My wife and I spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon recently hanging out in Newport, Rhode Island, doing touristy things like shopping, eating and gawking at the killer homes on Ocean Drive, including one belonging to Jay Leno and his wife, Mavis.

While passing King Park on Wellington Avenue, which has a nice view of Narragansett Bay, a large blue platform ship with a white and yellow tower came into view not far from Fort Adams State Park.

Naturally, we decided to explore. What was this big blue platform ship, and why was it there? My wife launched her drone into the air to get a closer look.

Big Blue Ship Off Newport Involved In Vineyard Wind Project
Courtesy Aerial New England

The ship is the GPO Amethyst, homeport Everingen, in the Netherlands. It is a heavy-lift vessel built in 2018, sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands.

According to, GPO Amethyst exceeds 225 meters in length and weighs more than 49,000 tons.

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So why is GPO Amethyst in Newport?

Paul Edward Parker reports for the Providence Journal the vessel is one of several working on the 64-turbine Vineyard Wind Wind Farm under construction off the Massachusetts coast, south of Martha's Vineyard.

Big Blue Ship Off Newport Involved In Vineyard Wind Project
Courtesy Aerial New England

Parker says, "GPO Amethyst will transport parts of the electric power station for each turbine." The 12-turbine South Fork Wind Farm is under construction between Block Island, Rhode Island, and the Vineyard. Parker says several large vessels associated with both projects will be in area waters during the summer months. has a website that allows users to monitor the movement of these ships.

The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal will be a staging area for the Vineyard Wind project.

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