In early August an exceptional sea transport vessel attracted the attention of hundreds of people in and around Caracas Bay.
Dockwise's Blue Marlin, a 224m (739ft) semi-submersible, open deck heavy transport carrier, brought a new-built semi-submersible drilling platform of more than 41,000 tons from Singapore to the island.
The Blue Marlin discharged the platform Noble Jim Day in Caracas Bay. It took just ten minutes to launch the 134 x 86m (442 x 283ft) rig by the float-on float-off method after it was cut loose from the deck. The colossus was then towed to St Michiel Bay for fitting-out. Divers from Miami Diver installed eight thrusters, and local companies helped the vessel prepare for sea trials before the platform left for the Gulf of Mexico.
"The Blue Marlin is just like her sister ship Black Marlin, specially constructed and adapted for these heavy load transports," said Dockwise's superintendent Sybren de Jong. De Jong guided the project from the loading of the platform at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore, to its discharge in Caracas Bay. The Noble Jim Day is the second largest oil platform to be carried on the Blue Marlin's 178 x 63m (587 x 207ft) submersible cargo deck.
After unloading, the ship immediately left for South Korea and a similar job. Previously Dockwise transported several vessels for the U.S. Navy, and the 60,000 ton oil platform Thunder Horse PDQ. Since last year the Dutch company is listed in Curaçao by VR Shipping.
The Noble Jim Day is owned by Noble Drilling Services based in Sugar Land, Texas. The company currently own 70 rigs of which the Noble Jim Day is the newest.
Els Kroon is a Dutch former teacher who now lives and works as an award-winning free-lance photojournalist in Curaçao.