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This series is used to catch up on items started.
Gregory Farino took this foto from the wheelhouse of a tugboat on the Congo River around 1980. He does not recall the name, as he was just catching a ride. My question is this: would the minimal detail of the stem bitt and shape of the bow surrounding it give the impression that this may be an “American” style tug serving the end of its life on an African river. The problem with that theory is that most of the Congo River is separated from the sea by waterfalls. Although I heard stories when I lived there and there are and have been shipyards above the falls going back to the time of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” I have no hard information that any vessels were taken around the falls by train and reassembled for use here. Anyone help?
Recognize the vessel below? The foto was taken by Jan van der Doe. Today it’s called Samuel de Champlain and appeared in this blog recently here.
Although it was built in Texas in 1976 as Musketeer Fury, it operated for a while as well as an Italian tug called Vortice, shown here post-fire. Here’s what frequent contributor Jan van der Doe wrote a few weeks ago: “While plying the waters near Trieste in 1993, she suffered a devastating fire to her upper engine room and deckhouse. The accommodations were completely destroyed and much of the steel deck and superstructure warped from the heat. The vessel was laid up in Italy until McKeil Marine Ltd. purchased Vortice on spec in the mid-’90s and towed her to Hamilton, Ontario. The engines were not damaged, probably the reason the tug came to Canada. I [was] onboard a few times during her lay up in Hamilton.” Here’s a link and foto suggesting the fire happened on the Atlantic off the Azores.
Excuse my parenthetical insertions, but Capt. Thalassic wrote this of Sachem, featured here recently: Sachem was built (1902, Pusey & Jones, hull #306. By the way Cangarda was built in the same yard in 1901 as hull #302) for J. Roberts Maxwell. It had elegant lines and significantly a very large main cabin for entertaining. Power was provided by a Fairbanks 8 cylinder slow speed diesel. During WW 2 the yacht was passed to the Navy and I believe engaged in submarine patrols and training in the Caribbean. After the war it was sold to the Circle line and probably had the most elegant lines in a fleet of converted landing craft although I am sure the direct drive diesel was terrifically difficult to maneuver with in NY harbor. Eventually it was retired and sold as junk to an organization known as the Hudson River Maritime Academy which was based in West New York NJ. The organization was less about maritime or learning than it was about drinking and it went bust. The owner of the pier sold the vessel to Butch Miller from Cincinnati. (Butch owned a company founded by his father that had developed those augers which you see on all those utility trucks.) Butch would drive a van from Ohio to NJ to renovate and get the vessel running. This proved almost impossible and Butch was convinced that he had to get the vessel closer to home. He purchased a Murray Tregurtha unit and plopped it on the rear deck. His first plan was to sail up the New England coast, down the Saint Lawrence. He sailed out of NY harbor with a complete compliment of road maps and promptly ran aground in the fog. He was towed back into NY harbor and was put up in Newtown Creek for another year. Eventually he headed north up the Hudson. The helm was a lawn chair on the roof and steering was done with a broomstick tied to the controls on the MT unit below. Amazingly Butch got upstate and through the canal all the way to Buffalo (I often repeat his description of the canal as “floating through a corn field”) and then through Erie, Huron (where he was detained by Customs for wandering over the border line near Windsor/Detroit). He went all the way down Michigan to Chicago, through the Chicago River to the Mississippi, down the Mississippi to Cairo and then up the Ohio to the Cincinnati area. It was truly an adventure of a life time and it is incredible he made it. As far a I know the vessel sits in a backwater on the Kentucky side of the Ohio near Cincinnati. It is sad retirement for an elegant vessel but it was an amazing adventure. It is fun and satisfying to see that every once in a while the eccentrics with old boats do live out a dream. ” In this Halloween season, it may just be part of the entertainment there . . . given this story. The foto is by Seth Tane, showing Sachem in that appears to be waters off Yonkers.
Let’s sign off with this vessel . . . Bertha. See the foto on the left margin. Surely this can’t be lost!!
Thans to Gregory, Jan, and Seth for use of these fotos. I look forward to any and all followup to these fotos.
Two words juxtaposed in this headline from May 1914 NYTimes are not ones I expect to see . .. “Roosevelt” and “tug.” Click on the image and (I hope) you’ll get the rest of the article.
Below is Aidan, the Booth Line steamer which returned the former President from Belem, near the mouth of the Amazon.
On October 4, 1913, Roosevelt boarded the vessel below–S. S. Van Dyck--for Brazil. Departure was from Brooklyn
Pier 8, to the left below. Click the foto to see the source.
What’s driving this post is Candice Millard’s 2005 The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, which I just finished reading. Learning about the namesake–Candido Rondon– for the vessel in foto 8 here while in Brazil last summer prompted me to finally read this book. Ever know that the ex-US President was stalked by invisible cannibals as he and Rondon led a joint Brazilian/American group down a 400-mile uncharted tributary of the Amazon, now referred to as Rio Roosevelt (pronounced Hio Hosevelt).
Well-worth the read!
. . . the premier marine motor sports event in the sixth boro . . . the 2013 Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition.
I first attended in 2006, and when I look at fotos for the past seven years, I’m amazed by all the changes I see. I hope you enjoy this album even if I don’t enumerate the vessels that no longer work here or look as they do in these fotos.
What surprises will 2013 bring? Don’t miss it. See you there . . . .
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
By the way, here are some of the competitors from 61 years ago . . . .
This summer has taken me to memorable places and points in time, one of which was this comparison of the NJ-side Holland Tunnel vents today and thirty years ago.
This morning as I walked to a meeting on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, I took this set of fotos, all within a quarter mile . . . More time travel?
Here’s a perspective of Lilac and Pilot from an angle that was not available–due to construction–as recently as two months ago. Click here (foto #11) for more info on Pilot, the 1941 tug along Lilac‘s starboard side.
Fair early morning sun illuminates tug Red Hook and the CRRNJ building, seen here 30 years ago.
Brendan Turecamo passes the Hoboken Terminal, originally completed in 1907. For a look at what’s behind the Terminal, click here.
Tailing Brendan Turecamo was El Galeon Andalucia, presumably headed south for Puerto Rico and Florida.
In Spanish . . . is the phrase “Felices vientos,” I’m wondering . . . Also, is El Galeon Andalucia the same vessel that I saw a half year ago in San Juan then called Galeon La Pepa?
All fotos taken this morning between 7:30 and 8:30 by Will Van Dorp.
Ten months ago I did this post of the 1905 ferry Binghamton. Twenty months ago I did this one, this and this with many interior shots at that time. The foto below dates from October 2011 just after Irene.
Here was Binghamton this morning, a work of disintegrative art, refusing to buckle in spite of Sandy.
North end October 2011 and
today, June 2013.
South end 2011 and
peeled back 2013.
Closer up as seen from the right bank 20 months ago and
See a Flickr foto of a NJ historical marker no longer memorializing the wreck, click here. In its place, someone has had the good sense to inscribe the walls of the guardhouse with the 94-year-old words of a gallivanting Edna St Vincent Millay.
How will she fare in the next 10 months?
For a beautifully illustrated report on the life of the ferry prepared by Bill Lee, click here.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Unrelated but cool story here about a 61-year-old immigrant to US circumnavigating in a 24′ sailboat!!
I hope you’re enjoying this time warp as much as I am.
Foto #1. Princess Bay northbound through the Old Bay Draw.
Fotos #3 and 4. Reliable II northbound and . . .
showing the sculptural beauty of her house.
Foto #7. Another shot of Tabeling, here exiting the east end of the KVK. Foto is taken looking toward Richmond Terrace, current location of the salt pile.
All fotos taken by Seth Tane around 30 years ago.
Here are some more fotos by Seth Tane in the late 1970s /early 1980s.
Foto#1. Princess Bay just south of the Old Bay Draw, placing her about a mile of her place of construction. Anyone know what happened to her, last known as Mabel L? She was launched from Elizabethport the same year as Coral Queen.
Foto #2. Jet Trader heads for the Arthur Kill. Today Jet Trader has a new life as . . .
reef, among sunken NYC subway cars and army tanks off Atlantic City. Here’s a foto of her last voyage on the hip of Taurus. Click here to see fotos of motor tankers, subway cars, and army tanks being reefed. Have you or someone you know had the experience of diving on these reefs and care to share the experience?
Fotos 3 and 4. Mystic Sun waited in the Morris Canal for its last voyage to the scrappers in Kearney. Click here for fotos of some of the Sun fleet including Mystic Sun in better days. Can anyone identify the tugboats here?
Here’s the bow of Mystic Sun. Here’s a detailed history of Sunmarine. Mystic Sun started life in 1944, launched from East Coast Shipyards in Bayonne as AOG 38 and was scrapped in 1981, dating this foto. Here are other AOGs in dazzle paint.
Last foto, #5. Mary Gellatly, the tanker incarnation. Click here and scroll for a recent foto of the current Mary Gellatly in the sixth boro. Who was the long-revered namesake? And anyone know the details of the launch and demise of this tanker?
Many thanks to Seth Tane for these fabulous fotos of sixth boro history.
Here is just one of the many posts I’ve done on Janice Ann Reinauer, now working in Nigeria under new ownership. Here’s a post I did featuring her and siblings about to leave almost exactly two years ago, high and dry on Blue Marlin. Of course, the skyline in the background shows that here–about 30 years ago–she was getting some attention at the drydock over in Jersey City just north of the Morris Canal.
Here’s a closer-up of the yard tug on the shoreside of the drydock. Can anyone fill in more info on this fairweather vessel?
Here are two shots looking at what is now a very different Jersey City bank.
Only the lettering Bert Reinauer II offers clues here. Anyone know the vessel to the left? Bill Lynch speculates it’s pilot boat New York (1972), and I’m inclined to think he’s right.
And finally, a repeat foto from yesterday . . . in addition to the identification sent through comments by tugboathunter and jeff s, here’s what Harold’s eureka moment came up with . . . revealing a bit of his process: ” I finally cracked the case on that green unidentifiable tug. I looked at that photo, got away from it several times after tearing my hair out, and finally went back. Saying to myself, ‘That boat looks familiar. I’ve seen it in the last few years painted a different color. The Tug Races, that’s it, the Tug Races.’ ” Interjection: here’s a post I did in 2007 showing what Harold remembers.
Harold continues: “She was built in 1959 in Norfolk, Va. (yard unknown) as SHRIKE. She was later renamed SALLY, and then BILL MATHER (that’s where the MATHER comes in from my observation). I couldn’t make out the name BILL. She was MONAHAN before becoming LONG SPLICE. Her owner in 1993, as MONAHAN according to Carl’s records was Monahan Towing Co. I looked in a 1978 MERCHANT VESSELS OF THE UNITED STATES, under BILL MATHER, and found her owners as Tug Leasing Corp., Delaware. A final look in a MERCHANT VESSELS OF THE UNITED STATES 1965 under SHRIKE shows her owners as Southern Tug Corp.”
Again, all these vintage fotos, which allow this time travel, come compliments of Seth Tane. Click here for his current endeavors.
Finally, I’ve written to folks in Nigeria to attempt to get fotos of boats there formerly here . . . still to no effect. Anyone help?
More Seth Tane fotos.
Foto #1. It’s 1979, 34 years ago. What I see is no structure on Pier 17 Manhattan, lots of covered warehouses and a ship on the Brooklyn side. Extreme lower right of foto . . . is that the floating hospital? There’s another large white vessel to the left of lightship Ambrose. There’s a vacant lot just to the south of the Brooklyn side access to the Bridge. And a large ATB looking tug in the Navy Yard. What have I missed?
Foto #2. W. O. Decker–in my posts here and here and many other places–comes to pick up a tow, Poling #16. Digression: if you do Facebook, here’s the Marion M (shown in the second Decker link there) updates site with fotos. Lots of intriguing details in the background of the Navy yard here.
Foto #3 Driving Decker here is most likely Geo Matteson, author of Tugboats of New York. A 2013 “reshoot” of this cityscape is a “must do.”
Foto #4. Tied up at Pier 17, Decker remakes the tow to get the tanker alongside.
All fotos by Seth Tane.
If you’re interested in collaborating in a documentation of the changing harbor, particularly the evolving articulation between the sixth boro and the other five, please contact me. See address upper left side.