Sun Ruby sailed on Saturday evening, May 21. S. and I went out on Ediz Hook to watch. Two tugs helped her pull away from the T-pier; she swung around, and headed off to Penglai, China.
But I didn't blog it, in part because the picture quality is so poor —I really am going to throw the camera into a body of water one of these days— and in part because it was already old news:
Next day S. and I talked all day in our jammies, then rolled out finally for another halibut dinner down at the harbor, and afterwards we could see there was already another log ship at the terminal. We stopped to examine the situation, and spent three hours watching things begin. The hatch covers were slowly raised, the cranes unshipped; worker guys climbed ladders and looked at stuff. Logs trucks arriving, the log loader (not necessarily this brand and model, but great movie) parking bundles of logs in the cradles, and then by golly they begin lowering logs into the holds, with satisfying invisible clangs and clongs as the bundles invisibly bumped against the interior of the empty ship. We stayed there harmoniously all that time; luckily we both have almost unlimited patience for observing processes. We'd not have lasted so long without the mifi unit which was enabling us to be searching for the answers to all the questions which kept arising... With the help of David Sellars' articles in the Peninsula Daily News (1)(2) and various web searches (1)(2)(3), we began to think we understood a little bit what is going on here. (And missed entirely the fact that due to a labor dispute, only half the normal number of longshoremen were at work, one log loader instead of two, never using all the cranes at the same time;
and it was consequently going to take a whole week to fill the ship.)
Next morning S. and I found a vantage point on the peeler yard, and watched a log loader and a one-or-two-log-picker-upper (whom we called Biter and Pincher) load up the trucks which were about to then whip around the corner and be unloaded into the cradles at the side of POS Jade. No good pictures, alas.
S. left at the end of a grand visit; since we had seen the beginning of the process, all week I detoured down to the harbor to keep my eye on POS Jade as she loaded, and loaded, and loaded.
Saturday evening when I got back from the ocean, she was just sitting there, loaded, lashed down, everything silent and still at the dock. And at 8:30 PM she sailed.
What we don't know really at all is where all these logs are coming from and what is the consequence to whose forests; or, as a friend said in an email, "I am not clear of mind and heart about the amount of clear cutting that went into these three ships. Brings it all to home." But I live here, you know. It doesn't help anything not to try to understand.