By Mike Busch 11-30-2020

You may have noticed three huge poles poking out of the Ocean just off Smith Point Beach for the last week or so.  It is clearly visible from all as far east as Westhampton Beach, Davis Park to the west and from the shore of Bellport and East Patchogue.

Lift Boat from Bellport Marina

Current Location

After a little online research, it turns out this is the Brazos, a 145-foot long and 100-foot wide Lift Boat.  It is owned by Laredo Offshore and based out of Houston, Texas.  It is here doing geotechnical survey work for Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and Eversource Energy, which are jointly developing Sunrise Wind, an 880 megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm planned for 30 miles east of Montauk Point.  Expected to be operational by 2024, it has the potential capacity to power more than half a million homes on Long Island.  They have chosen this  section of beach to bring the transmission lines to shore via undersea cable to serve Long Island.

The boat, while it looks like a stationary drilling platform, is actually a ship that moves under its own power and holds a crew of 47 workers.  The three legs are 230 feet long and can lift the platform 200 feet above the seabed.  The deck holds three massive cranes that together have 300-ton capacity.

I am not sure how long it will be here, but with a big storm coming tonight it will be interesting to see if they move it, or just raise the platform up above the expected big surf coming.

I took some shots from the ground and air on Sunday Morning.

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