23 December 08

Chinese Coasers

The waters off the coast of, and in the rivers of China are bustling with activity. There are very fertile fishing grounds in the East China Sea so the fishing fleets here are denser than you are likely to encounter any place else in the world. Because the coast is so fractured carrying goods by road proves difficult, so small coastal freighters haul cargo everywhere. Actually carrying cargo by water is vastly more efficient than carrying it by truck, each of these little freighters carries the equivalent of a small fleet of trucks and uses just a fraction of the fuel in the process.

These little freighters rarely stay in the traffic lanes and when you meet them off shore it often seems like no one is on the bridge since they never seem to obey the rules of the road. What these ships lack in size they make up for in character; they all look old and well worked, niceties like painting over the rust streaks or fixing failing deck machinery are often lacking.