ON THE WATERFRONT: Barges log time in harbor

EARLIER THIS WEEK, the tug John Blix towed the deck barge Z Big One into the west end of Port Angeles Harbor where she took on 440 bundles of softwood for transport to a Georgia Pacific mill in Coos Bay, Ore.

For those of us who travel along Marine Dr. it was difficult not to notice the stockpile of chips in the empty lot next to Westport Shipyards.

When I asked a port employee the why of it, I inadvertently referred to the chips as sawdust.

I caught what-for for that slip of the tongue.

I was told that a chip barge is coming to the Port of Port Angeles Terminal 3 on May 15 to take on 7,200 tons of Interfor chips for transport to a pulp mill in Howe Sound, B. C. When the barge MilBanke II arrives, a front end loader will load trucks with chips from the stock pile, thus gaining efficiency in the transportation process and the loading of the barge.

Monday, Global Mermaid moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3. She is a 580-foot Panamanian-flagged cargo ship that is taking on a load of debarked softwood logs for export to China. She is scheduled to get underway Wednesday.

Last Sunday, Alaskan Legend moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 1 North. She is a 942-foot crude oil tanker that is part of the Alaska Tanker Company fleet of vessels that transports all of British Petroleum’s Alaska North Slope crude oil to West Coast refineries. Prior to her departure today, she will have undergone a series of mandated inspections to the vessel’s all-important product handling equipment, including the tanks.

When Alaskan Legend vacates Terminal 1, she will be immediately replaced by Cable Innovator, the 477-foot cable-layer that is home-ported in Victoria, B.C. She will be here until May 27.

Platypus Marine on Marine Drive hauled Motega out of the water. She is an 80-foot workboat that is part of the Arrow Launch fleet, owned and operated by Jack and Terri Harmon of Port Angeles. I understand Arrow Launch personnel are working on the vessel and Platypus is providing their expertise when needed.

Platypus also has Puget out of the water. She is a flat-bottom steel vessel that is 104 feet long with a 30-foot beam. Puget was built for the U.S. Navy in 1944, and is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with a five person crew.

They patrol the inland waters of the Puget Sound and remove hazards to navigation such as waterlogged pilings, logs and other debris.

On average, the Puget’s crew pick up about 1,000 tons of debris each year, which represents about 2,000 hazards to navigation. I understand personnel are refurbishing the anchor system, replacing a generator and installing satellite GPS.

Friday, Tesoro Petroleum provided bunkers to ATB Achievement, a pusher tug owned by Crowley Maritime Corporation.

Today, Tesoro is scheduled to provide bunkers to Sonangol Cabinda; she is an 899-foot crude oil tanker that is flagged in the Bahamas.

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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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