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I’ve mentioned before about my people the Dutch celebrating “old years day” on December 31.   As the child of immigrants, I’m blessed by this one of many ways they see the world differently, a perspective I’m happy to share.  So here is a retrospective of the year, the result of a process of scanning through photos in the blog library, not overthinking it.

January.  Gunhilde Maersk with James, Kirby, and JRT plus Miriam Moran.  the year of the 1200-footers aka ULCVs becoming commonplace in the sixth boro.

February.  Ocean Henry Bain serves as a safety boat during  the ice canoe race I documented in my Carnavalons posts.

March. Cerro Grande here escorted a Caribbean-bound LNG ship, one of all the Panama Tugs posts

April. When I saw this section of drained canal bed between O-6 to O-7 in Oswego, I thought the work’d never get done before the season began, but I was wrong.  Of all my 2018 NYS Canals posts, this and this posted with the greatest urgency.

May.  Reliable pushed seaward by Lucy H.  As of today, Reliable lies under the sea gathering fishes and entertaining Davy Jones near Shinnecock.

June.  Jay Bee V headed out on a high-profile mission.  Has she returned to the sixth boro yet?

July.  I missed Rosemary‘s christening because that’s what happens when you don’t look at your calendar. First come first serve for a few tugster lighthouse calendars.  Send me an email with your mailing address.   As I said, I ran a few extra when I made up my Christmas gifts.

August.  Kimberly Selvick with AEP barges was one of the treats I saw in Calumet.  This day south of Chicago planted a seed of curiosity about the Lake Michigan/Mississippi River link I hope to be able to explore in 2019.  Many thanks to Christine Douglas.

September.  J. W.  Cooper delivers a pilot in Port Colborne at the Lake Erie end of the Welland Canal.  Because I hadn’t a satisfying enough fix from the canal earlier, I returned there in October.

October.  One Stork, a pink ULCV,  came into town.  It wasn’t her first visit/delivery, but it was the first that I caught.  She’s currently in the sixth boro.

November.  Morton S. Bouchard IV rounds Shooters Island light, Bouchard celebrated a big anniversary this year.

December.  Ruth M. Reinauer heads west into the Kills in December, the start of heating oil season.

And that’s it for the year, time for me to securely lock up Tugster Tower and prepare myself to meet 2019.  The older I get, the more profound is my awareness that although I make many plans for a new year, I might not see the end of it.  It’s just how it is.  Every day is a blessing.  Last year had my own personal ultima thule; I pray that 2019 brings its new ones.

Thanks to everyone who read, commented, and assisted me in 2018.  Happy and constructive new year day by day to you all.

A change that’s happened to me in 2018 is that I became a truck owner.  When the truck gone through all the changes I’m making to it, I’ll post about it.  That’ll be this mid spring, if all goes well.  For now, let me truckster you with vehicles that’ve caught my attention along the highways and byways.

This 1945 Chevy wrecker could become a looker with some love.

 

This 1945 Studebaker truck, however, seems destined to become a mineral deposit in this woodsy place.

To see a restored beauty, click here and scroll.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose editor was not attentive in Tugster Tower today.

I’ve recently become a fan of Jay Leno’s Garage.  See his show on a WW2 1943 or 4 Dodge Carryall resto-mod.  It’s of the same era.

 

Sometimes voices talk to me as I’m taking photos.  I realize I’m leaving myself wide open when I write something like that, but I’m not joking.  Especially when a vessel named Opportunity comes in.  Be honest.  What would the voice in your head say?

 

And then it goes away?

So once you register that “opportunity comes and goes,”  and then you see other vessels doing the same . . . .?

sure . . . Yankee comes and goes.  Her sister vessel . . .  Freedom comes and goes.

Even clunkier names . . .  RHL Agilitas . . . yup . . . .

she comes and goes . . . from Kingston Jamaica to Halifax Canada.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who himself comes and goes.   Then other times he eats shoots and leaves. 

 

“Leaning out” is the layperson term that comes to mind, but I’m supposing a technical and standardized term exists:  indirect towing.

Let’s watch the evolution with Capt. Brian and OOCL Berlin. At 12:01, the line is slack.

12:02. As the tow approaches Bergen Point, line is tightened and

by 12:04, the line lengthened, and the tug appears to be headed in a diametrically opposite direction, in spite of OOCL Berlin‘s much larger mass.

Capt. Brian is now using the hull as a brake.

 

Three other tugs are working alongside the ship.

A different day, Capt. Brian is working on Gjertrud Maersk using the same technique.

 

 

All photos and conjecture on the language by Will Van Dorp.   Here’s one of my sources.  I hope someone corrects or confirms my understanding here.

 

I missed Josephine Reinauer (actually I saw her but couldn’t get a clear shot)  when she visited town recently, but I did catch Jacksonville, the latest Vane machine in the harbor.

For some reason I expected her to look different, but it’s an Elizabeth Anne class tug, which’ll look a lot like most of the rest of the Vane fleet.

Eric and the other McAllister escort tugs have been quite busy recently.

Ernest Campbell has been here about a half year doing bunkering, I believe.

Trevor usually works as a dredge tender, focusing on the Jersey shore this fall.

Brooklyn was called Brooklyn Service when I first discovered the sixth born.

Daisy Mae is just over a year old.

Normandy came to the sixth born from Colombia a few years ago.

Rowan has been working in the sixth boro of late.

In fact, almost seven years ago, it was Rowan that brought Patrice McAllister into the boro after the tragic fire during her delivery from the Great Lakes to this salt water.  These days, Patrice is looking great.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has heard about but not yet seen Hunter D.

 

[Note:  investigation of the Christmas pirate break-in is ongoing at Tugster Tower.  Culprits once located and questioned may face a job offer. ]

Weeks 533, the one that lifted Sully’s plane out of the Hudson, was moving up to either Port Elizabeth or Newark, using a three-tug configuration.

What impressed me was the lean-in, seen here by Michael Miller and

relayed by Catherine.

 

Causing this huge box-in-the-water to turn to starboard takes a lot of persuasion.

Thomas Weeks, likely providing the bulk of the forward movement, stays largely even keeled.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose done more posts here featuring this crane.

 

Since tugster announced he’d be out of Tugster Tower on Christmas day, I broke in to post this puzzler.  Who am I, you might wonder.  I’m not telling, but I know the boss’d like to know the story of these pics. . .

taken from a southbound Amtrak from Boston and looking toward the Pelham Bay Bridge.  Vessels’ve been disintegrating here a long time. Now they’ve been joined by an assemblage of boats that seem intent on making it all disappear.  Maybe?

I don’t know which tugs these are either.

Here are two shots from the satellite.

Some folks have to work on Christmas Day, so I’ve chosen to be among them.  Don’t tell the boss.

While we’re at mysteries, he’d like to know the story of this boat too . . .

Now I better leave the premises . . .

Full disclosure . . . I’m not feeling much festive this year personally.  So maybe it’s my own wary eye that leads to my seeing so few wreaths on boats, maybe it’s just this lingering head cold.

But it warmed my heart to see them, like here

on Pegasus, and

ditto on Alex McAllister.

 

And although this is not a set of Christmas decorations per se, this would be something I’d put in my front yard . . .  if I had one.  Nav aids fished out of the Erie Canal in prep for ice skating season . . .  are far superior to the hideous (IMHO) air inflated fabric figurines that seem to have taken over lawn ornamentation in my ‘hoods.  The photo below comes thanks to Bob Stopper.

Why have no works of popular culture NOT featured dancing navaids on a snowy barge and herded into lock by a brightly painted tugboat?

Thanks Bob.  And merry Christmas–whatever you need to do to make it merry–to everyone reading this today.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp, who shares this link about the Flying Santa tradition of New England, an effort that cheered the family of a once-dear friend.

The blog will take Tuesday, December 25, off, since tugster wants to leave Tugster Tower–or the sixth boro spire– and NOT wear out the keyboard.

If you want Christmas posts from previous years, check here.

 

 

Thomas J. Brown and Sons Inc. has been a marine towing enterprise in the sixth boro since 1927.  Their boats are busy and always very attractive. More than a decade ago I first used this title.

Thomas J. Brown, the oldest current boat, is a classic.

Joyce D. Brown, the most powerful current boat, is headed past Shooters Island here.  That color . . .  I just love it, especially in winter like this.

The newest boat–James E–arrived from the shipyard just a few years ago and regularly moves the rail cars across the boro.   I wonder if this cross-harbor rail tunnel will ever happen.

A few weeks ago James E. was moving this jackup platform.

Paul Strubeck caught the same job here.

As he did catching Thomas assisting James moving rail cars.

And finally, a real treat from Paul, a photo of Cecilia J. Brown, ex- DPC 42, Skipper (1948), Viatic (1952/54), Dalzellance (1957), Cecilia J. Brown, reefed some years ago, although I know not where.

Thanks to Paul for his photos;  all others by will Van Dorp.

 

I recognized the lines almost immediately, even though I hadn’t seen Maria J, ex-Jesus Saves, in a very long time.

I’m happy to see her back as Nicholas Vinik.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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