2010, Fremantle, Western Australia.
Tugboat tales. I took this one from the deck of a tug, the Svitzer Eagle, if memory serves me, with Captain Steve.
I think what I like so much about tugs and their work environment is the phenomenal scale of one thing against another. In this shot, I’m on the foredeck of a tug, which is a very large vessel — far larger than it looks in the water. The some of the coils of tow lines in its vast lower deck would have made a comfy double bed.
It’s dwarfed by the cargo carrier it was towing into port though (that enormous red hull dominating the photo). So you can just imagine how tiny that one-person skiff would have been against all of that. The human speck in that little boat? That’s about how big you feel in this environment. It’s heady stuff.
Except when active towing was happening, I had the run of the tug when I was with the crew. So I made sure that I climbed all 6 levels in the boat (told you it was big) to check everything out and ask all kinds of questions. All the guys were more than happy to oblige all the whats and whys and hows that came their way.
If you like clambering and poking around machinery, there are worse places to be than a tugboat!