Container Shipping

Here’s an interesting video I made while working on the Delaware River recently. Passing Packer Avenue Container Terminal, there was a ship taking on bunker fuel.

This is a part of the USA infrastructure that many people do not see. All types of products travel via the container system, which is quite remarkable. More on this soon. (Video made with Nikon D810.)

 

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Tugboat Video Visit

I had the good fortune of heading back to the Philadelphia waterfront, only a stone’s throw from where I used to work. I visited a handsome tugboat and made this video, showing you some of the particulars. Take a look.

I want to thank the captain and crew for having me aboard. It was fun to check out a newer boat with all the latest equipment. I hope to stop by again soon.

Tugboat Tour, video

In conversations at book signings and other events, people ask me how I came to be a writer. It was a winding path, though plenty of interesting places. One of those locales was the Philadelphia waterfront, including the Delaware River and Bay as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Part of my business involved tugboats and barges. So, here’s a video tour of the tug High Roller, a boat that I worked with while in that environment.

That’s quite a piece of floating machinery, isn’t it? One of the main engines has just been rebuilt, to the tune of about $250,000. That gives you an idea of what things cost in this field. While underway, the boat burns close to a hundred gallons of diesel fuel an hour. Do the math at today’s prices and you come up with a steep number indeed. Nonetheless, the job has to be done and working with the High Roller was always a fun challenge. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to interview the owner, a fellow who is a real character. Stay tuned.

Published in: on October 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Single Screw

There are fewer and fewer single screw tugboats around these days. And a captain who knows how to operate them is another rarity. However, there is the legendary Captain Silva, a good friend of mine, and master of most anything afloat, including these old boats with a single propeller and lots of history. Thus, he and I traveled to visit one of the smaller incarnations of such nautical engineering just the other day, a boat he operates from time to time, named the Thomas Brown. This tug was in drydock for some love and affection as you can see below:

tbrnaThe guys are working to reattach the bow fender, which is no easy task given that it has to be bent and pulled fast to the shape of the hull. Here is a shot of stern:

tbrnbYou can see the scale of the hull and that single propeller by comparing both to the man standing on the right. The propeller is about six feet in diameter, which may sound large, but is actually small as things go in these matters. This boat has an engine that develops a mere 850 horsepower. Here’s a closer look at that prop.

tbrndIt’s all shiny and clean for today. Won’t be long before this boat is back in the water, towing barges, nudging larger vessel to the dock, and roaming the harbor in search of work. The Thomas Brown is a handsome boat, one that features traditional lines that passed down from the earliest of vessels. It’s also the last of a breed. Single screw boats are simply not built anymore. So, when this one is finished, it’ll be lost to the scrapper’s torch. But not yet! There’s still work to be done.