DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Gravel barges bring aggregate to Port Angeles

CHRIS BOYD OF Port Angeles e-mailed me asking about the gravel barges that have been brought into Port Angeles Harbor for the past couple of weeks.

My thanks and a tip of the bosun’s cap to Chris.

The barges are consigned to Lakeside Industries of Port Angeles.

Lakeside is taking delivery of approximately 50,000 tons of gravel — more accurately identified in the construction industry as “aggregate.”

Western Towboat of Seattle has towed seven barges — each loaded with about 7,000 tons of product — from the mainland of British Columbia to Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 5.

Each barge is unloaded by a front-end loader that dumps the aggregate into a hopper, which then feeds a conveyor belt that pours the aggregate into dump trucks.

The process enables a dump truck with a 15-ton capacity to be loaded in less than a minute.

Lakeside Industries, whose only service is asphalt paving, has 12 regional divisions in Western Washington, Northwest Oregon, and Central Idaho.

The company’s typical customers are state departments of transportation, cities and counties, industrial firms, developers and homeowners.

George Peabody of Lakeside Industries said the company imports the particular type of aggregate being offloaded in the harbor because it meets the state’s requirements in the making of asphalt.

He said Lakeside brings in these barges at least once a year and has been doing so for almost 20 years.

By the way, in case you’re reading this without calculator in hand, 7,000 tons in a gravel barge translates to 14 million pounds.

In for repairs

Alaskan Frontier, which moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 1 North on Monday, will be there for about three weeks.

According to Chandra “Hollywood” McGoff of Washington Marine Repair, the topside repair company with offices on the waterfront, crews will be aboard the 941-foot crude oil vessel working on a laundry list of repairs and maintenance items.

Some of the work includes repairing the port and starboard accommodation ladders, replacing ballast piping and making repairs to various catwalks as well at to cargo pumps.

Contractors will also have divers in the water inspecting stern tube seals when the weather calms down.

Safe harbor

The strong winds brought about by Friday’s spring storm drove the tug Pacific Wolf and her tow, the tank barge DBL 77 — as well as the tug Pacific Falcon towing the petroleum barge Sixty-Five-Roses — into Port Angeles Harbor, a safe haven.

Sixty knot winds and high seas were forecast, and the storm brought just that.

The MV Coho was also impacted by the winds as the 341-foot ferry had to head well east into the wind on her 10:30 a.m. return from Victoria on Friday before turning west and coming into Port Angeles Harbor.

This weather-related maneuver had her arriving at the Black Ball Ferry terminal about 40 minutes late, but safe and sound.

In the boatyard

Platypus Marine has Walking on Water sitting on the hard in their yard.

She is a 41-foot Marine Cat that hails from Friday Harbor.

According to Charlie Crane, director of sales and marketing for Platypus, she will be out of the water for another week or so as personnel paint the bottom, install a water heater, repair the fridge and relocate the auto-pilot.

Chris Chesley owns the four-year-old boat and has lived aboard her for 2 ½ years.

Chris is a retired ship’s pilot who spent the last 15 years of his career working for Chevron in El Segundo, Calif.

Last summer, Chris circumnavigated Vancouver Island in his cat, and this year he will spend the summer months exploring much of the British Columbia coast.

A 48-foot Diesel Duck, Slow Dance, is sitting on the hard in the Port Angeles boatyard sporting a beautiful new paint job.

She is owned by Bob and Pat McDermott.

They live in Jay, N.Y. — a community in the Adirondacks.

The vessel is styled after a Pacific Northwest salmon troller. Bob and Pat have owned the boat since 2004 and started living aboard her in the summer months beginning in 2005.

For much of the past four years, the boat has been moored in Richmond, British Columbia, and the McDermotts have explored the inland waters of the province as far north as Prince Rupert.

Last year, Bob and Pat made the decision to repaint Slow Dance and shift their moorage to either Oceanside or Dana Point, both in Southern California.

They came into the Port Angeles Boat Haven on Nov. 1 and spent the next couple of months removing and storing as much topside gear as possible to get ready for repainting.

Larry Detray of Port Angeles had her in the boatyard building for six or seven weeks as he painted the steel-hulled boat.

Slow Dance is now out of the building and sitting on stands in the boatyard.

Bob will spend the next week or two putting back the pieces and parts that were previously removed.

He said once she is back together, he will take a couple of day-trips in the local waters to test all her systems before assembling a small crew and motoring to Southern California.

Filling up

On Wednesday, Tesoro Petroleum refueled Idship, a 554-foot bulk cargo ship which was anchored in Port Angeles Harbor.

The vessel, which is flagged in Hong Kong, is due to arrive in Geelong, Australia, on April 22.

A Russian-flagged grain ship, Abakan, is scheduled to anchor in the harbor for bunkers today.

She is 435-feet long and operated by FESCO — Far Eastern Shipping Co. — the largest shipping company in Russia.

________

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

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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