Turner Joy's Voyage to Dry Dock

After nearly a month in dry dock, the USS Turner Joy returned to her home at the Bremerton Marina Breakwater on February 28, 2017 . It was in dry dock in Seattle from February 3-28. The ship underwent routine repairs and preservation measures that are necessary every 15 years. Repairs include removing 25 tons of sea life from the 418-foot-long hull and then sandblasting the area below the waterline using more than 180 tons of blasting grit. This naval destroyer returned home with a fresh coat of paint as well and re-opened to tours in March.

Steven Sparks, the Port of Bremerton Director,  Facilities & Planning worked with Alaska Marina Lines to secure a replacement barge while the Turner Joy was away. Below is a write up featured in the 

A Western Towboat tug positions the Kuskokwim Trader to protect the Bremerton Marina

Alaska Marine Lines’ Kuskokwim Trader filled in for the USS Turner Joy museum ship this winter serving as a temporary breakwater to protect the Bremerton Marina. The Turner Joy was scheduled for required maintenance in Seattle in January which left the marina without a breakwater to protect the small craft moored there from tidal currents. 


Alaska Marine Lines Marine Maintenance Manager David Byrne first got the call from Steven Sparks at the Port of Bremerton. “He saw the Kuskokwim Trader anchored over at Sinclair Inlet near Gorst and came up with the idea to use it as a stand-in for the larger ship,” he says. “At 300 feet long, the barge isn’t as long as the 418-foot destroyer, so Western Towboat towed it to a spot further away from the bank where it would work just as well.” 
The barge did its job protecting the northern end of the marina from January through Feb. 28 when the Turner Joy returned to the harbor, towed by Western Towboat. 

“When port staff called Alaska Marine Lines for help, David Byrne was very accommodating and acted quickly to help the Port and Historic Ships Association in resolving the issue by providing us with the Kuskokwim Trade. Mike Clevenger and Rheagan Sparks helped with administrative  tasks,” says Jim Rothlin, Port of Bremerton CEO. “I very much appreciate Lynden’s support.”
Now that its breakwater job is done, the Kuskokwim will soon be towed to Western Alaska loaded with cargo for the annual fish season in Bristol Bay. 

“It was a great fit for the 35-year-old barge,” David says “and we were happy we could help out the Port of Bremerton.” The movement of the vessels made news as the USS Turner Joy was one of the longest ships ever to travel through the Ballard Locks and into Lake Union. Commissioned in 1959, it was involved in the Gulf of Tonkin incident which heightened U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War in 1964.