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Thanks for all the guesses, both in comments and on email.  Last week I accompanied a group of journalists invited on board.  The word from the SS United States Conservancy is that the need for action is urgent;  the project is running a critical “race against time.”  Here are a few key facts about the vessel from the conservancy website.  This is the first of several posts I intend to do.  Click here for an Op-Ed piece written by one of the guides on our tour Susan Gibbs, grand daughter of the the vessel’s designer, architect, and creator.

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Note the unique “sampan wing” tips on the funnels.

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This is midships looking aft in the First Class corridor, as it looks today.   To the left, you can see the deck “footprints” of suites, including where the plumbing rested.

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This section of the “First Class stairs,” like the entire interior is stripped to bare metal.

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Use your imagination . . . this is the First class ballroom, where Count Basie and other greats played.

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This is the port side promenade deck.  (Follow the links there.)  Too enclosed, you think?  You’d want it enclosed for a passage in the North Atlantic in January as she speeds along at nearly 40 mph.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Click here for David Macaulay’s blog about the vessel that brought him to the United States.

For more info on the the SS United States Conservancy and their efforts to save the ship via repurposing, click here.    More soon . . . if not tomorrow.

By the way, in yesterday’s post, the first three fotos were as follows:  1955 Packard Clipper Super, a 1941 Cadillac Series 75 hearse, and a 1955 Buick Road Master . . . all contemporaries of the SS United States.

Many thanks to the Conservancy for the opportunity to tour the vessel.  If you have personal stories related to the vessel, please consider adding them to the comments.

Foto from Birk.  I never noticed before how much the colors of a McAllister tug and Santa Claus are alike.  Now all Alex needs is to sport white fabric bow pudding, you to squint, and  . . . et voila!  To the right . . . I think that’s she who did a last waltz this past July.

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Christmas decorations on USS New Jersey?  Except this foto was taken in October.

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Tugboat Lizzie with reflections  . . . and made by a frustrated retired jeweler friend of John Ericsson.

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a gold- and silver-plated copper tug!  Trophy material.  See more at the Independence Seaport Museum, not where the road has taken me but well worth a visit.

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Top foto by Birk Thomas.  All others by Will Van Dorp, who’s quite inland and equidistant from the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

Fundraiser TONIGHT Dec 1, 2010 for the tug Pegasus!!  It’s unfortunate that I have to work elsewhere tonight.

A short post today . . .  it’s December and just to call it windy out is an understatement along the lines of saying that in winter the sixth boro is less hot than in June, that sex is just exercise, and that this video is a fenderbender.

Oh, well . . .  enjoy these fotos: Specialist II slings a string (strings along a sling?) of rock scows into the confluence of the East (so-called) River and the Hudson.  That’s

Red Hook container port in the background, with the nose of Mary Whalen protruding from behind the blue warehouse.

And here’s a catch-up from my Philly posts of last week:  when Captain Dann towed the Lockwood 2002 barge south-bound the cargo looked

all boxed up like this.  Maybe something headed south or east for Sinterklaas?

Nah.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Thanks to Carolina Salguero of PortSide NewYork for calling that video to my attention.

And since I’m linking to videos today, see this one, a music video that uses the Witte scrapyard as backdrop.  I really like the music, but I think the ship remains in the Arthur Kill location should be the main event, NOT the backdrop.

The last milestone was the 1000, but this one, post 1280, goes up exactly four years (well, I’m three days late, actually)  after my first ever post.  Since then, I’ve spent countless hours of free time educating and entertaining myself,   touring other folk through the sixth boro,

interacting with passersby in ports wherever they beckon–ports like the sixth boro,

Philly,

Baltimore (and many other places …)  and more I hope to come.  Thanks to all for your tours and advice and feedback.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying this blog more than ever, learning to see, fishing

(sometimes in extreme conditions) for

flights of fancy and

all manner of lore and historical info about the sixth boro and all the waters connected to it.

Like yesterday, I was reading about Alice L. Moran, her marvelous feats, and wondering if she’s still called Amsterdam and working in Bahraini waters.    And I was reading about PY-16 USS Zircon (later a pilotboat named New York and previously a Pusey & Jones steam yacht Nakhoda), predecessor of pilotboat New York.

I’ve enjoyed these first 1280 and will be continuing.  Meanwhile, here’s another interesting thing I stumbled upon yesterday on page 12 of the Spring 1966 Tow Line magazine.   I hope no one is irked by my printing a screen shot here.  Enjoy.  Letter 1 with request on left and response on right.


Thanks for reading this blog and commenting for four years.  The ride goes on.

Photo credits here to Les, Allen, Carolina, and bowsprite.  Greets to the guys on SKS Tyne.

Meanwhile, a few words about the MWA Waterfront Conference tomorrow:  “

New York, NY: On Tuesday, November 30, senior officials and representatives from over 14 government agencies will join over 500 waterfront advocates, educators, and planning experts for the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s 2010 Waterfront Conference at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center.

Dozens of agency officials, politicians, and other experts will be on hand to offer their perspectives on the future of the NY-NJ Harbor, including: NYC Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, Bob Martin of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Col. John R. Boulé II of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Capt. Linda Fagan of the US Coast Guard, Peter Davidson of the Empire State Development Corporation, David Bragdon of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, Adrian Benepe of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Amanda Burden of the NYC Planning Commission, Cas Holloway of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and Seth Pinsky of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.”

Uh … transplant to the Delaware?

Wilmington Tug’s Sonie passes junk-rigged Summer Wind as

she pushes light in the direction of the Ben Franklin Bridge.  In the foreground left is the faux sternwheel of Philadelphia Belle.

Gulf Service heads in the same direction from over near the big guns of battleship New Jersey.

That transplant …  It launched from Philadephia in 1902 to work out of New York, which it did until 1939.  See the fourth profile below. 

Petrel is an Allied staple on the Delaware.

Jupiter (ex-Socony #14) currently is operated and maintained by a volunteer group called Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild.  The tip of boom and yellow-green-white vessel belong to Gazela, the Guild’s other vessel, previously written about here and here (See fotos 7, 8 and 9).   

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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 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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