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“The Smaller Craft has the Right of Way.”

Page 2 of 3.
The QE2 is 321 yards long; the carrier Nimitz is 330 yards long; the "A Whale" is 370 yards long.
I’ve heard three reports that say the ship will work above the well head, which is a very busy place. Wherever they work, the ship’s location- at any moment- will have to be very predictable in order to avoid collisions.
The old Rule of the Sea- shown in my sketch of a picture joke i saw years ago- won’t apply. The ship takes 2 miles to stop and 2 miles to turn. it will be the small boats that will have to scurry around.

I’m guessing that the ship must move in a rigid pattern on a schedule, correct to the second: it must either circle or run in an effective crisscross pattern ( actually accomplished in a figure eight ). If they work in a crisscross pattern where there are other vessels, the turns can be made far outside the busy area.

July 17.
Turns out that maneuvering was an issue. Start here at paragraph three:…
July 18.
- They said on the radio that one of the criteria of success was it should be able to maneuver to scoop an area of oil, the size of a dinner table. That seems totally unrealistic. That thing is not going to maneuver for anything, except to make its predicted turns.
- On the other hand, they are saying that it isn’t scooping up anything but an oil slick.
- On the other hand, the dispersants may have been used to put the oil out of sight. That would also make it hard to scoop.
- On the other hand, searchers are reporting constant oil during a one hour flight toward the well head. The cruising speed of a Cessna 152 is 100 to 110 knots per hour. A hundred miles of oil is alot.
This Frank Zappa album cover seems to be saying the same thing about right of way:

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