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North Puget Sound sailors beware


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Flooding has again caused a jam on Ebey slough at US2, but larger than I can recall in past years. The state does not seem to be cleaning it up, just clearing the trestle and pushing it downstream. Perhaps those of you who sail out of Everette can chime in, but I suspect most of this stuff, including 40 ft logs, will end up in navigable waters.

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Reminds me of the Chesapeake Bay last year. They opened up the Conowingo dam and thousands of tons of flotsam went down the bay. This picture was taken in Annapolis in August, where the Annapolis sailboat show is, 50 miles from the dam. Many races were cancelled because of this.

 

Along with debris littering waterways comes another ...

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2 hours ago, Hawaiidart said:

Here In Anacortes sits an Army Corp of Engineers snag boat, now serving as a museum.  Do they not have these anymore?

The only one around that I can think of is the Puget that's berthed at the Chittenden locks.

 

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That usually happens, but much lower volume, with the spring freshet - what's caused it to happen so extremely now?

On the upside, having that crap in the water here keeps the incidence of cigarette boats down - they just can't survive long.

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Lots of debris out there this week. Most of it along the tide lines. Ad in crab season being opened two weeks ago and it's a bit of a obstacle course out there. Thankfully winds have behaved this week making it easy stuff to spot. That changes today, however

 

WL

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Over the decades, we have collided (not intentionally) with logs in the Columbia River, up in the Straits, and one time over by Whitby Island. The smaller stuff either sinks or gets blown up on the beaches, and the larger ones soak up water unevenly and turn into vertical "dead heads" to menace boats. I have seen a few of those even off the WA coast but have never hit one. 

Sometimes vigilance works, and the rest of time it's just luck. My friends with planning power cruisers all comment that at 20 kts, they have to maintain a forward watch with no wavering of attention. At all. :(

Here in the NW, the major rivers feed a lot of timber of all sizes into the ocean and the bays and channels. I recall, dimly, that it was the presence of logs that was one factor that ended the Boeing foiling military vessel idea, after one test craft was built and tested. It was an all aluminum boat, and really kind of cool - but ultimately not practical.

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54 minutes ago, fast108 said:

Sometimes vigilance works, and the rest of time it's just luck.

So, with all of this newfangled technology. We now have AIS to be seen, depth transducers to see below, and even radars to catch random boats... however...

Is there not something to see debris in the water?! It seems far more necessary than ever given our beautiful pollution, especially if you are an offshore racer (or live in the PNW!)

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54 minutes ago, Floating Duck said:

Is there not something to see debris in the water?!

Yup - a vigilant person at the helm.

Sailboats are slow enough that most of it isn't a problem. The deadheads are the nasty bits - they can be very hard to see, especially until you get close.

If you go out at night it's just luck.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

If you go out at night it's just luck.

It is NOT luck.  You are, of course, aware that there is an agency who has the singular task of going out at night and removing debris so we can race without concern.  Unfortunately, budgets have been cut and they have no storage facility, so just before daylight it all gets dumped overboard again. 

As far as I am aware, they've only screwed up once -- we whacked a log on the way out during straits one year.  It was a bad year because we hit the same log (saw the bottom paint to prove it) about 6 hours later on the way back.

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On 10/24/2019 at 10:30 AM, Hawaiidart said:

Here In Anacortes sits an Army Corp of Engineers snag boat, now serving as a museum.  Do they not have these anymore?

The Preston is a steam-driven paddle wheeler that just possibly, maybe is perhaps a little outdated.  The paddle wheel certainly wasn't bothered by snags though.

I had the pleasure of going on it's last voyage and seeing its 12' long polished brass pistons drive the paddle was a look at truly 19th century technology in action.  

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

Yup - a vigilant person at the helm.

Sailboats are slow enough that most of it isn't a problem. The deadheads are the nasty bits - they can be very hard to see, especially until you get close.

If you go out at night it's just luck.

Every one around here knows that real American dead heads and snags all go to sleep at night on the bottom.  They only come up at dawn. 

The Canadian ones are a little rowdier and tend to party on the surface until about 2 a.m.

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6 hours ago, ctutmark said:

Image result for flying Princess, hydrofoil did not fare well against the logs and other debris

When I worked at Boeing's, I was riding one of these when they hit a 18 inch log in Elliott Bay. Cut right through it, hardly a jolt. No damage to the Jetfoil. 

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4 hours ago, Left Shift said:

The Preston is a steam-driven paddle wheeler that just possibly, maybe is perhaps a little outdated.  The paddle wheel certainly wasn't bothered by snags though.

I had the pleasure of going on it's last voyage and seeing its 12' long polished brass pistons drive the paddle was a look at truly 19th century technology in action.  

The Preston spent the night before it's retirement in front of our house in Similk Bay on Fidalgo Island.  We woke up to it's whistle, as the sun was coming up, as it left the bay.  Amazing.

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4 hours ago, Left Shift said:

Every one around here knows that real American dead heads and snags all go to sleep at night on the bottom.  They only come up at dawn. 

The Canadian ones are a little rowdier and tend to party on the surface until about 2 a.m.

And then they sink vertically, and show about 4" above the surface.  Danger, danger, danger.

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36 minutes ago, view at the front said:

And then they sink vertically, and show about 4" above the surface.  Danger, danger, danger.

We passed several major deadheads this year on the way up to Desolation. Nastiest one must have been two feet across and barely awash. I hate seeing those things, especially when the first time you see it is four feet off the cockpit.

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5 hours ago, Left Shift said:

The Preston is a steam-driven paddle wheeler that just possibly, maybe is perhaps a little outdated.  The paddle wheel certainly wasn't bothered by snags though.

I had the pleasure of going on it's last voyage and seeing its 12' long polished brass pistons drive the paddle was a look at truly 19th century technology in action.  

I am confident that the Preston is beyond its sell-by date.  However, a barge with a crane would seem to make more sense that tying up a lane of freeway with a crane on the bridge.  I realize that I know absolutely nothing about this subject so this is just an uninformed opinion.

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A crane on the bridge is vastly cheaper than hiring a tug and barge plus crew...... not to mention, the tug and barge would come from downstream and be on the wrong side of the bridge to do any good!

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6 hours ago, Veeger said:

A crane on the bridge is vastly cheaper than hiring a tug and barge plus crew...... not to mention, the tug and barge would come from downstream and be on the wrong side of the bridge to do any good!

Agreed - saved many a bridge around the state and on the Olympic Peninsula back in the day, for Mowat on their emergency bridge repair crew - bringing in a latice boom friction rig  or two and two way or four way clams, working with state maintinence crews or Army Corp of Engineers. Sometimes the combination of the log jam and the rising flood waters had taken out the approach on one side of the bridge. In those instances we would haul  in very large rock,  as large as a small car and place this rock with the clam on the friction rig and a couple large excavaters, with this we'd also place 2"-4" ballast, and large one & two man rip-rap to build the approach up, then cover it with a layer of ballast, and a final couple 7" layers of 3/4-. All the layers of rock would be compacted with large hydralic compacters attachments on excavators. Over the top of the compacted 3/4-, compacted to at 98-100% the new roadbed of asphalt,  and a new concrete ramp & approach and apron for the abuttment.

Sometimes after clearing the log jams and repairing the approach or approachs, the next flood might take out the bridge, if the state didn't call us soon enough - as in the case of the Bogachiel River Hywy 101 bridge south of Forks, WA - renamed the Russell Barker Memorial Bridge - this bridge had along history of being saved time, and time again.  Russell H. Barker, Olympic Region, Maintenance Technician 2. Russell died in December of '79 as he drove a dump truck over the Bogachiel River Bridge. Flood waters washed out the bridge supports, and his truck plunged off that end a couple hours before daylight. Five others were rescued after they plunged off the bridge too.

The Preston spoke of earlier was a Army Corp of Engineers snagboat originally based out of the Chittenden locks in Seattle, replaced by the M/V Puget the debris recovery vessel for Seattle District, but is only used for snag cleanup on the Puget Sound, dredging the Chittenden locks exit and approach and  removing sunken vessels and similar obstructions to navigation.

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On 10/26/2019 at 12:05 AM, Floating Duck said:

So, with all of this newfangled technology. We now have AIS to be seen, depth transducers to see below, and even radars to catch random boats... however...

Is there not something to see debris in the water?! It seems far more necessary than ever given our beautiful pollution, especially if you are an offshore racer (or live in the PNW!)

That's the problem, to many people rely on electronics and forget the basics. 

Maintain a proper lookout (which includes electronics and eyeballs) and keep your speed appropriate for conditions. 

That's the law and no technology will ever change that. 

If you on the water in the PNW and you are not keeping your eyes peeled for logs 365dx24h then you will, eventually, eat one. And maybe still. 

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