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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Working boats on the Columbia River

After a week or so of almost continual rain, we had blue skies yesterday. The weather also turned cold and the wind whipped up whitecaps on the Columbia River. Several times, this interesting combination of boats came past my office. Tomorrow I'll tell you where it's working along the waterfront, but here you can see the crane barge carrying metal pilings, attended by two silvery skiffs. On this pass, it was going downriver, to the left.

I zoomed in on the skiffs because I wanted to see what they were doing. I'm still not sure, but I imagine they could have been helping to push or maneuver the barge. They seemed to be butted up behind it.

A couple of hours later, the barge passed again, going upriver This time I got the towboat in the picture (left) and the two skiffs are alongside. You can see the two tall poles (the function of which you'll see tomorrow), and other poles lying on the deck sticking out over the rear of the barge.

Here's the towboat, pushing, and one of the skiffs.

Here the skiff is going ahead of the barge. I missed the larger wave that leapt up as the skiff cut through the water, but you can see the river was not completely calm. The railing in the foreground of these photos is from the catwalk leading from our building's deck to the radio tower.


Jacob said...

What an interesting series of shots. But my question is: How do you get any work done with all this fascinating stuff going on outside your window? ;-)

Don and Krise said...

Jacob's right. I'd have a tough time getting anything done with a view like you have. Boy the water was pretty rough wasn't it.

TheFrogBag said...

Wow, these are so cool! I love watching water when it's like that. Too bad I live so far inland!

Vogon Poet said...

What an interesting set of photos. Are they dredging some part of the river? Usually they stick the huge poles down to anchor the barge. The strangest thing is that the actual crane seems to have tracks!

Stine in Ontario said...

I'm with Jacob wondering how you get anything done with all this right outside your window!

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