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First, thanks to Michele for helping me find a way to adjust photos here so that they enlarge when clicked.

The KVK is one of those places where mariners can be seen working:  no gate pass or special access required.  They might be preparing the gangway, all harnessed in

as a shipmate operates the controls.

Different ship, same job.

Maybe they’re out of the wind, ready but talking.

They might be on watch high above the city,

maybe wondering about those people on shore

 . . . cold weather and fishing or taking photos.  Often they never leave the ship here;  in fact, because of covid-19 many haven’t left the ship in months even though local mariners, essential workers, come and go.

  This has prompted actions of concern and the Neptune Declaration, which you can read here. Please click on the link and see who the 300 signatories are.

International mariners face one state of privation;  US citizen Jones Act mariners face another . . . working in winter cold and finding ingenious ways to get the wind off their face.

All photos, sentiments, WVD.  For more info on how covid-19 has affected shipping, click here.

Unfortunately, I can’t go back and adjust all the “non-enlarging photos” back to October. 


The tow–Lauren Foss and the crane–is captured in Gatun Lake by MS Europa‘s webcam.


A few hours later, she arrives at the Gatun Locks, which will lower her to Atlantic/Caribbean levels.    Vessel nearer is ARC Endurance.  Click here to see ARC Endurance in the sixth boro a bit over a year ago.



Vessel in the distance is MSC Carmen.


For truly remarkable photos of the tow traversing the Canal, click here to see gCaptain’s fine work.

With friendly seas, the tow should be arriving at the Narrows at end January/beginning February.

This article in gCaptain prompted this post:  it could be called to trust or not trust . .  the knot.

A tug waits inside the Narrows like this every day, many times.  This time it’s Ellen McAllister.

As the vessel enters the Narrows . . . I’m guessing way before this for the other pilot . . . access is ready.

Tug sidles up and alongside, matching speed, and then

the docking pilot goes out to start the climb.  Notice the container vessel crewman waiting up top.

This is where you want to be 100% . .  10,000 per ten thousand times sure all goes well.

Once the docking pilot is safely on board, a whole new set of challenges begins.

All fotos taken last Sunday by Will Van Dorp, as Sea-land Meteor arrived.   By now she’s left a handful other ports and is rounding the bend defined by Key West and  and headed into the Gulf.

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March 2023