Sunday, June 29, 2014

To Build a Ferry: M/V Tokitae

Recently, the Washington State Department of Transportation took delivery of a new ferry, M/V Tokitae (toh-kee-tay), as part of the Washington State Ferries Fleet Modernization Program.

Under State law, ferries must be constructed by Washington State ship yards, of which up to five yards can bid on new construction.

In the 144-car, 1,500 walk-on Olympic Class, three vessels:

•  Tokitae
•  Samish
•  As yet unnamed

The new ferries are built in four modules:

•  On March 2, 2013, Nichols Brothers Boat Building of Freeland, Washington, began construction of the ferry superstructure.

•  The keel was laid on March 29, 2012, at Vigor Industrial on Harbor Island, Seattle.  As a kid growing up in Seattle, we remember the Vigor complex as Todd Shipyard. An impressive list of ships were fabricated at this location!

Portland (Oregon) based Vigor purchased Todd in December, 2010.

•  The bows, #1 End and #2 End, were built at Jesse Engineering in Tacoma and delivered to Vigor for assembly.

The 1,100-ton superstructure was loaded onto a barge for delivery to Vigor. The 1,800-ton keel and 1,100-ton superstructure were mated on March 5th., 2014.

This time-lapse video begins with the keel being laid inside Vigors shop. When completed, it is wheeled onto a floating dry dock. At 1:30 in the tape, the hull module is seen aboard the dry dock. Then the house is moved from the barge, with the final scene showing the competed vessel floated out of the dry dock.

The $144 M USD ferry was completed in March 2014, and Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson christened the M/V Tokita on March 26, 2014.

A few weeks ago, some 800 visitors attended the M/V Tokitae Community Celebration. VIP's included members of the Samish and Swinomish tribes. "Samish" is a tribal word meaning "giving people."

Swinomish, Samish, Lower Skagit and Kikiallus, who joined together to form the present day Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Seven generations ago, in 1855, Swinomish Chiefs and eighty-one other tribal Chiefs gathered at Múckl-te-óh (present-day Mukilteo, Washington) to sign the Treaty of Point Elliott.

"Tokitae" is the Samish tribal greeting meaning "nice day." It's also the name of a Washington orca, captured at Penn Cove, Whidbey Island, about 15 miles north of Freeland, Washington, where the Tokitae superstructure was fabricated.

Now named "Lolita," Tokitae is existing at the Miami Seaquarium.

This link provides some insight as to how Puget Sounder's and many other folk feel about Orcas in captivity.

The vessel has five decks, with the first deck being the lower vehicle deck, followed by an upper vehicle deck, the passenger deck, sun deck, navigation bridge deck and the upper house level.

Tokitae is fitted an advanced fire suppression system, two elevators for better accessibility, a sewage holding tank and fuel holding tanks.

The Tokitae is fitted with four Marine Evacuation System (MES) stations, manufactured by Liferaft Systems Australia, (LSA.)

C02 launches the slide and rafts. The Kennewick, Salish and Chetzemoka are also fitted with this system.

M/V Tokitae Particulars

• Owner: Washington State Ferries
• Class: Olympic (1st of 3)
IMO: 9720160
MMSI: 367608860
• Call Sign: WDH3588
• Gross tonnage: 8,000 tons
• Summer DWT: 1,400 tons
• Length: 362.5 ft.(110 m)
• Beam: 83 ft.(25 m)
• Draft: 24.5 ft.(7.5 m)
• Capacity Passengers: 1,500 Vehicles: 144

• Prime Mover: 3,000 hp (2,237 kW) EMD 12-710G7CT2 x2. (G7C = marine, T2 = Tier Two expectations, x2 = two engines.) Locomotive version; winding up.
• Speed: 17 k (31 mph).
• Detroit Diesel generator sets (Hotel power.)

• Falk reduction gears, interconnecting high speed shaft (Number 1 and Number 2 sets side by side.)

•  Becker articulated rudders give predictable response in tight quarters and low speed maneuvering.
•  Rolls-Royce Controllable Pitch Propellers.

Crew, selected by seniority, is in training - crew familiarization - learning how to operate the vessel with demonstrated confidence. She's scheduled to begin service the first week of July.

On March 8 of this year,Washington State Governor Jay Inslee welded the initials of his grandchild "BRI" at the keel laying ceremony for the state's second Olympic class ferry, the M/V Samish, at Vigor Industrial Seattle shipyard.

The keel laying and first weld are maritime traditions equivalent to placing the cornerstone in a new building.

M/V Samish was lowered into the water last month, and is expected to be placed in service next spring.

Party Conversation Starter.  Double-ended ferries; do they have a "bow" and a "stern?"  

Photos courtesy WSDOT except as noted

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What's Going On Here?

Just watched a Greg Scholl video on RFD-TV.

The video featured CN and CP snow plow action in Ontario, back in the day. Pretty bland stuff on flat lands. However, at the very end of the program, there is a dramatic sequence of a snowplow wreck, as related by one of the CN plow operators!

CN 9166 and CN 9167 were modified for snowplow service in southern Ontario by providing removable steel grill for the windshield, a cover over the roof-mounted radiator fans, and covering intakes over side louvers.

•  CN 9166 was originally built as CNR 9110 by General Motors Division (GMD) in London, Ontario, in October, 1952. Rebuilt as CN 9166 in June, 1973.

•  CN 9167 was originally built as CNR 9100 by GMD in London, Ontario in October, 1952. Rebuilt in July, 1973.

Both were reclassified as F7Au.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Never Forget ...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

First Tar Sands Delivery to Europe Sparks Protests!

As I previously reported, the first shipment of Alberta Tar Sands Crude, Western Canada Select, (WCS) has been quietly moved from Alberta through the original Enbridge Keystone pipeline from Hardisty Alberta to Cushing Oklahoma to Freeport Texas.

600,000 bbls (barrels) were loaded aboard a Russian tanker, M/V Aleksey Kosygin, and spirited away to Bilbao Spain.

The WCS was purchased by Repsol, S.A., a Spanish multinational oil and gas company based in Madrid, Spain. It is the 15th largest petroleum refining company in the world, according to the Fortune Global 500 list, employing over 40,000 people worldwide.

"Repsol says that its fuel cargo is being delivered as part of a pilot project to determine whether bulk imports are feasible, and rejects residents’ concerns about local pollution. 

“This crude produces no more emissions from refining than any other crude of similar characteristics,” Kristian Rix, a Repsol spokesman told EurActiv, adding that record investments in Repsol’s refining system had reduced emissions 16% since 2011, with plans for a further 6% cut by 2016.

"In other parts of the world, tar sands refining facilities have been linked to increased cancer incidences near plants, and also to respiratory ailments such as asthma, cardiovascular illness, heart attacks, lung dysfunction and even premature death.

“Repsol takes the environment very seriously, it is something the company spends a lot of money on and this has been publicized." But he dead-balled a question on why the firm was then importing tar sands, one of the most polluting of all crudes. 

“You will have to ask the extractors,” he said. “I just source the crude so I don’t control the metrics of how many emissions are produced.

"Attempts by the EU to quantify the emissions from tar sands’ energy-intensive extraction process - and ensure that its price reflects this - have triggered threats of a trade war from Canada, and proved divisive within the bloc itself." 

As news of the delivery of Alberta Tar Sands Crude (Western Canada Select), repercussions begin:

1. First tar sands shipment to Europe sparks protests.
2. EU faces down tar sands industry.
3. Canada Aims to Sell Its Oil Beyond U.S.
4. The Tar Sands Threat to Europe: How Canadian Industry Plans Could Undermine Europe’s Climate Goals (Natural Resources Defense Council).
5. Tar sands oil arrives in Spain, more expected with the Energy East pipeline (Council of Canadians).