You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2011.

Posting every day and trying to maintain a “brand” entails a measure of risk taking that I’ve accepted.    Maybe this will be a new series, one that might even get up to SBS 80, like the Random Tugs series.  So, here’s a different version of a foto I used yesterday.  Doubleclick enlarges.  I think there’s something remarkable about this gunner, and that’s all I’ll say.  Agree?

The links in this series relate in no way to the fotos, but check this out . . . $20 million in silver and other metals–7700 bars of it–somewhere along the bottom of the sixth boro since 1903?  Is this serious?

A grainy documentary foto from the ever-perspicacious bowsprite:  Cornell pushes a barge with a yellow schoolbus around the boro, certainly a remarkable cargo.

Another remarkable story, which I heard some time ago but have not followed up on:  15,000 pieces of munitions fell from USS Bennington into the Narrows in 1954, before the VZ Bridge construction began.  Have they now been removed?

And from the clear-sighted John Watson, here’s a foto of Sgt. Matej Kocak arriving last Monday from Diego Garcia, a remarkable place I’ll probably never visit.

Equally remarkable is this reference to the island of Lokoko on a sign outside the Hurricane Club (SW corner of 26th and Park Avenue) in Manhattan.  By the coordinates, Lokoko must be out there, near Tahiti.  I love imagined histories as well as real fictions and everyday miracles.  I haven’t been inside.  I just stumbled upon this while waiting for a friend the other day.  Read reviews here.

Fotos as credited.

The first two fotos here come compliments of Lou Rosenberg, who probably wondered when I was going to use them.  Sorry, Lou.  Gelberman, named for a former NYACE District Chief of Ops, has appeared here and elsewhere on this blog previously.

Lou took this foto, as well as the one above, in Jamaica BaySea Horse aka WPB-87361 calls Portsmouth, VA home.

Here USACE Hayward churns its way eastbound on the KVK.

A Coast Guard RBM got close and personal last weekend on a breezy Upper Bay.

Sturgeon Bay seems eager for ice-breaking season to begin.

Kittery, ME-based  USCG vessel WMEC-909 Campbell cruises out the harbor a month or so back.

Final foto . .. a new vessel at GMD Bayonne is named for a Medal of Honor recipient, whose itinerant life is described here T-AK  3005 must have arrived within the past week.

Thanks again to Lou Rosenberg for the fotos from Jamaica Bay, a section of the sixth boro that somewhat neglected on this blog.

Other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

… has changed.  When she first arrived in the sixth boro, Kimberly Poling (ex-Jaguar, 1994) looked like this.

She had a 10-year plus history with Mobro, but she looked like this or

this.  But now, look at her

profile and

livery.  I like it.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

A virgin no more . . . Twins, nearer, (2011, 4720 hp) is now in the notch, although I’m not sure any oil has yet flowed in the tanks of RTC 104.  I’m not sure of the ID of the slightly farther Reinauer vessel . . .  Nicole Leigh?  Doubleclick enlarges most.

Marion Moran, 1982, 4610 hp.

Bruce A. McAllister, 1974, 4000 hp.

Nicole Leigh Reinauer, 1999, 7200 hp.

Bohemia, 2007, 4200 hp.

Elizabeth McAllister, 1967, 4000 hp.

Gramma Lee T Moran, 2002, 5100 hp.

Resolute, 1975, 3000 hp.

Viking, 1972, 4300 hp.

Bear, 1958?  But I don’t know the horsepower . . . bear power?  And is this NOT the vessel formerly known as Little Bear, as seen in the sixth foto here?

All fotos in the past week by Will Van Dorp.

Actually this is Kristin 3, counting the mystery vessel post.  Let’s start in the wheelhouse, aka ship’s office, looking to port.  Notice the gauging equipment, sound-activated telephone, all the manuals.

Over on the starboard side below the controls, here’s a closeup of the pushbutton engine order telegraph, which corresponds to

this twin in the engine compartment, the engineer’s station looking forward.  The light down here is provided by portholes above.

Here’s a closeup of the starboard EMD 16-645-E2–if I recall–12-567

I’m guessing that Schoonmaker was a parts/service company?


Looking down/forward from the fiddley at port engine

After getting this foto of Kristin Poling just north of the Tappan Zee in May 2008, I wondered what I’d see through the portholes above the stern, and now

I know it’s a naturally-lit out-of-the-weather access area to the rudder machinery.

Note the folding joint on the mast.  What lies below these portholes is

the galley.  Again, the natural lighting is remarkable.    A note about these fotos . . . Kristin has been idle for several months now, and no attempt was made during this foto shoot to “spruce-up” any of the areas.

Large wooden door leads to the freezer, and the smaller door beside it  opens a defacto fridge.

Any guesses what lies beyond these portholes on the port side?

One of the crew’s quarters with sink, locker, and

bunk.  Is this color an off-white, yellowed with age, or was this “institutional buff”?

And these covered portholes on the forward port side of the “stern island” leads to

the engineer’s cabin.  The two recessed “bookshelves” are the interior of the portholes above.  I wonder the vintage of the desk and

(as seen from the portside porthole) the bunk with shelving beneath?    Excuse the blurry foto.

Corresponding portholes on the starboard side lead to the captain’s cabin.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of Kristin as much as I did.

A near-twin of KristinChester A. Poling–was my introduction to the name Poling, although it was another company.  I heard about Chester A. in the 1990s from a diver in Cape Ann, MA.  Like Kristin, Chester A. was launched in 1934 from the shipyard in Mariner’s Harbor.  Originally 251′, both were lengthened by a 30-foot midsection in 1956.   From this foto, it appears the bow bulwarks on Chester were less protected.  Click on the image to get to Auke Visser’s fabulous site, from which the foto is taken.  Take your pic here from a wealth of video by folks diving on Chester.

Again, many thanks to Ed Poling and Jim Ash for the opportunity to see/foto Kristin in her dotage.    Thanks to you all for reading and commenting.  Special thanks to Johannah for the info on all-welded construction article and to Sachem1907  on the identification of the locks, which confirms operation by these vessels onto the Great Lakes.  I welcome more info and further history on these vessels of past era.

My all-time favorite fotos of Kristin were taken here less than a year ago by Paul Strubeck and “lightened-up” by  tugster.

Where might that gull go if it were to tag along on this vessel with exotic names for  the rest of the year?  Guesses?

I took this foto as it entered the KVK this morning from Savannah bound for Port Elizabeth . . . aka Port of New York/New Jersey.  Well, it leaves here tomorrow bound for sea and will be back just before New Year’s 2012.  And before returning, it’ll have done the following ports in this order:  Halifax . . .

Kingston, Panama Canal, LA, Oakland, Vostochnyy, Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Balboa, Panama Canal, Kingston, Savannah:  voyage #28 for Zim Beijing.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who wishes I could tag along.    The escort tug was Charles D. McAllister.

Harold Tartell got it right, again:  the mystery vessel yesterday was indeed this now retired Kristin Poling (ex-Poughkeepsie Socony  (PS), Mobil New York, Captain Sam).  I’ve posted on her here, here, here, and elsewhere.   Kristin was built just over a mile away in Mariner’s Harbor at United Dry Dock.

Here’s a previously unpublished foto I took of her in 2009 passing Red Hook containerport.

From this, it appears her gestation period was a month shy of three years!  Delivery date 15 Dec 1934 . . . I can’t fully imagine the ways that was a different time.  If this “history of welding” is accurate  (???)  … albeit it sporting a wrong date, she was the first all-welded vessel built (See timeline for 1920s stuck between 1919 and 1920.)  Here’s the main site.  Was there a previous Poughkeepsie Socony built in the 1920s?

Appearance alone always led me to suspect the house on Kristin could be lowered since she operated on the Erie (Barge) and Champlain Canal.  Click here for an article about Kristin (PS) tied up in Fulton, NY, over the  July 4 holiday in 1956 as a precaution against a fireworks-caused catastrophe.  Below, the house is down.  Anyone recognize the double locks?  I don’t.

Here’s said house, and here

port aft corner is a track it once rode in.

From the house, a catwalk leads toward the stern.

From atop the house, looking forward, notice the breakwater aka delta.

Although I never heard them, the horns (notice my blue hat to the left) are formidable.

From the portside aft quarter looking forward, notice the portside pump engine and a gauge part of the way forward along the catwalk.

Closeup of the gauging system.  Masts on house, like all masts on Kristin, can be folded down for greater clearance.

Closeup of the starboard pump system looking aft.

Looking forward, closeup of the engine driving that pump

Details of piping and valves.

View into one of the cleaning and de-gassed holds.

Looking aft.  The portholes in the foreground allow light into the engine room.

Looking farther aft.  Portholes over the galley, Kristin‘s trademark picnic table, and folding mast.

In the next post, we go below.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who wishes to thank Ed Poling and Jim Ash for generous access to Kristin Poling.

Unrelated to Kristin but offered as counterpoint to this series . . . click here for a tour of a small Russian tanker of similar vintage.

Excuse the teaser, but I’ve a lot to process here.  I’ll identify this vessel tomorrow, and give proper thanks, but for now, can you guess the vessel bearing this cryptic text?

This house has been on this blog before, as seen from outside.

I’d never imagined a pushbutton version of an engine order telegraph.

If you’ve paid attention to sixth-boro traffic, you may–like me–never have noticed this bell.

And protected by the bulwarks, this deck hardware never caught my attention.

Keep these threads slathered in grease and they might just operate for a century or two.

What lies behind this porthole cover?

Answers tomorrow.

And here . . . I apologize for dropping a ball.  Remember these panels (scroll all the way down) from almost a month ago?  I asked if anyone recognized them?  And there was an identification from “a tugster fan who lives on the East River and remembers when Union Station was a crumbling hulk.”   Union Station it was, and here’s another panel.

East River fan and rememberer, thanks for the answer.  

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

. . .  if that were the case, I’d go shopping for a yacht.  I’d look at Emerald .  . nah!

Let me see . . . this one?

Sea Knight?  Nah!


Virginia?  Nah and nah!  But hark over there . . .

by the Statue . . .  not the one that’s jacked up on three legs . . . the other one . . .

It’s okay . . . no need to turn back, I mean no harm, I’m just an over-enthusiastic fan . . .

as Fred calls it, the  previously “rollover lifeboat,” originally a 1929 government boat.  I like it, even if it was a very bad year.  I’d love to see the interior space.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.   And those trawlers, I don’t know the manufacturers’ names.

You saw her here just over two years ago.  I took the two fotos below just over a week ago in

drydock at the east end of the Erie Canal.  See more fotos, including from inside her hold, house, and engine room here.  She launched from McDougall-Duluth Shipbuilders in May 1921 as Interwaterways 101.    Two months later, four identical vessels had begun to work the Great Lakes.  This is what remains of the last hull in the series, Interwaterways 105, later Michigan, and scrapped here in the Arthur Kill since 1976.  Interwaterways 102–104 were scrapped in 1950, 1964, and 1977.    Does anyone know of fotos of any of the series operating in the Great Lakes or Erie Canal?I’m concluding that my fascination with some of these now derelict vessels is that they represent our past, have secrets about how we got here, may have given shape and meaning to people who surround us today.  If you see something resembling these unique Eriemax vessels in flea markets, old shoeboxes or albums . . . I’d love to hear about it.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp. 

Alternate names include these following:  Andrew M. Barnes, Robert Barnes Fiertz, Pocahontas, Andros Mariner, Alden Barnes Fiertz, Coastal Carrier, Bay Transport.

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

Join 1,213 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.


October 2011
« Sep   Nov »