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Old 05-14-2007, 10:01 AM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,573

Steamboating colleagues:
Just got wind of the EMPRESS OF THE NORTH 'situation' off Juneau in Alaska. Thanks to Carmen for the 'links' provided here. I'm no 'expert' in any way, shape or fashion but have spent 30 days on various passenger ships in Alaskan waters in past years. Yes, Bob, the ships do have extra pilots brought in for navigation of the channels and sounds in those waters. Instruments are used with crew posted on bows, stern to observe over the side, ahead and astern. In the glacial fjords even the local authorities along with the U.S. National Park Service post people to observe the ships, give presentations to passengers and survey for possible environmental issues. Lots of rocks, bars etc., but don't know about the 'shifting' conditions as we experience on our rivers here. It was interesting watching/listening to the local pilots pacing from one side of the ship's bridge to the other watching and singing out compas settings to the quarter master at the helm. The ships turn and maneuver constantly in the narrower channels.

My concern, though, is for the high rise and fall of the tides in those regions. Extreme reaches of the northern/southern hemispheres are subject to high tides similar to the Bay of Fundy--expecially where the channels and inlets shallow out or narrow at the head. The maritime climate there is subject to much rain, mist and fog. The Gulf of Alaska is one of the roughest stretches of water to steam on and I've been down more than once with Majestic America Line de mere.

I will watch the news closely and wish the EMPRESS all the best in my prayers.

R. Dale Flick
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