You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2011.

Thanks to Fairlane and Ben for pointing out an example of “you travel far away to find what you left behind”  :  shipbuilders in southern New England labored to create vessels like Cayo Largo (2008) , below and here (fotos 6 and 7).  In fact, Cayo Largo displays front-and-center on the Blount Boats Shipyard site here.

The same Blount workers built Isla Grande (1976)  and Cayo Norte (1995) , and if you want graphic evidence, look at this shot of Cross Sound’s  Caribbean Ferry (1972) that despite its name never left New England, I don’t think.  They built Isleno in 2004.  (third foto down) and La Princesa (2009) (fotos 2 and 3).

As you enjoy these “walk-around” shots of Isla Grande, some of you

might consider her applicability for short sea shipping on

the Hudson, if not elsewhere as well.

Other Blount boats already depicted on tugster include the following:

Twin Tube (1952)

Bergen Point and Vulcan III (ex-Bethtug I and Bethtug III, respectively.  1958)

Scotty Sky (1960)

Miss New Jersey (1991) and bunches of other Circle Line boats.

Mister T (2001)

Labrador Sea (2002)

I’m sure I’ve missed some Blount boats that I’ve seen.  The one I’d really like to know the disposition of . . . is Kasai (1960) and built for the rivers of the Congo, where I worked from 1973 until 1975.  Anyone know?  Here’s a story of a ferry disaster on the Kasai River just a few years back.

Unrelated:  I’ve looked high and low for fotos of Asso 22, the tugboat seized yesterday off Libya.  See story here, with fotos, of course, of politicians.


Back in the sixth boro USA.  My best “tug” foto comes at the end of this post.  I loved Puerto Rico!  But there were disappointments:  instead of this sportfisherman passing the “devil’s sentry box,”, I’d hope to catch Pilot

and a different Princesa

heading into San Juan harbor, but . . .  enjoy these.

And what I thought was the Crowley dock is, as Les pointed out, the Sea Star pier.  See Sea Star’s El Faro (seventh foto down) from tugster exactly a year ago here.

Being out of my element and not wanting to lose my camera, I snapped these through fences:  Don Alfredo and Sabre Spirit.

Don Alfredo (2003) works for Harbor Bunkering Corp, but i’ve been unable to find any info on

Sabre Spirit.  I know there’s another vessel (yellow trim) beyond Sabre Spirit.

Again, through the fences . . . Megolly Hawk of Black Hawk Shipping.

And that fifth foto down (unidentified schooner) got clearly identified at Pier 4 . . . as Harvey Gamage, a floating high school.

Over toward La Aduana, the pink Customs House (which I did NOT study closely enough) is the Coast Guard pier, and (from right to left) the 85′ Reef Shark and 110′ Key Largo and another 110′ cutter behind here.

You saw Amelia here the other day . . .  here’s the Hood River, OR-built vessel  face on.

And some better fotos of Greenport, NY’s Bounty, showing what some crew do

in port.    Compare the 1960 replica with the original in stats here.

Finally, as promised at the start of this post . . . here’s my best San Juan “tug” foto.  When I return to PR, Harold, I know exactly where I need to go to see the McAllister tugs there.

I have more pics I’ll put on Flickr . . . soon, and I’ve added a few links to the posts I did on the road, if you’re interested in going through them again.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who returns to his paying job manana.

ok . . . am going to withdraw the “tugster” filter on content and show some Vieques scenes, like the beach along the Esperanza “malecon” aka “boardwalk” at

sunset, looking toward Monte Pirata, westward.

oceanside view of Cayo Afuerte, off the Esperanza Playa

somewhere along the southern coast where hundreds of eggs from leatherbacks, hawksbill, and green turtles await the full moon while vulnerable to predators of both the mongoose and featherless biped variety.

inland night spot.  note the hanging pans and pots in the window behind the greenery.

munitions bunkers on the west side of the island . . . dozens of clusters like this along labyrinthine roads

serve as storage and hurricane shelters today.  this one was open . . . tugster shows scale.  Note the clutch of fruit bats (black spot) hanging above my left tide to the ceiling.

huge buttress roots on this ancient ceiba tree, said to have greeted

Columbus when he arrived.  Note the scale.

view of BioBay from Monte Santo.  Note Cayos de Tierra and Afuera marking Playa Esperanza.  Swimming at night in BoBay is like swimming in salty green fire.

stilt coming in to land in freshwater pond near the hydroponic project.  i loved the hummingbirds but got no fotos.

inland from Sun Bay.  clearly some water change happened here.  lots of wading herons and egrets in the salt pan.

nature reclaims all, including this 1950s Buick (?) along the road  where

free-range but branded horses roam at will

Most fotos by Will Van Dorp.  The ones where tugster plays “scale talent” taken by Jim Hackett.  Hope that’s spelled right, Jim.

Call this . . . .  waters around Vieques.   Here’s a map.

Punta Mula Light, overlooking Isabel Segunda harbor and the ferry docks.  The harbor is named for Spain’s only female monarch, to date.

fish pier next to the ferry dock

in the waterway between Isabel Segunda and the “mainland” of PR, the cargo ferry Islena .  Of course, I tried to cross on it but was denied.  Vieques’ second town of Esperanza, as seen from one of the peaks (not Monte Pirata)  at the western end of the island, here looking east.  The ilsands from near to far are Cayo de Afuera and Cayo de Tierra.

an unidentified two-masted schooner heads east from Esperanza Wednesday morning seen off Cayo de Tierra

long pier built by the Navy at Rompeolas, on the northwest side of the island looking towards Ceiba

fishing boat anchored off  Rompeola pier looks like it has some Maine influences

more fishing boats off Playa Esperanzaunidentified victim of a hurricane past lies on the west side of Cayo Afuera

Thursday afternoon brought a schooner-rigged catamaran into Esperanza harbor.  Vessel named Heron is

Boothbay, Maine.

Excuse any errors.  Have to post before I lose signal again.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Tugster in the tropics . . .?    Some quick posts.

Bahia de San Juan, looking towards the Crowley yard from old San Juan.  No Crowley equipment, but that’s New Ranger.

Looking east, it’s Bounty and Carnival Victory.

and looking west, it’s ferry Amelia heading across the Bahia.  Love the exhausts.  Amelia came off the ways in Oregon.

Kites aka chiringas get played on the wind over Castillo de San Felipe del Morro.

cargo ferries at the pier in Fajardo

ferry Cayo Largo with

close up of its cargo. Cayo Largo helped out in Haiti in January 2010, with its capacity of 300 tons of cargo and 300 passengers.  Here’s a frontal view, Cayo Largo.

wreck of Karen Elizabeth, looking from Fajardo to Vieques.

Sorry if I made any errors.  Fotos by Will Van Dorp

Imagine you are a diver sent down to inspect bridge foundations, and you discover, lodged against the foundation what appears to be a wreck.  That’s exactly what happened in 2002 below Queen’s Bridge in Rotterdam.

She was raised and investigation determined her to be Amicitia, launched in Zaandam  as Henja in 1941.   She was then sold to owners in Arnhem, renamed Amicitia, confiscated by the Germans, and sunk in Rotterdam in 1943.

She’s now being restored by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Amicitia.

Thanks to Fred Trooster.

for all

these fotos.  i love the fact that flower boxes have a place in a ship preservation yard.

I’ll be back soon.

Hercules . .. built in 1915 in northeast Netherlands province of Groningen, served most of its career in Denmark as Fremad.  In 1978 she returned to the Netherlands and was was renamed as Hercules.  Back in November 2010, she set a record in Schiedam (see map at end of post)  towing 15 vessels,

a tow that measured about a half mile.

They traveled 2.6 miles in 35 minutes.

Here’s a shot somewhere in the middle of that tow of 15 vessels.

I’d love to have heard it.  All fotos compliments of Fred Trooster.

A short post . . . explained below.  If you live in reasonable travel time to the Manhattan boro, consider going to the Magnan Metz Gallery at 521 W 26th St to see Duke Riley‘s show.

Scroll to the end of this post to see references to previous works by Duke Riley.  Below is Acorn, a replica submarine (not in the current exhibit) involved in a 2007 “unauthorized” re-enactment of Bushnell’s Turtle attack on British vessels in the harbor in 1776.

To quote Eleanor Heartney in the introduction to the book accompanying the Magnan Metz show, “As American cities vie to transform their waterfronts into tourist attractions and high-end residential communities, it becomes difficult to remember that historically, the place where the city meets the sea has been the haven of society’s discards and degenerates…  long … fertile ground for tall tales and urban legends.  Duke Riley’s Imagined Histories, illegal performances and dioramic installations tap into that fast disappearing world, blending fact and fancy in a way that reminds us that history is anything but an objective science.”

The huge (say 10′ x 10′) drawing below–a centerpiece for one of the riparian tales–depicts the battle for what’s today called Petty Island (Citgo) Terminal in the Delaware River between Camden and Philadelphia.  Once it was a farm and a “kingdom” of the Laird family.  Now it’s home to a tank farm and container port.  Play this video for a clue to where I’m off to.  A foto of King Ralston Laird’s mural appears in the last foto of the last link in this post.

Riley’s huge works allude to his tattooing work.  They also suggest scrimshaw of another age.  Pynchonian in scope and beautifully Boschian in complexity and grotesqueness.   in I spent at least 15 minutes zeroing in on details in this huge tableau.

The other river tale  relates to the Cuyahoga.

If you live in NYC and think you’ve seen this work before, maybe you have:  it’s a current poster produced by Arts for Transit program.  Bonnie aka frogma wrote about it here.

I will post again when I can.  Meanwhile, get down to 521 West 26th Street.

Submarine foto above comes compliments of  Kitty Joe Sainte-Marie, Duke Riley’s project manager.  Many thanks.

Here’s an article on Duke Riley’s letter to Hugo Chavez, relative to Petty Island.  And scroll all the way through this article for a foto of King Ralston Laird atop one of the Petty Island storage tanks.

Fairplay 21 and crew were lucky this day back in 2009.  It lost power while assisting Lars Maersk into a berth.  It managed to get away.  Fractions of a second elapse between a story to tell and tragedy.

Here’s one of the captains of Fairplay 21, Joop Schaar, assisting a vessel into a berth in Rotterdam recently.  He was not on board in the first foto above.

Here is Fairplay 21 in drydock, Captain Schaar inspecting the hull.

Full frontal.

Lunch.  Fred Trooster, left, has supplied these fotos, giving us a “virtual gallivant,”  if you will.

Another shot of Fairplay 21 in port with a Zhen Hua vessel in the distance.

You may recall that a Fairplay vessel (an identical one) capsized in November 2010 while assisting a Stena ferry into port on a stormy dark late afternoon, resulting in the deaths of captain and engineer.    Here and here are youtubes of this tragedy.

I leave on my own gallivant off the continent  Sunday morning, and although I’ll try to get one more post up tomorrow, there’ll be a few posts appearing while I’m away, compliments of Fred Trooster, resident of Vlaardingen, my father’s hometown.   Dank u veel, Fred.

Mere weeks ago:  pirates attacked a vessel currently in the sixth boro!!!

We non-pirates are out there, on deck barges.

on government boats,

on gangplanks,

behind glass

amid ground tackle,

at the waterline and on bridge wings,

on the landing deck and at the helm,

behind bulwarks, way forward of the bridge,

crossing the threshold into the wheelhouse,

walking on the waters . . . or at least wishing to.

and caught in the act . .  . or just on the rocks looking for a place to sit and sip hot tea.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, except the last one, which comes thanks to Saskia de Rothschild.

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

Join 1,452 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.


March 2011