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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.
April 12, 2014. Photo by Justin Zizes.
Feb 23, 2014.
Jan 21, 2014 . . . Lettie G. Howard returns.
Sept 20, 2013. This is the last photo I ever took FROM the upper balcony of Pier 17.
Sept 12, 2013.
July 2012. A fire had broken out on the pier, and Shark was the first on scene responder. Damage was minimal, despite appearances here.
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.
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.
Lettie G. Howard hauled out in 2009.
2009. The Floating Hospital . . . was never part of the SSSM collection.
2009. Maj. Gen. Hart aka John A. Lynch aka Harlem.
Helen McAllister with Peking and Wavertree. Portion of bow of Marion M along Helen‘s starboard.
Mathilda posing with W. O. Decker in Kingston. 2009.
Moshulu now in Philadelphia.
2005, I believe. Spuyten Duyvil (not a SSSM vessel) and Pioneer.
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.
Chancellor . . . built pre-World War 2 in Brooklyn. This post is timed to satisfy a request from Bob Price . . . as follows: “as part of a group working to restore the tug boat Chancellor, I am trying to find any extant engineering documentation regarding her construction details. Built by Bushey & Sons in 1938, it is currently in the keeping of the Waterford Maritime Historical Society and my group of volunteers recently arranged to have it moved into dry dock at Lock 3 of the Erie Canal where we laboriously winterized it, pumped its bilges dry and a making plans to create a very thorough hit list of things to do. If you would be so kind as to point me in the direction of any person or entity that might have access to drawings or any engineering related stuff pertaining to the Chancellor I would be most appreciative. Thanks for your time. Bob Price Knox, NY 518.895.8954 The first three fotos below come from Bob.
The next three I took in 2010. Here she’s cruises north on the Hudson headed for Troy.
Here’s she’s downbound following W. O. Decker into the Federal Lock.
Housedown, she prepares to depart the bulkhead in Waterford.
And in my foto from either 2006 or 2007 she goes nose-to-nose with Gowanus Bay.
If anyone knows the whereabouts of construction drawings or other plans for Chancellor, you can also email me and I’ll pass the info on to Bob and his group. Click here to see Fred tug44’s video of Chancellor being pushed upstream by the tagteam of Ben Elliot and National.
Here was 1.
Bob Stopper sends along this foto from Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario. Miss Debbie, 1969, was originally 30′ but extended to 46′.
Here’s a bow shot I took a few years back.
The Bronx and W. O. Decker here headed up along the west side of Manhattan before the 2010 Hudson River tug race. Click here to see a clip called Bootleggers Return to the Bronx, re-enacting a 1922 federal raid on a barge where “hootch” was sold. The clip was sent along by Robert Apuzzo, who samples the bottle on the bow of the tug in the clip.
From the 2008 Hudson River tug race, Terilou, I believe. I know nothing about Terilou‘s past or present, although it may be tied up on the Raritan River.
And here’s a boat i just stumbled onto . . . Cynthia Garner. Anyone know her story?
The first foto comes compliments of Bob Stopper, the eyes on western NY waterways. All others by Will Van Dorp.
And the winner of the speed race . . .
in a record setting 0 days, 0 hours, and precisely five minutes and 0 seconds . . ..
. . . sorry . . . this is part of the day too; click on the foto for bowsprite’s rare foto coverage.
The winner of the speed event will be revealed, uncovered, somewhat shorn . . . at the end of this post. But first, besides the tattoo contest, other contests include line toss.
Jamie of Susan Miller shows how it’s done.
Then . . there’s sanctioned, precision pushing.
Can you spot the difference between the white-and-green tug to the right above and the one below?
Vane had twins in the race, and one near-clone.
I’m not sure what this event would be called . . . mustering maybe.
There’s sizing up and
On the pier, winners wear not laurels but spinach . . . . Someone inspired by the anthropological study of the Nacirema people might write this up as a study of a late summer ritual called Ecar Toabgut.
There are raffles that landed some this bowsprite print of a boat that represents–I believe–the first Vane participation in this race on
September 2, 2007.
And after the race–if it hadn’t happened before–boats might pose with the great Lady.
Here are some of the crew of the fastest boat . . .
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Congratulations to the crew of Working Harbor Committee for their work; many thanks to all the companies and crews for participating.
The race may last for less than 10 minutes for (most) boats, but each participant spends hours before and after. Here, using the power of thousands of conceptual horses and one very real donkey, all four vessels in Miller contingent make their way upriver.
At Pier 66, crew on deck and crew below start them up.
For boats that arrive on the scene early, Red Hook may have come straight from a job delivering bunker to Norwegian Breakaway, there’s time for what might look like lollygagging, and
(in these next two shots from William Hyman) saluting the spectators or just
being seen. Does Seagus have another name?
But it’s also getting acquainted time.
Some regulars didn’t show, and other vessels arrived that I’d never seen before.
I had to look up South River Rescue Squad attending the Great North River race . . .
Somewhere in the attractively dressed race day crew on Jake-boat Resolute are two of the principals of tugboatinformation.com . . . hi Birk and Craig, as well as the force majeure aka Rod behind Narragansett Bay Shipping.
This kayaker stays well out of the stream.
The white bowstriped vessel–Lt. Michael P. Murphy– in the distance won the prize for persistence, finishing the course in a historic half an hour . . . spending most of that time doing a mid-race-course onboard repair.
Despite forecasts of storms–and rain north of the GW Bridge–the only lightning I saw was here and
thunder from the crowds on the piers. That’s the intrepid bowsprite showing us her drawing/painting arm.
Spectators took advantage of any platform.
More soon. Thanks to William Hyman for his fotos, especially the one of an exuberant W. O. Decker, which I featured hard at work using Seth Tane fotos from over 30 years ago here. Click here for John Huntington’s superb fotos from a wet place in the race . . ..
Again, my hat’s off to all who must work on Labor Day, including my son, who always works holidays for the higher hourly rate. And if you’re inclined, read what Paul Krugman has to say about Labor Day.
Uh . . . what’s this?
It’s Buddy, living breathing braying hoof-beglittered mascot of Debora Miller. If you’ve never been to the New York’s race, there’s a best mascot category. In the past there’ve been . . . dogs, hermit crabs, even a chicken . . . but Buddy redefines the contest.
With the threat of rain, someone made a wise decision and advanced the start of the race. Here Resolute, Catherine Miller, Tasman Sea, and Red Hook move toward the starting line . . . feted by now-retired 1931 fireboat John J. Harvey.
Foto thanks to William Hyman . . . the line up.
And at 10:29:30 . . . they’re off . . . with 1930 wooden tug W. O. Decker taking an early and easy lead!!
45 seconds later . . . W. O. Decker has dropped back.
Here’s they are 15 seconds later.
John J. Harvey is not a tug, but to see the speed out of this octogenarian . . . was humbling. An engineer toiling away in the engine room later told me all four engines were driving propulsion.
The red tug–Resolute–went on to win, although I don’t yet have the official times. I could have written them down, but I was far too busy applauding and taking fotos.
And here’s the crowd at the finish line.
Part B tomorrow. Thanks to William Hyman for foto 4. All others by Will Van Dorp.
Many thanks to Glen Miller of Miller’s Launch for my ride this year.
Unrelated and almost forgot: Here’s a query from Jeff S, a frequent commenter on this blog: he saw a “very weather beaten wooden sailing vessel (hull) at the Jersey end of the Goethels Bridge, about 65-70 foot long , two deck cabins and a bowsprit.” It was parked in the oversize lot waiting to cross the Bridge when traffic gets light. Anyone have an idea what this may be?
More Seth Tane fotos.
Foto #1. It’s 1979, 34 years ago. What I see is no structure on Pier 17 Manhattan, lots of covered warehouses and a ship on the Brooklyn side. Extreme lower right of foto . . . is that the floating hospital? There’s another large white vessel to the left of lightship Ambrose. There’s a vacant lot just to the south of the Brooklyn side access to the Bridge. And a large ATB looking tug in the Navy Yard. What have I missed?
Foto #2. W. O. Decker–in my posts here and here and many other places–comes to pick up a tow, Poling #16. Digression: if you do Facebook, here’s the Marion M (shown in the second Decker link there) updates site with fotos. Lots of intriguing details in the background of the Navy yard here.
Foto #3 Driving Decker here is most likely Geo Matteson, author of Tugboats of New York. A 2013 “reshoot” of this cityscape is a “must do.”
Foto #4. Tied up at Pier 17, Decker remakes the tow to get the tanker alongside.
All fotos by Seth Tane.
If you’re interested in collaborating in a documentation of the changing harbor, particularly the evolving articulation between the sixth boro and the other five, please contact me. See address upper left side.
Forecast for the morning after the Oscars was for some sun, which I sorely needed. And who’s out . . . William Oscar aka W. O. Decker, for starters.
I couldn’t quite figure out what Sorensen Miller‘s load was. In the background, that’s the Newark Bay Bridge, which doesn’t make it on my fotos much.
Virginia Sue was fishing off Clermont.
John P. Brown moved nine (?) railcars from Brooklyn to Jersey.
Clipper Legacy arrived here yesterday.
Shawn Miller‘s pushing trucks around again, this one all ready for the mid-March holiday.
Taurus light moves past Christine McAllister.
And . . . let’s conclude with another shot of William Oscar, wherever it may be heading.
All fotos this morning before the clouds moved in . . . by Will Van Dorp.
Those film awards started in 1929.
William Oscar Decker was launched in 1930.
Every day should be Oscar day and every night . . . Oscar night. And the winner is . . . W. O.! Shouldn’t there be a George Stanley statuette front and center of wheelhouse?
All fotos by Will Van Dorp. Foto #1 taken in September 2010 in Troy, and the other two taken in July 2012 in the East River.
So after work today, I went looking for evidence that New Yorkers celebrate mardi gras. I saw this instead . . . seal?
Not! Unless seals these days carry flashlights and trail markers and have a support
vessels like Linda Ann, herself supported by W. O. Decker and Peking.
Here is one of a series of six posts I did five years ago about Peking, which moved across the bay that day. And half a year back, here‘s a post I did about W. O. Decker and Helen McAllister‘s last waltz. And Wavertree . . . I regret that in my dozen years wandering the sixth boro, Wavertree has not ONCE left the dock. I know some of you must have fotos . . . and good memories of her moves, but I have none.
BUT . . . click here for a mystery vessel with three masts square-rigged in a foto I was given some years back. Anyone want to take a stab at identifying it? The conclusion a few years back is that the foto is “‘shopped,” although it was done some years ago.
My guess is that someone was inspecting Wavertree‘s wet side.
Later I thought I saw a mermaid . . . but I struck out again.
And for the record, after 1700 hr on the E train I finally saw some mardi gras beads . . . worn by a couple going to a party. I had to ask.
All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.