The bulk carrier Astoria Bay sits at the Port of Port Angeles Terminal 3 on Saturday to take on debarked logs destined for China. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The bulk carrier Astoria Bay sits at the Port of Port Angeles Terminal 3 on Saturday to take on debarked logs destined for China. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

ON THE WATERFRONT: Rogue wave survivor renamed, loading logs destined for China

While roaming the waterfront this week, the buzz was all about last weekend’s maritime festival.

Every person I spoke with said they thought the festival was an unqualified success.

My wife and I went on both Saturday and Sunday. Each day, throngs of people swarmed each venue despite intermittent rain showers that did not dampen anyone’s spirits.

On Sunday, the Kraken inflatable slide sponsored by Armstrong Marine was at the parking lot at the Boat Haven Marina. At one point when it was raining I watched a couple of young children slide down and they came running out of the slide towards their mother, one of them breathlessly exclaiming, “Mom, it’s a waterslide.”

I think it is fair to say that with the U.S. Navy Brass Band, the boat tours, tall ships, tours of the port facilities, tours of Platypus Marine and Westport Shipyard and the food vendors, there was something at the first annual Port Angeles Maritime Festival for everyone.

At the dock

Astoria Bay moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3 last Saturday.

She is a 610-foot-long cargo ship that will be in port for about 11 days, taking on a load of debarked logs that were harvested from Merrill and Ring’s private land holdings that will be shipped to China.

This vessel was once known as Dry Beam. In early 2012 while heading to the Far East with a load of logs, Dry Beam was hit by a rogue wave about 300 miles northwest of Vancouver Island.

The ship was struck on the port side by a wave thought to be about 50 feet high, causing a shift of the deck cargo toward the starboard side which overloaded the stanchions that restrain the topside load.

The stanchions gave way under the additional strain of the shifted load, and a number of logs fell overboard while simultaneously destroying many of the stanchions.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy and the Canadian Coast Guard cutter JP Tully responded to the ship’s mayday call and escorted her to Ogden Point.

Barge cranes offloaded the remaining deck cargo and stowed it on the dock, and when the vessel was deemed seaworthy, she got underway for Kashima, Japan, where her remaining cargo was offloaded and repairs undertaken.

The logs that were moved off Dry Beam’s deck were subsequently moved to another location at Ogden Point and were ground up into chips for use as garden mulch.

Once Dry Beam was rebuilt, a new ownership group took possession of her and renamed the vessel Astoria Bay.

Rogue waves are not necessarily the biggest waves found on the water. Rather, they are unusually large waves for a given sea state.

On the hard

Platypus Marine Inc., the Port Angeles-based, full-service shipyard, yacht-repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer, has NuExplorer in the Commander Building where personnel are repairing some minor water damage and dealing with a couple of electrical issues on the Molokai Strait 68, a stunningly beautiful expedition trawler whose owner brought her to Port Angeles from Astoria so that the professional crew at Platypus Marine could work on his yacht.

Platypus Marine also has a crew at the Coast Guard station on Ediz Hook working on the 87-foot Cutter Wahoo. Personnel are making repairs to the crew’s shower, replacing some insulation and installing new carpeting.

Saturday, Tesoro Petroleum provided bunkers to Rainbow Star, a 599-foot petroleum products tanker that is flagged in Hong Kong.

About tugs

I am often asked, Is there a requirement that oil tankers use a tug when coming into Port Angeles harbor?

Tugs are required to provide a tethered assist — their tow line affixed to bitts on the tanker’s bow or stern in a procedure that is otherwise known as a ship assist. The rule is that laden tankers exceeding 40,000 DWT (dead weight tons) are required to have a ship assist when arriving and departing the harbor.

Another requirement for laden tankers is that those that exceed 90,000 DWT must anchor in the central or eastern portion of the harbor.

Brian S, the 98 foot tug that tows the Tesoro fuel barge to bunker the ships in the harbor, also provides ship assist services to tankers. She is able to assist tankers that do not exceed 90,000 DWT.

Vessels exceeding that tonnage would typically be assisted by one of the Foss or Crowley tractor tugs that were specifically designed and built to provide tug related services to larger ships.


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

Items and questions involving boating, marina and industrial activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome. News announcements about boating groups, including yacht clubs and squadrons, are welcome as well.

Email [email protected] or phone him at 360-808-3202.

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