Brian Nokell/U.S. Navy                                The USS Louisiana (SSBN743) arrives for the first time at its new homeport at Naval Base Kitsap, Silverdale, in 2005.

Brian Nokell/U.S. Navy The USS Louisiana (SSBN743) arrives for the first time at its new homeport at Naval Base Kitsap, Silverdale, in 2005.

ON THE WATERFRONT: Cape Flattery buoy dropped off in Port Angeles

Also, the scuttlebutt on the collision between a ballistic-missile submarine and Navy Offshore Support Vessel.

EARLY LAST WEEK, the United States Coast Guard seagoing buoy tender Fir briefly moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3.

The 225-foot vessel is based in Astoria, Ore. She maintains the aids to navigation that are situated between the California-Oregon border and the United States-Canadian border.

While in Port Angeles, Fir dropped off the first buoy mariners encounter at Cape Flattery when entering the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

I understand the buoy will be taken to the Coast Guard’s refurbishing facility at Astoria, where the buoy will either be rebuilt on-site or farmed out to a contractor to be rebuilt and ultimately returned to service where needed.

Seaward scuttle

At 6 p.m. Aug. 18, the ballistic-missile submarine USS Louisiana and a Navy Offshore Support Vessel collided while conducting routine operations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

According to the Navy, the Ohio-class submarine suffered damage to the starboard bow.

The Louisiana is 560 feet long with a 42-foot beam.

Her crew consists of 15 officers and 140 enlisted personnel and can stay submerged for six months.

Recently, a friend sent me the following link,, about the Ohio-class submarine Pennsylvania.

This is a fascinating video about how they get fresh air into the vessel while submerged for months at a time, how they launch a torpedo and how they make the submarine quiet to avoid detection.

Platypus dealings

Last week, Platypus Marine, the full-service shipyard, yacht repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive in Port Angeles, hauled out Magic Time, an 87-foot Christensen, which received a new coat of bottom paint, a new set of zincs and had prop speed applied to her running gear.

Platypus also hauled out Celeste, a 40-foot sailboat that received a bit of storm damage in Alaska.

Personnel are replacing the toe rails and stripping the cabin of its varnish, after which they will apply a new coat of varnish.

Platypus hauled out Mulberry St-914, a small U.S. Army harbor tug attached to the 709th Transportation Co. in Tacoma.

I understand the vessel will be sandblasted and painted while she is stowed in the Commander Building.

Harbor happenings

On Monday, Tesoro Petroleum in Port Angeles Harbor provided bunkers to Nord Imagination, a 590-foot Panamanian-flagged petroleum products carrier.

On Wednesday, Tesoro refueled Coral Garnet, a 738-foot bulk cargo that is flagged in Panama.

Today, Tesoro is scheduled to bunker Majorca, a 738-foot bulk cargo ship.


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 or phone him at 360-808-3202.

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