in order to prevent damage by realistic forecasting.
Capetonian, Zirk Botha, will depart on his 7000km solo Trans-Atlantic row from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro, on Saturday 5 December 2020, leaving from Granger Bay Marina, at 09:00. Botha will be the first person to attempt this Trans-Atlantic crossing alone.
The 59 year-old Botha is undertaking the extreme challenge in support of the environment and sustainable development. The crossing requires him to row completely unassisted for approximately 100 days, over approximately 7000kms (3800 Nautical Miles) in often treacherous weather conditions.
“I will have no supporting safety boat, and I can expect to experience large waves and swells, not to mention the threat of numerous tanker and other large vessels bearing down on me as I move through the shipping lanes.”
In October 2019 a German producer and environmental activist turned to us in need of support for a documentary project. Together with his team, he examines if trash of German rivers could contribute to coastal pollution of the Lofoten, a group of islands in the north of Norway. The idea is to build buoys equipped with GPS devices and track their journey to demonstrate the flow of German plastics.
FleetMon values curiosity and ingenuity! We support the project team by sponsoring the first batch of GPS devices for free.
The devices will be placed inside customized buoys. The buoys are made of sustainable or recycled material to start their journey in the major German river Elbe to simulate how German trash might move.
A thirst for adventures and courage were the prerequisites
“We want to tell a story that inspires others to live a full life, to step outside their comfort zone, to experience the wide world and what they are capable of, at one with themselves and with nature”,
says Jens Brüggemann.
He and his buddy Raleigh Gambino met in 2017 on a sailing tour in Croatia. That week they decided to do something they had never before dared: sailing for 30 days on the Atlantic, well outside of their comfort zone. Raleigh hailed from Colorado and had a grand total of 7 days sailing experience. Jens was a fair weather hobby skipper from Münster, Germany. Neither had much experience when they braved the adventure of their lives. They sailed in the off season, in April. The timing was not the best; the weather in spring is unstable and cold. They sailed from Amsterdam in a small boat to the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. Their experiences are shown in the documentary “Into the Atlantic”, which they will present this year at German and American outdoor film festivals.
The 2-man crew embarked on their journey on the 29th of March 2018 in a rented 11-meter-long sail boat Kobbe. They covered 1602 nautical miles in one month.
Jens summarises their adventure as follows: “In hindsight we can say that it was definitely recklessness that led to this journey. Ignoring risk is never a sensible thing to do, but the fact that we were novice sailors who made it to the Faroe Islands makes us of course proud anyway. The view of the mountains on the Faroes made it all worthwhile. I would do it again anytime.” In contrast, Raleigh will never again set foot on a sail boat. His seasickness set in after only two hours at sea.
Mit einem spannenden Finish endete am 24. Juni die letzte Etappe der aktuellen Ausgabe des Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) von Göteborg nach Den Haag.
Das VOR – 1973 als “The Whitbread Round the World Race” gestartet – ist als Weltumrundung in Etappen noch immer der Mount Everest des Segelsports. Die Bilder aus dem Southern Ocean mit mehr als 50 Knoten Wind und riesigen Wellenbergen sind episch und zeigen auf eine dezent bedrohliche Weise, wozu der Mensch außerhalb seiner Komfortzone fähig ist.
Ungläubig schüttelt der spätkapitalistische Mensch auf der heimischen Couch den Kopf (“Wie fliegen die bei dem Hack noch mit der Drohne herum?”) und stolpert beim Bierholen über die Schwelle.
Neu war in dieser Ausgabe, daß die letzte Etappe eine Ehrung von Teilnehmer-Yachten vergangener Ausgaben enthielt. Für selbige wurde die letzte Etappe von Göteborg um die Nordspitze Dänemarks nach Den Haag gesondert als “Legends Race” angeschossen und so kam es, daß sich zwei gute “Bekannte” aus der Hansestadt Rostock – die VO60-Racer “Glashäger” und “OSPA” (1) – an der Jagd um den Pokal beteiligten.
Da FleetMon schon seit einigen Jahren eine freundschaftliche Beziehung zum Betreiber “Saillution” hält (“Eine echt lustige Crew, außer Olli vielleicht…”) und schon vor einiger Zeit die “Glashäger” mit einem AIS-Transceiver unterstützte, entstand angesichts der Teilnahme am “Legend’s Race” der Plan, auch die beiden anderen Brenner mit so einem Transceiver auszustatten.Neben den UKW-basierten Transceivern und neuen Antennen wurden an Bord noch FleetMon-Satelliten-Tracker installiert, die eine gute Sichtbarkeit bei zu großer Landentfernung gewährleisten sollten.
Es folgte ein echt heißer Ritt mit ordentlich Wind und bis zu 7 Meter hohen Wellen, bei den VO60 gewann “Glashäger” und “OSPA” wurde hinter “Assa Abloy” Dritter und konnten gar den in der Vermessung leicht bevorteilten VO70-Racer “Green Dragon” im Kielwasser lassen.
Das Beste: Alles ist heil geblieben. Bis auf ein verdrehtes Knie blieben alle gesund. (2) Die Fleetmon-Tracker zeigten eine exzellente Performance und machen Lust auf mehr…
A journey into the unknown. In April the North Sea is rough and cold. The average water temperature is settled at 8ºC, the wind blows with up to 60 knots and 11 meters tidal range isn’t extraordinary. Such a journey needs faith – into your boat and your companion.
On March 30, Yenzi Brüggemann and Raleigh Gambino are going to start their tour from Amsterdam heading towards Färöer, a small group of islands in the North Atlantic. That means two friends alone on a sailing boat in the middle of the ocean.
The goal is to make a documentary film about the adventure. That the journey already delivers a really good bonfire story is clear. But will the journey have enough material for a whole film?
To get the material that is needed, FleetMon, as a pioneer in AIS tracking worldwide, provides support for this project thru a Track-Map in combination with a GPS satellite tracker installed on board. The satellite tracker was mounted onto the sailing boat with a lot of duct tape and love in the middle of the bedroom directly under the nose hatch. Equipped with this you can always see where Yenzi and Raleigh are and also where they have been. A really great project we are proud of sponsoring.