You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

Booms.  Not jarring bass concussions.  Not large Arabian dhows.  Not sailing vessel  spars.  Not what I’d love to see happen and sustain itself in the markets.  Nor most of these others.

I mean the yellow “tubes” in this foto lurking in my head since the ubiquitous Bowsprite sent it a few months back.  Besides evoking a sense of mystery in me, the foto also suggests a similarity between pollution prevention activities in New York, and small craft net fishing.


Booms are routinely deployed around vessels during petroleum transfer.  You may have a hard time seeing them in the foto below, but


they are present, black here around the bulbous bow.


Protection, hard to see, but


there, the bright yellow floaters.


I saw Ken‘s deploying booms within hours of the US Airways plane ditching in the Hudson last week, and as crews readied the barge to receive the salvaged aircraft, one wing still containing fuel, still more booms came in to prevent contamination.


I’d be grateful if someone developed emotional booms to lessen our spillage of contaminating passions when we’re at our least attractive.  As in “Run to the ambulance and quickly get a latex boom for around those folks.  They’re fighting and might lose it any second.”

All fotos, except Bowsprite’s, by Will Van Dorp.

And thanks to my old friend Dan de Vries, who emailed it last night, here’s some music for today, Inauguration Day for POTUS44.  Listen for theless common words written by Woodie.

Update from Pete E of the “Liners list” via Mage, avid, dedicated reader and commenter on this blog:  “Once again NY Waterway came to the rescue in NY waters.  The first boat to arrive following the US AIR plane’s ditching was Hudson River-class THOMAS JEFFERSON captained by Vince Lombardi.  She was on the scene within 2.5 minutes.  They rescued 56 passengers from the right wing.  I think MOIRA SMITH (not NORA SMITH as reported in Daily News) was second to arrive, but don’t know how many she rescued.  Brittany Catanzaro, female captain of GOVERNOR THOMAS KEAN, arrived next and took off 24 victims.  According to Alan Warren, NY Waterway had fourteen boats on the scene.  If anyone knows the names of the other ferries that participated, I’d appreciate a list for STEAMBOAT BILL.  Circle Lines’ new CIRCLE LINE MANHATTAN was commandered and used by the NYPD. She arrived on the scene much later than did the NY Waterway ferries, yet somehow Circle Line seems to be getting the press NY Waterway deserves.”   PETE E.    Also, see real-time USCG video of the landing and minutes thereafter from Peter Mello’s SeaFever blog here.  

Thanks so much, Mage and Peter.     What follows is “snow day” post.

Whenever snow “pounds” a region, lots of folks hope to get a snow day.  I know I do, although the hyperbole of TV meteorologists makes me immediately nauseous.  As a kid I learned that even if we had a snow day relative to school, farm work  still needed doing.  In fact, some occupations associate “snow day” with  a sense that the same old tasks will be just that much harder to do.


I took this series of fotos on my way to work last Friday morning when snow limited visibility to  a quarter mile.


The irony of the meteorologese  term “snow pounding” is that though collectively snow may significantly impact  people from a safety or productivity point of view, the impact of an individual snowflake makes  –say– a butterfly landing  on your shoulder seem like a tectonic disturbance measured in Richter scale.  Does a device exist that can measure the momentum exerted on you by one snowflake landing?  Would the force be expressed in micronewtons?  nano-butterflys?  yocto-fruitflys?


Light tug turned out be be Cape Cod.  (Digression:  Any guesses on its year of build? other vitals?)


Snow pounding or not and naked eye visibility reduced, work awaited south of Howland Hook.


Maybe for crews, jobs harder to do give greater satisfaction, and


on snow days, decreased visibility screens urban decay, makes river banks seem more pristine, mysterious.  And despite instruments that see through the snow,  knowing what lies around the bend doesn’t predict what could transpire in moments and months ahead anyhow.  Like last Friday morning, who would have guessed about a jet splashing into the river a few hours and a few miles away.

Cape Cod vitals:   1967 vintage, an excellent year (if I judge from my life).  Loa/deep draft/wide = 102′   13′   28′   HP . . . 4290 and in spite of its name, etc., it spends a lot of time in the six boro.

Related to yesterday’s post, here’s NOAA info on sea ice types to add to comments from Jed and towmasters.

Note:  Bowsprite has updated her blog with her fotos radio transcripts AND scooped everyone by including fotos here of  the recovered plane headed across to the Jersey side on the Weeks barge!  Way to go, bowsprite!

Ice:  cold, paralyzing, abrasive, noisy.  Foto of Francis E. Roehrig (now Aegean Sea) and fuel barge DBL-29 icebound in Rockaway Inlet.  Compliments of Jed.


Weeks tugs Thomas and Alexandria move lift barge 533 into position above A320 N106US yesterday morning.  Foto compliments of the indefatigeable bowspite.


Earlier foto of Weeks tugs and barge mentioned above moving past the Statue toward the North River.  For more of bowsprite’s photostream, click here.


Moose boat attempting unsucessfully to enter North Cove across the ice pack.  Obviously these are smaller than icebergs classified as “growlers,” but is there a technical name for these other than “chunks”?


Some of the government boats on the scene yesterday with Jersey city in the background.


Yeah, I used to ice fish and dreamed of driving ice bridges, but this pix make me want to move to the southern hemisphere for a season.  Meanwhile, my mind might contemplate a character-building winter swim, but the flesh … well… just gets goose bumps.

Speaking of geese, a strange image I couldn’t photograph yesterday afternoon involved a set of four helicopters high and distant over Jersey City in the vicinity of the flight path for Newark International, AND occupying the same apparent airspace, a flock of dozens of geese flying south in V-formation.  Escort them from the area, those  . . .  avian non grata…  it suggested.

Although it may be too late to see anything, Amy over at Newyorkology mentions that some of yesterday’s salvage activities could be viewed via the Liberty State Park’s webcam #3.  See link here.

Call this post a quick story in the wee hours using twelve fotos or less.  Thomas of  Weeks Marine stands by the crane barge,


crane lowers slings over aircraft,


and Alexandria Weeks arrives with receiving barge amidst a plethora of emergency vessels.


At 1030ish, the deck barge stands by as the fuselage emerges,  and


a half hour later more fuselage emerges as starboard wing snaps free of the esplanade.


Crane barge moves slightly west,


and Virginia Weeks makes up to the barge in place of Alexandria.


Crane raises the aircraft, and


Virginia slides the barge underneath.


Plenty of space remains on the barge.  Notice all three Weeks tugs on the shot below.


With the aircraft securely cradled on the barge, it gets unslung, and


teams of investigators move in.  What is the sheeting hanging from the aft end of the plane?


Many thanks to Lee, family, and friends for my vantage point.  Now, notice the starboard engine.  That leaves only one to recover from the Hudson.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp, and possibly more fotos later.

I didn’t go to the Hudson to see the salvage effort today.  But here’s a link (NY Times) and another link (Peter Mello) to a story of a Massachusetts tug that assisted and a Flickr link, showing a K-Sea boat (McKinley Sea) and three Bouchard boats (Brendan and Evening Tide and ?).  Ron Rice shares the image below, taken this morning.  Thanks Ron.  According to the omnisicient bowsprite, DonJon Marine‘s cranes Columbia and Delaware Bay stand by on the scene with tugs Thomas Witte and Mary Alice.


What follows is what I’d planned to post yesterday.

Below Hackensack heads out for the tugboat race in September 2006.  After the race, I didn’t see her again until spring 2008.  The “temporary tattoo” scheme stemmed from Portraits of Hope, also behind recent redecorations on NYC taxis.   Any guess on Hackensack’s appearance now?


According to Hackensack‘s “myspace” page (now two years old), she’s female, single, Capricorn, vintage New Orleans 1953, and available to the highest bidder.  Is this still true?  Here’s what I saw spring 2008 in Kingston.


For someone dating from 1953, she’s a looker.


even close up during molt season.


Anyone share  info on Hackensack?  Stories of her “peacockification,” as Bonnie phrased it here or more recent “de-peacockification” as I’ll dub it?

Unrelated . . . if you haven’t heard of Henry Hudson’s latest networking/socializing in Amsterdam, check it here.

Thank God for  drills;  they helped snatch rescue from tragedy.  Flight crews made the controlled descent,  rescue crews raced to get terrified passengers out of paralyzingly icy waters, and mariners in ferries and other boats assisted as needed.  A team.

When I took this foto in Elizabeth this morning, my thermometer read 19 degrees, and my fingers numbed quickly in the cold and wind.  Imagine the passengers and their terror followed immediately by the need to move hastily to the nearest exit, sloshing in frigid water.  Not even the best swimmer could make it to the nearest bank of the Hudson.


The call today was no drill.


Mere minutes are critical;

aaaanypdseconds matter.


Has anyone made of list of responding vessels including those on Qban’s foto from Flickr below?  Qban shot this from Jersey City waterfront.

from Qbans Flickr photostream

from Qban's Flickr photostream

Drills . . . overcome panic and paralysis.  Kudos to the responders.  Here’s a link to reader-provided fotos to the NY Times.

All fotos except Qban’s by Will Van Dorp.

Thanks to Matt for correcting a fact in yesterday’s post, in which I reported hearing that 12 lightships remain.  In fact, the number is 18, of which 2 are “endangered.”  Can you find the lightship in the foto below, which I’m re-posting from 11 months ago?  (Click here for the original context.)

Back last February, Jeff S commented as follows:  “vessel [behind small tug Jay Bee V]  is  Lake St. Clair….  Lake St. Clair was built as  LV-75 at Ferrysburg, Mi. in 1902. Converted to a lighter at some point and came to N Y in early 1982.”  More info at link later in post.

I took the foto last January focusing on Jay Bee V and have never gotten back to properly foto Lake St. Clair.

Can you find the lightship below in this foto from less than three years ago?


Here’s another chance to spot it.


Well, those white masts belonged to Lightship #84 aka St. Johns, hidden beneath it at that time.  What ocean depths now entertain Lightship #84 is just as well known as  . . . where Jimmy Hoffa lies.  Did any Red Hook reader see the lightship scooped aboard a barge and taken out to be reefed?  If so, willing to share fotos?

Find the lightship here?  It’s LV-115 aka Frying Pan, of course, just off the stern of art-project tug Hackensack, which I’ll follow up on later this week.


Matt included this link on the eighteen remaining lightships.  To summarize the info on whereabouts, a total of six are in the “sixth boro” (including LV-107 in Jersey City and one in Oyster Bay), two are in New Jersey (I’m counting LV-107 again), two in Massachusetts, and one in each of the following locations:  Alaska, British Columbia, California, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, in 2006 and 2008.  Check out Matt’s blog, soundbounder.

Tangentially related . . . a new travel update from Henry Hudson appears here.  Enjoy and pass it along to friends.

You’ve seen this vessel before here.  Last night I saw the inside and heard the narrative of its service life (California, Maine, Massachusetts) as well as the three-year process of its adaptive reuse, the basics of which you can read on its own website.  The minutiae of its size, equipment, and propulsion, again, check  here.


(No, this isn’t a duplicate foto. Notice the Statue of Liberty–itself a beacon– just forward the bow in the lower foto.)  What I found most compelling about last night’s slide/lecture was the role of vision that brought the vessel to its current incarnation.  No matter that it almost went for scrap or that it might have capsized or sunk on its way to the yard, the current owners aka stewards maintained their gaze on what it could turn into.   Vision fuels discipline.  Vision led to its reconstruction, and vision is what it can provide, both literally and figuratively.


According to Bill Golden, only 12 lightships remain today.  Four are in (or relatively near) sixth boro waters.  Can anyone comment on where the others are?


Excuse this wheelhouse pic taken sans wide-angle lens.  Interesting about the controls is that the wheel, binnacle, and engine order telegraph though present are disconnected.  Hidden beneath the wood panels below the portholes are throttle/transmission control levers and joystick steering as well as electronics.  While in Coast Guard service, the ship had no wood surfaces.


Nantucket WLV-612 will remain in North Cove until mid-spring, at least.  Need a unique space for a function?  It’s  $4000 for four hours.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to New York Ship Lore and Model Club for organizing the event.

A half year has sped past since the previous installment of random ships here.   I went today looking for ice fotos, but found nothing chunky in the sixth boro;  I might though when I get upriver this weekend.  Not to say it was warm;  my fingers froze as I took this shot of –what–Nordic Helsinki, the very sound threatens hypothermia.


With relief, I found vessels with warmer names as well, like NCC Hijaz, named for the high desert,


African Joy (actually in the harbor Christmas Day), and


Sun Right. And if I had to choose a ship’s name to conjure up hot, sweaty thoughts, it’d be


Sun Right (ex-Ever Right), of course.


But in spite of such a warm name, my fingers could still barely push the shutter button.  More ice soon.  Take special care the rest of this week.

If you really like ice, you might head up to the Knickerbocker Ice Festival.

Imagine the waves that for three-fourths of a century have buffeted the ancient Kristin, strained her skeleton.


Now picture her skin pulverizing ice of varying thickness.  In your mind’s ear, hear the sound of ice breaking.


The captain below, recently delivering a fiberglass vessel upriver, could continue  northward only after Michigan Service led the way, breaking ice with steel.


Given the season, I’m soon off in search of my own ice fotos for the season. I’d love to foto Lynne Cox swimming to Antarctica, a great read, by the way, or someone else.  I’ve done a SHORT winter ocean swim myself and know the spears of pain, followed by never feeling cold again the rest of the winter.

Meanwhile, I’m wondering about the impact, literally, of ice breaking on hull paint.  I recall once talking with workers at a shipyard in northeastern Massachusetts who were attaching oak sheathing planks as ice protection over a forward waterline area of a wood-hulled dragger.  I understand from “steel vessel” math that thin ice goes into steel only once, but … how many times (or what if any abrasion of paint/coating results) does steel go into Hudson River ice?

Fotos here by tugster, Jeff Anzevino and Aaron Singh, respectively.

As a means to thaw, check out this website, pelican passage . . . as its author says, “from a boatman’s point of view.  Another interesting site is “sleepboot” (Dutch for  “tugboat”).  Although the text is Dutch, the pix are interesting.  Both have been added to the blogroll.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,224 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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


January 2009
« Dec   Feb »