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Since I woke up this May morning from a dream about attending a meditation session, the logical choice is to start my day writing a post that reflects upon–well–preservation.  Two weeks ago I wrote about the Alwyn Vincent project.  To quote the site, “she’s finally out,” and on the steel wheels ‘n rails of a synchrolift.

She was getting her “haircut and a shave” even before she stopped moving.  When all logistical arrangements converge, the late 1950s tug will travel over-the-road 60 or so miles to its new life, as a functioning steam tug on a freshwater reservoir.

To support the self-described  ‘Bunch of Crazy Farmers’ (personified by Andy, in orange below) who now own the tug, the Alwyn website says they “selling space for banners of about 1 metre square, at R5 000 ($US 639.30). The advertisements are mostly in connection with agricultural products and services, partly because everybody knows who are responsible for saving this historic vessel! Partly also, it’s because those are the firms we know, support and can ask!”

I suppose they’d accept US sponsors as well;  book your space on the hull! Contact Elma on dvijoeningwerke@telkomsa.net

Which brings me to South Street Seaport, and this sight that greeted me two days ago.   After at least 20 years of deterioration, work is happening.

Spongy wood was being removed, and

I got my first ever look inside, after 10 years of wondering . . . .

Jim and Glen peeled away tired materials from the 1980s.

Installed inside the windows years ago was this captioning that

told some of the story.  A sister vessel–New York Central #16–was saved only to end tragically at the Bourne Bridge rotary in Massachusetts, just six years ago.

The late Don Sutherland told of spending the last night aboard #16 . . .  I wish I’d recorded his telling that story. I have recorded Norman Brouwer telling the story of buying this pierside house from #16 from the late John J. Witte, and I hope to share details of that project soon.

Not everything can be preserved . . .  On Friday I caught Cheyenne –a current Witte (officially DonJon Marine) tug–heading from the East River into the Upper Bay pushing a load of (I believe) fine scrap, chopped up pieces bound for recycling.  Just a week ago, Cheyenne was pushing some  preserved vintage jets.

Some valuable artifacts might not be saved much longer unless dreams convert into reality and $$;  others like Liemba and Yavari seem to live way beyond their expected lifespans in spite of their being out of the spotlight.

Which brings up this part of a dream:  Partners in Preservation is dangling cash  $US 3 million, and  . . .<<<Tug Pegasus (1907) and Waterfront Museum Barge aka Lehigh Valley 79 (1914)  have teamed up in a grant application for $$ for preservation work each vessel needs.  As a component of the decision-making about who gets the $$, Partners in Preservation have a “socialmedia-meter” running from now until May 21.  To help Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 register high on this “meter,” you can do two things from wherever on the planet you may be:  1)  befriend them on Facebook and get dozens of your friends to befriend them as well, and 2)   vote DAILY here.    DAILY!  Seems like a crazy way to run an election, but  . . . that’s social media and in this case, the cause is worthy.>>>

And later this afternoon–1300–1700h  I’ll be down on Pier 25 minding the plank between 79 and Pegasus, as part of Partners in Preservation “open house” weekend.

Thanks to Colin Syndercombe for the Cape Town fotos;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Sort of related, here’s a “tale of two projects” post from about a year ago.

When I was in high school upstate, I had to read this novel about drums . .  and history.

Now imagine this interior monologue . . . our speaker doesn’t read much . . . he works and then goes to the river to fish with his best friend the bottle . . . a riverine Rip van Winkle.  He slings in some bait, he dozes, he hears an approaching engine . . . and he sees this!

He shuts and reopens his eyes . . . and it’s closer.  He rubs his eyes .  .  .  and it’s still there.  He flings the cursed bottle into  . . . nearest recycling bin (of course), swears to mend his dissolute ways, and runs along the bank yelling  “OMG!!  It’s a Douglas F3D Skynight!!”   He just happens to “favorite” that aircraft of all the ones ever developed . . .  because of having built a model of one as a boy.

Our Rip has found new purpose.  The 2012 Erie Canal season has delivered the vehicle to turn his life around!

He vows to walk or run or bicycle along the Erie Canal as far as he needs to in order to see where this jet will land.

Then he hears another noise … another DonJon blue tugboat pushing a scow laden with

OMFG!!  He has no idea, and all the life-remedying he’d promised minutes ago . . . is in danger.    He turns and walks back to where moments before he had enjoyed the bliss of fishing along the Mohawk.  He stopped once and

looked back at Cheyenne and the scow.  “Nah . . . that never happened,” he decided.  Never.

Downriver some 100 plus miles, the day before, another blue DonJon tug had been pushing this dredge spoils scow toward the Bayonne Bridge when the 747/Shuttle flew past.

To be serious, the wonderful fotos above come compliments of Don Rittner, of the Onrust project, about which I did many posts a few years back.  Here are a few representative Onrust links:  2010September 2009 (see the last foto), May 2009, and 2008.    Use the search window to find many more.  Last foto is by Will Van Dorp.

The aircraft –a Skynight, a Mig-15, and a Supermarine Scimitar–have migrated from Intrepid Museum, which needs to make room for the Shuttle display, to ESAM, an upstate aerosciences museum.   The blue tugboats have all appeared here before; in order they are Empire, Cheyenne, and Caitlin Ann.

Tugboats in the sixth boro of New York City vary not quite infinitely, but almost.   Consider Pegasus (1907)here with Lehigh Valley 79 (1914) alongside.  And my social medium tells me they’re about to link up and travel again soon.    Watch Pier 25.

And Coral Coast (1970) versus its fleetmate,

and newest tugboat in the boro .  .  . Discovery Coast (2012).

Amy C. McAllister (1975) and

Bohemia (2007).

Taurus (1979) and

James Turecamo (1969) along assisting Scott Turecamo (1998).

Thornton Brothers (1958),

Caitlin Ann (1961), and

Maria J (1958).

Rounding it all out . . . is JoAnne Reinauer III (1970), here passing the unmistakeable Torm-orange house of Torm Thames (2005), and see this spotlight by selfabsorbedboomer.

Having called this set almost infinitely varied, I must say there’s NOTHING operating in the sixth boro quite an unusual as Joseph Thompson Jr. (portions from 1944), the tug portion of an ATM unit currently working the North Coast between US and Canadian ports.   Thank’s to Isaac Pennock aka tugboathunter for introducing me to this vessel;  For the dizzying set of transformations, read the bio by boatnerd here . . . and follow the fotos, especially the ones by Mark Vander Meulen, Steve Hause, Lee Rowe, and Rod Burdick.

Foto of Discovery Coast by Joel Milton;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

It’s been over a year since I’ve used this title . . .  I worry sometimes that someone I catch in the act of working might feel intruded upon. Such is the farthest thing from my intention.  I’m certainly not the first or last to state there’s dignity in labor, whether it’s performed indoors or out.

Here Doubleskin 37 approaches NYK Rumina (named for the goddess of breast-feeding mothers!!!) as

day breaks to refill

the bunker tanks;  Coral Coast (1970, McDermott, and attractive) in pushgear.

Green Bay shuttles between dredge and

shore, throaty as she pushes water.

Paul Andrew seems headed for a shore base as well,

as Sarah Ann heads for Newark Bay

with a deck barge.

Scott Turecamo pushes New Hampshire into the interior of Arthur Kill land.

And Maria J moves a crane barge in

the same direction.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s mindful that for every member of the crew outside, there are possibly four inside.

I did this post just over a year ago; note the prominent change happening in the Manhattan skyline, as seen from the north coast of Rockaway Queens.  The last time you saw the tug shown here was December 2011.  Any guesses what Patty was towing yesterday?  Answer tomorrow.

Most of my views of the rising tower come from my “office” on the north coast of Staten Island.  It looms there, beyond these McAllisters,

Na Hoku,

Caitlin Ann,

Magothy,

Penn No. 6,

Thomas J. Brown,

Norwegian Sea,

JoAnne Reinauer III,

Hayward,

Elk River,

and Resolute.

Unrelated:  Following their own landmarks, a new crop of aeons-old silvery slime has reportedly returned to sixth boro waterways.    What . . . you ask?  Click here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

I’ll get to more of the Louisiana and Panama fotos once I “deglitch” something, so thanks to these shots from Isaac Pennock of tugboathunter we can head north.

Do you recognize this shade of blue?

It’s DonJon Marine’s new Great Lakes’ ATB Ken Boothe Sr. and barge Lakes Contender  in Erie, on Lake Erie. 

And it’s huge.  How huge?

Compare it with Witte 1407.

Here’s a video from more than a year ago showing Boothe first in the water.  It only gets somewhat more exciting than watching ice melt (like watching paint dry or grass grow)  after 3:40 . . .

Many thanks to Isaac for these shots.

Meredith C. Reinauer (2003, 7200 hp) and Kristy Ann Reinauer (1962, 2000 hp)

Hunting Creek (2011, 3000 hp) and my first view of her, not that I wouldn’t be able to predict what a Vane tug would look like.

Hunt Girls (1983, 1800 hp)

Coral Coast (1970, 3000 hp)

Buchanan 10, 1967, 1700 hp)

Thomas D. Witte (1961, 3000hp)

Linda G, 1943 and I have no idea how much power she generates, but that’s quite the tow she’s minding.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

For a bit more context than yesterday’s post . . . I visited the AK twice yesterday . . . before my “shift”  started and at a break eight hours later.  Doubleclick enlarges fotos.

At 0651, I caught my first glimpse of Bayonne’s new landmark.

I know about the “green flash” at dawn and dusk;  I don’t know if there’s a counterpart term for this yellow spear pointing to the sun’s track.

The foto below of Howland Hook was taken less than a minute after the one above;  looking southwest v. east makes an amazing difference.   And this difference is much more noticeable on fotos than to naked eye.  I like the pink clouds in the orange morning.

Watching this diving bird (grebe) was part of my prep for a long work day.

At 1442, I took a break, and headed down the street to revisit the AK.  Marie J Turecamo (1968, ex-Traveller) was southbound on the Kill as Matthew Scott headed for the dredge.

And another type of orange flowed onto the scene . . . 830′ x 144′.

Eagle Beaumont, escorted by Bruce A. McAllister (1974, ex-Ellen F. McAllister) and McAllister Responder.

Thirty-six feet of her below the surface of the AK,

regally she passed, a huge cistern

to be avoided by all traffic

all around.

By this point, I was about halfway through my break.  More tomorrow.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Meagan Ann, Seattle-built in 1975.  Note the glazing and  icicles.

For more info from Birk and Harold’s site, , click here.

McAllister Responder’ s name alludes to its former role as an oil-spill response vessel.

Until 2009, the Florida-built vessel was immediately distinguishable from Charles D. McAllister by her boom spool.

Tasman Sea comes out of Louisiana in 1976.

Click here to see her as Ambassador.

Magothy is a Patapsco-class 4200 hp vessel launched in 2008.

Hornbeck Tidewater equipment seems less frequent in the sixth boro these days, but last weekend I caught

Gulf Service and

Huron Service, 1979 and ’81 respectively.   Astern is the unmistakeable Atlantic Salvor, itself a former Tidewater boat.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Thanks to Harold and eastriver for their recent comments on (I’d say) opposing points of view on change, on of the future of the sixth boro as a major port.  Work has proceeded apace for a future involving larger vessels.  The barely visible yellow vessel in the foreground is one instrument in that work.  Some specs and a company foto of her, drill boat Kraken, can be found at the bottom of this company site.     By her virtual invisibility, she reminds of USS Monitor.

Low profile does not translate to low power.  With her three towers, Kraken drills holes into bedrock, inserts dynamite, and then triggers the blast to loosen that rock so that shovels on other Cashman and DonJon vessels can remove it.

The structure on stilts here must be mission control, like the “tower” for mid-20th century air traffic controllers.  Work was happening Sunday despite the cold snap.

After a blast, as I said, shovels transfer loosened materials into scows towed by vessels like Atlantic Salvor  to “dump sites” offshore.  notice in the background another drill ship, Apache, which I wrote about here.   Atlantic Salvor here tows the scow underneath Bayonne Bridge, another controversial target of change in the sixth boro as a port. I wrote about this here and here back last November, on the days of the 80th anniversary of the dedication of the Bridge.

Two notes:  First, not all the dredging in the sixth boro relates to navigation.  Along the Passaic River in Newark NJ, a dredging project to remove Agent Orange -related contamination is underway.  See a video on this project here.

Second, way over the horizon, but just a week away by sea is another node of this change in the sixth boro . . . I mean the Panama Canal.    Note one of the dredge boats Samson in lower right of this screen capture of the Atlantic end of the Canal.   Samson is one of the vessels operated by DEME-Group Dredging International, a contractor working on enlarging the Panama Canal.   Another one of their vessels is Yuang Dong 007, a larger version of Kraken and Apache.  Note that the screen capture below is time-sensitive.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s beginning to feel a stronger gravitational pull from the Canal.

Unrelated:  in today’s NYTimes, check out this article on maritime whistleblowers.

And (thanks to a reminder from jpaul) these 1940s/50s fotos of NYC by Charles W. Cushman published in yesterday’s NYTimes.

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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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