Thursday, 31 December 2009

This will put hair on your chest.

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to my blog-The Shipping Blokes Blog)

Seeing it is new year and depending on what part of the world you are in, you are probably either partying hard or nursing a hangover right now.

Have you ever tried a Scandanavian drink called "Aquavit" or otherwise known as "Linie Aquavit"? I remember fondly quite a few nights on board Wallenius vessels in Brisbane docked at Hamilton Wharf with the ships Captain and their local agents serving up shot after shot of this flavoured rocket fuel. Aquavit is distilled from potatoes or grain mash and packs about 45% alcoholic volume punch. In the distilling process different flavours are produced by adding orange peel, lemon, cardamom, cumin seed and various other ingredients.

Every drop makes an interesting journey by sea before it is ultimately sold.

All Aquavit is shipped from Norway across the Equator (hence "Linie") to Australia and back. This tradition started in the 1800's when the owner of a distillery, Jorgen Lysholm, shipped a consignment to Asia that for some reason wasn't accepted and was returned. Upon inspection of the barrels back in Norway he noticed that his Aquavit had developed a richer flavour for it's travels through warmer climates. Hence the tradition was established and continues to this day as a critical part of the process of producing Aquavit. More on Aquavit including a map of it's journey.

So next time you feel like a shot, try some Aquavit. Always a good idea at the time!

Happy new year!

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Where does a shipping container go in a year?

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to my blog-The Shipping Blokes Blog)

The BBC undertook a quirky project this past year that I thought you might find interesting.

They tracked a 40' shipping container for a full year on it's journey around the world carrying numerous different types of cargo. During the year it covered about about 50,000 miles by sea, road and rail. It is completing it's final voyage now to South Africa where it will be retired from service and turned into a soup kitchen.

This is fascinating and well worth a look. For more on this project including videos of it's journey and an interactive map of it's travels click here to go to the BBC's "The Box" website.

All for now,
Brad Skelton
The Shipping Bloke