Like any ocean freighting job, delivering freight to Southeast Alaska requires a thorough knowledge of the local weather and the peculiarities of the sea routes traveled. The northeast corner of the Pacific Ocean is no exception. With its narrow channels and abundance of fog, the convoluted coastline has long been a maritime graveyard.
As told to Will Grant
Neil McGourty, 34, a captain for Western Towboat, has been driving tugs between Seattle and Southeast Alaska for the past five years. As part of Western’s twice-a-week barge service, he delivers containerized cargo to Ketchikan, Juneau, and other coastal towns that rely on marine shipping routes for everything that can’t be flown in.