Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Foss Launch & Tug: Alaska Roughneck

I inherited a large collection of photographs and negatives from my Dad, Harry McDonald. He worked most of his life on tugboats in the Pacific Northwest. In 1964, oil surveys conducted in the late 1950's took off, and construction began on a series of offshore oil wells in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

The Alaska Roughneck was built at the Brown Shipbuilding Company in Houston, Texas, as a U.S. Navy landing ship medium (LSM) 116. She was commissioned on December 6. 1944 and participated in the assault on Okinawa in April 1945. The ship was decommissioned by the Navy in April 1946 and held in the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

In October 1958 the ship was sold to the Foss Launch and Tug Company for use as a supply vessel. Pan American Petroleum, Sinclair Oil and Phillips Petroleum were gearing up for construction of the offshore oil platforms in Cook Inlet, and Foss was eager to be involved.

The Alaska Roughneck, along with her sisters Alaska Constructor and Alaska Huskey supported drill jacket installation in the Middle Ground Shoal area and other sites, beginning in 1964. These were the first offshore oil wells installed in Cook Inlet, Alaska. The drill jackets (legs) were manufactured by Kaiser in Oakland, California and Foss tugs towed them up the west coast to Cook Inlet.

When originally built, the ship had two Fairbanks Morse 38D8 1/8th 10 cylinder opposed piston marine diesel engines that supplied 1440 brake horse power (bhp) @720 rpm to her two propeller shafts. She had an overall length or 203’6” with a 34 foot beam, and was capable of 13.2 knots at a displacement of 928 long tons.

After Foss purchased the ship, they modified her by building a pilothouse forward, just above the bow ramp. The Navy had a small conning tower aft on the starboard side, which was removed. Foss shortened the ship to 139 feet, when she was modified for carrying cargo and towing in Cook Inlet.

The Alaska Roughneck rolled over and sank during a storm, in Cold Bay, Alaska, with the loss of two lives, on February 28, 1979.

She is photographed here in Cook Inlet in 1964 by Harry McDonald, Chief Engineer of the Mary Foss.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

China Locks Out Vale!

Wow! What a Thanksgiving Weekend! Buried amongst sales projections and traffic delay stories, a bomb exploded on the international iron ore market. It went virtually unnoticed and under reported, yet, has far reaching influence on the future of the iron ore industry.

China has blocked Vale's 400,000 dead weight ton Very Large Ore Carriers from entering Chinese waters!

China is refusing to accept the ships into the country, as pressure from China's ship-owners - citing existing pressure on bulk carrier rates and a slew of new tonnage set to enter the market; and China's steelmakers who reportedly contend that the ships will conspire to give Vale more control over pricing and delivery.

  • "Nobody in China wants Vale S.A.'s fleet to come," Chang Tao, an analyst from China Merchants Securities Co. told Bloomberg. "Not shipping lines, not ship owners, not steelmakers."
  • "Once Vale S.A. moves its own iron ore, its control on the supply of iron ore extends into shipping, further diminishing Chinese steelmakers' bargaining power," Huang Wenlong, an analyst with BOC International Holdings Ltd., said. "That is a situation China doesn't want to see."
  • "The most important thing for Vale is to stop building (ships)," Zhang Shouguo, Executive Vice Chairman of the China Shipowners Association , said. "The additional capacity will exacerbate the already bad freight market."
As regular readers may recall, I announced the launch of the "Vale (pronounced "valley") Brasil" back in May of this year. Indeed, Vale's web site proudly announced the commissioning of the largest bulk carrier in the world, with a superbly produced music video, sung by the world renown singer Charles Aznavour (1974-2009.)

The very large ore carriers (VLOC) each are designed to carry 400,000 metric tons, and the shipbuilding order was touted as part of the firm's plan to maximize efficiency if its operations in the iron ore market, a strategy including using longer freight trains with 330 wagons and more efficient locomotives.

Vale bought its vessels from China's Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group Holdings Ltd. And South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Company. Agreements to lease eight from STX Pan Ocean Company, under a $5.8 billion 25-year deal were also contained in a 2009 statement from the Seoul-based shipping line. As well a s a deal to operate four 400k vessels for the Sultanate of Oman.

The development of this project represented was touted by Vale as a huge technological challenge in terms of innovation. The vessels allow high-speed loading, unloading, suitable for most modern ports in the world, and have an efficient ballast system, capable of pumping out standing water with six bilges in each hold.

They also reduce carbon emissions by 35% per ton of ore transported - a "green" project that received in May the "Nor-Shipping Clean Ship Award", an international industry acknowledgment for this achievement.

Following a string of celebrations, the Vale Brasil was sent to Ponta da Madeira, and loaded with 390,000 metric tons of iron ore, departing for Dalian China on May 25th. Bu a radio message abruptly terminated the maiden voyage of the Vale Brasil off Durban, South Africa.

GPS tracking shows the vessel loitered off Durban for two days, while apparently radio transmissions darted back and forth. Finally, she reversed her course, heading south around Cape Agulhas, journeyed up the west coast of African, entering the Mediterranean Ocean and finally landing in Taranto, Italy.

So far, Vale has taken deliver of four behemoths,
  • Vale Brasil - IMO 9488918
  • Vale China - IMO 9522972
  • Vale Italia - IMO 9572331
  • Vale Rio de Janeiro - IMO 9572329

From my armchair viewpoint, Vale's business model for investing in these vessels made good business sense. By eliminating third party shipping companies, Vale would be able to control and fine tune every direct and indirect cost incurred in shipping iron ore from the Carajas Brasil Complex.

This is especially important when you realize Vale has a disadvantageous distance reaching China, as compared to the nearest competition, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

Vale owns the mines, the EFC Railroad, PDM Terminal. Now, with the final piece in place, owning the ships that haul the ore - 45% of which goes to China - the model is complete. And this has upset the Chinese Iron Ore producers.

Vale has invested million of dollars in building a new 400,000 dead weight ton Pier IV at PDM,

and investing millions more on upgrading infrastructure, including the Carajas rail line, and material handling capacity, as demonstrated by this remote control room, operating stacker/reclaimers in air conditioned comfort, miles from the terminal.

It is not clear what the disposition of the Vale Italia and Vale China will be, both scheduled to arrive at PDM in December.

Obviously this is a developing story, but already the saber rattling has been raucous.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankgiving, 2011

Port Townsend, today. By October, 1959, our fantastic odyssey in Prince Rupert had come to an end. Three years of mostly great experiences for the entire family – including the dawg!

We drove the 1,613 km (1,002 miles) back to Seattle. On Thanksgiving Day, October 12, 1959, we were nearing the Canadian – US Border down around Chilliwack. Suddenly we were surrounded by hundreds, no, thousands of turkeys!

The herd (?) of turkey – similar to the mob shown above - finally brought Trans Canada Highway 1 to a halt. And what a racket. Obviously they had busted out on Canada’s Thanksgiving Day, and were running a muck in celebration! We were stalled for almost a quarter hour by the raucous gobbling throng!

We were very pleased to see so many had escaped, at least for the time being, the dinner plate! As you recall, Canadian’s celebrate a successful harvest, with their Thanksgiving Day, L'Action de grâce, on the 2nd Monday in October.

Our parents admonished my sister and I to celebrate Thanksgiving every day, rather than trying to contain all our blessings into one day. I am pleased to have the opportunity to share my Blog with you. It fills my senior days with all kinds of new discoveries.

Along the way, I hope you’ve picked up a gem of something you hadn’t known before. I'm very grateful for the nudging and support my sister offers, and without GingerSnap, nothing would get filed.

Life has slowed down dramatically over the past few years. Gone are the days of frantic shopping, and long distance driving to "Grandma's House!" It is just me and my sister now.

Thanksgiving afternoon I'll pop the turkey in the oven. And GingerSnap will stick like glue to me, with visions of a drumstick falling into her plate!

We hope you have a pleasant day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"To Protect and Serve a Dose of Pepper Spray!"

First of all, I am dedicating this Blog article to my buddy Jim. It is to honor his gumption to get out of bed and make his way to an Occupy Portland demonstration last Thursday. Jim and I worked together as Epitaxial Reactor Operators for more than an half dozen years. And when I found out what he did last Thursday, I was totally blown away!

I am so proud to have Jim as one of my buddies.

We elect senators and congressmen to represent us in those two great Houses of deliberation, debate, and decision-making; the Senate and the House of Representatives. Furthermore, when these people run for office, they vow and affirm that they will protect the Constitution, and give everyone an equal voice to be heard without bias and discrimination.

They do not have to agree with us, but they do have an obligation to listen to us. Sounds good in high school civics (if they even teach civics anymore) but the sad reality is, that as the world watches, the United States Houses of deliberation are disintegrating.

And "Occupy Now," is a direct result of the disgust, disdain and repugnance for elected officials for the mess the country and economy are in.

The Face of Evil

This is my gripe with New York Republican Representative Peter King. He epitomizes our decomposing politics. King sullies the system with his wicked, evil distortions and characterizations about citizens participating in "Occupy Now," and it's various permutations, instead of "listening to the Citizenry."

I found no evidence that King had visited the "Occupy" groups in New York. King has never met with any leadership from the "Occupy" groups. So how does King conjure up such negative impressions about them? Remember, this man has a fiduciary responsibility to listen to the concerns of people within his district!

As reported in the Huffington Post, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee was asked "if he had an obligation to hear out what the protesters are saying."

King slammed the cause, pointing to crimes taking place within Occupy encampments.
  • "First of all, you try to listen to them and they make almost no sense," King said.
  • "These are people who were living in dirt, these were people who were involved with drugs, there was violence, there was rape.
  • "How do they achieve anything by living in dirt for two months? You can't say this is only a few people.
  • "The fact is these people are anarchists," the congressman said.
  • "They have no idea what they're doing out there," King said.
  • "They have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone and anti-capitalist. It's a ragtag mob basically."
Once criticized for his support of the Irish Republican Army, you may also recognize King as chairing the McCarthy-like Muslim congressional hearing shakedown earlier this year. Unlike many of his millionaire cohorts, King's estimated net worth on last filings was paltry $101,003 to $215,000.

Peter King's outright fabrication of lies is precisely the dismissive mind-set reflected by many republicans. King's stridently arrogant, condescending, superior attitude, epitomizes precisely what the 99% find frustrating with our dysfunctional government.

A few days ago, I received an email from my buddy Jim. It took me a moment to process what I was looking at. But there he was, standing in the front ranks of an "Occupy Portland" demonstration, taking taking these photos Thursday morning, at the east end of Portland Oregon's Steel Bridge.

The Union Pacific railroad owns the bridge and leases the traffic lanes (upper deck) to the State of Oregon. The bridge carries foot traffic, motor vehicle traffic, and Portland's Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light rail system, on the top deck, Amtrak, BNSF & UP on the lower rail deck. The lower deck can be raised independent of the top deck, or, for maximum opening, the bottom deck slips under the top deck, with both lifting together.

The gathering was in response for a call to "Occupy the Banks." The group my buddy Jim was in consisted of members of the SEIU - Service Employees International Union, Portland (OR) Local 503.

In their call for action on Occupy Bank Thursday, the Local 503 selected the Steel Bridge because of its deteriorating condition. Their point being, to put people back to work by repairing the aged structure.

The group my friend was in numbered around 1,000. They chanted:

"Wall Street got bailed out!
We got sold out!"

"Who has the power?
We have the power!

What kind of power?

Union power!"

I asked Jim how it felt being face-to-face with Portland's finest. He said that being in a group who feel the same about the situation "emboldens" one! One fellow Jim talked with has four kids at home, and wants a better future for them. Far from being a "Peter King urine and feces anarchist," he has a Masters degree in Geology.

According to Jim, there was no conversation between the demonstrators and the cops an arms length away. I would love to know what that young cop was thinking about as he stood there, trying to avoid eye contact.

At first he felt a little reluctant to join the protest. But he felt "someone" has to do it, so away he went. I am so proud of my buddy!

MAX had slow orders on the bridge area passing the demonstration, but was never stopped from delivering passengers to and from downtown Portland. The cops made a "tactical" decision to halt motor vehicle and foot passage across the bridge. Foot traffic and train passage was never impacted on the lower level.

Every confrontation between Police and the Citizens they are sworn to protect, results in an "Kodak" moment as police protect our rights to assembly and free speech!

Thursdays march on the banks in Portland was no exception. The photo of a young woman being pepper spayed directly into her mouth and lungs was captured by captured by veteran Oregonian staff photographer, Randy L. Rasmussen. It has, as they say, become a web sensation.

In Seattle, Seattle's finest pepper sprayed 84-year-old Dorli Rainey. Apparently the riot geared cops perceived the 4-foot something Dorli as presenting an emanate threat, and blasted away! Actually, the SPD had a pretty good evening. In addition to nailing Dorli, cops also bagged a priest and a 19 year old pregnant woman.

Some final thoughts on Lt. John Pike, video taped and photographed as he casually pepper sprayed a group of passive students. In one account, "Bull" Pike stated, "Better than having to drag them away!"

WTF? The cops still had to drag the students away, because they were blind and in pain! So who is responsible for this latest crop of robo-cops? Alexis Madrigal, senior editor for Atlantic Weekly, offers some insight.

You do not have to agree with the views expressed by the growing outcry for change, but perhaps you need to educate yourself as to what their concerns are, before you make "Fox Judgments." These are your friends, your neighbors and they are hurting!

Ironically, as the economy continues to stagger along, many of these cops may be getting layoff notices in the not too distant future. Bet they have not thought that far ahead!

And to potty-mouth Pete King, you owe my friend an apology. He is not a "urine and feces covered anarchist."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bolivian Locomotive Grave Yard

The History Channel recently aired IRT (Ice Road Truckers) with Lisa Kelly and her new partner G.W., delivering a truckload of llamas across the infamous Salar de Uyuni, a colossal salt flat located in southwest Bolivia.

Lisa Kelly has been in four seasons of History Channels IRT: "Ice Road Truckers" running on the Dalton Highway between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay.

"I think I've earned where I'm at. They don't just judge me by the cover, and I can get the job done," Lisa said. "I don't need to fit the stereotype. I don't have to be a potty mouth, chew tobacco and be 300 pounds to drive a truck."

As a filler between ice road seasons, the History Channel went to India, producing The first IRT "Deadliest Roads" series.

The teams were driving underpowered wooden Indian Tata 1613's, trucks with a 150 horsepower engine and no safety features, on some sweaty palm high altitude dirt tracks. Nothing like this ever came out of Freightliner's paint booth!

The IRT "Deadliest Roads" is in its second season, shot on the breathtaking mountain "Death Roads" of Bolivia and Peru.


In the seventh program IRT Deadliest Roads, the Flattest Place on Earth, the our team drives on onto the extraordinary Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt flat.) They drive past what appeared to be a line of rusting locomotives; they never mention them, nor do they visualize them in detail. And it happened so fast, all I could do was jot down a quick note "requires investigation."

G.W. comments that because of the lithium content of the salt brine, a compass is useless in crossing the salt flat. So, they will used a GPS to navigate across Uyuni Salt Flat, delivering a load of llamas.

That is what precipitated our next odyssey; to learn about that "Locomotive Grave Yard," located on some god-forbidden arid salt flat in Bolivia, and learn more about Bolivia's lithium deposits.

Bolivia, like Chile and Peru, have "a ton and eighty" of fascinating geologic features, laden with tin, copper, silver, gold, nitrate, and salt mining, along with others I cannot remember. The country is spectacular, and what little railroading takes place it not for the feint of heart!

Who can forget the magnificent photos made available to me by Jean-Marc Frybourg.

One of my "idols," Carl Sagan once commented on the remarkable qualities of table salt:

"Chlorine is a deadly poison gas employed on European battlefields in World War I. Sodium is a corrosive metal which burns upon contact with water. Together they make a placid and unpoisonous material, table salt. Why each of these substances has the properties it does is a subject called chemistry."

While there are literally dozens of salt marshes and salt pans in Bolivia, three major salt flats are of commercial interest:
  • Salar de Uyuni, covering 10,582 km² (4,086 mi²)
  • Salar de Coipasa Salt Flat, covering 3,300 km² (1,274 mi²)
  • Pastos Grandes Caldera Salt Flat, covering 118 km² (45 mi²). This salt flat is inside the remaining structure, a caldera, formed by the walls of a volcano that "lost its head." Similar to Crater Lake.
All are identified as containing "evaporitic resources," with an estimated 9 million tons within Salar de Uyuni alone. From the salt brine, lithium carbonate, potassium chloride, potassium sulfate, magnesium chloride and boric acid are extracted.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Bolivia contains approximately half of the world's 11 million metric tons of proven and probable reserves of lithium.

While this list is far from complete, Lithium, with a valence of 1 on the Periodic Table, lightest of all metals, has a wide variety of uses:

It is the salt brine in these "lakes" that contain this veritable chemical factory. The brine is processed to remove the water, yielding salts, that are further refined to extract a wide variety of chemicals, including lithium.

Merely possessing these briny salt lakes does not guarantee a "gold mine of riches." While lithium has the potential for providing Bolivia with much needed income, the tricky part is having the technology and chemists with the knowledge requisite for extracting the lithium from the salt brine contained in these lakes.

Two factors determine financial success or stalemate:
  • Chemistry of the brine
  • Technology - equipment and chemists - required to perform the extraction process.
To illustrate this, remember we in the United States have two salt brine formations; the Great Salt Lake, and the Salton Sea. However, the analysis of the brine, shows the amount of lithium, in both structures, is 0.001 ppm (parts per million.) Not enough concentration to be commercially viable.

President Morales, back in 2008, celebrated the opening of a pilot plant at Uyuni for the small-scale production of lithium carbonate, the main component of rechargeable batteries that power laptop computers, cell phones, iPods and digital cameras.

Excavation Evaporation Pond

In the project's second phase, the Bolivian government plans to construct an factory that will require investment of between $200-250 million to produce lithium carbonate. Construction to begin in 2013 taking two to three years to build.

Evaporation Pond

The government says it will seek a partnership with a foreign company to manufacture lithium batteries and even electric-powered vehicles. Plans have sparked interest among foreign firms such as France's Bollore and Eramet, Japan's JOGMEC, Mitsubishi and Sumitomo and South Korea's LG, as well as the Russian government.
[Source: Latin America Herald Tribune, Nov 3, 2011.]

Two factors hinder economic development of Bolivia; axle loading on the railroad and the fact that Bolivia is a land locked country.

The current carrying capacity does not exceed 15 metric tons (MT) per axle, which is insufficient for the volume that is to carry in the future.

Bolivia was not always landlocked. Study this map of "pre 1879 - post 1883" to understand the land grab from Bolivia during the "War of the Pacific," 1879-1883.

"The War of the Pacific" involved Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. Rivalry over the exploitation of rich nitrate beds in the Atacama Desert, resulted in Bolivia loosing its Pacific Ocean frontage to Chile!

As recently as last month, the issue continues to be argued before the United Nations!

Bolivia, of course, is purported to be the situate of the dramatic shootout between Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and law enforcement. The Bolivian Army caught up with the boys at San Vincente, where Butch is allegedly buried.

Bolivia has an interesting history of trying to establish and maintain a viable rail system. The country, rich in mining resources, tried to operate a rail system for the transportation of mineral wealth, but was stymied, time and time a again, by indigenous tribes, who perceived the intrusion of the rail network as being detrimental to their culture and survival.

At present Bolivia's railway system consists of the Bolivian Andean Network and the Network East, which are separated, by lack of infrastructure in the central part of the country.

Its routes are still the meter gauge the full extent, which allows the interconnection with Brazil and Argentina to the east, and the western area is interconnected with Chile and Argentina.

The current carrying capacity does not exceed 15 metric tons (MT) per axle, which is insufficient for the volume that is to carry in the future.

The Antofagasta (Chili) & Bolivia Railway (FCAB) operates some 3,652 miles (5,877 km) of 1.000 m railroad. [source: CIA Worldfact Book - 2010.]

John Middleton, who graciously allowed me to visualize this article with his photographs, was in Bolivia in 2008 and again in 2009. John made a detailed report of his visits, which includes many 'new discoveries' and seeks to correct reports elsewhere.

Click here for the illustrated reports, Part 1 and Part 2.

Locomotive Grave Yard

The locomotive Grave Yard, just over a half mile long, is located on the outskirts of the town of Uyuni. The Grave Yard contains locomotives, box cars, all manner of rolling stock. I was not able to locate a "number" of units rusting out there, but it is significant.

And due to the altitude, some 12,000 feet and arid (low humidity) atmosphere, these hulks will remain long after most of us!

Originally established as a trading post, Uyuni now finds itself hosting thousands of tourists, eager to drive across the Salar de Uyuni.

Several types of locomotive are represented on the site, including Beyer-Garrett and Kitson-Meyer.

During my research, I had the good fortune of meeting John Middleton, some of whose photos are sprinkled here. John made two trips to Bolivia, conducting extensive research on the Locomotive Grave Yard.

On the subject of the Beyer-Garrett articulated locomotives, John relates, "The FCAB had 10 Garratts and 9 seem to still exist, there is a photo of mine of a more complete one at Potosi (Bolivia.)

Skeleton of Beyer-Garrett

"I went to quite an effort with wire brush and scraper to identify all the hulks. This was quite fun industrial archaeology and not difficult to find the identifying works numbers etc if you really look (and know where to look). If you are really interested I would recommend Trackside Publications "
Railways of Bolivia" - a superb book."

Beside the Beyer-Garrett articulated locomotive, a handful of Kitson-Meyer articulated locomotives made their way to Bolivia.

On the Kitson-Meyer articulated locomotives, John relates, "There were six locos to this design for the FCAB, they were built near Manchester in the UK by Beyer, Peacock & Co Ltd in 1912. It is not known when they last operated but they had all been withdrawn from service by the time the FCAB was nationalized by the Bolivian Government in 1964 and my guess is they last ran in the 1950s.

Hulk, Kitson-Meyer Articulated

"Of the six, five frames survive in the Uyuni cemetery; some parts of the sixth are also there buried in the sand if you know where to look. Some of the tenders also survive and I even found one with its original FCAB shaded lettering and number (No. 54) showing through the rust. This tender is inside the workshops at Uyuni (opposite the railway station) and so some distance from where the locomotives stand in the graveyard."

Hulk, Kitson-Meyer

Actually, there are several variations on this design, this being the "Kitson-Meyer." This "Guide to the Family" explains the many permutations of British articulated locomotives.

Rather than tangle with a subject I know virtually nothing about, I highly recommend you "click on 3349, for a fan-damn-tastic web site, with everything you need to know about the Kitson-Meyer articulated locomotive!

This article gives instructions for constructing an HO version of the Kitson-Meyer. There are many interesting "ghosts" lurking around the world - this be one of them!

What with all the salt available, it was inevitable that someone would build a salt hotel. "No Licking the Walls!"

Finally, I would like to acknowledge John Middleton's generous assistance in providing data and photographs. Both his words an photographs were invaluable. I've heard it said that only 3% of the world's knowledge base can be found on the Internet. The rest you have to uncover through one-on-one contact. "Thank You, John."

Other contributors, generous in releasing their wonderful photographs, include Robin Yu, Stephen Knight, Phil Dul, and Richard Lowseck.

A very special "Thank You" to Olivier Hoffschir for the stunning panoramic shot at the top of the story. You can actually see the curvature of the earth. Be sure to view his site; remarkable photography.

But, let us not forget, that if I hadn't spotted Lisa driving past this bone yard on the History Channel, none of this would have occurred.

Suggested Reading

In 2010, the World Volcano group from the University of Oregon toured the Uyuni - Pastos Grandes area. Although the purpose of their visit was to study ancient volcanic activity, the photo story is interesting reading visualizing some really empty land!

"Bolivians," the Chilean Admiral José Toribio Merino infamously remarked near the end of the twentieth century, "are no more than metamorphosized camelids [auquénidos metamorfoseados], who have learned to speak, but not to think." This comment sets racial tone of the War of the Pacific, not found in other articles about the War.

"In the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia, and acquired territories that contained vast deposits of sodium nitrate, a leading fertilizer." This paper concentrates on the fiscal realities of sodium of nitrates, as opposed to the previous paper, relating to the "racism" of the War of the Pacific.

"Should Chile Reverse History And Provide Bolivia Sovereign Access To The Sea? Assess The Risks And Benefits To Bolivia, Chile And Peru." A recent assessment (2009) in the continuing question of reversing some of the negative impact on Bolivia as a result of the War of the Pacific.

Basil Lubbock, famous for his non-fiction accounts of early world-wide clipper activity, wrote an absolutely fascinating account of the "The Nitrate Clippers" landing at Arica. He describes clipper ships arriving to load nitrates at a remote and arid port. All fresh water had to be brought into the port by ship! The book is currently available from alibris.

You can watch the full program, IRT Deadliest Roads: The Flattest Place on Earth, (Program #7) available from iTunes for a small fee. Or simply watch for re-runs on the History Channel. These programs are repeated frequently.