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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


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.


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…


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