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This post marking a personal milestone passed already five years ago.  Today’s post marks the fact that now I’m officially old enough to opt for the thin slice of retirement money or a senior price ticket on New Jersey Transit.

The photo below shows one of my high points of my past year.  I’m the more enclosed guy with the black cap.   And you might wonder where this is?

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Here are two clues that’ll help you situate that high point, the aluminum portion and the

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steel.

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And here I’m standing on the edge of a trough.

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Many thanks to Chris Ware for the top photo and to Brian DeForest for the one directly above.

I am deeply grateful for a chance at another year of living  . .  . exuberantly.    Here was seven years ago.

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.

This NYPD officer of the peace got tugged right into a recent parade.  When that happens, you know all things could get downright disorderly.

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This last June post is a melange of Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 in a setting rays irritating my camera,

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Patuxent in the Philly dawn,

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Sea Hawk approaching the St. John’s Bridge,

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Patuxent redux,

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Natoma docked in the Columbia,

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Caspian Sea in the Delaware,

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Surrie Moran in the same waters,

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Aries in Portland,

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Madeline,

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Black Hawk,

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more Black Hawk, 

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Cape Henry,

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again Madeline,

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and finally Lewiston.

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Rounding things out, it’s Siberian Sea in palm trees country aka the sixth boro, taken about a year ago.  I will resume the blog as soon as I can in a land with more palm trees

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Thanks for reading the blog and sending comments either here or via email.  Sorry if I haven’t acknowledged everyone who’s sent along a tidbit or nice word.

If you’ve never taken a Working Harbor tour in NYC’s sixth boro, here’s info.  If you  know the sixth boro pretty well–especially the contemporary commercial aspects of it, you might even propose to them to narrate a tour.  That’s just me suggesting that, but there are folks who want to better understand the role of shipping and its interaction between the sixth boro and the five terrestrial ones.

Thanks to Seth Tane for the fotos of Aries, Black Hawk, Lewiston, Nahoma, and Sea Hawk.  All others by Will Van Dorp who hopes to next post from the obscure January River.

Quick post from the Delaware.  Can you guess the tow?

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Sentry tows El Rey.  Next stop . . . San Juan?  Note the crewman in the way upperhouse on the barge.  Is the barge crewed for the entire trip?

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Photos of the Delaware?

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Escorts down the river include Surrie Moran and

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Cape Henry.

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Recognize the vessel to the right?

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All fotos this morning by Will Van Dorp.

Almost two years ago, Chris did this guest post about an experience he had sailing in the Mediterranean in this ride.  The vessel below, now threatened, was on the hook off Palma, Mallorca, in one of her last years of service.

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On that same deployment, he caught this foto of SS France, speeding past his vessel toward the Straits of Gibraltar.

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Here’s another of Chris’ fotos, Sac Badalona (see #113)  . . . at that time  not long to be afloat and intact.

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Here’s Chris’ ride low and dry and cold in Boston Naval Shipyard’s Drydock 4, winter 1969-70.  What shrinks ASR-16 Tringa once accommodated Leviathan.

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During that drydocking, Chris had a chance to get fotos along the Boston waterfront.  You can read the restaurant sign as Anthony’s Pier 4.  Can you identify the steamer and the schooner?  Answer follows . . .

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This foto taken some time between December 1969 and March 1970 shows two tugs afloat and one sunk at the dock near Rowes Wharf in Boston . . . now a very different place.   Can anyone identify?  Chris has no clues other than the time and places info.   I’m grateful to Chris for sending along these scans, although both he and I will rely on some group-sourcing to know more about these vessels.   Enjoy.

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Disintegrating in Noank in the 69-70 time frame, it’s the remains of once-four-masted schooner Alice L. Pendleton.

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Moving south to New London, it’s W. H. Welch.

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Also in New London . .  does that say Spaigo Carroll?

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Also in New London . . . it’s ferry Martha’s Vineyard.

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And this is the Thames River boneyard a,

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b,

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and c.

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And finally, identification on the vessels at Anthony’s Pier 4 . . . steamer Peter Stuyvesant (victim of the Blizzard of 1978) and –a real coup in terms on an identification by eastriver and his “new englander” shipmate”–it’s 1863 Alice S. Wentworth, who went victim to a storm in 1974.

Many thanks to Chris for sending along these fotos, which belong to him.

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.”

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.

Not a tug . . .  Blount-built Sailor (1977) delivers lubricants to suezmax crude carrier  Cape Bowen. A sixth-boro Blount boat is Twin Tube.  Sailor and Twin Tube–now that’s an evocative set of names– have similar hulls but houses at opposite ends.  But have you guessed the answer to the ponderable at the end of the post a few days back?

Also not a tug:  fragile lightship Barnegat, here on the mud in North Camden.

Still not a tug:  SS United States.  Don’t the lines suggest the throat pleats of a rorqual?  Got some names of tug companies common in the Delaware but not depicted here the past few days?

Bouchard is one.  Morton IV is a regular in the sixth boro, here approaching the Commodore Barry Bridge.

K-Sea is another.  I’m not sure why Coral Sea lies beside Arthur W Radford here in the Navy Yard.

And then there’s Penn Maritime . . .  here’s Amberjack.  Penn specializes in transporting heated asphalt.

But Vane Brothers is ubiquitous.  Here’s Pokomoke, and

Patuxent,

Bohemia,

Charles Hughes, and

Roanoke.  Two other Vane boats lay in the Schuykill, but too close to Sunoco to risk taking a foto.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, but again special thanks to Jeff Schurr and John Curdy.

You might wonder what’s happening in the sixth boro.  Me too.  I need to have a look, although I’ve really enjoyed Pelican Passage‘s  shots these weeks.  See some  fireworks here.  As for me, it’s prime gallivant season the next few weeks.  See you on the go.

News flash:  unrelated . . . is it true that a duck nursery has been located inside Cornell‘s bow pudding?  Don’t you feel cooled just looking at this January foto?

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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