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… of course with boats, the number of “second lives” can astonish you, and (as for “last,”) see the note at the end of the post.  Helen’s tenure as “tryin ta be” museum artifact at South Street was more like a fourth life* already!

Anyhow, we knew departure would happen, just not when the day was.  But when I happened by minutes after nine this morning and I saw this . . .  my plans for the next few hours vanished . . . .

Helen sliding into the stream at the end of Deckers towline . . . meant only one thing.

0923 hr . . . Decker heads out to confer with Responder, who has often moved South Street vessels, including Peking four + years ago.

Responder asks Decker to go into the confined space to bring Helen to the dance floor.

Decker (and crew, of course) were thrilled to do this escort.

Long-timers at the Museum–Carlos, Victor, and Sal–get in last moments.

0953 . . . the tow gets made with Responder, and

the lines to Decker get

loosened.  Hand-over has happened.

For a short tense interval, the boats exchange sweet somethings, maybe some tears, and then

they waltz away . . . toward a future.

The Statue waves in recognition.

And Decker, as escort, has finished her duties by 1024 hr.

Such beautiful curves, such proud rake!    Surely there is another life

for Helen somewhere.  John Watson waits high on his cliff to get fotos of the tow heading into the KVK.

Thanks to John Watson for this foto and to Jonathan Boulware for assisting with my fotos.

And I’d really enjoy hearing your comments on any experiences you’ve had in the long life of the beautiful Helen (ex-Georgetown, ex-Admiral Dewey).  Does anyone have fotos to share of Helen docking vessels during 1992 OpSail?

“Last” . . . well, many boats have second, third, etc lives.  Helen is headed back to the McAllister yard;  SSS Museum needs to focus on fewer vessels.  What comes next is as unknown as . . . tomorrow.

Related:  Here was a previous significant day in SSSM involving major passages with the McAllisters.

* As to Helen’s previous lives, she was built in Port Richmond, Staten Island as Admiral Dewey for Berwind-White Coal;  see p. 8 of Erin Urban’s Caddell Dry Dock: 100 Years Harborside for a foto of Admiral Dewey.

A line locker, in my experience, is the place on a boat where all manner of miscellaneous line and rope is kept.  It’s like the “junk drawer” in your house.  I haven’t used this title in over three years, but when I get behind and have a set of unrelated fotos, it seems a needed catergory.

So . . .  since yesterday’s post had a foto of  Indy 7, which Harold Tartell’s wonderfully detailed in a comment, I went back to fotos from two years ago that I’ve never posted.  Behold the stern of Indy 7′s mother ship, Brooklyn Navy Yard’s own CV-62, USS Independence, which as of two years ago still

languished in Bremerton, WA, next to another Brooklyn vessel, USS Constellation, the last carrier built anywhere other than Norfolk.    Indy 7 . . . behold your mother.

The next three fotos come from John Watson.  Here’s another shot of the Chinese-built Algerian corvette Soummam 937.  Here–scroll through interesting fotos of other “small navies” –are some fotos of Soummam at the shipyard in Shanghai.

Also from John, recently the Massachusetts Maritime Academy T/S Kennedy left the sixth boro after work at GMD Brooklyn.

Here’s John’s Friday morning foto of Horizon Producer, in service since 1974;  by Saturday, she was outbound for San Juan.

I took this foto Friday morning, mostly curious about the two tanks on the afterdeck.

A few weeks ago here I ran the “fish flag.”  In response, Capt. Mark Helmkamp, manager of Ocean Tug and Salvage Ship class for the Military Sealift Command wrote the following:  “I had APACHE paint the “Fish Flag” on her bridge wing in reference to the Navy ASR’s – particularly the CHANTICLEER Class that I rode as a young officer – as the T-ATFs picked up that Navy mission along with the T-ARSs when the ASRs (CHANTICLEERs and PIGEONs) were decom’d.  The Fish Flag was flown during Submarine Rescue Chamber ops – the McCann chamber – designed by Swede Momsen, [my note:  who grew up in Queens].  The ASRs used to exercise the SRC to a ‘false seat” a few times a year after laying a four-point moor using the “cloverleaf method” that preceded GPS. . .

 We also had the Fish Flag painted on the bows of the ASRs…this goes back to the SQUALUS rescue. . .

Currently, SALVOR [T-ARS-52] is eligible to paint the Fish Flag too as she has worked the SRC for training.”

The MSC poster below shows sibling vessels of Salvor.

When I visited Apache in Little Creek, I also saw Grapple ARS-53.

Grapple was involved in the recovery efforts for Egypt Air Flight 990 off Nantucket in 1999.   Click here for a complete set of missions performed by T-ARS Grasp, including the recovery of JFK Jr.’s Piper 32 and remains.

Thanks to all who contributed.

Unrelated:  Thanks to Walter Scott for sending along this obit.

Of course, every day is water day in the sixth boro of the city of NY, and it’s great that MWA and other sponsors have chosen for five years now to recognize that fact . . . on a big “get out on the water” day . . . because who OWNS the port . . . ultimately WE do, you and I, as citizens of this country.  Many organizations manage it, enforce regulations in it, and fund educational activities about it . . . but WE own it, the port, the water . . .  and support it with our taxes and our votes.

Enjoy this set of twelve fotos taken over roughly a 12-hour period yesterday.   At daybreak, Pegasus and Urger were still rafted up on Pier 25.  This foto shows two boats whose combined longevity adds up to over 215 years!!

Resolute was northbound over by the Murchison-designed Hoboken terminal . . . which means a larger vessel needing assistance MAY shortly be headed for sea.  Here’s another Murchison-designed mass transit building in what today seems an unlikely location.

North River itself works tirelessly as part of the effort to keep sixth boro waters clean.

Urger poses in front the the Statue.  Lady Liberty was a mere 18-year-old when Urger (then C. J. Doornbos) first splashed into the waters of a Lake Michigan bay.

Launch 5 races downriver.

Indy 7 shuttles folk around as Soummam 937,  the first Algerian warship ever to visit the sixth boro leaves for sea.

Little Lady II and a sailboat negotiate passage.

Laura K and Margaret Moran escort in container vessel Arsos (check its recent itinerary at the bottom of that linked page) and weave their way to the Red Hook container port through a gauntlet of smaller vessels, including Manhattan.

Catherine C. Miller moves a small equipment barge back to base.

Fire Fighter II hurries north on the Buttermilk Channel to respond to an alarm.

A flotilla (or bobbering or paddling or badelynge) of kayaks crosses the Buttermilk.

Pioneer tacks toward the north tip of Governors Island, leaving Castle William to starboard.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp on Bastille-sur-l’eau Day.

Related:  I was overjoyed to read the NYTimes this morning and find this article about a vessel calling at Port Newark!!  Bravo.  Back a little over a week ago I was miffed about this article . . . about the port in Trondheim, which could just as well have been written about skilled workers anywhere in the sixth boro.

Also, I’m passing along a request from the Urger crew:  if anyone sees a foto of Urger crew in any local print publications, please tell me so that I can look for a clipping to pass along to them.  Thanks much . . . .

Unrelated:  From today’s NYTimes Book Review section, an essay by Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp on Woodie Guthrie, who would have turned 100 yesterday.

By the way, from Mitch’s Newtown Pentacle, can anyone identify the tug in this post?  I can’t .

Today was the fifth NYC City of Water Day, and today offered a demonstration of the blessing of water.

At 1610, someone on the NYWaterways vessel, where I was narrating a tour,  noticed smoke coming from Pier 17, lots of it.

By 1611, Shark, owned by NY Water Taxi & Circle Line downtown,  appeared to be first

responder, albeit with a low water volume relative to what was needed.

Flames grew inside the pier by 1611.

Here’s 1612.  There seem to be quite a number of people not that far from the flames.

By 1612, Bravest had arrived on the scene.

as flames grew.

1613, she begins to maneuver into position and

directs her monitors on the fire.

Bravo to the Bravest.  Bravo Marine Company 6 . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.   Here’s an early evening update from the NYTimes.

Surprise, lunacy, and freebies commingle in this post.  At one point, my perspective shifts a half dozen miles also.

0859 . . . as seen from the “swimming pool” aka Faber Park, Staten Island-side just east of the Bayonne Bridge. That’s Shooters Island (see a then/now post I did here)  off the bow of Zim Qingdao.   Here‘s something to know about the place Qingdao.

Still 0859 . . . Amy C McAllister awaits instructions on assisting with the turn.

0901 . . . part of the turn accomplished . . .

0902 . . .  Zim Qingdao makes the Bridge.

0905 . . .  Ellen‘s off the stern now.  And when I look up,

… well, there’s no surprise about female mariners except

that looks like a kid!    Could this be a contemporary  Zim Family Robinson . . . sans the shipwreck of course!!

0940 . . .  I’ve jumped onto my horse and raced over to the Brooklyn side of the Narrows.  What directed my attention to the Brooklynside base of the VZ Bridge was ships’ horns:  one long blast . ..   danger!  Is it this?  At least six “smokers”  . . .

as Zim Qingdao sped up . . . for her next port, tailed by Amy C and Responder.

I was half expecting these invulnerables-whose engines will never stall maybe– to jump the bow wave . . . .  NYTugmaster links to a WSJ article on “playing in urban commercial waters” here.

Between the VZ and Swinburne/Hoffman, Zim Qingdao  meets

Zim Shenzhen . . .    Note the crew on her foredeck.

By now, Zim Qingdao is passing the Bahamas after a post stop in Savannah, no doubt headed for the Panama Canal.

Unrelated:  Want a free boat ride on Saturday, tickets are available here at 7 pm today.  Actually, there are no truly free boat rides;  support historic vessels of your choice.

If you’re looking for a thriller to read this summer, try The Ship Killer.  Bonnie gave me hers . . . after I’d noticed in prominently displayed at my local Barnes & Noble.   There’s info here, and I agree with the first review there by Jim A . . . except I’d go farther and say it’s like Moby Dick . . . but you get inside the whale’s twisted mind just as you get inside Ahab’s lunacy.   I was predisposed NOT to like it, I didn’t  BUT it was a thrilling ride.

And speaking of thrillers .  . . here’s an American jetski adventure stopped by Russian tanks and helicopters, from a blog yesterday.

What happens in the time it takes to read the morning paper?  Well . . .

0635 . . . Maersk Montana passes the salt pile,

0639 . . . Catherine Turecamo sets up to nudge Nord Sea outbound,

0642 . . . Greenland Sea passes Con Hook while a cruise ship prepares to dock in Bayonne,

0644 . . . Catherine follows Nord Sea til the pilot debarks,

0649 . . . Viking approaches with DBL 102,

0659 . . . Davis Sea passes with DBL 32,

0701 . . . Magothy heads  . . . for the yard maybe,

0722 HS Livingstone (currently in Norfolk) passes an avian escort as it heads for sea with

a respectable GRADALL with an articulated-neck jackhammer that caused much

consternation among these geese.

0704 . . .  an hour and nine minutes have passed.  Siberian Sea and Davis Sea meet, and for me time for another cup of tea.

All fotos taken Sunday morning by Will Van Dorp.   More Sunday fotos to follow.

This foto, and some others here,  comes thanks to Xtian, who had a question about a model he’s building a few weeks ago.  I hope someone can help.   This drydock foto shows Abeille Liberté , which assisted in the salvage of MSC Napoli five years back.  I’m guessing this is irrelevant, but “abeille” is the French word for “bee,” as in … the critter that makes honey and stings.  This hull is nothing if not sweet yet efficient.  As of this writing, Abeille Liberté  is at the dock in Cherbourg.

I’m always looking for outatowners or “never-before-seen”s in the sixth boro.  C. Angelo 

fits that description.    Here’s what Birk and Harold  had to say about her.  I got this foto Sunday, and the turbine WAS spinning.

Back to Xtian fotos,  Marseillais 6 is Voith propulsion tug based in greater Marseille.

Abeille Flandre is based east of Marseille in Toulon.

Here’s another of the same size and mission:  Abeille Languedoc. As of this writing Abeille Languedoc is docked in Boulogne-sur-Mer, just west of the Calais/Dover crossing point in the Channel.

I believe that since this foto was taken, Tenax has lost these hues of blue–can I call one of them “cerulean”–for orange and white.  Here’s another blue shot, with sibling vessels.

Finally, from Xtian, Baltic Warrior–built in Poland West Germany* in 1964– towing a disabled Eleousa Trikoukiotisa to Malta, where she remains.  As of this writing, Baltic Warrior is docked in Ramsgate.  * means see Xtian’s comment.  Baltic Warrior was originally Bugsier 26;  here’s Bugsier (Hamburg)’s current fleet.

Back to my  fotos, this is a Kirbified Viking.

Amy C McAllister and McAllister Responder race out the toward the Narrows and beyond, as

does Buchanan 12.  Given that Buchanan 12 often pushes a half dozen or more stone scows, I’d could easily squint and tell myself she’s pushing Swinburne Island closer to New Jersey.

All fotos by either Herrou Xtian or Will Van Dorp.

Abeille International is a division of Boubon International. Here’s their fleet.

You’d think by now I’ve walked every inch of walkable sixth boro margins,  so shame on me for not discovering this park til this morning, and quite by accident at that.  All fotos here (except one) are taken from this pier. Double clicks enlarges most.  Manhattan lies in the distance to the left, and silvery rays and dots

are embedded into the pier, and these rays carry info, references

to faraway places all

accessible from the waters of  the sixth boro.

This foto was taken about 100 yards south of the pier . . . before I knew the pier was open.

This fleet has the best marine logo art.  Here and  here are others of their fleet.

Wanderlust gets me to places like this . . . where ships from distant places bear names–like OOCL Netherlands, below–of faraway lands.

I’m guessing Makita is named for the Baltic town and not the Japanese power tool, but  . . .?

Invisible behind Port Stewart is Orinoco Star . . . and most of the rest of the planet.   That’s the ubiquitous Ellen McAllister headed off right.

And here’s the plaque.  If you’re local, check this pier out.  I’ll be back.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, before 0830 this morning.

Eddystone Light, in foto 2, I associate with this shanty.

How about a quick walk-through of Apache?  Here’s part 1, if you missed it. And here and here are links to the shipyard where she was built.  The masts (main to fore) are just under 90′ and just over 60′.

Apache and sister vessels’ mission is towing and submarine support.  This is no design for towing alongside or nose-in-notch.

Here’s a slightly different view of the “fish” I posted last week.  Tally marks show instances of participation in submarine salvage and rescue exercises.

Also, an update/answer to a question in that post:  the vessel in the second foto is former USCGC Salvia, now a training hulk.  The rusty boxes foreward and abaft the stack  are fire boxes, making Salvia a “fire boat,” NOT as in one that fights fires, but rather, one where fire fighting training can happen.

Here’s a different view from yesterday’s of the bridge.  The unit foreground and right is the ECDIS, which complements the traditional paper chart/dividers approach to navigation.  Imagine on the bridge and elsewhere in the vessel equipment that didn’t exist back in July 1981, when she was delivered.

The wooden wheel surprised me, but wat surprised me even more was

an indication of how responsive it could be.  As I understand it, those are degrees of heading.  Altering course two degrees to starboard takes very little turn of the wheel.

Here’s a view of the foredeck from the “walk-around,” which I assume has another name.

The “cardiac gym” is located between

the stacks.  This is the portside stack.

The afterdeck is long and open, as on an offshore supply vessel, making Apache versatile.  It can tow, but it can also replenish at sea from a helicopter hovering over the white box and

carry containers bolted down in this adjustable grid.  Each stud here (most 24″ apart) can be replaced by an eye.

Apache has a 10-ton capacity crane and

two winches, one for wire and another for synthetic line. .

Power is supplied by twin GM EMD 20-645F7B engines providing a total of 7200 hp to the Kort-nozzled 9′ diameter  controllable pitch props.

Food–shown here in the deck mess–on the vessel is supplied by the Steward department:  steward cook, cook/baker, and steward utilityman.

All fotos here by will Van Dorp.

For more fotos of Apache, click here for fotos by Rod Smith from 2010.

As I understand it, Apache will soon be leaving for the Panama Canal with a sub in tow;  Apache hands the sub off to a sibling T-ATF on the Pacific side of the Canal.  I’d love to see fotos of her traversing the Miraflores locks. . .  I’d love to go back, but . . .

Postscript to yesterday’s post, which started with a foto of ex-T-ATF 166 Powhatan (now Turkish Coast Guard Navy  Inebolu A-590):  you know that a Turkish F-4 was shot down over the Mediterranean late in June.  Guess who retrieved the jet and victims from the seabed?  Robert Ballard’s EV Nautilus and . . .   TCG Inebolu.  

Bosphorus Naval News looks to be an interesting blog, which I’ve now added to my blogroll.   A trip to Istanbul may be in my future??

Again, many thanks to MSC Public Affairs Officer Susan Melow for setting up a visit and to Apache Second Officer Michael R. Rankin for guiding the tour.

I’d still love to see some fotos from Apache’s visits to Kingston, NY, in the late 80′s and in 2000, per Harold’s comment yesterday.

Click on the image below and you’ll see how I posted it just over five years ago.  So what do the big blue tug Powhatan below, Ellen McAllister, USCG Katherine Walker, ATB Brandywine, ATB Dublin Sea. and the Staten Island Ferry Spirit of America (as well as ferries Molinari and Marchi) all have in common?

For starters, the Menominee River in Wisconsin.   And from that, given corporate acquisitions, an “in-law” relationship exists with Fincantieri vessels including Costa Concordia as well as the caissons that’ll try to re-float her.

But closer to home, the list above was built at the same Wisconsin shipyard as seven fleet ocean tugs, four of which are active in Military Sealift Command today.  Click here for the 2012 MSC vessels poster, one fifth of which is reproduced below.  MSC operates over 100 vessels today using 5500 civilian mariners.  Civil servant mariners!!

The DonJon Marine Powhatan above has since 2008 become Inebolu A-590 of the Turkish Navy.

The Powhatan-class T-ATFs hare huge, by New York tugboat stands:   226′ loa x 42′ x 15.’

And they do long, large tows.  Here about a year ago, Apache begins to tow a decommissioned USS Nassau to join the reserve fleet  in Texas.  Click here for more context on the foto, taken from USNS Grapple, another MSC vessel that may appear on this blog soon.

Thanks to Birk Thomas, I have a few more fotos of Apache in New London.  Note the towline . . . attached to a sub in this 2010 foto, and  . . .

light in 2011.   Here’s a question I do NOT know the answer to:  Apache visited NYC before 2001, but I don’t know when.  Does anyone recall this?  Have a foto of this?

In the next post, we look inside Apache.  Next question . . . does this marlinespike seamanship have a name?  Would this have been original to this 1981 vessel?  By the way, Apache’s 31st b’day (technically d’day . . . D for delivery)   is late July.

Only the first and last fotos are by Will Van Dorp. The second and third from last are thanks to Birk Thomas.  All the others come from Military Sealift Command.   Many thanks to Susan Melow, MSC Public Affairs Officer,  for setting up a visit and to Apache Second Officer Michael R. Rankin for guiding the tour.

Click here to see Apache towing USS Forrestal.  Here she is in St. Petersburg.  Finally, here she deals with Atlantic Ocean pirates.

Finally, once again, does anyone remember when Apache visited NYC?  Is there an archive online for vessels visiting during Fleet Weeks going back to 1982?

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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