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At 0400, two days before Christmas, a journalist and a photographer for the LA Times stepped aboard DELTA TERESA as it idled at the entrance to Long Beach Harbor.

The tug has been deployed by San Francisco-based Baydelta Maritime to the Southern California ports, now the focus of news coverage by media outlets worldwide.

In the wheelhouse, LA Times staff reporter Thomas Curwen joined Captain Mike Johnson for “a front-row seat to a world economy thrown off balance by the pandemic: ships anchored offshore, containers waiting to be offloaded, so much stuff without a home.”

“Every dock is taken up, and if there is an opening, people are fighting to get there,” he quotes Johnson as saying.

Up next: a tour of the engine room with deckhand and engineer Max Cota.

“The twin-diesel engines can deliver nearly 6,600 horsepower and pull 90 tons. Only locomotives, tractors and farm equipment come close to having such power,” Curwen writes.

“You have to be perfect on every job. There’s no room for error,” Johnson tells him.

Members of the MM&P United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region crew the vessels in the Baydelta Maritime fleet.

The story is posted on the LA Times website.

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