: views from the Hill

Monday, March 07, 2005


Shipping cranes sail under Bay Bridge

We walked down to the Embarcadero Saturday about 12:30 p.m. to catch a look as two 1500-ton 241' Panamax cranes bound for the Port of Oakland carefully made their way into the Bay.

The cranes' arrival was delayed a couple days because of rocky weather. Just as well. Thursday his nibs couldn't get away from work. The weather Friday was rainy and drear. By Saturday the sun was shining and the sky was blue -- a perfect day for throwing a Frisbee or for watching some very careful people bring some very tall cranes into port.

The ship had arrived outside the Gate on Wednesday but had to wait because the weather was not calm enough for the crew to lower the booms as low as they could go. Calm waters were also needed before the ship could come in under the Golden Gate Bridge (estimated clearance after the cranes had been folded down something like 22') and then -- more carefully -- under the Bay Bridge (estimated clearance 5').

We'd been planning to watch from a point somewhere south of the Ferry Building, but decided on a whim to see if we could see the ship coming in from the end of the public pier just north of the Ferry Building. We got to the end of the pier to find the ship had just swung around the point near Pier 39. A fairly small crowd (my type of crowd) watched the cranes approach. The fishermen fishing off the pier kept a close eye on their rods as the rubberneckers lined up at the railing. I couldn't imagine how our view could be any better further south. We decided to stay.

In the twenty minutes or so that it took the ship to come past us and then under the Bay Bridge, I took over sixty pictures. Ah, the joys of digital and a memory card.

Herewith some of them.

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