The observation platform at the end of 6th Avenue was reopened a few weeks ago, but I didn’t actually get out there until nearly a week ago.
A year and half ago, the platform and the pier that led out to it were the only things left (nearly) undamaged after a pair of fires that destroyed two landmark buildings.
The damage is still evident everywhere, and reminders of the disappeared businesses abound, but the pier and platform themselves remain in good condition and are now accessible to the public again.
Last Tuesday was a sparkling if very windy day, so I made it a point to stop on my way home to take in the anchorage, which was rather full. But, almost as if on cue, another ship was transiting to Longview, and the proceedings upstaged the ships swinging on their anchor chains. They’re still out there… but just as background.
The Arrow 2 blazed by the deck at very close range, setting up her intercept course for the pilot exchange.
Nimble, and surprisingly quick, the little vessel and her captain dart into the navigation channel and merge with the inbound Pietro Benedetti amazingly quickly.
Click on the image above for a full-screen view. It’s very much worth noting that the time-stamps on the files in this sequence show less than three minutes from the first shot to the one that follows…
Again, click on the image for a full-screen view. The river pilot is already ascending the ladder.
The process isn’t complete. The bar pilot still has to board the Arrow 2 (very likely after giving a passdown of critical information to the river pilot)… so the pilot boat continues to run alongside for several minutes before disengaging from the inbound ship.
I’ve lived here for years, and I never tire of watching this ballet