Thursday, September 15, 2011

Interview with our Tug Captain and an Explanation on what happened at the end of The Balboa Peninsula

( I had about another 360 words to complete this story and The Pilot keeps me at 600)

I never knew that the crew on the tug stayed aboard for most of the month. “This job we are running with a Double Crew Boat” the captain informed me. This means that there are 4 people on the boat, split into two watches  completing 12 hour tricks, each watch has its own Captain and deckhand. I did not ask how you get the 6:00 to 18:00 watch? Each crew is working for six days straight and taking Sundays off. The crew can work for a month and then must take a month off.  The deckhands are responsible for maintaining winches, hourly engine room inspections, updating the log books and adjusting the tow lines. “The most difficult thing on a double crewed boat is that each watch likes certain things in different places. This can be very frustrating” the Captain told me.
We talked a little about where he, The Captain, gets his weather information. “ I don’t overdue the weather, I can talk myself out of A run, very easily, when I spend too much time looking at the weather” the captain said. I use the NOAA weather reports and spend a little time online. My best source of information is still the barometer, I was able to pick up on that strange weather we had last week by watching the cloud formation and keeping my eyes on the barometer.
While out at sea the boat sets up its towing bridle and pulls the barge at 6 knots which  makes for 4 hour runs to Long Beach. We enter into Long Beach Harbor at the east entry, Alamitos Bay entry, and continue our route into the West Basin Slip 1 Long Beach Harbor. At night the tug has three white lights on their mast, which indicates a tow of 600 + feet. The barge has a red and green on the bow and white on the stern.
I also asked what is the best way to reach the tug should you notice a problem for them. “We keep a close eye out for what’s in front of us. If something happens and you need to get our attention pick up a life jacket and start waving it.” The captain told me.


I got the scope on the little miss hap on the end of the Peninsula with the barge and the 80' Ocean Alexander. It all happened before our local dredging operators  “Dultra” received the scows. I was told that “Dultra” is chartering a couple of scows from another company out of San Diego. This company delivered the scows to Newport Harbor and while proceeding into the harbor they had one scow under tow and pushing the other. With the scows being empty something tells me the water was going out of the bay and when the tug tried to make the turn up the harbor they lost control.

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