You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2013.

Back in June 2013, I went to this auction and needed a hard hat.  My friend Jonathan Atkin just walked up to an electrical contracting crew, asked for a hard hat, and received one.  It was red and scuffed up.  I wish I’d taken a “before” pic.

Yesterday, hanging out with my daughter near Atlanta, I asked her if she’d paint it.  I had no idea she’d turn it into a piece of nautical sistine chapel ceiling.

Since New Year’s Eve is a popular time to wear unusual headgear, I offer my hard hat.

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Happy 2014 to all.  I pray it be safe and rewarding, especially for all daughters and sons and parents and relatives.

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Many thanks to Brad Ickes, who recently contacted me with some info about this vessel shown above, a one-0ff launched at Luders Shipyard in Stamford in 1952, their first ever steel vessel.    Like me, you may have seen her–seemingly always docked just west of the Moran building on the KVK.   Note the large spool on the foredeck and the intentional bow shape.

Her hull looks like that of a tug, although the deck equipment points to her intended work:  submarine cable laying, and if you notice the pennant . . . for New York Telephone.   Click here for info and a front page photo in a 1970 newspaper.   I’m guessing the foto below dates from her first arrival in the sixth boro of NYC.

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Here’s an undated foto of Cable Queen at work.

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Also, from Brad of OCG, here are some fotos of the vessel during a haul-out, showing the shallow draft

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and recessed wheels that are not characteristic of most tugboats.

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Here’s another undated foto of Cable Queen at work laying cable.

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I took the fotos below back in December 2009.

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Click here for this Cable Queen info and many more cable ships.  …here . . . for fotos of older Bell system equipment, including an older Cable Queen.  Here, from the Troy Record is a 1967 article about the vessel and crew working upriver at that time AND a foto of its master, William J. Fry of Staten Island.

Many thanks to Brad Ickes of OCG for reaching out with these fotos.

Will Van Dorp, who took the last two fotos, is alone responsible for any errors in interpretation.  I will be  hitting the road–with all its detours and other opportunities for side-gallivants– northeast-bound tomorrow.  If I can’t post then, happy, safe, and prosperous 2014.

I took all fotos in this post last week on Staten Island.  Check out these 40-footers, and if I read the numbers right, these three all date from just over 60 years ago.   Somewhere in the past seven years  I posted  a foto of two of these three in the Arthur Kill.

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But this is an impressive adaption project, not restoration.  And I’ve finally gotten a close-up look. Fred tug44 got these fotos some years back, but for a vessel that dates from 1929 . . . not that long ago.   I wonder what her USCG-service name was.

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I’m curious about the horizontal tab on the rudder.    Enjoy the rest of these.

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All fotos taken recently by Will Van Dorp, who’s still in the wilds of northwest Georgia, hoping though to get back to the sixth boro in time to see Miss Lis.

This post quite directly follows on 14 in this series, from two years ago.  Just fotos today, all taken since the winter solstice.  Call this where roads go

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and where they end.

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Before you leave . . .

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sign out.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s what I did around this time last year as a look back.  As intro, I’d say about the same this year about the number of new fotos and the way I chose these.  Subjective is the operant word.

January 2013 . . . one day I caught a seldom seen Jennifer Miller passing Robbins Reef with the salt pile in the distance.

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In February, shooting from almost the diametrically opposed location . . . I caught Baltic Mercur leaving Red Hook bound for sea.  I’ve no idea which Vane tug is in the foreground.

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In late March looking north from the high point in old San Juan, PR, I caught Sea Star’s SS El Morro headed into port.  If you look carefully “above” the large splash in the foreground, you’ll see the mast of the pilot boat headed out to meet El Morro.

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April 2013 . . . as seen from the now-closed walkway on the Bayonne Bridge, I caught Atlantic Compass headed for sea and escorted by two tugs, only Responder being visible.  For other fotos of this moment, click here.

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It was a year of gallivants for me, this 2013.  I’ve been toying with other words for trips away, even made-up ones like guy-ivants.  Roverings?  Tramps?  Anyhow, this foto was one of many I took along the Columbia, here looking from Oregon over to the Washington side.  The trip to visit Seth Tane also propelled me in late May and early June to travel back in “sixth boro” time through what I called the fifth dimension.

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Out at the Narrows in June, I caught SSV Corwith Kramer racing into port ahead of Maersk Detroit and a rainstorm.

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And I have to cheat for June and put up two fotos . . . although many fascinating visitors come and go, how often does a vessel like this enter our fair port . . .  Turandor PlanetSolar.  If I hadn’t been forewarned via AIS, I would have seen this and doubted my eyesight . . . or more.   For closeups, click here.   For the annual gathering of mermaids for which the sixth boro AND the land boro of Brooklyn are famous, click here.

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July  . . . brought an opportunity to see this x-bow supply vessel named Copacabana entering . . . a place I’d long dreamed of . . . greater Rio de Janeiro, aka January River, which generated 25 posts.    This hiatus from the sixth boro was huge, since it has left me with a case of chronic and possibly incurable wanderlust.  Meeting Copacabana here is the intriguingly named Log In Amazonia.

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August in the sixth boro saw this scene along Rockaway Beach, which I renamed NYC’s potential copacabana.  George W here was part of many efforts to respond to the blow of Sandy.

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As I said at the outset of the post . . . subjective is the key descriptor in regards to choosing fotos for this retrospective.  For September, I skimmed through the month’s fotos, zooming past the North River Tug Race and the Waterford Roundup . . . and what caught my attention was this looming shape of Marjorie B. McAllister . . . getting a makeover and as seen from the middle of the KVK.

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October 2013 . . . this early morning bunkering set-up at the passenger terminal involves Chesapeake Coast moving in sternwise . . .

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Here is November, I caught Freddy K Miller moving a construction barge away after a long-ongoing project on Governors Island.  Click here for a June 2013 event on Governors Island that changed the south end quite dramatically in less than a minute . . . start to finish.

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And finally . . . December in the sixth boro was as snowy as you might expect NYC to be as winter approaches.  Balder here offloads road salt as Twin Tube approaches to make a delivery.  Balder, by now, is back in the American tropics.

When I showed this foto to my brother-in-law here in Atlanta, he mentioned that his aggregate company uses Balder ‘s fleetmate named Barkald to transport kaolin from Greenland to Savannah.  He then gets it through his yard near Atlanta on its way to Tennessee to a glazed tile making plant.  I chuckled, partly because I recall seeing Barkald in the sixth boro a few years back and never imagined kaolin as one of her cargos.   And that’s a good way to end this retrospective, global commerce surely makes strange and unexpected hold-sharers if not bedfellows.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who remains either parked and smelling the scenery or on the road . . . still in Georgia.  And believe it or not, as I was headed down to Georgia a few days ago, this great song came on the radio  . . . enjoy!

Happy New Year 2014 soon.  Many thanks to all who read, commented, and helped me in many kinds of ways in 2013.

As you know, I’m on the road in Georgia, but thanks to some good friends here are some fotos for your Boxing Day.  Back on the first day of winter, December 21, I got these fotos from Ashley Hutto:  Responder towing Ellen through the Kills.    Who knows . . . maybe this was a solstice version of Kills do-si-do?

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Here from a few years back is a post featuring both Responder and Ellen.

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And from Rod Smith, who labors on the site Narragansett Bay Shipping whenever he’s not working for bread-n-butter, here’s a shot by Rod in the wee hours of the same day, Haggerty Girls first trip to the sixth boro.  If you click here, you’ll see how Rod documented almost every week in the construction of this newest vessel in the sixth boro, taking almost 500 fotos over parts of three years starting from the time that two plates were laid down and joined.  Bravo, Rod, on this ongoing work.   That’s Matthew Tibbetts looking on.   Here’s more info on Haggerty Girls.

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Many thanks to Ashley and Rod.

Notice a few cranes near the TZ Bridge,  as seen from MetroNorth train.  Click here for the project website including cameras.

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A passenger in my car took the next two.

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The one above and the next three were taken from a southbound boat.

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Here’s a link to info mostly on the existing TZ Bridge.  Here’s a link to the old borough of Tappan.

And here’s the news in this post . . . December 22 Left Coast Lifter (LCL) finally departed San Francisco Bay bound for the Hudson River.  Here‘s video of the towed  LCL departing SFB.

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Will it be renamed TZ Lifter?  .  Towing it were Lauren and Iver Foss.    And before it reaches the Panama Canal, no doubt Miss Lis (scroll thru) will arrive in the sixth boro with its TZ barge.

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Click here for an article in the Journal News about the crane.   And from May 2013 San Jose Mercury News, more info . . . including a line that says New yorkers are free to rename the crane/barge.

Many thanks to my friend David Hindin for coordinating the SF views.   Join me in wishing David a prosperous 2014.

My sincere Merry Christmas/Happy 2014 wishes to all of you.  Actually, I hit the road Monday morning for the now-annual road trip to see family in greater Atlanta.

Consider this my Christmas card.  Any ideas what this is?  These three fotos come courtesy of Nancy Donskoj.

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It’s the tugboat Gowanus Bay delivering Sinterklaas and his entourage up the rondout to Kingston, NY’s annual Sinterklaas festival.   Sinterklaas is the red-clad legend I was first made aware of, and he would supposedly arrive on December 5.   Click here for more pics.    Kingston was the third oldest settlement in New Netherland.

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Believe it or not, Sinterklaas stories are clouded in some controversy because of the guy standing to his left.  Actually not this guy per se at all.  In the Dutch tradition, this man is Zwarte Piet . .  or Black Pete.  The Americanization in the foto below is interesting.

As the Dutch say, prettige kerstfest.

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The next two pics come thanks to Jen Muma currently of New Orleans, and it’s fuel for the

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Christmas bonfire.

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Here are two East Coast traditions, but I’m thinking the sixth boro really doesn’t have much PUBLIC Christmas tradition spectacle related to the water at all.  Four years ago, I floated an idea about a harbor tree inspired by what folks do in New England, but I’ve moved on.  For myself, I like the idea below, the nautical clutter tree in my friend Ed Fanuzzi’s backyard.

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Have a festive day with your loved ones.  I will repost again in a few days.

Thanks again to Nancy and Jen for use of their photos.

Chancellor . . . built pre-World War 2 in Brooklyn.  This post is timed to satisfy a request from Bob Price  . . . as follows:  “as part of a group working to restore the tug boat Chancellor, I am trying to find any extant engineering documentation regarding her construction details.  Built by Bushey & Sons in 1938, it is currently in the keeping of the Waterford Maritime Historical Society and my group of volunteers recently arranged to have it moved into dry dock at Lock 3 of the Erie Canal where we laboriously winterized it, pumped its bilges dry and a making plans to create a very thorough hit list of things to do.   If you would be so kind as to point me in the direction of any person or entity that might have access to drawings or any engineering related stuff pertaining to the Chancellor I would be most appreciative.  Thanks for your time.     Bob Price    Knox, NY      518.895.8954   The first three fotos below come from Bob.

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The next three I took in 2010.  Here she’s cruises north on the Hudson headed for Troy.

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Here’s she’s downbound following W. O. Decker into the Federal Lock.

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Housedown, she prepares to depart the bulkhead in Waterford.

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And in my foto from either 2006 or  2007 she goes nose-to-nose with Gowanus Bay.

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If anyone knows the whereabouts of construction drawings or other plans for Chancellor, you can also email me and I’ll pass the info on to Bob and his group.  Click here to see Fred tug44’s video of Chancellor being pushed upstream by the tagteam of Ben Elliot and National.

What would a name like Ecology Queen lead you to expect?

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The Bayonne Bridge in upper right side of the foto should suggestion the location.   Also, just beyond the yellow crane with the red unit marked 450, you can see the upper house of Lincoln Sea.

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Ecology Queen is seriously boxy and equipped with a telescoping crane.

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I’m guessing she started like as a government boat . . . DEP –by the name– or Corps of Engineers by the functionality, but

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I don’t know.

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Notice the sheltered wheel and rudder.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp, a few days ago at MHYC.  Click on that link for lots of fotos.

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