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I don’t mean to say there are or should be doomed.  I don’t mean that at all.  It’s just uncanny that along a less than 10-mile strip,  at least four such huge icons lie as if in an intensive care unit, some in a coma and others tending toward comatose.  Similarly,  river bank greenery half obscures some of the slipways where state-of-the-art ships splashed out of  such legendary yards as Delaware River Iron Shipbuilding, Merchant Shipbuilding, Sun Shipbuilding, American International ShipbuildingNew York Shipbuilding (and who knows which others I left out.)

The SS United States hangs in the balance.  If you’re in Philly July 1, watch the stacks illuminate.  Click here for a tour into the ship’s bowels.

This glimmer of hope JUST in from today’s Wall Street Journal.

I could see three props on deck.

Click here for a vintage cutaway.  Click here for statistics of all sorts including how fast she could travel in reverse!

Answer:  25 kts in reverse:  that’s faster than Titanic forward.   It’s strange to think this vessel’s service life was a mere 17 years, which ended 41 years ago.

Take a tour here.

A few miles south of SS United States is CV-67, John F. Kennedy, whose 37-year career spanned conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq.

Click here for a foto archive . . . and more.

Might the carrier go to Rhode Island?

And CV-59, a 39-year veteran just back from Rhode Island, might she be reefed?

And then, there’s C-6 Olympia, not hauled since World War 2, located right across the river from BB-62.

Here’s Olympia‘s Facebook page.  Whitherward?

Tour the vessel–including views of the five-inch guns–here.

Here’s a 1997 maintenance report, and

slightly different analysis from 2000.

Doomed?  Hope?  Who has deep pockets these days?  Please forward this post to lots of friends.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Follow the rowers that left the sixth boro (aka New York harbor) for the UK  June 17.

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.

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My job . . . Summer 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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