DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Fog horns resound along Port Angeles Harbor
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David Sellars/for Peninsula Daily News
Global Round, moored to Port of Port Angeles Terminal 3, is a 580-foot bulk cargo ship scheduled to head to the Far East on Monday after taking on a load of logs.

THE MARINE LAYER that blanketed our area at the beginning of the week generated a number of inquiries from constant readers (my wife even fielded questions when out in the community) about ships sounding their whistles in the foggy conditions — most notably the short-prolonged-short blasts that emanated from Port Angeles Harbor for much of Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

My understanding is that signal is used as a warning signal by a vessel that is at anchor when there is restricted visibility.

In the days of sailing navies, fog signals consisted of firing a gun at intervals, beating drums and ringing the ship's bell.

In the modern era, fog signals can be mechanical, steam-generated and, in the case of recreational boaters and day-sailers, as basic as a handheld air horn.

Prudence dictates that anytime there is a restriction in visibility, a mariner should begin to use his or her sounding device.

There are three types of vessel classifications: sailing vessels, towing vessels and power-driven vessels.

Each has its own signaling convention based on a number of criteria.

Basically, power-driven vessels underway — from the smallest of boats to the largest of the deep-draft ships — sound one prolonged blast on the ship's whistle or foghorn every two minutes.

Likewise, a tug that is underway with a tow sounds one prolonged and two short blasts every two minutes.

A sailing vessel gives one blast every minute if she is underway on a starboard tack or two blasts every minute if she is on a port tack.

Sailing vessels using their kicker motors to propel themselves are not considered a sailing vessel for these purposes but rather a power-driven vessel and must adhere to power standards.

From here to there

One question that I get with some frequency is how many barrels of fuel it takes a ship to go from here to there — wherever there is.

When I was at Tesoro Petroleum in Port Angeles last week, I posed that question to the fellows there and of course was told that much depends upon the type and size of ship and the speed at which it will be traveling.

We then got on the Internet to see what we could find, and lo and behold, there before our very eyes was the following website, which goes into detail about the fuel consumption of container ships.

For those of you with an interest in such information, this website may prove to be quite informative: http://tinyurl.com/pdn-shipfuel.

The site speaks to a vessel's fuel consumption in tons.

An approximate conversion of tons to barrels can be made by understanding that there are roughly 6.4 barrels to the ton.

Each barrel is the equivalent of 42 gallons.

Harbor watch

Last Sunday morning, Global Round moored to Port of Port Angeles Terminal 3.

She is a 580-foot Panamanian-flagged bulk cargo ship that is taking on a load of logs that were harvested from private lands in Western Washington.

The vessel is scheduled to leave Port Angeles on Monday for the Far East.

Platypus Marine, the full-service shipyard, yacht-repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive in Port Angeles, launched LB-2 on Wednesday.

She is a log bronc that is used in the dry docks at Bremerton and that was towed to Platypus Marine in early July.

During her stay in the Commander Building, she was sandblasted, primered and painted.

LB-2 was towed to Bremerton on Wednesday by the 62-foot tug Danielle, which is owned by Manke Lumber Co. of Tacoma.

On Friday, Platypus Marine launched Bellissima, a 90-foot Ferretti luxury yacht that was out of the water for a few days to have a severe vibration in the driveline resolved.

On Wednesday, Tesoro Petroleum provided bunkers to Alaskan Legend, a 941-foot crude-oil tanker that is under contract to British Petroleum.

Also Wednesday, Tesoro refueled Sea Voyager, a 797-foot petroleum-products tanker that is currently underway for Barbers Point, Hawaii.

On Friday, Tesoro refueled Bunga Kelana Dua, an 800-foot Malaysian-flagged tanker that made her way to Port Angeles from Tianjin, China.

Today, Tesoro is scheduled to refuel DHT Trader, an 883-foot crude-oil tanker that is flagged in the Marshall Islands.


David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain's mate who enjoys boats and strolling the area's waterfronts.

Items and questions involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome. Email dgsellars@hotmail.com or phone him at 360-808-3202.

His column, On the Waterfront, appears Sundays.

Last modified: August 16. 2014 5:24PM
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