You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘lightship’ category.

First, if you’re free today and within travel distance of Lower Manhattan, do yourself a favor and attend this event, 4 p. m., a book signing by Dr. James M. Lindgren.  His new book is a much needed complement to Peter Stanford’s A Dream of Tall Ships, reviewed here a few months ago.   Details in Preserving South Street Seaport cover almost a half century and will enthrall anyone who’s ever volunteered at, donated to, been employed by, or attended any events of South Street Seaport Museum.  Lindgren laments SSSM’s absence of institutional memory saying, “Discontinuity instead defined the Seaport’s administration.”  Amen . .  as a volunteer I wanted to know the historical context for what seemed to me to be museum administrations’ repeated squandering of  hope despite herculean efforts on the part of volunteers and staff I knew.

As my contribution to creation of memory, I offer these photos and I’d ask again for some pooling of photos about the myriad efforts of this museum over the years.

Pier 17.  April 17, 2014.  According to Lindgren, this mall opened on Sept 11, 1985 with a fireworks show.  Its demise may by this week’s end be complete.

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April 12, 2014.  Photo by Justin Zizes.

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Feb 23, 2014.

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Jan 21, 2014 . . . Lettie G. Howard returns.

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Sept 20, 2013.  This is the last photo I ever took FROM the upper balcony of Pier 17.

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Sept 12, 2013.

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July 2012.  A fire had broken out on the pier, and Shark was the first on scene responder.   Damage was minimal, despite appearances here.

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Now for some photos of vessels that have docked in the South Street area in the past half century.

July 2012 . . . Helen McAllister departs, assisted by W. O. Decker and McAllister Responder.

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June 2012.  Departure of Marion M as seen from house of W. O. Decker.  Photo by Jonathan Boulware.  The last I knew, Marion M is being restored on the Chesapeake by a former SSSM volunteer.

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Lettie G. Howard hauled out in 2009.

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2009. The Floating Hospital . .  . was never part of the SSSM collection.

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2009.  Maj. Gen. Hart aka John A. Lynch aka Harlem.

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Helen McAllister with Peking and Wavertree.   Portion of bow of Marion M along Helen‘s starboard.

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Mathilda posing with W. O. Decker in Kingston.  2009.

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Moshulu now in Philadelphia.

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2005, I believe.  Spuyten Duyvil (not a SSSM vessel) and Pioneer.

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Thanks to Justin and Jonathan for use of their photos.  All others by Will Van Dorp.  For many stories on these vessels, that mall, and so much more, pick up or download these books and read them asap.

 

 

Sunsets can gild and indemnify the efforts of the day.  A lightship can help safely navigate the impending darkness.

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but sunsets can also torment.  Although it’s the last day of September and progress has been very slow in trying to raise the $$ to save Bertha,

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there is still time.  Someone must know someone who

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can help so that this hull gets completed, surfaces get gets sandblasted and repainted, and all the rest so that

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this handiwork will be complemented with

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clear views out these lights, and

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celebration.

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So that these D13000 speak again.

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And splash gurgle back out to sea

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Anchors lowered

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get raised.

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Help.

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Final foto by Allen Baker.  All others by Will Van Dorp, whose previous Bertha posts were here and here.

Here’s Bertha‘s blog.

Here was ASB 2.  There might be eight million stories in the naked city, but in its primary boro aka the sixth boro at least half again that number of other stories could be told  . .  by the collective whoever knows them.

Captain Zeke moves with the diverse stone trade past folks waiting below our very own waving girl and

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all those folks waving and taking fotos from the ferry and every other water conveyance.

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The 1950 Nantucket‘s back in town . .  for the winter.

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Yup . . . no one could have predicted these . . .

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back when Shearwater was launched in 1929.

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A cruise ship shuffles passengers as Peter F. Gellatly bunkers.

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Kristy Ann Reinauer stands by a construction barge.

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Mary A. Whalen . . . is a survivor from another time.

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A barge named Progress has returned to South Street Seaport Museum, here between Wavertree and Peking.

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Emerald Coast is eastbound on the East River.

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Two views of Adirondack, one with WTC1 –or is it 1 WTC or something else–and

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another with the Arabian Sea unit.

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And Sea Wolf heads north . . . .

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

I’m enjoying this time travel back to the late 70s–early to mid 80s, and I hope you are too.

Foto #1:  Between Yonkers and Hastings, lightship is No. 84, Camden-built 1907, the one that later did bottom duty in Erie Basin, until the Ikea development made it disappear. Can anyone identify the white vessel north of the lightship?

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Foto #2.  Today Mathilda rests on the north bank of the Rondout in Kingston, as I photographed her almost exactly five years ago.  I never knew she also crawled out awhile on Pier 94.

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Foto #3.  A Moran tug escorts ACL Song through the Newark Bay drawbridge on its way to Port Elizabeth.  Drawbridge and vessel are long gone.  I can’t identify the tug.

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Foto #4.  James Turecamo looked like this when she carried Turecamo colors.

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Foto #5.  Beside the heavy traffic, do you notice something odd about Empire State V, one of a long list of training vessels assigned to SUNY Maritime?

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Foto #6.  Listing perhaps?    On a sandbank near LaGuardia perhaps?  Frances Turecamo holds station to staboard.  I can’t  identify the tug to port.

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Foto #7.  Anyone know anything about a sunken lounge/restaurant once known as Drifters I?

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All fotos taken by Seth Tane about 30 years ago and used with his permission.

This “fleetless” 2013 fleet week in the sixth boro is an ideal time to look back at previous fleet visits, using these vintage fotos taken almost a third of a century ago by Seth Tane.  Here’s my “fleeted” fleet week fotos from 2012.

Foto #1.  USS Mount Whitney arrives in town with airship escort.  Which lightship might that be off LCC-20’s port bow?   My thanks to Jed for identification of LCC-20.

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Foto #2.  Victory ship USNS Twin Falls as campus for Food and Maritime Trade high School rafted up along the North River with Liberty ship SS John W. Brown, a floating nautical high school.   Which pier# or street were these docked at?  Can anyone share fotos taken inside these unique school vessels?

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Foto #3.  Comparing with this foto of Wire WYTL 65612 taken less than a year ago, it appears changes have been made over the past 30 years to her house.   Also, notice the “previous” version of the  Staten Island ferry terminal off her starboard.

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Foto #4.  Seatrain Lines vessel Transindiana after some altercation.  Transindiana was initially built as a WWII USN transport vessel.  Enjoy these other Seatrain fotos.

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Foto #5.  Intrepid initially arrives in the North River to begin service as a museum ship.  The foto is taken from a vessel on Pier 9 in Jersey City.

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All fotos thanks to Seth Tane.  And, I again invite your comments and reminiscences.  If you missed it, here was the first installment of this series.

Click here for my serendipitous fotos of WLV-612 under way a few months back.  I traded those fotos for a tour.  But  the vessel immediately below is not 612 . . . it’s LV-87, 43 years older than the 612.  Check out the riveted hull.    Here and here are some previous posts on that Ambrose showing vintage in situ views and high and dry ones at Caddell’s last spring.

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In comparison, here’s the bow of the 1950 Nantucket aka WLV-612.

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The C covers a hatch which when swung outward is marked with a U so that from a distance, one would still read the name on side as Nantucket.  I’m not kidding.

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This is what a welded lightship stern looks like.  But where is Nan, with whom I had the appointment to view the vessel?

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A cellphone call brings movement to a forward portlight, and with the right password,

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this hatch swung open.  “No, I’m not selling anything or giving away religion . . . I just being tugster.  A tour maybe?”

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Spirals still lead between decks, although I’m guessing that everything about this vessel has been redone to yacht standards.  For the official site fotos of what’s below decks, click here. There are many more fotos on this listing . .  for less than $7 m it can be yours.  It will probably leave the sixth boro before the end of this month.

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Prominently framed below, the builder’s plate. But how did WAL become WLV?  Addendum #2  Here’s the answer.

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This vessel was the USCG last working lightship until 1983, and it did “other tasks” until being decommissioned in March 1985.

For a PDF on many US lightships, click here.  Two of them are abandoned on a riverbank in Suriname.  For some haunting fotos of a similar 1910 Dutch lightship (Lichtschip Suriname-Rivier) along that same river, click here.   It seems there is a restoration project underway, as filmed here in the past month . . . but in Dutch.  Basically, the narrator says “don’t fall through the deck, vessel came here in 1911, here’s the washroom, the kitchen, the anchor machinery, the light tower . . . here’s the companionway heading below, yes . . . there’s water down there but we’re hoping to get her dry.”  Come back when the job is done;  meanwhile I am NOT going down below where some nasty critters might have settled in.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Sometimes serendipity smiles on me.  Like yesterday.  I’d left quite early for an event and saw this red dot on the horizon.  If I hadn’t seen the vessel before, I might have thought it a phantasm.  But four-plus years ago, I’d even gotten a tour of WLV-612 . . . a vessel so exquisite inside now you have to take your shoes off, not for security but just because the floors  . . . are gorgeous.

 

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This is the Norton Point Light . . . technically the Coney Island Light at Norton Point.  Vessel in the distance is Rotterdam Express.

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Not a rock and a hard place . . . but a bridge and a parachute jump . . . .

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As if on someone’s invisible cue, the sun broke through overcast sky for about 30 seconds just

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before she passed under the VZ Bridge and

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crossed paths with Mediterranean Sea heading out to pick up a barge.

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To repeat myself . . . if I hadn’t known Nantucket was spending winter in the sixth boro doing events, I might have questioned my perception or sanity, but

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knowing that she’s around still did not diminish

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the sheer joy I felt seeing her.  My afternoon definitely picked up after this.   Is that Pati R. Moran?

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  And truth be told, seeing this reminded me of a song I loved as a youth growing up in what today would be called an fundamentalist immigrant place.  Tennesee Ernie Ford version and church version.

January 1909.  New Jersey-built Ambrose LV-87 in second year on the job.  Photo by N. L. Stebbins.  Click on the next two fotos and you’ll get to their context.  Click here for many more Stebbins fotos.

January 1912, a mere 1202 months ago.  Ambrose at work with White Star Olympic passing in background. Olympic at this time was less than a year on the job and already suffered one collision.  Four months later, of course, her younger sister ship would begin its ill-fated maiden voyage to New York.

I recall seeing this foto before I moved to New York and imagined that “channel 87″ was the means to contact the vessel.  Oh well . . . live and learn, eh?

March 2012.  Ambrose in her 46th year post-decommissioning after having served the USCG (and precursors) 59 years.  Photo by Birk Thomas.  In lower right hand corner, that’s Atlantic Salt’s Richmond Terrace mountain.

St. Peter’s neo-Romanesque sanctuary has dominated the east end of the KVK for over a century.

Structure just forward of Ambrose here is Sono’s “postcards,” a 9/11 memorial.

This may be my last post for a while . . . am gallivanting south soon.

Many thanks to Birk for these fotos.

Related:  Click here for a Reginald Marsh mural of a black-hulled Ambrose.  Here are some crew shots from the late 1950s.

Unrelated:  Crossing the Darien isthmus right now is Ever Deluxe, which appeared just barely in this post from almost three years ago . .  and NYK Diana, a Howland Hook regular.

The first 11 fotos here come compliments of bowsprite, who was so eager to get fotos of Ambrose‘ return that she admits to running out to the East River to get these shots  …  in her pyjamas …!   Now THAT would have been a sight to see.  As evidenced by her posts here and here, she IS a devotee of lightships.

I leave most of the narrative here to her fotos, which begin here are a parade processed past the heliport along the East River.

Keep in mind that Ambrose in not moving under its own power, but

traveling on the hip of Charles D. McAllister, whom I foto’d from seagull perspective recently.

Ambrose clearly demonstrates some power here versus this hecilopter.

That’s Brooklyn Heights in

the distance.

Now pay a modicum of attention to the vessel way out beyond the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

For a resplendent Ambrose, it’s homecoming!  I hope you can come to the welcome back ceremony on the pier next Monday evening, March 12.

Again, note the ship in the way background.

A radiant Ambrose gives new meaning to the term “lightship.”

Docklines are tossed . . . she’s home!

Et voila!  Guess who’s back in town . . . Ms. O, Alice . . . my first love!

More seriously, I’ve written about a crypto-lightship in town here and here after being tipped off by Jeff S.

The final foto above comes thanks to Mike Cohen . . . who snapped it from Brooklyn Heights.

So here’s a matter to speculate about:  Ambrose‘ return attracted some of the mainstream media.  Is it possible that these media are starting to pay more attention to folks’ attention paid to water and harbor and sixth boro events?

Back in December, Ambrose went to the yard for a makeover, and John Watson took these shots.

Today, John got these, mere minutes ago, as they tangoed

Charles D. McAllister and Ambrose,

chico y chica

felizmente

como amantes en la primavera.

Big party is NEXT Monday evening.  RSVP!

Many thanks, John.

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My job . . . Summer 2014

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