You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

I hadn’t planned to post on Charles Oxman again, but I felt encouraged by emails and  recollection of a discussion board last year or overhearing in conversation someone comparing the visorless wheelhouse to the conning tower of a cold war submarine . . . aaaacox

Oxman, then known as Falk was designed that way back in 1940.  Were other visorless siblings also built for some specific purpose?  Was Falk a one-off wheelhouse design?  I’ve also  always wondered about the choice of “Falk” as this vessel’s name:


“Falk” is the title of a 1901 short story by my all-time top five writers, Joseph Conrad.  Read the short story here. “Falk” happens to be a recollection of events in life of a British tugboat captain working in Thailand a century ago.


Back to Oxman, the vessel is named for a community college professor as related in this article I’ve always liked.  A close-up of Oxman (go here and click click on foto)  shows another name Oxman‘s carried, St. Petersburg,  which


–though unrelated–is similar to the name of this vessel.  I took this foto in Kingston almost a year ago.    Petersburg, I believe, is the tug I couldn’t identify at the end of the post here on QE2’s final departure from the sixth boro back last October.


Back to Oxman, this Pusey and Jones tug also went by the name A P St Philip.  Anyone have fotos of the vessel bearing these names?

Vinik‘s Charles Oxman enters the west end of the KVK;  that’s Elizabethport, NJ, in the background.  I couldn’t tell if Gotham was on board.


West bound  Atlantic Coast yesterday found no ice to break on the KVK as it passes Seapowet (Seapower with part of a letter missing?) and Sunny Express (nearer tanker).


Charles D. McAllister, passing bowsprite’s cliff two weeks ago, will encounter ice some dozens of miles upriver.


Capt. Tom idled last summer in Erie Basin (Brooklyn), and I know nothing more about the vessel.


Amy C McAllister (often sounding like A-B-C) waited for the Arthur Kill Lift Bridge to . . . lift two weeks ago.


And my parting shot shows Elena, a small independent tug leaving Gowanus Canal.  I took this shot in December 2007.  If my info is correct, Elena is a 25′ loa,  out of the Bronx, and built in 1949.


In winter my metabolism and outdoor activity slow a bit, and  I go through my archives.

If you have more time to linger in front of the computer this time of year, scroll up the image of Henry Hudson (guy with frilly fashion statement around his neck), click on his nose, and read what I imagine he was doing 400 years ago, at the start of his eventful third voyage.

Finally, for follow-up on Weeks 2 story about the locomotives, check this link, compliments of the friendly folks at Working Harbor Committee.   I have another Weeks story coming up on Friday.

Study this foto of Labrador Sea I took in October 2007, when this blog approached its first birthday.  For the record, vessel was launched as Sea Bull in 2002, in Rhode Island.  (Digression:  Belated Happy Year of the Ox!!)  See Sea Bull here.


Now check this foto of Labrador Sea taken on a 60-degree day in February 2009.


The 07 and 09 shots were taken in virtually the same location.


She puffed out for pins and stretched upward.


Might more evolution follow?


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Henry’s latest transmission from Amsterdam 1609’s just in.  Read it here.

Presidents Day.  This might not be what you expect.  See the vessel below.  It’s not the Beagle, not named for a type of dog.  


Now that’s an odd name for a tanker, but the fleet has several other “kings.” 


So you see where this is going:  Lincoln Sea:  I hadn’t seen this tug in quite a while and then … I couldn’t get to the other side of the KVK to get a better shot.  


So here’s a shot of Lincoln Sea near Shooter’s Island from  a few years back, my first view of the tug.  Wow!  was all I could say.


Technically, Presidents Day  is dedicated to the ones born in February, and Truman is from early May, (notice rising sun just portside of bow) but 


I can’t imagine a federal holiday for honoring only some U. S.  presidents, so this APL vessel will just have to do, since I don’t expect I’ll ever see a vessel called “February Presidents.”

By the way, Lincoln Sea–8000 hp.  President Truman–57,000 hp.  King Darwin–too evolved to release hp information.  

For a whole different take on Darwin, check prolific bowsprite’s “longest titled” post here. Now I’m adding one more sentence to my post  (Check out Henry’s latest letter from Amsterdam here.) so that I could retitle this post as “Darwin, Lincoln, Presidents Day, and Henry Hudson” and eclipse bowsprite’s title word-length.  

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Bowsprite’s Tugkiss post recalled one I did some months back on full frontal …  here.   This recollection made me return to archives for other imagined kisses, like the one below of Davis Sea and Janice Ann at the Tug Race 2007, a likely pair, whose kiss entertains humans on the pier as well as a single commercial gecko on the billboard beyond Davis.


And then unlikely pairs happen, like Cornell‘s hoary rostrum giving the tiny BTU moments of anticipation, amusing a similarly lopsided set of observers..


Even official vessels can lose all self-consciousness during moments of abandon.


At Tug Race 2008 when Teri Lou looks for some stress-relieving kissing, you might imagine she’d find the likes of


Ron D. Garner, right?  But


But no . . . objects of our attractions might be quite unexpected.  Who would have thought she’d be drawn to  . . . W. O.?


Bowsprite . . . you might –like a photographer at a Valentine’s Day ball– brush all day creating aquarelles of the stuff that keeps philematologists busy.  Isobel Gloag created one of my favorite painted kisses here, top left.

This just in:  Henry’s sent his latest update from Amsterdam.  Check it here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp;  Ron D. Garner was foto’d eastbound on KVK this week.

Because I just noticed that my last pic on Nov 20 2008 is mis-identified as Danielle,  I would like to make amends.  So enjoy this batch of bonafide Danielle M. fotos.


10,000 horsepower!


150′ by 44′ by 23.  Anyone know airdraft?


Built in 1997 at Halter Moss Point, Louisiana, of course.   That’s Linda Moran meeting Danielle M in the KVK.


Danielle M has  brawn, focus, simplicity–features that attract me


in women, too.  Hey, it’s Valentine’s weekend.  Happy.

All fotos taken in November 2008 by Will Van Dorp.

Question:  Can anyone recall ever seeing a Smit tug in or around the sixth boro?  I’ve known the name for a long time in part because of a cousin who worked for them, although as an accountant.  Smit Kamara is SeaBart’s vessel, that’s Bart of the uglyships site, a really subjective concept he has lots of fun with.  Let’s do a walk-around of Kamara while going off on some tangents.


Smit Kamara‘s habitat is the North Sea.  See this remarkable video of storm travel on a North Sea Smit tug.  The foto below shows the “offshore access system,” designed to get people from ship to unmanned oil platforms.


Smit’s history doesn’t go back near so far as Henry Hudson, but it’s quite old nevertheless.  1842 and started by a man named Fop.


Vitals on Smit Kamara:  loa 230′ x 52′ x 22′ and 2460 Kw x 2, i.e., just shy of 6600 hp, built in Singapore.  It was named here three years ago.   Technically, Smit Kamara is an AHTS, Anchor Handling Tug & Supplyship.  She has a winch.  Her sister ships are Smit Komodo and the Smit Nicobar, working in Egypt and Sakhalin, respectively.

As a gesture of ownership, someone saw fit equip the flagstaff with an aftermarket  bowsprite, er, figurehead . . . er . . . figureduckie . . . enlarged in the circle.


So, to return to my question:  has anyone spotted a Smit tug anywhere recently in a port along the western Atlantic?  Does the Donjon-Smit collaboration ever bring Smit vessels this side of the Atlantic?

All fotos compliments of SeaBart aka ZeeBart.

Take his uglyship poll here.

or “relief crew,” I suppose.  First, thanks to two of my “taggees” the other day for being good sports.  I tagged Seabart the other day, but he gave a host of excuses reasons–like being out on the North Sea at the moment–and sent me this pic of icebreaker Fennica to post on his behalf.


Explanation in Bart’s words:  “… action picture of the icebreaker Fennica … next to the K14-FB platform in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.”  (It turns out Fennica is Finnish and larger than she seems on this foto:  loa 377′  x 82′ x 42′ and almost 27,000 hp. Here’s a Finnish site on Fennica.   Also, it turns out that five countries have divvied up North Sea petroleum exploration much as more locally fishermen have areas for weirs, beds, and pots. )

Bart continues: “We [Kamara*] had to be at the platform as well to discharge some cargo and we had to do quit a battle to get in a position so the crane could reach us, wind and current quite strong that day. In the end I had to ask her to move out a bit as the bows of both vessels were coming particularly close but also her thrust was causing me more problems……and after we moved out I had the captain circle the platform so I could get a few nice shots of her.”

Bart, thanks for rising to the occasion.  Bonnie, see what you started?

*More Bart and his vessel Kamara from the North Sea soon.

The other day while consuming what bowsprite calls “VHF prose,” I heard a minimal report:  “Jane . . . bound for sea.”


Jane . . .”  It’s certainly clearer than “IMO   9269702.”


Watch Jane pass by Howland Hook bound for points south on the Arthur Kill.


To get a sense of Jane‘s size, that’s the red shirt of a crewman bent over just aft of the starboard midships ladder.


See the size of the pin at waterline.


Not that Jane is the largest tug calling in the boro; she has a larger sibling, for example.  Some vitals:  built in Lockport, LA at the Bollinger yard in 2003,  124′ x 38 x 22.  6000+ horsepower sipping from a 150,000 gallon fuel supply.  All the vitals . . . like namesake . . . here.


Jane . . . bound for sea” sounds so modest.  And come to think about it, one of the first words I learned to read . . . “Jane” as in “Run, Jane, Run.”

More on Jane A. Bouchard‘s big sister (whom I recently slighted…sorry!) soon.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

A friend many years ago called me an “obscurantist,” and I guess that since I couldn’t tell if he meant it as an insult or compliment, the obscurantist was him.  But I can tease with only glimmers of my meaning or a truth, so I’ll be blunt:

I’m a morning baby;  at 5:30 am  I turned 57!  Here‘s what I posted  two years ago.  Today I do all my routines at home and work;   most folks I chat with along the way don’t even know it’s the very beginning of my 58th year, but I’m fine with that.  Even people that know it’s that milestone for me have their own routines, obligations, and deadlines.  A crewman on Aegean Sea or any other vessel heads out even if it’s his birthday or that of one of his loved ones.


Someone on that Bouchard unit off the Battery might just have to swing on the hook no matter that it’s one of those days.  He probably has other ideas, wishes for the day:  so do I although my long list contains only a few items.


Yet as one of my favorite songs puts it,  . . . “there are planes to catch and bills to pay . . .


Thanks to Mike Lesser for catching this shot of an unidentified tug heading north past Ossining.  Birthdays remind me of motion, of how time is running out.  And that makes me hate to waste  time, urges me to have those experiences now.

When my Dutch celebrate a birthday, he or she who has the milestone buys the drinks. Since drinks don’t travel so well through the worldwideweb, here’s an alternative, suggested by frogma.  She “tagged” me a week ago here.  And her rules say, go to the 4th folder in your archives and choose the 4th foto.  Comment on it.  Then “tag” four fellow bloggers and ask they do the same.  Email me if you’re confused with those directions.  Here’s my foto.


I took the foto of John A. Caddell in Newtown Creek, the legendary stream that divides Queens from Brooklyn.  The trip–September 2007– engrossed me . . . and I mean that like it sounds.  I was fascinated and repulsed.  Wikipedia has great info, a foto of Caddell, and fantastic external links.

And I hereby tag the following four waterbloggers:  my dear bowsprite, my southwestcoast friend mage,   the peripetetic captain  ken e. beck, and my new irreverent friend zeebart of uglyships.  More from zeebart soon.

So, no postponing  my friends, no putting off in anything.  Thank you all for reading this blog and responding in all the ways you do.  And now I’m off in search of the next adventures.

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February 2009
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