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My sincere Merry Christmas/Happy 2014 wishes to all of you.  Actually, I hit the road Monday morning for the now-annual road trip to see family in greater Atlanta.

Consider this my Christmas card.  Any ideas what this is?  These three fotos come courtesy of Nancy Donskoj.

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It’s the tugboat Gowanus Bay delivering Sinterklaas and his entourage up the rondout to Kingston, NY’s annual Sinterklaas festival.   Sinterklaas is the red-clad legend I was first made aware of, and he would supposedly arrive on December 5.   Click here for more pics.    Kingston was the third oldest settlement in New Netherland.

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Believe it or not, Sinterklaas stories are clouded in some controversy because of the guy standing to his left.  Actually not this guy per se at all.  In the Dutch tradition, this man is Zwarte Piet . .  or Black Pete.  The Americanization in the foto below is interesting.

As the Dutch say, prettige kerstfest.

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The next two pics come thanks to Jen Muma currently of New Orleans, and it’s fuel for the

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Christmas bonfire.

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Here are two East Coast traditions, but I’m thinking the sixth boro really doesn’t have much PUBLIC Christmas tradition spectacle related to the water at all.  Four years ago, I floated an idea about a harbor tree inspired by what folks do in New England, but I’ve moved on.  For myself, I like the idea below, the nautical clutter tree in my friend Ed Fanuzzi’s backyard.

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Have a festive day with your loved ones.  I will repost again in a few days.

Thanks again to Nancy and Jen for use of their photos.

The last post in this series–24–was quite obscure.    And this one . . . could be called ex-government boats.

The foto below comes thanks to Scott Craven, who caught the vessel upbound on the Hudson near the Bear Mountain Bridge.  At first I thought it was a re-purposed 65′ WYTL.  With a bit of research, however, I learned it’s the retired Massport Marine 1, Howard W. Fitzpatrick (scroll through to the 8th foto).  Note the traces of removed signage along her port side.  She’s now replaced by American United.   Again, scroll though, and you’ll see the folks on Windermere posted a foto of American United high and dry at the Canadian shipyard here.  Click here for more info on Massport.   Fitzpatrick launched in 1971 from a now inactive shipyard in southern Illinois, just north of St. Louis.   So does anyone know where Fitzpatrick is headed?  Great Lakes?  the Mississippi system?  Maybe a reader upriver can report?

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On a rainy day back in mid-April, Gary Kane caught this display on the East River, just south of Roosevelt Island.

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It was the John D. McKean, a retired FDNY fireboat.  McKean was Camden, NJ built about 60 years ago.  Anyone know what her future may be?

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All this talk of retired fireboats and mention of Gary Kane give me an opportunity to suggest you buy the documentary produced by Gary Kane and myself called Graves of Arthur Kill.  One of the major voices/story tellers in that documentary is a retired FDNY engineer.

Thanks to Scott Craven and Gary Kane for use of these fotos.

Kudos to Joe, Walt, and Starbuck for the answers to the question I posed here a few days ago.  Here’s as much as I know from an exhibit at Vicksburg.

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I believe a larger number of folks south of the Mason-Dixon Line know a lot more about the Civil War than most of us up here:  even though it’s the sesquicentennialwe don’t have markers like this to remind us.  Behold the USS Cairo, which only exists today because it had an incomplete journey, lasting only a few years before . . .

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boom!  and then getting preserved in Yazoo mud.

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If ever you’re in the vicinity of Vickburg, it’s a sight to behold.

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From midships below the pilot house, looking forward.

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From same position looking over the boilers and through the paddlewheel aft.

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From starboard,

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from behind the stern looking at the rudders,

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And an example of the next generation of ironclads, USS Indianola.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Related:  A West Point-trained Confederate officer charged with defending Vicksburg was a General John C. Pemberton, uncle to the person credited with the invention of an obscure drink called Coca-Cola.

I’d just consider most of the barge-handlers in the Mississippi watershed to be towboats.   Enjoy this smattering beginning with Jerry Deal (1971) .

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Ace G (1980) ,

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Ronnie Tucker (1976) ,

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Shirley Franklin  and Connell Smith  (both 1978) ,

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Stephen L. Colby (1967),

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American Pillar (1976),

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Nellie (1962) and Katherine Berry (2007),

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Katherine Berry again and Issaquena (1966),

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Stephen Foster (1948) and Captain Val (1965),

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Charlie G. (1962),

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Spirit, Piasa, (both 1958) and William K. Powell  (??).  Also note White Cloud, a government boat of the St Louis Fire Department in the foreground.

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Pioneer  (1981??),

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Miss Illinois (1998),

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and finally Capt. John H. Lozier, which used to be known as

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Southland (1951).      Just take aoff the faux-sidewheels.    Foto below was taken in September 1967 in Louisville, KY.

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And I’ll end with a mystery question.  What is anything you can determine about these two vessels?  The smaller one is circled for a reason.

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Thanks to DanOwen of Boat Photo Museum for use of the Southland foto.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

I had a chance to see Orange Blossom depart the sixth boro this morning, but since our current January light is so monochromatic, I thought to take on the tugboat/towboat question.  Having said that, I’ve always considered Buchanan 12 (last one here) and Glen Cove (seventh foto here) as river tugboats or pushboats.   Odin, depicted at the end of this post and possibly still in the Kirby yard in Houston, also has some towboat characteristics.

Olga  G. Stone, big pushknees and little if any sheer . . . .

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without a winch or H-bit . . . definitely a towboat.

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Barbara E. Bouchard and in the lift Edwin N. Bisso . . .  as definitely tugboats

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Admiral Jackson . . . tugboat.

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J. W. Herron . . . towboat, and I’d love to see her high and dry hull lines.

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Ned Ferry . . . tug.   Here’s Ned Ferry with Sanko Venture, recently somewhat curiously rendered by bowsprite.

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This unidentified Florida Marine vessel with tow is a towboat . . . .  Note how the length of the tow

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seems quite lengthened when you get a profile.  Also notice the dance as the ferry Louis B. Porterie sashays between the two tows.

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John Williams . . .  towboat.

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Ditto Alley Cat,  Stone Power, 

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and Jerry Aragon.

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This one I don’t see enough of to identify.

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For nostalgia’s sake . . . a foto of Odin in the KVK . . . circa 2007.

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All fotos above by Will Van Dorp.  For some great towboat fotos check Boat Photo Museum and Ohio River Blog, recently added to my blogroll.  Also, an excellent site is Dick’s Towboat Gallery.  For more on the difference between tugs and towboats from TES, click here.

Here was 14, and for a similar vessel to today’s here are some fotos from Birk Thomas from not quite a year ago.   And this post started here, right after I’d driven into Nola from Mississippi on Route 90.  The depicted canine is admiring Poseidon, a 1945 Navy barge that was converted to transport Apollo units for NASA.

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Click here for a story about Pegasus, a descendent of Poseidon.

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The foto below and the two above come compliments of Jen and Curt Muma, formerly of tugboat Shenandoah.  For info on a former NASA sea ship–Liberty Star– newly assigned to a sixth boro institution, click here.

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The next three fotos I am using thanks to and with permission of Boat Photo Museum–newly added to my blogroll.  The February 1970 foto below shows Poseidon and sister barge Orion upbound at Vicksburg pushed by towboat Bob Fuqua (few qwah).  Bob Fuqua would push the barge only as far as Nola, at which point a sea-going tug would take over for the rest of the journey to Cape Canaveral.  Here’s a story from April 1961 about such a handover from towboat Bob Fuqua to tug Sharon Lee.   Click here for a story of the NASA fleet, and more fotos of Poseidon.  Today Bob Fuqua is known as Carrie Mays;  for a contemporary foto, click here.

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Here Bob Fuqua pushes sister missile barge Palaemon upbound at Wickliffe, KY, February 1965.

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Here, from August 1970 is another shot of Poseidon and Orion underway at Vicksburg.

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Just shy of a year ago, the contemporary rocket RO-RO had a close encounter with a bridge in Kentucky, which you may remember.  MV Delta Mariner, as the RO-RO is called, is still at work.  I must just have missed her, as she is is currently upbound the Mississippi north of Vicksburg.  Oh . . . to be back in Memphis for that and many other reasons.  For a sense of Delta Mariner‘s recent itinerary, click here.

Many thanks to Jen and Curt for the contemporary fotos waterside and to Dan Owen for the vintage fotos.

Riverbanks 1 and 2 appeared more than four years ago.  And it’s interesting to see what associations I made then.  This is a look at riverbanks elsewhere, outside the sixth boro context.  Take Baton Rouge and sixth-boro built USS Kidd, possibly an indicator of low-water Mississippi watershed.

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In Memphis, it’s the formidable levees

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and winter-idled riverboats.  Click here for an excellent although slow-loading PDF on the scale of the Mississippi watershed and the several-century evolution of its levees.

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The confluence of the Mississippi and the Ohio happens at Cairo, IL, where barges line the banks, like the 170′ Michael G. Morris (1999) on the Mississippi side and

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the 183′ American Pillar (1976) on the Ohio River  side.

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Lines within lines of barges .  .  like the ones here pushed up the Ohio by Laurie S. Johnston, 6200 hp.

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Note the barge-rich banks of the Mississippi in the area of the Route 66 bridges aka Poplar Street and McArthur Bridges.

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Here a loading (?) operation takes place just north of the E St Louis foot of the Poplar Street Bridge.

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And here in Lower Speers, PA, along the Mon . . . a clutch of towboats spend time in the yard.  Here Capt. Deane Orr (135′ and 1952) and Burning Star (40′ and 1965).

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Moving downstream in the yard, here are Arkwright, R. Randy Palmer, and Marcus Anthony.

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And Sara Elizabeth and Wes McDonald.

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And a the downstream end of the yard, it’s the 103′ 1953 Titan.

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Finally, upstream of the Consol boats, it’s   tiny Busy Bee,  Allegheny, and some unidentified CTC vessels.   Finally, from the CTC site, click here for an interesting video produced by the Waterways Council on the relative merits of water transport.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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This is the Speers-Belle Vernon crossing of the Monongahela River aka the Mon, which in Pittsburgh–which I visited in June 2008 here– flows into the Ohio, which at Cairo flows into the Mississippi.   The lighter bridge carries “rubber wheel” I-70 traffic, and the darker one carries Wheeling and Lake Erie “steel wheel” traffic.

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Charleston WV-based Lawson W. Hamilton Jr. moves

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a light barge downstream while

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Darlane B moves a tow heavily laden with coal upstream.

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Former names for the 1975 Mississippi-built vessel are East Wind, Ryan Patrick, Bud Spanier, Stone King, and Harry Collins.

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At the dock is Consol Energy’s Burning Star.  More Consol vessels soon.  Here are some Consolidated Coal bulk carrier fotos from Auke Visser’s site.

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North of the bridges, Lady Louise (ex-Chief Powhatan II) stands by at

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a coal-handling facility in Monessen.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.   Related posts can be seen here and here.

Name that river where the hunters are putting in their boat on a ramp that’s showing some roughness?  If the guy taking fotos turns around, you’ll see

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this arch by Saarinen.  So it’s a low water Mississippi, making the levees seem even higher than the posted 38′ to the street.  By the way, I hadn’t expected to be so impressed as I was by the arch and the underground museum.

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This January along this part of the Mississippi had below freezing temperatures, not the weather to run show boats by these delightful names.  To ride either Becky Thatcher or Tom Sawyer, we’ll have to return in summer.  A few days ago in New Orleans, it was 77.

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And that’s fine.  Summer would be a better time to go slowly through the Illinois River Valley, and enjoy sights like the 170′ pushboat America.   A few miles upriver–we didn’t get there–is also the former showboat Goldenrod, which I need to return to the area to see.

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I hope to have more pics of America soon.

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Another ferry–Golden Eagle Ferry–rests on the bank not far from to the south.  Click here for more ferries of the Middle Mississippi River valley.

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Right in the middle of Kampsville is the “108 bridge,”  sort of like the US Route 10 Bridge between Michigan and Wisconsin.  But I digress.

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Actually this is Miss Illinois, a 1998 Chattanooga-built tug connected by rotating kingpin to a barge ferry

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The barge stays pointed the same direction all the time, but Miss Illinois pivots on the pin each time it shuttles to the other bank.

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And the water is icy!

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

A quick reprise first:  back in Nola, here Connie 2 assists B. John Yeager dock a tow along Algiers.  Route 90 bridge in the background.

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Here’s the mystery vessel from the last post:  the retired MV Mississippi IV in Vicksburg, positioned here in 2007 when an even larger replacement came on line.

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In Memphis, it’s Richard headed southbound under the I-55 bridge.

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From Fort Defiance Park in Cairo, Il, that’s the Route 60 bridge over the Ohio . . . at the very end of the Ohio.  The confluence is behind me.  Tug is ADM’s American Pillar.  Note the barges and tugs along the far bank.

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Less than a quarter mile away, along the Mississippi bank, it’s AEP’s Michael G. Morris.  The bridge is the Mississippi crossing of Route 60.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd in between the two previous fotos, here’s the commingling.  Notice the Ohio on the left is muddier than the Mississippi on the right.  Coming thru is Okie Moore’s Diving and Salvage’s  Stephen Foster, pusing crane barges and Captain Val, based along the Missouri.

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from the St Louis bank.

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Many more to come from points in between . . .  from Will Van Dorp.

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My job . . . Summer 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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