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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

Category: Industry
May 2, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Tough tugs, big cargo and very long trips all the way to Alaska

Gabi_0425_Towboat_01

Sketched April 23, 2014

For those who work in the local maritime industry, boating season doesn’t start today. It’s a year-round occupation.

Once every three weeks, for example, Capt. Brent Bierbaum and the crew of the Arctic Titan load up their tugboat with food provisions and embark on a 1,400-mile journey to Alaska. The job: to transport a barge the size of a football field all the way to Whittier, a rail-yard outpost on Prince William Sound. From oil-train cars and refrigerated containers with frozen bread to machinery and even boats, the barge’s deck is packed five-stories high. Imagine maneuvering that load through tides and narrow inlets along the coast of Canada. “It’s a huge responsibility,” Bierbaum said.

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Comments | More in Boats, Industry, Waterscapes | Topics: Ballard, Elliott Bay

July 16, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Operators crane to see, stack ‘cans’ at port

July 13, 10:54 a.m. Cargo ship Maersk Kawasaki is being loaded at Port of Seattle’s Terminal 18. The staggering line of port cranes at Harbor Island draws my attention every time I drive by. They hulk like giant mechanical dinosaurs wrangling colorful Lego blocks. I’ve always thought the longshoremen who operate them must enjoy one…

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Comments | More in Industry | Topics: Port of Seattle, Sodo


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