The Ship ReportTM  
         All Things Maritime
     with Joanne Rideout 

Photo: Joanne Rideout 2008.

Containers ships getting bigger

On today's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about how containerships - the ones that move 90 percent of everything - are getting bigger. How much bigger? Think 4-5 times bigger in cargo capacity than the ships we currently see on the Columbia.

A rainbow on the Astoria waterfront makes a pilot boat seem a little more magical. Photo: Joanne Rideout 2014

October 30, 2014

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Columbia River Ship Traffic


  • Santa Ricarda Vancouver BC to Portland Containers (Ast~2am/PDX~8am)
  • Morning Cloud China to Astoria Anchorage (Ast~2:30am)
  • Mississippi Voyoager Long Beach to Portland Petroleum (Ast~7:30am/Ptld~3:30pm)
  • Bunun Ace Russia to Portland Petroleum (Ast~10:30am/5:30pm)
  • Trans Leader Vancouver BC to Vancouver Subarus (Ast~1:30pm/Vanc~7:30pm)
  • Global Wisdom Japan to Longview Logs (Ast~1:30pm/Lgv~5pm)
  • Ultra Esterhazy Japan to Longview Anchorage (Ast~1am Fri/Lgv~4:40pm)


  • Rosco Ginkgo to Kalama Corn, Soy or Wheat (Dep~6am/Ast~11am)
  • Morning Cloud to Portland Wheat (Dep~3:30pm/Ptld~10:30pm)
  • Senorita to Longview Wheat (Dep~3:30pm/Lgv~7pm)
  • F.D. Vittoria Raiola Awaiting Orders


  • Hanjin Ottawa Dep Portland Containers (Dep~2am/Ast~8am)
  • Kalliopi L Dep Kalama Corn, Soy or Wheat (Dep~10:30am/Ast~3:30pm)
  • Ken Toku Dep Longview Logs (Dep~4:30pm/Ast~8pm)
  • Orient Union Dep Portland Wheat (Dep~4:30pm/Ast~11:30pm)
  • Baltic Fox Dep Longview Petcoke (Dep~4:30pm/Ast~8pm)
  • Liberty Dawn Dep Longview Wheat (Dep~6:30pm/Ast~10pm)
  • Kypros Unity Dep Vancouver Wheat (Dep~11pm/Ast~5pm)
  • ATB Dublin Sea Dep Portland Petroleum (Dep~11pm/Ast~6am Fri)

When's High Tide where you are? Find Tidal info at


pproximate Vessel Travel Times:
(Times vary according to tidal conditions, current, weather,
and individual vessel horsepower)
  • Portland/Vancouver -Astoria: 6-8 hours
  • Kalama -Astoria: 5 hours
  • Longview -Astoria: 3.5 hours
  • Columbia River Bar - Astoria: 1.5 hours

Tide Notes:
  • Tide times are often listed in 24 hour time - for times after noon, subtract 1200 from the time to get regular clock time. Ex: 1300 hrs - 1200 = 1:00 pm)
  • Also, tides are referenced to Mean Lower Low Water, a reference point for depth on many nautical charts. MLLW is the average of the lower of the two low tides in a day, over a 19-year cycle. Minus tides are lower than MLLW.
  • If you're right on the coast, subtract an hour from these times. Upriver, highs and lows happen later. For instance, in Knappa, add an hour. In Clatskanie, add 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Ship Horn Signals
Commonly Heard off Astoria:
  • One prolonged blast every two minutes or less: vessel operating in fog.

  • Five consecutive horn blasts:  warning signal that means literally "I do not know your intention." This generally means another vessel is in the way of a ship in the channel, and is being asked to move before they collide.

  • Three short blasts: Vessel going in reverse

  • One long blast followed by three short: signal for the change of pilots. Soon after this signal, you'll see the pilot launch Arrow II head out to a passing ship, to facilitate the transfer of bar and river pilots.
  • Note: "Pilot transfer" is when a pilot disembarks or boards a ship. Ships generally must by law have a river or bar pilot on board when they are on the Columbia or Willamette Rivers. The bar and river pilots have separate pilotage grounds defined by the Oregon Legislature.

Revelers gather every December in Ilwaco, Wash.,
for the ceremonial lighting of the World's Tallest Crab Pot
Christmas Tree. Photo: Dirk Sweringen 2008.

The R/V Marcus G. Langseth in a gale
                              off Tonga
The R/V Marcus G. Langseth takes seas over the rail in a gale off
Tonga in the South Pacific. Photo: Ted Koczynski

The Marcus G. Langseth is a seismic research vessel owned by the
National Science Foundation and operated by Columbia University.
She spent several months in Astoria in the fall of both 2008 and 2009,
at the Port of Astoria. In early December, she headed to the shipyard
in Portland for some needed maintenance and repairs.
She headed back out to sea in early 2010.


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This Week's Podcasts
  • Monday: On today's Ship Report Minute, Joanne Rideout shares incredible statistics about ship air pollution, and explains the economies of scale involved in shipping goods around the world.
  • Tuesday: On today's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about the unveiling of the biggest dry dock in the world in Portland, and about who will be its customers.
  • Wednesday: On today's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about the science and wonder of rainbows.
  • Thursday: On today's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about how containerships - the ones that move 90 percent of everything - are getting bigger. How much bigger? Think 4-5 times bigger in cargo capacity than the ships we currently see on the Columbia.

Bulletin Board:

Blog: Mystic's Adventures: Joan Marie and Ron Ash live aboard

Bridge Safety by Zip Code

NOAA Public Comment on Right Whale Protections

Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain come to the Columbia River

Deployed for the Holidays:
interviews with mariners and military personnel

Oregon King Tide Photo Project

Washington King Tide Photo Initiative

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald [video]

Watch the film BOATLIFT, about how mariners came to the rescue in 9/11 New York City.


Ship's Store
  • Shipwatching Guide - A handy foldout guide that will teach you how to identify the ships you see.

  • Fisher Poets CD - Recorded live in 2006 at the 11th Annual Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, Ore. Sales benefit Coast Community Radio in Astoria.
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Ship Report
                                                  Creator and Producer
                                                  Joanne Rideout
Ship Report Producer Joanne Rideout
inside the research submersible Alvin.

The Ship Report
is a daily podcast about ship traffic from around the world, along with recorded interviews with mariners and other nautical folk about issues ranging from piracy to life at sea. Producer Joanne Rideout is a journalist and photographer who created The Ship Report in 2005. Since then Joanne and has been interviewing, writing and photographing the maritime world and its interesting people
as much as she possibly can.


Video: Impressive Coast Guard Rescue of HMS Bounty crew

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See the film BOATLIFT, about how mariners came to the rescue in 9/11 NYC.

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Hooked for  the survival story of the "Man in the Fish Tote."

Patrick Dixon, Marine Photographer and Writer

Fisher Poets: In the Tote - Poems, Stories, Songs of the Sea

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