"Ship-Spotter" of the Day
Barry Parker, contributor to Maritime Reporter & Engineering News and MarineNews magazines, is – like many people around the world – sequestered and working from home. He is our designated “ship spotter” for the day.
In the maritime business, most of us have been adept at working from home (or from remote locations). Still, with the precautions being taken to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid 19), remaining at home – in my case, on the North Shore of Long Island, has not been without its challenges. The technology for handling commercial work is the easy part – but the temptations of walking down to the beach, with nice weather, have been tough to resist.
The best part of staying home has been the “ship-spotting” and “digi-scoping” potential from passing marine traffic; thankfully the supply chain for refined petroleum products (think gasoline and distillates like diesel fuel and heating oil) have been chugging along, enabling me to get some nice pictures of the vessels. Digi-scoping is a handy substitute for an expensive telephoto lens; it means using a digital camera coupled with a spotting scope or small telescope, enabling me to capture images of vessels several miles offshore. With the website www.MarineTraffic.com, I can plan my walks to the beach to coincide with transits of tugboats (and the occasional oceangoing ship) that can be identified in advance.
Pictured here are Harley Marine’s 4,000 hp tug CF Campbell, shown passing Great Captain Island and its distinctive lighthouse (built 1829) pulling the barge Long Island (63,000 bbl. capacity ), shown with one of Greenwich, Connecticut’s famous mansions in the back, up towards Chelsea, Mass. Later in the morning, the tug Austin Reinauer (also 4,000 hp) pushing the empty barge RTC-100 (100,000 bbl. capacity) downbound from Providence, R.I. to one of the refineries on the Arthur Kill (around the back of Staten Island) to load up again. If the choice comes down to watching depressing financial news (talk about the new “downbound”) or going for a walk to the beach, the tugs and barges will likely beckon again before too long.