Kathy Bergren SmithKathy Bergren Smith
Kathy Bergren Smith has been a correspondent with WorkBoat since 2002. She is also a writer and photographer for the Port of Baltimore Magazine covering shipping and port activities. Smith, also a noted commercial and fine art photographer, resides in Annapolis, Md.

Blog Activity

New WorkBoat repair show wows 'em

New Orleans, with her down-at-the-heel beauty, is the perfect place to hold a maintenance and repair show for the workboat industry. New Orleans, with her down-at-the-heel beauty, is the perfect place to hold a maintenance and repair show for the workboat industry. Like old boats, the buildings here have nice lines and just need some tending. Wandering the aisles of this new offering, the WorkBoat Maintenance & Repair Conference and Expo, I got to thinking how in our throwaway...

Ancient shark caught in fisherman's backyard

Backyard project uncovers remains of extinct shark.   This might not be a workboat story, but who doesn't love a good fish story? Last Halloween, Chesapeake Beach, Md., charter boat captain, Shawn Gibson, made the most exciting catch of his life — in his parents' backyard — a quarter of a mile from the Chesapeake Bay. The fisherman and his family made a major paleontological find when they unearthed the fossilized remains of a 15-million-year-old snaggletooth shark while digging...

Ballast water test barge

Ballast water systems that pass barge tests will be likely be approved by the Coast Guard and become the industry standard. The Port of Baltimore is known for its close proximity to U.S. manufacturing centers making it the busiest Ro-Ro port on the East Coast. But the port also smack dab in the center of the research and government hub around Washington, D.C., making it a natural location for marine research. There are algae scrubbing experiments at the port’s...

Wenonah Hlavin, assistant dockmaster, General Ship Repair

Hlavin is the assistant dockmaster at General Ship Repair, the Port of Baltimore's only full service shipyard. "Sometimes the tug captains are a bit taken aback when they realize I am running the dock," Wenonah Hlavin said on a bitter cold day in Baltimore harbor. Hlavin is the assistant dockmaster at General Ship Repair, the Port of Baltimore's only full service shipyard. "I love it here," Hlavin said looking out the window of her office to the drydock where a...

Kulluk cover story is a good read

 With the benefit of two years hindsight and a comprehensive Coast Guard report published last April, writer McKenzie Funk pieces together a riveting tale of the grounding of the Shell oil rig Kulluk. This week's New York Times Magazine cover story is a fascinating and detailed account of the grounding of the Shell oil rig Kulluk in the Gulf of Alaska two years ago. With the benefit of two years hindsight and a comprehensive Coast Guard report published last April, writer McKenzie Funk...

'Tis the season for maritime gifts

Each year around this time I like to take a look around the web and go virtual Christmas shopping for gifts for and from mariners. Each year around this time I like to take a look around the web and go virtual Christmas shopping for gifts for and from mariners. This year's big disappointment is that there really isn't a comprehensive tugboat/towboat calendar out there. Maybe wall art calendars are going the way of wristwatches ... but it's too bad, because that was always a good gift...

All aboard a hybrid ferry

When I bought a train ticket recently from Hamburg, Germany, to Copenhagen, Denmark, little did I know that I was in for a ride on an award-winning hybrid ferry.When I bought a train ticket recently from Hamburg, Germany, to Copenhagen, Denmark, little did I know that I was in for a ride on an award-winning hybrid ferry. The high-speed direct train made a stop in Puttgarfen and the conductor asked everyone to prepare to exit the train after it was loaded onto the Scandilines ferry. Sure...

A 'Bayworthy' tug

The 49.5' x 19' x 7.5' Capt. Kenneth can operate in any part of the Chesapeake in most sea conditions. The sign welcoming visitors to the village of Galesville, Md., reads: "Where the Past meets the Present." This motto came to life at the christening of the new tug Capt. Kenneth by 25-year-old Eleanor Smith alongside her 99-year-old grandfather, Kenneth Smith, and her father, Jeff Smith, president of Smith Brothers.    Capt. Kenneth   Capt....

Railroad woes in Port of Baltimore

Last week CSX pulled the plug on an intermodal yard that has been one of the centerpieces of the port's container expansion program.The Port of Baltimore has been touting its readiness to welcome the onslaught of giant container ships anticipated when the Panama Canal expansion is complete. The channels are dredged, the berth expanded and the brand new cranes are up and running. Already beating most East Coast ports in infrastructure, Baltimore seemed like it had finally beaten the...

Talk about a slow tow

Tug crews spent all of June moving the first six sections of the new Midtown Tunnel for Norfolk, Va., down the Chesapeake at 1-3 knots.When you step aboard a tugboat, no matter the size or the horsepower, you will not be going fast. But how about a trip down the Chesapeake at 1-3 knots — from Baltimore to Portsmouth, Va.? That's about 170 miles. Now, how about taking that trip six times, towing a sealed, semi-submerged, 350' rectangular tube with a 25'6" draft?   The Express Marine...