You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

Here was SWC 1, and before that there was watercolor 4 (thanks to a burst of sunshine) and 3, 2, and 1 . . . you can seek out if you wish using the search window to the left.

What strikes me about the foto below is how hard it is to distinguish where metal ends and water starts.  Also, the black streaks on paint caused by docks and tugs in ports literally around the watery parts of the globe create a variation on the accidental beauty of Jackson Pollock.

The real beauty is in the water.  By definition it doesn’t exist.  It’s manufactured only

by the camera;  otherwise, it couldn’t be shared this way.  The top vessel was MOL Endurance; this is Twinkle Express.

These rusty love bites are pretty, but if were sailing this, I’d like to have a metallurgist’s reassurance.

The fendering here always reminds me of baleen.

Sunny days on the water always give me joy.  Nearer here is Barbara E. Bouchard with Capt. Fred Bouchard in background, and here

on a glassy Upper Bay is a fairly new Maersk Katarina.

In contrast . . .  fotos taken same day of Manistee off Detroit.  Maybe these are freshwater colors, the non-uniform

shades of gray normally associated with January.

Many thanks to Ken of Michigan Exposures for the counterpoint winter shots.  Today is the last day of January and it’s in the mid-50s!!  Someone told me this morning we’d better watch out in February because lots of snow’s been piling up in the sky ready to surprise and catch us up.

All sixth boro fotos by Will Van Dorp, last Saturday.


Do you recognize this vessel?

A clue is that it was made of scrap materials gleaned from around the sixth boro.  Although the hull leaked, the compass was positioned in the floor.

Here are galley supplies.

It’s John Noble’s houseboat studio aka “little monticello.”  For a 360-degree view of the interior, click here.

I’m assuming this is a fair use of a few fotos by Robert F. Sisson,  p. 808, showing John Noble at work on his houseboat, granting eternal life to the rotting hulks over in Port Johnston, then a coal dock and now a petroleum dock.

Here’s the issue.  If you find yourself with free time browsing in a Salvation Army store that sells used issues of National Geographic, the December 1954 issue has a fabulous article called “Here’s New York Harbor.”   It lends itself to an excellent then/now revery.

Pages 804-5 show tugboat races already then.  Much more . . .  many vintage fotos to check out.

Visit Noble Maritime too.

Check out  Erin Urban’s fine book on John Noble, Hulls and Hulks in the Tide of Time, or click here for the smaller work, The Rowboat Drawings.

The “houseboat” can truly be called an Artship, but I recently learned of a (now defunct??) project in San Francisco called the Artship, an arts space on a February 1940-launched vessel previously known as Del Orleans, then USS Crescent City aka APA 21, Golden Bear  II.  Currently, though, she’s slated to be towed to Texas for scrapping.   I can imagine at least two constituencies are sad to see this vessel go. I wish I’d be able to visit Artship before these days and this one-way journey.

Just ahead of her and already on the way, at the end of  Elsbeth II’s towline off southern California and bound for the scrappers is USS Mispillion  aka AO 105.

Many thanks to David Hindin for this info (and see comments)  apologies for the errors that I hope I’ve corrected.

So here she came into the sixth boro yesterday . . .   and after getting a foto–albeit rainy– of Shorthorn Express a few weeks back, I

listened carefully for neighs and whinnies, and

wondered whether this vessel carried pregnant mares, or colt, fillies . . .

Catherine Turecamo and Gramma Lee T Moran 

churned the waters to get her into the dock, giving the gulls

something to swarm about.

Since the sixth boro has no snow on the ground, that pile

has to be the supply at Atlantic Salt dock.

Lines get run, so

that offloading operations can begin.

When all lines are fast, Gramma Lee heads home to await the next call.  Previously, when I inquired, I learned that some of the salt comes from

 Carrickfergus, Ireland, which seemed strange given New York state’s salt mines.  But then again, maybe not all salt is the same.  Certainly, I learned that a mare transporter doesn’t transport mares or anything remotely equine.

All fotos by will Van Dorp.

Related:  I went looking for evidence of shipping mares and other equines by water.  None found . . . horses go by 747!!  Sea voyages are for cattle and sheep.  Chickens . . . I guess they travel frozen.

Saturday mornings are slow in some places, but not in the shipping channels of the sixth boro, Pearl River 1 enters the Narrows, passes Morton S.  Bouchard Jr., arcs to port into the ConHook Range,

and navigates the KVK with assistance from Ellen McAllister.

At this moment, opposing container ship traffic about 15 minutes away appeared under the Bayonne Bridge, behind Stephanie Dann and an unidentified tug.

It’s a heavy-laden Cosco Osaka, tailing Catherine Turecamo.

As Cosco Osaka aka IMO 9400291 passes the Green 7, it crosses Jane A. Bouchard.

Fifteen minutes later, Ance enters the KVK.

That’s A-n-c-e . . .  not A-n-K-e, which came through the harbor a mere two weeks ago.   Ance . . .

or “Ants,” as I heard it.

Less than 10 minutes behind Ance was this beautiful-orange vessel, here flushing out the starboard hawse.

I wrote about Twinkle Express here a mere two years ago, but that time I didn’t get as close.

And ten minutes behind was this vessel.  Doubleclick on any foto to enlarge;  if you do that here, you’ll see the builders plate proudly announcing this vessel as a June 2010 product of Yangzhou Guoyu Shipyard.

Now . . . given the name and given the frequency of  livestock carriers in the harbor like Shorthorn Express near the end of this post, what do you suppose this vessel carries?

Answer tomorrow.  All fotos (except Anke . . .  sounds like the end of  Yanqui )   taken today in a short two hours on the KVK by Will Van Dorp.

For a distinctly unglamorous view of shipping cleanups after “stuff goes wrong,” watch the slideshow on the TitanSalvage page.

I’m culling fotos these days, trashing lots.  I’m sharing these never-used ones that caught my attention. .

And more surprises . . . this is a major wake raking the bank of the Harlem River!

This foto hangs at the Ear Inn.  I liked the image until I noticed that this hair product advertisement uses a wrecked ship and locals looting supplies from said wreck.  Now imagine a business did this today . . . .

A vessel aims to maintain equilibrium and productivity despite wind, cold, and isolation;  arms spread here do what mine attempt while crossing a narrow gangplank.  Life is full of such risk-takings.

I’ve used some of these White, GA,  fotos before, but part of what attracts me to the car is the art of Jacek Yerka.

This foto accompanies a story in Yerka’s book with Harlan Ellison called Mind Fields, with over two dozen such images accompanied by short fiction.

Here’s another, marking the beginning of the calendar phase called Aquarius, what this post is really about.

Happy birthday, my fellow-Aquarians.

This short dozen tugboats chosen because they passed on a given part of a morning recently differ in size, age, tasks, and number of fleet siblings.  Less visible are their differing histories and crews.

Laura K Moran, 2008 built in Maine 87′ loa and 5100 hp here escorting in Ever Devote.  Below her is Caitlin Ann, built in Louisiana in 1961.  70′ loa and 2400 hp.

Vane’s Bohemia and Quantico Creek differ in many respects:  2007 v. 2010, 4200 v. 3000, Louisiana v. Maryland, and 96′ v. 90′ loa.

Below them, escorting Dubai Express,  is James Turecamo, 1969 built in NY, 92′ loa and 2000 hp.

Greenland Sea, built in Louisiana in 1990, 4200 hp and 112′ loa.

Below her is Barbara McAllister, 1969 built in Louisiana, 100 loa and 4000 hp.

Charles D. McAllister, 1967 built in Florida, 1800 hp and 94′ loa.

Margaret Moran, shown twice escorting Cosco Tianjin, 1979 built in Louisiana, 99′ loa and 3000 hp.

Two former SeaBoats tugs are now Mediterranean Sea and Weddell Sea, both built in Massachusetts and powered by 4500 hp.  Mediterranean Sea (110′ loa)  was launched in 2004; Weddell Sea  (105′ loa) launched 2007.

Finally, it’s Nicole Leigh Reinauer, Alabama-built, launched in 1999, 119′ loa, and 7200 hp.

All fotos this week by Will Van Dorp.

It’s been some time since I did a post on names, and must confess I’ve neglected to write down some intriguing ones of late.  Here’s Names 13.  But before looking at this batch, I have to call out a disturbing article from today’s NYTimes about closing a customs inspection station in Red Hook, not only raising prices on commodities like bananas and beer but also adding to bridge and road congestion.  I hope this doesn’t transpire.  It sems pennywise poundfoolish to me . . . unless there’s another darker explanation?

I’m happy shipping companies use nomenclature, real names, rather than numbers or alphanumerics.  Actually, vessels do have IMO identification in numeric form, but they also have names, naming conventions that evoke other times.  I love the classical names.  IMO 9324215 is also Golden Venus.

9289518  ?  . . . Ajax sounds better to me.

I don’t even care about the number:  NYK Daedalus suits me.

CSL Atlas . . . fine.

And I love this classic . .  a foto of a banana boat offloading in the sixth boro and taken in 1960 by William Rau and passed along by Thomas Flagg . . . Eros!  I love it.

Here’s an enlarged portion of the shot.  Notice the wooden covered barge in the foreground.  The harbor 52 years ago looked quite different.

Now . .  the same name on a fiberglass motorboat . . .  nah!  Here it seems tacky.  Pop culture references might be better for pleasure boats, like

this . . . I love it!

Except the classic from William Rau, all fotos by Will Van Dorp.

So here’s a question prompted by the Chinese new year:  I cannot recall seeing a large vessel passing through the sixth boro bearing a name with the word dragon in it.  I can’t.  Maybe you can.  A case in point is this foto taken yesterday:  a Chinese-operated container vessel although built in Japan, named for a major Chinese city.  As it passed, I was moved . . . a formidable vessel, a huge water-snake, a contemporary dragon.

 If you’ve taken a foto of a modern vessel with “dragon” in the name, I’d like to hear of it.  Upon more reflection here, I realize that over four years ago in Greenport, NY, I saw a green tug called Dragon.  The registry shows the Gladding-Hearn vessel still operates by that name.   Can anyone pass along a recent foto?

So  . . . the bright sunshine and 45+ degree temperature coaxed me out to take some fotos, and soon I’m having a conversation with a gentleman whose first thought was wind power device was deck-mounted equipment on the reddish tanker.  Clearly here . . .  t-o-w-e-r   rhymes with power and not lawn mower.  I’m guessing it to be the tallest structure in Bayonne.    Any idea what Manhattan’s first skyscraper was and where?  It lasted only three years (1853–6) before it burnt down.

It’s definitely land-based.  But I thought I could have some fun creating

some alternative-powered shipping, like a wind turbine barge  DoubleSkin 303.

How about a Jane A. Bouchard with a huge air prop, or

this on an extra-tall Quantico Creek?

Ditto Greenland Sea?

Or a turbine atop the tower of the newly-minted Mediterranean Sea?

Closer up, this is what the hub looks like.

Some of the parts are US-made;  others come from Austria.  Here are some introductory  technical details.  If I read Leitwind’s homepage correctly, this is their first turbine delivered to the US.  Here are even more technical details, again from a New Jersey publication.

Northern New York state has a surprisingly large number of such turbines, as documented in tugster here, and “salties” have been delivering components into the upper Midwest through the St. Lawrence and into the Great Lakes, as Marlene Green, shown here . . . although I caught her running empty.  The five states that currently have the highest percentage of their electric power generated by turbine are:  Iowa, the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Kansas.  Atlantic City has five turbines.  Are there others in NJ?  And Staten Island . . . the idea of wind turbines atop Fresh Kills has certainly been discussed.

As of this writing, I’ve not seen any NY papers mention the Bayonne tower.  Hmm.

Oh, the first “skyscraper”  was Latting Observatory, standing 315 feet.  To learn more, click here.   This bit of erudition comes compliments of Tom Flagg, who is also responsible for this great but maybe slow-loading document of the bygone era of marine rail on the west side of Manhattan.  Thanks, Tom.

I like collaboration.  Number nine was a week and a half ago, but I do appreciate fotos like the ones here.

Ken of Michigan Exposures took this one up in Bay City, MI, a hundred plus miles northwest of Detroit.  Any guesses on the vintage of this attractive tug . . .55′ loa x 12′ ?  Answer follows.

Staying with vintage Great Lakes tugs, this foto comes from Jason LaDue, who recently sent these fotos from upstate.  The foto below was taken in Oswego, NY, in late 1998.  Three tugs had been sold south by Great Lakes Towing.  The tugs below are from RIGHT to left, Gull (1952 ex-Jennifer George, Galway Bay, Oregon), Sea Tractor (1951 ex-Messenger, Patricia Hoey, New Hampshire) and the one I’ve called Grouper, whose entire saga you can find by using the blog search window to the left.  Gull and Sea Tractor were both built in Louisiana at Alexander Shipyards.

At this point these fotos were taken in December 1998, all three tugs were headed south, but Grouper has never left the Erie Canal yet . . . in the past 13 years.  Did anyone catch Gull and Sea Tractor coming through the sixth boro in early 1999?

Here’s Gull working the icy Great Lakes as Gaelic’Galway Bay, and

Sea Tractor in the same green as Patricia Hoey. Note the wheelhouse design of Patricia.

When these tugs had first come to the Great Lakes, via the Mississippi/Chicago River, they looked different.  Tug on the far right is Messenger, before becoming Patricia.

Which brings us to the present.  I’m told that Gull was scrapped last year in Virginia/Philly (?) as American Pride.  Anyone have other fotos?  Here are two by shipjohn.  Thanks, shipjohn.

And Sea Tractor (then called Shark) was reefed a year and a half ago near Miami’s Haulover Artificial Reef site in September 2010.  I’d LOVE to see fotos of her in her last years, maybe even of the scuttling.  Anyone help?    Here’s a poor quality foto of  Shark being hauled out to be reefed in 255′ of water.

No news currently on Grouper in Lyons, NY, but I wish the restoration of the 100-year old tug success.

Thanks much to Jason and Ken for these fotos.

Jill Marie, 121 years old!!  Built 1891.

Friday afternoon I timed a foray on the harbor perfectly with respect to light.  Here’s a previous “golden hour” post, from over four years ago.   And although I’m not a literalist with much, the “hour” the other afternoon lasted less than 20 minutes.

16:24 . . .  guided by the new wind turbine, Hanjin Albany and two unidentified tugs catch the beginning of the gilded light. I’m not sure what Hanjin Albany carried in or intends to carry out.

16:25 . . .  in a different area of the Upper Bay, APL Turquoise and Charles D. McAllister (or is it McAllister Responder??) have not quite entered that enhancing light.

16:37 . . . same APL Turquoise and Charles D. (I’ll assume) are now fully adorned in gold.   Solomon Sea pushes a set of scows with golden sand.

Too short this light lasts;  in 30 minutes it’ll be winter night.

16:36 . . . Giulio Verne in a different part of the harbor bathe in lesser amounts of this light.

Solomon Sea‘s sand piles could not be more embellished.

But by 16:42 . . . the brilliance diminishes already unless

here, at 16:42 and beyond Staten Island’s shadow, Samuel I. Newhouse and RBM 45612, still linger in the golden light.

All fotos during this 18-minute interval, by Will Van Dorp.

Wow!  Almost 40 years ago, another 18-minute unit was significant.

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January 2012