How would you navigate....

Jim Harris
24th May 2008, 09:45
How would you navigate a very sharp river turn, when your ship
is too big to make it with one swing?

I've heard about a passage where the ship was allowed to gently
nose into the soft river bank, go astern, then forward again to
make the turn.... exactly like a 3 point turn in a car.

Could this be true?

Regards,

Jim.

mcotting
24th May 2008, 10:07
Tug fast on the inside shoulder

Jim Harris
24th May 2008, 10:45
Tug fast on the inside shoulder

Thanks for your quick response and much appreciated, but can
you explain to me in more detail?

Thanks and regards,

Jim.

ROBERT HENDERSON
24th May 2008, 11:04
I remember my first trip to sea as deckboy,as I recall when goiing up the river to Sapele in West Africa we had a Nigerian pilot and helmsman. I was on the bridge as telegraph boy, (we did not have cadets), we crashed into the trees on the river bank, then came astern and ahead again until the ship had turned, the manoevre was carried out several times during the passage. The year was 1947, I understand Sapele is now a modern port. Also on coasters we used to put the ships bow into river banks to swing the vessels.

Regards Robert
(A) (A)

Jim Harris
24th May 2008, 11:48
[QUOTE=ROBERT HENDERSON;218915]I remember my first trip to sea as deckboy,as I recall when goiing up the river to Sapele in West Africa we had a Nigerian pilot and helmsman. I was on the bridge as telegraph boy, (we did not have cadets), we crashed into the trees on the river bank, then came astern and ahead again until the ship had turned, the manoevre was carried out several times during the passage.



Many thanks, Robert,

That's EXACTLY what was explained to me, but I pooh-hooed the
story as nonsense....

So it's probably a normal tactic/manoeuvre when negotiating a
tricky and winding river....

Thanks again.

Regards,

Jim.

lakercapt
24th May 2008, 14:33
In some "Lake" ports we used to put the bow into the river bank and turn the boat round on the engines. It was OK when there was no/little current otherwise we had to back down the river and out on to the lake and then turn round.
Suppose we could have used a tugboat but they were not readily available and cost money.

Going up the creek ports in West Africia I don't remember going into the bank to turn but we did go into the bush as we were going too fast and in hindsite the pilots were really "Bush" men and knew the way but little of ship handling.

ed glover
24th May 2008, 14:57
Going up to Sapele With Paddy Henderson/Elder Dempsters in the early sixties we would have a Nigerian pilot. There was one bend were you could see the outline of bows in the mangroves. We came close a few times. Some of the crew had been on ships that put their bows into the bank.

Ed Glover
Controlled drifting

Topherjohn
24th May 2008, 16:26
Going up to Sapele With Paddy Henderson/Elder Dempsters in the early sixties we would have a Nigerian pilot. There was one bend were you could see the outline of bows in the mangroves. We came close a few times. Some of the crew had been on ships that put their bows into the bank.

Ed Glover
Controlled drifting
Each Master would have his own preferred pilot taken on board from canoes at Escravos bar, often a family business. No smart uniforms (normal Nigerian garb) or qualifications except having become experts on the creeks by experience - and very good they usually were too. They'd live onboard until return to Escravos ususally sleeping in the wheelhouse. Can't remember any of their names now - can you?
From my Palm Line days 1960s I think the bend referred to en route to Sapele was known as The Fork. I have an old 16 mm film which I took when 3rd or 2nd Mate with Palm Line, of navigating around this bend on either Enugu or Ilorin Palm after waiting for a ship, the name of which I can't quite recall, to clear the bend outward bound. When I've converted the film to digital format I shall upload it to YouTube and post msg on SN.
Bank of the creeks were sometimes used on purpose. In 1960s the bush had to be used in this way in order to come alongside at at one of the creek ports which I think was Tiko.
From recollection this is how I recall it (correct me if I'm wrong). After approach around left hand bend v/l turned hard-a-starboard and bows were put into the bush, Mate and mooring gang cleared very surprised monkeys off the foredeck (just kidding!), engines astern, bow and sternlines carried across river to haul vessel to berth on far side of the river starboard side to, ready for departure. Otherwise you'd be literally up the creek without a paddle!

The Captain
31st May 2008, 23:26
The port of Mackenzie, some 50 miles above Georgetown, Guyana, on the Essequibo River, (if memory serves me correctly) was a bauxite port, which required a "3 point turn" for loaded vessels departing. Due to the tidal and depth restrictions, vessels would anchor for a period and then have to swing round in the river at the correct time to make passage down stream. This turn was carried out by running the bow up on to the southern bank of the river then backing off to complete the turn. Due to the frequency of this manoeuvre a channel had been made in the bank and it was not unusual for the complete focsle head to disappear in to the jungle, much to the concern of those stationed there as they were surrounded by the tree tops and sightings of monkeys was not unusual. The vessel I experienced this on was the Ashbank in 1971.

JimC
1st June 2008, 18:07
I remember my first trip to sea as deckboy,as I recall when goiing up the river to Sapele in West Africa we had a Nigerian pilot and helmsman. I was on the bridge as telegraph boy, (we did not have cadets), we crashed into the trees on the river bank, then came astern and ahead again until the ship had turned, the manoevre was carried out several times during the passage. The year was 1947, I understand Sapele is now a modern port. Also on coasters we used to put the ships bow into river banks to swing the vessels.

Regards Robert
(A) (A)

Exactly Robert - did the same thing although we did stick the bow onto the mud bank and turn her that way as earlier suggested.

JimC
1st June 2008, 18:37
In some "Lake" ports we used to put the bow into the river bank and turn the boat round on the engines. It was OK when there was no/little current otherwise we had to back down the river and out on to the lake and then turn round.
Suppose we could have used a tugboat but they were not readily available and cost money.

Going up the creek ports in West Africia I don't remember going into the bank to turn but we did go into the bush as we were going too fast and in hindsite the pilots were really "Bush" men and knew the way but little of ship handling.

I seem to remember that in Kenosha the port was shaped like a 'thermometer'
i.e. a long, narrow channel from the lake finishing in a circular turning basin at the landward end. There was a yacht club on the north side. In 1960; we had proceeded to enter the basin very slowly. At the last moment we lowered an AB onto the left hand quayside from the port quarter on the end of a mooring rope. When he landed he put the rope on a bollard and we snubbed her up tight. The bow was then swung hard to starboard and the engine put astern or ahead as necessary(our length was almost the diameter of the basin). As we came round, the AB walked round the basin moving the stern rope as required. It all worked well but in the process, the bow took out the front of a very large window (probably the yacht club). We then proceeded slowly to our berth on the north side - port side to.
Earlier an Italian vessel thought she would perform the turn with elegant Italian panache. Her plan was to let go her stbd. anchor in the channel - drag it and allow her stern to cant to port into the basin; then while on the turn -engines going astern and heaving on the anchor at the same time, she would complete the turn. With a RH prop it would have worked but they forgot to tell him that there was a sea-bed electricity supply cable running across the channel - no prizes as to what happened next. In these days there were very few pilots in the seaway and associated lake ports - all great fun????

MikeK
2nd June 2008, 08:06
I too remember that "T" junction in the creeks going up to Sapele, complete with 'V' notches in the mangroves where some had to take a couple of runs at it ! I don't think anyone actually touched bottom as the mangroves went way back beyond sight so they were used more as a buffer ! I also remember tales of big snakes dropping from tree branches onto forecastle decks when ships passed too close to the bank, but never actually met anyone that seen it themselves ! You could disappear up those creeks for weeks at a time and visit two or three ports without touching the sea.

Mike

lakercapt
2nd June 2008, 13:43
I too remember that "T" junction in the creeks going up to Sapele, ! You could disappear up those creeks for weeks at a time and visit two or three ports without touching the sea.

Mike

A the joys of seeing the world in Burutu, Warri and Sapele.
Places I would not wish to see again!!!!!

stein
2nd June 2008, 18:56
It's suggested in manuals that you get a line fastened ashore on the inside and turn on that. With something small that could possibly work? Regards, Stein.

Topherjohn
2nd June 2008, 22:22
A the joys of seeing the world in Burutu, Warri and Sapele.
Places I would not wish to see again!!!!!
What memories! Exciting stuff and all part of the job of course. In the 1960s Burutu was used as a staging post for construction of offshore oil rigs - perhaps still is. One evening in the Club ashore got into conversation with an American helicopter pilot who ferried personnel and mail to the rigs. In exchange for a guided tour of Ilorin(or Enugu) Palm he took me on a flight to one of the rigs and back. No doubt forbidden these days but it was fantastic shooting over the bush and getting to the coast in no time at all compared with ship's passage.
Sapele was larger and more advanced than Burutu Island of course, either on the buoys or alongside the sawmills where I took some of my 16 mm movies.
One occasion about 0200 on night cargo duty, looking overside at log raft by way of No 4 hatch, I saw a huge very agile rat dive (actually a pike with forward one and half twists - honest!) into the river then watched it swim all the way alongside to No 2 hatch. There he spotted a guy rope left dangling for the purpose from bulwark to the waterline by shoreside gang. Politely thanking me for the invite he speedily clawed his way up the rope - until a "sweep to leg" with a piece of dunnage dispatched him to kingdom come!

willincity
4th June 2008, 15:42
Used to be a common enough practice to gently pop the bow on the soft-mud on the river bank wheel over and DSL ahead, watch her steam around easy easy and then a kick astern when sufficiently lined up to resume the river passage.
As well as the ports mentioned in previous posts have seen it done on the way up to Seville in Spain and also on a coastal tanker in Dundalk.

I think the Class Societies frowned on this manoeuvre after Dry Dock out of water inspections revealed buckled plating and frames set in iwo the forefoot hence premiums went up for such “damage” in turn charter-parties have all but outlawed this practice now a days.

derekhore
4th June 2008, 17:59
Had to do that once on the Tillerman on the way up the river Fal to Malpas (Truro)....pilot decided it was going to be too dark to make a daylight arrival safely so we shoved the bow into the mud, let the tide swing the stern round and then went back downriver till next morning!

I think the sheep in the fields enjoyed the manoeuvre!! :)

vic pitcher
5th June 2008, 10:11
This method was commonly employed to swing for a portsideto berthing at Billingham Oil Jetty,a deep indendation in the mud immediately upstream of the jetty can be seen at low water.

I never used this method myself, mostly the stbd anchor, or two good lines from the bow to the jetty.

de paor
8th June 2008, 23:13
A the joys of seeing the world in Burutu, Warri and Sapele.
Places I would not wish to see again!!!!!

how right you are.As an R/O on my first ship on my own the Lagos Palm in 1960 In do recall the delights of the Creeks.On opening the wardrobe door in my cabin to find a green uniform which on closer inspection proved to be mildew. Oh happy days rgds Jim

MikeK
9th June 2008, 07:34
how right you are.As an R/O on my first ship on my own the Lagos Palm in 1960 In do recall the delights of the Creeks.On opening the wardrobe door in my cabin to find a green uniform which on closer inspection proved to be mildew. Oh happy days rgds Jim

Do you also remember bunches of grown men being stampeded around allyways, pursued by an overgrown blue-bottle by the name of the mango fly, purported to bite and lay it's maggot in you ! On the subject of millions of nasty flying objects 'up the creeks' didn't the old Flit cans make excellent flame throwers ! (Cloud)

Mike

Dave Wilson
10th June 2008, 14:41
Running Moor
This method of mooring is so often considered to be used exclusively by relatively small cargo ships anchoring in a seaway (creek) with restricted space to swing. This same 'mooring procedure' was used in ULCCs in places like Umm Said and Jebel Dhanna until relatively recently. Subsequent SPM Pilotage was of no comparison.

MikeK
10th June 2008, 17:55
Running Moor
This method of mooring is so often considered to be used exclusively by relatively small cargo ships anchoring in a seaway (creek) with restricted space to swing. This same 'mooring procedure' was used in ULCCs in places like Umm Said and Jebel Dhanna until relatively recently. Subsequent SPM Pilotage was of no comparison.

Seem to remember doing a running moor at Port Harcourt, or some other 'Creek' port.Also somewhere further east, was it Chalna ?

Mike

Dave Wilson
10th June 2008, 22:16
Seem to remember doing a running moor at Port Harcourt, or some other 'Creek' port.Also somewhere further east, was it Chalna ?

Mike

Mike,
Running Moor's were practiced in most parts of the world for reasons given, and Port Swettenham comes to mind further East. The point I was making is that many only experience this Moor in 'Dantons Seamanship' and those that have in smaller ships would have been amazed at berthing ULCCs in this fashion.

Dave

MikeK
11th June 2008, 07:49
I take your point re ULCC's, Dave. It was just your post trawled long forgotten memories of hot hours spent on the foc'sle carrying out that procedure and the baited breath waiting to see if she swung the right way on the change of tide. ! You mentioned P. Swettenham and that probably was the port I couldn't remember and not Chalna (Both were on the 'run' I was on whilst in Jardines)

regards

Mike

Dave Wilson
11th June 2008, 19:12
I take your point re ULCC's, Dave. It was just your post trawled long forgotten memories of hot hours spent on the foc'sle carrying out that procedure and the baited breath waiting to see if she swung the right way on the change of tide. ! You mentioned P. Swettenham and that probably was the port I couldn't remember and not Chalna (Both were on the 'run' I was on whilst in Jardines)

regards

Mike

Mike,
I guessed it was Port Swettenham!
All the best
Dave

John Gurton
12th June 2008, 19:59
The bow into the mudbank method is the only way to berth ships port side to on to the Grovehurst Jetty on the Swale. We have an orange drum on a pole on the starboard bank which marks the edge of the swinging area and place the bow in the bank just above it then wait for the tide to swing her round. The only hazard being the bow thruster cavity sometimes takes in some mud and we lose that aid for the berthing so out goes the anchor !. A thoroughly satisfying act of pilotage.

Dave Wilson
13th June 2008, 09:51
Mike,
Just a thought about Port Swettenhan and 'Running Moors'. It was common in that port to employ a tug to assist with unberthing to unravel the mess due to the anchors been badly positioned.

MikeK
13th June 2008, 15:28
Mike,
Just a thought about Port Swettenhan and 'Running Moors'. It was common in that port to employ a tug to assist with unberthing to unravel the mess due to the anchors been badly positioned.

Don't remember that Dave - probably 'cos we always got it right ! (Smoke). Just joking
We did have a similar experience up the creeks on ED charter and just to complicate the birds nest of cables, we picked up an ancient stocked anchor and cable wrapped up as well !! Ended up lowering the lot on a lighter and letting an unlucky bunch from ashore untangle the muddy mess !

regards

Mike

PS Apologies to Jim Harris for slightly hi - jacking his topic

degsy
22nd June 2008, 22:46
I can remember up the "Creeks" with ED's it was common practice to cut into the river bank to swing her round. T

degsy
22nd June 2008, 22:49
Sent that last response to quick . Think they did that going up to Port Harcourt. It was hard on the Focsle head party all kind of Jaspers dropping in . Hearts of oak those lads. Degsy