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Thanks for all the guesses, both in comments and on email.  Last week I accompanied a group of journalists invited on board.  The word from the SS United States Conservancy is that the need for action is urgent;  the project is running a critical “race against time.”  Here are a few key facts about the vessel from the conservancy website.  This is the first of several posts I intend to do.  Click here for an Op-Ed piece written by one of the guides on our tour Susan Gibbs, grand daughter of the the vessel’s designer, architect, and creator.

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Note the unique “sampan wing” tips on the funnels.

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This is midships looking aft in the First Class corridor, as it looks today.   To the left, you can see the deck “footprints” of suites, including where the plumbing rested.

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This section of the “First Class stairs,” like the entire interior is stripped to bare metal.

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Use your imagination . . . this is the First class ballroom, where Count Basie and other greats played.

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This is the port side promenade deck.  (Follow the links there.)  Too enclosed, you think?  You’d want it enclosed for a passage in the North Atlantic in January as she speeds along at nearly 40 mph.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Click here for David Macaulay’s blog about the vessel that brought him to the United States.

For more info on the the SS United States Conservancy and their efforts to save the ship via repurposing, click here.    More soon . . . if not tomorrow.

By the way, in yesterday’s post, the first three fotos were as follows:  1955 Packard Clipper Super, a 1941 Cadillac Series 75 hearse, and a 1955 Buick Road Master . . . all contemporaries of the SS United States.

Many thanks to the Conservancy for the opportunity to tour the vessel.  If you have personal stories related to the vessel, please consider adding them to the comments.

Three years ago and a day exactly, I did a point-by-point comparison among QE2, QM, and QV.   I attempt something similar here.  I’ll throw out some names too, which wil be identified by the end of the post.  First set of names:  Olsen, McNaught, and Wells.  Know ‘em?

The foto above and the one below . . . the bows of the two most recent Queens seem … identical?

Their cleavage . . . at least that which cleaves the waters .  . .

however, is not equally exposed.  And it appears the bulb of QV, below, has gotten mottled in her several years communion with the seas.  I trust the yellow color is a metal coating . . .

Portside frontal profiles, including the “balls” forward of the stack cluster, seem

quite the same also.

A close look at the bulb and loadlines shows that, for whatever the reason, QV  is about 40 centimeters

higher in the water than QE.  Notice the ice glazing on both.

With QE in the background, here is one of the four props of one of the vessels that has come up in a lot of conversations about the Queens, the mothballed SS United States, which used to deliver 240,000 hp to its wheels.

Bunkering QV here is Harley’s St Andrews, I believe.  While we’re talking about saints, here are two more names relating to these vesels:  Saint Nazaire and Marghera.

Thursday after noon up to an hour before QM2 started to move upriver in search of her calves, this unidentified Vane boat was bunkering her in Red Hook.  Anyone know which Vane tug stands by here with the bunker barge?

Here’s another shot of the Brooklyn passenger terminal, showing (from left to right) Mary Whalen, a Watertaxi vessel, and an unidentified Reinauer tug and barge unit (anyone know which?) directly in front of the Vane boat and QM2.

By the way, can anyone help me out with the name of the green-gabled skyscraper in the right portion of the background?

Two hours later, here’s a shot of (far to near) QM2 and QV, showing their stepped stern decks.  Some numbers:  3056–1253, 2250–1253, and 2092–992.  These numbers are maximum passenger capacity to crew size 0n QM2, QV, and QE, respectively.  If you want the best passenger-to-crew ratio, it appears, then take QV.

In contrast to the two slightly older Queens, QE has a fuller, boxier stern . . .  hence, the slightly larger passenger capacity on QE relative to QV, which both came into existence in Marghera, a “suburb” of Venice.  QM2 was constructed in Saint Nazaire, on the  west coast of France.

Finally, that first set of names (Olsen, McNaught, and Wells), these are the Masters of the three Queens.  Inger Klein Olsen is from the Faroe Islands and Cunard’s first female captain.  McNaught is from Glasgow and son of a marine engineer.  Wells worked on Shell tankers and became second officer on QE2 before becoming master of QM2.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

The last milestone was the 1000, but this one, post 1280, goes up exactly four years (well, I’m three days late, actually)  after my first ever post.  Since then, I’ve spent countless hours of free time educating and entertaining myself,   touring other folk through the sixth boro,

interacting with passersby in ports wherever they beckon–ports like the sixth boro,

Philly,

Baltimore (and many other places …)  and more I hope to come.  Thanks to all for your tours and advice and feedback.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying this blog more than ever, learning to see, fishing

(sometimes in extreme conditions) for

flights of fancy and

all manner of lore and historical info about the sixth boro and all the waters connected to it.

Like yesterday, I was reading about Alice L. Moran, her marvelous feats, and wondering if she’s still called Amsterdam and working in Bahraini waters.    And I was reading about PY-16 USS Zircon (later a pilotboat named New York and previously a Pusey & Jones steam yacht Nakhoda), predecessor of pilotboat New York.

I’ve enjoyed these first 1280 and will be continuing.  Meanwhile, here’s another interesting thing I stumbled upon yesterday on page 12 of the Spring 1966 Tow Line magazine.   I hope no one is irked by my printing a screen shot here.  Enjoy.  Letter 1 with request on left and response on right.


Thanks for reading this blog and commenting for four years.  The ride goes on.

Photo credits here to Les, Allen, Carolina, and bowsprite.  Greets to the guys on SKS Tyne.

Meanwhile, a few words about the MWA Waterfront Conference tomorrow:  “

New York, NY: On Tuesday, November 30, senior officials and representatives from over 14 government agencies will join over 500 waterfront advocates, educators, and planning experts for the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s 2010 Waterfront Conference at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center.

Dozens of agency officials, politicians, and other experts will be on hand to offer their perspectives on the future of the NY-NJ Harbor, including: NYC Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, Bob Martin of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Col. John R. Boulé II of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Capt. Linda Fagan of the US Coast Guard, Peter Davidson of the Empire State Development Corporation, David Bragdon of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, Adrian Benepe of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Amanda Burden of the NYC Planning Commission, Cas Holloway of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and Seth Pinsky of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.”

Fundraiser notice Dec 1, 2010 for the tug Pegasus!!

I give thanks for the doomed ships getting a (maybe temporary) reprieve, although there’s no denying that Olympia does NOT rise and fall with the tide.  Here she clearly rests

on Delaware bottom.  The draft numbers there suggest a countdown . . . til drydocking and rescue?

While it lasted, the snow seemed more appropriate for Christmas than Thanksgiving.  Timothy McAllister moves upriver, as does

Captain Dann, seeking a load for an empty Lockwood 2002 barge;  see the loaded barge . . . tomorrow.  In the background, Castlegate takes on cargo, after having left New York just Tuesday.

Crew of SKS Tyne fotograph each other as they leave Philly and

Camden and their skylines and

waterfront work and

mothballed vessels. SKS Tyne, goodspeed for whatever your next destination and next ….

Pilotboat Overfalls heads south, and

no matter the day, the harbor beat goes on.

All fotos, Thanksgiving Day, by Will Van Dorp.

Soon afterward, I went out for a Thanksgiving lobster.  Speaking of, read this great article about the Pilgrims and their Thanksgiving eels.

Note:  Be sure to read the comments in part a, esp the very long and personal one by Bill W. 

Of those vessels, now there are none  This plaque remains just off 9W, right across the river from Indian Point.

Two of the vessels huddled there for awhile (probably longer than their actual period of service) included sister vessels  USS Wakefield (AP-21) aka SS Manhattan and USS Mount Vernon (AP-22) aka SS  Washington.  Both were older sisters (by two decades)  of United States Lines’ SS United States.

Here’s an aerial view of the ghosts, quite visible in my estimation at the time the foto was taken.

Many thanks to Harold Tartell and Joseph Herbert for these enlightening fotos.  And thanks for the comments some of you have sent in;  I’m eager to hear more and see more fotos, possibly of these vessels being moved downriver to the American scrapyards.  Read this article from Sea Classics on the impetus to build and then maintain these vessels.

Not a tug . . .  Blount-built Sailor (1977) delivers lubricants to suezmax crude carrier  Cape Bowen. A sixth-boro Blount boat is Twin Tube.  Sailor and Twin Tube–now that’s an evocative set of names– have similar hulls but houses at opposite ends.  But have you guessed the answer to the ponderable at the end of the post a few days back?

Also not a tug:  fragile lightship Barnegat, here on the mud in North Camden.

Still not a tug:  SS United States.  Don’t the lines suggest the throat pleats of a rorqual?  Got some names of tug companies common in the Delaware but not depicted here the past few days?

Bouchard is one.  Morton IV is a regular in the sixth boro, here approaching the Commodore Barry Bridge.

K-Sea is another.  I’m not sure why Coral Sea lies beside Arthur W Radford here in the Navy Yard.

And then there’s Penn Maritime . . .  here’s Amberjack.  Penn specializes in transporting heated asphalt.

But Vane Brothers is ubiquitous.  Here’s Pokomoke, and

Patuxent,

Bohemia,

Charles Hughes, and

Roanoke.  Two other Vane boats lay in the Schuykill, but too close to Sunoco to risk taking a foto.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, but again special thanks to Jeff Schurr and John Curdy.

You might wonder what’s happening in the sixth boro.  Me too.  I need to have a look, although I’ve really enjoyed Pelican Passage‘s  shots these weeks.  See some  fireworks here.  As for me, it’s prime gallivant season the next few weeks.  See you on the go.

News flash:  unrelated . . . is it true that a duck nursery has been located inside Cornell‘s bow pudding?  Don’t you feel cooled just looking at this January foto?

See Otherwatersheds 6 here.  Many thanks to Jeff Schurr and Capt. John Curdy, who gave me a first-rate tour of 20ish miles of greater Philadelphia waterfront from the Delaware line up to the Delair and Betsy Ross Bridges.  According to a studied source: “Of the 360 major American ports, the Delaware River ranks second in total tonnage shipped, and eighth in the dollar value of the cargo. Every year, 2600 ships call into our port, which claims to employ 75,000 people.”   And another from RITA, too pithy to summarize, lists the largest trading countries and the predominant products in and out through the port.

More posts and maps on Philly–in all its vibrancy as a port– in the next few days, but for now, a sampling, an overview of old and new, starting with the most threatened ones.  Of course, that would be SS United States–which I wrote about here.  For info on the raffle, click here.  Doubleclick on fotos enlarges.

Equally endangered is Olympia.  Click here and here for info on efforts to save this piece of history.

Setubal, Portugal-built Grand Banks dory boat Gazela graces the waterfront.  Find more about her history here.

Mischief (ex-Thornton Bros, Cissi, and Cissi Reinauer) in her current colors and habitat.  A previous appearance of this vessel is here.

Inactive carriers John F. Kennedy and  Forrestal await their fate,  as

does destroyer Arthur W. Radford.  Soon to be an Atlantic reef ?

Weeds grow from the fendering of  B. M. Thomas, launched in Groton, 1926.

Like I said earlier, port of Philly has a vibrancy, illustrated by OSG Vision and

“shortie”  (77′ x 34′)  tug Reid McAllister.

More Delaware pics up tomorrow, but for now, in the Pyne Point section of Camden, Anne is the skipjack rigged schooner (1965, masts farthest to the right)  hiding in the weeds.  Now look in the extreme left side of the foto . . . there in the weeds, what

might this be?  Anyone identify this mystery tug?

The interactive map below shows Pyne Point Park;  the weedy inlet is just to the right of the park label.

Again, many thanks to Jeff and John.  All fotos taken yesterday by Will Van Dorp.

Thanks to Capt. William Lynch for calling my attention to a worthwhile project AND a chance to win a Harley Davidson.  The worthwhile project:  preserve the SS United States in some form.  Local 333 United Marine Division and Lombardi Harley Davidson have teamed up in a raffle.  Details available soon.

I took the foto below last fall in Philly.  The street sign there says, in my interpretation, let’s not walk away from this. 

Right now the liner languishes while its sorry state gets used to direct consumer eyes.

While thinking about buying a raffle ticket, enjoy some diverse fotos, some from this week and others from a few years back:  Austin and Timothy L. Dace Reinauer.

McAllister Brothers

Craig Eric Reinauer with fishing boat nearly chummed.

Barker Boys

Dory Barker

Captain Lynch, thanks for the info on the raffle.

And while I’m telling some news, don’t forget the “Tugboats and Waterfront Scenes” exhibit at the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook.  The artist, Rich Samuelson, will be there today, May 22, between 3 and 7 pm.

Just the facts:  Firefighter entered service in 1938 designed by Gibbs and Cox (who also designed the SS United States and the LCS)  . . . to last and last and last.  And she has.  Firefighter is not only the oldest active-duty FDNY vessel but also

she who can deliver the highest gpm (20,000) through her pumps.  One of Firefighter‘s finest moments occured in 1973 . . . after the collision of Sea Witch and Esso Brussels. just north of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.   See great text and  fotos of that accident here.   Salvaged portions of Sea Witch live on in Chemical Pioneer, still a regular in the sixth boro.  See her (Witch Pioneer) stern in this tugster post from a year ago.

Dimensions:  Built in Staten Island.  134′ x 32′ x 9′ with twin 16-cylinder 1500 hp engines.  gCaptain wrote about it here.  Watch a very informative 18-minute video here.

The Rolls-Royce of fireboats . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp in early March 2010.

If you’re still in the mood for video, you might check out this new site for cruiser USS  Olympia (C-6), featuring new reels of the battleship parading up the Hudson with Dewey on board in 1899, post-Battle of Manila Bay and Spanish-American War.  The second newsreel has the best video, 1899 technology.    Olympia today is is ship in trouble.

Other Watersheds 4 is here.  And the most recent appearance of Joan Turecamo on this blog had her parked along the KVK.  So where was this?

Many cities have a wide or not so much wide street by this name, but –say in New York–Broadway does not have work boats anchoring it, although maybe in a better parallel universe it would.  More on this pier at the end of this post.

Some New Yorkers might also recall John W. Brown, named for a labor organizer and serving as a floating Manhattan high school –focusing on a nautical trades curriculum, of course–from 1946 until 1982.  I’d love to hear from alumni of this school.  So have you figured out which “other watershed” this is?

Here’s another clue.  The watershed feeds into a harbor with large number of massive government ships, like USNS Comfort (T-AH-20 and launched in 1976), which returned from Haiti less than two weeks ago; as well as

some very wet ones like Gov. R. M. McLane, which once served as flagship of government efforts during the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Wars, when foreign vessels harvested  domestic oysters.

Now if you want to know what foreign and domestic mean here, you need to check this link.

One last clue, maybe more of a distractor:  Sea Star line’s El Faro was tied up there this weekend.

Bertha offers conviviality here.

OK, you guessed it long ago.  But which watershed is it?

Patapsco.

More Baltimore soon.  Many thanks to Capt. Allen Baker for his hospitality.  The link in that previous sentence related to the SS United States aka the Big U, currently one of many vessels in peril.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

So this pier . . . shown in foto 2 above . . . will very very soon no longer be a working pier.  Moran is moving out toward the river’s mouth.  Change.  Improvement?  Ha!

Again, I’d love to hear comments on this as well as recollections from alumni of John W. Brown, the high school.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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My Babylonian Captivity

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

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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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