Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Two - or three?
In August 2012, the Port of Chennai handled 158 cargo vessels, slightly less than the average for the current year. As you know, these vessels cannot coast into the harbour, or out of it, without being guided by the harbour tugs. The Chennai Port Trust used to have six tugs at the turn of the millenium, but they now have only five, according to their website.
The older tugs among the five are named after freedom fighters. The oldest is 'Nethaji', which has been in service since 1995, followed by 'Singaravelar' (1996) and 'Bharatiyar' (2001). The other two are named after poets: 'Sundaranar' (2002) and 'Sekkizhar' (2003). In the picture are Sundaranar and Nethaji. There does not seem to be much difference between the two, except that Nethaji seems to have slightly duller colours.
But wait a minute. Aren't there three masts visible in the picture? So which is that third tug? Looks like it is hidden behind the Nethaji, so we shall have to let that mystery rest a long while!