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When I headed out this morning, blues as I had written about them here a quarter year ago had no place in my consciousness but tell me this:  were my eyes malfunctioning or is this not the most disarming set of blues ever painted onto a ship?  These blues set off Laura K. Moran‘s pure beet red.  And, as if that were not enough, a second

blue ship, different hue,  came along too, tailed by Margaret Moran.

Minerva tankers are typically black with the owl logo, unlike Minerva Joanna.   That’s Patapsco in the distance.

Aegir (436′ x 64′) is junior as container ships go, but check out the top of her load.

In from Sweden, maybe that’s where Joanna grew her disarming blues,

It’s a Caterpillar D6R.  Do we import these now?

Those blues really set off the colors and angles on Laura K.

Doesn’t Richmond Terrace here seem tropical?

What outatowner would imagine the shore off to the left of the foto lies within the confines of New York City?   Catch the Staten Island end of the Bayonne Bridge (my logo) off to the right side of the foto.

Is that port of registry this St. John’s?  Or this one?  Notice the confabulation on the stern portside?

Partner tug to Laura K. is Miriam, of course.  Oh, and it’s Tzoanna.

All fotos taken by Will Van Dorp, who was in a very good mood, in case you wonder.  Click here for squidoo’s thoughts on associations with the color blue, green red, orange . . .

Check out NYC:The Blog here.

See what Rotterdammer Fred Vloo and I have in common here, as pointed out by Rick “Old Salt.”  Thanks, Rick.

Earth . . .  crushed rocky pieces of it . . . and

fire . . . at least its most widespread  fuel  . . .  move through the sixth boro all hours of day and night.  Franklin Reinauer approaches as Evening Mist distances.  Both earth and fire are essential

not only in the hinterland but also

in the metropolis to build and run.  Robert IV pushes the scow above.

How much aggregate comes from upriver, I’m not sure, but I’ve seen rafts of it float down at all hours  of day and night.

Petroleum has been refined in this area since the 1840s along Newtown Creek and since 1875 in Bayonne, then at Prentice Oil.  Ellen S. Bouchard leaves the Buttermilk.

Rock seems to head every which way, here Captain Zeke pushes through the Buttermilk into the East River.

Here Evening Tide spins Barge No. 262 into a berth along the Red Hook waterfront.  Now, identifying those buildings . . . starting from the tall ships at South Street Seaport at lower left:  Verizon Building; Conde Nast (41, with antenna);  Met Life (42)  with Bank of America Tower (4)  right behind it; Empire State building, of course; Met Life Tower (106);  New York Life, with elongated gold pyramid; Con Edison Building.  I’m not sure what the green-pyramid-tipped building behind the Con Ed Building is .  Also, notice schooner Pioneer in the lower right corner of the foto.   The numbers in parentheses denote rank among tallest buildings in the US.

A water train of aggregate pushes past the ventilator for the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

Charles D. McAllister assists Evening Tide get the barge into the berth.  In the background are the Manhattan-side Tower of Brooklyn Bridge; Chrysler Building (6); Citigroup Center (22); and (just behind Evening Tide’s upper wheelhouse) Trump World Tower.

Aegean Sea pushes empty rock scows past 1 New York Plaza, Manhattan’s southernmost skyscraper aka gratte-ciel.  The ferry terminals (at water level, left and right) have boats leaving for Staten Island and less frequently for Governors Island.

Patriot Service, port of registry New Orleans, pushes a light barge, most likely toward one of the refineries in the Kills.

Which brings us to the elephant in the elevator, so to speak, the ongoing issuing of liquid mineral in the Gulf of Mexico.  Lincoln Sea, below, is pushing DBL 140, so-named because its capacity is 140,000 barrels. Current estimates of the spill daily flow rate range from 5000 to 70,000 barrels; i.e., one of these barges full every two days for the top end of this range.  It may be hard to judge the dimensions of DBL 140:  504′ loa x 78′ x 37.’

Brooklyn has its own lingering spill under  Newtown Creek:  over 500,000 barrels of petroleum products.  See an article from today’s Times here.

Read Oil-Electric’s post on MV Joe Griffin‘s cargo  here.  Keep in mind that a common feature among all the buildings identified in this post is the inability to open their windows or (easily) do a walk-up.  One implication is that all of them are air-conditioned, i.e., unbearable and practically unscalable without electricity.

Thinking about the spill got me to reread Lisa Margonelli’s Oil on the Brain today: some stats from her book include … about 7000 fuel tanker truck accidents since 2000 leaving 49 people dead and (from the National Academy of Science, 2002) “drivers and (recreational) boaters spill more oil every year than the Exxon Valdez (11 million gallons);  leaking oil from cars and trucks and two-stroke engines adds nearly 19 million gallons to waterways and the sea every year.”  I presume that means in the US.

All fotos taken this week by Will Van Dorp.

Related but belated:  YouTube turns five years old today.  YouTube makes possible footage like this one of the worst ever offshore drilling accident, 1988, Piper Alpha, North Sea.

Niz C. Gisclair, (2003, 66′ loa) an infrequent visitor to the sixth boro, last appeared here in this blog in 2007.  Some buildings to identify:  one with greenish pyramid cap just to the left of the Statue  has the pretentious name of One Worldwide Plaza and the towers to the left of that is the Times Warner Center.

Marquette Transportation Company Offshore uses Jacques Marquette in a canoe as a stack logo.    Note the knotted rope ladder manrope aka monkey line for egress from the wheelhouse.  (Jed–thanks fer the correction.)

Similarly, I don’t recall seeing Colleen McAllister, solo, here in a long time.

Here Colleen meets Gramma Lee T. Moran, about to back down Rigel.

Dorothy J, ex-Angela M, 1982, about the same loa as Niz C,

shows off the Henry Marine logo.

Falcon heads up the East River.  More East River architecture tomorrow, once I figure out some the lesser-known buildings.

Ross Sea in morning honeyed 7 am light heads for an assist.

Stephanie Dann wrestles with a scow in a 25 mph cross wind.

Sassafras hangs off the bulkhead at Howland Hook.

Virtual twins . . . Elk River brings bunker barge beside Zim Moskva with assist from Sassafras after

Sassafras is mystified by the runabout aka runaround.

Shannon Dann heads into the Arthur Kill to hang off the “dock” in Elizabeth until

the next job.  I like the clean white  winch.

All fotos this week by Will Van Dorp.

Small working craft serve a host of  functions, as observed in the fotos below.  I witnessed an interesting gesture involving the New Jersey State Police below, which gave me great respect for the trooper at the helm.  You’ll have to scroll through to the bottom to learn what happened, though.

OK, so this is probably not a work boat today, but deep down inside its skin it’s still a 1929 Coast Guard self-righting lifeboat, and I’d see its function as raising the spirit of its owner . . . it would surely raise mine if I were galloping about on clear days in it.

But so many other functions are played by small craft in a harbor like the sixth boro that sees almost constant traffic of nearly 1000-footers.  Clean-ups,

miscellaneous services,

surveying aka reading the invisible contours of  the old river’ thoughts,   (In foreground is SSG-577 aka Growler, hardly deterring the approach of an unidentified but intrepid orange survey boat that has appeared on this blog previously.)

rescue and small-boat towing,

and more clean-ups,

and more surveying,



assisting in dock construction as platforms and –very important–catcher of dropped tools.

That’s it for now.  So, the story of the State Trooper.    While I watched NYK Rigel getting backed out to sea on Thursday, I saw this small RIB boat racing northbound on the Arthur Kill, not an unusual sight.  Inexplicably (to me) the trooper throttled back.  I had seen a speck in the water just at that moment, but it was too small to make out.  After a quarter minite or so, the trooper throttled back up and disappeared into Newark Bay.  As the speck approached my position, I began to distinguish two Canada geese, swimming quite slowly toward me.  Then, there was something between the two.  There it was . . . two goose parents with two goslings, the tiniest Canadas I have ever seen.  I know that not everyone is thrilled by Canadas or any other goose or duck proliferation, but my hat goes off to the trooper for spotting them and making to effort to not swamp the young’uns.  There should be an sixth boro version of Make Way for the Ducklings,  in which all manner of shipping from small craft to tankers to tugboats can put the deadlines aside to  . . .  make way.

I’ll leave it to you to wonder whether I got too much sun yesterday.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Related:  Scroll this joan sol’s post here and watch the video on trying to capsize a well-designed and constructed small craft.

Very general backstory:  NYK Rigel (965′ x 105′ and 4800 teu) entered service in Spring 2009.  See fotos of engine. Named for a star in Orion’s foot in Western conceptualization but equally fascinating cultural significance (رجل الجبار,参宿七,Yerrerdet-kurrk)  among star-watchers of other cultures and our own.

I first saw NYK Rigel on my way to work Thursday.  The foto above taken around 7 am;  I then turned around and took the foto below (That’s Irish Sea pushing DBL 103 with Ross Sea as assist;  MSC Carla [I believe] headed for sea in the way background.)  looking in the general direction of the sun.

Two minutes later, Irish Sea passes, disturbing the calm reflections.  NYK Rigel had arrived in port around dusk Wednesday, having left Shanghai about a month earlier.

By the time I return to my vantage point on Howland Hook around 3 pm for break, tons has happened (literally), the chaplain’s red van of the Seafarers & International House has just left, and Gramma Lee T. Moran drops off the pilot.  This can mean only one thing.

Catherine Turecamo is the other half of the backing-down team.

When the “all clear” sounds, Gramma Lee T. muscles the stern away from the dock, azimuth thrusters sending water

racing in the opposite


I realize how lucky I am to spend my break time here today, seeing this

departure with the cliffs of Manhattan in the way background.  Backing down (or out) is a must here since Rigel is too long to turn around until just off Bergen Point, where she did in fact spin counterclockwise on her way out to sea.

Catherine works the bow as

needed.  It’s just another day’s

work for some;  the best place to take a break for me.

And as I drove along the Belt Parkway headed home five hours later, NYK Rigel was headed outbound (for Norfolk, I think)  just south of the Verrazano Bridge.  I decided not to stop for fotos.  End of my infinitesimally short story.   Some other perspectives I’d love to hear relate to the pilot, the tug crews, the chaplain, NYK Rigel‘s crew,  pilot boat crew, the families of all those folks . . .   along the esplanade.

Hope you enjoy the fotos ( by Will Van Dorp) as much as I enjoyed my two stops yesterday.  Work went well too.

About a year ago, I also documented a “backing down” here.

Oh . . . yes I know Alice was in town, but she’s playing so hard to get that I feel discouraged.

No matter that Padre Island might be the sixth boro’s version of Sisyphus . .  . or an enormous vacuum cleaner/wet vac, no matter . . . I’m always happy to see the trailing suction hopper dredge (TSHD), especially up close.   The northeast corner of Staten Island looks remarkable uninhabited, an illusion to be sure.

I guess this is the front dischange head.  See a video of this attachments to this head used for “rainbowing” here.  (Correction/crossout made here thanks to SeaBart.)

Here Padre Island heads out toward the Verrazano Narrows.  I’ve wondered sometimes whether it uses its sonic eyes to make the “bottom of the harbor” equivalent of crop circles in the fluff.

Not the best foto, but the black structure is a drag head, attached to

the suction pipe, like arm and hand.  See a trove of dredge images here.

Pipes and heads are stowed here, up and out of the way, as Padre Island travels to the area needing

to be carved or aspirated.  I get dizzy thinking of all the potential jokes here, like “This job/boat sucks.”

As she passed by this week, I was surprised how much noise came from her 3000 hp propulsion.  And how speedy she was.   Was there ever sail-powered dredging?  What artifacts get sucked up and dumped during the dredging process?  I know progress calls, but what stuff otherwise treasured gets missed?  What fauna gets sucked up?  Was Oliver Evans‘ steamer Oruktor Amphibolos,  “Amphibious Digger,” really the beginning of dredging?

All fotos Will Van Dorp.

Many thanks to Matt of Soundbounder for the heads up and to Lori of Jarvis House and Garden for use of these fotos.  As of this post time Wednesday, LV-112 Nantucket has just seen its first sunrise in Boston after languishing for eight years in Oyster Bay, hoping there to become a museum but facing the ever-approaching scrapper.  Leaving the dock, she escapes  the scrapyard fate this past Monday morning,

ready to dance with a tug named

Lynx of Constellation Maritime.  Here’s the specs on Lynx.  I wrote about a nimble Constellation boat sans propellers here.

Arrival in Boston was 3 pm Tuesday.

Here are some fascinating lightship links, starting with this one featuring dramatic art of LV-117 Nantucket rammed by RMS Olympic on May 15, 1934.  Scroll all the way through and you’ll see info on LV-112 including that it spent 1942–1945 painted gray and patrolling off Maine.  Also, an address is given there if you wish to contribute to the preservation effort.   Amesbury, MA . . . my favorite waters, the Pow Wow River flows through Amesbury!

Here’s a story from today’s Boston Globe.

Here are some tugster links:  WLV-612, 18 Lightships, and my own confusion.  And of course . . . winter/summer solstice and  my summer hangout . . . Frying Pan, rendered here in this exquisite drawing by  . . . bowsprite!

Thanks again, Lori and Matt.

Basic foto blog today:  Miss Gill against the salt dock with Jose Stream …er … across the stream.  As of this morning, Stream is headed for  . . . Gulf of Mexico.

Patapsco in notch with Elk River having just given an assist.

Robert IV pushes a Hughes barge with a Vergona crane.

Check out the yellow truckable tug on the barge?  I don’t know that one.

A last shot of the small yellow tug with Curtis Reinauer (house up) in the background.

American Legion films us (my screen test?) as we pass;  Timothy L. Reinauer in the background.

OSG Vision is still in the boro;  compare freeboard at stern with three people in the small orange boat.  Also, that Thomas J. Brown pushing past with stone.

Another shot of OSG Vision, and

yet another, this one showing Volunteer (air draft 114′) again.  I’m positioned here closer to Volunteer.

Crushed stone in the foreground and the scrap piles of Clermont in the background (Jersey City), where Marillion (ex-World Trader I).

loads.  I wonder if there are any cut-up tugs on those scrap piles.  Has Privateer been located?

And all this is just two hours or so of my meanderings around the tiny bits of the sixth boro.

All fotos by will Van Dorp.

Rain kept me from taking the ferry the morning of the crash.  If I had, I’m not sure I’d have been on the one that left Whitehall at 9, but I could have been.  My wishes for speedy and complete healing to those hurt.  That’s Andrew J. Barberi left and (I believe) Spirit of America right.

Some surprises came out of the incident and this NYTimes article Sunday morning:  Barberi has a Voith-Schneider propulsion system!    I did two posts about a tug named Orion with this “egg-beater” drive here and here back in 2008.   When I hunted deeper, I found that four other ferries have the same propulsion:  Molinari, Newhouse, Noble, and Austen!  Click links for their namesakes;  start with Austen and work back.

Looking still farther, I learned that Barberi was not the original name for the boat.  Aldo Moro was.  Do you remember his fame and fate? What’s not clear is when the switch in names was made.

I’ve wanted to use this quote a long time . .  I guess today works:  “The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes, in seeing the universe with the eyes of another, of hundreds of others, in seeing the hundreds of universes that each of them sees.”  Marcel Proust said that.  I’m working on new eyes every day;  prop wash that I see each time this passenger approaches the ferry dock never suggested Voith-Schneider drives to me.  Who knew?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Recently I’ve read parts of Marc Levinson’s The Box:  How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Richer.  The book tells as much about shipping and more specifically the port of New York as it does about McLean’s box.   McClean aka “father of containerization,” started toward the box in 1934 when he bought a used pickup truck to ship tobacco products.  Read about his trajectory as shipping visionary in the link above.

In 1934 only the gray stone (I believe it’s 20 Exchange Place)  building (behind and just to the left of the white cupola) making up this skyline as seen from off Battery Park City existed.  On the waterfront were piers and more piers.  Danish vessel Adriatic ID, rather than sailing past Manhattan, would likely have docked there.    From Levinson, “the city’s piers–283 of them at mid century with 98 of them able to handle ocean-going vessels–were strung out along the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts.”  Bowsprite has a foto (third image down) of all these piers in this post.

ROROs like Fedora didn’t exist before World War 2, but if they had, Bayonne would not have been where they docked.

Similarly, the piers and docks of Red Hook Brooklyn were strewn with easily-pilfered break bulk cargo:  cases, casks, cartons, bags, boxes of all sizes, bundles, packages, pieces, drums, cans, barrels, vehicles, crates, transporters, reels, coils, piles, and the kitchen sink.  The containers offloaded from Maas Trader may in fact “package” all those things and more, only the number of dock workers and the time they work would be exponentially different from pre-World War 2.

South African vessel Safmarine Oranje would not have turned westward here toward Port Elizabeth or Howland Hook;  it wasn’t until 1955 that the Robert Meyner, then governor of New Jersey,  and the Port Authority (established in 1921) signed a deal to transformed a marsh into the container port Port Elizabeth is today.

More history later . . . but today, the arrival and departure of “long trainloads” contained within 1000′ loa vessels is commonplace, OOCL  Oakland arriving and

APL Japan, departing.

Hong Kong bulk carrier Great Majesty anchors in

the Upper Bay along Sunset Park just off the Brooklyn Army Terminal and in the watchful eye of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Before leaving town, few mariners ever set foot on dry land.    IGA heads for sea under the bridge that wasn’t there until 1964.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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May 2010
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