92 yo, grounded and demasted.

On July 31, 2014, in Assistance Towing, by CaptRR


Enroute to Bellingham to haul out.

There but for the grace of God go I.


Rescue Richard:  Night Moves

On July 31, 2014, in Assistance Towing, by CaptRR

Yesterday began at 1925 with a call to Rosario Striat justt off Eagle Bluff on Cypress Island.  This 29′ Ranger had lost power  and needed a tow to Skyline Marina.  We arrived there at 2000.

With an hour left to go in the above tow, I got a second call for a vessel disableled off the North end of Sinclair Island.

These folks had just closed on this 31′ Dufor and were on thier first cruise to Sucia Isand.  They made only 10 nm before the engine gave up the ghost.

The 10 year old aboard said, “It’s Rescue Richard”  We go into Cap Sante at 1300 and I was home by 1345 and fast asleep by 1300.

I was back at the fuel dock at 0800 this am.  Retriever took 18 gallons for the work above.


Five lessons from the Coast Guard

On July 31, 2014, in Coast Guard, Leadership, by CaptRR

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

From the Coast Guard Blog

Written by Ens. Brendan Rogers

I joined the Coast Guard when I was 19 years old. In my 16 years of experience, I learned five major lessons that have shaped my life.

1. Prepare for storms when the sun is shining.

“Semper Paratus”, (Always Ready) is the Coast Guard motto. Very early in my career, someone told me that the only difference between the rescuer and a ship in distress is the readiness of the crew and the physical condition of the vessels. Coast Guard training is continuous. Crews train daily in the core skills they need to perform their difficult missions. These skills often seem routine, drilling over and over the things they already know. This is done not for lack of imagination, but to ensure that crews can react to emergencies automatically. Automatic reaction keeps minds free to make critical decisions. The concept is rooted in risk management. Seek to control what you can control so that exposure to risk is limited only to the uncontrollable forces that impact your work. Preparing for the unexpected when you have the capacity to do so saves lives in emergencies when time is the most precious commodity.

In my civilian career, I continuously seek to re-enforce and expand the capacity of my baseline skill set. Even while developing new areas of proficiency, I reenforce my core skills. This disposition impacts my free time significantly. Public speaking, instructional design and technological literacy may seem rudimentary to many of you. My peers often challenge me for not dedicating my free time to learning new skills. From my perspective, making my core strengths intuitive allows me the real time capacity to employ recently acquired skills in difficult situations.

2. Your team is only as strong as it’s weakest link.

For Coast Guard crews the saying, “We are all in the same boat” is literal. Everyone has their own special skill set. The navigator is an expert at his or her trade, the engineer knows every inch of the boat, and the crewman is an expert in seamanship. Teams of experts are by design high performance crews. They complete the missions that no one else can do. There is however, a hidden message to this concept. “Your team is only as strong as it’s weakest link”, means that not only is the chain strong because it works together, but that every link of the chain must strive to not become the weakest link. The lesson is that whatever it is you do, you must be the very best. The greatest shame of all is to be the weakest link in the chain.

3. Assess the difference between ability and desire.

Everyone in the service is a leader. Leadership can be found in the most menial task. How that task is executed is a demonstration of individual leadership. As Managers, your role is to inspire the people in your charge to execute their tasking in a way that demonstrates how the job should be done. If someone fails to meet your expectations, it is your job to help them complete tasking in a way that sets the standard for those that follow them.

In your career as a leader, there will be times when others will fail you. How you handle that failure will be your greatest test. The key question is, is it you or is it them? If your people have the ability but not the willingness, they need motivation. If they simply do not have the ability, it is your job to train them. Ability is not inherent. Ability must be taught.

4. Assess risk constantly.

The world is an uncertain place. The sea is the most uncertain place in the world. The condition of the sea changes by the minute. The sea can be flat and calm like glass. It can swiftly transform to a fury; unforgiving and dangerous. It is your primary function to asses the external environment and to determine if your team can survive the conditions. In every stage of an operation, the primary concern of a leader is the safety and sustainability of his or her crew. What good is it to complete a mission to save a single life at the expense of an entire crew and vessel? Risk versus reward is central to the thinking of a leader. Sacrificing an entire crew may save a single life. But what about the lives of the people in distress that come after your sacrifice? You must ensure that you have the capacity to complete your objectives continuously. The sea is forever. Your ability to respond must be the same.

5. Sleep while you can. Wake up and do your best.

The call to action may come anytime day or night. The public expects that you will give 100 percent in the performance of your duties. The reality is that your duties often require you to give 120 percent to get the job done. This is not a sustainable level of output. In order to have the capacity to perform at this level, you must capitalize on opportunities to recover. Sleep, recreation, wellness, family and exposure to your support systems are integral parts of preparing to respond. If you have the opportunity to rest, take it. There are only a few times when peak performance is important. Ignore the pressure to perform at 100 percent all the time. Downtime is the preparation to perform at 120 percent. Rest while you can. Get up in times of need and give it everything you have.

- See more at: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2014/07/five-lessons-from-the-coast-guard/#sthash.qREPgwWC.dpuf


280 yr old ship found under 911 ruins

On July 30, 2014, in History, by CaptRR


Spoiled in reporting:

On July 2010, archaeologists monitoring excavation at the World Trade Center site (WTC) in Lower Manhattan found the remains of a portion of a ship’s hull. Because the date of construction and origin of the timbers were unknown, samples from different parts of the ship were taken for dendrochronological dating and provenancing. After developing a 280-year long floating chronology from 19 samples of the white oak group (Quercus section Leucobalanus), we used 21 oak chronologies from the eastern United States to evaluate absolute dating and provenance. Our results showed the highest agreement between the WTC ship chronology and two chronologies from Philadelphia (r ?=? 0.36; t ?=? 6.4; p < 0.001; n ?=? 280) and eastern Pennsylvania (r ?=? 0.35; t ?=? 6.3; p < 0.001; n ?=? 280). The last ring dates of the seven best-preserved samples suggest trees for the ship were felled in 1773 CE or soon after. Our analyses suggest that all the oak timbers used to build the ship most likely originated from the same location within the Philadelphia region, which supports the hypothesis independently drawn from idiosyncratic aspects of the vessel’s construction, that the ship was the product of a small shipyard. Few late-18th Century ships have been found and there is little historical documentation of how vessels of this period were constructed. Therefore, the ship’s construction date of 1773 is important in confirming that the hull encountered at the World Trade Center represents a rare and valuable piece of American shipbuilding history.

The complete spoiled post by Jesus Diaz is here.


Good Sam, gone bad 4.0

On July 29, 2014, in Ferries, Incidents, by CaptRR



From an eye witness, Jeff Kanter, on Bainbridge Island

Ferry Tacoma being assisted by the ferry Sealth, after loosing power earlier today.  Fox 13 has the story here.

(Thanks to Bob Selzler for the pic)


OMG: Not Under Command

On July 29, 2014, in Ferries, Incidents, by CaptRR


KOMO is reporting:

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. – A state ferry on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route has lost power and is stranded in the waters of Puget Sound.

The ferry Tacoma lost power just outside Bainbridge Island’s Eagle Harbor at about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday and began drifting near the shoreline to the south. The incident happened during the 12:20 p.m. sailing of the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge.

The complete KOMO post is here.


Bellingham Assist

On July 29, 2014, in Assistance Towing, by CaptRR

27′ Fiberform similar to this one

Picked her up off Eliza Island

About three hours total.  Yesterday an older Fiberform only had forward (no nutral or reverse.)

I found them between Eliza and Lumi Islands and towed her to the ramp at Squalicum Harbor.  My plans to have lunch in Bellingham were foiled by a second call which ended in a sand down.  So much for best laid plands


10 hours of towing yesterday

On July 28, 2014, in Assistance Towing, by CaptRR

It was like pre recession days. Lots of boats on the water.

The first tow was an assist of the 42′ Tolly above to a haul out to have an engine repaired.  She had her port engine and bow thruster operable, but chose to err on the safe side.

Tow number two was and 18′ skiff with a family of four camping at a local state park (sorry no pic) Their kicker was working.

Tow number three (middle pic) was a 27′ boat that became disabled off Vendovi Island.  We hauled her back to Anacortes. 

Tow number four (bottom pic) was a 40′ Bayliner hand off from my buddies in Friday Harbor. She had on a of her engines out, and we towed her to La Conner.

Here’s a bonus pic from Saturday.  My two year old granddaughter Bea helped me fuel the boat.


Short Haul

On July 27, 2014, in Assistance Towing, by CaptRR


This 27′ Lurs was experiencing mechanical problems off Samish Island.

In that they had watched me hip tow the 58′, 60k# Krogen the day before, they said they weren’t too worried about the I boat.

I let them know each job no matter the size presents risk.


On the hip

On July 26, 2014, in Assistance Towing, by CaptRR


This 48′ Krogen had a raw water hose failure in Guemes Channel.

While she is 60,000 lbs, “Retriever” our 22′ Hughes Craft (2,200 lbs) was still able to get her to the dock.

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