Buddelschiffbauer

People who build tiny ship models inside glass bottles.

A small Baltic sea town has a museum of these tiny model masterpieces: the Buddelschiffmuseum in Boltenhagen. There are other Buddelschiff museums in Holland and northern Germany, according to a list kindly provided by der Spiegel.

At the Boltenhagen museum, kids can help put the ships in the bottles.

There is also a Verein of bottle ship builders: the Deutsche Buddelschiffer Gilde e.V. New members are very welcome.

Spiegel said Hans Euler was the hardest-working Buddelschiff builder of all time. “He put 16,517 ships into glass according to the Guinness Book of World Records.” For a model of a famous 18th-century sea battle, “Euler forced an entire armada through the narrow neck of a 50-liter wine fermenter.”

After Hans Euler died in 2001, the most famous Buddelschiff builder was Jonny Reinert from Herne in the Ruhrgebiet. Jonny started bottling ships late in life, after working as a coal miner. His best-known work was a whale hunt in a 129-liter bottle.

The oldest bottled model ship found so far was made in 1725 and is on display in a museum in Lübeck.

(BOODLE shiff BOWER.)

Lang kurz kurz lang

Long short short long, the ship’s horn signal sounded by Bundespräsident Gauck to launch the annual Kieler Woche sailing festival, the world’s largest regatta with >4000 vessels.

It means “Leinen los!”

(Long Kurtz Kurtz Long.)

Die „Sonne“

The Sun, a new climate-change and deep-sea research vessel that left its construction shipyard this week for a year of testing. In 2015, she’s scheduled to replace an eponymous predecessor built in 1969. The newest Sonne is praised for her high mileage and low pollutant emissions.

(Dee   ZONN ah.)

Mit dem Meer ist es wie mit der Arbeit

The ocean is like work: there’s enough for everybody.

(Mitt   dame   MAIR   issed   ess   vee   mitt   dare   AH bite:   ess   gibb t   geh NOOG   fir   ALL eh.)

Beispiellose Bergungsaktion

Parbuckling sans pareil, the clever, steady project to recover the Costa Concordia cruise ship from the rocks before the coast of the Italian island of Giglio.

(By shpeel LOZE eh   BERG oongs octs yo n.)

Rüstungsfirmen wegen mutmasslichen Schmiergelder untersucht

“Razzias Searched Weapons Manufacturers for Evidence in Bribe Accusations.” Bremen prosecutors confirmed police had searched the offices of two German arms manufacturers on 23 Aug 2013 for evidence in corruption charges brought against the firms. Rheinmetall Defence Electronics and Atlas Elektronik are being investigated for paying bribes to Greek politicians and bureaucrats and for not paying taxes in sales of German submarine equipment to Greece.

Süddeutsche.de said it’s thought each firm paid Greek officials about 9 million euros in bribes or “Schmiergeld,” shmear money, lubrication funding.  The bribery charges go back a long way in time, in Atlas Elektronik’s case to before the current owners’ purchase of the firm. Payments were made to a British “letterbox” company that belonged to a Greek company.

Despite the British background in this investigation, there’s a long history of corruption in German submarine sales to Greece according to Süddeutsche.de. Munich prosecutors have been investigating it for years because an Essen company Ferrostaal caught paying bribes to Athens used to be owned by MAN SE, a transport vehicles manufacturing company based in Munich. Most of the extra Ferrostaal submarines sold to Greece via the shmear were built at ThyssenKrupp shipyards, and Bremen prosecutors say Ferrostaal involvement hasn’t been ruled out yet in the current investigation of Rheinmetall and Atlas.

Prosecutors of multiple German districts have known about these problems for years but reportedly only found enough evidence to take action in 2012. For example, the Süddeutsche wrote that EADS (now Airbus) and ThyssenKrupp are joint owners of naval electronics specialist Atlas Elektronik. After buying the company in 2006 from the British firm BAE, they stopped payment of the bribes in 2007, bribes that had apparently started with a consultant contract in 2002. Atlas informed prosecutors about it in 2010 but nothing happened until further info was received from a 2012 tax audit at Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, they said. Rheinmetall denies all bribery charges.

(RISS toongs firm men   vay gen   moot MOSS lichh en   SHMEAR geld ah   oont ah ZOOCHHT.)

Windjammerparade

Annual parade of large sailing vessels with steel hulls at the Kieler Woche festival in Kiel, northern Germany, traditionally led by the Gorch Fock.

(VINNED yommah pah RAH deh.)

Überflutungsflächen

“Overflow areas,” deliberately designed flood zones along a river, in wilderness or agricultural regions outside towns. Post-Enlightenment romantic poetry’s rivers of plashing brooks, bosky dapple, und so weiter, were dredged and dug in the nineteenth century into straight deep channels that could be used for peacetime and wartime shipping. In the late twentieth century, amid concerns about global climate change and drowning poor Holland, they started rewilding sections of German rivers by bulldozer into broad serpentine environments with polders that are intended to flood after heavy rains and will hold more water than the old Wilhelmine channels. The ecological results should be interesting, as species move through the new riparian habitat amid lands that have been Feld-Wald-und-Wiesen, fields forests and meadows, for a very long time, possibly centuries in some places.

Jerome K. Jerome’s pre-WWI descriptions of the channelization might be based on actual observation:

“Your German is not averse even to wild scenery, provided it be not too wild. But if he consider it too savage, he sets to work to tame it. I remember, in the neighbourhood of Dresden, discovering a picturesque and narrow valley leading down towards the Elbe. The winding roadway ran beside a mountain torrent, which for a mile or so fretted and foamed over rocks and boulders between wood-covered banks. I followed it enchanted until, turning a corner, I suddenly came across a gang of eighty or a hundred workmen. They were busy tidying up that valley, and making that stream respectable. All the stones that were impeding the course of the water they were carefully picking out and carting away. The bank on either side they were bricking up and cementing. The overhanging trees and bushes, the tangled vines and creepers they were rooting up and trimming down. A little further I came upon the finished work—the mountain valley as it ought to be, according to German ideas. The water, now a broad, sluggish stream, flowed over a level, gravelly bed, between two walls crowned with stone coping. At every hundred yards it gently descended down three shallow wooden platforms. For a space on either side the ground had been cleared, and at regular intervals young poplars planted. Each sapling was protected by a shield of wickerwork and bossed by an iron rod. In the course of a couple of years it is the hope of the local council to have “finished” that valley throughout its entire length, and made it fit for a tidy-minded lover of German nature to walk in. There will be a seat every fifty yards, a police notice every hundred, and a restaurant every half-mile.

“They are doing the same from the Memel to the Rhine. They are just tidying up the country. I remember well the Wehrthal. It was once the most romantic ravine to be found in the Black Forest. The last time I walked down it some hundreds of Italian workmen were encamped there hard at work, training the wild little Wehr the way it should go, bricking the banks for it here, blasting the rocks for it there, making cement steps for it down which it can travel soberly and without fuss.” —From Three Men on the Bummel (1900)

(Ü bah FLEW toongs flechh hen.)

Leuchtfeuer: Richtfeuer: Oberfeuer, Mittelfeuer, Unterfeuer; Leitfeuer: Molenfeuer, Einfahrtsfeuer; Quermarkenfeuer; Torfeuer, Uferfeuer

“Light fires,” beautiful lighthouse signal lights used to guide ships in darkness or other low-visibility conditions. There’s a bewildering but quite satisfying variety in German.

  • Guide fire (Leitfeuer): single lights used in a sectors system to communicate safe passages to ships; can use color, blinking rhythm, &c. (LIGHT foy ah.)
  • Jetty fire (Molenfeuer), entryway fire (Einfahrtsfeuer): a guide light on the end of a harbor’s wall or breakwater. (MOLE en foy ah,   EYE n fah rtsfoy ah.)
  • Crossways fire (Quermarkenfeuer): sector lights perpendicular to the channel. As in the Leitfeuer system, the middle sector is the safe passage and the outer sectors indicate a course correction is necessary. (KVER mark en foy ah.)
  • Directional fires (Richtfeuer) mark navigable channels with a top fire (Oberfeuer) and bottom fire (Unterfeuer) and—more rarely—a center fire (Mittelfeuer), aligned so that to ships in the channel they appear directly behind one another. (RICHHT foy ah, OH berr foy ah, OON terr foy ah, MITT ellll foy ah.)
  • Gate fire (Torfeuer), bank fire (Uferfeuer): lights along a riverbank.

(LOY chh t foy ah.)

 

Brunsbüttelsche Schleusenschienen

“Brunsbüttel lock rails.” The world’s busiest artificial canal is said to be the Kiel Canal from Brünsbuttel to Kiel that allows ships to bypass Denmark. The canal was first built from 1887 to 1895, though many of the key components still in use were completed later, just in time for WWI. Brunsbüttel’s hundred-year-old lock gates urgently need repair, probably rapid replacement in fact, but this is difficult due to heavy traffic on the canal, the scale of the project and the fact that the work has had to be done underwater by divers at visibility of 1–2 cm. The locks’ sliding gates (Schleusentore) are hung from steel rails (Stahlschienen) and driven by toothed gears and chains on concrete and steel grooves installed on the ocean floor. These rails and grooves urgently need to be fixed and don’t always work well anyway as ship propellors and other excrescences can knock the gates out of place. The Brunsbüttel locks were closed, drained and fixed for a week this winter, forcing ships to take the 800 km-longer route around Denmark from the North Sea to the Baltic, but much more needs to be done. The canal has two locks at either end, and a fifth lock is planned to be built in Brunsbüttel to keep the canal open during repairs.

(BROONZ en bütt ellll scheh   SHLOYZ en sheen en.)

Fusion der Zivilisationen

“Fusion of civilizations,” what Singaporean writer Kishore Mahbubani predicts will happen in lieu of Samuel Huntington’s notorious clash of civilizations.

(Foo zee OWN   derrr   tsee vee lee zot zee OWN en.)

Lavieren

Tacking, in sailing. Nautical metaphor used by the SPD candidate running against Angela Merkel in the upcoming German parliamentary election—his background is in ocean-oriented northern Germany. When pressured about unlikely coalition partners such as the libertarianesque FDP or Merkel’s CDU/CSU, Peer Steinbrück insisted he “would not tack” and said the SPD would only form a coalition with the Greens.

(Love EAR en.)

Bugsieren

To tow boats. The world’s (temporarily) largest container ship, the “CMA CGM Marco Polo,” recently sailed into Hamburg with the tide. It had to be turned and moved into place rather quickly before the tidewater receded, and only a quarter of its 16,000-container capacity (in TEU, twenty-foot-equivalent units) could be shifted; advocates for deepening the Elbe river are using the visit as a PR action.

Larger container ships (18,000 TEU) are currently under construction in Korea for Maersk, and will ply the seas in 2013.

(Boog ZEEE ren.)

MSC Flaminia

Giant container ship that mysteriously but apparently spectacularly caught fire and/or exploded. Then, also spectacularly, she was towed across the ocean with a giant hole in her middle yet didn’t sink. According to her manifest, and manifestly, the Flaminia had been carrying hazardous materials, so many ports refused to allow the damaged ship to dock for repairs. Finally she was accepted by the new JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven, where cleanup will be long and difficult.

Triple-E-Klasse

A planned new largest Maersk “Triple E” class of oceangoing container ships, which will be nearly 400 meters long.

(“Triple A” closs eh.)

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