SIGHTINGS hard aground — cont’d
ALL PHOTOS CAPTAIN LONNIE RYAN
Life’s a beach — Above and below right, the container ship ‘APL Panama’ went onto the beach off Ensenada on Christmas Day. Bottom, seven tugs tried unsuccessfully to pull her off. Below, big surf puts extra stress on the hull, which has developed a crack.
on the morning of the 14th. Sometime during the night, the ship shifted position. As day broke, she was at an angle, and her stern was 50 feet farther up the beach than the bow. By 7 a.m., the bridles were reset. At 7:45, the pull began anew. But even with the combined horsepower of seven tugboats — which could probably pull the TransAmerica building into the Bay if they tried — not only was APL Panama not moving back toward the ocean, she was actually moving farther ashore! “It’s very difficult to prevent the ship from ‘skipping’ up the beach,” said Captain Lonnie Ryan of Ensenada, who supplied us with these photos and regular reports. “All cables must be kept tight at all times. If they go slack at any time, waves take up that slack and move the ship that much farther up on the beach.” By 9:15, it became apparent that Mother Nature had also won Round 2. The tugs headed back to port, the crowd dispersed, and the ship’s officers and owners doubtlessly laid in a fresh supply of Pepto Bismol. The next chance to attempt another pull was January 29. The wait, and the process, would be further complicated by cracks which have appeared midships in the Panama’s hull. Check Lectronic Latitude (www.latitude38.com) for updates.
February, 2006 •
• Page 111
The April 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.