Under contract to Royal Dutch Shell, the Noble Discoverer concludes its stay at dockside in Seward. Saturday, Seattle Western’s towboats Alaskan Titan and Arctic Titan maneuvered the floating drilling rig over the submerged deck of the Chinese Overseas Shipping Company’s Xiang Yun Kou, a semi-submersible heavy transport ship. The Xiang Yun Kou is built to haul large vessels by dropping its deck below water and allowing the passenger to be floated into place. Water is then pumped out of the transport until the deck and piggybacked vessel are above water.
The Discoverer then spent several days being secured by cribbing fabricated by Seward’s Catalyst Marine Engineering. AVTEC students provide the welding expertise. After final inspections the Discoverer will be hauled to a shipyard in Korea for maintenance and engine overhauls. The Xiang Yun Kou’s twin, the Xiang Rui Kou is slated to “dry tow” Royal Dutch Shell’s Kulluk from Dutch Harbor to the Far East for repair and refitting. The other major component of the Shell Arctic exploration fleet, the Arctic Challenger, was at last report tied up in Bellingham, Wash.