Pictures of Ships, Tugs, Off Shore Rigs, Barges, and those who work them


I’m surprised that this method of transport of containers, especially in a harze weather area like Alaska. A Tug/Barge combination like this increas risk and reduce efficency by a large factor, which add to the actual cost ratio per TEU and probably insurance costs.

Reefer containers are probably a major number in this trade, especially to/from Dutch Harbour??
Looking at this picture, there appear to be a lot of reefers on this barge, but where is the generator(s)?:

I don’t know the number of crew on the tugs used, but assuming it is at least 8-10 for the long haul routes from the lower 48’s, that is not much less than what you’ll find on a container feeder of this type, used to carry containers between continental European ports and Wester/Northern Norway, with equal if not worse conditions to contend with:

This one is of at least the same TEU capacity as the barge above and geared to handle it’s own cargo in ports with no gantry crane facilities.(Most Norwegian ports)

Another type is the combined RO/CON and Pallet Carriers:

Less TEU capacity but able to carry a great variety of cargo to/from ports without stevedores, or in way of other facilities. Here is more info for those who are interested:



It’s still cheaper or they’d use a ship.

Also, there are numerous ports in Western Alaska that ships can’t get into because of draft reasons. They use tugs as a feeder service to Dutch then from there a lot of stuff goes out on ships.

A large tug crew in this service is 6 people. Captain, chief mate, second mate, engineers, AB, and a cook/deckhand.



I would hate to be on a flat bottomed shallow draft tug in a storm in the Bearing Sea, though, but maybe that is me only.



There’s a reason I don’t work there anymore.

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The second of the new Starfish class AHTS for Maersk has been delivered:
Some pictures of the vessel incl.

Here s a video of how she was put together:

PS> Kleven build the hulls in section at various yards and “at home” and put them together in an impressive operation.



One of the better looking offshore vessels in service:

No it is not some kind of mini supply boat, this is a purpose built Seismic Support Vessel working with a Seismic Vessel off the coast near Aalesund, Norway. Now in town for crew change and stores.
Here is specs:



Another vessel working for the same Seismic Vessel is the Guard boat Glomar 4-winds:

Former Dutch Boom Trawler 4-Winds

She is fully ISM and HSEQ compliant and ready for all eventualities:

Incl. with a Mourgue.


unpinned #788


A type of vessels you don’t see too many of in North America, except on the BC coast of Canada.
A Live Fish Carrier passing Aalesund south bound with the fish holds full:

Not sure, but I think it may be this one:



Another Seismic Support Vessel of the same company was in town yesterday.
The Ocean Fortune this time:

Nice little boat. (No, not the floating shopping mall with hotel facilities on the other side of the pier)

A closer look:

And after the “Shopping mall” had left for Bergen:

This particular Cruise ship was the Aida Bella:

Register in Genova, Italy as owned by Costa, (a Carnival Corp. company) and operated by AIDA Cruises in Germany:

Commonly known as the “Kissing lips fleet”



Seen at full zoom: The “Seven Oceans” spooling pipes at Subsea 7’s Spooling base at Vigra:



is still sitting idle here in Aalesund, Norway as of today.



If you are talking about the Seven Oceans;
Idle?? You mean not spooling pipes YET, or idle as in not having anything to do??

If you are on the Alucia 2, I’m curious why she is still here?? Abt. 9 months since sold and nothing appears to happen, other than a trip to Ulsteinvik to remove the AHC Offshore Crane.



Thought I’ll present you to a “nice little Anchor Handler” visited Aalesund yesterday, 15. July, 2017, :

She is the Japanese owned but Norwegian registered “KL Sandefjord”. She was touted as the most powerful towing vessel in the wold when delivered from the Vard Langstein Yard in 2011:,-towing-and-salvage/kl-sandefjord-breaks-bollard-pull-record

But actually overtaken by the Far Samson, built at the same yard in 2009:,-towing-and-salvage/far_samson_breaks_bollard_pull_records

Some more picture of this beast for your enjoyment:

She has some of the most powerful and comprehensive winch system in the business. (Details in the MJ article):

Nice little detail for those in the know; the commonly used Capstans at either side aft has been replaced by Tugger winches:

Don’t know about that box placed on the outside of the Cargo rail though. (Obviously it has survived 6 years so far)

She is equipped with two cranes running on the rails and covering the entire deck space:

Each equipped with a “manipulator head” to cut down on risky operation by the deck crew:

A look along Stbd. side and the superstructure with the bridge, with near 360 degr. unobstructed view:

Another detail; remote controlled CCTV Camera that can be extended from the bow when you need to know what is going on in the blind zone close by, or when deploying or recovering anchors by remote operation from the bridge:

She look kind of “angry” when viewed from here:

Plenty of Thrusters to keep her on line when running anchors, incl. an Azimuth thruster that can be used as propulsion when idling in the field:

Seen from the other side of the harbour:

I did not ask to go onboard, since the crew were busy with family visits. (Besides, I only do that when I’m paid for it)



Seen those on a few other vessels as well:



The Alucia 2 (ex Volstad Surveyor) has been owned by an American Film Company since Oct. 2016, but is still in Aalesund. I can not find any news on when she will be leaving for USA for conversion. (Earlier said to be due in Dec. 2016) Could the deal have fallen through??

I went to have a look at this vessel yesterday, 15. July, 2017. First as seen from town:

She is moored inside of the Seismic vessel Geo Bluefin in this picture.

A view from above:

And from the wharf:

Note that the AHC Offshorecrane has been removed, but the foundation is still in place:

The Bridge wing on Stbd. side is extended over the side and aft towards the working deck to give better view when operating the crane:

And launching ROV through the side gate from the ROV Hangar:

The Helideck is arranged below the bridge, not above as usual:

Very nice and special looking vessel, with the short working deck.
Here is specs:

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Here’s a couple of pictures from 2005 with the President Hubertvv running anchors from the SSCV Hermod in the Ekofisk field .
The other picture is the inspection of the 5000t crane block from the Hermod before lifting a bridge support structure.



Oh yes the Ekofisk field, the first oil field developed in the Norwegian sector and still producing:
The old facilities are obsolete and being removed to give way for new development.

In 1987 the platforms, with all connecting bridges, pipes and cables in place, was jacked up and “spool pieces” placed in the jacket legs in one very complex operation:

In the background in the first picture you see a gray wall, which is the Ekofisk Barrier, put in place to protect the Central Processing Unit on top of the Ekofisk Tank, the first concrete structure in the North Sea. (Now all obsolete)

The over 1 Mill. tonnes Ekofisk Tank with the Central Processing unit could not be raised, however… So a different solution had to be found. The original plans for a barrier to protect this most important part of the Ekofisk Complex was first proposed by Doris, a French Engineering company.
(Said to have been in a meeting at a restaurant in Paris, with the concept drawn on a napkin)

A consortium of Dutch and Norwegian companies joined forces to build and install it in a matter of 18 months. This was also an attempt at breaking the monopoly of Norwegian Contractors AS, who was the only company with experience from building huge concrete offshore structures (incl. the Ekofisk Tank)

The “bottom slabs” were built in the large drydock at Verolme in Rotterdam:

When reaching the max. weight that could be transported and the min. height that was feasible for afloat slipforming to full height, the two halves were towed out of the dock together in as a “raft”, and separated:

They were moored at the yard to await preparation of the only Heavy Lift Vessel in the world that had a long enough deck to accommodate the 140 m. diam. of the barrier, the Sibig Venture. (With abt. 2 m. to spare, each end)

Seen here with an earlier cargos on deck:

The problem was that the Sigbig Venture was designed for max. 7.5 m. of water over deck, while the draft of the barrier halves were abt. 10 m. which meant some innovative engineering had to be done.
This included building a cofferdam around the E/R casing and placing 6 LASH barges on the strengthened helideck to be able to ballast down to 10.5 m. over deck. (The barges were filled with water during loading and discharging)

The weight of 27.000 m.t. was concentrated on a relatively small area, so part of the vessel’s main structure had to be strengthened in way of the heaviest loaded deck area., which was done at a yard in Greece.

When all that was done, incl. installing cribbing consisting of different grade of wood, from ironwood to softwood to equalize the deck load factor, inspected and approved by MWS, the first half could be towed from Verolme Yard to Europoort, where the ship was moored in a specially dredged deep hole:

But before that the route had to surveyed, Mini-ranger stations put up for accurate positioning and dummy run made on simulator to confirm the assumptions and calculations carried out to determine how such “bananas” would behave during tow was accurate.

BTW; It showed up that the bollard pull requirement calculations were not accurate, since we had problem making the turn into Europoort. (Luckily this was in Rotterdam, so extra tugs could be had nearly instantly)

When the loading operation of the first half was done successfully and the weather forecast was favourable, I signed the Certificate of Approval on behalf of the MWS and the Sibig Venture sailed for Aalfjord in Norway:

I attended on board for the first transport, when an unforecasted storm blew up. We were driven into the German Bight and a lee shore, going half ahead but making 1.5 - 2.0 kts. backward.

What saved us that day was that the Sibig Venture had been converted from a 120.000 DWT tanker to a HLV by removing two tank sections, thus making her shorter and more stable.
But she still had the power and rudder of the original tanker. We were therefore able to keep the wind and seas 2 points on Port bow at half ahead, protecting the ends of the barrier that was sticking 40 m. over Stbd. side: (My scanned picture)

We reached Aalfjord eventually, where moorings had been prepared. Using 120 mm. diam. chains and 40 m.t. Stevshark anchors rented from Norwegian Contractors and their special Crane vessel Conlift to lay and test them to 500 m.t. tension by the way.

Here is Sibig Venture in Aalfjord as seen from the barrier while being towed towards the mooring position: (Also scanned from own picture)

Transport of the second half was much the same, That one was sent off to fit between two forecasted storms, It was offloaded just in time before the second storm hit, but we ended up holding in the fjord for 18 hrs. before the mooring operation could commence.

I have done many complex loading operations, since my first in Singapore in 1976, but nothing as complex as this. One reason is that steel can bend, but Prestressed Concrete Structures can not.
I actually had put in limitations on roll and pitch allowed in the CoA on advice of the Engineering in the London office. (Cannot remember what was the limits off the cuff)

The last transport was in Dec. 1988 and I was home in Singapore a couple of days before X-mas, happy to get warmed up.

Enough for now. I’ll be back with the more exciting tow out of the completed barrier halves and installation in the field while the Ekofisk Centre was producing at full capacity. (350k/bbls/day + gas)

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A little jump.
A couple of typical Multipurpose Short Sea vessels that is regular visitors on their run from the Netherland to West and North Norway:

Polfoss arriving in Aalesund 15. July, 2017:

And leaving, stern first, 22. July, 2017:

(No she did not spend all that time here)

Her sister ship, the Svartfoss, visited 21. July, 2017:

Owned by an Icelandic company. Flaying the flag of Antigua & Barbuda, But manned by East Europeans:



A couple of friends of mine were surveyors on the Barrier route survey and tow out and installation. I sent them your report and they would like to see your tow out report when you write it.
I guess Noble Denton were the Warranty Surveyors for that job and I think Capt Peter D … may have been involved . Interesting information you are able to provide, I guess as a WS you kept good records, unfortunately after every job was complete and final as builts etc were filed away I usually deleted mentally and physically that job and moved on to the next