Sunday, 10 July 2011

What's in a (ship's) name

Ship's names are an expression of the wild and weird imaginations of what is typically a very seceretive world of private equity. Names foisted on unsuspecting vessels (and their Masters) like 'Nice Approach', 'Ducky Shiny', 'A Elephant', 'B Whale' and 'Titan Uranus' as starters.

Our company ran a competition to name the series of vessels currently under construction, and in short the 205,000 DWT NewcastleMax Capes will be known as the 'Navigators'. Names will be familar to most Western mariners - Cook, Cartier, Tasman...

A name which will be less familar is 'Zheng He', Hull PN68 and ship four in the build programme.

Admiral Zheng He

Admiral Zheng He was a central Asian Muslim, captured as a child and installed in the court of the Emperor Yongle. A confidant of the Emperor, Zheng He commanded seven voyages of trade and exploration between 1405 and 1433, each lasting between two and three years duration and venturing as far west as East Africa and the Straits of Hormuz. The Chinese had recorded sea trade back to the Roman Empire, and it's believed that Admiral Zheng He's voyages were along well known routes. What established Zheng He in China's recorded history was his establishment of diplomatic envoys with nations his fleet visited. Admiral Zheng He died on the retun leg of his final voyage circa 1433.

PN65 (to be named 'Cook') has 100 of her 231 block completed and the coating phase has commenced. Pictured are the completed rudder horn (shown under fabrication in an earlier posting) and the lower Engineroom which will house the tail shaft. Keel laying is scheduled for the end of July.



The Antipodean Mariner
10th July 2011