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Monday, December 13, 2010

Typical Lineup of Waiting Ships

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 6, 2010

The other day someone's comment suggested that I had been lucky to get a picture with the ships lined up like a parade on the Columbia River. For those who read this blog who have not been to Astoria, no it wasn't a lucky break or skill. The lighting was spectacular that day, but other than that, the ships appeared about normal. They can be seen "lined up" for miles in front of the city of Astoria on almost any given day. I don't remember if I've ever seen a day with no ships waiting on the water for space to become available in one of the ports upriver. Astoria's port is too small for offloading of much freight. I think there was a bigger ship unloding something the other day (did I hear that correctly?) and there is always discussion about dredging the channel to make Astoria available to the big ships. Sometimes there are up to 10 or so waiting on the river. I would say that typically you can see five or six ships at anchor and waiting to move. There are five in this photo, and I remember that there were at least one or two farther west. This photo was taken from the 12th Street dock looking upriver. You can see Tongue Point on the right on the Oregon side of the river, and the hills in the distance are in Washington, on the other side.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.


Anonymous said...

Grain ships waiting for berths at the elevators so they can take on the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, wheat.

tapirgal said...

Ah, thanks! I was hoping someone would comment on what's going on. The Mandarin Glory has been sitting outside my window for about a week. Today it's dissolving in the fog.

Kris said...

We all need wheat!

Jacob said...

Whatever the reason, the waiting ships provide some nice photographic opportunities. Right?

But wheat is neat!

Looks like Denise is going to get into your exercise routine! If all goes well tomorrow when she goes back to the doctor! Thanks so much for being so helpful.

Francisca said...

You may live in a small town, yet the view from your place is so grand! This is no Hong Kong or Amsterdam port, but still there is plenty of interesting activity on your river to watch!

tapirgal said...

I received this interesting e-mail on the subject:

"The ships plan on spending a few days in the Columbia River to drop barnacles off their hulls, which decreases resistance on the hull thereby giving them better mileage on their bunker oil.

"By sitting in the river it saves them money by not having the hull scrubbed in a foreign port, they just sit in the Columbia River for a few days and wait for a berth upriver, while nature cleans the hull and flushes the barnacles out to sea and into the current.
Before 9-11 the crews looked forward to coming ashore and shop - it is sad to not see the crews anymore."

tapirgal said...

Here's a follow-up e-mail, more about the barnacles. I asked what killed them, was it the fresh water?

"Yes, it's fresh water 6 Billion gallons a day of fresh water go to the ocean. And I mean Billion! Some goes north on the Humboldt current and some goes south on the California current or something like that I may have them reversed. They are very small and have a hard shell which makes the bottom like a wood rasp, it will grind anything up because the shell is so hard. But when it dies it looses its grip and falls off. And turns into grains of sand. That's what I've been told."

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