Fascinating ship viewing this evening. Dan and I had been watching, throughout the day, for local ship traffic expected to pass us by looking at the Marine Traffic website. We saw that a unique ship was coming upriver, and it would pass by us soon. We looked at it's pictures on the website and saw that, unquestionably, it would be a unique p . We hustled out tot he river side with camera in hand. As we went, we noticed a number of others were out to watch the ship as well. And the more of us who gathered, the more other “campers” got interested in what was about to happen – so they came out too. There was a pretty good sized crowd by the time the Blue Marlin heavy lift vessel went by.
The Blue Marlin, and sister ship, the Black Marlin, were originally built in Norway for North Sea oil drill platform service. Later they were sold to a Netherlands company called “Dockwise” who now sends their ships throughout the world for special projects.
The river-way was busy with river patrol boats running back and forth, telling small fishing boats to go to the shore and stay out of the way. We knew for certain, then, that it would be a "wide load" coming on the Blue Marlin. And indeed, it was. Apparently, what it was carrying this time was a “dry dock” named the Vigorous. It hung out over the port and starboard sides quite a bit.
While the Blue Marlin is a ship (not a barge) and does make way via its own powered engines, we noticed there was a large tug cabled with six lines to the stern....probably for anti-sway support while navigating a river instead of open ocean.
Fascinated by this ship, we spent some time looking at Internet file photos of the Blue (and Black) Marlin. I've copied some of those, including one from Wikipedia which shows the USS Cole, attacked in Yemen, being carried on the Black Marlin. I hope you are enjoying these ship photos like we have been.