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That vessel in yesterday’s post was the 1983 Curaçao-flagged Mighty Servant 1, a semisubmersible heavy lift ship that hung around the sixth boro for much of December 2011.  As of this posting, Mighty Servant 1 is traveling between Shanghai and Singapore.

“Semisubmersible” in this case means  she can ballast herself so that large and heavy objects can float into place above her “flat bed” deck.  When she deballasts, she lifts those objects out of the water.  To deliver these same objects, the sequence is reversed and whatever heavy floating object floats off.   I recall that while watching this process, which is very slow, uninformed folks near me watching it thought the USCG should be informed of a sinking ship in the boro.

Notice the clear deck area above and then below, large barges–sold to foreign buyers–being loaded over cradles. 

Besides barges, two large tugboats were also floated onto the deck.

Centurion was an Invader-class Crowley tug from 1976 until this sale to Nigerian interests in 2011.  Hercules was YTB-766 from 1961 until 2001, when it was sold to Boston Towing and renamed Hercules, a name it carried over to Nigeria. Charles A. and Gabby still work in the boro.

 

Once loaded, the deballasting begins and the underside of the vessels become visible and dry

How tall are you?  That’s an 11′ diameter prop you’re looking at.

Once loaded correctly, a few days went by to snug all the cargo for the crossing.  For some scale, the barge nearest us, RTC 90, is about 364′ loa.  Also in the photo below, bottom right of the Empire State Building, that’s QM2.

All photos, WVD, who at this point headed south, so I’m not sure which day they departed for Nigeria.

For recent photos of another cargo on Mighty Servant 1, this one for SpaceX, click here.  And a USN job, click here.

 

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