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But first . . . it’s a race, and there are trophies for such categories as best-looking, best mascot, best tattooed crew person . . .  .  And there is pushing and jostling, for which there are no trophies.  But what would you call this?

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Step back a hundred and some feet . . . and clearly it’s USAV MGen Anthony Wayne LT-803, 5100 hp, and delivered from what is now  VT Halter Marine in June 1993.  Off her port side is Eric R. Thornton.

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From l to r, lining up are Meagan Ann, Houma, Bering Sea, a little of Robert E. McAllister, Buchanan 1, Mister T, and Emily Ann.  

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Here’s a view of Robert E.’s business end under way.

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Mako III seemed to carry a different name last year.   It began life as an Army ST, although I don’t know what number she carried.  66, perhaps?

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And they were off.  Fells Point, the nearest vessel, is likely the newest boat in the race.

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More photos later.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to NYMedia Boat and Bjoern Kils for getting the best positions for photography during the sixth boro’s premiere Labor Day event, the 22nd annual Great North River Race organized by the Working Harbor Committee, who also deserve a big round of applause.

Two questions you might have are . .  why does the Army have boats, and who was MGen Anthony Wayne?  Here are links A and B to answer the first part–please add detail if you know it–and here’s the info on General Wayne, sometimes called “mad General Wayne.”

Two and half weeks ago, the big segments of the WTC antenna came to town via the roundabout called Gulf of St Lawrence and riding Witte 1407 towed by the dauntless Atlantic Salvor.  I was fortunate to capture “blue friday”  . .  on “black friday” here.   Well, today, there was a quite visible move of these segments to Pier 25, from which they’ll be trucked to the base of the WTC.

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Meagan Ann arrives with Witte 1407.

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Brian Nicholas here stands by with the preliminary lifting equipment.   See what Brian Nicholas was up to a few days ago here (sixth fot0).

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Many thanks to l’amica dalla torre  for these “jilly-on-the-spot” fotos.    Somehow,  seattlepi.com scooped the story here with great pics.

A laker (or ex-laker) in salt water . . . now that’s a thought that delights me, although I admit the foto is less than mediocre, but it’s Pioneer.  Quite a few salties ply the Great Lakes.  Note the characteristic self-unloading gear midships.  She looks to be a sibling of M/V Ambassador, which last appeared here about two years ago.  Since I took this foto, Pioneer has shuttled up to Halifax and is now southwest bound again, for Portsmouth, NH.

Eddie Carroll, one of the scow’s transporting spoils from the dredging at the north end of the Arthur Kill looks in need of some paint, although the scaly rust does give character.

Here’s the first of recent sights to behold:  Meagan Ann towing scow Witte 4001 all the way through the KVK.

Witte 4001 has the cubic yard capacity of at least 40 dump trailers.   Mary Alice .  . . near the Bayonne Bridge . . . moves a scow alongside.

Weddell Sea pushing 2004 Senesco-built DBL 83 (ex-The Patriot),

sternview of the classic 1967 YTB-793 known to most around the sixth boro as Ellen McAllister,

at least three tugs (I believe .  . . Margaret Moran, Laura K. Moran, and Ellen McAllister) and two container ships (Italy Express and MOL Endowment) entering port.  As I pot this, MOL Endowment is passing St Pierre et Miquelon, and Italy Express–also Europe-bound–is not that far behind.

another stern view, this one of 1980 USACE Gelberman, built in Arkansas,

Maria J moves a barge over toward the Gowanus, while Lucy Reinauer awaits departure for Baltimore,

The list could go on, but I’m out of time once again.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Click here for some not delightful at all statistics about losses in sixth boro ports as a result of Sandy.

Think of the sixth boro as a destination/origin as well as a crossroads.  WMEC-905 Spencer anchored in that point of convergence as of midday.

In points not far from Spencer and the Statue, cargo destined for/originating in this port was moving only if it could transfer in the harbor, petroleum liquid, like here, congress happened between barges powered by Pati T Moran and Sassafras as Meagan Ann passes by with a scow.  For debris?

Kimberly Turecamo stands by with Long Island itself . . . well,  a fuel barge by that name. The spirit is greatly willing to move fuel to faltering consumers on the shore, but the distribution system is broken, for now.

Nicole Leigh Reinauer awaits the green light.

St Andrews with barge on this side and Kimberly Poling on the other . . . like thirsty twins on their mother, Glory Express.

Traversing the sixth boro . . .  Marion Moran pushes LaFarge barge Adelaide to points south.

Supply boat ABC-1 passes tanker Favola.

Diane B waits with a barge.  A problem is that debris like blowaway and sunken containers may lurk unseen at the transfer docks.

Doris Moran, with another LaFarge barge, makes a power turn from the North River into the East River.

A cluster of DonJon vessels–tugs Mary Alice, Thomas D. Witte, and Brian Nicholas–attend to crane barges Columbia NY and Raritan Bay on some “unwatering” project just west of the Battery Coast Guard station.

Transiting the sixth boro from south to North is Apollo Bulker.  More fotos of her later.  She may be headed to Albany.

Ken’s Booming & Boat Service tug Durham passes the “seeing boat” Circle Line Manhattan.

Over by the Brooklyn Navy Yard, schooner Lynx heads for the Sound, past an East River ferry.

And–this just in–as of 1900 hrs tonight, APL Sardonyx became the first container ship to enter Port Elizabeth,

escorted in by McAllister Sisters and Barbara McAllister.   Interestingly, see the foto here of her as one of the first into the port post-Irene!!  Here’s another shot almost exactly two years ago of  APL Sardonyx.

And a bit later, APL Coral came in, escorted by  Elizabeth and Ellen McAllister.

Outside the Narrows waits USS Wasp, recently here five months ago for Fleet Week.   A pulse has been re-established.

I am mindful that many residents of the area are hurting.  My prayers go out for relief for them soon.  Folks who suffered through post-Katrina are also sending along their prayers and encouragement, their solidarity with Sandy-afflicted.

We went through a “reboot” here 14 months ago, but this one is going to be much tougher.

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Fotos from Barbara at Rockaway Beach around 100th Street here.  Emergency message to folks on the boardwalk:  “Go inside, and no surfing.”

From Gary, East River looking toward the mouth of Newtown Creek and

toward the 59th Street Bridge.    No movement.

And finally, from L’amica dalla torre di orologio . . .  Hudson River . . . looking toward  the Statue of Liberty, who probably wishes she could hunker down behind her pedestal.   Geometrical structure to the left is the floating Battery Park City Ferry Terminal.   I’m not sure what contingencies exist for it during a surge, since it’s basically a hull.

Currently Captain of the Port has order vessels of a certain tonnage to leave the docks, as it’s safer for them to hang in the stream than stay affixed to a rigid structure.   So cruising in the North river now as sightseeing vessels,

Meagan Ann,

and the Sandy Hook pilot boats!

That’s the Erie Lackawanna Terminal Tower/Hoboken Terminal in the background.

USCG . . . off to respond to a recreational vessel that’s dragged its mooring?

And finally, back to Rockaway . .  as nightfalls.

Many thanks to Barbara, Gary, and L’amica for these fotos.  The worst is yet to come, I fear.  Stay inside and away from the tongues and talons of water that surge in.

And this just in . . . video from helicopter of USCG rescue of folks from HMS Bounty.

It is a race, and that means there’s a winner, but the race committee decided to have both the first place (left, Lincoln Sea . . . 8000 hp) and second place (right, Meagan Ann . . . 2200 hp)) finishers raise the cup this year because of Meagan Ann‘s lightning speed that allowed her to beat at least four boats of equal or great horsepower.  Is her hull coated with slippery paint?

Someone remarked that the Kirby livery makes this originally blue vessel seem larger than previous paint jobs.

This blue vessel built originally for Alaska is

speedy.  She left us in the dust . . .  er . . .  froth!

Final shot of Lincoln Sea (for now) and

us as we appeared from her upper wheelhouse.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, except the last one by Dave Boone.  Thanks, Dave.  You caught me waving . . . green deck forward of the wheelhouse.

Related:  last week I got this email from D. J. Lake, who gave me permission to reprint it:

“I am contacting you with regard to the pictures of the first tug boat race in the New York harbor in the early ’50’s that you posted recently. My uncle, Vincent Lake, a long-time employee of the M & J Tracy Towing Line, was a captain on the William J. Tracy on the day of the race.     As you probably know, the William J. Tracy was one of four new tugs acquired at that time by Tracy Towing, including her sisters, Kathleen Tracy, Thomas Tracy and Helen Tracy (all named for members of the Tracy family).  These tugs were replacements for older units in the fleet.     My Uncle Vincent always talked about this race and what an honor it was to be involved in it.  I am glad the races have been given a new beginning. The races give the public an opportunity to see tugs in action in the harbor.  Thank you. D.J. Lake”

D. J. . . . thanks for sharing that bit of history with us.

For a short video on this coming weekend’s Waterford Tug Roundup, see “now published author” Rick Old Salt’s blog here.

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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

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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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