You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2022.

I’m back and just in time for the last day of the year, which –as explained in previous years— in my Dutch tradition is a reflection day, a time to if not assess then at least recall some of the sights of the past 12 months.  A photo-driven blog makes that simultaneously easy and hard;  easy because there’s a photographic record and not easy because there’s such an extensive photographic record to sift though.

A word about this set of photos:  these are some “seconds” that did not make the final cut for my 2023 tugster calendar.  The actual calendars are still available if you’ve not ordered one;  find the order info here. I’m ordering a bunch myself. 

One windy day last January I caught a Pilot No 1–the old New York–doing drills under the VZ Bridge.  Just recently I met one of the engineers on that boat, a person with epic stories about the sixth boro.

A warm day in February, I caught JRT Moran assisting QM2 into her Red Hook berth. 

March I spent a delightful day on Douglas B. Mackie observing the water side of a Jersey shore beach replenishment project, thanks to the hard-working folks at GLDD. 

April . . .  I caught Jane McAllister heading out;  correct if I’m wrong, but my sense is that soon afterward she made her way down to South America to join the expanding ranks of US-built tugs working on various projects on the south side of the Caribbean. 

As a member of the Canal Society of NYS, I had the opportunity to see Urger up close and sun-warmed on the bank of the Oswego in Lysander NY. 

A clutch of Centerline tugboats waited for their next assignment at the base just east of the Bayonne Bridge.   Note the fully foliated trees beyond them along the KVK.

From the humid heat of western Louisiana and onto the Gulf of Mexico, Legs III–shown 

here spudded up just east of SW Pass, afforded a memorable journey on its way up to the sixth boro.  Thx, Seth. 

Back in the boro, later in August, a Space X rocket recovery boat named Bob–for an astronaut– came through the sixth boro.  More on Bob–the astronaut–here

In September, I finally got to my first ever Gloucester schooner race, thanks to Rick Miles of Artemis, the sailboat and not the rocket. 

Icebreaker Polar Circle was in the boro a few days in September as well.  Now it’s up in Canada, one hopes doing what icebreakers are intended to do. US naval logistics vessel Cape Wrath is at the dock in Baltimore ready and waiting a logistics assignment. 

Ticonderoga certainly and Apache possibly are beyond their time working and waiting.  I believe Ticonderoga is at the scrappers in Brownsville. 

Passing the UN building on the East River, veteran Mulberry is currently out of the army and working in the private sector.  I’ve a request:  for some time I’ve seen a tug marked as Scholarie working the waters west of the Cape Cod Canal;  a photo suggested it might be called Schoharie. Anyone help out?

And finally, a photo taken just two days ago while passing through the sixth boro during what can hardly be called “cover of darkness” it’s Capt Joseph E. Pearce on its way to a shipyard on the mighty Rondout to pick up some custom fabrication for a Boston enterprise. Many thanks to the Stasinos brothers for the opportunity.

I’d be remiss in ending this post and this year without mentioning lost friends, preserving a memory of their importance to me personally . . .  Bonnie of frogma–first ever to comment of this blog so many years ago and a companion in many adventures– and Mageb, whose so frequent comments here I already miss. 

I plan to post tomorrow, although I may miss my high noon post time because I hope to post whatever best sunrise 2023 photos I can capture in the morning.  

Happy, safe, and prosperous new year to you all.  I’m posting early today because I want my readers who live much much farther east than the sixth boro to get these wishes before their new trip around the sun begins. Bonne annee!  Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

 

This will be the last post for a few days . . .   William F. Fallon Jr. at the Statue.

Thomas D. Witte, dredge Delaware, Durham, and some smaller boats in the Upper Bay.

Marjorie B. McAllister with NYNJR 200 on the Brooklyn side. 

Jessica Ann and another RIB appear to be involved in diving ops.  Brrr.

Schuylkill moves a tank barge across the boro.

James William tows a mooring into Erie Basin.

And finally, the ever busy Chandra B heads for the Kills.

All photos recently, WVD, who hopes to be back by week’s end.

 

If you think a blog devoted to tugboats is narrowly focused, imagine one devoted solely to herons.  Babsje has been doing that for longer than tugster has been around.  She sent me this image yesterday in response to my solicitation of seasonal photos.  She told me that getting a heron to pose with that cap was quite the feat.

2017 Holiday Heron – babsjeheron

If you’re delighted by the photo and her blog posts like this and this, you might want to drop a note of cheer and encouragement on her blog;  she’s a photographer and is currently unable to photograph because of cataract surgery.

In case you’re wondering, not all her herons wear red caps like this.

Merry Christmas, WVD, who may be spotty posting in the next few days and likely off FB for that duration.

 

Can you identify this text?  “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”  I’ll provide the answer at the end of this post. 

Thanks much to George Schneider for sending along this “cheer,”  Wedell Foss, Port Angeles WA and taken last night.

As for me, I’m staying inside mostly today and not going out looking for Christmas Eve festivity photos, but I planned ahead and have these to share.  Know this be-decked-the-decks boat?

 

South Street Seaport Museum always decorates the boats. 

And this captain, maybe he supports his whirlwind worldwide Christmas Eve navigations by peregrinating the sixth boro days and nights all the rest of the year?  Did you realize the North Pole elf king had a USCG license?

So merry Christmas eve from tugster tower.  Thanks for reading the blog, commenting, sending along photos, sending me cards, sharing tips, and especially leaving me off the list when the subpoenas go out. 

Now that quote . . . I remember friends used to have posters on their walls with that text way back when.  Here’s more:

“… As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit….

Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”   It’s Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata.  That link gets you the whole short text.

Since it was 7 degrees F this morning in the sixth boro, here are some southern Christmas tips, southern as in Chile, that is.  I think of warm Chile in northern winter because around the five boros and beyond, it’s where our road salt comes from.  

Many thanks to George for sending along the photo, and the ferry captain for transporting cheer around the sixth boro.  Gary Steele, thanks for reminding me about Desiderata, product of Terre Haute IN. 

If you have your own tugsteresque seasonal photos you wish to share, please send them. 

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll recall I spent a large part of June and July on a liftboat called Legs III.  A similar liftboat called Ram VII did some work in the sixth boro in September.   Now for parts of November and December, a huge liftboat has operated off the South Fork of Long Island, and recently came in to dock in Bridgeport CT.  Legs III legs are currently around 70′.  Ram VII legs are 145′.  Any guesses on the height of the legs on the liftboat below?

Legs III had two cranes;  L/B Jill has four, with the largest a capacity of 500 tons, and a 140′ boom.   The other cranes have lifting capacity of 60, 25, and 10 tons. 

Another Secor vessel was also docked at Barnum’s Landing, but I’ll save that for another post. 

L/B Jill has an impressive helideck, capable of supporting helicopters no larger/heavier than a Sikorski S-92, which weighs just shy of 14 tons.

 

Note the life boats and lifer aft canisters.  Jill operates with 12 crew and can accommodate up to 136 passengers, i.e., technicians usually on whatever project

it’s supporting in depths up to 275′.   This means that Jill could “leg down” in almost any part of Long Island Sound.  Dimensions on Jill are 178′ x 135′.

Liftboats have been described as combination of a cargo vessel, crane ship, hotel, and restaurant. 

I’m not sure how long Jill will be at Barnum’s Landing or what exactly it’s doing there. 

All photos, any errors, WVD.  For more info on Jill, as well as some great layout drawings, click here. As to the length of legs, she’s a 335 class;  usually that number represents the length of legs.

If you’re wondering about that name Barnum, the reference is indeed to Phineas Taylor Barnum, the showman, entrepreneur, and politician; the guy who said things like these . . .

I haven’t always noticed all the right details, 

and you might be wondering if this title sounds a bit like one of those professional firms . . .

but possibly by the time you get to the photo below you’ve figured out the title.

Certainly while shooting these photos, it occurred to me that this tug/barge combination is somewhat unusual . . . Chesapeake Coast pushing liquid tank barge Chesapeake.  Maybe it’s not unusual.  Sister tug Discovery Coast has been in the boro a fair amount but it’s been a while since I recall seeing Chesapeake Coast here.

Anyhow, I thought it was unusual.  

Can you recall seeing this barge in the boro?  Going back in my archives, it’s been a few years that I’ve posted photos of Chesapeake Coast, other than it “retro” posts. Good to see you. 

All photos, any lapses of memory and inattention, WVD. 

From right to left then, that would be Allie B, Sarah D, and Weeks 533.  

The two tugs assisted the crane barge that lifted a large electrical component onto a many-wheeled trailer inside the Red Hook container port.  I’ll post my photos of the truck on my next truckster! post. 

Well over a decade ago, I traveled up to Quincy MA to see Allie B move a long time piece of the landscape out of Quincy and over to the Black Sea port of Mangalia, Romania.  What piece of landscape, you ask?  It was the Fore River Goliath Crane, now painted yellow and set in a yard operated by Damen, although it seems it may now be inactive again. 

Landing the crane at Red Hook yesterday, lifting the cargo, and departing all happened quite fast, less than 90 minutes from arrival to departure. 

 

 

 

 

Happy solstice. Next stop summer.

All photos, WVD.   Hat tip Cyclone Shark.

 

I wasn’t sure what prompted McCormack Boys to come from the dredge sites and into the sixth boro the other morning, 

 

and when I saw it, I was initially surprised.  I’d not seen a barge like this before, but 

upon reflection it made perfect sense . . .

all the vessels and their multiple engines need fuel.  So either you bring other companies’ tankers or tanks out there

or you get your own, which I presume Great Lakes Dredge & dock have with the functionality named 1003

 

All photos, WVD. 

Hell Gate conjures up strong associations, whether you go with the English derivation or the Dutch one.  I don’t go there enough to get photos. 

But today, Joker brought Weeks 551 through the Gate, and I was there to record it.  

It is truly an ever changing set of turbulences. 

 

 

 

On a run from New London to sixth boro, this job is almost done.

All photos, WVD.

As the solstice approaches, the sixth boro is darker, the latest sunrises and earliest sunsets of the year;  not surprisingly it’s a time when holidays involve lights

Bright colors are most welcome, and nothing was brighter yesterday at sunrise than this orange tug

towing a deck barge

on its way south, with the rising sunrise on its nose.

Bridgeport is no new vessel,having come off the ways in Alabama in 1982.  It even worked in the sixth boro under the name Dragon Lady, its namesake said to have earned that name from “chastising her employees over the marine radio.”  If you read only one link in this post, read that one on the operator of Dragon Lady.

All that is past.  Almost 30 years ago, the tug was renamed for the big complicated city on the Sound. 

On this dark, cold morning, with her relatively new livery, Bridgeport was a sight for sore eyes as

she headed south with Mohawk 860-20.

 

All photos, WVD, who’s looking forward to lengthening days and returned heat.

2023 is just two weeks away.  Got your calendar yet?  Order here

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