Floating Parking Deck

floatingparking

I’m reporting live from a cargo ship– I’ve lucked out by ending up on a vessel with wireless connection! This time, I have the chance to learn about a whole different kind of ship– a RO-RO… or, “Roll On, Roll Off.” These ships transport just about anything with wheels…cars, trucks, tractors, construction vehicles. They’re basically gigantic floating parking decks.

I boarded M/V AutoBank in Oslo as they unloaded their shipment of cars. Then we sailed to Bremerhaven, Germany to load again. Here’s a short video I made with photos and sound from our 24-hour journey:

The sound is from a recording I made as we were pulling up the ramps, winding up the mooring lines, and setting sail from Oslo. The beautiful progression of tone changes is exactly as it happened– I just abridged it a bunch, taking it from 13 minutes down to 2 minutes.

In Bremerhaven, I disembarked to wait for my next ship. I’m now on board M/V Baltic Breeze, another car carrier. Right now we are approaching the coast of Belgium. Destination: Zebrugge. We’ll arrive at the pilot station around 2100 this evening and we should be “alongside” a little after midnight. In sailing terms, that means we’ll be tied up at our loading spot, ready to start at 0600 tomorrow a.m.–that’s the earliest the stevedores in Zebrugge will begin.

I’ll be on board the Breeze all month, stopping in UK, Spain, Italy and Greece to arrive in Turkey. You can track our ship using AIS and google maps at marinetraffic.com. Click on this link to see the vessel specs, and then underneath Last Position Received, click “Current Vessel’s Track” and voila!

Stay tuned for more sound, photos, and stories from the trade routes here on Transom.org.

Other posts about Allison’s Journey

Allison Swaim

About
Allison Swaim

Allison Swaim caught the radio bug during a month-long stint as a reporter at Radio Victoria in rural El Salvador. She learned how to tell stories with sound at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in the fall of 2008. Discovering radio was like getting her license. Holding a microphone gives Allison an excuse to do what she loves: talk to people, hear their stories, learn their perspectives. Allison grew up in Salisbury, NC and is proud of her Southern roots. The Midwest became a second home in her five years in Oberlin, OH. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010.

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  • mama

    12.02.11

    Reply

    Great!!!!!! Loved the sound and the photos…. the movement was good in the photography. It’s so much fun getting to have glimpses of your adventures. Keep up the hard work . . . Your Loyal and Loving Fan, momsley

  • devereaux

    12.02.11

    Reply

    this is awesome. i’m so proud of you, allison. hopefully i’ll be as talented and interesting as you are when i grow up (:
    xoxo

  • patty f.

    1.11.12

    Reply

    Allison. I stumbled upon this and it is so great to see the progression of your work. So this is your new journey! The sound and images are great. Happy travels to you.

  • Danielle

    3.15.12

    Reply

    Allison! This is beautiful and incredible. Kudos.

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