Pages

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ship Pirouette

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Four times each day, the ships on the Columbia River at Astoria pivot on their anchor chains. I wasn't thinking about that, I was taking a photo of the clouds on one of the few really gorgeous days we've had in a long time, and watching the pilot ship (off the stern) and the tender (alongside) the Laurel Island anchored in the river outside my office. (I especially like the name of this ship (which visits often) because it reminds me of Laurel Sullivan.)

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon At 9:39 a.m., I watched the pilot boat leave, and the tender stay alongside. For the purpose of this photo essay, the thing to notice is that the ship is exactly perpendicular to us. We cannot see the writing on the stern.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon At 10:07 a.m., I took another photo, not thinking about it, but you can now see the writing on the stern, as the ship begins to turn with the incoming tide. Even though we're about 10 miles from the mouth of the river, the tide turns a ship around amazingly fast, as you'll see here. I was surprised when I timed it.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:15 a.m.: I hadn't been thinking about tides, but when I looked out the window above my desk, I saw this dramatic change in the position of the ship, so I went out to take photos. Was it really turning as fast as it seemed? I thought I'd check the times with my camera. The tender is still sitting alongside, and no it is not pushing the ship!

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:16 a.m.: Look at the change in position in the space of about one minute (more or less)!

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:17 a.m.: Two minutes later, the change is again dramatic. I have not moved, it's all the ship's turning.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon By 10:19, there is a whole new aspect, and we can see the anchor chain on the downriver side.

Seagull on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Oops! A distraction. Nice seagull! This is a juvenile. It's mostly brown.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Post-seagull, at 10:21 a.m.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:23 a.m.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon By 10:24, the ship was not completely turned, but I decided to go out and look at the river from another location on this beautiful day (see next photo).

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Less than a block away along the River Walk, I could see five more ships at various angles. They are upriver from the Laurel Island. The tidal bore and currents are also different in different locations across the width of the river.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon10:31 a.m.: The STX Crocus is turning - in the opposite direction from the Laurel Island. I'm about one block further up the river, and the ship is further yet up the river, so my viewpoint and the angle are both a bit different than they were for the Laurel Island.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:39 a.m.: I haven't moved, but the ship has.

Ships on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon 10:43 a.m.: The bow is facing us, and now it's time for me to get back to work.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

8 comments:

Jacob said...

What an incredibly dramatic post! The power of that river is something else. I can just see you running hither and yon to get another photo! Great shots and a fascinating look at your beautiful river!

Francisca said...

I agree with Jacob, this is super! Glad I didn't miss it!

B SQUARED said...

Wonderful series. Moving water is so amazing.

VP said...

A very interesting manoeuvre around the anchor. Are you sure they are doing this without a pilot on board?
Both these ships seem empty bulk carriers, what are they going to load there? Or they have already unloaded their cargo?

Lee Spangler said...

gosh did I enjoy this post Tapirgal. It is also such a good reflection of your gentle methodical style.

tapirgal said...

@ VP: The ships do this on their own because of the current in the river. As for the cargo, Astoria is no longer a port for loading and unloading, but the ships stay here for a few hours or a few days depending on pilots, weather at sea, and possibly availability of berths at ports upriver (I'm not sure what factors determine their schedule). They cargo ships mostly carry grain from the Midwest, which they pick up at The Port of Kalama in Washington, which is between Longview and Portland. Some ships and lumber barges stop in Longview, which is about halfway from here to Portland. It has a big lumber stacking area and docks. I'll get a photo sometime. There is also a paper mill between here and Longview, and I imagine some of the ships carry paper products. (Thanks to Lee for his information. I'll try to learn more about this, too, this year.)

VP said...

Thanks you (and Lee) for the information.

midnitemike2010 said...

Sheryl,
Sailors call this maneuver "swinging on the hook". the hook of course being the anchor. Nice set of pictures!

You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails