THE SPRING TALK by
PROF. CHRIS WRIGHT
Less than a century ago, great passenger liners such as the Queen Mary excited the imagination. Today, our attention has moved on, but ships remain vital to the economy, shifting far more cargo than railways or trucks.
As a Cinque Port and a centre for traditional wooden vessels, Faversham itself has maritime associations. It is close to the Straits of Dover, the busiest sea lane in the world, and the Graveney Boat reminds us how our ancestors grappled with the forces of nature to bring cargo to our shores.
In this talk, Chris Wright will sketch out the evolution of ships and shipping from an unusual point of view: looking underneath the hull and behind the propeller to see what makes them tick, and how the early vessels evolved into the sleek monsters we see today. But they move in mysterious ways and are often unstable or difficult to control. Sometimes battered by hurricane-force winds and rogue waves nearly a hundred feet tall, they are surprisingly risky to travel in. Among the topics raised will be:
How to get up the creek without a paddle (or an engine)
Ships make beautiful V-shaped wave patterns – why do they all look the same?
Are supertankers unstable?
How the Queen Mary helped to win World War 2, and …
Can goldfish be seasick?