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Sea Stories

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Good Day All.

I'd like to start a thread containing past and present experiences from our membership.
I know for a fact that there's a vast wealth of interesting and hair-raising tales to be told by you all who have, and still do work at sea, whether on tugs, suppliers, coasters, fishboats, deeps-sea ships, or whatever.

I, for one, love to read this kinda stuff; so let's type a few paragraphs and share some recollections.
It matters not where you are or where your experiences originate because it's all the same job, only a different chart, and different relative conditions.

I'm going to keep poking and prodding, until this thread gets going, so be warned ;) ;)

I'll start if off then, if I may.

 I can recall leaving Port Angeles on the old 'Daring',( a 96' wooden tug with some 900hp and open wheel), with two empty chip barges for Sooke when a wild westerly blew up and we were being pulled backwards at some 3 to 4 knots.
Forcing the tug to cavitate, hence loosing most of the steerage.
It was some very smart thinking on the Master's part by slowly paying out some towline, and re-gaining control, before we wound up in big trouble, or 'aborting' the tow.
 Lot's of heat coming off the winch brake, for sure, and I'm still amazed that the whole winch didn't fly off the back deck  :o

 Those were the days...back in the mid 70's and only 13yrs old  :) :)

It wasn't till later in life when I realized just how bad that situation could have turned out.
The wind can come up mighty fast in Juan de Fuca Strait. From 10 knots to 70 knots in half an hour.

Thanks for listening    :D :D

mersey dave:
I like the sound of this thread Mike. As i have never worked at sea the only thing i can add would be on the many crossings from Aberdeen to shetland on the St Clair.

I have a feeling this thread is going to be big.........Tugmaster i think we need more pages. ;D ;D ;D .

Regards Dave.

Model Tug Man:
Thanks, Mike. Good stuff. Looking forward to this one.

Hmmmm...well I thought some of our seasoned members would have contributed to this thread......but not to be it seems. :( :(

I guess i'll throw a sea story in.... 

Summer 2008, aboard the Tug Victory/Barge James L. Kuber, an 815' articulated Tug/Barge on the Great Lakes.  We had a load of limestone on the barge to unload in Fairport, OH.  Fairport is a rather small place for big boats.  A small river that flows into Lake Erie. At the mouth of the river thir are some man made breakwalls to create a harbor.  On the river their are a number of stone recieving docks, a salt loading dock and a USCG station.  The opening in the breakwall for large boats to enter is rather wide, but the channel for them isn't.  Silt from the river often settles there causing shoaling. 

So, we were inbound from the lake going to enter the harbor thru the previously mentioned breakwall opening.  We were in the channel and got to where the bow was maybe a half a boat length from the breakwall opening, and we came to a quick stop and listed to starboard.... on the bottom.  The silt had made a shoal in the channel.  We tried to back off the shoal, worked the stern back and forth pivoting the barge on the point where it was in the mud in an attempt to get her to break loose. slowly the wind started to pick up, on the starboard beam.  Without any luck backing off, it was decided to take the tug out of the notch.  In doing so the wind on the stbd beam pushed the stern of the barge over until it was also pinned against shallow water. Couldn't get the tug around to the port stern as she was drawing almost as much as the barge, too shallow.  The next attempt was to put a line from the stern of the tug to the stbd quarter of the barge and pull.  This was done and the 8000 HP Victory started to pull.  She came away from the shallow area the stern was on, but would not pull off the shoal area the bow of the barge was on. The towline got so hot from the force that the Victory was putting on it that it started on FIRE, melted to the bitts.   With that failure the next idea was to attach the wires from the barge's two stern mooring winches to the tug and pull that way.  This didn't work out either, the tug over powered the winch break and pulled wire off the drum.  With that it was decided to get an assist tug from nearby Cleveland, from the Great Lakes Towing Company.  We put the tug back in the notch and waited for them to arrive.  With help from the assist tug we managed to get off the shoal, thanks to the added horsepower.  Managed to get into Fairport by favoring the stbd side of the channel, thus avoiding the shoaling.


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