Friday, January 21, 2011

Port of Brownsville, Texas

Walldog and Jake took a little boat ride yesterday before the front came through.  Actually we were still out before the front arrived, but that is another story.  First we went out to the jetties, as we heard on the marine vhf radio that a tug was bringing in a "dead ship".  That is a term used to signify a decommissioned ship that is headed into the Port of Brownsville to be scrapped out.  The salvage of no longer useful ships is a big business here.

Below is a picture of a neat little tug boat.  The "Free State" evidently does not have AIS.  (The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automated tracking system used on ships and by Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for identifying and locating Vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and VTS stations. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport.)  So I do not know anymore information about it.  Note the Dual exhaust pipes that go up behind the pilot house.  Similar to 18 wheeler trucks.  During our boat trips, we like to take pictures of commercial vessels is a site that tracks ships with AIS and accepts our pictures of these vessels for their web site.

After turning around at the end of the Intercoastal....or beginning, we started back toward Port Isabel.  We made a detour into the shrimp basin where many of our shrimpers dock their boats.  Sitting prominently near the entrance is Seahunters Pride.
In need of some TLC.  Even so I am sure she is still someones pride.

Because we spent so much time puttering around sight seeing, we did not get back to Port Isabel before the front came through.  It was a fierce one, mostly dry, but with North winds near 40.  Our little tug just kept us dry and warm even though the waves were splashing over the pilot house.  Jake came inside and took refuge in the vee berth.  We turned into the channel that follows the ICW through Port Isabel and separates Long Island Village from Port Isabel.  The water was much rougher in that channel since the fetch was greater.  Fetch is the distance that the wind has to work on the surface of the water to create waves.  The greater the distance, the greater the wave.  Since we missed the opening of the swing bridge across the ICW and it would be another hour before we could get through to get to our house, we decided to duck into the dock at our friend Jim's house in Long Island Village.  Jim wrote a note about our visit on his blog, you can find it here: Any Port in a Storm.

Walldog, Willie and Jake.


Bruce Moore said...

Nice look at some of your local maritime surroundings. And what a fine "port in a storm"!

Have you seen the photos of Louis Vest on flickr? He's a pilot for the Port of Houston. Wonderful studies of ships and their environment. He goes by name OneEighteen. I think you'll enjoy them.

Collections: Nautical, Maritime, Marine


Bruce (Moondance)

Walldog, Willie and Jake said...

Hi Bruce, thanks for the comments. Louis Vest was a great tip. See you in May.