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Thursday, August 19, 2010

St. Maarten's Commercial Seaport and Floating Gas Stations

Good morning,

Have you ever wondered how ships pull into gas stations and fuel up?  It doesn't work that way.  Instead, the gas station comes to the ship, pulls along side, and fuel (usually heavy fuel oil) is "bunkered." 
Just around the corner from the St. Maarten dockside shopping area for tourists...
...is the commercial seaport operation.
It's a full time operation to unload and load container ships. 

Watching the commercial operations is fascinating. The volume of goods that is moved is incredible.

I hope you are enjoying some of these side sights to the cruising experience.




Diana said...

A floating fuel station, awesome! I had no idea! Did you get to go shopping? Love Di ♥

Anonymous said...

Oh yes! I am enjoying everything! Never been on a ship anyplace, so it's all pretty neat to me. And educational and I get to view your wonderful ships and many new places...maybe someday...debbie

Montanagirl said...

Am indeed enjoying the sights.

Elaine said...

Hmmm, guess I just never thought about how a big ship took on fuel. Very interesting. I did watch them loading the ship with supplies on the dock in New Orleans. It takes an awful lot of groceries to supply all those sumptious meals that are available on a cruise, and I imagine they would take on fresh fruit and veggies at each stop. Do they grow any fresh herbs and such right on the ship? The logistics of keeping everything well supplied would be phenomenal.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

After looking at your post and seeing the size of Freedon, I was wondering how often refueling occurred - maybe in each post? really interesting stuff, Lois.

River Glorious said...

Is there a haze over there, Lois? the dust cloud from the Sahara Desert? we have it here, and it's making me itchy and miserable. the sky is blue, but a sort of hazy color, not clear blue like it should be.



Lois Evensen said...

Good morning,

Yes, Diana, I have gone shopping in St. Maarten, both at the port and into town via the water taxi. I'll have some of those images coming.

No, Elaine, fresh foods are not grown on the ship. There are plenty of plants, but they are part of the decorations on board. We also have two full time horticulturists to care for the plants. We store food once a week at our turn-around port, Port Canaveral. Only if an emergency arises do we purchase foods during a cruise. That doesn't happen too often.

Beatrice, refueling happens once every two weeks and enough fuel is bunkered to last for four weeks so the ship always has plenty to get where it needs to go and to change itinerary in case of bad weather.

No, River, I haven't noticed a haze here, but know what you're talking about. We had it often while in Europe and the Far East.

All of your questions and more are asked by guests and answered when the senior officers hold a question and answer period toward the end of most cruises. It's amazing to learn how everything works on board to keep this floating city floating along smoothly. I have some pictures coming of that question and answer session.

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by.

Very best,