Monthly Archives: June 2013

Finnish Icebreaker Fennica visits Everett / Looking for seagoing job.

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Last week, while heading to the Everett Marina, I was stunned to find another large blue and white ship docked next to the Aviq. Edision Chouest’s Aviq has been in Everett for quite a while and other than seeing her in the bay one time, it looks like a ghost town. I haven’t seen any activity onboard at all. Rumor has it, she’s headed to South America soon. Who knows? I will miss gawking at her if and when she departs. I’d still like to get a tour of her if anyone has any connections.

This week, there was a second large vessel tied up on the opposite side of the dock. A quick check of Marine Traffic showed the name “Fennica”. I had to go a check her out a little bit, so I went for another little tour of the harbor and snapped some pictures. Of course I didn’t have a real camera with me, so all I can offer are more cell phone pictures. Fennica’s decks were crawling with activity. Of course, since I was right there, I took more pictures of the Aviq (how could I resist?). I also snapped one of a Mexican Tug named Gavoita that has been anchored in the harbor for a few weeks. I have not seen any activity onboard her or heard why she is here. There is also a shot of a MSC Freight ship in there. I didn’t get the name, but she is identical to the “Carl Breshear” which has also been in port for several weeks.

Here are some photos:
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Wikipedia had a good amount of information about Fennica. Click Here to see all of it.

“MSV Fennica is a Finnish multipurpose icebreaker and platform supply vessel. Built in 1993 by Finnyards in Rauma, Finland and operated by Arctia Offshore, she was the first Finnish icebreaker designed to be used as an escort icebreaker in the Baltic Sea during the winter months and in offshore construction projects during the open water season. Fennica has an identical sister ship, Nordica, built in 1994.”

Another interesting note:
“In November 2011, Shell Oil Company signed a three-year contract with Arctia Offshore and chartered the Finnish multipurpose icebreakers Fennica and Nordica to serve as primary ice management vessels in the Chukchi Sea during the summer seasons of 2012–2014. The primary purpose of Fennica is to protect the drillship Noble Discoverer by steering large ice floes so that they don’t endanger the drilling operation.[24][23] The decision to charter the Finnish icebreakers to support Arctic offshore drilling has been widely criticized due potential environmental damage in case of oil spill. On 16 March 2012, some 52 Greenpeace activists from five different countries boarded Fennica and Nordica at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard to protest Shell’s drilling operations in Alaska.”

In other news, I’m on the hunt for a seagoing job on a vessel over 200 GRT. It also needs to be on Near Coastal or Oceans. This is needed to complete my RFPNW course I took last month. It turns out, in my area, most of the vessels over 200GRT are factory trawlers working in the Bearing Sea fishing for cod, sole, etc. Most of those vessels are already gone for their season. I don’t have the commercial fishing experience anyway that they require, unless you count last summer that I spent commercial tuna fishing off the Washington Coast with my buddy Marlin Mike (not quite what they had in mind when they said “commercial fishing experience”). I think we made enough to pay for our diesel two or three times and didn’t make enough to cover expenses on the other trips (it sure was fun though). I’ve also talked to several of the universities that have large reasearch vessels and several other outfits. There are lots of tug boats in the PNW, but 99% of them are 199GRT or less.
To be honest, it’s one hell of a circus trying to find the right size vessel that has an opening. I remember when I was just starting out in the job market as a punk kid. All of the places wanted experience, but you first had to get a job to get any experience. It sort of feels the same way right about now. I could go on and on, but I won’t bore all of you. I’m motivated and won’t stop. The hiring managers at these places have all heard from me several times and will probably get tired of me. I won’t be denied!

The restoration of PT658. The last functional PT Boat of WWII.

PT Boat Photo

A group of dedicated WWII Vets have and saved and completely restored PT658. She is the last functional PT in existance today. These vets spent countless hours restoring PT658 over a 15 year period. PT658 is berthed in the Columbia River, near Portland, OR. If you in the area, stop by and visit.

Watch the video of the restoration here:
http://videos2view.net/PT658.htm

Here is the offical website for PT658:
http://www.savetheptboatinc.com/

PT658 from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Torpedo_Boat_PT-658

Well done to all the vets who saved this piece of history!

The Annual Bayliner Migration Has Begun!

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There are several ways to tell when spring and summer have arrived in the Pacific Northwest. One way is the weather is nicer, the rain is warmer and the days are longer. The other way is to listen to channel 16 on the VHF and see how many times the name “Bayliner” comes up. I would love to see some official stats of how many Bayliners are in the region. I suspect more than any other area of the country, since one of the biggest Bayliner factories was just up the road here for many years.

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These two fellows were both moored to the same mooring ball over Memorial Day Weekend. The thing is, they used the same 1/2″ nylon line. They are convinced that someone came in during the night and cut the line (during a 45 knot wind) and have filed a police report stating the line was cut. I don’t buy it for a minute and after examining the cut line am more convinced that the line chaffed off.

White Bayliner grounded at the high water line:
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They ended up about 70 yards apart on a beach about 6 miles from where they were moored. The white boat (2005) was lucky and landed in the gravel part of the shore near the high water line and suffered a missing trim tab and very small pinhole in the bottom of the keel. We were able to pull it off the beach at high tide by pulling hard for about 5 minutes and swinging the towboat back and forth. We then towed her 3.5 NM to the harbor where there was a waiting trailer to haul her out.

Towing the White boat to the marina and her waiting trailer:
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The blue boat (2009) wasn’t lucky at all. It landed in a rocky section of beach and had 4 or 5 4 inch holes in the hull, the keel had a split about 3 feet long and the port side of the hull separated from the chine for about 5 feet.

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We had to come back at low tide the next day, secure lift bags to the hull and wait for high tide to float her off the rocks. The tide was rising and we decided we needed to reposition the tow boat to get a better angle on the tow. We barely tugged on the towline and the boat popped right off the rocks and was free. When it turned, the stbd. lift bag was pinched on a big rock covered with barnacles and punctured. We couldn’t tell at first as she was floating level. It soon became apart something was wrong and we needed to get another bag on it quick! We had semi prepared for this and had our air tanks pre-rigged and ready. I was able to hand line the stricken vessel up to our swim step while my partner tried to get around the cleat so we could attach the additional bag. The cleat had so many lines already attached that there was not any additional room for extra lines. The boat nearly rolled over right next us, until we were able to get a line around the hardtop and inflate the float bag. The boat didn’t roll completely (a good thing) but we could only make 1 knot. The tow took 3.5 hours. This put us into the harbor around 2300 (11PM) and all marina staff had gone home hours earlier. Our instructions were to pull the vessel as far up the boat ramp as possible and they would deal with it in the morning. Sounds good right? Not quite. The boat settled on the ramp o.k., but it was laying on top of several of our very expensive air bags that we couldn’t free. Our diver had to suit up, attach more air bags to lift the vessel off our stuck gear, free the gear and then deflate the extra bags so the vessel could lay on the ramp on bottom until morning. It took another few hours just to get our gear back and the vessel free so we could go home. All in all, a long day but we got the job done in one shot and didn’t have to come back a third day to finish.

Arriving the next day at low tide. This is as close as we could get and had to wade in from here:
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Getting the lift bags attached and inflated. Need to wait for the tide to come in:
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Double checking our work just before the rising tide:
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Just after the stbd. bag punctured and we scrambled to get the bag on the hard top to keep her from rolling over:
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SLOOWWWW Towing. Only making 1 Knot:
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At the marina ramp, trying to free our gear so we can be done:
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Other photos from the week.

The Adventuress sailing vessel arrived in Everett for a few days to visit:
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Hat (Gedney Island) on a calm day. Whidbey Island is to the left:
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Towing a couple of disabled vessels and a nice sunset over Admiralty Inlet:
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