Thursday, January 06, 2011

Ships Again

As the plane flew along the Strait and over the harbor at dusk on Monday, there seemed to be ships everywhere. And yesterday a big tanker (apparently Alaskan Legend) was parked out in the harbor directly below the college library's swath of windows. Should have taken a picture then, today there is thick fog.

The view from VTSLite (Click for larger image.)

Portland Bay never reappeared on the ship trackers I use. Set out for Korea with all those logs aboard and who knows what happened next. David Sellars, who writes about the harbor for the Peninsula Daily News, told me that there are two more log ships due to load in January. No sign of them yet, but if I can get out of the house early enough this morning (not much chance of that), I'll go look.

Lastly, South Pole Serian (who is actually at McMurdo on the Ross Sea) pointed out we can track the progress of the icebreaker Oden, and supply ship Nathaniel B. Palmer, on Woo hoo, sort of. Last news of Oden is four days old.

No way around it. Edna St. Vincent Millay was one of the first poets I read because my mother read them, Millay Frost Teasdale; these lines * are still filed away in memory.

      I have a need to hold and handle
      Shells and anchors and ships again.
      I am too long away from water;
      I have a need of water near."

1 comment:

AW said...

I know that feeling - how nice to keep it in your memory.

I grew up in a house on a hill overlooking the Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island. Directly opposite us were docks where ships took on lumber from the mills, and whatever other wood products the Alberni mills produced.

Everyday, nearly, we would look out that window, and after school coming home down that hill it always seemed a little lonely if no ships were in the harbour.

There was a pair of binoculars on our living room window sill and we always tried to make out the names of ships at anchor, waiting their turn, or tied up at the dock. Sometimes I cheated and looked up the name in the shipping news. We also got to learn about flags. We'd look them up too. And then they were gone and replaced. The Ocean Ranger rig, which sank off the eastern coast in 1982, was also a visitor, but why, I don't know. I had a picture of it once.

My young Dad loved to visit the men on the Danish ships that came in. He missed 'the old country.' Sometimes the men would play soccer on a part of the dock that was relatively clear of stacked lumber.

That water was always there, with the mountains behind. Everywhere I've lived has been on an island. It is always interesting, full of people making a living.

Thanks for twigging this memory!