The Port of West Sacramento, formerly known as the "Port of Sacramento," is one of two inland seaports in the State of California. The port is located across the Sacramento River from the City of Sacramento, and handles mostly bulk cargo, agricultural products, and industrial cargo. Although there are five berths, it's not "container friendly," so normally the port sees only a ship or two at a time. The port is located northeast of San Francisco, and is accessed from Suisun Bay via a 43-mile shipping channel, dredged to a depth of 30 feet, and is just slightly undersized for fully-laden "Panamax" ships, but ships of the "Sub Panamax" size regularly call on the port.. The port is internationally known by the designator US SAC.
If you're a fan of bulk carries, or break-bulk ships, there's good ship watching at the port, with easy access via the Barge Canal Trail, located just off Jefferson Blvd., in the city of West Sacramento. There's a large parking lot located at 2098 Jefferson Blvd., and you can hike over 6 miles along the shipping channel. Besides ship watching, there's great "birding," and naturally, lots of great fishing.
Photo: You get a great overview of the eastern end of the port, and Berth #2, from the Industrial Blvd crossing of the Sacramento Deep Water Ship Channel. If you want to take photos, take care, and watch out for traffic, as there is no sidewalk. "ISS Breeze" is docked at Berth #2, and is taking on a cargo of rice.
Photo: Overview of the Port of West Sacramento, looking just out on to Lake Washington, with cargo ships docked at Berth's #1 and #3. Brusco Tug and Barge Company dock and office are to the extreme right of the photo.
Photo: You park in the parking lot, just off Jefferson Blvd., and you hike about a half mile, until you reach the port, from across the channel, with a good view of Berth #2. The photo gives a good view of what the walk is like, and what it's like to view these beautiful ships.
Seems that I'm not the only person who likes to take photos of ships, as this young lady was also enjoying the same activity, as she photos "ISS Breeze" from the levee. It's an easy, level half-mile hike from the parking lot to the view of Berth #2, but the other berths require a hike of about a mile in each direction. It's all an easy hike, as it's along the levee, at water level.
Photo: It's a balmy 102 degrees on this early Friday afternoon, August 16, 2019, and "Yangtze Keeper" is docked at birth #3, at the Port of West Sacramento. She's scheduled to leave port tonight, and make the short, overnight voyage to the Port of San Francisco, where her crew will see relief from the Sacramento heat.
Photo: Four siblings of the Brusco Tug and Barge Company are docked at the port, with their "home" and headquarters, on pilings, just behind the tug docks.. Left to right are "Mike Brusco Sr.," "Terri L. Brusco," the grand lady of the port, "Dorine Brusco," and a visitor from Seattle, "Woodrow Brusco."
Photo: "Yangtze Keeper" basks in the hot afternoon sun, as she takes on cargo, tied up at Berth #3.
"Yangtze Keeper" is your typical bulk carrier that calls on the Port of West Sacramento, and weighs 24,605 gross tons, which puts her into a "Sub Panamax" category of freighter. She's registered to the Marshall Islands, and sports a radio call of V7JT7. She arrived in the middle of the night of August 11, after a 2-week voyage from Yangzhow, China, and she's scheduled to depart for San Francisco tonight.
Photo: It's Friday, July 26, 2019, and I'm visiting the Port of West Sacramento, to check out "Western Miami," who left Yangzhow, China on July 4th, and pulled into port early this morning at 0200. When you're working on a bulk carrier, you get to work all hours of the day and night.
"Western Miama" is a sub-Panamax, bulk carrier, Phillippine registered, with the radio call of DUHN. She sports a total gross tonnage of 24,868, and draws about 26.5 feet draught, so she clears the 30-foot depth of the port handily. Today, she's at Berth #1, most likely off-loading a cargo of cement.
The port, which is situated on Lake Washington, is one of two inland ports in California, and besides attracting bulk cargo vessels, it attracts many fishermen, who patrol the lake for catfish, along with striped bass.
Photo: Nice view of "Western Miami" as she's docked in port. She was launched in 2015... don't you think her paint is getting a little shabby? Other than that minor defect, she's a pretty girl.
Photo: Stern view of "Western Miami," tied up in port, with a couple members of the Brusco family nearby, who docked her early this morning.
Photo: It's a little after noon on Friday, July 12, 2019, and there are THREE cargo ships docked at the Port of West Sacramento! From left to right, "Blue Baie," "Wuhu," and "ISS Breeze," who has been in port for five days.
Photo: Hello again, "ISS Breeze," as it's good to see you today. I took photos of her in port during my last visit, this Monday, and she's still here.
Photo: "Blue Baie" and "Wuhu" are docked in tandem, at Births #1 and #3. It's a tight fit, as they're only docked about 100 feet from one another. The Brusco siblings do a good job guiding these beautiful ladies up to the dock.
Photo: Meet "Wuhu," happily at dock, as she pulled into port yesterday, July 11, at 0400 in the morning, after a voyage from Vancouver, Canada. She's Hong Kong registered, and carries the radio call of VRNT5. Like most ships that call on the Port of West Sacramento, she's "sub Panamax" as the channel depth is only 30 feet. She's quite a lady, and a very pretty bulk carrier.
It was quite a day for ship viewing, as there was absolutely no wind, the light was perfect, and the temperature was a warm 97 degrees. I can't help to wonder how much these sailors enjoy docking at inland ports?
Photo: "Blue Baie" was tied up in Berth #1, just ahead of "Wuhu." She's a Panamanian registered general cargo ship, and sports the radio call of 3EDT6. She pulled into port early this morning at 0130, after having made the voyage from Manzanillo, Mexico.
Photo: Another photo of "Blue Baie," as she's docked at Berth #1 on this early Friday afternoon. I love the reflection in the water, thanks to the lack of the usual delta breeze.
Photo: It's early afternoon, Monday, July 08, 2019, and "ISS Breeze" is tied up at Berth #2, most likely taking on a cargo or rice.
"ISS Breeze" flies under the flag of Panama, and sports the radio call of HOVF. She'd arrived in port late last night, after completing a voyage from the Port of Otaru, Japan. She's a break/bulk cargo ship, which is the type of ship that calls on the Port of West Sacramento.
Photo: Stern view of "ISS Breeze" in port on this early July afternoon. Breeze was built in 2012, and weighs 22,800 tons, and disperses over 30,000 tons.
Photo: Today, there were TWO ships in port, and this fine lady happens to be "Tunsing," registered to Hong Kong. She's been in port for a couple days, having completed a voyage from the Port of Long Beach to Sacramento. She's docked at Berth #4, taking on an unknown cargo. Her radio call is VRQG3, and like most of the ships who call at the port, she's a "sub Panamax" bulk carrier. She's showing her age just a bit, as she was built in 2017, and is looking a little shabby for such a pretty, young lady.
Photo: It's early Saturday afternoon, June 22, 2019, and "Silver Oak" is docked at Birth 1, offloading cargo. She arrived in port late last night, just past 2300 to be exact, and it looks like they're only beginning to off-load her, as she still sits low in the water. Her keel must be nearly scraping the channel, as she's advertised to draw 31 feet, and the Port of West Sacramento is dredged to a depth of 30 feet.
Photo: Great view of "Silver Oak," and the unloading process, as she's tied up at Berth 1 in the Port of West Sacramento, also known as US SAC.
"Silver Oak" is a Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier, with a gross tonnage of 23,232 tons. She's a "sub-Panamax," as she's 590.1 feet long and 98.4 feet wide. Her call sign is H3YS. She's a young lady, as she's only been at work since 2018. She left Yangzhou, China on June 2, and arrived at the Port of West Sacramento on June 21, at 2206 at night. Her next port of call will be Long Beach.
Photo: Another view of "Silver Oak," as she unloads an unknown bulk cargo. The port is known for exporting rice, as rice is a very important crop in the Sacramento Valley.
Photo: Meet "Dorine Brusco," the matriarch of the port. She's been around for quite a while, as she was launched back in 1954, but she's alive and kickin' and one of the primary workhorses of the Port of West Sacramento. Her radio call sign is WDC3068. She and her sibling, "Mike Brusco Sr." are both owned by Brusco Tug and Barge, which provides barge and tug services for several smaller west coast ports.
Photo: Another shot of "Dorine Brusco," as she's tied up in port, framed by "ISS Breeze." If you look closely, you can see "Mike Brusco Sr." tied up, in the background.
Photo: Here's "Mike Brusco Sr," as he rests as he's tied up to Brusco's dock in the Port of West Sacramento. His call is WDC3445, and like his sisters Dorine and Terri, he's owned by Brusco Tug and Barge.
Photo: Meet "Terri L. Brusco," one of the Brusco siblings that live and work at the Port of West Sacramento. Terri was constructed in 1965, joined the Brusco "family" in 1991, and has been working for her living at the port ever since. She's 70 feet long, with a gross tonnage of 73 tons, and sports the radio call of WDC3034.
Photo: The Port of West Sacramento is an industrial operation, and is normally closed to the public, but if you call them in advance, you can arrange a tour. The port handles mostly agricultural products, along with bulk commodities, and features several tug boats. On this Saturday afternoon, the Brusco siblings are quiet, and so is the port. That's "Dorrine Brusco" to the left, and "Mike Brusco Sr." to the right, siblings owned by the Brusco Tug and Barge Company. It's hard to tell in the photo, but Dorrine is actually nearly twice as long as Mike, and much bigger.
Photo: The Brusco siblings are peacefully anchored, at the company dock, and are enjoying a rest before being called to duty again.
If you like to check out ocean-going, sub-"Panamax-size" ships, you're in luck, as it's easy to view the port. Just park at the Barge Canal Trailhead, located at 2098 Jefferson Blvd., in the city of West Sacramento, and take the easy half mile hike to the west, and you can view the port in action, from safe, public access. If you like to fish, you're in luck, so bring your fishing tackle.
If you're a photographer, and you're looking for the best light, from the "opposite" side of the shipping channel, you'll fine late morning to late afternoon has the optimum lighting.
Photo: Sierra Northern Railroad, along with Union Pacific Railraod, direct traffic to and from the port, the the national railroad network. Today, we see three engines shutteling oil tankers and grain cars from the port, to the railroad main line.
Sierra Northern Railroad handles the switching duties to and from the port, and is responsible for delivering the frieght to Union Pacific, who hauls the freight to its eventual destination.
Photo: It's about 11:30 on Saturday morning, June 01, 2019, and I've hiked the half mile to check out "Salinas," who is docked at the port, and preparing to get underway. Actually, she left about 1430, so I was able to photo her, just in time.
"Salinas" is a Panamanian registered, bulk cargo vessel, with the radio call sign of HOBS. She was built in 2017, and weighs about 21280 tons. She's 591 feet long and 92 feet wide, and is a "sub -Panamax" vessel. I noted the crew was in the process of getting her underway, as there was a beehive of activity aboard her, and I noted the engine was beginning to start.
I didn't stick around to see her leave, but later in the day, I checked the web and I noted she departed at 1436 in the afternoon.
Photo: "Salinas" looking at her head on, docked at the Port of West Sacramento. She has just taken on a cargo of rice, and preparations are in progress to get underway. Isn't she pretty?
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