Friday, November 6, 2020

Auction of Former Evergreen State Ferry
Set for Nov. 17

The M/V Dream, also known as the former 310-foot Evergreen State ferry, will be auctioned to the highest bidder on Nov. 17.

The U.S. Marshal arrested the vessel Sept. 15 at the behest of the Port of Olympia because of almost $67,000 in unpaid dockage and fees.

The decommissioned ferry came to the port in April 2018. The port, which had not received payment from the owner since January, placed a lien against the vessel ferry. In June, the port tried to work with the owner who was seeking potential buyers, but the owner came up short.

The port had the vessel arrested. Marine Lender Services LLC is the substitute custodian.

Bidding will begin at $50,000. Cash will not be accepted. Payment must be made by certified check to U.S. Marshals Service by 4 p.m. on the sale day.

Those attending the auction must wear masks and practice social distancing. The vessel will be auctioned “as is where is.” Marine Lenders Services, LLC can arrange live previews for potential buyers on Nov. 9-10 at the Port of Olympia by calling 206-284-9930 and The buyer needs to move the vessel within 48 hours of purchase or up to two weeks of temporary moorage for qualified buyers.

For more, visit

CMTS to Host Webinar, Publish Catalogs on Handling COVID-19 in Maritime Industry

The Committee on Marine Transportation System will host a webinar on COVID-19 Testing Strategies for U.S. Merchant Mariners from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 18. The remote event will feature speakers such as Maritime Administration Administrator RADM Mark Buzby and Marine Transportation Systems Director Mike Emerson, as well as Samantha Case, an epidemiologist from the CDC/NIOSH Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies, and Dr. Kara Tardivel, a medical officer for the CDC/Maritime Unit, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.

The webinar will touch on various topics, such as background data on the pandemic, types of COVID-19 testing for US Merchant Mariners and how reliable and available the testing is and CDC recommendations for US Merchant Mariners.

To check out the webinar, go to or call 404-443-2170; with Access Code:60061206. Make sure to log in 30 minutes before the webinar starts to download any plug-ins and ensure Webex compatibility.

The webinar comes at the heels of three reference catalogs published in late October by the CMTS to help U.S. merchant mariners and the Marine Transportation System. They include "Catalog of COVID-19 Federal Guidance and References for the U.S. Maritime Industry," "Catalog of COVID-19 Best Management Practices for the U.S. Maritime Industry," and "Catalog of Mental Health Resources for U.S. Merchant Mariners and Critical Workforce in the Marine Transportation System."

Email to provide feedback on the catalogs. Visit for more on the webinar and catalogs.

Los Angeles Seeking Clean Tech Proposals for Port

To advance efforts to make trucks serving the San Pedro Bay seaport complex a zero-emissions fleet by 2035, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti is putting out a new Request for Information seeking proposals to expand clean technology at the Port of Los Angeles. “We can only turn the tide on the climate crisis if we work across every sector to reduce dangerous emissions, protect vulnerable neighborhoods from the perils of pollution, and rev up our investments in clean energy,” said Garcetti. “Our RFI sends a strong signal: Los Angeles is a laboratory for new technology, a pioneering destination for sustainability, and a place where we deploy the power of innovation to strengthen lives, secure livelihoods, preserve public health, and lead a just transition toward a greener economy and a more equitable future.”

This effort is driven by the Clean Air Action Plan, a landmark blueprint to aggressively clean up the air pollution generated by port operations and developing clean technology for the trucks that move cargo in and out of the nation’s busiest seaport complex is a major part of those efforts.

Currently, the port is engaged in 16 different zero-emission demonstration projects designed to bring feasible technology to the marketplace, said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

”Conversion of the Port drayage fleet to zero-emission technology involves tremendous financial investment and will take the collaboration and commitment of many stakeholders - both public and private - to create a viable market for zero-emissions drayage technology,” he said. “This RFI is designed to recruit the best ideas available to help us serve as a catalyst and make a meaningful impact on climate change."

Applicants have until 4 p.m. on Jan. 7 to submit responses to Tricia Carey at For more, visit

REC Juneau Relocated

Mariners taking their tests in Alaska should be mindful of the Regional Exam Center Juneau’s new location. The center, which is offering limited testing services, has moved from the Mendenhall Mall to the Hurff A. Saunders Federal Building at 709 W. 9th Street, Suite 322, Juneau, AK 99801.

The center’s other contact information stays the same, whether mariners call 907-463-2458, fax at 907-463-2482 or email Mariners who want to set up an examination time at REC Juneau should send an email request to

For more on REC and Monitoring Unit location, visit the REC page of the National Maritime Center (NMC) website.

The Customer Service Center is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST. Contact 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) or for more.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Hope is Not a Strategy

By Dave Abrams, Publisher

You all have probably heard that classic interview question, “If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?” I’d like to modify that slightly to “If you were a ship, what kind of ship would you be?” According to my wife, I’m a supertanker. And no, it’s not because I’ve packed on a few extra pounds this year. It’s because nothing seems to push me off course. A supertanker is an incredible machine – super calm on top, doesn’t put out a big wake, but the energy to keep it going is incredible. It takes a pretty big sea to get a super tanker rocking around. A big ship like that doesn’t change course easily, and once it is moving in a certain direction, it takes a lot to stop it. Yep, that’s me. OK, so what’s the point?

There are a lot of issues I guess we are supposed to worry about these days. Election results, COVID 19, the economy, climate change, regional conflicts, polar ice caps melting, etc etc. Seems like a never ending string of bad news. (Of course, good news doesn’t sell newspapers!) However, none of that stuff really occupies much of my time. Why you ask? Am I some sort of insensitive, apathetic fool? I don’t think so. I just choose to focus on the things I can control, and not worry about the things I can’t. It’s pretty much that simple. Yes, I am going to do my part to be a good citizen. I vote and I reach out to my elected officials to voice my opinion. But I am not going to let the negative things around me dominate the little amount of extra brain time I have left at the end of every day.

On the flip side of that coin, hope is a great thing. I love sunsets – my daily reminder that tomorrow is another day, and I get a “do over” on all the things I failed to accomplish today. That hope of tomorrow keeps me going. But one of my maxims in life is “Hope is not a strategy.” I can’t simply hope that COVID goes away next year, or that somehow Congress figures out how to actually work together. I can only plan for what I know and can control and try to mitigate the risks that I can’t control. It’s true in business and it’s true in life. November kicks off my annual ritual of budgeting and planning for next year. Many of you are probably doing the same thing. The crystal ball is especially cloudy this time around, so my decisions are based on the data I have available, mixed in with a little bit of “gut feel” and a touch of both hope and skepticism. Shake well and see what comes out! The point is, we can’t wait for things to improve around us, we have to take action to deal with the present and plan for the future based on what we know and believe right now.

I do see a lot of things to be hopeful for. I’ve talked before about my faith in human ingenuity to deal with whatever problems we encounter. I think most people are good people, and at the end of the day I think people agree on more things about life than they disagree on. The media folks certainly don’t portray that message, but it’s certainly true in my own experiences in talking with folks from all walks of life in the maritime world. So I believe we’re going to be OK. For now, my orders are “steady as she goes, and keep your eyes on the horizon.”

Be safe out there.

You can reach Dave Abrams at

L.A. Officials Break Ground on Waterfront Project

Harbor, civic and community officials on Thursday celebrated the launch of the long-awaited Wilmington Waterfront Promenade project.

The $70.8 million project will include making Water Street parallel to the current railroad tracks and other infrastructure upgrades such as new utilities, paving, lighting and landscaping, as well as a promenade, public pier and dock, and playground, according to the port.

“Providing more direct public access to Wilmington’s historic waterfront has been a long-time vision for the Port of Los Angeles, but also for me personally,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares. “As a Wilmington resident for more than 50 years, I am grateful to all who have played a role in keeping this project moving forward.”

The project, set for completion in 2023, also includes a new community park near Banning’s Landing Community Center, seating for visitors, bike racks and drinking fountains.

“We have worked diligently over the years to create more open spaces and recreational areas for the residents of Wilmington,” said 15th District Los Angeles City Councilman Buscaino. “It is most important that we are constantly creating buffers between the Wilmington community and heavy industry. This project will deliver a new waterfront that will be a game changer for Wilmington and the L.A. Waterfront.”

USCG Cutter Polar Star to Head to the Arctic

This winter, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star will travel to the Arctic to enforce the nation’s maritime governance and security in the area.

“The Arctic is no longer an emerging frontier, but is instead a region of growing national importance,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area. “The Coast Guard is committed to protecting U.S. sovereignty and working with our partners to uphold a safe, secure, and rules-based Arctic.”

The Polar Star usually heads to Antarctica to aid Operation Deep Freeze, an annual mission to replenish U.S. Antarctic stations and help the National Science Foundation.

This year, resupplying McMurdo Station was postponed because of COVID-19 safety. (A delivery of limited supplies will be sent by aircraft.)

The Coast Guard hopes to resume this operation next year.

Kiewit Infrastructure West Chosen for Hawaii Terminal Project

Kiewit Infrastructure West has been selected to work on the Kapalama Container Terminal Phase 2 project set to begin this spring, the Hawaii Department of Transportation has announced.

The $350 million work will include waterside construction at Piers 40-43 in Honolulu Harbor, which will “add 18.5 acres of fast-land, including 1,860 linear feet of new berthing space for two container ships to dock simultaneously and up to six gantry cranes,” as well as dredging and broadening the basin between Piers 40 and 41, according to the agency. This allows for barge berthing space along Pier 41.

“The Kapalama Container Terminal project is especially exciting because it will add much needed docking and cargo space that will increase efficiency for harbor users, help reduce traffic around Honolulu Harbor, and address sea-level concerns for the facility,” said Jade Butay, director of the Hawaii Department of Transportation. “The Kapalama Container Terminal improvements is a project we can all be proud of.”

The project is expected to be done in late 2023.

“This project is proceeding at a critical time when our state needs it most as we continue fighting COVID-19 and its impacts,” said Gov. David Ige. “The work will be performed by local talent and infuse hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, in addition to improving our harbor system that will benefit the state for decades to come.”

Go to for more.

NOAA, Google Agree to Team on AI Exploration

NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service has inked a three-year contract with Google to team up on pilot projects that will look into how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning could deepen NOAA’s satellite and environmental data uses, including weather forecasting and climate research.

“Strengthening NOAA’s data processing through the use of big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced analytical approaches is critical for maintaining and enhancing the performance of our systems in support of public safety and the economy,” said acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs. “I am excited to utilize new authorities granted to NOAA to pursue cutting-edge technologies that will enhance our mission and better protect lives and property.”

NOAA and Google will start with small-scale systems before pursuing full-scale models that could be used throughout the organization. NOAA employees will also have hands-on AI training opportunities.

"By bringing together NOAA and Google’s expertise and talent, we can both resource and jointly explore AI/ML methods to achieve a more effective use of satellite and other environmental data,” said Mike Daniels, vice president of Global Public Sector, Google Cloud. “Our goal is to increase scientific impact and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental and satellite data by leveraging Google Cloud’s infrastructure and AI/ML know-how. All this will help improve weather forecasting, research and unlock innovation.”