DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Port Angeles gets its own cruise ship gangway

THIS NEWSPAPER REPORTED on Thursday that the Port Angeles Parks Department had installed the gangway to the floating docks at Port Angeles City Pier — thus ushering in an unofficial start to the annual boating season.

Chuck Faires, the harbormaster at the Port Angeles Boat Haven, said his office has received numerous inquires asking when the floating docks will be installed at the popular and convenient boat ramp behind Castaways restaurant and adjacent to the Port Angeles Yacht Club.

Chuck said those floats are typically put into the water around May 1, weather permitting.

He noted that the floats are particularly vulnerable to the swells caused by easterly winds, and that if they had been in place during last weekend’s high winds, they would have been destroyed.

Speaking of gangways, the Port of Port Angeles on Thursday morning took delivery of a 48-foot aluminum gangway that will be used to embark and disembark passengers of the cruise ships that will be visiting next month.

In the past, the port has rented gangways from various Puget Sound facilities when cruise ships made Port Angeles port calls.

Mike Nimmo, marine terminal manager for the Port of Port Angeles, searched for a gangway from San Francisco to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and all points in between but was unable to locate one.

Then one night he was cruising around on his laptop computer, went onto the online sales site Craigs ­list and found one for sale at the Cannery Seafood House in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The restaurant, situated on the Vancouver waterfront, provided the gangway to a float that was used by mariners to tie off their boats while they enjoyed a meal in the eatery.

The iconic restaurant closed its doors on March 27 after a 39-year run and had no further use for the gangway.

On her way

The newest pride and joy of Port Townsend, the new Washington state ferry Chetzemoka, is getting closer to launch.

She is now at the Port of Everett’s Pier 3 North for final outfitting and completion.

Built at Todd Pacific Shipyards’ yard at Harbor Island in Seattle, she was towed last weekend to the Port of Everett for final outfitting work by the Todd subsidiary, Everett Shipyard.

That work includes the insulation, crew and passenger accommodations, galleys, flooring and the addition of lifesaving and emergency evacuation equipment.

Because of her size, the Chetzemoka is tied up at a Port of Everett pier under partnership with Everett Shipyard.

“The Port of Everett values our partnership with Everett Shipyard, and we are pleased to have Washington state’s newest ferry at our facility for its finishing touches,” Port of Everett marine terminals director Dave Madill said.

The Port of Everett signed a 45-year lease in 2007 with Todd Shipyards for the operations of Everett Shipyard.

Opening day

The public is invited to join Sequim Bay Yacht Club at John Wayne Marina in Sequim on May 1 to celebrate opening day of the 2010 boating season.

It will mark the 30th consecutive year that the yacht club has held an opening day festivity.

This year’s opening day fete also marks the 25th anniversary of John Wayne Marina.

Those wishing to join in the fun are encouraged to dress themselves and their family in red, white and blue togs, pack a picnic lunch and congregate on the Sequim Bay waterfront.

A flag ceremony and commissioning of the club will be held at 1:30 p.m. next to the John Wayne Marina flagpole.

The club’s officers will be adorned in their finest regalia. A bagpiper will be there to pipe the colors.

There will also be a blessing of the fleet and a firing of the signal cannon.

The boat parade in Sequim Bay gets under way at 2 p.m. The 2010 Sequim Irrigation Festival queen her court will be in attendance.

Another log loading

Tonight at 2300 — that’s 11 p.m. for you land dwellers — Sunny Royal, a 557-foot bulk cargo ship is scheduled to moor to the Port of Port Angeles’ T-Pier.

The Panamanian-flagged vessel will be making her way to Port Angeles from Tacoma, where she has been taking on logs for the past 2 ½ days at the old Weyerhaeuser dock.

The ship will be in Port Angeles until Thursday to round out her load with an additional 2 million board feet of logs that were harvested from private lands here in Western Washington.

This is the second time in as many months that a log ship destined for South Korea has been in port.

There will be yet another one next month.

Success story

Mike Rainey, chief financial officer of Armstrong Marine, the aluminum boat fabricator on U.S. Highway 101 adjacent to the car race track between Port Angeles and Sequim, said the company’s 14,000-square-foot shop is full — and that Armstrong is adding new employees.

Mike said the company transported a paint barge that was built in its shop for use by the Navy in Honolulu to Seattle.

The barge was put aboard an Aloha Cargo Transport barge on Friday and will arrive in Pearl Harbor on April 23.

Mike said the barge, complete with a Genie scissors lift, a generator providing power for hand tools and a hazardous-materials containment system, is one of five Armstrong is currently contracted to build for the Navy.

Ultimately, Armstrong is slated to build a total of 200 of the new-generation paint barges that will replace the current platforms the Navy has used for the past 40 years.

Platypus work

Port Angeles’ Platypus Marine hauled out the Alaskan Legend last week and stowed her in the Commander Building on Marine Drive.

No, not the 941-foot oil tanker that’s part of the Alaska Tanker Co. fleet frequenting our waters.

We’re talking about the MV Alaskan Legend, a 76-foot aluminum boat that was built by Onetta Boat Works in 1970 and was formerly named Nauti-Buoy.

Dan O’Keefe, a project manager for Platypus, said smaller Legend will be in for a few days to have zincs installed, repairs made to the hydraulic system and a marine survey done by Tom Pope.

Forever, an 80-foot Hakvoort, also is in the Commander Building for the next two weeks.

The Dutch-built aluminum yacht will receive a fresh coat of bottom paint, have her teak decks sanded and her props tuned up.

Another yacht placed in the Commander Building last week is Dulcinea, a 98-foot Westport built in 2004 and extended to 106 feet in 2006.

She is in for a few days to have her bottom pressure-washed and painted, as well as getting her drive line serviced.

Personnel will also inspect and service as necessary the cutlass bearings and all through-hull fittings.

Dulcinea and Forever both hail from Victoria.

With the Canadian dollar near par with the U.S. dollar, I expect to see more Canadian vessel owners taking advantage of Peninsula yacht repair facilities.

Idled pilot boat

The Puget Sound Pilot boat, Juan de Fuca, is sitting on the hard in a satellite building at Platypus Marine in Port Angeles.

She was hauled out of the water on Wednesday, and Platypus personnel, in concert with the boat’s crew, are swapping out her engines.

It will probably be the first week of May before she can get back to her duties ferrying ship’s pilots to and from the tankers, cargo ships and cruise ships as they transit in and out of Puget Sound.

Filling up

Tesoro Petroleum on Wednesday provided bunkers to Richard G. Matthiesen, a 615-foot tanker that is one of five tankers owned by the U.S. government that are attached to the Military Sealift Command.

On Thursday, Tesoro refueled British Commerce, a 755-foot petroleum products carrier that is operated by BP Shipping and flagged in the United Kingdom.

Tesoro on Thursday also refueled Crystal Ocean, a 570-foot cargo ship loaded with wood chips.


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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