Friday, October 03, 2008

The Cyrillic Ship

The end of the story at the beginning: I called the Pilot Station just now and persevered with the guy on the phone until he was willing to look at his records and yes, the bright orange ship with the Cyrillic lettering that I saw in the harbor on September 16th was Russian: it was the "Bereg Mechty". She's a refrigerated fish carrier built in 1982. Good picture of her at She might be for sale, if I understand this market report. She was detained in Seattle in December 2007 for safety issues: "2. PORT STATE CONTROL (Recent Detentions) M/V BEREG MECHTY (Russia) detained at Seattle. DEFECTS: Auxiliary steering gear pump#2 does not have adequate strength to sufficiently steer ship or be brought into speedily action in case of emergency causing undue risk to crew. Stbd lifeboat engine not ready for use after given 30 mins."

Bereg Mechty in Port Angeles harbor, but lettering too small to show to anyone who knows Russian...

The day before yesterday there were two big ships at the Marine Terminal dock down at the harbor. I love the way the tankers tower when they're docked to the west of downtown, taller than any building we have; but because of patchy fog on the water, I had to go right out to the dock to get a picture. While I was taking my snap of the Lawrence H. Gianella and Polar Discovery,

Lawrence H. Gianella and Polar Discovery

I spotted the building that houses the Port of Port Angeles Marine Terminal/Security office, and decided to come back and ask them about the cyrillic ship. Today the fog was thick right down to the water. I bounded up the steps with my question, but the gentleman had no idea, I guess he only knows about what comes to the terminal. He suggested calling the Pilots, who would have brought it into the harbor. Finally, an answer: Bereg Mechty.

Polar Discovery, fog

I should go down there more often. Even when you can't see anything it cheers me up.

P.S. I can't believe I had the Gianella right there at the dock in front of me and didn't know to look at its Antarctic adaptations. The name was vaguely familiar, but I assumed that was because it had been around the harbor on some previous occasion. No. It's 'cause I used to obsessively read about Antarctica, and the Gianella is often in the story of the annual arrival of the ships at McMurdo (1) (2)(3)(4).

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