Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I haven't posted for a few days because I've had some relatives in town and have been seeing the sights with them. One of the places we visited was the Baltimore inner harbor. There are some museum ships there (I featured the submarine Torsk in a previous post) and we went aboard all four of them. However, off in the distance I noticed an Algol class roll-on-roll-off transport ship, one of the two which are supposed to be based in Baltimore. These are unusual ships that were originally designed as high-speed (33 knots) ships carrying containers but were purchased by the government to serve in the Rapid Reaction force (see models of the two configurations). During Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990/91 they steamed at an average of 27 knots and performed the work of an estimated 116 World War II-era break bulk ships. Seven of the ships carried 11% of all the cargo transported to the Middle East. Some of them also supported Operation Enduring Freedom. They are large at 946 feet long, over 105 feet wide and a draft of nearly 37 feet and displace over 55,500 tons fully loaded. Never know what you might find looking around a harbor.

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