DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Careful process to remove waste water from ships
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The first cruise ship of the season in Victoria — Holland America’s ms Zaandam — pulls into Ogden Point in this photo from the PDN’s sister newspaper, the Victoria News.

By David G. Sellars
PDN Maritime Columnist

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There was a fair bit of activity last week on the docks at the foot of Cedar Street in Port Angeles.

Capella, a 332-foot-long tank barge, moored to Terminal 1 North on Thursday morning.

According to Chandra “Hollywood” McGroff of Washington Marine Repair, the topside-repair facility on the waterfront, the barge came into port to offload her accumulation of oily water residue that is otherwise known in the industry as “slops.”

Slops typically accumulate in bilges in the bottom of cargo tanks and is also stored in tanks aboard ships.

Gray water generated aboard ship while in port — from processes such as washing dishes, laundry and bathing — also is classified as slops.

Additionally, any water on petroleum tankers that runs off the topside decks is contained and handled as slops because of the potential for rain water and ocean spray to become contaminated by oil.

Contractors are engaged to offload slops into tanker trucks, which are then transported to a refinery to be run through a separator.

The recovered petroleum product is then incorporated into the refining process, and the remaining water is cleaned up and discharged back into the environment.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the offloading of slops was somewhat less sophisticated.

I recall when the process entailed bringing a large “doughnut” — think of a large inner tube — alongside a vessel, and the slops then were pumped into it.

Because oil floats on water, it would force the water out of the bottom of the doughnut.

When the doughnut was full, the oily residue would be pumped out and disposed of.

Log load

Over on the Port of Port Angeles’ T-Pier, STX Harmony moored Monday night.

On Tuesday, longshoremen began loading her with logs bound for the Asian market.

The 623-foot ship arrived in Port Angeles with her holds partially loaded with cargo from the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen.

When she gets under way for the Far East, she will be loaded with about 5 million board feet of logs — roughly 3 million of which she took on in Port Angeles.

On Monday, another log ship will tie up to the port’s Terminal 3.

The 580-foot ship Black Forest is coming from Jingtang, China, where she unloaded the cargo of logs that she had taken on in Port Angeles in early March.

[On the Waterfront provided a look March 17 at what happens to the local log cargoes once they arrive in the Far East. That column can be read on the Peninsula Daily News’ website at http://tinyurl.com/sellars-logs.]

Knotty and nice

Rope work or marlinspike seamanship dates back to the age of sail, when a sailor was often judged by his ability to tie knots, splice line and make lashings.

The most basic of these skills is knot-tying, which is the gateway talent that opens the hatch to a world of rope work and fancy work such as puddening, Mc­Namara Lace, St. Mary’s hitchings monkey fists, French whippings, and lanyards — just to name a few from the mariner’s lingo.

For those who would like to explore the world of knot-tying and beyond, Wooden Boat Wednesday at Port Townsend’s Northwest Maritime Center & Wooden Boat Foundation this week will host a presentation by master knot-tier Bill Dengler.

During Wednesday’s hands-on session, each participant will be given a length of line so he or she can attempt to mimic Bill as he demonstrates how to tie knots that have a variety of useful applications both on and off a boat.

Included is a versatile knot that can be used to bundle loose items, including sticks from the garden, to make it easier to tote them about.

Another knot participants can master Wednesday is the jug sling, which can be used to create a handle for a water bottle that can then be attached to a belt or secured to a cleat or eye on a boat.

Bill also will demonstrate how to start and tie some of the more intricate ornamental coverings such as the aforementioned French whipping and St. Mary’s hitching that adorn the rails of boats as well as provide a secure surface for one to hold onto.

He will wrap up the demonstration by showing participants how to tie a Turks Head, which is a knot that is used primarily for decoration (although it can be used for anti-chafing protection).

Wooden Boat Wednesday is a free event that begins promptly at noon and typically lasts for 90 minutes.

This particular demonstration is limited to 25 students. Advance registration is a must and can be done by phoning the Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St., Port Townsend, at 360-385-3628, ext. 101.

Or send an email to chandlery@nwmaritime.org — and tie one on!

Cruisin’ into the region

Cruise ship season in the Pacific Northwest began Wednesday evening with the arrival at Victoria’s Ogden Point of the ms Zaandam from San Diego.

The 777-foot cruise ship operated by Holland America Line has a crew of 615 with lodging for more than 1,400 passengers.

She got under way for Vancouver on Thursday morning to take on additional guests for a five-day voyage to Honolulu.

During this year’s cruise ship season, 210 vessels carrying more than 650,000 guests are scheduled to visit Ogden Point through Sept. 29.

In Seattle, Piers 66 and 91 will play host to a combined total of 188 ships with 851,906 passengers — down slightly from last year’s total of 202 ships and 934,900 passengers — through Sept. 30.

The cruise ship season in Port Angeles begins April 29 when the American Spirit moors to City Pier for an overnight stay.

The 200-foot vessel will make a total of 13 port calls in Port Angeles this season, concluding Oct. 28.

The Spirit will be making seven-night cruises in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and also will make port calls in Port Townsend, Poulsbo, Anacortes and Friday Harbor.

Port Angeles Harbor watch

Tesoro Petroleum on Tuesday bunkered the articulated tug and barge Pride.

The Crowley-owned vessel pushes barge 650-7, which has a payload of 7.7 million gallons of petroleum products.

On Friday, Tesoro refueled the articulated tug and barge Commitment, which pushes barge 650-6, which is an older yet similar version of Pride’s barge.

Tesoro on Saturday provided bunkers to Suez Vasilis, a 2-year-old crude-oil tanker that is 866 feet long and is flagged in the Marshall Islands.


David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats and strolling the waterfront.

Items involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome. Email dgsellars@hotmail.com or phone him at 360-808-3202.

His column, On the Waterfront, appears every Sunday.

Last modified: April 20. 2013 6:17PM
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