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As I meander through my internal miasma, the blog stays noir–more accurately noir/blanc–with another set of screen shots from the NYC Municipal Archives, this time all 1940s  . . .Department of Sanitation tugs Spring Creek, Fresh Kills, and Ferry Point, docked in the East River.  Fresh Kills aka Miss Laura . ..  is she still operating out of Duluth?

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Here’s another shot of Fresh Kills aka DS 43 off the Bellevue Hospital.  Anyone know what became of Spring Creek and Ferry Point?

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Can anyone identify this 1941 tug moving coal scows eastbound into the East River off the Battery?

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Undated but in Erie Basin, it’s SS Waziristan next to a floating grain elevator.  It turns out that in early January 1942, SS Waziristan–bound from New York to Murmansk– was sunk by Nazi air and submarine attack off Bear Island, Norway, lost with all 47 crew.

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Help me out here . . . an unidentified tug docking an unidentified ship in Erie Basin in 1940.

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Meanwhile off Tottenville, here’s a fleet of US Army transports . . . mothballed from WW!?

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I believe this is a different ghost fleet in roughly the same area.  Notice the Outerbridge in the background.    Is this where all

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this debris lies today?  Actually, I took this photo and the next two just “north” of the Outerbridge in August 2010.

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All the vintage photos here are from the NYC Municipal Archives, where too many photos have lamentable scarcity of captioning.

 

Last May I traveled willingly into around a corner in time . . . enjoyed it, and posted the “fifth dimension” series that ended with this post.    So I toying with the idea of strolling into another.  Sadly, about all I know about these photos –other than that they show the sixth boro as it was more than half century ago–is the dates and some names.  I hope someone can add some information.

NYPD, 1949.  Launch is named for Patrolman/Boatswain’s Mate 2nd class Robert Steinberg, who died in March 1945 while serving in the Navy.

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1951 departing (for where?) troopship City of Keansburg.  Tug is unidentified.

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1952.  Lehigh Valley Victor.  Notice the Woolworth Building near the left margin of the photo and the Singer Building –demolished 1968– near the center.  Is Victor considered a tug?

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July 1952 . . . Carol Moran and two other tugs, near Haverstraw.

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1953.  East River  . .  . tugboat is Manhattan, floating property of the Department of Docks but I’ve found nothing else.  The building partially shown along the left is 70 Pine–I think, and the building in the center of the photo is 120 Wall.

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Photo taken by Allen Baker in April 2014 . . . last week . . . of a USS Slater,  launched and patrolling the oceans before the photos in this post were taken.  Obviously, I’d love to know more about all these vessels.

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All these photos can be found in the NYC Municipal Collections.

Oh . .  if you recognize the “corner in time”reference in the first line . . . here’s the music, one of my all time favorites.

Doing research on some city-owned vessel. . . I stumbled onto this photo below dated September 1934.  Recognize the sledgehammer-wielding politician about to do some major reefing off the side of the boat?

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Click here for more.  What do you make of the outfit and the wheelhouse here in the late 1940s photo?

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And what’s about to be reefed off DPC-15 aka Brooklyn?

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To get the caption on the photo below, click on the photo.  It appears city employees did a lot of ocean dumping back in those days.  DPC expands to Defense Plant Corporation, and it appears that DPC-15 herself–aka Brooklyn– was dumped into the ocean . . . well, reefed in 2001!

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The NYC Visual Archives can entertain you for hours on a rainy day.  And back from the same time period, a film noir called Port of New York.

It turns out that tug Tilly, recently in the news here and elsewhere and currently unintentionally reefed was DPC-86.

Do check out the archives.  Now I’ guess I have to go to NYPL to find what I started out looking for.

Happy Earth Day.  Well . .  every day should be that, and although I recall and participated in the very first one in 1970, I’m no longer so enamored of the name.  Planet Day would be better, and of course every day should be that as well.  Actually . .. I’m rather more attracted to declaring this and every day Sea Day.   Actually, every day already is, with a parade of random vessels making their way past the KV buoy every day all day.

See that random stuff floating in the foreground on KVK waters?

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This was at my feet that same day, all arranged by tide and wind and buoyancy.  And here’s more.

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Some these pics I took a month ago, a day I’d just heard about the search for the tragic Malaysian Flight 370.  What struck me as strange was the reporter’s reference to “sea junk” …  a term that seemed to suggest the sea was responsible for debris of all sorts floating there.

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Calling it “our junk” would make more sense.

Today is also the 50th anniversary of the opening of the 1964 World’s Fair.  If you don’t think the world has changed much in a half century, watch The Magic Bus, a video about a journey from California to the World’s Fair.

Go back a century . . . 1914 was also the year of opening the Panama Canal, the Cape Cod Canal . . . and more.

OK . . . let’s go back to today.  I got work to do.  Look at this desk junk . . . my desk.  Note the logo on cup and guarded by the feline.

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Let mer see . . . happy see day.

 

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.

 

 

Photo thanks to John Skelson . . . it’s not a bird . . .  it’s not a plane . . . it’s NY Media Boat, one of the recent recipients of the Life Saving Award from the Marine Society of New York for a February 2014 rescue from a sinking tugboat.

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So . . . what might you see on a customized adventure sightseeing tour of the sixth boro aboard NY Media Boat?   Well . . . if you’re interested in fireboats or firehouses . . . they’re near their Pier 25 pick up site.

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A bit farther north . . . you can see Chelsea Market or Pier 66 Maritime from the water, a perspective quite different from experiencing either of them by land.

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You never know what private boats might be docked at the passenger terminal . . . this one obviously wanting proximity to

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the car wash.  Thanks to Phil Little for this unique perspective from the cliff at Weehawken.

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You can see the newest NYC scalloper port.  F/V Endurance was back there yesterday.

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If Alice is in town, you can meet her up and personal.   Alice Oldendorff, aggregate carrier, was the focus of the very first tugster post over seven years ago, as well as many since.  Use the search window.

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The East River offers unusual juxtapositions . ..  like the UN and the WTC.

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You might see remnants of industrial Brooklyn riverfront or

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demolition happening to IER 17.

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You can see classic architectural icons of NYC like the 1929 Chrysler Building or

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1976  tramway.   But if you’re like me, you’ll be hoping for

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unexpected sailing vessels like Halie & Matthew or all manner of work boats like

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Long Island built Maryland.

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How about the “interior” side of Red Hook Container Terminal?

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Of course, then there’s nothing that beats close-ups of wherever you want on the sixth boro by open boat.  Book a tour here.   By the way, the boat offers warm, waterproof gear and PFDs.

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Here’s an article on Bjoern Kils and the boat from a publication of Willard Marine, manufacturer of the boat, which formerly lived on a US destroyer.   Also, here are some recent NY Media Boat clients.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, except the delightful one of the private boat at the car wash by Phil Little and the lead photo by John Skelson.  Thank, Phil.

 

Here just over a year ago was the release information about the documentary.

And here’s the BIG announcement:  the world premiere of the documentary will happen Wednesday, May 7 at 7 pm at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema and tickets for that evening’s fare . . . including ours are now on sale.  Click here for directions to Brooklyn Heights Cinema on Henry Street.   If you haven’t seen the documentary, we DO turn back the clock on some of the skeletons in the yard.

Just over a week ago, I stopped to look at the yard from outside, from the muddy margins.  Some photos are below.  In 2011, Gary Kane and I had permission to film inside the yard from a leaky rowboat, and the footage of “beautiful ruins” comes to you directly from the leaky rowboat.  By the way, I had a hand-powered bilge pump that kept our equipment dry.

Fragments with a wading bird,

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disintegration with graffiti,

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commingled wreckage,

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terminally rusted disrepair,

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debris still morphing but identifiable,

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ravaged whole machines juxtaposed with live ones.

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Here was the 2010 end of the “graveyard” series . . . all photos shot in the ship graveyard.  Use the search window to see  segments 1 through 3.  And here is the end of the “ghost puzzles” series, all photos I shot while we were filming the scrapyard portion of the documentary.

I hope to see you at the May 7 showing at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema; here again is the link for details.  Also, if you do Facebook, please go to the Graves of Arthur Kill page and click like.

Unrelated to some degree, click here for my latest photos in Professional Mariner magazine.

 

North River entered service in 1974.

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Hunts Point entered the sixth boro sludge trade in February 2014.  My my my . . . how the design has evolved!

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Photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here and here are previous sludge tanker posts.  Here are pics from five years ago when sludge tanker Red Hook began service.

First some background . . .from  Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Chapter 24 . ..  last two paragraphs:

“If I shall ever deserve any real repute in that small but high hushed world which I might not be unreasonably ambitious of; if hereafter I shall do anything upon the whole, a man might rather have done than to have left undone; if, at my death, my executors, or more properly my creditors, find any precious MSS. in my desk, then here I prospectively ascribe all the honor and the glory to whaling; for a whale-ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.”

New York once used a Liberty ship as a high school . . . from the late 1940s until the early 1980s, if I understand correctly.   The photo below comes credit to Seth Tane.  Read the print on the bow.

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Here’s another photo of that school.  Click on photo to see its provenance and more.

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August 2011 . . . NYC Department of Education’s Harbor School takes possession of Privateer on long term lease from NYC Department of Transportation,  Staten Island Ferry.  It’s an ex- 46′  BUSL . . .”boat utility stern loading,” and

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here’s Privateer today, after a “learn-on-the-job” transformation in which Harbor School students participated.  Click here for a six-minute video shot mostly on the vessel used in vessel training AND oyster bed restoration.

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Photos below show the Schottel drive unit being installed in Privateer after reconditioning.

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Another one of Harbor School’s boats is Indy 7.  Indy is so-named because she was one of twelve utility boats aboard CV-62 Independence, which I visited in Bremerton, Washington a few years back.  CV-62 was a Forrestal-class carrier laid down in Brooklyn, and I’m thrilled that the tradition lives on, a government boat having a second life  training local youth.

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Thanks to Capt. Aaron Singh, waterfront director at NY Harbor School for this info and these photos.  Photo below showing the Boston Whaler named Pescador comes credit of  Captain Chris Gasiorek.  Thanks, Chris.

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If you’re reading this and you’re a graduate of Harbor School OR the SS John W. Brown School, I’d love to get a comment from you, especially about the path the school put you on.

Here and here are posts in which I’ve referred to Harbor School.

Unrelated but interesting:  a floating school in Bangladesh, a school boat bus in Washington on the Salish Sea, and finally a floating school in Nigeria.

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.

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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.

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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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