12:30 p.m., Eastern — Liberty Star Extends Tow Line to Compensate for Sea Conditions and Winds
Past Cat island Liberty Star began extending its tow line from a more or less ideal length of approximately 500 feet in calm waters to about 1,000 feet. Current winds are easterly 14-21 knots or about 16-24 miles per hour and seas are running high enough to warrant a longer tow line reducing the shock, wear and tear on Liberty Star, Pegasus and the towline. Captain Mike Nicholas began the process to pay out the additional tow line at about 1230 pm and completed the extension to 1,000 feet about 1:15 pm Eastern. Throughout the payout procedure the crew on the bridge monitor a variety of data overseeing the tow line extension including distance of payout, tension on the tow line, tow line depth below the surface, and speed of the deploy of the additional line. Pegasus’ flat bow makes for a somewhat more difficult towing operation in open water in comparison to barges with a pronounced bow, but the flat bow is better for towing in inland waters. Liberty Star is now making 9.1 knots or 12 miles per hour.