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Philadelphia Express came into the sixth boro yesterday with stated destination . . . . Karachi!@#!  Made a wrong turn?  More on Karachi later in this post.

But here’s my question . . .  see that flag to the left of the name?  That’s the country of registry.  Recognize it?

Here’s more of a clue to that ship’s registry . . .   GA.  Got that?

Here’s the ship, photo by Michele McMorrow, as taken in the humid afternoon from Sandy Hook.  I wonder if the Hapag is deliberately painted out.

Back to the flag . . . Gabon!@#!   Could you locate that on a map? 

Before you go to google, have a very informative 21-minute listen to Sal Mercogliano’s “Ships and the Flags They Fly.”  Gabon is not mentioned.  

I’d missed the fact that Gabon has even had a ship registry since 2019, when it was created as a joint enterprise between the government of Gabon and an Emirati company based in Dubai.  Read more about it here and here.

As for location, the country has as neighbors, the Gulf of Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and Republic of Congo.  The Bongo family, father and then son, have held the presidency since 1967.   That should speak volumes.

Back to Karachi . . .  have a listen to Dr. Mercogliano’s post “The Fall of Afghanistan:  Its Impact on Shipping and the Silk Road” from a few weeks back on the unexpected supply chains that were used during the 20-year US presence in Afghanistan.  The role of such ships as SS Algol, SS Cornhusker State, MV Maj. Bernard F. Fisher, and MV A1C William H. Pitsenbarger are mentioned.

I still find it odd that the first Gabon-registry vessel enters the sixth boro with Karachi as its stated destination.  By the way, it’s a Hapag-Lloyd ship previously US-registered.  Or is it?  Is there significance to the fact that all the “Hapag” and the tops of the “l”s are painted out.  And what does the stern list as port of registry, Gabon or Libreville, its capital city?  And then, I might just be missing the key detail(s) here.

If you want to check it out, it’s currently on the outside in Port Elizabeth.

 

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