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I called this Bronze 1 some months back. It’s the distinguishing color for the Reinauer fleet.




Craig Eric

Meredith C.

Morgan . . . and oh so many more all pushing fuel. It’s the safest way to move fuel closer to your gas station. Lisa M. is the expert on Oil on the Brain–and everywhere else.

Given all these names, I’d love to see a Reinauer family tree.

My father–a dairy farmer all his life–used to name cows for friends and acquaintances but never family members, never cute names. I wonder what he’s have done for naming if he’d pursued his childhood dream of being a Rhine barge captain.

Photos, WVD.

Remember Christo? Want an apocryphal tale about influences on Christo’s Gates installation of late winter 2005?

It all started when June K. came to town in 2003. Interesting vitals here on the vessel, Kosnac Floating Derrick’s first ever newbuild after 75 years on the sixth boro. Christo left the choice of color for his as-yet-conceptual project to chance: whatever the color of the first vessel he saw from the Brooklyn Bridge, that would be the color of his fabric. June K. passed first; hence the color choice, which he dubbed “saffron.” Central Park, he decided, would be an abstract model of the harbor, with the gates as channels for tugs, barges, and ships in the sixth boro. The rest is history. So imagine if Christo had seen a Reinauer, the gates would have been red & bronze. If he’s seen a K-Sea, they’d be mostly white… although Christo, being …uh, discerning… would call them “pearly.”

Last Sunday June K. took an afternoon tango with Mary Whalen, icon of Portside New York. Portside news here soon.

The dancers took their positions. The watchful captain oversaw it all and–when the strings were tuned and the music right–

June K. led Mary Whalen toward the Buttermilk, heads ‘n tails, they say.

Was Christo around watching? Might his next project involve wrapping all the bollards on all the bulkheads in saffron? Might he wrap the “waterfalls of New York City” in fabric he calls “June K. orange”?

June K. was not telling. The Christo rumors, I made them all up. “Pumpkin tug,” I overheard that.

More June K. here, here, and here.

Photos, WVD.

The two vessels passing in the KVK are not particularly large, but maybe they illustrate a problem discussed in a recent Star-Ledger article called “A Bridge Too Low.

By the way, the two vessels, left to right, are Ital Oceano and YM Seattle. More on Ital Oceano soon.

Photos, WVD.

I like this NYTimes slide show called “Tugboat Minuet,” although I think tugs tango, no matter the number involved in shifting.

And …don’t know about you: I really take issue with some writing in the piece, like the lead sentence, i.e., “Tugboats are not as romantic as fire trucks, and they do not have the sleek aerodynamic shape of airplanes.” Such a land-biased statement! How many people do you know that have ever considered fire trucks romantic? I’ve never met one, and I’ve met a lot of people. Fire trucks are saviors on land, to be sure. Shrill and fast, of course. But in romance, I’ve never looked for a shrill and fast savior! Later in the piece, tugboats are described as “moving like children pushing a shopping cart for Mom” (I paraphrase) almost knocking over “stacks of cereal boxes and paper towels.” Please! I find this bordering on offensive.

Tugboats could be described as powerful, relatively silent, and mysterious. Agile. Supportive. Rugged. Reliable. Decisive. Versatile. And they’re hydrodynamic because that matters in their environment. Would you ever hear an airplane described as not as hydrodynamic as a tugboat? Tugboats certainly have classic beauty that ages gracefully . . . like Daryl Hannah or Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini… And children in the supermarket are annoyances; I’ve been a loving parent and know of what I speak. Is the insinuation here that tugboats propel themselves around the harbor wreaking havoc and chaos, reckless and immature?

Great fotos; problematic writing. So I’ll just list names today.

From left to right: Baltic Sea, Amy C. McAllister, Nicole Leigh Reinauer, and Maria J ex Jesus Saves, closest.

and a few seconds later.

Specialist and

Specialist too. . . or II.

Tucana . . . ex-Exxon Pelham, high and dry. Foto thanks to Ted.

By the way, Tucana and Daryl Hannah are both vintage 1960.

Except where stated otherwise, photos . . . WVD.

The verticality of the approaching tug suggests a lighthouse, especially with the railing around the “lantern” glass atop,

but it’s yet another shot of Huron Service. Vitals: 98x34x17 and built (design #1) in 1981.

The following fotos all come compliments of Harold. The red-hulled vessel below is .  .  . Eric Candies, the vessel recently transformed into Huron Service.

Here’s a link for the Otto Candies‘ company.

Similarly, the Hornbeck Liberty Service below (117x37x16 built in 1983) was in a former life . . .

Mac Tide 63 ex Jaramac 63 shown below

and again, in a dramatic oil platform setting, below. Stack insignia above is for Tidewater.

Amazing what steel fabrication and a new color scheme can do! I wonder if the feel changes as radically as the appearance. Is the center of gravity changed at all significantly?

Again, thanks to Harold for all but the top two fotos.

Perspective makes all the difference. It’s an essential consideration in fotos. It shapes perception and determines how we see color. Imagine the Empire State Building as seen from the sidewalk–corner of 34th and 7th Avenue v. seeing it on your computer screen via Mapquest satellite. See Kennebec Captain’s insightful post on ships at this link.

Above, Laura K. Moran guides Torm Freya through the winding Kills on its way outbound yesterday. Freya‘s colors are even more striking in this Flickr shot. Below, see the crewman in orange standing behind the bulwarks at the base of the mast? By happenstance, notice land and air traffic–made possible by waterborne fuel.

Another crewman straightens up dock lines aft. Imagine the perspective of the crew, what they know and see besides a brief working stint in New York… (Hmm… I could call this Freya on Friday.)

as Freya heads southeast toward the Ambrose Channel. See this link for a shot of Freya squeezing through the Panama Canal. Freya and her sisters have great evocative names–Gerd, Thyra, Vita . . . –names that conjure up visions made real by Dave’s blog, NeverSeaLand.

More on Torm here.

Oh, I’m not calling these “ship of the day” because an entire blog already carries that name here.

Hornbeck has a relatively new tug; this morning I got a closeup.

Well, it’s a make-over. A retrofit, you’ll learn if you scroll through the link.

I haven’t found any fotos of Huron Service as Eric Candies, then named for a Louisiana tugboat captain.

Here’s Huron Service lightering Indigo Point off Stapleton, Staten Island.

I’d welcome fotos of Eric Candies, the vessel or the mariner.

Now imagine tug Grouper retrofitted with azipods or VSP and an upper wheelhouse at the top of a giraffe neck, 1912 meets 2012.

Photos, WVD.

Chatter on the Yahoo tugboat group indicates interest in this vessel, Grouper. I took this foto six weeks ago at Erie Canal Lock 28B in Newark, less than five miles from where I grew up.

My sister-in-law Nancy took this foto yesterday. Thanks Nancy! Six weeks changes a lot.

What I’ve learned is that it’s 1912 vintage built by Charles Dimmer in Cleveland, Ohio. Other vitals include 73′ x 18′. And according to Carl Wayne’s fantastic database, Grouper’s engine generates 300 hp. but I’m guessing that was the original engine. Was that steam?

Formerly, it operated as Alaska for Florida Marine Terminal.


A power cord snaked into the skylight,

and still does, although the icicles have turned back into canal water.

But I can find nothing about Charles Dimmer or the Florida Marine Terminal. And I’m guessing that when I next get up to Newark in summer, Grouper will be gone, like the ice. Anyone know about modifications and dates and current engine? I’m sure the stack is not original.

When I was a kid and I’d see the Canal, I perceived of it as the biggest ditch around, a place to catch catfish. And since we weren’t a boat family, taking a rowboat or canoe across was just a fantasy. I’d no sense of the Canal, then called the Barge Canal, as a conduit to the sixth boro–or Canada, the Midwest. I paid more attention to train crews on the New York Central than crews on canal boats. If I’d have run away in those years, jumping from a low bridge onto a barge would not have been the way. I certainly had no idea that through these waters in 1960, 3.5 million tons of cargo (mostly fuel and grain) was shipped. See this 1961 “canal use” state report. Here’s the entire report. Oh the sights I missed. Who knows how my life would be different if tugs had gotten my attention then?

Note: Credit for the springtime fotos goes to Nancy Van Dorp.

Baltic Sea pushes northbound for tasks away from the refinery, where Cape Don discharges,

John P. Brown heads southbound along a wooded bank of Staten Island for some job,

Robert J. Bouchard stands by while Tamara off-loads,

and Thomas D. Witte moves a barge where needed in the Kills. And I’d better get back to work myself.

Unrelated: More pirate news. Madagascar–south of Somalia by at least 1000 miles, was the location of a settlement called Libertalia four hundred years ago when the pirates were renegade Europeans.

Photos, WVD.

Small but study

utilitarian and responsive like Emily Miller speeding a supply delivery

nameless but functional and versatile

reliable and fast like Evening Light

or  Wolf River ex Susan Miller hurrying to a survey

Check out Kennebec Captain‘s quiz on the difference between a ship and a boat; I added a link to my blogroll.

Also, unrelated here but YahooNews spoke of an attack off Yemen, here’s a foto of the tanker Takayama.

Photos, WVD.


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April 2008