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More of the Great Race soon . . . but a bit of back story.

When I moved to our fair metropolis in 2000 and started paying attention, I was taken by the Bayonne Bridge, so enamored in fact that I choose it as the header image for this blog in 2006, and now out of stubbornness– or something– have kept the old view.

I renewed my focus on the Bridge in 2011, “turning” became the key word in the titles.  Click here to see posts I did for its 80th, 84th, and 86th anniversary of initial construction, and here I marked the 80 mark again twice.   Over 10 years ago I alluded to the raising for the first time here.

Here’s a single post that looks at the change from 2011 until 2017.

For a baseline, let’s use sunrise April 24, 2008, looking from the west, those two boats are Justine McAllister and Huron Service, now Genesis Victory.

And from the east, December 2011, and that boat was Barents Sea, currently known as Atlantic Enterprise.   As to the bridge, note the box-grid work (not a technical term) on the Bayonne side of the arch.

From Richmond Terrace (Staten Island) perspective, here’s the bridge in February 2012.

By September 13, the box grid was covered, possibly to allow sand blasting.

By January 2014, the cover was off the box grid.  Yes, that’s Specialist.

By October 2015, the box grid was being extended upward, as

the vertical supports were being erected farther into Bayonne.

Here’s a December 15 view, showing the symmetry of the construction.

Here’s March 2016, and you can begin to see the location of the raised roadbed.

Here’s a view from May 2016 from the west side of the Bayonne shore.

By August 2016, the new span has been completely defined.

Here’s a closer up, showing the old level–still poet traffic–and the new level, along with the device used to place pre-cast portions of the new road bed.   The tug is Taft Beach.

Here, as seen from the west side, is most of the bridge in September 2016.  Note the gap still remaining on the Staten Island side.

By March 23,  2017, the upper deck was open to wheeled traffic, and the lower deck was ready to be dismantled.

Here’s a closer-up of that opening.

By April 2, a gap existed, and

by April 11, 2017, ships that might have scrapped  year before were shooting through the opening that grew wider by the week.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will continue this progression soon.

The last time we saw Jay Bee V, she was solo and reportedly beginning an epic.  That was nine days ago, and now Jay Bee V (JBV) has taken over this large white barge from larger river tugs and is heading west with a a flotilla that began over a month ago in Brooklyn.  Click here for specifics on this journey as well as sponsors, and there are many.

Arguably, the epic began in 1868, and I quote here from the link above:  “1868, the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company relocated to Corning, via the New York Waterways, and evolved into the company that is today known as Corning Incorporated. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of this pivotal journey, CMoG will launch GlassBarge—a 30’ x 80’ canal barge equipped with CMoG’s patented all-electric glassmaking equipment—in Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 17, 2018.”

What’s pushing the “glass barge?”

Here’s a top down view of JBV, and

the boats of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Way in the distance, that’s the glass barge and beyond that, lock E-11.   Here from tug44 a few years back is more info on lock E-11.

If this photo illustrates nothing, it shows how JBV‘s  captain relies on understanding and communication from the watch stander on the barge.


Above and below, the flotilla passes Fonda, NY,

before locking up through E-13.


The glass barge flotilla had given its 8th set of shows (by my count)  in Amsterdam the day before.  To understand the impact of these shows, think canal-traveling circus of the 19th century.  Here they were heading for a set of shows in Canajoharie.  


More to come.  Again, if you have not checked out this link for their schedule–the water portion of which ends in Watkins Glen on September 16, click here.   Below is a vase I witnessed a glassblower make in less than 15 minutes!

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who reiterates that I take all the photos credited to me on this blog;  any photos taken by anyone else–collaboration I encourage–I attribute accordingly.

More photos of the Great Race soon.



Since it’s part c, you know what to do.  And I have one more batch . . . closeups . . . if I get the nod


“Land cruiser” today means something different, not nearly so cruise-worthy.   If you’re ever near South Bend, check this place out.  The company that made this car ran from 1852 until 1967!



“Boat tail” used to be a thing . . .

#4  Yup . . . it can be here since it’s older than 1973.


#6  Colorado and Buick reminds me of this 1926 Buick “application” I came upon in the Rocky Mountains almost six years ago.









#15  By the way, the owner of 151 is none other than the Unser family.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Yes, I take these photos.

Identification is as follows:

  1.  1954 Studebaker Land Cruiser
  2. 1940 Cadillac
  3. 1932 Ford speedster
  4. 1961 VW ragtop
  5. 1960 Studebaker Hawk
  6. 1931 Buick Phaeton, not a thing much any more
  7. 1941 Packard 120 coupe
  8. 1927 Peerless 560A
  9. 1955 Studebaker President
  10. 1935 Auburn Phaeton
  11. 1949 Ford Custom
  12. 1965 Triumph TR4
  13. 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang
  14. 1939 Jaguar SS
  15. 1961 MGA 1600
  16. 1937 Studebaker Coupe



More Great Race tomorrow.

Let’s finish up  Whatzit 38, which started here with a plain white canvas.  Below is a photo I took during the tugboat race in September 2015 of John J. Harvey, an FDNY fireboat in commission between 1931 and 1995.

And here’s one I took in April 2010, making an up-to 18,000 gpm water display to welcome the 343 into the sixth boro. Pumping water, which makes these designs in the sky,  is the whole point of a fireboat.   So . . .

check out her summer 2018 look.

This is a thorough


thorough dazzle paint job, white spray all over the boat, including the decks.



From this angle below, she  really looks like a WW1 Norman Wilkinson production.

I can’t wait to see her in glass calm water . . .  to enjoy the reflections.

I believe this is the current John J. Harvey website.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Remember tug Hackensack about ten years ago?  I’ve read some negative opining about the paint job on FB . . . here’s the concept.


Pollsters say you want more, so here we go.   As evidence of some effort to connect this out to tugster’s water focus, I’ll go back to a photo I took in mid-August 2014 in Wolcott NY. If I did the Great Race, I’d want a floating module, like the one of this 1930 Ford woody station wagon/bus.

Now back to Norwich NY and the lunch stop at the Northeast Classic “Car” Museum:  I put ” ” on car because today is all trucks.  And let’s do this as I did in yesterday’s post:  you guess.

#1  You probably noticed yesterday that all the photos were taken in one place;  I chose this angle–crossing railroad tracks–because that perspective allowed me framing that kept all (or most) people out of the shots.

#2  I remember milk being delivered in wonderful trucks like this one.

#3  I know hood ornaments and such reveal the manufacturer, but you still might have to struggle for the year.

This 1949 Diamond T was in the museum, and had such an informative sign, that I just had to

include that here.

#4   Yes, this is a pickup.

Again, this is a freebie. Somewhere lost in my past I remember my father driving a Diamond T and speaking reverentially about it. If you click on this photo, you might be able to read the sign. Notice the 10-gallon stainless milk cans loaded on the body.

#5  When was in Iraq almost 30 years ago, I saw this year truck cab fitted with a wooden coach body and used in Basra public transportation.  I’d really like to buy one of these and replicate what I saw on the streets there.


#7  It’s not really a truck, but it’s not a car either.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who reminds you that if you live in New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia, you can still catch them.


  1. 1939 Ford pickup
  2. 1950 Ford milk delivery van
  3. 1946 GMC 1/2 ton
  4. 1932 Ford
  5. 1957 Chevrolet
  6. 1946 Dodge WD-20
  7. 1948 Buick Roadmaster hearse

By the way, the 2019 Great Race will run from southern California to Washington state.   I guess it’s time to start saving up for/building an Iraq Chevy woody bus.

Let’s close out with one more from the museum, a Brockway from a central NYS company that ran from 1912 until 1977.


Twenty years ago . . . 1998 . . .  I had a “weatherproof” film camera I used to create evidence of all the hiking I was doing, vistas I enjoyed, and camps I woke up in;  I lived in Haverhill MA, a three-hour shot up to the White Mountains Friday afternoon when I got off work.  One weekend, however, I chose to stay home to watch the end of the Great Race 1998, stage 13.

June 24, 2018 I drove up to Norwich NY for the lunch stop of stage 2 of this year’s race.  I’ve got lots more photos;  just tell me if you’re on board for a digression . . . random leaded gas vehicles, as an alternative title.

This year’s race is 2300 miles, Buffalo to Halifax.  Coincidentally, tomorrow (Tuesday, June 26) the lunch stop is at the base of the Auto Road at . . . Mt Washington, the peak of the White Mountains.  Tonight’s overnight is Burlington VT;  then Gardiner ME, Bangor ME, Bar Harbor ME, Moncton NB, Dartmouth NS, and finally Halifax on July 1.  For the schedule and official photos, click here.

Let’s do it this way:  enjoy the photos and guess the make and year.  Answers below.

#1 should be relatively easy, and hey . . . it’s used for towing.

#2   Part of the answer should be easy.

# 3 and in the background


#5 and in the background.


#7 with a little bit of politics.






Compare these cars to the ones in chugster 1–3.   These are the same machines but different politics.


  1. 1953 Dodge Power Wagon, and the local favorite . . . the Alfred State wrecker.
  2. 1936 Ford, and another NY state team.
  3. 1918!  American LaFrance speedster, a MN and ND team.  In the background, that’s a 1940 Ford from AL and GA
  4. 1948 Ford Sedan, with a ME team, and the car (not clear here) is festooned with a huge lobster, of course.
  5. 1929 Ford Model A speedster, from MI.  In the background, a 1932 Ford speedster.
  6. 1916 Hudson Super 6, from MO.
  7. 1937 Packard 1502, and another team from ME.
  8. 1929 Ford Model A, from VT.
  9. 1916 Hudson Hillclimber, from western NY.
  10. 1954 Chevy BelAir, from the end of the race . . .  Halifax.
  11. 1969 Saab 96 from VA.
  12. and the answer is on the plaque, lower left . . . 1927 Ford /Blue Bird bus.  There’s one in The Henry Ford that claims to be the oldest school bus in the US, but here’s another.  It’s powered by a 20 hp engine.

Let me know if you want one or two or three more batches.

Note:  One of the Race 2018 rules is that participation is open to vehicles built in 1972 or before.



It’s Cornell, westbound under the Bayonne Bridge.  Now that’s a sight not often seen.  Cornell (1949) occupies a niche likely quite unexpected, as documented here.  In this post (scroll), you see Cornell in 1978!  Hear her inimitable whistles (wait for it) here.

Ivory Coast has truly an unusual name, but I’d never call her Côte d’Ivoire.  That’s been her name now for 20 years;  previously she was Crusader for over 30 years.

Nicole Leigh Reinauer is the first (of three? ) Atlantic II class tug.

Her dimensions and design are similar if not identical to Lincoln Sea, but Nicole has CAT engines instead of EMDs.   This class of ATB is the product of Bob Hill, whose boyhood home in Troy NY  gave him a front row seat to an earlier generation of tugs and barges.

Looking very similar to Nicole Leigh Reinauer, it’s the newest ATB in the boro . . .  Bert Reinauer, photo thanks to Lisa Kolibabek.  Bert,  almost two decades newer, has the same dimensions as Nicole Leigh, but with GEs generating 8400 hp, versus CATs at 7200.

Viking has operated out of the sixth boro since 1992.  Before that, she spent 20 years in the fleet of Nolty J. Theriot, whose rise and fall is documented in Woody Falgoux’s excellent book, Rise of the Cajun Mariners.

For various Viking appearances on tugster over the years, click here.  Note her distinctive Bludworth bow.

Discovery Coast spent a lot of time in the sixth boro a few years ago, but these days she’s rarely here.  Here’s her first appearance in this blog, in 2012.

And the newest ship assist tug in the boro is Capt. Brian A. McAllister.  Here’s a Professional Mariner story about the tug.

The photo of Bert Reinauer thanks to Lisa Kolibabek.  All other photos here in the past week by Will Van Dorp.


What’s going on?



2210.  Here’s a key to the color code:  turquoise is work boats, blue and yellow are passenger vessels, and magenta is for recreational craft.  The four-digit numbers are times on the 24-hour clock.

What season is it?  Is the temperature above or below 60 degrees?  Got it?

Answer will be in the comments . . .  soon.


Two days ago, the compact 1969 Jay Bee V (38′ x 12′ x 5′) set out on a journey that’ll be followed on this blog.

Hint:  It’s even a bit smaller than, for example,  1930 W. O. Decker (50′ x 15′ x 6′), which has some enclosed living space, compared with Jay Bee V‘s lack thereof.

Arguably, Jay Bee V and W. O. Decker have occupied the same niche in harbor work, although at different eras.

I’ve seen Jay Bee V working at Caddell’s back in 2016 here  and in 2015 here.

That looks like a bundle of new line for towing or tackle to me.

As I said, Jay Bee V is setting out on what may be its greatest ever journey.

She’ll exit the Kills and turn for the North River.

And if you’re wondering where she’s headed . . . she’ll spend some time on the New York State Canals, where I hope to see her next week.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


Wrangell, Alaska is almost 7000 sea miles from New York.

Harley does have a number of fleets, but the Olympic fleet

seems to have arrived in the sixth boro this month.   Ernest Campbell (1969) is one of several tugs that have retained the last name of the previous owner.

C. F. Campbell (1975) is another.

The other day they cooperated to get Long Island into a dock at IMTT.

Has this 60,000 bbl barge been sold out of Moran’s fleet?  If so, when did that happen?


Then last week I caught the 2012 Lighning in the boro,

a 2000-hp tug of the Gulf fleet.


The 1999 Andrea (3000 hp) has been here for almost three years, if my recall is correct.


They’re all Harleys, along with Dr. Milton Waner, HMS St. AndrewsHMS Liberty, and more.   And thanks to Kyle Stubbs, here and here are a set of Harleys from the Pacific Northwest.  And here’s one more . . . from San Francisco.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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