Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Snowbird

M/V Snowbird Alongside Dutch Harbor (1985) (Photo by K.C. ) 

I went to work on the Snowbird as mate in February of 1985. We had a crew of six, Captain, mate, Chief Eng, 1 A/E, a deck hand and a cook. We ran from Seattle to Alaska.calling ports in Southeast and Southwest Alaska. My previous post on the Snowbird is here

Ship's cook and deckhand shove pallets around on Deck(Photo by K.C. )

The cargo holds of the Snowbird were insulated and refrigerated. During cargo operations the crew, sometimes with the aid of a couple of guys from the cannery, would move the frozen boxes of seafood, usually crab from Trident Seafoods, and stack it by hand in the holds. It took about two days working all night to load the ship. The holds were kept at about -25F.

View from the port wing - The Fork Lift is used in the hold(Photo by K.C. )

The Snowbird often made up alongside a vessel at anchor. Here the whip from the Snowbird's outboard boom is married to the outboard whip from the bigger freighter. I never heard this set-up called anything but "Jap Style".

M/V Snowbird Alongside a Reefer Freighter (Photo by K.C. ) 

The two boxes aft are reefers and are used for cargo. They are loaded by dropping loaded pallets aft of the boxes and moving the boxes of seafood into the reefer boxes by hand.

M/V Snowbird Alongside view from the Freighter (Photo by K.C. )

Not much to the wheelhouse, besides throttle and rudder control we had a compass, one radar, a couple VHF a HF/MF radio

Last time I saw the Chief he was making and selling Pal Oil

Al, The Chief, in the Wheelhouse (Photo by K.C. )

I sailed with Doug for two years and learned more about seamanship, navigation and ship handling in that time then any other time in my career prior to sailing master myself.

Captain Doug(Photo by K.C. ) 

Every voyage involved navigating the Inside Passage then heading across the Gulf of Alaska, needless to say the sailing wasn't always smooth, especially in the winter.

Headed HomePhoto by K.C. )

Working on the Snowbird involved  almost no paperwork, no safety  management system, but  plenty of long hours at low pay in less the ideal conditions


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She didn't look much different in 78 when I was on her as Asst. I did one trip in the Fall (Oct-Nov).
Worked for Al.