I must get back to downstream and upstream tows on the Mississippi soon, but I seriously misread this oncoming vessel.  Some of you might figure out my misread before the end of this post.

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What attracted my eye to Florida Enterprise was the superstructure, specifically the cranes overtop the holds.

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I’d seen structures somewhat like these on a ship in the KVK here … but they were not quite the same.

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Because of poor lighting and large distance relative to my position, I missed the really unusual feature of the vessel

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–or rather vessels–which I should have

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seen here.  See it?

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Florida Enterprise is a barge, and the prime mover here

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is now called Coastal 202.  Below is a photo taken by Barry Andersen, which I got permission to use from Fred Miller II, which shows Coastal 202–then called Jamie A. Baxter–light, an ITB out of the notch. The photo below was taken soon after the tug’s launch in mid-1977 from Peterson Builders in Sturgeon Bay WI.  Here’s another taken when the vessel was out of the notch and then known as Barbara Knessel.  

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Click here for some ITB posts I did back in 2008.   Click here for a better view of Coastal 202 and her cargo barge that shows she is in fact an ITB.

Now I’d love to see Coastal 202 out of the notch from all angles and to see ISH’s rail ferry too.

Truth be told, another surprise was that nola hula was nowhere to be seen  . ..  maybe headed out to sea like that humpback that splashed around the sixth boro last month?

 

Much more catching up to do, but first, I share some New Orleans photos from last week and then related photos and response from my inbox to the review of Tugboats Illustrated here.

This first series I include because I’m amazed by this maneuver, but it does not effectively depict it because a) I was moving behind and then alongside and forward of it in the series of photos taken over a 30-minute period of time, and b) I would need to get the photos from a fixed aerial position as it made the turn, and c) this is a relatively small tow . . . only 12 barges in relatively calm conditions.

Starting at 4:23 pm last Tuesday, I was following Ingram Barge Co. Mike Schmaeng.  Many years ago now I did this post on Ingram.  Ingram is a company that operates 150 boats, 5000 barges, over 4500 miles of inland waterway . . . all approximate numbers.

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4:47

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4:49

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4:50

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4:51

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4:53.

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On my next trip to Nola, I’ll set up on a tripod at a fixed point, maybe the upstream end of Crescent Park.  I also intend to check out some tighter points, such as Wilkerson Point, shown below.

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So now, in response to this photo from my review of Tugboats Illustrated . . .

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in my inbox, I got this note from a retired professional brown water mariner who wishes NO fistfights or pissing contest:

“RE: Sketch from the tugboat book.

The sketch showing a tow in a flanking maneuver is not how we do it on the inland rivers. If a tow is flanked as shown in the sketch, it will ALWAYS end up against the bank below the bend.   Attached is a photo of a towboat flanking Wilkerson Point, just above Baton Rouge.
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You can see from the wheel wash that the pilot is backing full astern to get the stern of the tow near the inside of the bend. He is not quite in position yet, but the tow will take up nearly the entire river. The stern of the boat will only be a hundred or so feet off the point all the way around the bend. A pilot will call on the radio, stating his intention to flank such and such a bend, point or bridge. Because for all purposes, the channel will be blocked, ALL northbound traffic, including ships will be required to stop well below the bend. From the time the pilot stops his engines to get into the flanking position until he can come full ahead coming out of the bend, it may take 30 to 45 minutes. The tow will probably not be in a position to come full ahead again until it is in the area of the refinery at top right.
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All “heavy” tows like this will flank certain bends and bridges between St. Louis and New Orleans at certain stages of the river. Before departing St. Louis, a downbound tow will place “flanking” buoys at each outboard stern barge. The buoys are marked on the second photo [with letter Os]. Since the current is used to float the tow around the bend, the inner buoy will show the pilot when there is no sternway or headway in the current and it is this buoy which tells the pilot that the flank is being correctly done. A flanking buoy is in place on the other corner because there are both left and right hand flanks required.
A tow of 35 loaded barges is common on the Mississippi River. A downbound tow will be made up seven wide and five long, not as stated in the book. A pilot has better control of such a tow during a flank. A northbound tow will be made up seven long and five wide, to get it through the current better.
The boat pictured in the photo is the AUSTEN S. CARGILL (now Justin Paul Eckstein), owned by Cargo Carriers, Inc., Minneapolis, a Cargill subsidiary. It is 182 by 55 feet. It is triple screw and at the time of the photo had a total of 6,630 hp. This photo was taken in 1964. It had 57,908 tons of grain in 40 barges, according to Cargill.  A tow being flanked may need just a gentle touch on the head of the tow;  that is why the tug is approaching the head of the tow, to assist if needed.
/s/ USCG licensed “Mate, Upon All Inland Rivers, Steam and Motor, All Gross Tons”

 

Thank you, sir.  And I hadn’t known about flanking buoys.

Click here for a 5-minute video by Towboat Toby who gives a really clear explanation as he walks a tow downstream around Wilkerson’s Point in high water.  Towboat Toby, I’m your fan!

So,  what think you, readers . . . and I don’t mean to backpedal on Paul Farrell’s excellent book, could that particular drawing have been modified to improve verisimilitude?  I like the looseness of Mr. Farrell’s drawings for the most part, but I think the Mate makes a good point.  And just calm talk . ..  not punches, please.  The writer makes a reasoned and constructive comment.

I’m going to play catch up, starting back in October.  This is Quebec City.

I’ve posted figureheads here and here before, even figureheads on a non-wind vessel like here.  But here’s a sequence that suggests that figureheads can come and go.  The first photo, taken at 10:22, shows the small push boat Vezina moving a convenient sized barge to

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to the cruise ship to

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offload the garbage.  By the time, I made my way to the port side, Vezina had acquired a figurehead and

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when the barge dumpsters were filled, there appeared to be some interaction between figurehead and crew, mimicry.

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I took these photos in October in Quebec City.

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I have no info on whether this figurehead has since been released.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Actually, the full title of this book is Tugboats Illustrated: History-Technology-Seamanship with Drawings by the author Paul Farrell

I first heard of the book and Paul Farrell last February;  I got an email from an editor at W. W. Norton expressing interest in licensing one of my photos for the cover of the forthcoming book. The photo was the 9th in the post called “Helen’s Last Waltz.” I was thrilled, as you might imagine, and we arrived at a price. Then I hoped it would be an attractive, technically accurate book.

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A few months later, Norton’s publicity department sent along a five-page sampler and asked if I’d write a review of the book. The cover letter described Tugboats Illustrated as “gorgeously detailed guide to the evolution, design, and role of tugboats” from “ the earliest days of steam up to today’s most advanced ocean-going workboats” and referred to its “dynamic drawings that show how different kinds of propellers move, to explanations of the physics and engineering that allow this movement to happen.”

Mr. Farrell, an architect with almost a half century of experience, was described as having spent a quarter century researching and writing this book, his first. When someone spends that amount of time focusing on a subject, I’m impressed. But I wasn’t ready to do a review until I saw the entire 156-page book, which arrived in November.  The photo below should illustrate how comprehensive this slim but well-designed book is.

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I first paged through it and then read it cover to cover. Paging through, I noticed how many of these “dynamic drawings” there are, more than 70 of them at least, depending how you count.  Below is a sample of a set of drawings from p. 114, illustrating an evolution that always mesmerizes me . . . a flanking turn with a long tow on a winding river, and he shows it from both the downstream and upstream perspective.

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Indeed, an architect’s drawings honed by years of professional work complemented with captions, guided by the experts in the wheelhouse, illustrate complex maneuvers in this and many other instances.  Ironically, Farrell never intended to showcase his illustrations in the book; he says it began as “rough sketching intended to guide a mythical illustrator who would intuit just the right feel and content” until he realized this these sketches, such as they were, would work. He reports that doing the set of drawings to illustrate hull chines as seen from underwater were pivotal. I find them charming, below (p. 93),  a boon to the book and not just “limited” or “enough.”

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Then there are the photographs, over 80 of them in total and more than half of them in color, many of them taken by photographers whose work I know and have great respect for: Brian Gauvin, Alan Haig-Brown, and Pat Folan.  There was one photo by Rod Smith, who has so many to choose from in his albums on the shipbuilding work at Senesco. Many of the black-and-white photos come from the collections of Steven Lang and Brent Dibner. Other photos introduced me to photographers I’d like to see more of in the future.

In the “Acknowledgements,” Farrell reveals that he first sent a draft of the book to Norton in 1996, a full twenty years ago. When a book takes shape over such a long period of time as this one, it gets vetted for accuracy and thoroughness, which this one has.

Got friends who want to learn about tugboats? Want to expand your own knowledge of the history and variety of these vessels? Then order it here.

I’m just so thrilled that my photo from that July 17, 2012 move graces the cover of this fine book that I’ll digress and post three more photos from that day.

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Helen, she is a classic from 1900!   Does anyone have photos of her working out of South Carolina waters as Georgetown?  In that photo above, Helen looks just slightly like Little Toot in Hardie Gramatky’s wonderful watercolors, reproduced on p. 11 of Paul Farrell’s book.

Click here for some previous reviews.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

Recognize the tugboat below?  Answer follows.

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David McAllister, photo from 2013, has recently changed hands and is currently undergoing “re-power and life extension” as Tradewinds Towing Hannah.

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Draco, photo below taken in 2007, shows the vessel that began life in 1951 as Esso Tug No. 12.  I caught her in the sixth boro as Co here (scroll) back in 2009.

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Pleon, built in 1953, has appeared on this blog several times recently.

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Canal Deluge, shown here in Fournier Towing and Ship Services colors, has since been sold to Trinidad, where she is (somewhat appropriately) know as Boston Lady.

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And finally, originally a steam tug built in the mid-1920s to assist ships and break ice on the Delaware river, the 125′ John Wanamaker claimed the title of the last steam tug operating commercially in the US, but after several stints as a restaurant boat, she was cut up in New Bedford sometime around 2007.   Anyone have photos of her last days or her last decades as a restaurant in at least three different New England locations?  For a great story about her–and many other boats– read Jim Sharp’s With Reckless Abandon It seems that Jim has owned at least half the historic vessels on the East coast at one time or other. His Sail, Power, & Steam Museum will reopen in the spring.

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Again, thanks to JG, these photos from the near but irretrievable past.

Oh, and that mystery tug at the top, she’s of course Pelham, seen in this post (scroll) and many others here.

That is a long way from the Staten Island base these boats have long used . . .  and how many engine rooms are hot here?

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So Katie G and Colleen McAllister danced their way east to get north and way west past the dancing (or leaning) towers of the East River this morning.

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Notice you can still see the original Libby Black name in the raised metal of Katie G McAllister, soon to be named something else?

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Here’s a previous post I did featuring Katie G. remaking a tow at the Battery.

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Click here and here for posts featuring Colleen at work.  Here’s one at the dock in Mariners.

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I’m guessing this voyage will take about three weeks?

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Godspeed, and beat the ice!

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Click here for another way to move a tug with a cold engine.  And here–scroll to the 4th photo–to see another way it can be done.  And another.  And I’ll add another post here with alongside towing.

You may recall the schooner Issuma?  Click here for many of the posts featuring her and her skipper Richard Hudson.  She’s overwintering in the sixth boro after a truly remarkable voyage.  When he left northward from the sixth boro in the fall of 2010, inviting me to sail along as a Halloween ride, he

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eventually sailed out the Saint Lawrence, up along western Greenland, across northern Canada through the Northwest Passage, through Dolphin and Union Strait, southward in the Bering Strait, eventually to Easter Island, around Cape Horn into the Antarctic . . .

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to Cape Town, and then northward along SW Africa until jumping off for St Helena, and then single-handing back to the sixth boro.  That adds up to a circumnavigation of the North and South American continents and then some, and I think that’s a big deal.  If you want to read about the entire trip, click here.

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All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

 

I missed this one, but I saw it on AIS.  She used to be called Eagle Hope, but I’m thinking someone’s running out of names.

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I caught up with Alice though, here to discharge what she always does . . . aggregates.

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Denak Voyager waited in the anchorage at sunrise and before midmorning coffee, she moved to load what she always does . . . scrap.   Can

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this be the reference?

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Hafnia Lupus . .  being provisioned by the venerable Twin Tube and bunkered by a Vane unit.

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CMA CGM Musset gets escorted by Jonathan C Moran.  I had to look up Musset, but I’d figured it was an artist.

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See that outboard skiff over off the starboard bow?

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Latgale anchored off Stapleton a while back, and

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there goes Chandra B, the can-do, think-big tanker passing by Energy Champion and on its way to bunker the mothership at Sandy Hook pilots.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s off on a reconnoitre.

Recognize this location for sixth boro riverbank living?

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The fine print there says USNS GySgt. Fred W. Stockham (T-AK-3017), which was just outside the VZ Bridge a few days ago.

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Now it’s over by FDNY Marine 9, as if it were someone’s yacht.  The complex finally looked open, so I wandered in and

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here’s what I saw . . . right here on Staten Island.

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I don’t know who lives here or where the clientele comes from, but I’m positive the President-elect will be checking the residency papers on the opticians selling goggles.  Will there be waivers? here.

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Actually, I left quickly because this place gave me a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy feel.

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Now THIS is a strange juxtaposition in this Potemkin Village.

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But don’t take my word and photos for it.  Click here or next time you’re in Stapleton, check the place out, before new tenant emporiums arrive.

All photos this week by Will Van Dorp.

 

Know that boat below?  Answer follows.  It’s recently been in the news.  This trove of photos comes from JG, an out-of-towner whom I sometimes meet along the KVK.  This photo was taken between 2001 and 2007.

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Seguin (1972, YTB-816 Campti) has been sold foreign.  Anyone know where? The photo below was taken in 2003.

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Hercules (YTB-766, Wapakoneta) has also gone foreign, to Nigeria, as documented on this blog here.

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Natick (YTB-760, Natick) was completed at Jakobson’s although construction began elsewhere.  The photo below was taken in 2009.

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This photo of Phoenix LT-1975 was taken in 2007 in Constellation Maritime colors.  She’s currently in Maine as Fournier Brothers.

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King Philip, shown here in 2007, currently works as Olon in Panama.

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Chicopee, shown here in 2007, was built in 1952 by Higgins Industries as Army tug LT-1966.  Anyone know where she is today?

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Ludwig E., which became Nathan E. Stewart in 2007, sank in October and was raised earlier this month.  Anyone know if she will be refurbished?

Many thanks to JG for use of these photos.

 

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Tale of Two Marlins

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