Oh, THAT big ship …

Observant bunch, those folks in Manchester.

I got an email earlier in the week from Manchester resident Dave Pabst inquiring about a large — make that humongous — cargo ship anchored off Blake Island. Pabst, armed with binoculars and the magic of the Internet, already knew the ship was the Fortune Daisy, 738-foot bulk cargo ship based in Hong Kong.

You may have noticed the ship in photos from today’s Manchester dock replacement story. It’s hard to miss it there in the right of the photo.

Pabst wondered, “With charter rates in excess of $27,000 per day, someone is spending/losing a lot of money keeping this relatively new (built 2011), 738 foot long ship out of service.”

I poked into the ship’s story, using a handy site that Pabst already discovered called vesseltracker.com, a public site that shows the location of major ships around the world, with links to their specifications. The only thing I have to add to Pabst’s description is that the ship’s most recent port of call was Lianyungang, a major port in China.

I called Lt. Cmdr. Heather St. Pierre of the U.S. Coast Guard, who said the ship was more or less assigned anchorage in Yukon Harbor, as it arrive in the Seattle area earlier in the week, right after a weather pattern that caused large swells in South Puget Sound. St. Pierre did not know if the ship’s miscellaneous cargo was eventually bound for Seattle or Tacoma. She said having ships moored in protected pockets like Yukon Harbor, which is sheltered by Blake Island, is a common practice.

Not only is the surface water off Manchester relatively well protected from wind and waves, but the sea floor composition is such that it offers better “holding ground” or bite for anchors than in other areas, St. Pierre said.

St. Pierre had no other information on the ship, which according to vesseltracker.com was still there Saturday morning, but she said there’s no cause for alarm.

“There’s definitely nothing nefarious going on with this vessel,” St. Pierre said. “It’s just looking for a safe place to be.”

Well, aren’t we all?

5 thoughts on “Oh, THAT big ship …

  1. Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2012 2:17 PM
    To: ‘Henry, Christina’
    Cc: ‘Dunagan, Christopher’
    Subject: A little deeper please?

    Nice bit about Fortune Daisy. My neighbors uses same program I do. But – the questions unanswered which seem as
    important. Some of which are:

    1) who assigned this vessel anchorage and how long was it assigned?
    2) does the vessel have business with Seattle?
    3) if no business how long will this vessel be allowed to anchor here and who is the authority on that? DNR?
    4) what controls from illegal discharges are in place while this vessel anchors here?
    5) what harm to habitat (at least the geoduck bed tract located close by if not on them)is occurring if not monitored by Coast Guard?
    6) who is insuring no unlawful discharges are taking place while Daisy anchors here?
    7) if anchored here, then why not in front of Seattle?
    8) is this anchorage in front of Manchester about money, or lack there of for this vessel to anchor in front of Seattle?

    In past when another vessel moored here Chris Dunagan contacted via e-mail the owner overseas and then once that happened that vessel moved on. No one has asked these questions as to how long the risk of habitat harm must be suffered while this vessel ‘visits’ Manchester. Appreciate any further info as to the intentions of the visiting vessel.

  2. Do they and other ships that are anchored off shore (Sinclair Inlet) barges pay anything for that privilege? If it were a vehicle parked in Bremerton they would have to pay, do vessels moored (outside of a marina) pay anything? Just wondering.

  3. Thanks for the research. The Fortune Daisy, riding high, appears to be waiting to load a bulk cargo. The ones I am curious about are the bulk carriers that moor in this area and unload what looks to be white sand into barges. This has happened two or three times in the last several years. Is it sand and where is it going? Anyone know?

  4. Chris Dunagan researched those bulk carriers awhile back, discovering that the cargo ships unload salt onto those barges then the barges transit to Seattle and offload to trucks. The salt is used in Alaska for road treatment.

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