On Mark’s cue, a cargo ship called the MV Beluga Skysails yesterday completed a 12,000 mile round trip from Bremen (Germany) to Guanta (Venezuela) to Davant (USA Gulf Coast) to a port genuinely called Mo-i-Rana in Norway. Its safe return marks a small Columbus moment for the revival of sail, in the appealing form of giant hi-tech kites.
So (oof) I don’t have to take back my enthusiastic post a of a month ago when the ship set off. The gadget worked, in February in the North Atlantic. It didn’t blow away. It saved quite a lot of fuel. The shipowners want to try bigger ones. This looks a winning technology, and good news for the climate.
My worry is that the inventors, being German and small, will proceed with the caution that seamen like, and won’t drive costs down as fast as Henry Kaiser would have done. But they deserve congratulations anyway.