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We spend so much of our lives waiting.  I guess it’s one of those unavoidables, like taxes and death . . . Ineluctable, if you want to be pedantic.   Yesterday, while waiting for high tide, a helicopter dropped in on the beached fishing trawler.  Click here for a bather flashing the crew. . .  hey, if you live on Clifton Beach and want to meet the unexpected visitors, how else do you get their attention?

At high tide this morning, another attempt to pull the trawler off the beach resulted in another parted towing line.

Meanwhile, holding the lead is Port Arthur-built, Cape Town-modified Ocean Pride.  Note the additions to make her beamier.

Here’s the muscle (Smit Amandla, ex-John Ross) that parts the towing lines.

Here crews of tug and supply vessel sort out the towing warp.

And 8000 miles to the northwest, Swan has not yet started loading.  Prepping and waiting is still going on, four days after I took these fotos.

But with a name like Swan and this time of year,

waiting is intended to be productive.

South African fotos by Colin Syndercombe;  sixth boro NYC fotos by Will Van Dorp.

All fotos and info comes with many thanks to Colin.  This is Table Mountain, and the white pall emanating from the upper right in this foto might just be due to the pipe smoking contest between the Devil and a local pirate named Van Hunks.   Just might be.  What’s certain is that in the fog yesterday, Eihatsu Maru came ashore.

Clifton Beach is a few miles east and south of the port of Cape Town.  Standing off and maintaining pressure on the wires off Eihatsu Maru‘s stern is supply vessel Ocean Pride, Texas-launched 1954.  Here’s Colin’s description, ” There were two wires coming out of her stern and at quite a distance like half a kilometer  Ocean Pride was keeping the tension on the cables.  . . .”

There were spectators all through Saturday as the tide rose and fell and the

sun began to set.

Part of the crew stays on board;  to leave now would be to sacrifice the vessel to salvors.

Here’s more of Colin’s words, ” Hawser [went from Ocean Pride]  all the way to the tug SMIT AMANDLA (300′  loa x 50′ and 16,000 hp, built Durban 1975) another half K away.   Ocean Pride stood therewith not any strain on the wire for a long time and we all waited for the tide to rise, which it did right on schedule.  Ocean Pride moved out of the way and the tug put a bit of strain on the wire like playing a fish.  Perhaps even for an hour and you could see the wire rising out of the sea and I doubt they used all 16,000 Horse power but kept the strain and in the lights of the tug you could see the turbulence of the prop wash.   It was actually quite exciting. The captain of the Japanese fishing vessel has a nice border collie with him aboard.”

” Then there was an almighty bang followed by the sound of steel wire rope rushing out over steel and then a long splash as the end hit the water.  So that is that till next high tide tomorrow morning.  When I left they were starting to rig another cable and the tug was out of the bay reeling in the towing warp.”

Sunday morning finds the fishing vessel still on the beach;  partial crew still aboard.

Eihatsu is part of a trawler fleet operating off southern Africa.  Here’s a sister vessel, Sumiyoshi Maru No. 10.

Tug is Blue Jay.

Many thanks to Colin for this story and fotos.  More when available.

Unrelated to Clifton Beach . . .  I will be at Pier 25 this afternoon minding the gangplank to Pegasus.   Have you voted today?

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