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Today’s photos come compliments of Michael Torres, who previously shared this and this.  Michael . .  great to hear from you and get a glimpse of the west coast city of San Diego . . .

And who’s being feted here?


It’s Reuben Lasker, a Wisconsin product and brand new NOAA fisheries research vessel getting a prismatic welcome from San Diego Harbor police less than two weeks ago.  Here’s some info on the namesake and the shipyard.


Also in port is T-ATF-171, Sioux.  Here is one of the posts I did two years ago on a sister of Sioux, one in fact that was recently in my old haunts of Portsmouth, NH, to pick up  a sad tow.



For scale, see Sioux here passing Nimitz and a gaggle of C-Tractors.


Also in port around the same time, it’s USNS Montfort Point, aka T-MLP-1, mobile landing platform.  She can partially submerge to load/offload hovercraft and other heavy equipment.  In the distance you see John Glenn, a younger sibling, also built locally.  Michael suggests squinting to imagine seeing the tanker influences in their design.   Click here to see other NASSCO ships.


And finally . . . for a Jones Act RORO with the best paint job . . . it’s Jean Anne.


Many thanks to Michael for sending these photos from “somewhere different,” which will be an emerging theme here on tugster.

In fact, if you have great photos from your version of “somewhere different” or “something different,” please get in touch.


Here was 28.

Click here for a photo of this tug showing its deep belly.  How long has the canal owned her?  Answer follows.


Click here for info on Arkansas-built Gelberman, here photographed yesterday pulling a tree out of the way of navigation.


Driftmaster I believe dates from 1947, making her older than me.   Scroll through here for photos of Driftmaster helping with clean-up post Sandy.


Jersey City fire vessel Joseph Lovero is named for their dispatcher who died in that attack twelve and a half years ago.


343 arrived in the harbor nearly four years ago.  Click here for the welcome ceremony in the harbor when she arrived in April 2010.


T-AKR  316 Pomeroy, named for a Medal of Honor winner who died on a Korean mountain at age 22,  has been dry-docked in Bayonne for about a month now for maintenance.


Click here for more info on the Watson-class.


So we’re back to the beginning.  Governor Roosevelt came to the canal as a steam-powered icebreaker in 1927!  I’d love to see pics of canal traffic from back then.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.

And I thought I was a solitary tourist wanting to see the sights here?  I always do bring outatowners here to my “offices” for the scenery.


And to think that he too thought a maritime center devoted to contemporary shipping is sorely needed along the busy channels of the sixth boro.


First, Noble Maritime IS open this Saturday and Sunday, Labor Day.  More than half the fotos in this post are from the well-worth-seeing display called “Tides of 100 Years.”    Snug Harbor also caught some attention in the New Yorker  this week.

The KVK always intrigues and amuses.  Like, this tanker . . . made me think Torm is mini?    No way . . . it’s heavily-laden,  it’s rusty,


it’s orange (or would you call that cantaloupe?).



Over beyond it at Bayonne’s dry dock, USNS Dahl is getting a make-over.



Farther west, Maersk Phoenix is transferring a petroleum product and soon to head into the Mediterranean.


John Noble is the godfather of this blog.  And this exhibit helps you form a fuller idea of the artist.





And lest you think, it’s only his fabulous artwork, it’s more . . . like this manual below.  John Noble had a Jeepster, one of my all-time to-be-coveted vehicles!  See the flickr image to the left margin of this blog.   Anyone remember his topless Jeepster around Staten Island?


And here’s a taste of his workshop . . ..


If you have a chance this weekend or soon, come to see this exhibit.  Spend some time in the museum, and then find a place across the road to sit and watch his inspiration.

Tangentially related:  My Jeepster story does NOT involve John Noble or even NY.  I was born in coastal North Carolina, a marshy farming area where deep ditches tend to outline roads.  My slightly older relatives–who will stay unnamed–used to waterski behind the Jeepster.  Run the tow line from the car to the ditch, where the skiier crouches at the ready hoping to begin the ride before a snapping turtle, alligator, or water moccasin happens along.  Once the tow gets going, keep your skis cranked forward in the ditch, not toward the car.  Can be done. Has been.  Wish I had fotos!

If anyone has Noble Jeepster stories, please leave a comment.

I’m in the sixth boro, but I have more fotos from the southern US, all by a friend who still wishes no credit.  So enjoy –for starters–a NY-built vessel with a New England name working the Neches River via Baltimore in east Texas . . .  Cape Ann.


Signet Valiant (ex-Natalie Cole) in Mississippi . . . with a “special project” to the left.  Signet Valiant should not be confused with a Valiant Signet.


In Texas . . . Corpus Christi, it’s C. R. Haden working


on the stern of USNS Benavidez (T-AKT-306), while Denia leans on the forward portion of the hull.


All 138′ loa of Kirby’s  low-ridin’ Leviticus at Southwest Pass.   I don’t believe they have a Numbers or Deutoronomy.


Alva Dupre (ex-Compass Hero and others) on the Neches in Texas.


And finally, from a barge company, David G. Sehrt, which has previously appeared on this blog here.



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.


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?


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.


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


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.


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.

Catching up on old business . . . the vintage sixth boro NYC fotos in yesterday’s post come compliments of Seth Tane, currently living in Portland, Oregon but a working resident on New York waters 30 years ago.  Tugster will feature more of those fotos in upcoming posts to illustrate the dramatic change that three decades have brought both on the water and along its margins.

I hope that anyone having similar images of waters and waterfronts will volunteer them into the public domain, either on tugster or on any other site.

Click here for Seth’s site–also linked below to the left–and here for a Portland media review of a show his work participated in recently.

Below is reserve Portland fireboat Campbell, launched 1927.


The next few fotos show vessels on the only recent rainless day at Swan Island on the Willamette.  In the drydock is USNS John Ericsson T-AO-194, named for the one-time NYC engineer and inventor.


Nearby were DoD vessels Pacific Collector  (in its third life after launch in 1970) and Pacific Tracker (in its third life after launch in 1965).


I’d like to know more about this drydock, but it’s clearly built on three re-purposed identical hulls.  I couldn’t identify the tug in the drydock.


Backing up the channel here is CS Tyco Dependable, a cable ship.


Later, Dependable was ensconced beside Global Sentinel, another cable ship.   Click here for Tyco’s fleet.


And here’s a mystery vessel looking for identification . . . at least 130′ long–I think–and just downstream from the St. John’s Bridge.  I saw no name or number anywhere.  Might it be an LT like Bloxom–cover vessel on documentary Graves of Arthur Kill–launched out of West Virginia in 1943 and 44?


All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s physically returned from the wet coast.

How about a quick walk-through of Apache?  Here’s part 1, if you missed it. And here and here are links to the shipyard where she was built.  The masts (main to fore) are just under 90′ and just over 60′.

Apache and sister vessels’ mission is towing and submarine support.  This is no design for towing alongside or nose-in-notch.

Here’s a slightly different view of the “fish” I posted last week.  Tally marks show instances of participation in submarine salvage and rescue exercises.

Also, an update/answer to a question in that post:  the vessel in the second foto is former USCGC Salvia, now a training hulk.  The rusty boxes foreward and abaft the stack  are fire boxes, making Salvia a “fire boat,” NOT as in one that fights fires, but rather, one where fire fighting training can happen.

Here’s a different view from yesterday’s of the bridge.  The unit foreground and right is the ECDIS, which complements the traditional paper chart/dividers approach to navigation.  Imagine on the bridge and elsewhere in the vessel equipment that didn’t exist back in July 1981, when she was delivered.

The wooden wheel surprised me, but wat surprised me even more was

an indication of how responsive it could be.  As I understand it, those are degrees of heading.  Altering course two degrees to starboard takes very little turn of the wheel.

Here’s a view of the foredeck from the “walk-around,” which I assume has another name.

The “cardiac gym” is located between

the stacks.  This is the portside stack.

The afterdeck is long and open, as on an offshore supply vessel, making Apache versatile.  It can tow, but it can also replenish at sea from a helicopter hovering over the white box and

carry containers bolted down in this adjustable grid.  Each stud here (most 24″ apart) can be replaced by an eye.

Apache has a 10-ton capacity crane and

two winches, one for wire and another for synthetic line. .

Power is supplied by twin GM EMD 20-645F7B engines providing a total of 7200 hp to the Kort-nozzled 9′ diameter  controllable pitch props.

Food–shown here in the deck mess–on the vessel is supplied by the Steward department:  steward cook, cook/baker, and steward utilityman.

All fotos here by will Van Dorp.

For more fotos of Apache, click here for fotos by Rod Smith from 2010.

As I understand it, Apache will soon be leaving for the Panama Canal with a sub in tow;  Apache hands the sub off to a sibling T-ATF on the Pacific side of the Canal.  I’d love to see fotos of her traversing the Miraflores locks. . .  I’d love to go back, but . . .

Postscript to yesterday’s post, which started with a foto of ex-T-ATF 166 Powhatan (now Turkish Coast Guard Navy  Inebolu A-590):  you know that a Turkish F-4 was shot down over the Mediterranean late in June.  Guess who retrieved the jet and victims from the seabed?  Robert Ballard’s EV Nautilus and . . .   TCG Inebolu.  

Bosphorus Naval News looks to be an interesting blog, which I’ve now added to my blogroll.   A trip to Istanbul may be in my future??

Again, many thanks to MSC Public Affairs Officer Susan Melow for setting up a visit and to Apache Second Officer Michael R. Rankin for guiding the tour.

I’d still love to see some fotos from Apache’s visits to Kingston, NY, in the late 80′s and in 2000, per Harold’s comment yesterday.

Click on the image below and you’ll see how I posted it just over five years ago.  So what do the big blue tug Powhatan below, Ellen McAllister, USCG Katherine Walker, ATB Brandywine, ATB Dublin Sea. and the Staten Island Ferry Spirit of America (as well as ferries Molinari and Marchi) all have in common?

For starters, the Menominee River in Wisconsin.   And from that, given corporate acquisitions, an “in-law” relationship exists with Fincantieri vessels including Costa Concordia as well as the caissons that’ll try to re-float her.

But closer to home, the list above was built at the same Wisconsin shipyard as seven fleet ocean tugs, four of which are active in Military Sealift Command today.  Click here for the 2012 MSC vessels poster, one fifth of which is reproduced below.  MSC operates over 100 vessels today using 5500 civilian mariners.  Civil servant mariners!!

The DonJon Marine Powhatan above has since 2008 become Inebolu A-590 of the Turkish Navy.

The Powhatan-class T-ATFs hare huge, by New York tugboat stands:   226′ loa x 42′ x 15.’

And they do long, large tows.  Here about a year ago, Apache begins to tow a decommissioned USS Nassau to join the reserve fleet  in Texas.  Click here for more context on the foto, taken from USNS Grapple, another MSC vessel that may appear on this blog soon.

Thanks to Birk Thomas, I have a few more fotos of Apache in New London.  Note the towline . . . attached to a sub in this 2010 foto, and  . . .

light in 2011.   Here’s a question I do NOT know the answer to:  Apache visited NYC before 2001, but I don’t know when.  Does anyone recall this?  Have a foto of this?

In the next post, we look inside Apache.  Next question . . . does this marlinespike seamanship have a name?  Would this have been original to this 1981 vessel?  By the way, Apache’s 31st b’day (technically d’day . . . D for delivery)   is late July.

Only the first and last fotos are by Will Van Dorp. The second and third from last are thanks to Birk Thomas.  All the others come from Military Sealift Command.   Many thanks to Susan Melow, MSC Public Affairs Officer,  for setting up a visit and to Apache Second Officer Michael R. Rankin for guiding the tour.

Click here to see Apache towing USS Forrestal.  Here she is in St. Petersburg.  Finally, here she deals with Atlantic Ocean pirates.

Finally, once again, does anyone remember when Apache visited NYC?  Is there an archive online for vessels visiting during Fleet Weeks going back to 1982?

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My job . . . Summer AND Fall 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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