Just because it’s fascinating.
On my recent trips through the Port of Hamburg one thing has fascinated me a lot – the floating dry dock. It’s right there when you get off the tube and walk towards the port:
Dry docks in the Port of Hamburg. A classical dry dock “Elbe 17” on the left, and a floating dry dock on the right.
The floating dry dock basically has a u-shaped profile of water tanks that can be flooded or emptied to adjust the buoyancy of the whole structure. As the tanks are flooded, the dry dock sinks and a ship can drive in. Then the tanks are emptied, the dock floats up, carrying the ship out of the water so people can work on it above water. Voila.
In the picture above you see some kind of dark fabric blocking the view into he floating dry dock on the right. How disappointing. But when Jenny and I were there we got lucky:
As we went past, we got a glimpse of the stern of the ship inside. And a little while later, the front had been opened up, too.
Here we can even see the bow of the ship.
I think it is really cool to be able to see a ship propped up and out of the water like that.
And still cooler – a while later they started to flood the dock, so it was starting to sink and the ship was starting to float. (And don’t you just looooove this view of the port? No? Is it just me?)
When you compare the (obviously not heavily loaded) Cap San Diego in front of the dock with the ship inside, the ship in the dock seems to be almost floating already, too. Sadly we couldn’t continue watching until the ship sailed out of the dock. But we saw plenty of other cool ships and stuff, so I guess I shouldn’t complain :-)