World’s Largest Solar Powered Ship Completes Record-Breaking Circumnavigation
By gCaptain Staff On May 7, 2012
The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar in Hamburg, Germany.
On Friday the world’s largest ship running solely on the power of the sun cruised into Hercule Harbor in Monaco, officially completing the world’s first circumnavigation for a 100% solar powered ship.
The vessel, a 31m catamaran named MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, is equipped with 537 square meters of solar panels used to recharge 6 blocks of lithium-ion batteries with every sunrise. Rated to 93 kW, the propulsion package and efficient hull design generates enough power for the vessel to reach speeds of up to fourteen knots.
The Tûranor PlanetSolar is the brainchild of Raphael Domjan of Switzerland who in the Spring of 2004 first envisioned the expedition based on his love of Jules Verne’s novels. Years later, construction began at the Knierim Yachtbau shipyard in Germany and she was eventually launched in March 2010.
Finally, in September 2010, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar left Monocco with a four-man crew in hopes of sailing around the world strictly on solar power. Nineteen months later; after crossing the Atlantic and Pacific, passing through both Panama and Suez canals, and navigating the treachorous waters of the Gulf of Aden, the Tûranor PlanetSolar completed its journey, breaking records for fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by solar boat and longest distance ever covered by a solar electric vehicle along the way.
Now, the journey will be put together into a book and documentary film scheduled to be released in September. The vessel itself will undergo a retrofitting to allow for more passengers and will be available for charter to adventurers looking for a bit of green history.
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PlanetSolar kurz vor dem Ziel
Die MS Tûranor steht kurz davor, ihr Ziel zu erreichen und damit die Weltumsegelung zu beenden. Der Solarkatamaran wird am 4. Mai in Monaco erwartet. Dort begann im September 2010 die Reise um die Welt. Im Moment segelt das weltweit größte Solarboot gerade entlang der griechischen Küste.
Wenn der Solarkatamaran die Ziellinie überquert hat, wird die Crew mit einer offiziellen Begrüßungszeremonie gefeiert. Dabei wird Projekt-Gründer Raphael Domjan von den Highlights dieses einzigartigen Öko-Abenteuers berichten. Ein Teil der Festlichkeiten wird sogar mit Solarenergie versorgt werden, die das Boot während der Weltumrundung "gesammelt" hat.
Politiker, Partner des Projektes, die Familien der Crew, sowie die Öffentlichkeit und die Medien werden zahlreich erwartet, um gemeinsam den Erfolg zu feiern. Die MS Tûranor wird dann eine Distanz von mehr als 58.000 km über alle Ozeane hinweg ausschließlich mit Solarenergie zurückgelegt haben.
Trading Life for Money – a Somalia Report Exclusive
Reformed Pirate Graduates (c) Somalia Report
A Reformed Pirate Tells his Story
Youth are a largely curious and impressionable lot who are prone towards the more dramatic and popular occupations and lifestyles. Many young men in Somalia would be very happy to be called a pirate, a Mujaheed or a militiaman. These titles portray power, influence and most importantly spread fear. He may find it difficult to tell you what exactly he seeks to achieve through his heartfelt struggles and initiatives. These social groups constantly draw their strength from an endless supply of youthful recruits. Within Somalia’s poverty and battle ridden boundaries, a generation of youth who only understand the language of violence have emerged to claim these seemingly coveted and powerful roles in society.
Somalia Report interviewed Ibrahim Farah Osman, 26, who was once a pirate and is now reformed. He lives in Kakuma refugee camp, in Northern Kenya.
Thank you Ibrahim for your time. Could you briefly tell us about your experience as a pirate?
Life was completely different. I was a pirate for a short time between 2009 and 2010. I neglected myself and my family at large. I behaved irresponsibly and I admit it was not good. As a pirate, I was constantly exposed to dangers which I narrowly escaped. I once survived imminent death when we were attacked and a colleague of mine was shot dead. It happened so fast and when we least expected an attack. In summary, it was a dog’s life and I dislike who and what I was then.
When did you join pirates and how?
I joined a pirate gang in November 2009 while in Mogadishu. I later quit in February in 2010. Many factors contributed to my joining piracy. I was an unemployed youth living in the city then. You can imagine the kind of hardships when bankruptcy strikes you severely. I had no option so I joined them. Another friend of mine who was among the pirates, but is currently in jail, encouraged me to join them due to the high income despite the dangers involved.
Where did you operate during your stint as a pirate?
During my time we worked in almost every part of Somalia’s waters though some parts remained uncharted. We moved some times to the Gulf of Aden, we never cared about the likely dangers we would encounter. Piracy is a dirty game. Try and imagine a scenario where someone sells his own life for money.
How much were you and your seniors paid?
In my case, I was a minor member of the gang. I was part of the guards who patrol the waters and keep an eye out for incoming danger in the form of international navies or possible rescue operations for hijacked ships and hostages. During my brief stint, I was paid a total of $5000 once. For this amount, I was exposed to countless dangers and lived in a constant state of fear and stress.
It is a well paying job if all you seek is money, although it’s an illegal business. If you survive you may become the richest person in Africa. The shares that are paid out according to an individual’s position are unbelievably high. Within weeks, you may make hundreds or even thousands of US dollars. It is impossible to understand how it quickly runs out on you.
You are paid according to your duration in service and the amount available for sharing. Pirates have senior managers who are rarely in the picture but handle the negotiations for ransom. They are to be paid too and get the lion’s share.
There is a committee in charge of our operation’s expenditure and they are the ones who paid our salaries.
Sometimes there is a harvest of large amounts of money where does that money go?
I was not a senior member of the gang and cannot tell how each shilling was spent. Most of it, I know is spent on maintenance and operations like fixing speed boats and purchasing equipment to improve our operations. Most of the remaining amounts lined the pockets of the senior managers of the operations and leaders of gangs.
Are there any of your friends who have fallen into the hands of anti piracy groups?
There are many who have been caught and today they are being held in different parts of the world. Some in Kenya, others I am not sure, but many of my friends are victims of piracy today.
Lastly how would you advice your friends who are still dabbling in similar activities?
I wish to advice them to stop that business and opt for a legal and accepted business, for their own good.
Article republished with permission, (c) 2012 Somalia Report.com, all rights reserved.
About Somalia Report:
Somalia Report is a privately funded, non-partisan website that hires Western editors to work with Somali journalists inside the country to cover all aspects of the region: piracy, conflict, terrorism, government, local news, culture and key issues. The hour-by-hour coverage is targeted to professionals who need expertise, situational awareness and in-depth background to breaking news.
NOTE: Somali Report’s piracy-related news will soon be subscription-based in the very near future, please contact SR’s Editor, Jay Bahadur at: Editor@SomaliaReport.com or jb@SomaliaReport.com for more information.
- Somalia Report: Iranian Warship Thwarts Pirate Hijacking of Oil Tanker
- The Other Side of Piracy – a Somalia Report Analysis
- UK Foreign Affairs: Analysis of Pirate “Catch and Release” off the Coast of Somalia [REPORT]
Piraterie in SomaliaSamstag, 10. März 2012
Southern Red Sea (SRS)/Bab Al Mandeb (BAM) / Gulf of Aden (GOA)/Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) At 0519Z on 06 March 2012 a merchant vessel was attacked by 1 skiff approximately 200NM Southwest of Salalah (Oman) in position 14 20 N 052 45E. Skiff is described as wooden and dark in colour. (Alert 019/12) Masters are advised to transit this area with extreme caution but are also reminded that the BAM and Southern Red Sea (SRS) are areas of high fishing activity. Fishing vessels may approach a merchant ship in order to maximise fishing opportunities or warn ships from getting too close to their fishing nets. Masters are requested to ensure they distinguish between fishing vessels and potential pirates; fishermen may carry small arms. (Quelle: hier)In letzter Zeit berichteten Analysten immer häufiger davon, dass bewaffnete Security Teams an Bord von Handelsschiffen womöglich nicht nur angreifende Piraten, sondern harmlose Fischer unter Feuer nehmen und verletzen oder töten. Zuletzt waren am 15. Februar zwei indische Fischer vermutlich von italienischen Marinesoldaten an Bord des Tankers Enrica Lexie erschossen worden (Bericht: hier.)
- Die unterschiedlichen Positionen Italiens und Indiens und die darauf bezogenen Rechtsfragen werden hier (engl.) sehr gut dargestellt. Etwas verworren ist der FAZ-Bericht dazu. Die Times Of India hat alle Berichte zu dem Vorfall hier aufgelistet.
“It’s very likely people are being killed out in the Indian Ocean by private guards and it’s not being reported.”Mehr dazu: hier.
Am 29. Februar gegen 5 Uhr mitteleuropäischer Zeit zerstörte der Bordhubschrauber des Einsatzgruppenversorgers Berlin die beiden im Schlepp der Ashma befindlichen unbemannten Skiffs nach Freigabe durch den Force Commander der Operation Atalanta. Eine Verbindungsaufnahme über den Bordhubschrauber mit der Dhow ergab, dass sich vermutlich 29 Somalier und 25 Inder, diese wahrscheinlich als Geiseln, an Bord der Ashma befinden. Die Ashma teilte weiter mit, dass sie beabsichtigt, Xaafuun in Somalia anzulaufen, welches frühestens am 2. März geschehen kann. Die der Piraterie Verdächtigen geben an, dort von Bord gehen und die Dhow samt indischer Besatzung freigeben zu wollen. Die in Händen der Piraten befindliche Dhow Ashma hat in den Morgenstunden des 2. März die somalische Ostküste bei Xaafuun erreicht. Die der Piraterie verdächtigen Personen haben das Schiff verlassen. Nachdem der indische Kapitän daraufhin dem deutschen Einsatzgruppenversorger Berlin mitgeteilt hatte, dass die Geiselsituation beendet sei, und er sein Schiff wieder unter Kontrolle habe, verlegte die Berlin eigene Kräfte zur Dhow, um eventuell erforderliche Hilfe zu leisten. Der Vorfall ist abgeschlossen.