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FOGBOUND - KOREA BEAR

FOGBOUND - KOREA BEAR

This is another experiment like several others I've posted on the site. The original drawing was photographed and downloaded into my computer and the image manipulated until the soft focus effect was achieved. The ship is Pacific Far East Line's Korea Bear. The setting is San Francisco bay in thick

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Your fine drawing reminds me of when I was a very young second mate on the Washington Bear, a similar though unmodified Mariner ship, and we were docking at Pier 31 on the Embarcadero. There was a very strong Norther blowing and I was forward and ordered to drop the port anchor with one shackle at the waters edge. The paint had worn off the chain from constant use and we ended up with two shackles on deck, much to the docking pilots displeasure. We had a number of Red Stack tugs pushing on the ship and I heard the pilot used a number of big bells to get the ship into the slip. About the same time a P&O Liner was docking at Pier 35 and she had Red Stack tugs stacked like cord wood on her port side to get into the slip. She was the last ship to dock that day until the Norther blew itself out a couple of days later.
A strong Norther will blow from time to time in the bay with potentially disastrous affects. When the developer of Pier 39 decided to build a breakwater of used tires to protect the marina at the pier, everyone told him that it wouldn't work and he'd need a more robust breakwater. The developer told everyone he'd built a used tire breakwater in Mission Bay in San Diego and it worked beautifully. We all told him this isn't San Diego and he'll regret his decision. He built his used tire breakwater in spite of the advice with the expected results. It lasted for several years until a big Norther came along and the breakwater failed and ended up on the beach. It was then replaced with a more conventional breakwater which is still in service today.
 

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Interesting stories. The image of the tugs alongside the P&O ship is fascinating. Aside from the wind and fog I can also remember looking out over the bay from more or less opposite Alcatraz Island and watching the current swirling around hither and yon. What with dealing with the wind, fog, current and other ships coming and going shiphandling in San Francisco Bay must not have been (or be) for the faint of heart.
David
 

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David
I was about 21 years old when I was on the Washington Bear as second mate all those years ago but I looked like I was about 12 years old. There were several of us young mates on board not long out of school and the Chief Mate had us all go up town and buy what we called "hard hats". They were officer's hats with all the gold braid and the company emblem in the center of the crest and I thought they were outrageously expensive! In any case I hadn't used that gold braid chin strap during that Norther and my fancy new "hard hat" blew off my head and ended up in the bay. I told the mate there was no way I was going up town and expend an exorbitant amount of money on a new "hard hat" to replace the one in the bay. He said the problem was we all looked so young that none of the longshoremen knew we were officers on the ship, so when we got to Japan he bought all of us new Japanese "hard hats." They actually worked out pretty well and the price was right too!
 

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A few years ago I was on board CARIBBEAN PRINCESS, heading from NY to Bermuda. As soon as the vessel left the berth the announcement came out that we were heading to Boston to outrun Hurricane Sandy. Took about 30 hours to get Boston and for the next two days we had two large pushing hard on the side to keep the slip in position. Must have cost a fortune. On the third day to Boston we returned to NY to disembark. The ship returned, two days late and never got a chance to go ashore.


Edit: 'few' years? It was 8 years ago and the date arrival at NY was on 28 October, 2012. Easy... it was my birthday.
 

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More good stories. And speaking of ships and tugs and piers, at Da Nang in 1966-67 the piers were not too well protected (there is a substantial breakwater there now, but not then). During the monsoon months, surge and swells coupled with winds out of the north occasionally caused problems at the piers, especially Pier 1 which was the northernmost of the three, and occasionally a tug would have to be called to hold a ship alongside so that offloading could continue. Worst case scenario was when the swells got so heavy that ships had to be undocked and anchor out until things calmed down. Didn't happen often but I took pictures of one of the YTL's holding the refrigerator ship Contest against the south side of Pier 1 and watching the Malden Victory back away from Pier 1 in miserable weather. Needless to say not much cargo handling was done at the anchorage either while the ships bobbed around like corks. Funny thing is that I do not remember any fog at Da Nang, though there must have been foggy days.
David
 

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Thank you Roberto. Experiments like this are fun, though they do not always work...
David
 

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