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Old 12-14-2011, 01:47 PM   #1
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Boating in China

Related to the cormorant fishing thread, here are some other shots of boating in China.* The first three shots are from the Li River where we did the fishing.*

But lest one think that Venice is the only town built around a canal system, we shot in one dating from some 1800 years ago.* This town near Shanghai was built up around a canal system dug in from a nearby lake which in turn is connected to a river which in turn is connected to the sea.* Large boats would bring goods and freight from the river or the sea to the lake where it was off-loaded to small boats that carried it to and through the town.

The two nightime shots were taken from my hotel room and show the "modern" side of downtown Shanghai and the "older" or Bund side of Shanghai across the river.* The neon-covered boats are part of a huge fleet of dinner boats that cruise up and down the river between the modern and Bund side every evening.

The third to last photo is of a typical local freighter.* This type of boat in sizes from 60 or 70 feet to 150 or 200 feet are found all over on the coast and on the river systems.

I took the landscape photo on the way to the Li River for our river trip and fishing expedition.* The mountains in the distance are some of the range that the river runs through.* Very unique formations and I have no idea what they are made of or how they are formed.* There are similar formations on the north coast of Viet Nam in Ha Long Bay.* Here, the pinnacles rise straight out of the sea, but they seem to have the same sort of characteristics as the ones here in China.

The last shot is of a Chinese 20 rmb note taken at the spot on the river where the photo that was used for the note was taken.* Actually, the illustration on the note was Photoshopped and combines two different scenes of the river.* The main shot was taken from a helicopter a few miles upstream, but the two peaks shown in my photo were added to the left side of the illustration.





-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 14th of December 2011 02:56:11 PM
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:53 PM   #2
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RE: Boating in China

Stunning photo's of a beautiful place! Stark contrast for sure.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #3
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RE: Boating in China

I liked the shots of the boats with the sculling oars. It always amazed me that you can really get some momentum going with just one oar off the stern.

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Old 12-14-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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Boating in China

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:
I liked the shots of the boats with the sculling oars. It always amazed me that you can really get some momentum going with just one oar off the stern.

SD
I've never done it but I remember reading how to do it in an issue of WoodenBoat Magazine years ago.* The Chinese scullers do it the same way as the Venitian scullers--- the trick is how the oar is twisted between one stroke and the other.* It is not simply swept back and forth.*

One difference between the Venitian and Chinese setups is that the Chinese have a thick braided rope that runs beween the end of the scull and the deck.* They pull on the rope to bring the scull to them and push on the scull to move it away from them.* It may be that the rope is fastened to the scull in such a way to help twist it when it is pulled toward the boater.

The Venetian setup does not use a rope but the scull is set in a very unique "oarlock" attached to the side of the boat with (as I remember it) a pair of curved notches that the scull is rested in.* The boater uses whichever of the two notches will give him the boat handling characteristics he wants.

But the trick seems to be "in the wrist" or how the scull is twisted for each stroke.* However they do it, the boats move forward in a straight line rather than yawing back and forth as one might expect.* And a boat can be moved remarkably fast using a scull if the boat is designed for it.

BTW, don't look to the "gondolas" at the Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas as an example of how to scull a boat.* While the "gondoleers" have sculls, the boats are actually powered by electric motors and a propeller underneath the hull.* The gondoleer uses two deck switches like the ones we use to control our anchor windlasses to power the "gondolas" forwards or backwards.* He just moves the scull back and forth for effect :-)


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 14th of December 2011 03:21:29 PM
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:04 PM   #5
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RE: Boating in China

I learned to do it as a kid in a dory.*over*50 years ago. Haven't sence.

*I wasn't good at it. My grand uncle could sure move a boat.

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Old 12-14-2011, 11:08 PM   #6
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Boating in China

I believe that Venetian gondolas are built with a curve in the hull so that sculling from one side of the stern tracks them straight


-- Edited by weebobby on Thursday 15th of December 2011 12:08:51 AM
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:31 PM   #7
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RE: Boating in China

Yes, they are twisted and off-balance.* The twist keeps the boat going straight since propulsion is from side, and the off-balance is to compensate for the weight of the oarsman.

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Old 12-15-2011, 12:18 AM   #8
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RE: Boating in China

Here are some shots from our shoot in Shanghai this past June.* All of them were taken from my hotel room which was in the clouds a fair amount of the time.* While not anywhere near as picturesque as the shots I posted earlier they do illustrate an interesting aspect of boating along coastal China.

The rivers are tidal for a long ways inland and the local boaters make good use of the tides. Shanghai is built on both sides of the Huangpu River which is a tributary of the monstrous Yangtze not far away.* Teh Huangpu joins the Yangtze near its mouth and the sea.* So as the tide is going out, hundreds of cargo boats from the interior head downriver though the city to the sea or to go upriver on the Yangtze to other communiities farther inland (first two photos). Then there is a pause in the traffic for about 30 minutes and the river will be almost devoid of boats and ships.* Then when the tide starts coming in, hundreds of vessels go the other way (third photo) until the tide slacks off again.* This pattern is repeated 24/7/365.

I mentioned the dinner boats that cruise the river between the new section on the south side of the river and the old section (Bund) on the north side every evening.* The fourth shot is one of them.* We all know about Chinese knockoff watches and handbags.* Well, they knock off Mississippi steamboats, too.* This "stern wheeler" is one of the dinner boats.* The paddle wheel turns but it is just for show--- it does not power the boat, something that becomes obvious the moment you see it underway as the wheel turns much slower than the boat is going.* Like the other dinner boats, it is lit up with garish neon lighting at night.

As a point of interest, the tall buildings in the foreground of the first three shots are 45 stories tall.* And my room was not anywhere near the top of the building I was in......
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:20 AM   #9
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RE: Boating in China

The Delta Queen that is moored a couple of blocks from my home. *The Chinese did a good job of capturing the look.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:28 AM   #10
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RE: Boating in China

I learned to scull when I worked on gold dredges in Alaska. It's amazing how effective sculling is. I think the gondola's are not "sculled" in the usual way. Their stroke may be more like the "J" stroke used on a canoe. I may be wrong but I think true sculling is done w the oar sticking straight out the stern parallel to the direction of travel. The gondola's oar seems to be partly rowing as the oar blade sticks out to the side to a significant degree. But they still call it sculling as far as I know however the hydraulic side of how the oar operates is a bit like rowing .....or mostly like rowing. I think the stroke they use on the gondola's would propel a skiff w the oar notch in the center of the transom around in a circle. The thrust line on a sculled skiff is exactly on the center line wher-as the thrust line on the gondola is well off center. Regarding the kind of sculling I did the hand travels in a figure 8 motion turning or twisting the blade a bit like when feathering the oar blades while rowing.*
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:36 AM   #11
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RE: Boating in China

If you raced "one design" boats in the NE in August you learned how to skull the rudder to get the boat moving in light air.* Some boats reacted better than others.* Lighting's and Thistles moved quite a bit.
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