Cargo Ship Keith

One of the many mysteries in life for me are the giant tubes astride the deck of the cargo ship Keith. Even the ship’s name, Keith, is a bit of a curiosity. Most boats that are named after a person generally use their full name, including the middle initial and sometimes even an honorific to boot. To address a ship, an ocean going vessel, on a first name basis is fine, if you are a crewmember or somehow associated with the boat, but to introduce it as if it were some one name celebrity seems presumptuous in the least, in my opinion.

Keith, by Chuck Close, 1970

Another Keith, is the equally titanic portrait by the artist Chuck Close. A thing for this artist, large canvas, super high definition, photorealistic, these portraits emblematic of his painting style. As is his propensity to name these works by the first name of the subject. I’ve always admired photorealism, it’s attention to detail, the painstaking demands of this approach. I am reminded of the struggles embodied in the old folk song, John Henry, the steel driving man. One man, giving his heart out in an endeavor to outpace a machine, progress and time. 

Anyway, what about those huge tubes? We frequently see salties hauling wind turbine blades, like these tubes they are racked and stacked on deck, but I don’t think that these tubes are part of any turbine. I think that they contain something that is the real cargo, making the Keith a container ship, in an oddball sense. The tubes are of different lengths, which I also find odd. The tubes look purpose built for the Keith. The boat is new, launched just last year. Its photo on various maritime registry websites shows the ship carrying these tubes. I wonder if the tubes contain some sort of bulk cargo, like a liquid or a gas? It’s a mystery.

6 thoughts on “Keith

  1. I think your on the right track about wind turbines. I suspect they are wind turbine tower sections. They have access ports that would only work if they were used vertically. They seem to taper very slightly, as turbine towers do. They are about the right size and color. And as a former steamboater, I agree: the ship’s name is beyond weird. It sounds like a mistake. I Would prefer Bob. In the water. Get it?

  2. Went to, and it appears that site had not been updated since 2019? Therefore could not get any inof about the mysterious “Keith”

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