Saturday, 25 August 2012

Kitesurfing in Øresund

Kitesurfing - or kiteboarding - is a sport for which Øresund is well suited. Tonight I observed this kitesurfer who was exercising at the Hittarp reef close to Helsingborg on the Swedish side of the Sound:

Kitesurfing in Hittarp with the Domsten marina in the background

A kitesurfer with a ro-ro ship in the background

Two flying objects
For those who are not familiar with kitesurfing, wikipedia offers some useful information:

Kitesurfing or kiteboarding is an adventure surface water sport that has been described as combining wakeboardingwindsurfing,surfingparagliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Kitesurfing harnesses the power of the wind to propel a rider across the water on a small surfboard or a kiteboard (similar to a wakeboard). The terms kiteboarding and kitesurfing are interchangeable. There are a number of different styles of kiteboarding, including freestyle, freeride, downwinders, speed, course racing, wakestyle, jumping and wave-riding which is focused on kitesurfing big waves using a directional board similar to a surfboard.

Friday, 24 August 2012

The second visit of MSY Wind Surf in Øresund this summer

The largest sailing ship in the world, the MSY Wind Surf, this afternoon sailed through Øresund on its way from Copenhagen to Oslo, which is the last destination of the seven day cruise which started in Stockholm on August 19. This was the Wind Surf´s second visit to the Sound this summer. On July 30 next summer she will be back.  

(As you can see from the pictures below, the light kept on changing quite a lot when the Wind Surf passed by)

Wind Surf Facts

Capacity:  312 Guests
Decks:  7 decks with a total of 22,090 square feet
Crew:  191 international staff

LENGTH: 535 feet (162 meters) at waterline; 617 feet (187meters) including bowspritDRAFT: 16.5 feet (5 meters)TONNAGE: 14,745 gross registered tons (grt)BEAM: 66 feet (20 meters)
 7 triangular, self-furling, computer-operated sails with 26,881 square feet (or 2,600 square meters) of Dacron surface area
MASTS: 5 at 164 feet (50 metersENGINES: 4 diesel electric generating sets, 2 electrical propulsion motorSPEED: 10 to 12 knots with engines only; up to 15 knots wind and engine assisted

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Crystal Symphony in Øresund just before sunset

This is Crystal Cruises´ stylish cruise liner Crystal Symphony on its way northwards in Øresund tonight at about twenty to eight, just after having passed Helsingborg/Helsingør. The ship´s destination is Dover.

After a major refit program the Crystal Symphony should look very nice also inside:

LOS ANGELESJune 18, 2012
 Completing a two-week extreme makeover, ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises reveals chicly redesigned major public spaces aboard Crystal Symphony, including the Avenue Saloon, Palm Court lounge, Galaxy showroom, Hollywood Theatre, Bridge Lounge, Fantasia and Waves "junior cruisers" areas, and the Tender Landing/passenger boarding area.  This latest triumph marks the culmination of a $65 million, five-year plan to redesign every room aboard the award-winning ship.  Other invigorating new touches include "bells and whistles" added to all staterooms, paddle tennis court resurfacing, sprucing of tender shuttles, more energy-efficient hull paint, galley updates, and general maintenance and detailing of the entire ship, from propellers and boilers to the bridge and lifeboats. 

Ship facts by Wikipedia: 
Tonnage:51,044 GT
Length:238 m (781 ft)
Beam:30.18 m (99.02 ft)
Draught:7.59 m (24.90 ft)
Decks:12 decks
8 decks passenger accessible
Installed power:Six Wärtsilä-Sulzer diesel engines
25,260 kW (33,880 hp) (combined)
Propulsion:Diesel-electric; two shafts
Speed:20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) (service)
21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) (maximum)
Capacity:922 passengers

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Roald Amundsen meets a Jewel in the Sound

The German brig Roald Amundsen (50 x 7m) was last night sailing northwards in the Sound when it was overtaken by Royal Caribbean´s stylish Jewel of the Seas, which was heading for Stockholm. The Roald Amundsen was on its way to Gothenburg: 

The Jewel of the Seas and the Roald Amundsen in the Sound.
The Roald Amundsen in front of the Kronborg caste.
The Jewel of the Seas passing Helsingør.
Later in the evening another Royal Caribbean cruise liner - the Vision of the Seas - passed Helsingborg/Helsingør: 

The Vision of the Seas with the island Ven in the background. 
The Vision of the Seas passing Helsingør.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Strange encounters in and above Øresund

A lone master swimmer in the middle of Øresund

When I was on the beach photographing ships tonight, I suddenly spotted something strange moving northwards, with a rather good speed. I zoomed in on the moving object, and found to my surprise that it was a lone swimmer, almost in the middle of Øresund!

Where he/she was heading, I have no idea - the master swimmer soon disappeared from my sight. 

One of the motorized "kite pilots"
A few minutes later I noticed something strange moving in the air over the Sound - two motorized "kite pilots" flying southwards. They were followed by a small airplane: 

The strange encounters made me wonder, whether they have began shooting a new James Bond movie ...

Probably not, but another proof of the fact that a day in and above the Sound is never boring ...


Just in order to return to "normal", I shot this picture of seabirds resting after a probably hard day of fishing in the Sound:

And an "ordinary" swimmer stretching after the swim:

Monday, 20 August 2012

Mystery frigates in Øresund (were Danish!)

There has been a lot of military marine traffic in Øresund recently. Only yesterday the Russian tank landing ship Aleksandr Shabalin entered the Sound from Kattegat, and during the weekend the Danish Navy has been testing its new frigates HDMS Ivar Huitfeldt and HDMS Peter Willemoes  in the vicinity of Helsingør.

Esbern Snare (L17)
Absalon (L16)

This evening, just after 6 PM, these two frigates (?) sailed southwards in the Sound. The haze made it impossible to recognize signs or numbers, but they were definitively not the two new Danish frigates. An expert on navy ships would probably easily recognize the ships from the silhouettes. I would be grateful for any information about the type and nationality. 

(August 22) 

The "mystery" has been solved! A good friend, who lives in Copenhagen, informs me that the two ships are the Royal Danish Navy´s two Absalon class support ships - the Absalon and the Esbern Snare, which are based on a frigate-like design. Wikipedia has more information on these interesting ships: 

The Absalon class are support ships of the Royal Danish Navy. Two ships in the class, built by Odense Steel Shipyard, were launched in 2004.
The class is based on a frigate-like design, but built with an internal multipurpose deck (flex deck) and a stern vehicle ramp. The ships can serve as command platforms for a staff of 75 persons (naval or joint staff) with a containerized command and control centre, transport and base of operations for a company-sized landing force of some 200 men with vehicles. Alternatively, the flex deck can be used for mine-laying operations with a capacity of some 300 mines, or be fitted out for mine-clearing operations and launch and recover mine detecting and clearing equipment via a retractable gantry crane, adjacent to the stern ramp, which also is used for launching and recovering the fast landing craft. Furthermore the flex deck can support a containerized hospital or simply transport a number of ISO standard containers or some 55 vehicles including, up to 7 MBTs. The ships carry two LCPs (Storebro SB90E), two rigid hull inflatable boats and two medium helicopters.

Vienna, city of my dreams - Wien, Wien nur du allein ...

Wien, Wien nur du allein ...

First of May at the Prater
(Etching by Rosseau based on a watercolour by Myrbach)

The Austrian composer  Rudolf Sieczyński (1879 - 1952) composed many songs, but he is remembered for his opus 1, 
Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume, here performed by the legendary Austrian tenor Richard Tauber:  

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Three large cruise ships in the Sound

Holland America Line´s MS Eurodam was one of several northward bound cruise ships in the Sound tonight. The Signature class 285 x 32,2m ship with cabins for 2,104 passengers, entered service in July 2008:

Due to atmospheric conditions the ship appears blurred on this photo.

The Emerald Princesswith nearly 900 balcony staterooms, was the next northward bound cruise liner in the Sound. The 289 x 50m ship was on its way to Oslo:

The last big cruise liner this evening was the 273 x 36m Costa Fortuna, heading for Stockholm:

Four busy port cities in the late 19th century

New York was a buzzling port city already in the early 1890s:

Drawing by Berteault, based on a lithograph by Currier and Yves.

Istambul - or Constantinople as it was then called - was another major international port city in the end of the 19th century:

Etching by Ruffe, based on a painting by Weber.

The port of Stockholm was one of the busiest in Scandinavia already before the 20th century:

Based on a drawing by Boudier.
The port of Calcutta in the early 1890s:

Etching by Bazin based on a drawing by Jouas.

Russian tank landing ship Aleksandr Shabalin in Øresund

At about 06.20 AM the Russian Navy´s Ropucha class landing ship Aleksandr Shabalin (hull number 110) passed Helsingborg/Helsingør on its way southwards in Øresund. On July 3 the Aleksandr Shabalin was seen going northwards in the Sound

Ship facts (Wiki): 

Type:Landing Ship Tank
Displacement:2,200 tons standard
4,080 tons full load
Length:112,5 m
Beam:15 m
Draft:3.7 m
Propulsion:2 diesel engines; 2 propellers, 19,200 hp
Speed:18 knots (33 km/h)
Range:6,100 nm at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Capacity:10 main battle tanks and 200 troops or 12 BTR and 340 troops or 3 main battle tanks, 3 2S9 «Nona-S», 5 MT-LB, 4 army trucks and 313 troops or 500 tons of cargo
Armament:2* 2*57 mm AK-725 guns (Ropucha I)
1* 76 mm AK-176 (Ropucha II)
2* 30*122 mm rocket launcher A-215 Grad-M
Strela 2(SA-N-5) surface-to-air missile system(4 launchers)
2* 30 mm 
30AK-6 air defence gun(2 six-barreled gatling mounts