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I owe Paul Strubeck for these fotos;  he endured the 2 a.m. cold at Crum Elbow to get them.  Kristin Poling you’ve seen here many times before.

I manipulated the fotos, squeezing out some of the darkness, enhancing the little light in the original.  The stem bitt in the lower right belongs to tug Cornell, attempting to get Kristin Poling unstuck from the ice.  What does this look like to you . . . other than the obvious ship stuck in chunk ice?

I get competing thoughts and associations:  like a submarine scene from a Jules Vernesque sci-fi movie, or

a vessel trapped in polar ice.  No disrespect for the family or vessel name . . . but “poling” could be a verb referring to exploration of the top and bottom parts of the planet . . . as in “Peary left the sixth boro in the summer of ’08 aboard Roosevelt, headed north to go poling. . . .”   My eyes could easily be convinced that the venerable Kristin P here is “poling.”

Imagine this stretch of the river six months forward or backwards.  A deck in that location could be an idyllic spot to stretch out, enjoy summer heat, watch stars, and think of love or whatever you wish; a fit swimmer could slip into the water and drift or make for shore.  However,

in January like this, the Hudson seems as inhospitable as the poles.  Frederick Cook, Peary’s physician in the 1891-2 “north poling” expedition and later a challenger to Peary’s claim to have reached the North Pole first, said this about being in the frozen north:  “We were the only pulsating creatures in a dead world of ice.”   I can imagine the crews of Kristin Poling and Cornell thinking that . . .  at least they and the reliable engines in the vessels.

Cook was a founder member of NYC’s Explorers Club.

Again, many thanks to Paul Strubeck for the fotos, which you may have seen in different format on Paul’s facebook page.

Question:  PT 109, where is it today and what was its life span?  Answer below.

At my last count, Kingston, NY was home to four World War II PT boats.  In milder weather than today, PT 728 travels the river with passengers;  the occasion for  this foto, taken in November 2009, was the arrival in the sixth boro of USS NewYork.  PT 728 was built in Annapolis, but others were built in New Orleans and in the sixth boro’s own Bayonne, NJ.

A few days ago I stumbled onto video 1 of 3 of ELCO manufacturing in Bayonne.  Enjoy it here. More manufacturing here.   This clip shows a group of PT boats heading up the Hudson and traversing locks in the Erie and Welland Canals;  great short brief glimpses of locking and of at least one 1945 tug, passenger vessel, and commercial shipping in the Welland Canal.    Finally, here’s a brief report on a New Orleans-built PT boat restoration project.

Thanks to Ken’s comment, I went in search of info on the most famous of PT boats, the 109, associated with the president who was sworn in exactly half century ago yesterday.  PT 109 was an ELCO, launched into Newark Bay on June 20, 1942 and fitted out at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  Anyone have any fotos?

Answer:  1200′ below the surface in the Solomon Islands.  Its service life was barely one year, sinking on August 2, 1943.

Foto above by Will Van Dorp, who needs to get more PT boat fotos.

You can’t hang around the water much and not see birds, and some populations that migrate in and out with the season.  I was snapping a foto in the distance when I heard the telltale sound of my favorite paparazza, catching me in flagrante delicto.

But please, I said, I just wanted a foto of Lyman (I think), which seems to be pursued by a marine Quonset hut.  And no, I was not feeding the birds.  Ever wonder why so many gulls have black-tipped wings?  Read the native  myth of a conflict between Raven and Gulls here… scroll through a bit.

What is the life span of a gull?

Are gulls male and female easily distinguishable?  Answers here.

This merganser came up empty billed, and

flew away.

I don’t feed these either, but someone must.  I parked and immediately a passenger boarded as I went to see the Princess,

Princess K, that is.  I don’t recall seeing many cranes of this design.

A year ago I posted frontal and profile views of the old Nautico restaurant in Seaford, Delaware;  this time I checked out the stern.  And if there were ever osprey in that nest atop the mast,

the osprey were nowhere around earlier this month when a pigeon conference took place.

And I’ve yet to get the smell of vulture breath out of my imagination.  I took this foto in Georgia, but I see turkey vultures sometimes glide over the KVK, but

prefer to admire them from a distance.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, except that first one.

If you click here and are familiar with some of the changes on the NYC waterfront, you’ll know some of these landmarks are gone.  Debate on choices of what to save and what to preserve are endless.  Recognize the vessel below?  What was its past and will be its future?

The vessel above and the one below live about 20 miles from Hell Gate.  Christeen, below, was built as an oyster sloop in 1883.  Click here and here for video of Christeen under sail today.

Here’s a summary of Christeen‘s features.  Click here for a quick timeline of  150+ years of water history of Oyster Bay, NY.  Of course, Oyster Bay launched many tugboats during the half century of Jakobson‘s tenure there.   Scan the list for boats that have appeared on this blog, (Cornell, Margot, Houma, Maryland, Escort, Consort …) too numerous to link to now, but you can use the search window to see them.  Jakobson’s even built a small submarine, X-1.  Jakobson’s yard is now gone without many traces.

The vessel in the top foto is Ida May as she currently looks, but

she once looked like this.

This is a down-at-the-heels queen whose future

hangs in the balance.  More info is available through the

Waterfront Center.

What prompted this post is an article in the NYTimes this morning about Pier D, near 64th Street.  If you’ve never seen it,

you won’t.  It’s gone.  See the article here.  I took this foto less than three months ago.

All fotos by will Van Dorp.

Apologies for forgetting to link the half-hour video on Charles Hankins building a Sea Bright skiff until someone asked yesterday, so here I attach it again, really.  It’s REALLY there.  I really enjoyed watching it, really.

So surprises on the creek in Belford . . .  what yellow house protrudes above the second shack from the left?  Dwelling for a moment on this foto, if I climbed a 50′ platform and fotoed in the same direction, I’d get the Narrows and the Verrazano Bridge . . . about a dozen miles away . . . in the center of the foto.

It’s Coastline Girls, bigger sibling to Coastline Kidd, shown doing bridge work in Narragansett Bay in the fifth foto down here.   Forward of Girls (1943, ex-Ruby, Ruby M, Beverly) is the stern section of Mary Beth (1954, ex-Fort Edisto).

If you have time for only one link today, check this one showing Coastline Girls pushing an immortal Egyptian diety around the sixth boro!!  How COULD I have missed this?  Maybe I should gallivant a smidgeon less.

Right around the corner up the creek is contracting equipment like this dredge on the marine railway;  painted in the same color, this

truckable tug (foto by Andy Willner a year or so back).

Continuing around the bend in the Creek, who knew?!  Another pilot boat fleet, Interport Pilots, federal pilots since 1959.  I’d love to see a foto of their first pilot boat named Carp.

Belford Seafood Coop dominates the Creek, though, and crabbing seems to be the seasonal catch.  Notice the rake on the side of Alexa J.

Behind the fingers

of the rake is a net.

Last foto here . . . boys having fun like I used to . . . icebreaking on kayaks with cylindrical baitfish traps strapped onto the after deck.  But despite wearing PFDs, they appeared NOT to be wearing drysuits or even wetsuits.  It made me shiver . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Many thanks to Andy Willner for the tour.  I’m wondering whether the restaurant at the Seafood Coop is still open.

Three more surprises from the Raritan Bayshore of New Jersey:

Aeromarine.  Great “flappers” on flying boats in sixth foto down here. . . with many fascinating period shots in between.  Is it possible that not a single aeromarine aircraft remains extant?

Matawan Creek, the original “Jaws” events in July 1916.

Sayreville, October 4, 1918 . . . bigger than Black Tom, July 30, 1916.  In Sayreville, “the explosion destroyed enough ammunition to supply the western front for six months”

To follow on posts earlier this month featuring fishing vessels in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, I offer a vessel that operates in New Jersey and New York, right in the sixth boro in fact.  Miss Callie is less than 60′ loa and more than 30 years old.  Here a bit more than a week ago, she worked just off Ellis Island, and

in January 2010, Miss Callie last season just off Bayonne’s MOT.  How would you  imagine her homeport?

Less than 15 miles from the Narrows, Miss Callie and

a whole other fleet

reside on the

mostly hidden

banks of Comptons Creek, which flows into Raritan Bay.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who thinks you’ll enjoy spending a half hour to watch this short video on building a Sea Bright skiff.  More great accents, too, esp. starting about 15 minutes in, along with interesting references to post-Volstead Act activities.   Here’s an article about another Jersey shore boat builder.

More surprises tomorrow.

Look like Atlantic Salvor . ..  or if you remember Barents Sea, like her?  Well, the middle vessel, Mister Darby, now goes as Atlantic Salvor.  And Mister Pete (launched from Halter Moss Point in March 1976 for Portland Tugs) operates as Barents Sea.  Mister Darby came off the ways in February 1977 at Halter Marine, along with a litter of similar vessels for Tidewater Marine, like  Mister Jean, Mister Andre, Mister Charlie, Raleigh Ann, … and the list goes on.   Thanks to Duncan Merritt for this foto.  Can anyone place the year?

Fairly new in the sixth boro is Lucinda Smith, 1975, ex-

Delta Trooper, Sound Eagle, and Sea Hawk.

Passing each other today in the KVK, Franklin (1984) and Zachery Reinauer (1971, ex-Tioga).

Here St Andrews (1978, ex-Melissa L.) gets a dock assist from

Captain Dann (1973), moved into

the berth just vacated by HMS Liberty (1978, ex-James William, Shirley Joy, and Douglas B. Mackie).

Extreme stern and below . . . it’s Bering Sea (1975, ex-Stacy Moran and Cougar).

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Here is a past foto of the vessels formerly known as Mister Darby and Mister Pete.  Is it true that Barents has returned to the east coast of the US?

Three years ago and a day exactly, I did a point-by-point comparison among QE2, QM, and QV.   I attempt something similar here.  I’ll throw out some names too, which wil be identified by the end of the post.  First set of names:  Olsen, McNaught, and Wells.  Know ’em?

The foto above and the one below . . . the bows of the two most recent Queens seem … identical?

Their cleavage . . . at least that which cleaves the waters .  . .

however, is not equally exposed.  And it appears the bulb of QV, below, has gotten mottled in her several years communion with the seas.  I trust the yellow color is a metal coating . . .

Portside frontal profiles, including the “balls” forward of the stack cluster, seem

quite the same also.

A close look at the bulb and loadlines shows that, for whatever the reason, QV  is about 40 centimeters

higher in the water than QE.  Notice the ice glazing on both.

With QE in the background, here is one of the four props of one of the vessels that has come up in a lot of conversations about the Queens, the mothballed SS United States, which used to deliver 240,000 hp to its wheels.

Bunkering QV here is Harley’s St Andrews, I believe.  While we’re talking about saints, here are two more names relating to these vesels:  Saint Nazaire and Marghera.

Thursday after noon up to an hour before QM2 started to move upriver in search of her calves, this unidentified Vane boat was bunkering her in Red Hook.  Anyone know which Vane tug stands by here with the bunker barge?

Here’s another shot of the Brooklyn passenger terminal, showing (from left to right) Mary Whalen, a Watertaxi vessel, and an unidentified Reinauer tug and barge unit (anyone know which?) directly in front of the Vane boat and QM2.

By the way, can anyone help me out with the name of the green-gabled skyscraper in the right portion of the background?

Two hours later, here’s a shot of (far to near) QM2 and QV, showing their stepped stern decks.  Some numbers:  3056–1253, 2250–1253, and 2092–992.  These numbers are maximum passenger capacity to crew size 0n QM2, QV, and QE, respectively.  If you want the best passenger-to-crew ratio, it appears, then take QV.

In contrast to the two slightly older Queens, QE has a fuller, boxier stern . . .  hence, the slightly larger passenger capacity on QE relative to QV, which both came into existence in Marghera, a “suburb” of Venice.  QM2 was constructed in Saint Nazaire, on the  west coast of France.

Finally, that first set of names (Olsen, McNaught, and Wells), these are the Masters of the three Queens.  Inger Klein Olsen is from the Faroe Islands and Cunard’s first female captain.  McNaught is from Glasgow and son of a marine engineer.  Wells worked on Shell tankers and became second officer on QE2 before becoming master of QM2.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

See my previous Queens posts here and  here for the 2008 three-vessel event,  and here and here for first arrivals of QV and QM2.  Last night, the newest Queen vessel departed the sixth boro for the first time escorted by QV and QM2.  Tomorrow’s post will feature some daylight shots of all three, including MS Queen Elizabeth.

The following few shots capture brief moments of the festivities last night.  Lined up here from farthest to nearest are QM2, QV, and QE.  Fireworks finale

was complete

by 7:30.

Most moving for me transpired an hour before as QM2 departed Brooklyn and came upriver to meet the two newer vessels as they headed south from the Manhattan passenger terminal.  Her horn, low pitched and determined, sounded a call like that of a bovine calling its calf to steady its legs and follow.

As QM2 rotated between the Battery and the Morris Canal, Laura K Moran stood by, but

I couldn’t tell if contact actually happened.

Margaret Moran (I think) also stood by, although I didn’t notice her until

after the rotation.

343 spouted water.

As I said, by 7:30 the three vessels began to cruise toward the Narrows.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to Lee and Jordan for hosting an extraordinary meeting of the Ship Lore, featuring no lesser an authority on ship design than Rick Old Salt as speaker.

More Queens tomorrow.

Practitioners of the culinary magic called “nouvelle cuisine”  have created the “amuse-bouche,” some mini-morsel intended by the chef to surprise and … well, amuse you.  Back when I lived in francophone Africa and spoke only French in all the moods and situations of my life, I learned the crasser word “amuse-gueule”   (gueule being snout v. bouche being a human mouth).

Today’s short post offers a visual version:  amusement for the eye (yeux) and brain . . . .  Remember doubleclick enlarges.

Exhibit 1: Atlantic Salvor delivering many tons of snow to the far north.  Barges of snow for Buffalo, maybe; backhaul is what bowsprite would call it.  On the other hand, if it’s downbound, maybe it’s harvested Hudson River ice traveling southward like they used to do.

Exhibit 2:   And taken the same week, might this be the set for the new Spiderman musical?   Think of all the injuries possible if actors were swinging from the gantries over the harbor.  Has a play ever been staged in the auto section of the ferries?  Hmm . . . someone should try it.

Top foto comes thanks to Dock Shuter, who contributed fotos once before here.  The bottom foto is by Will Van Dorp, who’s out seeing how cold he can get today and needs a little fire on this icy day.

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