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Call this a virtual gallivant . . . Mage Bailey, long-time reader and commenter here, traveled through the Panama Canal last month and sent these spectacular photos.

Let’s follow the nearer tug on MSC Kim‘s starboard stern quarter . . .

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Tug is Sajalices, CheoyLee built in 2011.

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One year older but otherwise built in the same yard . . . it’s Belen.

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Click here for a number of posts I did in Panama a few years ago.  By the way, MSC Kim today is somewhere in the Pacific;  she was last in the sixth boro in November 2013 . . . although as with most traffic in this harbor, I missed her.

Many many thanks to Mage Bailey for these photos.  More soon.

 

I don’t know how many folks were glued to this webcam yesterday, but I was not the only one.  Let me walk us around the foto, different in subtle ways than the other five in this post.   First, note the time stamp upper left:  it’s 11:16 a.m.   This was happening yesterday midmorning at the Miraflores Lock, the first of three set of lifts out of the Pacific on a transit toward the Atlantic/Caribbean.  In the distance on the right side, the large white object is Norwegian Star, negotiating the next set of locks . . . Pedro Miguel Locks.

The ship almost fully shown in this foto is Tai Success, bound for Altamira, Mexico.  Tai Success is 656′ loa (length overall)  by 104′ , the maximum width for the current set of locks.   Extending from lower left is the ex-Left Coast Lifter, towed by Lauren Foss.    Note the relative size of Tai Success and the crane barge.   Lauren Foss at 141′  loa is larger than almost all tugs currently on the Hudson.

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11:20 a. m.  The entire crane is in the lock chamber.  On the stern of the crane barge is Cerro Majagual, a 2013 Panama Canal tug built in Spain.  For the transit from the San Francisco Bay area to Panama, this role was played by another Foss tug, Iver Foss.  Iver is currently waiting for the tow on the Atlantic side.

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11:24.   The water in the lock has started to rise.

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11:30

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11:40.  The doors on the high side of the Miraflores Locks have opened and the tow heads for Pedro Miguel.  By the way, on the horizon beyond the Pedro Miguel you can see the Centennial Bridge, about 10 years old.  As of this writing this morning, the tow was docked just north of this bridge.  I suspect it will complete the transit and be on the Atlantic side by the end of today.

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I see from the Journal News story that Fluor has already changed the crane name from Left Coast Lifter to I Lift New York, presuming they’ve “purged the old from Poseidon’s ledger.”  If you look at the fourth foto above, you’ll notice “Left Coast Lifter” is still painted there.  I wonder when that will be painted over;  maybe the name purging will happen in Gatun Lake today?

Meanwhile, I’d like to propose some alternatives . . .  Hudson River Hoister and Tappan Zee Titan are more local and maintain  the same LCL pattern.

As to size, currently the largest crane in the Hudson Valley is DonJon’s Chesapeake 1000, the number being its tonnage lifting capacity.    Last summer in Rio, I saw a crane called Pelicano 1 with a lifting capacity said to exceed 2000 tons.  The ex-LCL is said to hav a capacity around 1900 tons.

Click here for one of the posts I did from the Panama Canal–a place well worth a visit and a second visit– about two years ago.

Keep in mind that once the tow clears the Atlantic side locks, it’s still more than 2000 nautical miles from the Narrows.  Assuming an average speed of seven knots and no delays for weather or other causes, that’s still almost two weeks.  So, I’ll wager ETA at the Narrows around February 1.

FedEx in the sky, container barge at the ASI yard on this side, Donjon Marine yard on the other side, and off the end of the channel, highways and railways.  By the way, Fred Smith has long been one of my heros.

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EWR is one of three very busy airports in greater New York.

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Note the control tower at the airport.  Check that link for a view of the whole complex from the air.

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And the ship . . .  since 1 September, here’s a list of ports it has called in:   Balikpapan,   Yeosu,   Huanghua,  Aviles (maybe) , Red Dog Mine, and who knows where else.  And some of the crew . . . are dreaming of visiting Times Square and Rockefeller tonight.

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And if this is Port Newark, then next it’s Norfolk.

Here was 18.

The following two fotos come thanks to Joseph Graham, a New Yorker who pilots a Kirby boat among various ports in the Gulf and on the Mississippi.   Study the six tugs below  . . . yes six.  Recognize the one on the left?

Sure!  It’s Odin, featured here and here and many more places.  Right now she’s in the vessel equivalent of Sailors’ Snug Harbor, in Kirby’s reserve yard in Houston.    Odin . .  you’re not forgotten!

Notice anything unusual about this staple?  It may be common elsewhere, but I’ve never seen one with a stainless steel insert. This foto comes compliments of Allen Baker;  here’s one of his many fotos on this blog.  And the vessel . . .

is three-year-old Delta Billie, 6800 hp and built in Washington state.

She was docked here on the San Francisco Embarcadero . . . below the Tower there named for “Firebelle  Lil’ Coit.”

And finally, from Lauren Tivey, whose foto of a lion figurehead on a Shanghai barge appeared here a year and a half ago,  a fisherman working on Er Lake in Yunnan . . .  using

these birds we know well in the sixth boro.    I love the paint job on these fishing boats.   Quiz:  Can you name three of the six major rivers that drain Yunnan province?

Poor foto . . . I took on Sunday, but I was fascinated by this KVK cormorant struggling at least two minutes to swallow this sea robin.  Cormorants must have throat tissue like a rubber tire!

The rivers flowing out of Yunnan–which borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam– are the Irrawaddy, Mekong, Salween, Red, Pearl, and Yangtze.

Thanks again to Joseph, Allen, and Lauren for use of these fotos.

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. . . or I could say 12480 kms away.    Here was the previous one in this series.  Remember the port?

Well, in this port recently was this tug named Merlot and the green vessel . . . a large canoe?  And yes, check here for tugs named chardonnay, shiraz,  and pinotage.  Nothing here yet named Ripple or Boone’s Farm . . .  Here’s what Colin wrote about the green vessel:

“That ship ULSTEIN CLEAR is fresh as a daisy, built at ZHEJIANG SHIPBUILDING in China and  delivered 31  MAY 2012.   They also build them in BRAZIL where PETROBRAS ordered six and two have been built there and four will be complete during 2013.  I have read that PETROBRAS have ordered quite a few drilling rigs for their offshore operations.   On one of the ULSTEIN ships they have a crane mounted for wind farm operations.  It lifts 5000 tons so very effectively.  It will be used between England and Ireland.”

Some might consider this design so unusual as to be ugly, but I see this as an extrapolation from a canoe bow . .  or the prow of a Viking ship.

More info about this hull and its advantages for working in heavy sea–reduced motion and fuel efficiency– can be found here.   Great videos and animations.  Note the location of the exhausts.  If you didn’t identify them, they

are the diagonals more visible here.

I don’t believe a vessel with this sort of bow has visited the sixth boro . . .

yet.

All fotos by colin Syndercombe, to whom I am grateful.

Surprise, lunacy, and freebies commingle in this post.  At one point, my perspective shifts a half dozen miles also.

0859 . . . as seen from the “swimming pool” aka Faber Park, Staten Island-side just east of the Bayonne Bridge. That’s Shooters Island (see a then/now post I did here)  off the bow of Zim Qingdao.   Here‘s something to know about the place Qingdao.

Still 0859 . . . Amy C McAllister awaits instructions on assisting with the turn.

0901 . . . part of the turn accomplished . . .

0902 . . .  Zim Qingdao makes the Bridge.

0905 . . .  Ellen‘s off the stern now.  And when I look up,

… well, there’s no surprise about female mariners except

that looks like a kid!    Could this be a contemporary  Zim Family Robinson . . . sans the shipwreck of course!!

0940 . . .  I’ve jumped onto my horse and raced over to the Brooklyn side of the Narrows.  What directed my attention to the Brooklynside base of the VZ Bridge was ships’ horns:  one long blast . ..   danger!  Is it this?  At least six “smokers”  . . .

as Zim Qingdao sped up . . . for her next port, tailed by Amy C and Responder.

I was half expecting these invulnerables-whose engines will never stall maybe– to jump the bow wave . . . .  NYTugmaster links to a WSJ article on “playing in urban commercial waters” here.

Between the VZ and Swinburne/Hoffman, Zim Qingdao  meets

Zim Shenzhen . . .    Note the crew on her foredeck.

By now, Zim Qingdao is passing the Bahamas after a post stop in Savannah, no doubt headed for the Panama Canal.

Unrelated:  Want a free boat ride on Saturday, tickets are available here at 7 pm today.  Actually, there are no truly free boat rides;  support historic vessels of your choice.

If you’re looking for a thriller to read this summer, try The Ship Killer.  Bonnie gave me hers . . . after I’d noticed in prominently displayed at my local Barnes & Noble.   There’s info here, and I agree with the first review there by Jim A . . . except I’d go farther and say it’s like Moby Dick . . . but you get inside the whale’s twisted mind just as you get inside Ahab’s lunacy.   I was predisposed NOT to like it, I didn’t  BUT it was a thrilling ride.

And speaking of thrillers .  . . here’s an American jetski adventure stopped by Russian tanks and helicopters, from a blog yesterday.

I had planned something different, and this foto is certainly NOT great, but . . . what it shows is River Wisdom  Qingdao, China-bound and Duncan Island Red Hook, Brooklyn, USA-bound.  They’re passing each other at sea level Pacific side just “south” of the Miraflores locks.

Here was River Wisdom about a half hour earlier.  Any idea what she paid for the transit?  Warning . . . I don’t know the answer, but I can come close.   Number of vessel transits annually?  Answer follows.

Any idea when Duncan Island will arrive at the dock in Red Hook?  Again, I don’t have the answer, but bear with me.

Farfan is the assist tug for River Wisdom  . . . as I write this.

I’ve forgotten the name of this yacht, but with that tall a mast and that many spreaders, it could be the

same one I’ve seen in New York and Newport . . . like here.  (Note:  The yacht is Tiara.  It rents for a mere $200k/week.)

Some answers or attempted ones:  PTCC Tortugas paid over $200,000 to transit the Canal.  In cash.  At least 48 hours in advance.  The alternative is 8000 miles around Cape horn and about two additional weeks .  .  .  .    Richard Halliburton swam the Canal in August 1928.  Took him 10 days.  Cost him 36 cents!

14,000 vessels transit the Canal annually.  52,000,000 gallons of fresh water per vessel do the work.  Good thing the rainy season is generous to the watershed.

For River Wisdom, New York PLUS 7 days put her here.  Balboa PLUS 30 days will put her in Qingdao.

Might Duncan Island arrive with her bananas and other tropical fruit at the dock in Red Hook around March 22?  (Just looked it up . . . they could be there already the 18th!!!.)

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, in the past two hours.

… and actually much much more happened today.  CSAV Rio Aysen  came in before nine this morning and might be discharging its almost 5000 automobiles in Bayonne as I write this.   Since entering the trade in 2007, I wonder how many automobiles she has transported across oceans . . .

Miriam Moran and Gramma Lee T Moran spin her for a stern first docking in the Upper Bay.   Not having eyes myself inside the port, I can’t

tell you what make of cars she bears.  I’ll bet she traversed the Panama Canal recently.

Bound for sea and Norfolk, APL Indonesia is three years younger than CSAV Rio Aysen.

Exactly a month ago, APL Indonesia departed Ningbo, China.   What stories might these crew have to tell?

I’ll bet she traversed the Panama Canal not long ago and will soon do it again.   The tug in the distance is Resolute.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s detecting a theme here.

The foto I posted yesterday dazzled my image of Shooter’s.  Sure  . . . I knew it once saw shipbuilding operations beginning with David Decker’s yard, but I never imagined the scale.  And when that industry collapsed, the island was reduced to a speed bump.  Obliterate it was the solution proposed by a politician half a century ago.

If I try to put myself in the head of a Standard Shipbuilding employee there 90 years ago, I imagine he would wonder how many vessels the Shooters yard would be turning out a century hence, what cargoes they’d carry, and  to which ports.  Possibly he also wondered what part of the operation would employ his sons.  Never in his wildest dreams–I suspect–would he imagine a scene like the one passing earlier today.

He would never envisage such a ship from China with cargoes like the dominoes stack here.  Click here for fotos of Shanghai a little over a century back.

Xin Chang Sha, although barely a medium-sized container ship–is twice the loa and carries eight times the cargo deadweight than a Shooters vessel such as the 1919 San Teodoro.

On a given Saturday morning from sunrise to noon, Xin Chang Sha is one of  . . . half a dozen vessels bound for sea through the KVK.

Doubleclick enlarges.  This foto taken at the pool, just east of the Bayonne Bridge, looking toward Shooters.

Besides being a bird sanctuary, the island margins are also home to over a dozen ruins deemed “nationally significant” by the NPS Archeology Program for abandoned shipwrecks.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Indulge a bit of shameless self-promotion here:  If you haven’t voted yet in the Village Voice poll upper left, please do so and ask a few of your friends to do so too.   Just click on the link and then–after  putting in your name etc. paste in   tugster.wordpress.com  in #5 (best neighborhood blog) and #24 (best photo blog).  Thanks.

About a year ago this blog featured “turning 70,” with a vessel that subsequently played an unexpected role in history.

See the crewman on the bridge wing looking up?   What’s he monitoring?

Ten minutes earlier I’d caught Suez Canal Bridge nosing around a bend on E 1st Street in Bayonne.  That’s Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Shipyard over on the far side.

Six weeks ago she actually was at the north end of the Suez Canal,

and now she’s headed for a portal that turns 80 this month, the Bayonne Bridge, dedicated on November 13, 1931. For the next 46 years, vessels passing here like Suez Canal Bridge–escorted by Maurania III and Amy C McAllister–could say

they were passing beneath the longest single arch steel bridge

in the world.

In 1977 the New Gorge Bridge took that distinction from the Bayonne Bridge.  See what the New Gorge Bridge looks like here, and that was in turn eclipsed by the Lupu Bridge.

Some vessels traversing this waterway and squeezing under this arch may in fact know the Lupu Bridge.

Anyone have fotos to share of tugboats on the Huangpu in Shanghai?

Maurania III churns the waters to turn Suez Canal Bridge the 90-plus degrees into Newark Bay at Bergen Point.

By the way, the Lupu Bridge is itself no longer than longest steel arch bridge in the world, a distinction that now belongs to the Chaotienmen Bridge.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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My job . . . Summer 2014

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