Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rough Weather and Long Days



I'm sure everyone who lives near or on the East Coast will have a hard time forgetting the Nor' Easter that did so much damage last week.That storm now will forever hold a special place in my heart and my brain.Last week I was in Charleston,S.C. on a dredge job when we noticed the weather was turning for the worse.We informed the dredge Captain of the upcoming weather and the job was put on hold for a few days.As the wind kicked up and the inbound ships sent in weather and sea reports we relaxed inside the boat watching movies living the tug boat high life,getting paid in the shade.As the weather had started to subside we were given orders to leave immediately,Thursday night,bound for southern Virginia.Unfortunately the tug is made to withstand massive seas and we had no choice but to leave.Heading out to sea,knowing we wouldn't see calm water for days is a bad feeling.Everything it tied down,bungied down and tied again.Then as we cleared the sea buoy it started with a calm four foot roll.We came around and started heading north along the beach taking six foot seas over the bow,not to bad we thought.On the second day as we came around Cape Hatteras and Diamond Shoal we all were quickly reminded why we get paid to do what we do.As you come around Diamond Shoal you have no protection from a north sea and you will make very little time as your boat,ship or vessel get mercilessly pounded to bits.The seas were in the twelve foot range with a sixty mile an hour wind.There is a reason why that part of the Atlantic is known as the graveyard of the ocean.We continued northward linking up with our sister tug heading toward False Cape,Va into what we have now learned is a salvage job.A barge bound for New Jersey "broke" it's towing gear and was unable to get the emergency wire hooked up before it got into shallow water,or so the story goes.I need to take a second and just say I wasn't there and I don't know what happened.I just know we were told to get there,survey the situation after the storm passed and get it off the beach.I will make this story a two passage event as I seem to have gotten a bit long winded.We arrived off of Virginia Beach and saw the reason for the hurry up.The barge,a 550 foot container barge,came to rest in front of some very high dollar condominiums and was a bit of an eyesore.We sat three miles off the beach in six foot seas reminiscent of a washing machine wondering how in the hell are we supposed to do this?

1 comment:

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

It didn't hit us so bad, but I understand exactly what you are saying... Great post