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It took ten more days to have the load secure for departure. A day-by-day report of that loading process is in the “Tale of Two Marlins” link to the left. Since that trip last June, two more Dockwise vessels have taken US equipment over to West Africa. Today, Blue Marlin is anchored off Malta, Maltese Falcon at the dock in Genoa, the former Reinauer tugs work off Nigeria. So far I’ve gotten no response to requests for fotos from Nigeria.
Remember, doubleclick enlarges. Any ideas what you’re looking at? Notice parallel “vertebrae” center left and right; right side is submerged below the “barrel,” and left side four white tips emerge from sunken “structure.” Just in case your life doesn’t have enough puzzles, I’m injecting this one.
I love easy puzzles as respite from the daily complications of life. So . . this is easy with “bayou plaquemine” on the port side bow of a wreck. Here’s what Matt (?) wrote six years ago on Opacity:
” This ship was originally built by DeFoe Shipbuilding, Bay City, MI in 1921 for the U.S. Army and comissioned as the steel-hulled Junior Mine Planter (JMP) MAJOR ALBERT G. JENKINS. The vessel and crew were assigned to the Fourth Serivce Command during World War II and homeported at Fort Barrancas, Pensacola, FL . She was decomissioned in 1951 and sold to the Oil Transport Company, New Orleans, LA. Renamed BAYOU PLAQUEMINE [Coast Guard registery 261281], she was rebuilt as a tug. In September 1966 she was sold to the Nickerson Marine Towing Company of Tampa, FL, retaining her name. McAllister Brothers, Inc. of New York, NY purchased the vessel in June 1968, renaming her COURIER. She was scrapped in 1972.”
Puzzle solved . . . . well here comes the fun: why mine planter and not mine layer . . . who was Major Albert G. Jenkins . . . are there any fotos of COURIER in her McAllister colors between 1968 and 1972 . . . and does anyone know anyone who crewed her?
“Michigan.” Here’s a quote from a tugster post last year: ”Jeff identified it as “canal tanker Michigan. Built by McDougal Duluth S B in 1921 as Interwaterways Line Incorporated 105, shortened to ILI-105 in 1935 before becoming Michigan. She carried caustic soda, vegetable oil , liquid sugar and such on the Erie and Welland canals. Twin screw.” For the record, Day-Peckinpaugh was ILI-101–the prototype–built in the same year. Thanks much, Jeff. See an image of ILI-105 in her prime here.” For now, Michigan carries a load of living trees, scale, and memories; I’m guessing she went out of service before I was born . . uh . . . 1952. Seriously, anyone know when she retired? I’d say Michigan –by design and intention– slightly senior relative of Kristin Poling . . . 1934.
I hope this isn’t cheating to copy and paste, but I am reiterating info from last year and the questions it generated: ” YOG-64 was delivered to the US Navy in May 1945, arrived in the Pacific just after the end of the “9th inning,” served in various capacities at Bikini Atoll during Operation Sandstone, judged decontaminated and decommissioned, spent two decades hauling fuel as M/T Francis Reinauer, and has rested here since the mid-1980′s. Anyone know of a foto of Francis Reinauer?”
It’s PC-1217, one of two WW2 submarine chasers in slow-motion decay within the waters that make up the sixth boro. PC-1217 was built in Stamford, CT and first deployed out of Tompkinsville, Staten Island. Can anyone identify the tug to the right?
In PC-1217‘s five-year career with the Navy, it underwent one major rebuild in Jacksonville, FL after taking a beating in a “great hurricane.” Before 1953, it seems hurricanes were just referred to as great. So to get back to the “vertebrae” in the topmost foto, they are the tops of the twin HOR engines that once moved this vessel at 19 or so knots through Atlantic seas.
As for that other puzzle . . . John Watson, frequent contributor to this blog, has traced Blue Marlin to its current location: notice it moored along the great Mississippi downstream a few miles from New Orleans. I’ve no clue what’s loading down there, but if someone wants to arrange a “business gallivant” for me, I’d already packed.
All fotos today by Will Van Dorp, who feels empowered to tackle bigger puzzles after solving these. More soon. Many thanks to Ed, James, and Gary for their help.
Unrelated: Rick “Old Salt” put up a great video on short sea shipping on the Manchester Ship Canal.
Click the “full screen” button to view a larger format and manually control slide-advance speed.
I previously posted on Blue Marlin in “Like Groundhog Day 1–6.” I plan to leave this post on the left sidebar of the blog for a while. And keep your eyes open: Blue Marlin should return to the sixth boro within a week for Load #2.
and rise and sink and rise or open and shut and open and . . . ;
others that swivel and heave and sway.
They’re all treasure maps to me . . . and now KUDOS to you for passing your first 100,000 hits! It’s not about the numbers, but the number do affirm the appreciation.
The harbor . . . the sixth boro has enough nuggets like this on Coursen and Minue (doubleclick enlarges both this “digital ark” image and all my images here) for the next 100,000 and then the next hundred thousand 100,000s of posts after that from your sketchbook.
In the next week or so . . . Macys and Grucchi may be feting your accomplishment . . . .
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Slightly related . . . check out this fabulous new installment of Pat Folan fotos, including one of COW, a “new” tugboat in the harbor.
Unrelated but interesting from today’s NYTimes: road art of Pakistan . . . but this truck decoration custom suffuses many other countries as well.
But first, see this fabulous set of Flickr fotos of Cangarda, which by now must have passed through the sixth boro . . .
and . . from Old Salt Rick, let’s remember today is International Day of the Seafarer.
The waters aka the sixth boro provide the best vantage perpective on many aspects of New York: the bridges, the architecture, the skyline, even shoreline traffic congestion. In this shot, Margaret Moran (1979) steams southbound beyond the GW and its red lighthouse as it approaches the Upper West Side. Dominating the scene for many seafarers, the Empire State Building (ESB), the city’s premiere landmark, señal numero uno, for the better part of a century. Anyone know what a premiere Moran vessel assist tug was in 1931 when the ESB was built? Did you realize the ESB drawings were generated in just two weeks because it had a prototype . . . the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, NC? (Doubleclick enlarges.) Some part of the ESB appears in every foto here except the last one, which I didn’t take.
ESB immediately to the right of the house. If you’re wondering why this rear view of Patty, well, she has not yet received her new bikini and–in the interest of tugster’s temporary prudishness, I couldn’t possibly reveal her nudity. For bikini donations, please email me.
A. J. Meerwald‘s schedule shows them in Bivalve, NJ, two days ago, but I’d identify them as northeast bound entering Long Island Sound, leaving a gray smudge of ESB way behind.
Leaving Chelsea Piers southbound, it’s replica vessel Manhattan.
Another foto of Dominican cocoa being unloading from Black Seal. For an excellent set of fotos of the entire project, click here for an inimitable Flickr set.
This “foto” is a capture from Carlito’s Way, the 1993 De Palma film. This Kosnac tug passes in the background as the Sean Penn character leaves the prison barge Vernon C. Bain. Can anyone identify the tugboat?
It’s day 24 for Blue Marlin in the the ever-fascinating sixth boro, and I had NO intention to pick up this thread again, since I’d gone down to the Narrows today expecting a story about a certain three-masted schooner, which I hope to get to soon . . . as that story emerges from the haze . . . . By the way doubleclick enlarges and MSC vessel departing is Rachele, Baltimore-bound.
The sixth boro . . . as I’ve referred to these waters since early 2007, when the concept emerged for me, offers endless delight: a scene like the one below has never before aranged itself. That’s Jerko in tow; you might remember seeing the other side of Jerko–then moored in the Gowanus Canal– in the eighth foto of this post. Jerko, now gallivanting the harbor and bound for cleaner waters, shows a more photogenic side.
By now I had to go, because I really had other things to do, but I decided to stay for a money shot, Blue Marlin spinning with the tide around midday, showing off its load. This foto shows what might have been the logic of the reload: now the seven barges all have their notches on Blue Marlin‘s starboard side.
“I’ve never seen barges like those . . . they’re catamarans or something.”
“See those oranges buildings in the water over there . . . they must be testing something. The buildings go up and down in the water. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
And my favorite: ”They’re checking something under the water, I think. Maybe they’re even looking for oil. Imagine that, oil right here in New York harbor.”
It’s only my perception, but I’m thinking of RTC 501 like Philippe Petit‘s balance pole.
I started this post referring to a three-masted schooner. This isn’t it, but the sea’s gift is all manner of surprises . . like this two-masted schooner Corsair that entered the Narrows . . . this shot at 12:42. Anyone know where Corsair‘s bound?
PS: Blue Marlin will leave . . .when she’s ready. What is this all about? Marine businesses… like any other businesses… outgrow and upgrade equipment. There’s a market in used marine equipment, just as there’s a used car, used agriculture . . .etc. market. Reinauer has sold off this equipment (and has more equipment to sell) to a company in Nigeria, although I’ve heard people mention another, farther destination also. A heavy lift vessel facilitates the move.
PPS: Although I’d love to catch a boat ride to get close-ups of Blue Marlin, people’s comments about the huge orange vessel fascinate me. I’d love to hear your comments . . . what tall tales have you heard? I’d especially like to hear . . . even anonymously . .. from folks involved in the loading process, either aboard Marlin or on either Miller or McAllister boats.
The tide turns, literally. More fotos will follow.
By 6:13 this morning, the first set of barges (BFT 38 ? and RTC 41) had just been loaded.
By 11:31, Blue Marlin had swung almost 180 degrees and Bruce eased the two barges into their position on the lift vessel. What’s clear now is how wide this load is when viewed head-on. Elizabeth McAllister stood by.
By 12:43 Amy C McAllister had shoehorned George Morris in. Note the color difference in the V-shaped flood tide waters. Anyone know if the color difference is due more to the difference in temperature or in salinity?
Note: See Blue Marlin herself in drydock in Korea here.
Day 19 . . . for Blue Marlin in the sixth boro. I arrive at my new vantage point at 7:11 a.m. John Reinauer is already tied in, forward starboard side.
By now it’s 8:25 a.m., time to
Can you make out the name on the escutcheon of the tanker? Sea Marlin! Before this saga ends, we may have a school of marlin in the harbor. All I can say is . . . keep them off the road: where AMC Marlin appear, there might be Barracuda, Tarpon and Gremlin right behind.
All fotos above by Will Van Dorp. Got good pics of Blue Marlin? The one below comes thanks to John McCluskey.
RORO . . I don’t know how long ago this acronym entered English. This one has a particularly interesting name, although
Click here for an informational site on ROROs. Now I have to admit that –in spite of many references online to this vessel as a RORO–it’s more likely a PCTC . . . pure car and truck carrier. It arrived in port yesterday, and even now is already back to sea, headed for Europe.
Technically, Blue Marlin is a FLOFLO . .. as in “float on and float off.” After the New York loading experience, which still puzzles me in its apparent plethora of problems, Marlin might be dubbed “flofloflofloflo ….”
The next set of fotos show closers-ups of the cargo deck and cradles. Blue Marlin–see technical info here– was launched in 2000 from CSBC in Kaohsiung, and “remodeled” a few years later in Ulsan.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Looking northward from Staten Island, here was my first view of Maltese Falcon under sail yesterday; it looked as if someone had photoshopped Cutty Sark heeled over into a routine sixth boro scene, complete with a Staten Island ferry.
And the helicopter . . . makes it look like filming of a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 18, the time-travel sequence
Note the crew of tug and barge on the left side of the foto who were fortunate to have a frontrow seat as Falcon screamed past; also, invisible are the mechanical mariners (“75 electric furling winches”) aloft in the rigging striking sail in this series of fotos. Royals (?) are already doused here.
As Falcon passes Owls Head, she passes PCTC Otello as the mechanical mariners further shorten sail. Check out this splash scene aboard Otello. Notice also the major design difference between the two tugboats.
A few hours later, these fotos show the last of the “off-loading” scene at Blue Marlin, after yesterday’s unsuccesful loading attempt. These fotos, thanks to my friend Ed Fanuzzi, look toward Owls Head, across Red Hook, and toward Manhattan.
“Call 911 and the Coast Guard; that @#@!ing ship is sinking!”
“I tell you. That’s not normal procedure.”
“What the hell are those two orange buildings in the water?”
“They must be testing something. I saw the same thing a few days ago.”
And when I offered some explanation, including references to this vessel returning the USS Cole from Yemen to the US, I got . . .
“What do you mean . . . deliberately sunk?”
“It doesn’t look like it could carry much coal.”
All of which brings me back to my chorus: ordinary folk who live on the land masses around the sixth boro, in spite of all the mainstream paper, broadcast, and wired media, do not know very much about doings on the water. One person I spoke with yesterday while sitting taking fotos was so impressed by these goings-on that she took her kids out of school for a few hours so that they could see this; THAT is responsible parenting, taking charge of your children’s education, IMHO.
Thanks again, Ed, for the bottom five fotos.
Unrelated: for scenes of Seattle harbor during the recent tugboat races and more, click here for Meryll and Tom’s blog.