Today a familiar research vessel comes to the Port of Astoria: the Marcus G. Langseth. She’s owned by Columbia University’s Lamont Dougherty Earth Observatory. She’s spent time in Astoria over the years as she’s pursued different research projects. She is the national seismic research facility for the United States academic research community.
Today I’ll share the second installment of the voyages of the good ship Jane Franklin: a 53 foot sailing yacht, a ketch, owned by Capt. Russ Roberts, a lifelong sailor, and retired airline pilot, whose exploits include sailing through the Northwest Passage.
Capt. Roberts has an extensive sea voyage planned and has kindly agreed to allow The Ship Report to chronicle his journey, with a changing crew of adventurers who want to sail with him on the high seas. Last week we heard about their tumultuous trip from Miami to the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. This week we’ll hear what it’s like to transit the Panama Canal in a small boat, nestled amongst other much larger vessels like giant ships and tugs.
When the weather’s bad on shore, we can be pretty sure it’s worse out in the ocean, at least here in the Pacific Northwest. Today we talk about the offshore weather forecast and what working vessels are enduring out there: fishing boats, cargo ships, tugs.
Yesterday’s listener question was about a tugboat helping out a big ship in the Astoria Anchorage. That tug, the PJ Brix, by the way, is owned by Foss Maritime, a big presence in the tugboat world. Since we see fewer tugboats on the lower river compared to upriver vessel traffic, I thought today we would talk about the huge role tugs play in upriver commerce. In many cases, it could not happen without them.
I’ve been getting listener questions about a ship that seemed to be having difficulties in the Astoria Anchorage. Today I have the scoop on that vessel, which was having trouble with a steering pump.
Correction: today’s report referred to Brix tugs as being based in Cathlamet. They are in fact Portland-based. Brusco tugs are in Cathlamet.
This year on the Ship Report ,we’ll be following the voyages of Capt. Russ Roberts and his sailing yacht Jane Franklin, as Russ and his crew make their way from Miami, Florida, through the Panama Canal, to Hawaii and eventually to the Pacific Northwest. A rare glimpse into life on board a sailboat at sea, where crew members have only one another and their hardy craft to rely on. A true tale of life at sea.
In this first installment, the Jane Franklin leaves Miami and makes her way in difficult seas and high winds around Cuba toward the Panama Canal. A look at sailing in another part of the world.
Photo: the Jane Franklin and her crew safely at the dock on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal, after making their way from Miami. Photo courtesy Russ Roberts.
You can follow the voyages of the good ship Jane Franklin online at https://www.svjanefranklin.org/