Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Mussel bound

Well before my time, I must stress, ships running light into the Baltic from the ports of the Low Countries used to ballast with the small house-bricks that distinguish buildings in those parts. It accounts for why port cities in the Baltic had a sort of Dutch look about them. Deep water sailing ships would use sand and there are beaches in the Antipodes which were unloaded from wool clippers before they filled up for home. And in more recent times, general cargo ships running west over the North Atlantic in winter would load a few thousand of tons of coal slag, just to be on the safe side.

But water ballast, first carried by a deep thinking UK East Coast collier owner in the middle of the 19th… Continue reading

Alaska ro-ro voyage demonstrates value of U.S. mariners, pollution controls

Last year, at a Coast Guard Foundation dinner in Seattle, Carleen Lyden-Kluss and I bid on and won a one-way trip aboard Midnight Sun, a ro-ro trailer ship operating between Tacoma, Wash., and Anchorage, Alaska. Our attention was attracted by the fact that Midnight Sun’s owner, Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE), a member of the Saltchuk group of companies, has a well-earned reputation for innovation combined with careful attention to efficiency and performance. Midnight Sun is one of two Orca class ships, purpose-built for the Alaska trade. Carleen and I have been active in advocating a need for growing attention to Alaska’s maritime future, including its growing maritime connections with the “Lower 48”and with the expanding economies of Asia. As co-founders of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA)… Continue reading