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Cold weather keeps me inside, where my fingers keep the keyboard warm.    I’ll start by revisiting this foto I took a warm morning in 2010.  That tugboat was 60 years old at that moment.  The easiest name to read is Ocean King, but in raised metal letters on the port bow, you might make out some other letters,

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here and

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even clearer here on the starboard bow.    And in between those two names, she also went by David McAllister.

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The following three fotos come thanks to Allen Baker.  The foto below shows Resolute in 1974 in Fells Point, when she was part of the Baker-Whitely Towing Company.    Click here and here for posts I did in Fells Point and Baltimore back in 2010.

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The foto below dates from 1980.  Notice Grace McAllister to the left.  At this point, McAllister had just purchased the B-W Towing Company.

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The boat to the right I can’t identify.  Notice Holland and Britannia also.  Britannia was built as Thomas A. Meseck at Marvel in Newburgh NY in 1942.

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It turns out that Ocean King aka Resolute was built at RTC Shipbuilding, the same yard in Philadelphia Camden as  John B. Caddell, which I last saw, sold for scrap here.

Many thanks to Allen Baker for sharing these vintage fotos.  And thanks to the folks at tugboatinformation.com, without whom I’d have a much harder time tracing back these names.

First three fotos by Will Van Dorp.

The forward portion of a new cruise ship?  Yes, I smudged the identifying marks a slash here and there.

Nah . . . almost 39 years ago she was launched as New Zealand Bear, one of two C-7 S-88s launched in Baltimore for the Pacific Far East Line.

Today Horizon Producer is one of a few dozen Jones Act containerships.  Here’s a foto of her leaving a drydocking at Brooklyn Navy Yard, a fact I heard about but never saw close up.

Compare bows here and

sterns.  Here‘s a recent itinerary for Kobe Express. More comparison:  Horizon Producer is 721′ loa x 95′, 25644 dwt.  Kobe Express is panamax . . . i.e., 964′ loa x 104′, 66,700 dwt.  See the 11th foto here for a panamax vessel shoehorned into a lock in Panama.   Tugs are Kimberley Turecamo and Laura K. Moran.

If you fancy beam-on profiles, click here.

As an aside, yesterday morning Producer passed this sad derelict launched from the same shipyard 82 years before our vintage containership, Philip T. Feeney . . .

All fotos within the past three days by Will Van Dorp, who’s mulling over a gallivant tomorrow.

Speaking of the Jones Act, here’s a recent NYTimes article about American shipping companies like Liberty Maritime not getting a fair share of US shipping. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never heard of this company.

And shipping containers adding up to condos, check this out.  It’s threesquared.

Today marks the end of the four-day historic ship festival and the official opening of Pier 25.  Friday and Saturday I worked on Pegasus.  Click on that link and you can find details of her history, starting from her inception as Standard Oil No. 16, including a time when she sported the flying horse on her stack.  1907 was a recurring number in the history-oriented tour:  the date of Pegasus launch in Baltimore and the date of the opening of the Kenneth M. Murchison-designed Hoboken terminal of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.

Drydock tug Hoboken dates from 1963, but

Yankee ferry, the only surviving Ellis Island ferry, entered service in 1907.  Click here for much more about the Philadelphia-built Yankee.

Here’s a view of Union Dry Dock & Repair company . . . from Pegasus.

Also giving tours on the water was the historic John J. Harvey.   Type Harvey into the search window on this blog and you’ll see more fotos I’ve taken over the past five years.

Folks including me took fotos of Harvey from Pegasus, just as folks on Harvey zoomed in on us.  In the cowboy hat, it’s Mitch . . . of Newtown Pentacle.

Over 150 folks enjoyed a FREE!@#@!  Hudson River ride on Pegasus Saturday.  Lucky them!!  I’m just saying . . .  this is a rare treat, and you could make it less rare by joining in this way or that.  FYI . . . the engine burns about 35 gallons per hour, if I recall correctly.

If you’re in or around the sixth boro tomorrow, you may see this scene above.  I took that foto about a month ago.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who yesterday befriended MV Algolake. a bonafide facebooking, literate ore carrier!   Be the first among your FB friends to befriend an ore carrier;  for me it’s therapeutic, helping me forget the bulk carrier Alice that has made distance between us!!

The last milestone was the 1000, but this one, post 1280, goes up exactly four years (well, I’m three days late, actually)  after my first ever post.  Since then, I’ve spent countless hours of free time educating and entertaining myself,   touring other folk through the sixth boro,

interacting with passersby in ports wherever they beckon–ports like the sixth boro,

Philly,

Baltimore (and many other places …)  and more I hope to come.  Thanks to all for your tours and advice and feedback.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying this blog more than ever, learning to see, fishing

(sometimes in extreme conditions) for

flights of fancy and

all manner of lore and historical info about the sixth boro and all the waters connected to it.

Like yesterday, I was reading about Alice L. Moran, her marvelous feats, and wondering if she’s still called Amsterdam and working in Bahraini waters.    And I was reading about PY-16 USS Zircon (later a pilotboat named New York and previously a Pusey & Jones steam yacht Nakhoda), predecessor of pilotboat New York.

I’ve enjoyed these first 1280 and will be continuing.  Meanwhile, here’s another interesting thing I stumbled upon yesterday on page 12 of the Spring 1966 Tow Line magazine.   I hope no one is irked by my printing a screen shot here.  Enjoy.  Letter 1 with request on left and response on right.


Thanks for reading this blog and commenting for four years.  The ride goes on.

Photo credits here to Les, Allen, Carolina, and bowsprite.  Greets to the guys on SKS Tyne.

Meanwhile, a few words about the MWA Waterfront Conference tomorrow:  “

New York, NY: On Tuesday, November 30, senior officials and representatives from over 14 government agencies will join over 500 waterfront advocates, educators, and planning experts for the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s 2010 Waterfront Conference at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center.

Dozens of agency officials, politicians, and other experts will be on hand to offer their perspectives on the future of the NY-NJ Harbor, including: NYC Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, Bob Martin of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Col. John R. Boulé II of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Capt. Linda Fagan of the US Coast Guard, Peter Davidson of the Empire State Development Corporation, David Bragdon of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, Adrian Benepe of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Amanda Burden of the NYC Planning Commission, Cas Holloway of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and Seth Pinsky of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.”

Here’s Autumn Sail 2.  All fotos today come compliments of Melanie Lettau, who crews on A. J. Meerwald, below.  The occasion for the gathering down on the Chesapeake was

the annual schooner race from Baltimore to Portsmouth, VA.  Here are the results.  Below, it’s Sultana and Summerwind.  Summerwind, based at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, was the Class AA winner.

Privateer Lynx finished third.

Lady Maryland–yes she is painted pink –finished fourth.

left to right, Woodwind (?)  and the curvaceous Shanty

And not to be omitted, with a second place finish, it’s Pride of Baltimore II.

A schooner that would have been happy to race last week–When and If--did not, since it’s for sale.  Who knows . . . some other participants from previous years but NOT on hand in 2010 might also be for sale.

Final shot . . . left to right:  Norfolk Rebel (the world’s only “tugantine”), Summerwind, Lady Maryland, and an unidentifed tug in the background.

All fotos by Melanie Lettau.  Thanks a bunch!

And some sixth boro autumn sailing pics coming soon.

The Yahoo tugboat groups has recently hosted an interesting discussion on “oldest” tugs in the United States, North America, or US-built.  Here’s a batch I’ve seen in the past year.

Baltimore . . . 1906, afloat in Baltimore.

Rose . . . 1906,  afloat in Camden, NJ.

Jupiter . . . 1901, afloat in Philadelphia.

Pegasus . . . 1907,  afloat in Jersey City.

Urger . . . 1901, working near Albany.   I took this foto in Lyons in February.

New York Central No. 13 . . . 1887,  ashore on Staten Island.

I’d love to see recent fotos of the following:  Fanny J, 1874, probably in Haiti;  Tramp, 1874; Rustler, 1886; Jill Marie, 1889; and Spanky Paine, 1892.  Many boats much younger than all those mentioned here have been scrapped or left to linger in graveyards.

All fotos in this post by Will Van Dorp, taken in 2010.  Last time I had a batch adding up to 550 years.

Unrelated but a “must-see” is the current exhibit at Atlantic Gallery called “Water”  which features work by 75 artists including Pamela Talese and the peripatetic bowsprite.

aka poisson d’avril, which is what the French call this delightful day.  At that link in previous sentence, check out the list of  (they say) well-known pranks.

A year ago, I put up a post that I’ve now concluded shows a hoax, a doctored foto . . . although I did not know it was a fake or intend it to be one.  I’d still like more analysis of what this shows and who did it.

I mention last year’s post because I heard about Edgar Allen Poe’s April 1, 1829 misinformation involving the lighthouse then at this location:  Lazaretto Point in Baltimore.  The hoax?  A man would fly from the world’s tallest structure–then Shot Tower–across the harbor and Fort McHenry to this lighthouse.  A crowd gathered here and waited . . . until nothing happened and the date began to sink in.    Poe was given to other hoaxes like the Balloon hoax of 1844.  He should just have called it “science fiction.”  By the way, Poe has figured prominently twice before in tugster:  here and here.

Hoaxes are sometimes well-received; other times the response might be prosecution.  Periodically I put up silly stuff, just for fun, like this one featuring light fixture reflections on the Staten Island ferry, never claiming otherwise.  Like those below . . . just a kid’s soap bubbles, or  . . .  you never know.

Captain James restaurant is no hoax but a unique Baltimore eatery.  New York hoaxes?  The Madoff gang comes to mind, like a nagging migraine.  More interesting is Orson Welles, but a century before the New York Sun published a story about an astronomer’s sightings of biped beavers, man-bats, and blue unicorns on the surface of  the moon.

Water on fire?  Remember the Cuyahoga in the mid-20th century?  But how about this youtube video . . . burning tap water?  Not a hoax.  Floating sand?

New statue dedicated to Jim Morrison or some other ecdysiast?

See you at the Fool’s Parade at the intersection of 14th Ave and Canal Street on the first of April . . . muster around noon?  After the parade, which’ll feature ALL the workboats of the sixth boro doing laps in front of the Statue and stopping at a barge spudded there with all manner of eats free for the taking by the BEST grubistas on the nearby shores and music & dancing to please every tongue and ear and eye and limb, there’ll be a bash in front of Snug Harbor:  all the orange juice you can drink and escargots au vin sans limites, maybe even some good eats from GMG, eh Joey?

Great sci-fi short stories based in New York:  The Third Level and Accidental Time Traveller by Jack Finney.  The third level refers to stairways leading to time portals located below the passenger boarding area in Grand Central, detours I look for when I’m not interested in boarding a train to work.

Oh, the statue . . . not a hoax but Orpheus himself, signed by Warren G. Harding.

Fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Again, thanks to Allen Baker for the Baltimore “local knowledge.”

This post is inspired by Sea Bart, the humor behind uglyships.com, the mariner who–outside of his realm of  responsibility–just has way too much fun.  And his humor I find infectious.  If Swinburne and Hoffman were still quarantine islands outside the sixth boro and Bart were to arrive, he’d surely be put off there in a futile attempt to cure his irreverence.

He calls his finds “ugly.”  I’ll classify mine as giddy-making, like this illusion of bird-as-alternate-propulsion for MSC Ornella,

Goldman-Sachs Tower as upper wheelhouse of Thomas D. Witte (ex- Kendall P. Brake, Reliance, Tammy, Matty J, AND June C)

a cargo vessel named Cargo, (Note:  a cargo vessel named “cargo” is not easy to research!!)

(doubleclick enlarges most of the time) a lighthouse (more of this lighthouse soon) in the hold of Atlantic Runner,

a new supra-superstructure on Explorer of the Seas,

ditto on East Coast as well as on

Kristin Poling, whom you’ll see more of soon;  and all of this

brings me to Bart.  Tug’s name–Bart alleges–is Follow Me.  And what name do you suppose the barge following carries?

Lead Me On.  If you resolution of these fotos I purloined from Bart isn’t satisfactory, see it on Bart’s own post here.  Doubleclick on his foto.

All fotos except Bart’s by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated and a few weeks late, but I call this giddy anchor catch on Pilot Boat.

Whatzit?  Where has it come from and where … going to?  Doubleclick enlarges.

The piles are coal, the bucket-wheel at the tip of the stacker-reclaimer (s-r) might be at least 15′ diameter, so the s-r arm must be as long as an Oldendorff self-unloader.  Note the white vessel between the stacks.

A different view of the stacks shows more of the white vessel.  Can you identify it, pretty as an Edsel or gorgeous as a 1953 Studebaker?

Savannah, resplendent, built in New Jersey and designed by George G. Sharp Company, who also designed several classes of Staten Island ferries, and many other vessels.  Here’s a memory site devoted to the vessel that has very interesting historical fotos and  info. Under the section “radioactive waste,” I like the detail of the waste discharge barge called Atomic Servant.  I understand that Savannah is open only on rare occasions to the public.   It seems appropriate to see this foto of Savannah surrounded by mounds of coal, given how miniscule the “bulk” of her fuel was relative to that of ships that burned coal as fuel.

Nearby in the Canton portion of the port, here’s another look at USNS Comfort, a vessel with an interesting past life.  Guess?  Look at the hull.  Answer below.

Atlantic Impala (built on the Russian Black Sea) offloads containers while off its stern, Navios Star prepares to head for sea with many tens of thousands of tons of coal . . . bound for South Korea’s steel mills.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

And the unusual history of Comfort:  she began her life in 1976 as an oil tanker called Rose City.

Update from the previous post on Moran’s imminent move out of Fells Point in this link from the Sun.

The heart of Baltimore offers a look at some tug house design evolution.  Cape Romain dates from 1979.  Note the green (of course) building toward the right side of the foto:  the Cat’s Eye Pub.

Harriet Moran dates from 1978, but I don’t know

when she was retrofitted.

Surrie Moran (2000) resembles the newer Moran tugs like Gramma Lee T. and Laura K.

Again, Surrie, Cape Roman, with two SL-7s Denebola and Antares in the background.

Joan Turecamo (built at Matton near Waterford, NY 1980)  backs out while Gulf Dawn (1966, ex-Frances J) approaches.  Gulf Dawn was last on this blog last March.

Notice the line hanging from the top of the house,

equipment I’ve never sen before.

Last for now, Cajun passes outbound near the sugar ship, Chios Voyager.

More soon.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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My job . . . Summer 2014

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