Friday, 7 August 2015

August 5, 2015 Portland, Maine

 Andrew McAllister, one of the tugs in the harbour, out and about.
 Aucocisco III on its appointed rounds.

Back in the old days, after Acetylene was no longer used to keep buoy lanterns lit, large battery packs were required.  These would fit in the manholes seen on the top of the buoy body.  The lantern would generally have 4 or 5 bulbs in it plugged into a changer.  When a bulb blew it would short the circuit and the changer would rotate a new bulb into place.  Also on the lantern was a sun switch to turn the light on and off depending on the amount of ambient light.  The lanterns were large and heavy.
Then came solar panels and rechargeable batteries.  The panels were large, would get covered in bird feces and the batteries would lose their charge.  The batteries were also large, and still inside the buoy body.  It was discovered that the rechargeable batteries gave off explosive gases so each buoy body had to be vented and non-sparking tools were required to open the manholes.  In the top photo can be seen an upside-down "U" tube just under the number "3".  This is the vent line.
Of course, technology improved and soon the lantern, solar panels and sun switch were all located in one small unit.  The lantern on buoy # 3 is about 12" high.  The one under the Gull above is about 6" high.  Just this simple unit.  The lanterns are now set by computer before they leave the CG base, and they have LED lights which use far less power but are much more powerful.  This Gull, an Atlantic version, is nearly twice the size of those wimpy critters we find on the Great Lakes.
 Lobster boat Disillusion working traps in Portland Harbour.  All the traps have been recovered, lobsters removed, undersized ones thrown back and the traps re-baited.
 Then the skipper takes the boat along his/her line and one trap with a marker buoy is thrown over the stern. 
 The rest of the traps are connected by rope at a pre-determined interval and each one is pulled out in its turn.  Below you can see one trap being pulled into the water.
 Before lobsters get cooked they are usually green, although some blue ones are caught on occasion.  Once you cook em, they turn red.  Yum!
 Fishing boat Hard Runnin' Tide bootin' er back into Portland. 

 Machigonne II, another of the Casco Bay ferries, with self-loading cargo.  The islands in Casco Bay are home to all sorts of people so the ferries are a necessity.

 Maersk Katalin inbound Portland.  This ship is a regular visitor to Portland and other eastern seaboard and Canadian Maritime ports.
 Passing a tourist boat.
Tug on the hip.
 Into the harbour proper.
 Over the river and through the woods....
 Through the bridge, now with two tugs.
 Finally, getting pushed onto the dock.
 Did I mention that Casco Bay has lots of ferries?  Maquoit II on the way.

 Larger fishing vessel Ocean Venture inbound.  With the lifting gear and skiff on the stern it looks like it may be a Herring Seiner.
 Passing Bug Light.

 Top, a real Osprey.  One parent was hovering around my head making Osprey-type threats.
 Another Osprey, this one of the mechanical version.

 Above.  Portland Head Light.  Not headlight.
 The Wabanaki, yet another Casco Bay Ferry.

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