An ususual ship that does a lot of important work

Feb 03, 2023

This week you might have seen a ship with a black hull and a red stripe sitting seemingly motionless in the river, unlike most vessels that are on a journey form one port to another. If you’d been able to get a closer look at that ship, you’d have seen people hard at work on an important project.

The ship was the USCG Cutter Elm, a buoy tender, maintaining and repairing navigational buoys in the river. It’s essential work that saves lives, but goes largely unnoticed by those of us on land.

An ususual ship that does a lot of important work

An ususual ship that does a lot of important work

This week you might have seen a ship with a black hull and a red stripe sitting seemingly motionless in the river, unlike most vessels that are on a journey form one port to another. If you’d been able to get a closer look at that ship, you’d have seen people hard at work on an important project.

The ship was the USCG Cutter Elm, a buoy tender, maintaining and repairing navigational buoys in the river. It’s essential work that saves lives, but goes largely unnoticed by those of us on land.

Why pilot and other specialized mariner expertise is so important in waterways like ours

Feb 02, 2023

Today a look at disaster averted in the UK, where pilots and tug crews kept a big containership from running aground. Expertise like this is part of doing business every day here on the river, and most of us have no idea it’s happening.

 

Why pilot and other specialized mariner expertise is so important in waterways like ours

Why pilot and other specialized mariner expertise is so important in waterways like ours

Today a look at disaster averted in the UK, where pilots and tug crews kept a big containership from running aground. Expertise like this is part of doing business every day here on the river, and most of us have no idea it’s happening.

 

The GSL Eleni and her day on the river

Feb 01, 2023

Yesterday, people along the Columbia River saw an unusual sight, a 1000-foot long containership being towed to Portland by four tugboats, in a fascinating and complicated example of coordination between multiple highly-skilled and experienced marine professionals.

The GSL Eleni and her day on the river

The GSL Eleni and her day on the river

Yesterday, people along the Columbia River saw an unusual sight, a 1000-foot long containership being towed to Portland by four tugboats, in a fascinating and complicated example of coordination between multiple highly-skilled and experienced marine professionals.

Local fishing vessel could face $40k fines for shutting off AIS

Jan 31, 2023

Another local news story, this one with expensive consequences. The captain of a local fishing boat is facing a fine of more than $40k for shutting off his AIS transponder while the boat was underway near the mouth of the Columbia River. We’ll talk about AIS and why it’s so important, and why shutting it off is illegal.

Also, more on that big containership that’s being towed upriver today.

Local fishing vessel could face $40k fines for shutting off AIS

Local fishing vessel could face $40k fines for shutting off AIS

Another local news story, this one with expensive consequences. The captain of a local fishing boat is facing a fine of more than $40k for shutting off his AIS transponder while the boat was underway near the mouth of the Columbia River. We’ll talk about AIS and why it’s so important, and why shutting it off is illegal.

Also, more on that big containership that’s being towed upriver today.

Containership set to be towed up the Columbia to Portland early Tuesday

Jan 30, 2023

Very early tomorrow morning an unusual occurrence will happen on the river: Tugs will tow a large containership upriver to Portland to have her rudder repaired. She’s been towed all the way from Seattle and will end up at Portland’s Swan Island shipyard. Getting her all the way here with tugs helping her steer is a delicate matter, made more complex by the mighty, winding Columbia. We’ll talk a little about the process.

The GSL Eleni and her day on the river

Containership set to be towed up the Columbia to Portland early Tuesday

Very early tomorrow morning an unusual occurrence will happen on the river: Tugs will tow a large containership upriver to Portland to have her rudder repaired. She’s been towed all the way from Seattle and will end up at Portland’s Swan Island shipyard. Getting her all the way here with tugs helping her steer is a delicate matter, made more complex by the mighty, winding Columbia. We’ll talk a little about the process.

A look at a beloved Astoria vessel that was a gamechanger: the pilot boat Peacock

Jan 27, 2023

As hometown boats go, the Peacock is a star. She’s moored on land permanently outside the Columbia River Maritime Museum, but during her career as a pilot boat here on the Columbia and out in the ocean, she set a new standard for access to the river during bad weather, which revoutionized ship traffic here. Tip your hat to her as you drive by. She deserves it.

A look at a beloved Astoria vessel that was a gamechanger: the pilot boat Peacock

A look at a beloved Astoria vessel that was a gamechanger: the pilot boat Peacock

As hometown boats go, the Peacock is a star. She’s moored on land permanently outside the Columbia River Maritime Museum, but during her career as a pilot boat here on the Columbia and out in the ocean, she set a new standard for access to the river during bad weather, which revoutionized ship traffic here. Tip your hat to her as you drive by. She deserves it.