I don’t know how many folks were glued to this webcam yesterday, but I was not the only one. Let me walk us around the foto, different in subtle ways than the other five in this post. First, note the time stamp upper left: it’s 11:16 a.m. This was happening yesterday midmorning at the Miraflores Lock, the first of three set of lifts out of the Pacific on a transit toward the Atlantic/Caribbean. In the distance on the right side, the large white object is Norwegian Star, negotiating the next set of locks . . . Pedro Miguel Locks.
The ship almost fully shown in this foto is Tai Success, bound for Altamira, Mexico. Tai Success is 656′ loa (length overall) by 104′ , the maximum width for the current set of locks. Extending from lower left is the ex-Left Coast Lifter, towed by Lauren Foss. Note the relative size of Tai Success and the crane barge. Lauren Foss at 141′ loa is larger than almost all tugs currently on the Hudson.
11:20 a. m. The entire crane is in the lock chamber. On the stern of the crane barge is Cerro Majagual, a 2013 Panama Canal tug built in Spain. For the transit from the San Francisco Bay area to Panama, this role was played by another Foss tug, Iver Foss. Iver is currently waiting for the tow on the Atlantic side.
11:24. The water in the lock has started to rise.
11:40. The doors on the high side of the Miraflores Locks have opened and the tow heads for Pedro Miguel. By the way, on the horizon beyond the Pedro Miguel you can see the Centennial Bridge, about 10 years old. As of this writing this morning, the tow was docked just north of this bridge. I suspect it will complete the transit and be on the Atlantic side by the end of today.
I see from the Journal News story that Fluor has already changed the crane name from Left Coast Lifter to I Lift New York, presuming they’ve “purged the old from Poseidon’s ledger.” If you look at the fourth foto above, you’ll notice “Left Coast Lifter” is still painted there. I wonder when that will be painted over; maybe the name purging will happen in Gatun Lake today?
Meanwhile, I’d like to propose some alternatives . . . Hudson River Hoister and Tappan Zee Titan are more local and maintain the same LCL pattern.
As to size, currently the largest crane in the Hudson Valley is DonJon’s Chesapeake 1000, the number being its tonnage lifting capacity. Last summer in Rio, I saw a crane called Pelicano 1 with a lifting capacity said to exceed 2000 tons. The ex-LCL is said to hav a capacity around 1900 tons.
Click here for one of the posts I did from the Panama Canal–a place well worth a visit and a second visit– about two years ago.
Keep in mind that once the tow clears the Atlantic side locks, it’s still more than 2000 nautical miles from the Narrows. Assuming an average speed of seven knots and no delays for weather or other causes, that’s still almost two weeks. So, I’ll wager ETA at the Narrows around February 1.