Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Damaged Stability Test

On the following Youtube video, we can see how a model of the Oasis of the Seas was being tested in a towing tank. This cruise ship would be expected to carry 6,296 guests (source: Oasis of the Seas Fast Facts). This is a huge number of passengers that has ever been carried by a man-made floating structure. To ensure that the ship is safe at sea, naval architects had to perform a number of model tests that are related to her resistance and propulsion as well as her stability particularly when one or more of her compartments are flooded with water.

In the Youtube video, we can see how a damage stability was conducted to assess how the cruise ship would react if one of her compartments was filled with sea water. The inclination of the hull would not endanger the safety of the cruise ship and her passengers on board. Although cruise ships with wider hulls have better stability performance, their damaged stability performance has to be calculated and tested to avoid catastrophic accident at sea.
Naval architects always have to prepare theoretical stability calculations to assess the metacentric height relative to the positions of the center of gravity and the center of buoyancy of the ship. The ship has to be able to restore herself to upright position when it is hit by big waves from the port or starboard side.
I believe that before she was launched, naval architects who designed the ship had fulfilled the stability requirements stipulated by SOLAS and the classification society which the ship is classed. Theoretically, the hull of a ship is divided into several compartments using transverse and longitudinal watertight bulkheads. When one of the compartments was damaged due to collision, ship crews have to close the effected compartment to prevent water from entering the other compartments. So, it is understandable to see hydraulic powered doors installed in certain rooms of Oasis of the Seas or other ships below their main decks. Usually when a hydraulic door is operated, it will close slowly and most often with an alarming sound and lamp to warn passengers or crews that it is closing. Because the hydraulic powered doors are made of steel and are driven by machines, they cannot easily be penetrated with sea water.
source: http://oasisoftheseas.com
In very rare cases, when a compartment has been filled with water and the degree of inclination is too big thus endangering the ship, another compartment has to be flooded to balance or to make the ship returns to her upright position again. As long as the minimum freeboard, to ensure that she will not sink, can be maintained the flooding of the undamaged compartment is allowed given that the decision to fill the compartment (with full consent from the captain) has been carefully studied based on the available hydrostatic tables particularly the flooding table of the ship. by Charles Roring

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Cruise Ship's Superstructure and Central Park

As the largest and the most innovative cruise ship in the world, Oasis of the Seas attracts the attention of thousands of naval architects and marine engineers. The superstructure of the ship that has a middle hollow area for central park is really seen as totally new approach in ship design. Most of the cruise ships tend to have superstructures whose cabins and other rooms were layered to a form similar to a pyramid. The higher the structure the smaller and the closer it will be to the center line of the ship.
source: oasisoftheseas.com
The central park of the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship has been designed with green trees that make the deck really look like a park on land. With translucent roof installed in the middle of the park, naval architects who designed the ship have provided smart solution for the day lighting of the lower deck. The space at the lower deck will look brighter but consumes less electrical energy. Layers of cabins on both sides (port and starboard) of the central park receive more light during the day when the ship is cruising in the middle of the sea. This approach makes this wide ship becomes more stable but without any dark rooms in the middle of the superstructure. We all know that wider ships are more stable but most often they have rooms in the middle closer to the centerline of the ship that do not receive direct sunlight.
source: http://www.oasisoftheseas.com/galleries2/27/lowres/zip%20line%20final.jpg 
Many traditional passenger ships whose width are bigger than 20 meters will have rooms in the middle of the superstructure and below the main deck that need more electrical energy for lighting. Personally, I see that Oasis of the Seas ship has better stability due to her wider hull but has better and cheap lighting power that comes from the Sun. Sunlight penetrates the translucent roofs and gives light to lower deck and at the same time gives light via hollow area to Oasis of the Seas rooms on both sides of the ship on port and starboard sides of the ship - such a brilliant design! This is a simple way of using solar energy without the need of installing photovoltaic panels.
source: http://www.oasisoftheseas.com/galleries2/27/lowres/CloseUpofCarousel_Night.jpg
Perhaps this is the  most popular cruise ship which the Royal Caribbean International has ever had. Her innovative design, her luxury and her stability properties will continue to be the focus of attention among naval architects who are now dreaming of their own ship or boat designs in the future. The conventional monohull ship with pyramid superstructure will not be as conservative as it was when Oasis of the Seas had not been constructed. We can expect to see the future cruise or passenger or even ferry ship has various new on board elements that are inspired by the design of the Oasis of the Seas. by Charles Roring

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mountain bike for girl

I rode a mountain bike this afternoon. It's a Celine 3.0 manufactured by Polygon cycle - a bike manufacturer in Indonesia. The bicycle is made for girls or ladies actually. It has 27 speed quite fast for cycling on a flat road along the Brawijaya street to Abassi beach the usual route that I go through every afternoon. While riding this human powered vehicle, I could feel that the bicycle was very easy to be controlled. It's frame was made of light metal Alx 6061. I didn't see any differences between riding a male and female bikes. Perhaps, the bike maker wants to attract female riders by releasing Celine 3.0 coated with red color. I really enjoyed riding this mountain bike very much.
Compared to my Dirt jump mountain bike Cozmic DX 2, also made by Polygon cycle, this Celine 3.0 has much better cycling performance both for flat road and steep slope. I think it is because of its 27 speed gears. My dirt jump Cozmic DX 2 has only got 18 speed (two for the front gears and 8 for rear gears. Because my bike has been specifically designed for dir jump, its performance will be better in unfavorable terrain such as unpaved route in the mountains.
I hardly ever see girls cycling in the streets every time I ride my bicycle. Fortunately, I saw one this afternoon. She was riding a mid-size BMX bicycle holding a baby in her hands. She was only playing around her house.
Beauty and the Bike
Last week I read a book entitled: Beauty and the Bike. It was written by Beatrix Wupperman and Richard Grassick. The book is about the author's (Beatrix Wupperman) cycling stories from childhood to the adult period. On page 4 she told the readers how she got her first bike at the age of 5. Actually she inherited it from her mother. The bike was very big for her. At the age of 9 she finally got her own bicycle which she used to go to school. She was now at secondary school. It was in 1960s and people saw cars as the future means of transport. Motorways and trunk roads were being built throughout Europe. She witnessed how public transportation systems for trams and local rails; and lanes for bicycles were replaced by wider roads for cars. In 1980s she studied and then worked in a university in Berlin. She complained that there were only few cycling paths. In her book, she said that British girls stop cycling when they become teenagers. She wrote Beauty and the Bike as an inquiry into why British teenage girls stop cycling. Later it became a project to attract girls to cycling again. I recommend this book to anybody who is interested in developing or promoting cycling culture in his or her town/ city. There are a lot of obstacles and challenges that she and her friends face when promoting cycling culture to British girls.
The phenomenon of girls giving up cycling does not only occur in the UK. It is a world wide phenomenon which needs to be tackled by every concerned citizen who sees walking and cycling has to be placed at the top hierarchy of transport mode instead of cars and other motorized vehicles. We still have a long way to go to realize this dream. But the dream of streets and roads fully filled with cyclists again is not her own dream. It's my dream too and perhaps yours. Together with all the cycling lovers around the globe, we can press our governments to change their policies to be more pro-cycling friendly so that our cities will have cleaner air, more quiet. And because our money will not be "burnt for imported fossil fuel", our economy will be better.
Also read: Mountain Bike For Ladies

Are bicycles children toys?

Every time I ride my bicycle around the town of Manokwari, I can see that most of the cyclists or bikers are elementary school children and teenagers. I seldom see adults riding their bicycles. We all know that riding bicycle is good for our health but we don't do it regularly or we never do it. The pro-car or pro motorized vehicles policy from the government is the main causal factor which makes cycling not a popular lifestyle in this country anymore. In one week, I could only see one or two adults riding their bikes. Because cycling around the town center is not favorable due to the traffic condition, I prefer to paddle my bike to Pasir Putih beach area. Cycling was introduced in Manokwari town and the whole West Papua region by the Dutch. This environmentally friendly lifestyle has been replaced by the use of motorized vehicles particularly motorcycles and cars in the last 40 years of the city's development. Yet, I still see a small number of people who ride bicycles in this town.
Back to the discussion of the above question whether bicycles are toys for children and teenagers? I see that most of us who live in Indonesia do not realize how important bicycles are for our health, environment and economy. We all are used to living in a country whose fuel is subsidized (even now!). When Indonesia entered its worst economic crisis in 1998, the subsidy was gradually reduced. People began to protest the government for this unpopular policy. We did not realize that the price of fuel oil is expensive in the international market. We did not invest enough money in renewable energy either. We have enjoyed cheap fuel for years and reluctant to teach our children how to ride their bicycles to school. The government also did not give enough pro-cycling policy in its national development strategy. Now most children in Indonesia do not go to school buy riding bicycles. They depend on ojek (motorcycle taxi), bus, or their parents to pick them up from schools. Only in rural areas children walk to school. When children in Indonesian cities go to school by ojek, children in the Netherlands and Denmark ride bicycles.
People in Indonesia might think that riding bicycles is only a kind of training before somebody rides a motorcycle. They think that bicycles are slow, and only old fashioned means of transport. Because there is no serious pro-cycling policy from the government, the promotion of cycling as a lifestyle or culture in Indonesia had not been aggressive enough until after the fuel crisis some two or three years ago when university students began demanding the democratically president of Indonesia to step down.
In the efforts of living an efficient life, maintaining good health, and fighting global warming, some people in Jakarta begin to revive the cycling lifestyle again. Bike to work community was established and now has branches in several cities and towns in Indonesia. In Manokwari city alone, as the newly established capital of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia, some people began to ride their bicycles to work. But this spirit is not fully supported by the government especially the department for transport and town planning agency through the creation of facilities and lanes that support bike to work campaign. As a result I can see that cycling or mountain biking in Manokwari is still considered as sport only.
To change people's paradigm of bicycles as children toys, a lot of efforts have to be done. Some of them are through the writing of articles both on the internet and on printed media about the importance of riding bicycles as ways to save money, maintain good health and preserve the environment. National TV stations haven't created special programs for promoting cycling culture.  There are a lot of benefits that we can get from cycling. Bicycle manufacturers in Indonesia have to respond to this new movement by producing bikes that are suitable for working class society. The prices of bicycles have to be reduced to levels where they are more affordable to the whole population of this country.
In the eco-tourism sector, I personally am planning to provide cycling tour in Manokwari as a strategy to raise awareness among the local people that cycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle. I also have planned to establish a special web-portal for promoting cycling in two languages, i.e. Indonesian and English. The content will consist of stories from cyclist in the streets, study or discourse materials about cycling, bicycle reviews, technical or manual articles and other contents that are related to cycling, sustainable development and environment. I am sure that this human powered vehicle will one day be seen as an important means of transport in Indonesia again, someday in the future. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Dirt jump mountain bike
Mountain biking in the Table Mountain

Friday, January 14, 2011

How to Promote Bike to Work Culture in Indonesia

Two days ago I wrote an article entitled: How to promote cycling culture in your town to create awareness among town dwellers to see cycling as an alternative means of short distance transportation.The percentage of people cycling to work in Indonesia especially in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan still is still very small. Yet the number of people who ride bicycles to work is growing steadily following the rise in fuel price several year ago as a result of the central government's reduction on fuel subsidy. In Facebook and blogs, bike to work communities have been formed to attract more people ride bicycles.

In order for this campaign to be effectively materialized, the Indonesian government especially the Department for Transport must allocate significant amount of budget for the construction of cycling park and lanes. The urban planning authorities and consultants must include bicycle lanes in the grand design of city streets and roads.
In addition to pro-cycling policy from the government, and bike to work awareness from the cycling clubs, employers should also be included in the campaign. Some incentives from the companies where the cyclists work should be given to encourage other employees to choose bicycles as their means of transport for instance by giving special bonus for them where they can use the money to buy bicycle parts from specialized bicycle stores. We can learn from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark whose bike to work programs have been very successful. If bike to work program is seriously promoted and implemented, the problem of traffic congestion can easily be eliminated from Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan.
I should point out here that cycling was a culture in Indonesia before the introduction of mass produced motorcycles and cars. The Dutch were the ones who introduced cycling in this country during the colonial period. So, it is not impossible to revive this culture again. I strongly believe that we can see more bicycles on the streets of towns and cities in Indonesia again. When more people ride their bicycles to work, the atmosphere of our towns and cities will be cleaner again.
In European countries, bike to work has long been seen as the most popular solution to reduce traffic congestion. According to DutchNews.nl, on its 30 Nov 2010 news, the Netherlands goverment, provincial and local councils would allocate 80 million Euros this year to extend the cycle tracks in Amsterdam, Haarlem The Hague and around Utrecht to another 15 km long.
Central and local governments in Indonesia have to be brave in allocating more money from their annual budgets for implementing pro-cycling policies.   by Charles Roring
Also read:

Benefits of riding bicycles
Riding bicycle is good for our health and environment

Mountain Biking to Cape Bakaro in Manokwari City

Last week I rode my mountain bike to Cape Bakaro of Manokwari city. It was in the afternoon of 4.30 p.m. that I and my friend Peddy Tanguni were cycling. He is a computer teacher at a high vocational school in this city. The beautiful white sandy beach with blue sea water of the Dorey bay was on our side. The road from Kampung Ambon to Pasir Putih beach was not quite, in fact, it was quite busy with beach goers who drove their cars and motorcycles. Sometimes I had to ride my bike along the edge of the road to make way for the cars to pass by us because from the opposite direction there were also vehicles moving back to the city.
The weather was still bright when I and Peddy arrived at the fish calling station near the Bakaro village. city dwellers like to come here to watch a man calling sea fish to the shore using his whistle and termites (as the food to attract the fish). At that time we did not ask the fish caller to do his usual performance. We only sat on the bench facing the raging sea of the tip of Cape Bakaro. Actually it should be a perfect spot for surfers but with all of big rocks scattered around the shallow waters area, surfing will be a dangerous thing to do here.
Peddy brought a can of soft-drink which he bought from a kiosk. It was a can of Sprite. He bought one for me too. Taking a rest and drinking the softdrink, we sat on the bench enjoying the breeze from the tropical sea of New Guinea island (also called West Papua). I and Peddy were talking about the price of a good mountain bike made of carbon fiber shown at Polygon cycle website - an Indonesian bike manufacturer.
Peddy's mountain bike was made by United - also an Indonesian bike manufacturer. Its front and rear gears were Shimano tourney. My bike was a Dirt Jump mountain bike with gears supplied by Shimano Alivio. Its seems that most of the gears for mountain bikes in Indonesia were supplied by Shimano - a Japanese company that specializes its business in producing bicycle parts and sport fishing gears.
Around 30 minutes later, we returned to our bicycle and began riding back to Manokwari city again. I asked him to ride his bicycle a head of me because I did not wear my glasses.
When we were approaching Pasir Putih beach I saw a young Papuan boy who was riding his BMX. I used to have one like what he had when I was in junior high school. I asked him to stop to strike up a conversation with him. I asked him if he was interested in joining a race and how much his bicycle was when he bought the bicycle. Unfortunately, he could not answer my question because it was not his bike. He borrowed it from his friend. I was sad to hear from him that the price of a new bicycle was too expensive for him (around 1.6 to 2.5 million rupiahs for a low quality ones with no gears). It's my main concern when trying to promote cycling among teenagers and young adults in Manokwari city. I hope that one day, a large bike shop will be opened in this city to sell bicycles in more affordable prices. When the price of bicycle in Manokwari is still expensive, it will be very difficult for us to promote cycling culture in West Papua). by Charles Roring

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Suite

The Royal Suite on the Oasis of the Seas is really luxurious. This cruise ship offers one of the most comfortable sea voyage in the world. With large queen bed and jacuzzi as well as dining room with dry bar, this suite can be considered even better than the suite rooms of many on land 5 star hotels. When I visited the official website of STX Europe, the company that constructed the cruise ship, I read that the cabins were manufactured and supplied in modular forms. This really accelerated the completion of the vessel and at the same time maintain the standard quality of each room in the ship on the same level. Please, see the following picture of the Royal Suite room:
source: www.royalcaribbean.com

Oasis of the seas rooms had been made on land workshops before they were installed on the ship. This enabled the construction works to be executed at the same time with the interior works. STX Europe claims that the Oasis of the Seas was the largest export of the country at that time because it was the product whose components or parts were built and supplied by a lot of companies that were operating around the shipyard.
The master bedroom of the Oasis of the Seas suite with sitting area and Queen bed provides enough space for the passengers and their guests to enjoy the sea voyage from the comfortable room. With entertainment center, and piano, the Oasis of the Seas interior offers on board components that are really luxurious for her guests.
I don't know how much a passenger has to pay for each of these royal suites but the price must be worth thousands of US dollars for a complete round trip to the Caribbean islands. Because I personally haven't tried one of them, I could only give a little comment about the Royal Suite rooms based on the pictures and videos that I see on the internet :-) Happy cruising.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oasis of the Seas

I personally do not know the consideration behind the naming of the current largest and most luxurious cruise ship in the world Oasis of the Seas. By definition, Oasis is an area with water and trees, etc. in a desert or a pleasant place or period of time in the middle of something unpleasant, dull, etc. That's the meaning of the terminology that I read in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
Cruise ship Oasis of the Seas
So, because the cruise ship was constructed to be an oasis in the middle of the sea or say the ocean, it would become a meeting point for people from around the world. Similar to an oasis in a dessert in the Middle East where people and animals gather to drink and trade before continuing their trips, the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas can be temporary places where people refresh their mind and body from the stressful and hectic lifestyle that they have experienced in the city so that they can go back to their real world "psychologically with new spirit".
One week vacation tour on board the ship should not be seen as a spiritual pilgrimage because if tourists want to experience such journey, the holy land should be the recommended destination to go.
The journey around the tropical islands with this cruise ship is created as an affordable recreational choice for everybody who wants to see the marine environment not from a confined city aquarium but directly at an open sea. That's why the cruise ship itself has been made as one of the destinations for tourists who buy tickets for a cruising tour in the tropical islands of the Caribbean or Alaska. It seems that Oasis of the Seas rooms are still not enough to accommodate the growing number of tourists who want to experience the tropical beauty of the Caribbean islands, that's why the Royal Caribbean International ordered the construction of another new sister ship called the Allure of the Seas. 
source of all the above photos: http://oasisoftheseas.com 
According to the official website of STX Europe, the builder of the ship, 3,000 drawings were needed for the basic design of the ship. Five hundred naval architects, marine engineers and other engineers worked together to realize the design of the largest and the most luxurious man-made floating structure in the world. For the construction of the cruise ship, 30,000 workshop drawings were produced. As an experienced shipbuilding company, STX Europe has presented various on board elements that have never been in other conventional cruise ships. One of them is the board walk platform where passengers can experience walking around a park.
Environmental Concerns
I fully realize that marine environmentalists often express their concerns over the environmental impact of the operation of large cruise ships. As someone who used to study naval architecture, I am aware that ships, in general, produce wastes that pollute the sea. BUT cruise ships are not the only sea polluters. People living in coastal cities and towns are the largest polluters of the seas. So, the responsibility of fighting sea pollution is the responsibility of the whole earth's population and not the people who work in shipping, shipbuilding or cruising industries alone.
Naval architects and marine engineers who have been working in the shipbuilding industry need to find solution to this problem. On board sewage processing plants have to be improved so that harmful and toxic materials can be prevented from entering the sea. In addition, ship crews have to be trained to handle plastic wastes properly so that they will not be thrown into the sea. Rubbish collection trucks should be provided at every port to make sure that these wastes will not end up at sea.

Oasis of Life
I personally am a nature lover, I like being in an open nature watching all the things that God has created for us. If we love God, we must respect the nature. I has become our concern that our nature is now suffering from destruction, pollution. We need to stop them in order to make our natural environment as oasis of life again. Our love can be reflected through our lifestyle when we go to the beach, travel by ship or just standing on a river bank gazing swimming around on the surface of the water.
When we are in an outdoor environment, we must not throw plastic, metal or chemical wastes. If necessary, we can take sometime picking up some rubbish other people had thrown. By doing that we have helped restore nature to become the real oasis of our life. When nature is clean again, it will reward us with pure air, clean water and beautiful sounds of birds in the trees or colorful flowers.
How to restore nature as Oasis of Life
Our natural environment has been an oasis of life for all of us from generation to generation. Yet, the quality of our nature is getting worst. Industrial and domestic wastes continue to pollute our environment. Tropical rainforest are being cut at a rate of fifty football field per day and our air is filled with smokes and CO2 gases emitted by our car. Year 2011 should become a new moment from us to commit ourselves to the restoration of our natural environment. Simple things that we do everyday such as going to work by riding bicycle, picking up plastic and toxic wastes along the beach are our good contribution in restoring our nature to be a good living environment for all of us. Living in harmony with nature is not expensive. It is even good for our economy where millions of people are now trapped in debt. For example by consuming less energy through cycling, we can save daily fuel consumption where the money can go to finance our health care needs or pay off our debts. You don't need to request huge amount of consumer loan from a bank to buy a bicycle, don't you? So, if living in harmony with nature has not been part of your new year 2011 resolution, I suggest that you add it into your personal list. When you try to fulfill it, even a small thing that you do, nature will reward you with good things that you might not expect. by Charles Roring
Also read: Oasis of the Seas Interior

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Inside Tour Video

Still a little story about Oasis of the Seas Interior - the largest cruise ship in the world, I've just found a video in Youtube that can guide us into the inside parts of the cruise ship where we can see the Oasis of the Seas rooms and everything about the ship. The tour into the Oasis of the Seas starts from the harbor where it was berthing. There were a lot of people (probably visitors) walking towards the ship. The superstructure of the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship was painted with white color with rows of life boats were positioned hanging below the sides the main deck. The roofs that covers the boats were painted with yellow. There were also rows of cranes standing along the harbor. Perhaps they are used for the loading and unloading of cargoes. Before entering the hull of the ship, the cameraman aimed his camera to the hanging life boats. I can see that the submerged hulls of the boats look like catamaran. This hull form is ideal to increase the speed of the boat although its hull is wide. Catamaran hull form significantly improves the propulsion performance of the boats.
Inside the Oasis of the Seas, we can see rows of seats arranged in semi circular forms. Perhaps it is a theater. It is interesting to see that the naval architects who designed the ship created skylight that enables sunlight to penetrates the main deck and brighten the interior of the Oasis of the Seas. Such arrangement greatly reduced the electrical consumption of the ship for lighting during the days but is not a common feature that we usually saw in old cruise ships. Skylight is usually found above the engine rooms of small cargo ships.
I am amazed to see that the inside hull of the cruise ship is more spacious with a lot of public spaces for passengers to socialize or interact one another while traveling around the Caribbean islands. Big window glasses secured in triangular frames several decks high above the main deck are really a brilliant design concept done by the naval architects. Triangular frames are more stable to be implemented to the ship because they are more resistant to shocks and vibrations that the Oasis of the Seas will experience during the whole life of her sea voyages. The conventional approach of putting the cabins as close as possible to the center line of the ship is not seen in this cruise ship. Passenger cabins are positioned on both sides of the ship leaving a hollow open space in the middle of the ship for the skylight and park. Such placement of the cabins enables the sunlight to enter the rooms from both sides.
source: http://www.relevantsearchscotland.co.uk 

Well, that's some of my comments concerning the interior of the oasis of the seas that are more dominated by curve lines. It's really a wonderful and amazing man-made floating structure. This video is really a nice tour for anybody who has not been traveling with this beautiful ship. After watching the video, you might be interested in finding cruise deals for your next summer vacation on board the Oasis of the Seas. One thing that you need to keep in mind, during the current economic crisis, that you should not buy tickets if your financial condition is not really good. Don't try to charge the cost of your holiday vacation on your credit card if you are not able to pay off your debt. Taking a cruise holiday can be good if you have enough money to do it and you will not be burdened by more debt after returning home from your holiday in tropical islands. by Charles Roring