As Gisborne’s busiest cruise ship season gets underway Eastland Port marine staff must juggle the needs of the tourism sector with the export forestry industry.

In November 11 log ships took away 284,312 tonnes of logs, two fertiliser ships dropped off 1600 tonnes of fertiliser, and one cruise ship anchored in the bay. A second cruise ship was unable to call in due to bad weather.

Eastland Port Marine manager Captain Chris Kaye says a lot more planning must go into marine operations November through to February to maximise the outcome for all the port’s customers.

“On a busy day like last Thursday [6 December] there was a log ship going out, another one coming in, another one waiting, and during all of this cruise ship Maasdam was anchored in the bay.”

“On rare occasions, tender operations must pause briefly while a large log ship is manouvered through the channel but with careful planning and attention to communication everybody’s needs are met during this time.”

Cruise ships the Caledonian Sky and the Golden Princess are booked in for visits before Christmas.

December is normally a busy month for log exports while January can traditionally be a low volume month because of the Christmas and holiday breaks when forest operation stops.

Ends

GIVE WAY! Eastland Port Captain Chris Kaye took this photo while he piloted log ship African Baza out of port last Thursday. You can see the cruise ship Maasdam at anchor (top right) using its stern thrusters to hold itself clear of the channel entrance to make way for African Baza. The channel is 93 metre wide and the buoys are set just outside that. You can also see the tugboat Titirangi providing passive escort to the 32 metre wide African Baza. Out of shot is the tug Waimata which is secured to the stern of the log ship in active escort mode.