Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bayview spur

Just off the Bay Trail, looking SE next to the bridge to Bayview Ave.

Is this a tidal wetland or salt marsh?

I've been taking the bridge to Bayview Avenue then Meade Street and up to the top of Regatta when the waterfront trail is busy, there's almost no traffic (but you do get freeway noise).

Meade takes you past the Richmond Field Station future home of a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory campus. That seems like a good development for this corner of Richmond. Amini's is going to be busy at lunch once the lab is running.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Marina Way 2

South end Marina Way again, around sunset

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Richmond Waterfront from Barbara and Jay Vincent Park

View from the hilltop at the west end of Barbara and Jay Vincent Park on the Richmond waterfront. The boxy ship with white superstructure to the left of Ford building is a car carrier, a Honda ship I think. The WWII Victory-class merchant mariner Red Oak Victory is to the left of the car carrier.

This is a wider panoramic view from the same hilltop. There's a great play area with swings and slides and a big lawn off to the right. The waterfront is consistently windy and this little peninsula in particular can be a nice cooling off spot for the kids on a hot day. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Marina Way, Richmond Waterfront

South end of Marina Way overlooking the waterfront bike path.

The Boiler House restaurant in the Ford Building (under silver smoke stack) is closed, it is going to re-open as Assemble.  We're hoping to stop by on a bike ride for a burger once they open, it's a great setting for a waterfront cafe.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flags of Convenience

The Stolt Saphire, a 38,746 ton tanker, moored at the same wharf where the USS Iowa berthed for a few months during it's retrofit.

The ship is registered in Monrovia (Liberia). I doubt the ship has ever been there, there's no  company office near there, and I doubt any of the owners have been there either. Flying a flag of convenience  

The company has a bunch of ships registered in Liberia and Cayman Islands, I'd guess they are pretty typical given how high a percentage of the world's shipping is registered under a flag of convenience.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Richmond Shipyard #3

Richmond Shipyard #3 at sunset, looking East at North slip.

Kaiser built 4 shipyards in Richmond with the largest shipbuilding capacity in the US, assembling a total of 747 Ocean (pre-Liberty), Liberty, Cargo Ship (pint size Liberty), C4 Transports, Frigates, LSTs and Victory ships.

The big Whirley crane in the background had a 110 foot long boom and could handle up to 83 ton (166,000 pound!) loads. It got it's name from it's novel ability to spin in a full circle. The cranes lowered iron gates into the water to convert the slip into a dry-dock, with pumps removing up to 50,000 gallons per minute.

Red Oak Victory is the big grey ship in back, you can see the 3 inch bow gun just above the right end of the white Matson container. 534 Victory-class ships were built and she is 1 of the last 2 still floating.

On the very left the 205 foot long 950 ton Wapama, a 1915 lumber carrier, is hauled up on the pier being restored. According to the Library of Congress Wapama was the last working ship of 225 West Coast steam schooners built from around 1880 to 1923. The CA Thayer in San Francisco and Wawona in Seattle, WA are other examples.

You can see a 5 ton fragment of another steam schooner the Point Arena (1887) at Año Nuevo State Park. The Point Arena, one of the first steam schooners built with an engine, was loading at Pigeon Point "doghole" harbor (tiny unprotected rocky inlet) in 1913 when a large wave snapped a mooring line and the hull was torn open on a rock. The dangerous small, unprotected and rocky harbors of the West Coast claimed many ships in this class.

Nice to be out on the bike again.