Monday, 10 December 2007

Las Palmas port

We are currently berthed in the port of Las Palmas, on the island of Gran Canaria. I have never seen such a busy port, nor such a mixed variety ship types. Monrovia has one tug which serves nothing but container ships and bulk carriers, whereas Las Palmas has numerous tugs and pilot boats which control container ships, bulk carriers, ferries, cargo ships, yachts, tall ships, fishing boats, navy ships, Coast Guard boats, huge cruise liners and even bigger oil platforms. There is even a Senegalise freighter moored near us, that was recently seized by the Coast Guard as it tried to land illegal West African immigrants onto the island. From our window I can count over 30 shore cranes which are unheard of in most of West Africa. The port's most valuable asset is, however, a lift that can carry ships as much as 30,000 tons (nearly twice the size of the Africa Mercy) out of the water and place them in one of seven workyards. This afternoon we will see the Africa Mercy be lifted into such a yard for annual maintenance. More later on that. Olly

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