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n August 2011 M/V BBC Seine and in September this year M/V Hollum had the great chance to conduct a North-Sea Route passage in order to reach the port o Yamburg, Russia.

On M/V Hollum ‘power plant equipment’ for Polyarnaya Power Station in Salekhard was loaded. Transportation by road transport was not possible due to difficult road terms and condition in the region. Main goal was to get as close as possible to Novyy Port in order to keep the distance for barges, where cargo was released on, quite short.

A good preparation from office side and from the Masters had been necessary in order to get the Northern Sea Route permit.

Capt. Zabegaylov was so kind to send a small report in respect to the experience made with the North-Sea Route. Capt. Khalonen, who was on board to back up Capt. Popov on M/V Hollum, con-firmed the description and had nothing to add.

Voyage Murmansk- Yamburg & Yamburg itself

No ice adviser required!

Area between Murmansk and Yamburg is ice free in the period from end of May / Beg of June till beg/mid of October. Some ice can be drifted by Northerly winds in very beginning of this period and in very end of this period. June - July - August - September - NO ice.

Due to “high” latitude and proximity of GMDSS “A-3” area e-mail / SAT communication is not very stable. At Yamburg road mobile phone connection exists, but due to distance to shore it is not stable.

Gulf of Ob’ (Obskaya guba) is shallow water area. In Northern part of Obskaya Guba depth is up to 15-20 m. In vicinity of Yamburg depths are 7-10m. Due to Northerly winds actual depths are bigger than mentioned on sea charts; approximately 1,5-2 mtrs. Seabed is soft, consist of sand and clay; Average holding ground. Safe distance to shore in regards to depths is not less than 10,5 - 11 nm. Smaller ships may and can approach closer.

Discharging was done onto barges, with two tugboats, which are in charge for such service. Tug’s crew was very friendly, reliable, ready to help and to cooperate. Shore connection only by tugs with barges. Barges had no fenders, therefore Yokohama fenders or good self-made fenders have been essential.

To protect barges from wind / waves vessel had to stay at “spring-anchor”. In order to avoid sudden drift while at anchor, vessel had to slack 5 shackles on deck, connect two mooring ropes from same side from aft and slack another 3-5 shackles into water, be-ing helping same time to turn the vessel by ME and bow thrusters.

Preferable winds Northerly directions: from NW till NE. Force from 2-3 Bfts till 7-8 Bfts. Air temperature till 10-th / 15-th Sept. always above “0“, in worst case a bit below “0” . In case of “Aft spring’s an-chorage“, safe discharging can be performed till wind force 5 Bfts.

Very good qualification of ship’s crane drivers required. To provide 24 hrs discharging, crew to be divided onto 2 gangs, 5 - 6 persons each gang. Crew’s working schedule 12 hrs “on” / 12 hrs “off”.

Shifting barge along the ship have been crew’s duties, which took some times. In case of increasing of winds discharging was sus-pended and barge plus tug cast off.

While discharging Heavy Lifts final positioning of units on board of barges had to be made by crew and it should be done very precisely (+/- 1 cm), due to future transportation of the units by special trucks.

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