Two Federal government boats with cranes were on the River Thursday, from different agencies but with similar missions. The Army Corps of Engineers Hayward patrols for obstructions to navigation on or near the surface, including large tree limbs and trunks. The Coast Guard’s Katherine Walker services buoys which mark the navigation channel for large ships moving north and south on the marine highway. At this time of the year, the regular standard buoys are swapped out for smaller winter buoys, less vulnerable to ice flows. The New York Times had a great article on this process back in 2015.
Meanwhile, at the cruise terminal, the Holland-American line’s Rotterdam spent the night after arriving from Europe Wednesday en route to her winter territory in the Caribbean. By Thursday evening she was on her way, leaving without tugboat assist thanks to her variable pitch propellers.
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