An Electric River Ferry with a Long Power Cord

The Udbyhøj Cable Ferry at Randers Fjord in Denmark was converted from diesel to electric power, but instead of batteries, it simply plugs into the mains at one side of the fjord and reels out an extension cord as it crosses and reels it back in when returning. The ferry is itself guided and propelled by pulling on a steel cable running under the water, so the addition of an electric power cable does not complicate operation. Backup diesel generators are carried in case of an interruption in grid power.


Perhaps they could figure out a way to attach fish hooks along the cord…


I would love such a hidden automatic winding mechanism for the charger cables of my:

  • MacBook
  • iPad
  • kindle
  • iPhone
  • SAD light (used in winter for depression+ vitamin D)
  • cordless landline phone charger (I don’t know why I still waste money on that)
  • heating pad (for various chronic tendonitidies and back pain)
    (If one ever comes on the market, I would also like have to have an AIECT; most are aware of automatic implantable cardiac defibrillators [AICD’s]; this would be an automatic implantable electro-convulsive shock treatment for sudden depressions. It might replace or supplement the SAD light. What do you think of maybe putting Prozac fluoride in the water supply? Maybe we would then all see shiny cavity-free teeth through all the happy smiles?)

But I digress. In an attempt to deal with this tangle of wires, I just bought a power strip & placed it under the coffee table in front of where I sit during the day & evening surrounded by my device appendages. All are now plugged into the power strip on the low (and low-visibility) shelf under the coffee table. It’s mere existence - and the fact it has a cord running visibly a few inches across the floor to the wall plug beside the couch - irks my wife’s sense of feng shui (If you were to see the rest of our house, you might think feng shui was not particularly relevant). It occurs to me that, if I build a moat around my sofa/throne, I might hide the cords underwater like the ferry. Nah. The cats would object. Next problem is managing the tangle of the 5cords tangled under the coffee table. Where’s Nikola Tesla’s wireless power waves when they are really needed?

So, the power strip merely moved the problem. Instead of wires from transformers (wall warts) running all over the place from the plugs at either end of the couch, now all the transformers are under the coffee table in the higher-density tangle of wires under the surface of the coffee table on the shelf about 6 inches off the floor. I already tripped on one which was inadvertently hanging over the edge and pulled my MacBook off the table and on to the floor. Happily, it survived, unmarked. I’m not sure I will, though. My spouse, a self-described, proud Luddite, is not pleased by the mere existence of all this tech in her gravity well (no, she is actually quite thin and attractive).


The wires under our bed look like a plate of spaghetti! Too funny,CW, esp. the Feng Shui comment. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:
I think I saw a ferry like this one in Zurich. (Was it Zurich? Does a river run thru that city?) Or maybe it wasn’t plugged in, it was just running, like a trolley, along a wire attached to towers on either side of the shore. Very efficient cuz it didn’t hafta fight the current.


It didn’t ring a bell, so I searched. The river which drains the Lake of Zurich is the Limmat. A couple miles downstream from Zurich is a place called Fahr Monastery. Apparently, that has a small cable ferry. Not exactly a tourist attraction. There are lots of these in Sweden which is often conflated with Switzerland. I guess it is the SW.