You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2016.

I’m trying to catch up with the photos you all have been good enough to share on tugster.  The first five here come from some salts up on the Caloosahatchee Canal in Florida.  John Parrish was westbound here, but a week later it showed up in the sixth boro, and by publication of this post, it’s already back to Norfolk.   That’s some sea miles.  Here are some of my previous photos of John Parrish.


Also, westbound in that Canal, it’s Brittany Beyel.  She’s Beyel Brothers equipment, who have a dramatic photo on that link.


This one’s eastbound on the Canal with a crane.  I can’t quite make out the name, but the the steersman has great visibility.


Boomalong was getting hauled out.  Her fine lines made me think she has a storied past, and it turns out she does.  She began life in 1944 in Owen Sound, ON as HMCS Neville, HMCS being Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship.   She’s a Russel Brothers boat that has been around, currently quite far from


Sault Ste. Marie.


Thanks to Jed, who previously contributed many photos, here’s a photo and text:  “it’s Stephanie S (1986) returning to Port Canaveral after escorting the bulk carrier VENTURE out of the port.”

photo date 11 MARCH 2016

photo date 11 MARCH 2016

From Birk Thomas, it’s Barents Sea, now over in Port Newark, having moved for the first time in at least five years.  She looks rough, but I’m hoping there’s a make-over in the works for her.   If she moves again, I’d love to see some photos.




Here’s my photo of W. O. Decker, docked at Caddell Dry Dock, being worked on  . . . or waiting for Wavertree to make her promenade back to South Street.


From Jason LaDue, here’s a good view of the underbelly of Grouper, frequently referred to in this blog.  Such belly will be visible until the pool level of the Erie Canal is brought back up for the start of the season.  Jason’s also a frequent contributor.


Now here’s an oldie but goodie from the other JED.  It shows Labrador Sea and Taurus, significant because now that Taurus is being phased out, Labrador Sea–which had worked on the Mississippi and Gulf for the past few years, has moved back up here into Taurus‘ place, I’m told.   And they’re in K-Sea colors.


And I said “and more” in the title?  Here’s the more, a new dock book from Tony Acabono.  If it’s your business to know where berth 60 is in Port Elizabeth in relation to berth 61 in Port Newark, you might want to check it out.

Many thanks to the secrets salts and the not-so-secret ones for sending along these photos.


All these photos come through Fred Trooster.

Let’s start with the new build Noordstroom which wasn’t splashed until midMarch 2016.  Click here to see the triple-screw vessel at various stages of construction.

rrt1Calandkanaal - aan de trekpaal - 0107


rrt2Calandkanaal - 0132

Catharina 7 on the other hand, is from 1958.  Here she passes the Bollard.




Here’s 1973 built Pacific Hickory.  I’m not sure what’s brought her to greater Rotterdam.

rrt5PACIFIC HICKORY, Lekhaven - 0136

And we end today’s post with Osprey Fearless, 1997 built.

rr6OSPREY FEARLESS, Lekhaven - 141


All photos by Freek Koning and via Fred Trooster.  Thank you very much.

As a review, here and here were the posts I did on Wavertree going TO Caddell 11 months ago, and here is the series 1 through 4 focusing on Wavertree AT Caddell’s.

Below was she on March 10.  While I was away, she was refloated.


Below is March 19.  To my surprise, the masts had been unstepped.


And below was yesterday, April 17, the day when Executive Director of South Street Seaport Museum, Jonathan Boulware,  conducted a tour of the work in progress.  Any errors in this reportage are due to my having forgotten my pen and pad.


Since the masts–at up to 20 tons each, if I heard that right–were unstepped, their cleanup and refurbishment has begun.


A house has been built over the whaleback stern to protect the interior spaces.  There is some beautiful birdseye maple panelling in there.





The underside of the whaleback shows the details of work already completed.




This is the interior of the upper stern, looking to starboard.


Access to the cargo areas during the tour was forward.


I’m eager to see what work gets done to the bowsprit. Check out this post (and scroll) from many years ago when Frank Hanavan and I put fresh paint on that bowsprit.


This is a new deck . . . the tweendeck.  If you’ve ever eaten on Moshulu in Philadelphia, the restaurant is in this space.


Wavertree had a tweendeck back in 1895, when she called briefly in the sixth boro, which you can read about here (scroll).  In the photo below, you are looking through a hatch in the tweendeck down into the main cargo hold.


And here is the main payload space, the cathedral of cargo, looking toward the stern.  On a modern vessel, this would be divided into watertight compartments.


I can’t say this is the manufacturer, but this is the concept–as I understand it–for this ballast.


Mainmast will be restepped here.


Here Jonathan explains the spar work.






When the project is completed, all these spars will be aloft and potentially functional.




This cross section of a spar shows the lamination of the wood.  Some of these products are provided–I believe–by Unalam.




Here are some of the finer spars, along


with the directions for re-assembly.


Work going on in the rigging shed included stripping  off the old coatings and recovering the high quality old wire of the standing rigging.


Worming, parcelling, and serving protects the wire and produces such sweet smells of pine tar.


Many thanks to South Street Seaport Museum for offering this work progress tour.   Any errors here are unintentional and mine.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who thinks anyone who hasn’t read A Dream of Tall Ships by the late great Peter Stanford would really enjoy the saga of Wavertree‘s arrival in the sixth boro as told in that book.

Traffic backed up.  But in Schiedam it’s because of a drawbridge that’s up to allow a self-propelled barge to back out.  More on that later.  That windmill?  It’s at the Nolet distillery, a Ketel One facility that makes many spirits besides vodka.


Here’s the 1962 motorvrachtschip, Sentinela,


squeezing through the lock and


returning to the main waterway after delivering one of two loads of sand per day to the glass-making plant just up the creek from Ketel One.


But Hercules is the reason I’m here today.  The big steam vessel event is only a month and some away, so it’s painting and refurbishing time to prepare her.  For a larger set of photos of the preparations, including the mounting of a new mast created out of an old spar by Fred Trooster, click here.


Here is a set of photos I took of Hercules two years ago at the steam festival.




The barge being towed here is loaded upside and down below with smaller steam engine applications.




Click on the photo below to hear how silently she runs.




To keep her running, the owner Kees Boekweit needs to fabricate some of the parts himself.  He works as a steam engineer over at –you guessed it–Ketel One.   Click on the photo below to see a shorter video of her running on the North Sea.


Here are the fireboxes under the boiler.


Here is a cold firebox and


an empty coal pocket.




And one last glimpse of traffic on the main waterway here, Friday last Ovation of the Sea arrived in Rotterdam for the first time.  See eight minutes of edited tape here.  By the way, the KRVE boats are the line handlers.  Clearly, though, the tugs steal the show providing what I’ll call a “Dutch welcome,” to coin a phrase.



This is a 1959 vessel with a rich and varied career.  Click here for photos from a maritime festival last year, and  here (scroll) with info about her sojourn in the US.


Click on the photo below to hear her run.




Click here to watch a 20-minute video documenting her meeting a near-sister a few years back.  The sister has been converted into a private yacht. See them together here. The next two photos I took in NL in 2014.




That’s Fred Trooster and me in the photo below;  thanks Fred for the invitation to come aboard Elbe.


For some of Fred’s photos of the visit, click here.

Marginally related, I wonder when a similar pilot boat–Wega–will leave its custody in Rio here (and scroll).

Also, marginally related and in response to a question from sfdi1947, click here for interactive navigation charts (waterkaarten or vaarkaarten) for Dutch inland waters, fun to play with but likely not guaranteed for actual use.


Now let’s bounce back south of Leiden, west of Rotterdam . . . to Maassluis.  Notice all the gray color upper left side of the aerial below . . .  all greenhouses!  I have lots of fun looking at this part of NL by google map.


At the center of Maassluis  . . . you guessed it, there’s an island called Church Island,  because


at its center is a church, completed in 1639.


I believe the larger vessel here–seen next to the drawbridge above–is Jansje, built 1900. The smaller one . . . I don’t know.


Check out the wheel


I’m guessing this was a fish market . . .


as my attempt (help?) at translation here is “people who sail something well, God takes them with him.”  How far off am I?


Anyhow, that 1664 building is on Anchor Street and leads to the De Haas shipyard.


Harbor tug Maassluis was built right here by De Haas in 1949.


Below is a photo I took of her back in 2014 in Dordrecht.


Salvage vessel Bruinvisch first launched in 1937, and has returned to a pristine state by the efforts of many volunteers.  You can befriend her on FB at “Bergingsvaartuig Bruinvisch.”


Notice the white building off the stern of tug Hudson?  That is the National Dutch Towage Museum.  I wanted to visit but came at the wrong hour.  Oh well, next time, Kees.





The next three photos come from John van der Doe, who sent them a few months back.


Furie is a sea-going steam tug built in 1916.  You can see many photos of her on FB at “StichtingHollandsGlorie.”


And Hudson, 1939, currently without an engine, narrowly escaped being scrapped.  She spent a number of years in the 60s and 70s as a floating ice-making plant.


Many thanks to John for these last photos.  All others by Will Van Dorp, who has more Maassluis photos tomorrow.  One more for now, the day I was there, Furie was over in the De Haas yard.


And below is a print I found on board Hercules–this coming Sunday’s p0st–showing Furie in a dramatic sea.


I couldn’t get a photo, but as a monument in a traffic circle in Maassluis, there’s a huge beting aka H-bitt.  Here’s a photo . . . it may be the third one.

So let’s go inland a ways and look around.  I actually want to make the point that even in the smaller interior cities the water connection is strong.

See Amsterdam on the left? Slightly northeast all the way across the map, you see a city called Zwolle.  To drive from Amsterdam to Zwolle is about 60 miles.  And that “island” you see in between the two cities is actually reclaimed land, a polder that used to be the bottom on the Zuider Zee.  That particular polder is called Flevoland, but I digress.


Today’s post focuses on Zwolle, a city about the same size as Leiden.  Its name actually comes from the same word that in English is “swollen.” But more on that later.  Once again, notice the moat, i.e., water and therefore boats.


All kinds of boats, and incentives for tourist-attracting traditional boats lining the moat.


Enclosed by the moat was once a walled city.  Here’s a remnant of the wall;  notice the reddish-hulled vessel under the flags to the right.


Below is looking through the arch which is visible on the left side of the photo above.  The tower in the wall holds . . . what else, an Italian restaurant.  A throwback to the Romans who managed to get behind enemy lines back in in “barbarian” times?   That’s a joke.


Let’s jump across the moat and see this from the outside.  That boat is called “de verhalenboot,” which translates as “the story boat.”  Here’s a googletranslated version of their site.  They have a matching tender.


Here, notice the “story boat” in the center?  To the left is the “pannenkoeken boot,”  i.e., a restaurant boat noted for its pancakes.  I posted about them in Amsterdam two years ago here.


I.e., lots of specialized vessels, starting with freight carrier repurposed as houseboats,







as well as modern houseboats fitted onto barges.


Note the grand piano to the left of this gray/white vessel?


There’s the piano again to the extreme right.  It’s landside of Thor, cultuurschip.  Here’s the googletranslated version of their webpage; their 2016 season just started.  This is Zwolle’s version of the sixth boro’s barge music, here and here. To orient you, that’s the “story boat” just beyond the vessel to Thor‘s stern.


So there’s pancakes, stories, music . . . and a pink “love you long time” craft that for 13 euros, gets you a guide, a drink, snacks, and a ride around the moat.


Here’s more of their flotilla and their translated page.  Dutch and English are not that different:  translate this as “cook boat.”


And as you travel around the moat, you see lots of old buildings like this one, lots here with


names in painted (?) terra-cotta.


In the center of town, there’s the “keep,” technically, Sassenpoort.


Of course, my nose is really for workboats, Harm and Harm 2, small tankers for the local Shell distributor.


Here, you see the sail maker’s shop, also selling “water sports articles” and built into the old city wall.  And here’s my holy grail . . . the 1942 small tug named Kees.   Kees is a very common name for males in Dutch.




As is true for over-the-road trucks in the US, many Dutch vessels carry owner info on a placard forward of the wheelhouse.


A similar but more primitive looking vessel here is Ceuvel.  Other than that this boat was likely built in an area of Amsterdam called Ceuvel, I know nothing.


Let’s end here today with a shot of her from the stern.


More photos tomorrow from another small city in NL, this region of water as seen here and here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’d love to hear from the owners of any of these vessels and/or see building plans.


It goes without saying that the waterways here are busy and complex, as seen from this AIS grab below, showing traffic at this moment between Brussels (bottom) and Amsterdam, and between Dusseldorf and the North Sea about midway the narrowing into the English Channel to the southwest.  All the photos in today’s post–as have many here–were taken just west of Rotterdam.


Here Smit’s Union 11 heads east past the Mammoet headquarters.


Below is water tanker DWS 14 delivering “drink water” in the greater Rotterdam port.

Even more interesting is the 10-storey cylindrical building in the background, on the land’s edge in Schiedam.  It’s called De Bolder, aka the Bollard, the biggest bollard I’ve ever seen.   The building, Mammoet’s offices in Schiedam, was entirely built and furnished elsewhere in greater Rotterdam port (Zwijndrecht) and then transported into its location by water!!  Now that’s making a statement about a company’s mission.


Here in the same waterway recently, the Montrose Alpha platform gets a final fitting out before it heads out to the North Sea.  The platform was also built in Zwijndrecht and moved to this point in the delta by at least four En Avant tugs.


A 1959 training vessel Delftshaven passes by.


Across the way, new build pipe layer Sapura Rubi  is getting fitted out before joining the fleet in Brasil.


Meanwhile at the Damen Shiprepair yard in Schiedam, work is always going on, with Foresight and Patron up on the floating dry docks,  and Seven Waves and Mona Swan docked.




Seven Oceans –astern of Skandi Açu–has since departed for the north of Norway.  Both are pipe laying support vessels.  Here is the entire DOF fleet.  The 479′ Skandi Açu, crewed by up to 120 people and capable of laying pipe down to almost 10,000 feet,  was christened last week and celebrated by Huisman, VARD, DOF Subsea, and Technip.


My dinghy awaits.  See ya.


The first four photos come from Freek Wamandai via my friend Fred Trooster, who also took the last one.  The ones in between are by Will Van Dorp.

For more Skandi and Subsea vessels, click here.


Being in the low countries, I thought I’d ask around if meow man–certainly a sixth boro staple– had ever made an appearance.  And I thought I’d ask in places where I stood a chance to get a response.  Like Lelystad, a city of over 75,000 people at 10 feet below sea level.  My “Hey there.  Do you know meow man?” got this fang-baring big eyed response  . . .


Miauw man? Ik heb nog nooit van hem gehoord.”   I’ll translate word by word:  “I have ever never from him heard.”


At first I feared my red friend–figurehead of De Zeven Provinciën would catapult out of his enclosure, but he only pulled himself to an above-sea level-perch to ask his big friend . .  .


this guy, figurehead on Batavia.


And the big red guy’s answer was:  “Miauw man? Wie of wat is hij, dit miauw man?”  Word by word, it translates as, “MM, who or what is he, this MM?”  So the Batavia figurehead roared out across the sea looming over the farmland and asked this guy . . .


this really big guy . . . 60 tons known by various names . . . suggested by the pose.



And he said not a word, which made me suspect he actually knew something, had associations with MM, and was keeping the secret.

All photos and interpretations of conversations that really really did happen by Will Van Dorp.

Here are previous figureheads posts.  And what follows is a set of photos I took at the December 2008 boat show, all depicting the struggle-into-shape of Onrust’s big cat.






With mallet and gouge, Dave is truly a master sawdust maker.


Unrelated:  I’m not dedicating a post to names at this time, but I just noticed that Herman Hesse was entering port as Irene’s Remedy was departing.


This last post on Leiden focuses on a “block” of water at about the 10:00 position if you imagine the moat as a clock face. It’s the waterway between Morsweg and Morsstraat below, referred to as the “historical harbor,” where the requirement for free dockage is that the vessels must pre-date 1940 and have been cargo carriers at one time.


An amazing fact for me is that although these boats are old, that building in the center–Stadstimmerwerf or municipal carpentry yard– is much older,  built in 1612;  Rembrant was born in 1606, just slightly to the left of where I stood to take that photo, i.e., as a kid, he likely watched that building going up!!


It served as municipal carpentry yard until 1988!  Then it was turned into senior housing, a purpose it still has today.


The red-striped vessel above and below, Antje Rebecca, was built in 1928 as a kagenaar, a local design of barge.  Mast and motor were first added in 1936.  I put a a photo of unaltered  kagenaars–no power–at the end of this post.


Here’s a stern view with tender.




The windmill is a replica of one that was built in 1619, i.e., when Rembrant was a teenager. The bridge is also a replica of one that stood there in Rembrant’s lifetime.




Sorry, I can’t tell you the story of De Liefde . .  aka the dear.  She is a converted cargo vessel of the sort still intensively used in inland waterways of northern Europe.  Here’s a database, but it’s all in Dutch.


Click here for some of the highlights of Leiden.  It saw its golden age–also the age of Rembrant–less than half a century after the liberation of the city from Spanish rule by a motley crew referred to as the Sea Beggars, who entered the city via the moat and waterways.


Antoinette Christina, built in 1924, is classified as a luxe motor because it was built with engine and other conveniences.


Read about it here.




Below are–I believe–examples of kagenaars, many of which are converted into wharf extensions used as drinking/eating platforms.




All photo by Will Van Dorp, who will focus on another Dutch town tomorrow.

In case you missed Robert’s comment yesterday and if you are headed to the Netherlands soon, here are some events where you can see many of these restored vessels underway:  National Tugboat Days in Zwartsluis and  Tugboat Days in Elberg.  As another database, check out the tug and push boat trade site.   If you want to try to struggle through some info, here’s a free translator I sometimes use for a host of languages.

Here’s another.

And just an idea, if there might be a group of folks looking to go over together, we might consider seeing about organizing a trip over and a tour.  And I’m just planting a seed for what could be lots of fun although a fair amount of work.  Here’s the event I went to in 2014;  it’ll happen this May and then again in 2018.  A group could qualify for discounts, and I have some contacts and language skills.


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

Join 1,469 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.