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Photographer's Note

Sailing through the narrow Kiel Canal I encountered the small petroleum tanker, Mozart, suitable for the canal but not very economical in the open seas where supertankers criss-cross the waterways. I had no reason to take the photo other than for its name. To hear background music as an accompaniment to the experience of sailing through the canal, click on the Andante Movement of the Piano Concerto No. 21.

The 100 km (62 miles) long Kiel Canal slices through the Jutland Peninsula, linking Brunsbüttel in the North Sea to Kiel-Holtenau in the Baltic. Transiting the canal saves an average of 460 kilometers (250 miles) over circumnavigating the Jutland Peninsula. Accordingly, there is a substantial reduction of time and fuel expenditure, as well as the avoidance of sailing through potentially dangerous storm-ridden open seas. The canal is said to be the most heavily used artificial seaway in the world, with over 43,000 vessels transiting it annually.

Excavation of the canal began near Kiel in June 1887 and took 9000 workers eight years to build. On June 21, 1895, Kaiser Wilhelm II officially opened the canal for transiting from Brunsbüttel to Holtenau. In order to meet the increasing traffic and the demands of the German Navy, between 1907 and 1914 the canal was widened. The Treaty of Versailles concluding WWI opened the canal to international shipping while leaving it under German administration. In 1936, however, Hitler, rejected the canal’s international status, closing it to international traffic. After the end of WWII, the canal was again opened to international traffic.

I’ve had the pleasure of sailing through the canal once in 1990 on the cruise ship the Royal Viking Sun, and twice during the summer of 2010 on the Seabourn Sojourn. This photograph was shot on July 2, 2010, from the stern of the Seabourn Sojourn as it traveled west, from Kiel, the last port of call in the Baltic, en route to Dover, England, in the North Sea.

To see a previous post showing the waters click on Kiel Canal.

PS. A final word: I was standing on a mid-level deck of the Seabourn Odyssey, an elegant cruise ship that holds 450 passengers. In shooting this photo I adjusted the 18-70 Nikkor lens to capture this frame without any post-cropping whatsoever. It was the tight fit that I had in mind.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6809 W: 476 N: 12169] (41257)
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