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How many of these tugboats cruising through along the Brooklyn waterfront here can you identify? One might be as rare as a Mississippi kite soaring over New York. Answers and more info follows.
And what’s this? Also a rare film Manhatta (click here to watch the entire 10-minute 1921 silent film) by Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand greets gallery-goers at the Whitney entering “modern Life: Edward Hopper and his Time.” Only a few weeks remain to see this, as it closes on April 10. In this capture from the video, a half dozen steam tugs wrestle RMS Aquitania into a finger pier. The film becomes tugboat-intensive at the 6:25 point.
Also, Working Harbor Committee presents a rare and exciting documentary followed by a panel discussion THIS Wednesday in New York; tickets are available here. I have to work elsewhere that night, but panelists will include my friends Ann Loeding (below) and Jessica Dulong (scroll through), but also
If you haven’t checked bowsprite’s latest work, check it out here. What caught my attention other than the actual fantastic drawing was her use of the term “wooden freighter.” Well, Marion M was built in 1932, and that–from this collage of fotos–was a very different era, a time when freighters could still be wooden vessels.
Back to the first foto of this post: from left to right and excluding the white vessel in the foreground, it’s Sea Raven, East Coast, and Penn No. 4 . . . all of which you’ve seen on tugster before . . . and can relocate by typing each name into the search window. But that black-hulled, white and blue trim vessel in the foreground . . . is Hercules. I believe she’s a 2011 launch from Washburn & Doughty.
Is it possibly this is her first voyage and that she’s not yet seen the GOM waters where she live? If so, these are some rare snaps? Here she heads for the Narrows, Miss Gill behind her and Amy Moran in foreground. And why do I not recall having seen Amy Moran before?
Fotos of Ann Loeding and Linda A. Sturgis are used by permission from Jonathan Atkin. All other fotos by Will Van Dorp.
The title comes from St. Exupery.
In the sixth boro of course, in fact on Pier 40. If you were to bore through the floor and lower your toes, they’d feel the chill of Hudson River water in late winter. Pier 40 is partly used as parking, athletic fields for budding athletes of all sorts, and docking for fireboats and historic vessels. There even used to be a trapeze school on the roof. Hmm, maybe one of these days a digression will prompt me to put more trapeze fotos up. But I went to Pier 40 this weekend to witness the tremendous efforts of the Village Community Boathouse,
What is a gig, a rowing gig? Click here for dozens of fotos.
The lines on these boats–with only slight modification–date to a rowing race in the sixth boro in 1824!! Yes, 1824 when a sixth boro gig called American Star beat a British gig called Dart, racing with 50,000 spectators on the waterfront, an event commemorated annually. and not recalled solely in New York! Oh . . about that 50,000-spectator number . . NY’s population back then was less than 200,000! 25% of the city never turns out for a baseball or basketball game . . .
An interesting twist in the American Star Whitehall boat story is that it was presented to General Lafayette in 1825 (?) and has remained in France since then. Mystic’s John Gardner took the lines off the American Star and constructed a replica, which in turn led to the design of the boats in various NYC community boating programs.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Doubleclick enlarges. Note the NYC skyline above the Staten Island horizon to the right.
Baykeeper the organization uses this 30′ skiff made with
cedar planks over oak
See the builder’s name stamped into metal on the upper left. The Pedersen family has built wooden skiffs in Keyport (pearl of the Raritan Bayshore) for three generations. This Star Ledger article from a few years back shows work in the Pedersen shop.
Thanks to Dennis Willard, more fotos of PT728 and the others along the Rondout.
According to their website, FleetObsolete has three additional boats: 459, 48, and 615, but I can’t
This one is PT 459, a Higgins 78′ built in Louisiana.
Before coming to FleetObsolete, PT 459 did time as Beachcomber IV, a Fire Island ferry.
For a sense of what is involved in a restoration, see the video of PT 305.
To see a group of Swedish torpedo boats at full speed, watch this video; the best part is from 7’20″ to the end.
For an attractive restoration of a Higgins PT 658, click here.
For the sound of a Packard Marine engine in a non-marine application, click here.
For more PT background than I ever imagined and great vintage shots, click here.
Question: PT 109, where is it today and what was its life span? Answer below.
At my last count, Kingston, NY was home to four World War II PT boats. In milder weather than today, PT 728 travels the river with passengers; the occasion for this foto, taken in November 2009, was the arrival in the sixth boro of USS NewYork. PT 728 was built in Annapolis, but others were built in New Orleans and in the sixth boro’s own Bayonne, NJ.
A few days ago I stumbled onto video 1 of 3 of ELCO manufacturing in Bayonne. Enjoy it here. More manufacturing here. This clip shows a group of PT boats heading up the Hudson and traversing locks in the Erie and Welland Canals; great short brief glimpses of locking and of at least one 1945 tug, passenger vessel, and commercial shipping in the Welland Canal. Finally, here’s a brief report on a New Orleans-built PT boat restoration project.
Thanks to Ken’s comment, I went in search of info on the most famous of PT boats, the 109, associated with the president who was sworn in exactly half century ago yesterday. PT 109 was an ELCO, launched into Newark Bay on June 20, 1942 and fitted out at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Anyone have any fotos?
Answer: 1200′ below the surface in the Solomon Islands. Its service life was barely one year, sinking on August 2, 1943.
Foto above by Will Van Dorp, who needs to get more PT boat fotos.
Ok, I used to call group some of these in ”from the line locker” or call them “whatzits,” but those don’t fit well here. I’m not sure “anomalies” fits completely here, nor were all these taken in the sixth boro, strictly contained.
Thomas D. Witte is shifting a tanker into a dock here, along with Laura K Moran. I’ve never seen a Donjon vessel shipshifting , although it might occur frequently. Tanker was Stavronisi, launched 15 years ago in Crimea.
Prisco Ekaterina, also Black Sea-built though less than two years ago, has an unusual (IMHO) bulb on its bow. It looks like a paddle prow.
Thank Poseidon . . . and whole lot of other folks, sixth boro waters are fairly clean. This weekend I saw thousands of these (unidentified) fish, the longest two here headed right about six inches long. Porgies?
The “barrel buoy” with strobes duct-taped in place seems to follow the dredge crews around the harbor. That’s Hubert Bays , not quite 10 years old and four feet longer than W. O. Decker, in the distance, maybe off to deliver bunker fuel?
A Bowsprite foto from about a month ago shows Pegasus heading up to Cold Spring with Lehigh Valley 79 on the hip. I wrote about the almost-two-hundred-year-old combined age unit here.
Here’s another “whatzit” headed up the North River snapped by Bowsprite just before mid-September. To me it looks like a Turkish gullet. Anyone know it?
This foto is dedicated to Dave, unlit neon is the best . . . until night falls, of course.
All fotos, unless attributed to Bowsprite, by Will Van Dorp.
To see an excellent Flickr foto of Gazela by Gregg M, click here. And for an account plus video of Gazela‘s trip to New Bedford earlier this summer, click here. For my earlier pics of Gazela in Atlantic Basin Red Hook, click here.
As Gazela sailed back to Philly between daybreak last Wednesday and late afternoon Thursday, I was fortunate to be a very “green” member of the crew, my first time sailing on a barquentine. Other vessels passed and overtook us, and I’m including those fotos here in hopes that anyone aboard these other vessels who photographed us might be willing to share those shots of Gazela. Please do.
Gazela departs through the Narrows under a drizzle; precipitation had been off and on for three days, delaying departure by 48 hours. (For pics, doubleclick enlarges.)
Tanker British Serenity overtakes us outside the Narrows. By sunset, 10 hours later, we’d motorsailed off Atlantic City, surfing swells and getting soaked with on & off drizzle.
Skies clear overnight, giving us a just-past-full moon. I stand a midnight–6 am watch from Cape May and up Delaware Bay. This is sunrise.
After breakfast, I nap for an hour until a lurch awakens me. ”Must be someone’s wake,” I imagine, grab my camera, and go on deck. I believe it was Amberjack, also headed up the Bay.
For info on what Bold is doing in Delaware Bay and its schedule for the rest of 2010, click here.
have delivered Venezuelan crude.
If you were on any of the vessels above and have pics of Gazela, please get in touch.
All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.
Many thanks to the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild and wonderful crew for the opportunity to sail. If you are interested in volunteering, click here. Gazela expects to be back up through the sixth boro once more this fall.
(Note: Doubleclick enlarges all fotos)
What’s this . . . fiddling and dancing and taking shade near
And this . . . same location, but doesn’t that suggest two folks standing near the forward railing
on a tug “made to” the 79 Barge, which
Here’s the same tug and barge, clearly lashed, at Pier 6 in the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, with a late August sun setting behind the house. You can catch Pegasus and Lehigh Valley Barge #79 at that location until Tuesday, August 31 … and at points along the Hudson for the next 16 days after that.
After sunset . . . Pegasus heads over to homebase in Jersey City. Hey . . . tugs and crews need sleep.
Check out bowsprite’s magical drawings of the duo here.
All fotos here taken yesterday by Will Van Dorp.
Unrelated but fascinating: Marie’s Tide & Current Taxi has been busy this month:
August 9: Coney Island Creek, with Debbie Tuch and me
August 10: Gowanus Canal
August 12: Staten Island “graveyard of ships“
August 15: Shooter’s Island
August 22: “mystery tour”
Now . . . that bridge in the background has not been moved to the North Country, has it? And have the folks at Brooklyn Bridge Park –the section south of the Bridge–finally been persuaded to have freighters incorporated into the design? And is this foreground schooner really named John A. Noble? Will the captain and crew please identify themselves?
Answers to the above questions are (in order) no, no, YES, and maybe. The foto below is the same vessel, now named Sara B, and now a denizen of Lake Ontario. Sara B‘s very complete and illustrated log (2004–current . . . hours of pleasure await at this link) can be found here, a story that bears some resemblance to one told by Farley Mowatt. In the background are Lake Ontario’s Chimney Bluffs.
Sara B was built in the 1950s (can be more specific now) near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. She then traveled up the St Lawrence and through Champlain Lake and Canal, ultimately to the sixth boro, which explains the lead foto. The log begins with her purchase here and voyage up to Ontario.
Below is the pinky schooner La Revenante (Ghost) (ex-Amanda, Buccaneer)built in Massachusetts in 1969. I spotted her twice: once near Ogdensberg and then here near Alexandria Bay. “La Revenant” belong to charles Baudelaire.
Mentioned in the Sara B log is this vessel (foto from 2008) called Royaliste, technically a gaff-rigged topsail ketch.
I saw Sara B in a barn last week south of Oswego, where she’s undergoing a refit. Check out refit log here.
Anyone tell New York stories about Sara B or John A. Noble . . . I’d love to hear them.
Last two fotos here are mine; the others are attributed in her log.
Sara B‘s log is kept by Susan Peterson Gateley, whose other writing can be found here.
Once back in the sixth boro, we realized our phone chargers got left in Seattle . . . which brought to mind songs like Tony Bennett’s and Bob Dylan‘s. It is a fact that–especially with the bright sun I saw in Seattle and the overcast days since returning here–I’m not ready to be here. Rainier hangs over the city like a moon, here beyond bulker Tian Yu Feng, possibly waiting for a load of grain.
So back to the waterfront, starting along the Canal. Discovery Star is a fish processor that started life as a GOM mud boat, and we’ve heard way too much about mud and the Gulf these past months.
Fishing and processing vessel Courageous is another vessel that started life in a different game . . . a 180′ buoy tender named Tupelo launched in Duluth at Zenith Dredge in 1942. The government builds their boats and ships to last.
Another case in point: Assertive, now part of Seattle Community Colleges’ Maritime Academy, began life as a Stalwart-class ocean surveillance ship aka T-AGOS, like our local Kings Pointer and (dock-bound?) Stalwart.
I loved the number of wooden boats in the Salish . . . like GloryBe, well-cared-for since 1914, and recently
rebuilt as part of a . . . community college carpentry program.
Currently docked nearby are Lady Washington and . . .
cool figurehead … and
this tiny steamer and …
And occasionally . . . a visitor ties up (and later casts off) , like Coot. By the way, to see almost four years of building Coot, click here.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Belated joyeux Bastille Day and happy birthday HRH Prince of Tonga!