Saturday, March 06, 2010

And, What Happened to the Barge?

If you lost the thread about the barge, it's because I lost the thread. It had totally disappeared off the web-cam—except for a whole lot of orange floating stuff—long about Wednesday evening. I thought they got it, though I'd been watching the cam and hadn't seen it happen;

but indeed it was not rescued: it sank completely.

Saturday, La Push. When I went to look for the gray whales, there was no place to park on the point; partly all the other people with all their other purposes, but also a lot of big Coast Guard and government trucks, and Ballard Diving and Salvage's hummer. They were watching out to sea, waiting; after a couple of hours a great honking tug and salvage barge came chugging in off the ocean after milling around for a while with a couple of Coast Guard cutters, apparently waiting for the tide.

The tug Patricia S. pulling a Quigg Bros. barge, coming in off the ocean (Click for larger image.)
Tug and barge entering the channel (sorry for the glare, shooting into the sun) (Click for larger image.)

They spent forever getting organized, unsecuring the equipment, getting ready. Then Patricia S. fastened herself firmly to the Quigg barge and they chugged over to Eland (the dredger mother ship) and used the crane to lift off lots of equipment.

Patricia S. and the Quigg Bros. barge (Click for larger image.)
View showing tug, barge, dredger mother ship, and Quileute Harbor (Click for larger image.)
Tug, barge & dredger snugged up together, lifting equpment from dredge to barge (Click for larger image.)

The Coasties on the shore said the retrieval attempt would be 'tonight', so I left around 4:45. By the time I got home, the webcam had shut down for the day as usual at 5:30, showing the tug still lashed tight to barge right at the spot where poor Nehalem sank.

This morning it looks like they must have succeeded, the webcam seems not to show the orange warning floats any more; though with the change in the weather the cam might be showing us another planet altogether. Wait. OMG. Action on the cam. Patricia S. just appeared. Not going to try to keep updating...

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