During my Time in Brunsbüttel, I lived relatively close to both the Elbe and the NOK. Because of that, I was just sitting out there by the Water pretty much every Evening watching Ships going past.
For the most Time, there were not really any huge Ships around, but it was still great. I even saw a few of them multiple Times. Like a Dredge. And even one Container Ship.
One of those Ships I saw more than once was the Peyton Lynn C. The first Time I saw her, she was sailing into the NOK and was, if Memory serves, pretty much empty. (UPDATE: She was not empty when I first saw her. I have found a Foto that I took that tells me otherwise.)
The second Times around, she was full and on her Way out of the Schleuse. That Time, she turned onto the Elbe towards Hamburg.
It was actually kinda cool to watch a Ship of that Size turn in a comparatively narrow Waterway. She was also going at quite a speed. I liked that.
Since the Elbe is a Tidal River, Sediments always get washed back upstream towards Hamburg. Left unchecked, those Sediments would quickly clog the Shipping Lanes into the City.
Because of that, there are several Dredges operating along the River. Those Ships suck up all the Sediments and then dump them out at Sea.
While that practice is definitely Controversial, it also has to be done. Without it, Hamburgs Harbours would probably be forced to shut down within a few Months.
The most ubiquitous Boats at the Elbe were definitely the Pilot Boats that were constantly buzzing around, delivering Lotsen to Ships and picking them back up again.
Since both the Elbe and the NOK are very busy Waterways with a lot of Traffic, Ships above a certain Size are required to take on Lotsen who have a more intimate knowledge of the Area.
Those Lotsen, and sometimes even Wheelmen, then assist the Ships regular Crew in navigating through those Waters accident free. The Captain still has full responsibility though.
While I did not see many actually big Ships during my Time in the North, that was okay. I still got to see how diverse Marine Traffic can actually be.
I also learned a bit about Ships, and even found out where some of them were going online and in a Marine Traffic App. That was actually really interesting, and also fun.
And it was definitely relaxing after Work.