Topic: Port of Seattle
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May 20, 2011 at 8:14 PM
Sketched May 18, 12:38 p.m. [Sketch location on my Seattle Sketcher Google Map]
The highlight of my exploration of Port of Seattle parks this week (see previous post) was Jack Block Park.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I got here. An observation deck 45 feet above the shoreline offers the closest view of the city skyline from West Seattle. You can also see container terminals and hear seals from a 250-foot-long boardwalk.
Hank Fridal, out with his Boston Terriers, said Jack Block is perfect to bring guests from out of town. They are amazed, he said. “Living so close to this, you can’t ever have a bad day.”
Sketched May 18, 5:13 p.m. [Sketch location on my Seattle Sketcher Google Map]
Better known than Jack Block but still hidden behind the Terminal 86 Grain Facility is Elliott Bay Park. It was renamed as Centennial Park last April as part of the Port’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
A “Get to Know Your Port” 14-mile bike ride is coming up June 5. The ride ends at Bell Street Pier but if you have some energy left, I’d suggest taking your bike on the West Seattle Water Taxi –I like to call it the Water Bus– and make your way to Jack Block Park. You won’t regret it!
For more information about centennial events and history of the port visit portseattle100.org.
Coming up: The City of Kirkland is redrawing its boundaries with the annexation of Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate. That’s where I plan to be sketching next week. Do you live in these neighborhoods? Send me your story and sketch ideas via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!
May 18, 2011 at 7:31 PM
Sketched May 18, 2:33 p.m.
They call them “hidden gems” for a reason. Several parks mantained by the Port of Seattle near terminals in Harbor Island and the Duwamish River are not easy to find. With names like Terminal 18 Public Access Park or Duwamish Public Access at Terminal 105, don’t bet on Google maps to navigate you either. Note to folks at the Port: How about a naming contest?
But don’t be discouraged. Once you get past the railroad trucks, dirt roads and chain-link fences, you’ll relish the discovery. At Terminal 18 on Harbor Island you can picnic on the shade of the West Seattle Bridge while barges and tugs go through the river to your right and locomotives pull rail cars to your left.
A railroad switchman was enjoying a break from his job while I sketched. He said people who work at the terminal use the park a lot.
T-18 is the only park on the 445-acre island, the largest man-made island in the world, as noted in the plaque on the memorial to Lee E. Flick, for his “untiring effort to make Harbor Island a better place to work and do business.”
Stay tuned for more sketches of other Port of Seattle Parks.
July 16, 2010 at 6:13 PM
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 of the best views of the city, perched 100 feet above the ground.
But I learned they actually don’t have much time to take in the scenery. Matt Ventoza, one of about 100 union members who perform the job, said they have to remain bent over to focus on the “cans,” the 40-foot containers they lift on and off the cargo ships. On a good day, Ventoza said he moves up to 40 containers per hour.
The job requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and concentration. “You have to be patient … you can’t get frustrated,” said Ventoza.
It’s also a tough job to get. He started working as a casual in 1978 and it took him 15 years to join the union, which has just under 600 members. He’s been operating a crane only in the last two years. Other jobs performed by longshoremen range from clerical tasks to driving the trucks that carry the containers or the top-pick ups that load them on to the trucks.
This is the busiest time of the year for the longshoremen, who also have to load and unload more than 200 Alaska-bound cruises that operate from the Smith Cove Terminal. Like this one I sketched after my visit to Terminal 18.
July 13, 11:19 a.m. A 40-foot container, which can weigh up to 26 tons, is lifted by a spreader beam controlled by the crane operator. The crane cab where he sits slides back and forth to move the containers on and off the vessel.
July 13, 11:58 a.m. Another cargo ship, the Vancouver Express, is being loaded at Terminal 18.
July 13, 12:46 p.m. To reach the crane cab where the operator works, I had to climb a narrow open ladder and take a ride on a tiny lift. I rushed to finish my sketch before my fear of heights would take over.
July 14, 2010 at 5:27 PM
Sketched, July 13, 3:11 p.m. [Click sketch to view larger]
Tuesday afternoon I had the opportunity to sketch this view of the Carnival Spirit before it was scheduled to sail off from Smith Cove Terminal, the home port for Alaska-bound cruises since April of 2009.
I like to draw buildings, so it’s no surprise that I also enjoyed sketching a ship of this caliber. It’s basically a skyscraper on its side, with room for nearly 2,700 passengers and 1,000 crew members.
I wonder what the actual cruise experience must be like and what I would sketch on a week-long tour to Alaska. I read that the 963-foot long floating resort has plenty of swimming pools, a casino and even a library and an art gallery, but I think I’d be itching to arrive at the next port to sketch some real buildings.
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