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Old 14-01-2022, 13:57   #1
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Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Cruisers might have a more "interesting" time avoiding dozens of "parked" cargo ships hovering about 50 miles offshore, due to new policies being used by crowded ports:

https://www.sfgate.com/local/article...n-16770819.php

But my bigger concern is that when the weather turns bad, there will be increased chances of lost containers since those ships that could have been anchored in calm water inside the bay will now be tossing around offshore for extended periods waiting to be unloaded.

I think this is a lose-lose situation for recreational boaters and the shipping industry and will actually harm air quality, not help it as was claimed by the promoters. Normally ships enter SF Bay and anchor in designated areas, using no power for propulsion while they wait. If they are forced to remain offshore, they will be using much more fuel since they must maintain position (there is no anchoring that far offshore near SF Bay or LA), and emissions will be greater.
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Old 14-01-2022, 14:18   #2
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

I'm wondering just how much recreational traffic is 50 miles offshore.....realistically. We've had cruise ships anchored a mile or two offshore around Canaveral florida and there were no reported allisions with a field of anchored cruise ships.

Do we really think there is higher risk of loosing a container at anchor, than at sea? All storms conditions being equal. It would seem to be about the same IMHO
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Old 14-01-2022, 14:48   #3
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Hi, waterman 46,

What does your AIS say about their status?

The reason I'm asking is that, here in Australia from ~ Sugarloaf Pt., south to Pittwater, a distance of about 90 n. mi, the ships are drifting, displaying Not Under Command balls. They like to ride the south setting current, saving fuel, and presenting hazards to avoid, but they're big, and with a halfway reasonable lookout, no one has so far collided with them.

At 50 miles offshore, your ships are outside the traffic lanes, and it's hard to view them as a major hazard to local sailing traffic, which usually stays a lot closer inshore.

We certainly could hope for an improvement to air quality, but with all the automobile traffic, I think smog will still be a problem when there is an inversion layer.

Ann
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Old 14-01-2022, 15:13   #4
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

I'm on the other coast, so forgive me if this is a stupid question: Are the ships' diesel exhausts the real problem, or is that just an excuse?

I ask because I really don't know. Clearly a bunch of ships in the harbor will be spewing some unfriendly stuff. But then again, so are cars and factories. So I have to wonder if the ships are a real problem, or just a scapegoat.
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Old 14-01-2022, 16:01   #5
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Learned to sail in SF bay back in '83 and good training staying out of the path of incoming cargo ships...hey, why not have them staged by anchoring off Treasure Is and Alcatraz?? No diesel fumes...not victims of off shore seas...could even offer tours to out-of-town tourists...
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Old 14-01-2022, 16:14   #6
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Ship emissions are not usually from diesel but from Bunker C. So thick it has to be kept heated to 140 degrees in the tanks in order to flow. Dirty stuff.
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Old 14-01-2022, 16:19   #7
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Heading into the Med once past the 'Rock' there's a lot of them from 5nm out and further, not in any shipping lanes but definitely many needing to be dodged if headed for Cabo de Gato 150nm or so ENE once you clear Europa Point.. foggy days are nervy..
Mind, its been like that for a few years.
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Old 14-01-2022, 16:31   #8
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

As long as they are broadcasting AIS (and I strongly suspect that they do so routinely) "dodging" a drifting ship isn't all that hard. We do it here in Oz on every coastal and near coastal passage. They also routinely exhibit deck lights in addition to nav lights so they show up pretty well visually at night. In fog, well, I've not had the experience of encountering a non-AIS ship drifting in the fog, but such a vessel would be a hazard to a non radar equipped yacht... but so are all non-AIS vessels, drifting or not!

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Old 14-01-2022, 16:40   #9
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Off shore yes, 50 miles? I am an east coast guy, so I Am thinking no way cause you would need a mile of road to hit the bottom no?
The vessels are waiting about a week off the NYC harbor and coast before unloading and we are talking a dozen ships max but mostly about 5 and no more than 8 miles off shore as closer to land the waters are calmer due to the prevailing wind off the land (only the fetch of the distance from land)
I sailed the lower Chesapeake 2x, spring and fall of this year, no extra ships lying in wait off shore or “in harbor” same for Wilmington NC this past fall.
So not sure what or where the media is reporting about? Sorry to be contrary on this OP but a picture of ships anchored would be proof positive. A screen shot of an AIS image of the off shore fleet would be amazing but right now, to me, I am not sure that it a thing.
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Old 14-01-2022, 16:57   #10
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

I think the big issue is storms and containers getting dumped.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/briti...sunk-1.6245797

I can't see any emissions saving, just puts it further out to sea, but the prevailing winds will still bring it inland.
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Old 14-01-2022, 17:25   #11
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Large ships are now virtually all motor vessels, meaning they are diesel powered. Most of the large vessels are direct drive slow speed engines. They are meant to operate under load, and not idling for countless hours. They burn Diesel Fuel when in/near port, so the fuel lines won't get clogged with the bunker fuel they burn while underway at sea. There may still be a lot of soot in the exhaust manifold/waste heat boiler/stack...and when the engines are revved up this can pollute. It is logical they would drift for awhile, then start the engine to correct for the drift, then secure it again. During a bad storm they would keep the main engine on, and way on the vessel for steering and to minimize rolling. Of course, there are exceptionally bad storms that should be avoided if possible.
If we didn't buy so many imports, most of it cheap crap, there wouldn't be such a problem. Cooking the planet one ship at a time.
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Old 14-01-2022, 18:35   #12
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Funny nobody has commented about the real reason that those Container Ships are waiting to unload.
The State of California is not allowing any trucks that are just a few years old to transit into any part of the State or the Ports there to do any travelling through their roads; no loading or unloading or anything, if those trucks do not meet their latest strickt and ever changing Emissions Regulations.
Most Truckers cannot afford newer trucks.
Trucks are very costly to run and specially to buy a new one every 3 to 4 years to keep up with all those ever choking regulatory Emissions in those States.
Trucks that are not clean enough for their liking, are not allowed to even come into their State!.
Please comment on that also, for us to try to understand the reasons for this situation. It has been going on for many months and is affecting our whole Country and others also.
Only the truck drivers are talking about this problem, at least from their empty trucks. They are being affected directly.
Nothing is being explained by the Newspapers or the talking heads on the TV .
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Old 14-01-2022, 18:38   #13
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcboomer View Post
I think the big issue is storms and containers getting dumped.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/briti...sunk-1.6245797

I can't see any emissions saving, just puts it further out to sea, but the prevailing winds will still bring it inland.
Oh yes, there will be lots of extra emissions. 50 miles out they are outside territorial waters so any local pollution laws won't apply. They'll be burning dirty, dirty bunker "C" rather than diesel and the main engine will probably be running 24/7 if for nothing else than to keep the head into the wind and seas. It has been estimated that a large container ship produces as much pollution as 50 MILLION cars (I kid you not) so, with the onshore winds that we have on the west coast you're darn tootin that's a HUGE increase to local pollution.

When anchored inshore or in a harbour they don't run their main engines and run their generators on diesel - so far less pollution. Here (Vancouver and Victoria), ships are required to shut down ALL engines and use shore power when at dock - so far less pollution than there used to be. I believe the same rule is in effect at American west coast ports.

And, as has been pointed out, container loss on the high seas is very possible. Usually containers are not lost in ones and twos, but in the dozens as stacks fail. After a loss it's a veritable mine field in the area - although a great many of them sink.

Very real problems. And yes, we have them here off the west coast of Canada too - although most of the ships are brought into inshore anchorages to wait - inside Vancouver Island. Gulf Island residents LOVE them! (Note I'm being factious ).

If you want to see how many ships are where, go to Vessel Finder. There's a wall of ships off LA and San Diego doing around 2 knots.

www.vesselfinder.com

Their home page will scare you crapless.
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Old 14-01-2022, 19:24   #14
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Could even end up on the beach as has happened at Newcastle NSW Australia in 1974 & 2006. Both times in cyclonic East Coast Lows.

Due an expansion of coal loading facilities there are nowadays no where near as many ships anchored off at sea. Other than our coal power plants emissions are not an issue in the locality.

The industry that keeps the Hunter Valley employed and thriving exports most of the high quality black coal. Coal mines where the reason for Briitish penal settlement in the locale and have continued since to date.
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Old 14-01-2022, 19:44   #15
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Re: Cargo Ship Parking Lot at Sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

If you want to see how many ships are where, go to Vessel Finder. There's a wall of ships off LA and San Diego doing around 2 knots.

www.vesselfinder.com

Their home page will scare you crapless.
Wow, it is pretty shocking when you zoom out- I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised though.
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