You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.

This is an exercise in non-random fotos with word associations and any additional required info.  So, here, left to right move Margaret Moran, Admiral’s Launch, and Big Toot (the bright red one).  Big Toot?  Big anything?  Over-compensation.  Unconvincingly so.

Penn No. 4 foreground and USS New Jersey background.  If I’d snapped the foto a second earlier, there might be the illusion of the world’s first tug with six Mark 7 guns.   Signaling devices?    This foto is dedicated to she who’s drawn to such shades of gray.

Foto thanks to Allen Baker.  Atlantic Coast and McCormack Boys, Thanksgiving Day 2009.  Dredging:  unstuffing the belly of the harbor, doing the orukter.

Tasman Sea.  I love the eye at the waterline.

Amy C. McAllister.  I was going to say “tireless” but change that to indefatigable.

Buchanan 1 passing Coho.  Rusty and gray.

A slightly different shot of Grouper (ex-steamer tug Green Bay (see youtube clip below), still for sale. Patience and

fortitude.  According to Jeff’s comment, one of her captains is still alive and getting better at driving tugs at the young age of 89.  Could you have him write a comment or at least send along a foto of the unflagging captain, please.

All fotos but Allen’s by Will Van Dorp.

The funnel . . . forward on William Francis Gibbs‘ ship, you know,

SS United States.  Check this youtube for clips of her departing NYC and passing beneath the  unfinished Verrazano Narrows Bridge.   Now if Bart  sees the foto above, he may think the funnels are attached to the blue structure with square windows and hasten to add the shot to uglyships. Here’s a youtube suggesting why it’s in Philly and another showing her dock in NYC in 1955.

The paint is flaking pretty bad.  Anyone know if tours (even of the dock right alongside) are EVER arranged?  One more clip, with great NYC docking scenes.  And when might her fate be announced?  Read here.

The clue on the device below, a little closer-cropped than yesterday, can be found at the 8 o’clock position.  “Emerge”

does it mean top speed, to emerge?  It’s one of many displays built into SS-319, Becuna.  Check here for wiki entry.  Honestly, although Henschel Corp still exists not far from Amesbury, my old stomping and rowing ground, I don’t know the name of the device shown.  (Actually, “motor order telegraph repeater.”  See Les’ comment at left. ) If you check no link here but one, check this one for a dory shop still building ’em after plus-200 years.

BB-62, built in Philly and retired to Camden with a full life in between.

Seen from above, the hull reminds me of a kayak.  Severn passes with load.

Provenance, more recently, for these clunkers was the bottom of the harbor.  They were brought up around Thanksgiving by a dredging team.  It makes me wonder . . . how did they get there?  what might be preserved inside?  Thanks for this foto to Allen Baker –who has provided a recent “ship-trip-tease” foto.

From yesterday’s post:  #5 mermaids come from a mural aboard Moshulu (ex-Kurt), a former steel cargo barque.  By the way, “moshulu” means “dreadnought” in Seneca.    Moshulu was once owned by Heinz Schliewen, who also owned some of the P-liners, so ably illustrated by “you-know-who-of-the-cliff.”  Moshulu is one of five surviving Clyde-built barques, four if Falls of Clyde goes.

#6 turns out to be T-AFS Saturn (ex-RFA Stromness), a decommissioned combat stores vessel berthed for now at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  A future participant in target practice?  By the way, next time I get to Philly, I’m doing a Navy Yard tour.

And some old business below:  my brother’s garbage-can turkey.  Thanks to Les for catching an omission:  do NOT use a galvanized can.  Aluminum is better.  My brother had told me that too.  Thanks, Les.

All fotos but Allen’s by Will Van Dorp, who is back on the bank of the sixth boro.  Quick question:  The Delaware River flows between Camden and Philly.  Where are the headwaters of the Delaware?  Answer tomorrow.

This is the first post in the fourth year of the blog, and I’m not telling much about the fotos.  Tomorrow I’ll identify what I can. The onliest clue I’ll give is this:  all fotos have been taken since November 26 sunrise, and all fotos but one were by tugster.  Tomorrow I’ll identify the other photographer.

1. Which ship?

2.  Which ship?

3.  Which ship lies beyond Vane Brothers Severn?

4.  What provenance?

5. Aboard which ship?

6.  I actually do not know the name of this vessel or the significance of its colors.  Maybe someone does?

All photos, WVD.

Once upon a time, tugs and local workboats festooned themselves in lights, but Grinches at the Coast Guard put a stop to that, and the harbor is now dark during the December holidays.  What do you think about something with colorful lights for mariners – a harbor equivalent of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a tradition that began in 1931 when a group of construction workers building Rockefeller Center decided to put up a tree for themselves?

I propose that the port of New York have some point of focus the way New England towns have a lobster pot Christmas tree.  Gloucester and Rockland are currently engaged in a competition about their respective trees, see here and brace yourself for Yankee humor on this blog.  This is about lights, not religion.  It’s about sharing festivity with mariners who enter and depart by water without setting foot off the ship.

What does New York have?  Containers . . .  that’s one idea.  Imagine a dozen empty containers stacked as a pyramid in a prominent location in southeast Bayonne and lit in non-navigation-related lights.

But it doesn’t have to be containers.  Oyster reefs?  Subway cars about to be reefed?  Use the “other” option if there’s an idea you think feasible.  Please share your thought by weighing in on my first-ever Tugster poll (below),    or

put a comment on       or   email me.

Assembly of containers is owed to Bowsprite and the magic of her art.  Special thanks.

Unrelated:  Here’s another water-related holiday tradition, Flying Santa of the coast of Maine, memory-jog thanks to MonkeyFist of CBBB, Casco Bay Boaters Blog.

Credit for this foto connundrum goes to Joel Milton, whose site Towmasters has long been on my blogroll.  Same for the next two.  I notice the same fotos appear on gCaptain.  Thanks to Joel, the sun and UASC Shwaikh for lining up and

channeling something!  I’m stunned.

As large as the Staten Island ferry is, it looks tiny beside Shwaikh, which itself would  seem small beside the likes of Emma Maersk.  These fotos illustrate collaboration, one of the joys of this blog;  Joel passed these shots in the sixth boro onto to me, and I share them.

A gull swooped in  while I lined up this shot of Marie J. Turecamo (ex-Traveller, 1968).  I like what serendipity added as  Marie J. headed eastbound for

following Laura K. on its next assignment, passing MSC Turchia, an interesting name . . . the Italian spelling for Turkey, which

seems just right somehow, three days before Black Friday.  That’s Margaret Moran (1979) assisting.

To paraphrase a saying formerly overused, this is the last post in this run;  in a few days I’ll write the first post in the rest of the life of this blog.

Last three fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Happy Thanksgiving all.  And thanks for reading the blog.

After thought completely related:  As I drove  away from the KVK yesterday, I hit a traffic jam right in front of the municipal buildings & courthouses on Richmond Terrace:  crowds were carrying frozen turkeys away from an open trailer parked there.  And this made me want to mention my all-time favorite turkey experience:  garbage can turkey.  Check it out here.

No matter what the posts are this week, the backdrop is that around this time  three years ago I started this blog.  Now nine hundred fiftysomething (!)  posts later, the greatest gratification for me is the  sense of community I’ve gotten from my work.  I feel it!  Thanks to all who’ve read, commented, contributed info and/or fotos, and lurked.  If you’ve only read and lurked, great although I’d love to hear from you too.

Recent traffic has been heavy on Grouper, a 1914 tug that languishes upstate along the part of the Erie Canal where I grew up.  Click here for the details.  Anyone need a project for a mere $26,000?  I took the pic of Grouper in early November 2009, less than three weeks ago.

Fire Fighter, to date FDNY’s unit with the greatest gpm output,  cuts an impressive profile as she cruises Gravesend Bay.

LORO Baltic Mercur has an intriguing silhouette.

An unidentified tanker disappears out the Ambrose, way beyond the bow of barge Charleston.

Uh . .  Brendan (3900 hp), who are you trying to kid?  You’re no stand-in for Pati R, (5100 hp), at least from a “see-over” perspective even with your telescoping house.

And what you do NOT see in the offing of the sixth boro, large fishing vessels like this one, a midwater trawler like Challenger.  This foto was taken off the east end of Cape Ann.

A front page story in today’s NYTimes links Challenger and Brendan Turecamo, in a manner of speaking:  a guy catching a 157-pound bluefin from a kayak that weighs less than 30 pounds,  human-powered although it had to be registered as a motor vessel for him to get a tuna license,  Check it out; tuna have impressive bollard pull.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s a herring song to hold you over til my fishing post:   version a and version b.  I prefer b.

Note:  Although I like assembling/looking at a random set of fotos, I’m aware that each one tells at least one good story . . .  only problem is that I don’t know the story, the very one that in fact I should.  These common unknowns overlay the pictures with a sense of mystery.  Maybe seeking the mysterious and exotic is why I keep doing this blog.  Of course I also do it because it completes me.

It’s  been a year and a half since I’ve used this title, but how could I not jump at the chance to post Dock’s fotos here of Clearwater on its “portable shipyard,” in this case barge Black Diamond, here mated to Cornell.  Clearwater sometimes exits its element for maintenance.

Come spring, Clearwater will again cleave the Hudson.  I wonder when Bowsprite will generate Clearwater magic in her sketchbook . . .?  She has fotos, and I know a sloop’s not a schooner, mais . . .

Some  continue to sail, like this sloop in Gravesend Bay Sunday, taking Maersk Michigan‘s stern.

And here are two sailing hulls undergoing major work in Gloucester:  left to right, they would be Eleanor and Beaver, “replicas” of two of four Tea Party ships.  Can you name the other tea ships and the year of said party?

Eleanor (ex-Vincie N), a Gloucester fishing vessel built in 1936, seems to have undergone a major face-lift and . . . er . .  butt-lift.  Click here for a shot of Vincie N pre-conversion, and here for the story of the dragger’s fishing history.

Click here for info on that tea party.  The other two vessels were Dartmouth and William.

Top two fotos by Dock Shuter; others by Will Van Dorp.

All week this week Tugster mentions the blog started three years ago!  Three candlepower!

Back home in the sixth boro!  I would have liked to stay longer in New England, wanted to see much more of the places around the Merrimack where  I spent almost 15 years, but . . . nose away from the perfumes of fish and brine, eyes away from of  beautiful colors of the salt marsh and onto the bright hues and hieroglyphics of large ships’ hull.  (Hmm . . . has Bowsprite been doodling art shapes on this hull?)

Here my new language is familiar, like . . . uh .  .

well . . . Amy C McAllister to starboard escorting

(exactly . .  it was on the tip of my tongue) Sealand Michigan out to sea while

Marjorie B. McAllister shadows to port.

Sealand Michigan, full frontally resembles a seabird, not unlike

the one that glides alongbehind as she passes Romer Shoal Light.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Two unrelated notes:  I have many more fotos from the Trip to Gloucester and beyond to post in days to come.

Sealand . . . besides being the name of the original container company established in 1960 by Malcolm McClean, also just happens to be the name of a micro-nation in the North Sea.  See here and here.

And, if you need an antidote to the blues, go see the movie called Pirate Radio. Here’s a trailer with some good upbeat music.  There once was a Dutch pirate radio on Veronica here and another on Silvretta here.  And many many more.

I thought to call this “Endless Blogger,” as a take-off on one of my favorite movies Endless Summer;  in a perfect world, we’d just cross the Piscataqua into Maine, following that long coastline downeast, then cross the St. Croix into New Brunswick, and see sights and meet folks . . . until some day the sixth boro came back into view, but . . . there are bills to pay and tasks that cannot be avoided .  I want to focus on these boats because I’ve not yet posted specifically on boats doing science.  R/V John M. Kingsbury shuttles between Portsmouth and the Shoals Marine Lab on the Isles of Shoals.

Farther downriver are located Gulf Challenger and Coastal Surveyor, vessels of the UNH Marine Sciences program.  The “gulf” alluded to is the Gulf of Maine.  See archives of their publication Saltwater News here.

And that’s it, a short post.  More science boats when I locate them.  Bowsprite seems to have a better knack of finding ones like Thomas Jefferson, which led me to catch it here.

Here’s my very short video of New Hampshire surfers, endlessly riding waves.  You catch a short glimpse of Isles of Shoals in the background.  Click here for more November surfing in New Hampshire.  And here . .  Cape Ann surfing.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

The Piscataqua is mighty . .  in its current despite its 12-mile length.  I know from kayaking experience how swift the currents flow as they shuttle between the Gulf of Maine and Great Bay, once a place of gundalows bearing loads of salt hay.  If you open no links but one in this post, make it this one on salt marsh hay just north of Cape Ann.  Today the Piscataqua still carries cargo, from and to all watery areas of the planet.  And to ensure that shipping happens without incident, a small fleet

of Moran tugs stands by:  Carly A. Turecamo, Mary M. Coppedge, and Eugenie Moran.

Anyone notice what Carly has in common with, among others, the sixth boro’s Ellen McAllister?

Training wheels . . .  aka bucket fenders; I call them armor.

Currently offloading at the Granite State Minerals‘ salt pier:  Bosphorus Queen (Click on video to see her approach the pier) .

Salt, I had not imagined it could look

so much

like sand.

We wanted to go taste it, but DHS kept us out.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Attempt at humor:  what might be an appropriate name for a lightship?  Phosphorus Queen.

Research question:  Many municipalities, neighborhoods, and homes mark holidays in the dark season December with lights in prominent places.   What–if any–sense of these non-navigation lights decorate the sixth boro?  Other harbors?  What might be a positive addition?  I’m not talking religion.  I’m just fishing for ideas here.   Check out what Gloucester and Rockland (ME) do here.

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

Join 1,564 other subscribers
If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Documentary "Graves of Arthur Kill" is AVAILABLE again here.Click here to buy now!

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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


November 2009