The lighter

As it grows lighter… Every month or so a small petrol tanker takes a load of diesel fuel from the holding tanks at the Shell Refining Terminal on the north side of Sydney Harbour and delivers it to the ferry shipyard on the south side of the Harbour in Mort Bay. The correct name for this kind of small tanker ship is a ‘lighter’, though that term properly refers to an unpowered barge. It usually arrives in the early morning and starts pumping its load of fuel into the holding tanks, rising in the water as the load of fuel is disgorged. I often note that as it grows lighter, the lighter grows lighter.