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A lot has happened here in 10 days, although the fotos here reveal none of it.  The sixth boro has its way of obscuring change, seasonal or otherwise.  I know folks within 10 miles of this waterway who have no power yet and who have tossed to curb-side trash picker-uppers most of their water-befouled furniture, appliances, books, etc.

But along the KVK, Chem Antares (ex-Sichem Unicorn) transfers fluids,  while

Torm Sara waits to do the same.  [Doubleclick enlarges most fotos.]

Kings Point Liberator inspects other vessels along the KVK.  I’d never guessed she had a wooden hull.

Sarah Dann froths eastbound.

My shot is a half second late as splash dissipates from this Ken’s Marine boat.

Note the water color here from  Marie J Turecamo and from

Ellen Bouchard.

Anyone identify this crew boat?

To get a sense of scale on ATB Freeport, note the two crew outside the wheelhouse.

So far, Freeport is the only of the US Shipping Partners 12,000 hp ATBs.  Some years back, I was fortunate to have caught one of their ITBs–Philadelphia– high and dry, here and here.  For an update on Philadelphia‘s current location/status, read Harold’s comment below.  Thanks, much . . . Harold.

Skiff in the foreground seems to be capturing flotsam planks for reuse.

Oh, by the way, four days  from now will be the sixth boro’s 19th annual tugboat race.  See you there?

All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.

Aqua diamonds here means anchored tugs;  only  Miriam Moran is moving.    It’s Sunday morning around 0900.

Now . .  48 hours later the harbor escapes dormancy:  blue is passenger vessels, green is cargo vessels, and red is tankers.

Monday by 1100 APL Sardonyx re-enters a fairly deserted port to complete her transactions;  she had left port Saturday evening before dark . . . as seen in third map here.

Ditto MV Azuma Phoenix;  she was here at GMD Bayonne Friday, went to sea, and returned Monday afternoon.  Foto thanks to John Watson.

Celebrity Summit also entered port on Monday morning . . .  one or two days later than usual.  Did her passengers enjoy a day or two extra as they rode out the storm?  I’d love to hear their stories.  Will the passengers that loaded on Monday lose time on their cruise?

Tuesday morning Maria J pushes a work barge out the east end of the KVK. Is this the crew repainting the VZ Bridge?   That project also needed to be dismantled in the uncertain face of Irene.

All manner of tankers got moved into the docks this morning, like Stealth Haralambos, unusual here that assist is provided by two different companies:  Miriam Moran and McAllister’s Resolute.

One blimp (heading for the US Open Tennis?) moves in from an unusual direction overtop Evening Mist, Barney Turecamo, Austin Reinauer and Stephen-Scott Reinauer.

Box ships come and go, like Zim Shanghai and Camellia as well as tugs Maurania III,  Elk River, and the ones already named.

And all the Tuesday fotos were taken in about a half hour!

Has anyone seen a description of the rebooting of NYC’s transit system in the other five boros?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp except the one credited to John Watson.  and did I miss these, pointed out by Rick Old Salt?

Here was my biggest surprise . . ..  details at end.

I know upstate along the Hudson and in Vermont Irene did her devastation;  ditto in parts of New Jersey.  But this morning along the KVK, scuttlebutt was  . . . Irene who?  What hurricane?  The killside was cleaner at the expense of the water, which carried flotsam out with the ebb.  Straw and sticks floated seaward here, whereas upstate small boats attached to docks might be drifting.   Traffic on the KVK was noticeably eastbound . . . out of protection, like soon after I stopped by . . .  7:58 am Margaret Moran,

8:10, Liberty IV,

8:15  . . . this ubiquitous private boat counters the trend,

8:24 . . . Tasman Sea  and Jane A. Bouchard.    Note how sunny, clear, and calm it is less than 24 hours after  Irene was expected to be her most frenzied here.

8:35 . . . Oyster Creek and Elk River tangoed.

8:40 . . . the rarely-seen-here Liberty II,

8:41 . . . a Moran trio of Gramma Lee T, Turecamo Girls, and James Turecamo,

8:49 . . .HMS Liberty pushes Chabria Sea westbound toward IMTT,

9:07 . . . Susan E. Witte prepares to take the stern of Energy 6508, pushed by Michigan Service,

9:09  . .  NRC Guardian . . .  coming out of the protected waters was the trend this morning.  Meanwhile, I had another item of business here . . . check on my

favorite livestock, the goats of the Narrows.  I hoped Irene’d

not made them seagoats.  I breathed easy when I saw them . . . working to keep the Narrows free

of poison ivy and other itchiness.

But the bad news in the sixth boro is  . .  that R. H. Tugs, one of my favorite eateries, has been sold.  SOLD!  Gone!  What follows?  !@!@??

All fotos this morning by Will Van Dorp.

Quickie here, thanks to AIS and John Watson, who manages to stay aloft in his  . . . would you believe stealthy hot air balloon?  Anyhow, believe that or not, check out this line of vessels between Poughkeepsie southward to West Point . . . as of 0900 hours today.  Note that Bremer Johanna–in the sixth boro since late spring–has retreated up to Hyde Park.

As of 1100 h today Sunday, in the eye of the storm, only Miriam Moran (over in Newark Bay) and some of the Sandy Hook pilot boats moved.

Here’s a shot of Elizabeth McAllister at 1130 hholding onto Horizon Discovery (1968) at the GMD Bayonne yard.

By 1530 Sunday, winds had started to kick back up on the backside of Irene as New Jersey Responder–visible on the second AIS map in yesterday’s post–

motored through the whitecaps on her the way to her station near Perth Amboy.

Notice that I mentioned Miriam Moran earlier in this post, she may have headed up to the Manhattan passenger terminal where–believe it or not–Veendam (pronounced “vain dumb”) withstood Irene’s vagaries . ..  all of them . . . start to finish.  I will try to catch Veendam on her departure tomorrow.

All fotos by John Watson, for whose efforts I am indeed grateful.  The sixth boro–writ large–seems to have weathered this overrated storm well.  More details–I hope–tomorrow.

If you’re not familiar with AIS, click here.  Play with this tracking software.  Remember that not all vessels . . . especially smaller ones . . . use AIS.

Here are screen shots I’ve taken today.  Doubleclick enlarges. In this snapshot from 11 am Saturday, notice the large passenger and cargo vessels like Explorer of the Seas and APL Sardonyx in port here.

By 530 pm, a line of tugs (and likely barges) had  moved up to safer anchorage between the George Washington and the Tappan Zee Bridges.  So had New Jersey Responder.

A line of passenger and cargo vessels had headed for sea by 530 pm.

By 10:30 pm, this set of tugs (and barges) and yachts had moved even farther north . . . between Tappan Zee and Poughkeepsie bridges.

Furthermore, Pioneer, Lettie G. Howard, and W. O. Decker (none of which have AIS) had also moved north from the sixth boro to Kingston.

As I was told 21 years ago in the most precarious time of my life,  good night and good luck to all the vessels .

the serene before Irene.  As of Friday, the USCG Captain of the Port announced the following: “Commercial deep draft vessels greater than 300 gross tons are not authorized to remain in port alongside a pier after 1800 on Saturday, August 27, 2011.   All vessels must be out of Bay Ridge, Stapleton, and Gravesend Bay Anchorage Grounds by 1800 on Saturday, August 27, 2011.  Only one barge per commercial mooring buoy, with a tug in the vicinity, is authorized after 1800 on Saturday, August 27, 2011…”

NYC officials dictated that 300,000 residents of certain low- lying zones evacuate.   Public transportation will cease at noon today, Saturday.  From the morning NYTimes, find these other announcements.  Doubleclick enlarges most.

Lots of folks I spoke with yesterday remembered Gloria’s visit in 1985.  If Irene heads in, our wake could be breadcrumbs for Irene to find the Battery.

Structures that could move yesterday were doing that, like Fox Boys and this construction barge.

Sailboats played nervously in front of the Statue, where hundreds waiting in line . . . but

lots of smaller vessels moved upriver, like Kimberly Poling here pushing barge Edwin A. Poling as

well as Austin Reinauer and RTC 100.

A friend from upriver called last night to say he’d seen at least $300 million worth of luxury yachts heading north, like

the 1958 Black Knight, the Goudy & Stevens yacht featured here three years ago . . . then also running from a storm albeit a thunderstorm that time.

However, some, infirm and not easily moveable,

their lines reinforced,

… is that a terrified face appearing like stigmata on the second porthole from the right, and a grinch-like demon on the one to its left? … will ride it out at the dock.  I hope the “custodians” in the SSSM offices know our eyes are on them as those same eyes are on the vessels left at the dock.

And who will be in the harbor . . . I’m guessing these folks and ones like them–police, Coast Guard, mariners working on the big ferries and certain private commercial vessels …  For frequent updates, read Hawsepiper, Paul the pirate, a scholar who works on an oil barge.  Paul . . . if you could get me keys, I’d move your truck outa Zone A.

Be safe.  I’m staying on high ground inland.

Since I posted here a half month ago about WIX-327 USCG cutter barque Eagle, visiting the sixth boro, I’ve read Capt. Gordon McGowan’s The Skipper & the Eagle, which details the months he spent in 1946, post-war Hamburg, refitting Eagle (his orders were that appropriating Eagle and getting her safely to the US should happen at NO EXPENSE to taxpayers in this country).  If you need a good read, to end the summer, this is it.  McGowan’s success depended on many things, maybe the foremost of which were Eagle‘s seaworthiness and the brotherhood of the sea that bridged the divide between Capt. McGowan of now-christened Eagle and Kapitanleutnant Barthold Schnibbe of ex-Horst Wessel.

A hurricane struck Eagle on the final leg of the journey–between Bermuda and New York.  As Irene approaches, consider these excerpts from McGowan’s book, written about the experience of being in an open bridge, exposed to wind, rain, and wash.

“In the rising seas the swells were beginning to overtake us, each crest coming in from a slightly different angle, and delivering a wallop to the underside of our old-fashioned overhanging counter”  (195). [McGowan added six additional helmsman to the two then on the three linked wheels.]

“Whitecaps had long disappeared nd been replaced by angry streaks gouged on the breast of the waves by the claws of the wind.  Puffs became roaring blasts of wind.  The average velocity rose above fifty knots.  This brought another change.  The streaks on the surface vanished, giving way to clouds of spray as wavetops were sheared off by the wind … The stinging pellets of water fly horizontally downwind” (196).

“The early skirling and piping of the fresh gale through the rigging had risen in volume  and in tone to belowing and shreiking.  The vast sound seemed to fill the world.  Voices of men died away and became inaudible.  Lips moving, neck cords and veins standing out recalled the silent movie days.  Here were faces transmitting thoughts by expression alone.  Here was sound without sound.  It pressed upon eardrums and bodies as a solid thing.  The singleness of this mighty roar brought about a solitude …  The voice of the storm was more than a roar.  There was a sharp tearing sound–the ripping of the fabric of the gates of hell …  The    fore upper and lower tops’ls were the first to go.  One moment they were there; a second later they had vanished.  It seemed incredible that all that remained of the broad spread of sail were these ragged little ribbons” (200).

“I turned to the idea of heaving to.  The ship had begun to dive and wallow like a wounded wild thing.  Each time a wave overtook us I looked apprehensively astern.  As the stern began to lift on the face of a wave, the bowsprit dipped deeper and deeper until it disappeared from sight.  When each crest swept from aft forward, the stern settled deeply upon the back on the wave, and the bowsprit pointed toward the sky” (202).

Sorry . . . you’ll have to read the rest.  Then there’s also Drumm’s book, which I haven’t read.

All fotos taken Friday by Will Van Dorp, who might not post tomorrow.

A South Street Seaport update:  Pioneer and Lettie G. Howard have departed for Kingston.

It was 2330 (11:30PM) when we were called for the Midwatch. USS Tringa (ASR-16)  was enroute Rota, Spain from New London for a regular Med deployment, steaming due East at latitude 32 North on a Standard bell at 13.5 knots. Night watches, unless some particular evolution was taking place, were generally pretty quiet. Frequently, quiet conversations would take place between watch standers, which might not take place during the day. As Navy sailors, our conversation would range from topics touching on our future operating orders, to women, to ports we might visit, to the bars in the ports, back to women and other relevant issues.

I hadn’t yet qualified as OOD yet, so I was standing watches with George, the Tringa’s Warrant Engineering Officer. This watch, the bridge conversation included the legend of the Flying Dutchman. Not long after that, we picked up a visual contact on the horizon. “Combat, Bridge, whaddaya got at about one three zero?” George punched up the Combat Information Center, or CIC on the 21MC squawkbox located at the centerline conning station.

“Bridge, Combat, we got nothin’ Sir. What was that bearing again?” The lilting voice of a sailor from Virginia, and one of our better radar operators, floated back on the 21MC.  “Combat, bridge. We got somethin’ at about one three zero degrees. You sure you got nothin’?” George was not typically long on tact, but he was being remarkably good this night.

“Sorry Sir. We don’t have anything.” The radar operator was being honest, and sounded a bit stressed. A quick look at our own radar repeater on the bridge revealed that there wasn’t anything out there. But there was. On the horizon, growing larger by the minute, was a ghostly white visual contact. As it grew larger, it began to take on the look through the binoculars of a T-2 tanker, running without lights. Worse, the bearing was not changing, although the range was clearly decreasing – a recipe for a collision at sea. There was a slight inconsistency, in that the “angle on the bow” was not “dead on,” but no matter. We couldn’t just explain this one away. By the time the tanker’s bridge features were becoming fully distinguishable with the naked eye, George turned to the portholes to the pilot house.

“Captain to the bridge” he said. Whatever it was out there, it didn’t make sense, and doctrine dictated that when the bridge was in trouble the Captain should be called.

“NOW CAPTAIN TO THE BRIDGE! CAPTAIN TO THE BRIDGE!” At 2:30 AM, a 1MC general public address system call for the Captain on the bridge can be a chilling sound. It means that the ship is steaming into trouble, and that the best mind and the greatest experience is required to make sound decisions to avoid disaster.

To our Captain’s credit, he arrived in the pilothouse, in his underwear, in rapid time. Shortly after he arrived, and just as we were about to explain the unusual visual contact we had with no radar return, the moon broke out from behind the cloud formation which had made it look like the bridge of a tanker.

To his further credit, the Captain thanked us for inviting him to watch the moon rise, commented on what a memorable experience it had been and turned in again. Needless to say, bridge conversation for the remainder of that watch was rather absent.

Foto and story credited to Chris Williams, who served as a reserve officer on two ASRs in 1968 – 71.   Billets included First Lieutenant / Diving and Salvage Officer and Operations Officer.

Here was Relief Crew 13.

Now . . . about Irene, here’s a link with advice for recreational boaters from Adam of Messing Around in Sailboats . . . .

Anyone have thoughts and reflections as Irene approaches?  First priority is staying safe, but if you get any pics of Irene and the water, I’d love to use them.

Note these three hulls, which we’ll call A, B, and C.  The identical arrangement of the “openings” in the bow are two smaller hawses on either side of a larger, more substantial one dead center.  Each also has a sturdy round or octagonal “coaming” with some unusual railing work.    Also, C has a single “davit post.”   In the background of many of the fotos in this post, the toppling wooden house of Ned Moran (see last foto at that link) intrudes.

Here’s a port side frontal view of B and C, and

starboard view of all three.

Here is the square center “island” of B and C.

and a closer -up of the center island of C that also shows the cylindrical stern coaming.  Is that concrete reinforcing aka armoring of the center island?

Here’s looking forward from midships port side of C . . . up toward the curved davit post.    Any ideas on identification?

With many thanks to Jeffrey Schurr, I got pointed in the direction of  The two bottom fotos here by Ed Storey make the case for me.  And that got me here . . . read the second paragraph from the end under the section “surviving LCIs.”  Jeff calls my “exhibit B”  LCI (L) 119, built at Hingham Bethlehem in 1944.  Here a section from the “development” section of that last link:   “The original British design was envisioned as being a “one time use” vessel which would simply ferry the troops across the English Channel, and were considered an expendable vessel. As such, no troop sleeping accommodations were placed in the original design…”    If B is LCI (L) 119 . . . what are A and C?

Wow!  Thanks much, Jeff.  Also, again, much gratitude to James, Ed, and Gary.

. . . not nearly so catchy a mnemonic  as “right red returning,” but it means the same thing.  Thomas J. Brown green left returning,

McCormack Boys green right going,

Kristy Ann Reinauer green port returning,

A nameless Caldwell truckable tug green starboard going,

Miss Gill with scow GPR (green port returning),

NJ State Police GSG,

scow GPR . . .

Miriam GSG,

Atlantic Salvor and scow,

That green 9 in the KVK is a great place to set up fotos, but IMHO, it’s best to stick with “right red returning” as a memory keeper.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Here was Random  . . . August 2010.

Identify this?

And here, pushing barge John Blanche?

An unidentified sloop trails a self-assured looking Susan E.  Witte.

Lots of coordination gets Mangarella into Bayonne GMD, with Amy C, Ellen, and  Resolute;   John P. Brown escorts the door.

Norasia Alya makes its way into Global with help from Resolute and Ellen.

Stolt Bobcat (ex-Golden Legend) heads for sea as

crew snap some fotos of the receding Manhattan skyline, wondering what they didn’t see and who they didn’t meet.

Miriam Moran, indefatigeable  (and clearly “tireless”), sheet over the bow, travels to a paid asignation.   Ventura sails northeast between Robbins Reef and the Lady.

Your caption here for the foto below: ________

Maersk Barry anchors in smooth waters off the construction site that is the Battery.  Click here to see Barry in a turbulent Bay of Biscay.

Stena President transfers fluids at the dock in Bayonne.

Here’s more of that first shot:  Orange Blossom, transporting my favorite drink.    For another juice carrier post, click here.


Finally, about foto #2 above, it’s a first sign perhaps of the Kirby purchase of K-Sea;  tug is push boat Irene Frazier built by Kirby.  Irene will be replacing K-Sea’s Caspian Sea pushing John Blanche.  Many thanks to silverbk for the heads up.  Also thanks to John Watson for fotos of Mangarella and Norasia Alya . ..  and their associate escorts.

All other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

In case you’re wondering, I hope to puzzle more through the ghost ships soon.

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August 2011