ON THE WATERFRONT: Cargo ships arrive 'deadhead' in Port Angeles
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David G. Sellars/for Peninsula Daily News
The Northcoast yacht New Atlantic approaches the guest dock at Boat Haven in Port Angeles.
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David G. Sellars/for Peninsula Daily News
The log bronc LB7 is transported to the commander building in Platypus Marine’s TraveLift.

By David G. Sellars
For Peninsula Daily News

Thanks and a tip of the bosun's cap to Ed Chadd of Port Angeles, who wrote to ask if ships are loaded with cargo or traveling empty when they cross the Pacific en route to Port Angeles for a load of logs.

I called Johnny Daquisto, a longshoreman who typically works as a vessel's supercargo — the person in charge of overseeing the cargo aboard a ship.

Daquisto said lately, most ships have been traveling “deadhead” to Port Angeles.

Deadhead is industry jargon that refers to a commercial vessel sailing without cargo.

Daquisto did say that in the not-too-distant past, ships would travel west with cement and other products in their holds.

I also spoke with a knowledgeable waterfront denizen who said he was aware of one of the Port Angeles-bound cargo ships delivering a load of steel in Portland, Ore., prior to its arrival in Port Angeles.

I recall being aboard Selinda last July when she was taking on a load of logs, and the unmistakable smell of sugar emanating from the ship's holds told the tale of the vessel's prior cargo.

Life jacket challenge

Recently I received a news release from BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water inviting armchair inventors to put on their thinking caps to design and build a better life jacket.

BoatUS has teamed up with the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association and the National Marine Manufacturers Association to seek out the newest technologies and design ideas with the “Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition.”

A $10,000 cash award goes to the winning designer, and inventors have until April 15 to submit their idea to www.BoatUS.org/design.

The entries will be judged based on four criteria: wearability, reliability, cost and innovation.

“Wearability” relates to the level of comfort. “Reliability” will take into account the chances for potential failure, and “cost” will look at the affordability of the design.

“Innovation” will take into account originality and the utilization of new technologies.

Additionally, BoatUS will post entries on its website and Facebook page for public voting.

The winner will be announced at the September 2015 International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference in Louisville, Ky., and additional cash prizes are offered for second and third place.

For more information or to enter, visit the contest website.

Boat Haven guest

On Wednesday afternoon, New Atlantic moored at the guest dock on the west side of the harbormaster's offices in the Port Angeles Boat Haven.

The vessel is an 80-foot Northcoast yacht that came to Port Angeles to clear customs after spending time in Canadian waters.

Burnished bronc

Also on Wednesday, a log bronc, LB7, was towed by the 62-foot tug Danielle, which is owned by Manke Lumber Co. of Tacoma, from the submarine base at Kitsap Bangor to Platypus Marine, the full-service shipyard, yacht-repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive in Port Angeles.

For the next six weeks, personnel will sandblast, prime and paint the stout little workhorse.

Platypus Marine also hauled out Full Circle, a 49-foot custom-built catamaran.

She is on her way to Southern California after spending time this summer in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

She stopped in at Platypus for a couple of upgrades and modifications before finishing her trek south.

On Friday, Tesoro Petroleum bunkered British Courage, a 755-foot liquefied-petroleum gas tanker that is flagged in the United Kingdom.

Burning bunker

Readers often ask: What are bunkers?

Bunker crude (or bunker C) is black, thick and unrefined, or only slightly refined, crude oil that is burned on steam-powered vessels.

As I understand it, the current fleet of ships that ply the world's oceans for the most part are designed and built to burn a more refined blend of fuel oil than bunker crude.

Additionally, numerous locales have emission regulations that dictate the type of fuel blends marine vessels must use.


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 24. 2014 11:34AM
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