You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2011.

Stories about parties here made this my primary destination for the recon.  Binghamton is the sole survivor of six identical “double-ender” steam ferries built in Newport News, although by cursory external examination, I’d say calling her a survivor at this point is an exaggeration.

Binghamton arrived in a sixth boro at a time when 150 or so similar ferries served these waters!    How many crossings carrying how many passengers would she have seen between 1905 and 1967?   How many livelihoods?   Her passenger capacity was 986!

Plus vehicles.  In the early years that would be horses, too.

Anyone can share fotos inside in the heyday of the restaurant?  How do I get permission to get fotos of her interior today?  It seems tragic for her to crumble into the river like

these docks slightly to the north, which come

with their own engine parts depot.    Maybe this is a remnant of the disappeared shad fishery of Edgewater.  Here are names of some of the last shad fishermen.  By the way, in the foto above, that’s the Way Upper West Side across the water.

From Edgewater Marina, I followed Thomas Witte and Cheyenne southbound,

past the Crab House, past these barges

of yore,

and past this pier housing with storage for cars beneath.  Now if I lived here, I’d surely buy and amphicar . . . and maybe equip it like an alligator tug . . . and if 10,000 other residents of the sixth boro shoreline had similar equipment . . .   I pause in contemplation.

So ends the recon report.  I need to get up here again soon and then continue my tramp up to the north of the GW Bridge, where tropical

birds like these inhabit the trees.  Who knows what else I might find there?  I’m not in the commercial blogging business, but I do intend to check out Cafe Archetypus.  Anyone recommend it?

All fotos and any errors here by Will Van Dorp.

Note:  the interactive map (first image in Loose Ends 1) can get you to this area: just head north along the river.  Binghamton can clearly be seen, although on the map, the crane barge is not alongside.

For some historical fotos of the area of my recent tramp, click here for railyards, banana piers, pier houses, the “bridge that never was” thank you very much, 1950s cars awaiting a ship for export, crashed ferry stabilized by a tugboat,  old style planting poles for shad nets, and you can sift through here to find more nuggets.

Continuing my effort to see the sixth boro from every imaginable angle, I recently walked Hudson River Waterfront Walkway between Port Imperial and Edgemont Marina.  This post covers the first portion of the walk.  Follow on the interactive map below; click on the map/satellite view to make it live .  If you’re from outatown, that’s Manhattan to the lower right . . . specifically the 59th Street Sanitation Pier.    But it’s the view from the Jersey side I focus on here.

This set of fotos represents a starting point for me, evidence of a reconnoitre.  What is now rows upon rows of “luxury condos,” was at one time sets upon sets of rail infrastructure.

Below is the crumbling pier directly south of Son Cubano NJ.  Ironically, not more than a mile south of here were the Seatrain Lines docks with service via Seatrain New York and Seatrain Havana between  . . . New York and Havana.

This is the view of the pier “east” of Son Cubano.  Notice it, like most of them now, is a loose end, a pier from and too nowhere.   Now they are reminders, and should be treasured as such, although I know they will not be here 10 years from now.   Click here (bottom of post) for the quote from Rebecca Solnit . . . on ruins as memories . ..  or clues to seek out missed memories.

The piers are alive . . . although not with shipping or commerce.  Notice the Manhattan passenger terminal on the other side.

Who knows what vessels last cast lines off from these cleats and bollards?    Anyone have a sense of where a trove of fotos showing these docks used can be found?

This loose end is off Buffalo Court, but what town looks upon this?    West New York?  Guttenberg?  Will Port Imperial become a town?

More pilings reminding us that  a different life was led here 50 and 100 years ago on the Jersey side of the sixth boro across from and slightly south of Soldiers’ and  Sailors’ Monument and Riverside Church.  In the far distance, the tug is Bohemia;  Kristy Ann is the nearer one.

The serviceable pier Kristy Ann Reinauer passes here covers a pipeline.  For what . . . I don’t know.  Remember, this post just conveys what I saw on the recon walk.

When the area was developed, vessels in the water became starting points for fill.  What cargoes did this barge carry and along what routes?

I googled “bulls ferry” and “jacobs ferry” hoping to learn what vessel is depicted.  Find out what I got by clicking here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Coming soon . . . the journey into Edgewater, where Joseph Mitchell more than half a century ago studied the shad fishermen.   Any errors of fact . . . they’re mine.

Detroit . . .  it’s international and freshwater, although a number (anyone KNOW that number?) of saltwater vessels pass through for such still-distant “ocean ports” as Chicago and Duluth.

Vessels in the race below are, l to r . . . Sheila Kaye, Josephine, Elmer Dean, J. M. Westcott II, and Sindbad.  By the way, J. M. Westcott II could also go by the “floating zip code” of  48222.   I’d love to see a floating post office take part in NYC’s 2011 tugboat race . . . you mean the “sixth boro” does not have its own zipcode??  I wonder if the Terreform ONE folks anticipate a zipcode in their visions?   Then again, will the USPS even exist in 2050 or 2111?  Anyhow, more Westcott pics soon.

Again, Sheila Kaye, Josephine,  Elmer Dean, and Marvin O.

Sindbad was the overall winner in the race from the Ambassador Bridge

to the Dieppe Gardens. If the info in this article is correct, Sindbad was built in 1925 in Buffalo, but  I haven’t corroborated that.  It’s not on the Buffalo DryDock site.

Elmer Dean . . . pretty . . . can anyone confirm that it was built in 1998?

An international race implies vessels from more than one country.   You might not have suspected that Josephine began life as Wambrau, 1956, in Den Helder.  In 1987 she became Sea Driver II, out of the VOC city of  Enkhuizen, and at some point after that, became the Toledo, OH Josephine.

I’d wager Josephine is the only Toledo tug powered by Werkspoor.  Here’s an English language site on the company.


galley, and

after portion of the house.  The engine room must be light and airy with this many port holes in a hatch over the engine

All fotos come thanks to Jan van der Doe, frequent commenter who watched the race from the Ontario side.  Thanks, Jan.

And I’m supposing that some of these tugs may have passed through the sixth boro at some point in their careers.

Here was H & D 6.

Thanks to Stuart, Harold, and “Ann O’Numess”  for identifying the Kosnac tug steaming past Riker’s in Carlito’s Way.  Here’s a foto I took three years ago, and below I took of Dorothy Elizabeth (1951)  in Tottenville a month ago.  Might she really already be slivers of scrap?

Hercules (1963), sibling of Maverick and others, awaits her emigration with

the return of Blue Marlin.  Note Alert (1976) in the lower left.

Matthew Tibbetts (1966) was high and

dry on Saturday.

With unusually high exhaust, that’s Marlin (1974)  on left and Penn No. 6 (1970)  beside her.   No one has yet told me how designers decide to run such long exhausts v. equally serviceable short ones.  Sea Raven is another high-exhaust vessel.

Click here to see Kathleen Turecamo in its element, not where it stood last weekend.

Barents Sea (right) and Na Hoku  . . . I wonder how long they’ve spent tied up here.  I recall feeling excited when I first spotted Barents (1976) more than three years back, and Na Hoku (1981) used to work the California-Hawaii run, but I can tell you when she last floated on Pacific water.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who DOES reduce foto resolution before posting them here.

aka Bowsprite . . .  and kudos for seeing and helping us see with your pen and brush and bamboo sticks, rendering all manner of floating things . . . some that

roar, some that sink and

and rise and sink and rise or open and shut and open and  . . .  ;

others that swivel and heave and sway.

They’re all treasure maps to me . . . and now KUDOS to you for passing your first 100,000 hits!  It’s not about the numbers, but the number do affirm the appreciation.

The harbor . . . the sixth boro has enough nuggets like this on Coursen and Minue (doubleclick enlarges both this “digital ark” image and all my images here)  for the next 100,000 and then the  next hundred thousand 100,000s of posts after that from your sketchbook.

In the next week or so . . . Macys and Grucchi may be feting your accomplishment . . . .

If you LOVE Bowsprite, drop her a line . . .  on second thought . . .  belay that–because she might just cleat it.    If you LOVE Bowsprite, write her.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Slightly related . . . check out this fabulous new installment of Pat Folan fotos, including one of COW, a “new” tugboat in the harbor.

Unrelated but interesting from today’s NYTimes:  road art of Pakistan .  .  . but this truck decoration custom suffuses many other countries as well.

But first, see this fabulous set of Flickr fotos of Cangarda, which by now must have passed through the sixth boro . . .

and  . .  from Old Salt Rick, let’s remember today is International Day of the Seafarer.

The waters aka the sixth boro provide the best vantage perpective on many aspects of New York:  the bridges, the architecture, the skyline, even shoreline traffic congestion.  In this shot, Margaret Moran (1979) steams southbound beyond the GW and its red lighthouse as it approaches the Upper West Side.  Dominating the scene for many seafarers, the Empire State Building (ESB), the city’s premiere landmark, señal numero uno,  for the better part of a century.  Anyone know what a premiere Moran vessel assist tug was in  1931 when the ESB was built?  Did you realize the ESB drawings were generated in just two weeks because it had a prototype . . . the Reynolds  Building in Winston-Salem, NC?  (Doubleclick enlarges.)  Some part of the ESB appears in every foto here except the last one, which I didn’t take.

With never-retired Patty Nolan (1931!! same vintage as the ESB) westbound on the East River in the foreground, the background shows the towers of LaGuardia Airport to the left and

ESB immediately to the right of the house.  If you’re wondering why this rear view of Patty, well, she has not yet received her new bikini and–in the interest of tugster’s temporary prudishness, I couldn’t possibly reveal her nudity.  For bikini donations, please email me.

Adirondack  II (1999) scuds along while sails get trimmed.

Miss Yvette (1975)–now fully red–heads eastbound on the East River.

A. J. Meerwald‘s schedule shows them in Bivalve, NJ, two days ago, but I’d identify them as northeast bound entering Long Island Sound, leaving a gray smudge of ESB way behind.

Blue Marlin is 13 days out, as of this posting;  her image will stick in my brain until she returns.  Here the loading that seemed endless about three weeks back.

Dawn foto taken just south of Miller’s yard  captures night lights still blazing on Manhattan.

Leaving Chelsea Piers southbound, it’s replica vessel Manhattan.

Another foto of Dominican cocoa being unloading from Black Seal.  For an excellent set of fotos of the entire project, click here for an inimitable Flickr set.

To round this post out, let’s back to Margaret Moran, making her way south along the Upper West Side.

All fotos taken in the past month by Will Van Dorp.

This “foto” is a capture from Carlito’s Way, the 1993 De Palma film.  This Kosnac tug passes in the background as the Sean Penn character leaves the prison barge Vernon C. Bain.  Can anyone identify the tugboat?


GB15 was here.

About the foto below, I love  surprising discoveries like this:  Rikers Island has a launch, Officer Guy Hudson.  I wonder if the launch has ever figured in searches for escaping Rikers’ inmates.  Click here for foto and video tour of Rikers.*

Below foto taken last weekend, Kojima has made the sixth boro an “annual” stop the past two summer solstices!  I also spotted them here in early summer a few years back, too.  Suppose they come for the mermaid parade?

Thanks to Captain Zizes for this foto of the Bravest, the most recent FDNY Marine unit, commissioned less than a month ago on May 26.  Info thanks to Harold Tartell.

Another shot of EPA Bold arriving through the Narrows a few weeks back.  I love the small boat on a trailer on starboard side.  Bold was docked at Riverbank State Park–the park over the sewage treatment plant!!–less than two weeks ago.

Lower Stapleton (?) serves as homeport for this fleet of speedy USCG vessels . . . just north of the Narrows.

Yesterday’s post featured a Robert Allan tug in Italy; here’s Fire Fighter II,  the latest Robert Allan-designed fireboat in the sixth boro.

Special trash skimmer DEP Shearwater . . .  I’d love to hear more about it, and is Jamaica Bay still around also?

I believe this is an NYS Environmental Conservation vessel over by SUNY Maritime;  Wednesday it was having a hard time dragging some docks . ..  horsepower YES but torque NO.

Foto #3 thanks to Captain Zizes.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelateds:  Has no one gotten a foto of Cangarda in the past 36 hours?  Does the unique vessel only steam Captain Nemo-style under concealment of night?

And the NYTimes CityBlogs had this article recently . . . a story about the tug Petersburg;  a foto of a certain deckhand handling Petersburg lines appeared here almost two years back on tugster . . . see the last foto.

Finally . ..  if you’re free Sunday night, come to BAM’s short film series for Jessica Edwards’ Tugs.  I think I’ll be there.

*Embedded in the Riker’s Island link is some interesting budget info:  Riker’s recent budget info (?.. ok this takes more sourcing) reveals that it spends $860 million at the correctional facility to “control”  [wikipedia’s term] 14,000 inmates with 7000 corrections officers and an additional 1500 civilians;  less than 20 miles to the southeast, Nassau Community College (NCC)  spends $200 million to serve 22,000 students with 740 fulltime professors number currently in flux)  and  an undetermined (by me) number of parttime professors and administrative folks.  I realize that Rikers has to feed, house, etc. their 14,000 “controlees,” but also added into the equation should be that NCC students depart with skills for upwardly mobile jobs.

Really random . . . starts with this foto thanks to Maureen Cassidy-Geiger.  More of hers to come, fotos of other waters directly accessible FROM the sixth boro of NY and NJ.  This foto of unidentified cruiser and tug was off Livorno, Italia.   Hmmmm . . . maybe we need a new government agency with initials SBNYNJ . . . another place to get permits from and provide studies for . . . hmmm   NAH!!

Here’s a closer up.  Might it be the tug  seen in this youtube?  Here’s an article about some new Robert Allan designed tugs in that port.

Next two fotos from Bill Whateley showing a tug delivering a crane barge off the island of

Spinalonga east of Iraklion, Crete.  Bill usually blogs about the South Devon coast.

Moving into the waters that ARE the sixth boro . . . Elk River and Peter F Gellatly cater to the needs of Carnival Glory at the Manhattan passenger terminal.

McKinley Sea pushes northbound along the Manhattan from the GW, and

–a foto thanks to Captain Zizes–Ross Sea eastbound towards the disused Manhattan banana piers on the East River aka tidal strait, and in roughly the same location,

Beaufort Sea yesterday headed under the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and into the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and

Margaret Moran southbound last week headed southbound after assisting Universal Amsterdam with raw cane crystals for my “unprocessed”  friend “sugar,”  while

a miniscule white ball line (?) tug pushes Islip tug Barbara Ann in the Harlem River recently, and

Atlantic Salvor was tailed by a sailboat when Blue Marlin lingered in pre-load mode.

Thanks to Maureen, Bill, and Justin for some of these fotos.  All others by Will Van Dorp.  If you wish to share what you spot in exotic places–all accessible from the sixth boro because of the miracle of water–I’m happy to post.

Off topic:  last night northbound near Haverstraw Bay, I crossed path with –I believe–southbound steam yacht Cangarda.  Meeting this vessel around midnight in a wide, dark, calm part of the river almost seemed like an encounter in a dream, a pleasant hallucination.   Has anyone spotted her southbound on the Hudson this week?  If so, I’d love to put up your fotos;  grainy fotos I don’t like to use. . . . sorry.  Here’s a TV news report from last week about Cangarda.

With apologies to Johna, here are the pastries, a merman,

a merbike, but no meryak!!  Guess that one will challenge us til next year.

Horns aplenty  (more than in Pamplona Seattle)  feted the solstice, as did

hooks on lures,

harlequins of

many genres,

spiral horned,

orchestrated horns,

harlequins with parasols,

and here . . . beyond the cowboy in blue toga, library maids and masters with a classic edition of Jules Verne . . . .

By the next day, revelry had migrated to Red Hook, where theatrical scenes of fund-raising on behalf of PortSide NewYork took place, involving officers of

someone’s flotilla bearing keys to the city.  By the way, if you can make it to the Community Board 1 meeting TONIGHT by 6 pm, I’ll see you there.  Important! 

And someone commented . .  asking what this mermaidographer looked like, click here and go to #9;  thanks for these to Claudia Hehr.

Cheers.  Summer is here . . . and I may tomorrow be agallivantin . . .

Meanwhile, if anyone got good pics of the librarian mermaid/mermen contingent . . .  please share?

aka  . .  pastries pasties and paint, starting with the self-described  “naked cowgirl.”







put up






See you at south Brooklyn aka Isle of Coney next year.

Happy summertime.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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

Join 1,567 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.


June 2011