DAVID G. SELLARS’ ON THE WATERFRONT: ‘El Tiburon Blanco’ visits Port Angeles Harbor

THE COAST GUARD medium-endurance cutter Steadfast was moored port side to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 1 North last week.

She was dockside for three days to take on stores, and I was told that when she left on Wednesday, she was headed for Victoria for a few days of R&R (rest and relaxation).

The cutter, a sister ship of the cutter Active, which is based in Port Angeles, is 210 feet long with a complement of 72 officers and enlisted personnel.

She was commissioned in 1968 and based in St. Petersburg, Fla., until 1992.

Following a major refit, the cutter was returned to service in 1994 and reassigned to Astoria, Ore.

And like the Active, the Steadfast has completed hundreds of search and rescue missions and numerous drug interdictions.

In fact, she was nicknamed “El Tiburon Blanco” (“The White Shark”) by Colombian drug smugglers in the 1970s for being such a nemesis to illegal drug operations.

New escort

The HOS Eagleview moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ T Pier on Tuesday.

She has a black hull with a Navy gray superstructure.

Eagleview came into port to have her bow thruster repaired by Washington Marine Repair, the topside repair facility at the foot of Cedar Street.

She was built by Leevac Industries near Jennings, La.

Eagleview was launched earlier this year and is one of two vessels that will replace the HOS Gemstone and HOS Silverstar as submarine escorts as the subs transit the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Eagleview and her as yet unassigned companion vessel were built by the shipyard to Navy specifications.

Each is 250 feet long and powered by twin Caterpillar 3516 C diesel engines that generate a combined 6,000 horsepower.

The vessel is steered using a joy stick, and the bulk of the electronics are operated using touch-screen technology.

Onboard there are 11 air-conditioned staterooms that accommodate 24 berths.

Gemstone and Silverstar were offshore supply vessels when they were pressed into service in 2006.

Their adaptation to security vessels was a work in progress; cargo containers were added to their loading deck to increase bulk and 50 caliber machine gun mounts were added.

The newer vessels have more gun placements and weaponry, enhanced electronic security, surveillance and radar equipment, more berthing capacity and a conference room.

Maintenance stopover

SeaRiver Kodiak, an 869-foot oil tanker, is alongside the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 1.

Chandra McGoff of Washington Marine Repair said personnel are onboard through early this week performing maintenance on her diesel generators, inspecting alarms, replacing some piping and repairing an escape hatch.

If the Kodiak’s lines look familiar, she’s the former Tonsina in the days she was owned by Alaskan Tanker Co.

The name change went along with her sale to SeaRiver Maritime a few years ago.

The double-hull tanker was launched in 1978.

Haul-outs, splash-ins

Last Monday at 7 a.m., Port Angeles’ Platypus Marine hauled out the pilot boat, Puget Sound, and had her back in the water before lunch.

The next day, the other pilot boat, Juan de Fuca, came out at 5 a.m. and was back in the water before 8 a.m.

Both Puget Sound Pilots boats came out of the water for their respective crews to perform a visual inspection of the hull and running gear as well as give the hulls a quick power wash.

Platypus hauled out Silverado, a 120-foot Willard that was built for Harry See, scion of the See’s Candy family, on Tuesday.

At the time the yacht was built, she was the largest fiberglass boat ever constructed.

She will be in the Commander Building on Marine Drive for the next three weeks to have numerous small repairs made that are common after a season of cruising in Alaskan waters.

Personnel will also replace zincs, repair damages to the Grady White tender and apply new lettering to the transom.

Scuttlebutt time

When making my weekly rounds on the waterfront, I am often asked if there is any scuttlebutt.

This term, appropriately, has nautical roots.

On board ship, the scuttlebutt is slang for a drinking fountain.

For landlubbers, it typically means to chatter about the newest tidbit of gossip.

The word’s origin dates back to the late 1700s or early 1800s.

Onboard ship, a butt was a cask that held fresh water. A hole was chopped or cut (scuttled) in the top from which sailors could reach in and dip out drinking water.

Thereafter, the scuttlebutt became the place where the ship’s sailors could exchange gossip.

Harbor watch

Last Sunday, Tesoro Petroleum in Port Angeles Harbor bunkered British Hawthorn, a 789-foot crude oil tanker that is under way to Singapore.

On Monday, Tesoro refueled Amderma, a 581-foot ice strengthened cargo ship with ro/ro (roll on, roll off) facilities accessed by a stern ramp.

Tesoro also had its refueling barge alongside the 590 foot Panamanian-flagged bulker (bulk cargo ship) Angel Sea.

She came up to Port Angeles for fuel and on Friday was anchored in Grays Harbor awaiting a slot at a marine terminal there.

On Tuesday, Tesoro refueled Ken Unity, a 623-foot bulker that is now under way for New Orleans.

On Wednesday, Tesoro fueled Mega Donor, a 735-foot bulk cargo ship.

She then left Port Angeles for Port Alberni, British Columbia, where she picked up her cargo that is destined for Rizhao, China.

On Friday, Tesoro refueled British Oak, a 789-foot crude oil tanker which then got under way for the BP Refinery at Cherry Point in Whatcom County.

On Saturday, Tesoro had the tug, Brian S, bring the refueling barge alongside the aforementioned Kodiak for bunkers as she sat at the marine terminal at the foot of Cedar Street.

________

David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who is now a real estate agent in Port Angeles and Sequim.

Items involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome.

E-mail [email protected] or phone him at 360-417-3736.

His column,On the Waterfront, appears every Sunday

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