Did you know the same can be said for tugboats and ships? Yep. It sure can!
Rain...no matter how hard...the man dons his rain gear and goes out to pull lines and help dock ships. Whether a little shower or a real gulley washer, they work.
Snow? Well, that isn't really an issue where we live, but sleet and ice show up pretty regularly. Does that stop them? Nope. They wear steel toed boots with good traction and walk carefully on the nonskid applied on deck. (They apply and reapply that stuff regularly.)
Hail? Nope. Not that either. That only happens here once in a while too, but if it comes, they work. Good thing for those hard hats huh?
Lightening popping around? Cloud to ground strikes? Nope, they don't blink an eye. They go out on steel decks and pull lines, throw lines, turn wenches, catch lines and whatever else has to be done. We get a lot of lightening here, tons of bolts and strikes, especially during the summer when it's so freakin' hot and the afternoon rain comes.
So does ANYTHING stop ships and tugboats?
Yep. Bet you can't guess what it is!
Yep. Fog. Misty, mysterious, enveloping and a little creepy.....fog. It is great in a horror movie or on Halloween, or for getting really cool photos of the moon, but not so great for visibility. That's when they stop.
When visibility is too low, the river pilots make the executive decision and they close the river. That means nothing goes in and nothing goes out. Giant ships wait offshore until the river opens, and ships in port wait for the clearance to depart. The river is quiet. Tugboats are at the dock. All is calm.
Until.....the fog lifts. It may lift in a couple of hours, or it may take a night or so. When it lifts though, Katie bar the door. All those ships are paying for extra dock time, and all those ships waiting to come in are losing money and time just sitting. It's no holds barred for the tugboats then....the extra rest they got while the river was closed is soon used up. They work steady until all ships are either docked and unloading cargo, or they are out and on their way to the next port.
River life. Unpredictable and crazy at times. Exciting and challenging. Hard work. But every once in a while, I get to catch a glimpse of the foggy river and it is indeed beautiful. Mysterious, slow, heavy and wet....fog can stop everything in it's tracks.
This is the MSC Marianna coming upriver, just before it closed one cold December 2014 day.
Gross Tonnage: 73819
Deadweight: 85806 t
Length × Breadth: 304m × 40m
So hard for me to imagine those little yellow tugboats moving this thing!
Speaking of little yellow tugboats, here is my man's tug...Tug Georgia sitting at the dock in fog.
Behind them is the river, and beyond that is the wood chip dock. Can't see it? That's why the river is closed :)