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In A Perfect Storm,  Sebastian Junger writes “There are houses in Gloucester where grooves have been worn into the floorboards by women pacing past an upstairs window, looking out to sea.”  Today a lot of people are wearing out keyboards searching for news on El Faro.  Others are out in the still stormy aftermath of the hurricane, looking for contact.  Wishes and prayers and hopes swirl through the air as well.


this photo and the next four . . . taken in Baltimore in March 2010









The next four photos show El Morro, sister ship, arriving in San Juan in March 2013.  Note the splash in lower center left in the photo above;  that’s the pilot boat delivering the pilot on this stormy morning two years ago.






Here she arrives in the port of San Juan.



All photos were taken by Will Van Dorp, who prays for strength and safety for all who need it today.

Click here for info on vessel owner, TOTE Maritime, a Saltchuk company.

… John Jedrlinic, that is.  Jed has sent along quite a few photos, some of which you can see here.

I believe all these photos were taken in Baltimore in September 2011.  I’ve been to Baltimore, but I’ve never seen a Krause tug.  More of my photos from Baltimore here, and maybe I should head back.   Below is David M Krause built as LT 2075 in 1953.

photo date 11 SEPT 2011

Theresa S. Krause, formerly James M. Witte, built in 1952.

photo date 10 SEPT 2011

and JoAnn Krause, built 1944.

photo date 10 SEPT 2011

Jed, thanks much.


The first two and last two photos here come thanks to John Jedrlinic . ..  aka Jed.  He took these of Marlin in Baltimore in late July 2009.


Has anyone heard of/seen it since it was sold foreign?


The next batch were taken in the Beerkanaal area seaward of Rotterdam in early March (I think) by Jan Oosterboer and sent via Rene Keuvelaar and Fred Trooster.  I’ll just list the names and embed more info:  Iskes Brent

0aaaarrt3BRENT, Beerkanaal-0143

Smit Panther with 1200′ CSCL South China Sea,

0aaaarrt4SMIT PANTHER, Beerkanaal-0092

Smit Ebro,

0aaaarrt5SMIT EBRO, Beerkanaal-085

Fairplay 24,

0aaaarrt6FAIRPLAY-24-, Beerkanaal-0051

SD Stingray with enhanced fire fighting gear,

0aaaarrt7SD STINGRAY, Beerkanaal-0030

Smit Cheetah,

0aaaarrt8SMIT CHEETAH, Beerkanaal-0019

Canadian built Svitzer Nabi and Nari,

0aaaarrt9SVITZER NARI en SVITZER NABI, Beerkanaal-0895

Smit Hudson

0aaaarrt10SMIT HUDSON en SVITZER NARI, Beerkanaal-0875

and SD Rebel.

0aaaarrt11SD REBEL, Beerkanaal-0810

Look at the palm trees.  Jed took this one of Fort Bragg last month in a place where northerners probably wished they were. . . .


. .  and this one of Susan Moran in Norfolk in early June 2012.


Thanks to Jed, Jan, Rene, and Fred for these photos.


Cold weather keeps me inside, where my fingers keep the keyboard warm.    I’ll start by revisiting this foto I took a warm morning in 2010.  That tugboat was 60 years old at that moment.  The easiest name to read is Ocean King, but in raised metal letters on the port bow, you might make out some other letters,


here and


even clearer here on the starboard bow.    And in between those two names, she also went by David McAllister.


The following three fotos come thanks to Allen Baker.  The foto below shows Resolute in 1974 in Fells Point, when she was part of the Baker-Whitely Towing Company.    Click here and here for posts I did in Fells Point and Baltimore back in 2010.


The foto below dates from 1980.  Notice Grace McAllister to the left.  At this point, McAllister had just purchased the B-W Towing Company.


The boat to the right I can’t identify.  Notice Holland and Britannia also.  Britannia was built as Thomas A. Meseck at Marvel in Newburgh NY in 1942.


It turns out that Ocean King aka Resolute was built at RTC Shipbuilding, the same yard in Philadelphia Camden as  John B. Caddell, which I last saw, sold for scrap here.

Many thanks to Allen Baker for sharing these vintage fotos.  And thanks to the folks at, without whom I’d have a much harder time tracing back these names.

First three fotos by Will Van Dorp.

The forward portion of a new cruise ship?  Yes, I smudged the identifying marks a slash here and there.

Nah . . . almost 39 years ago she was launched as New Zealand Bear, one of two C-7 S-88s launched in Baltimore for the Pacific Far East Line.

Today Horizon Producer is one of a few dozen Jones Act containerships.  Here’s a foto of her leaving a drydocking at Brooklyn Navy Yard, a fact I heard about but never saw close up.

Compare bows here and

sterns.  Here‘s a recent itinerary for Kobe Express. More comparison:  Horizon Producer is 721′ loa x 95′, 25644 dwt.  Kobe Express is panamax . . . i.e., 964′ loa x 104′, 66,700 dwt.  See the 11th foto here for a panamax vessel shoehorned into a lock in Panama.   Tugs are Kimberley Turecamo and Laura K. Moran.

If you fancy beam-on profiles, click here.

As an aside, yesterday morning Producer passed this sad derelict launched from the same shipyard 82 years before our vintage containership, Philip T. Feeney . . .

All fotos within the past three days by Will Van Dorp, who’s mulling over a gallivant tomorrow.

Speaking of the Jones Act, here’s a recent NYTimes article about American shipping companies like Liberty Maritime not getting a fair share of US shipping. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never heard of this company.

And shipping containers adding up to condos, check this out.  It’s threesquared.

Today marks the end of the four-day historic ship festival and the official opening of Pier 25.  Friday and Saturday I worked on Pegasus.  Click on that link and you can find details of her history, starting from her inception as Standard Oil No. 16, including a time when she sported the flying horse on her stack.  1907 was a recurring number in the history-oriented tour:  the date of Pegasus launch in Baltimore and the date of the opening of the Kenneth M. Murchison-designed Hoboken terminal of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.

Drydock tug Hoboken dates from 1963, but

Yankee ferry, the only surviving Ellis Island ferry, entered service in 1907.  Click here for much more about the Philadelphia-built Yankee.

Here’s a view of Union Dry Dock & Repair company . . . from Pegasus.

Also giving tours on the water was the historic John J. Harvey.   Type Harvey into the search window on this blog and you’ll see more fotos I’ve taken over the past five years.

Folks including me took fotos of Harvey from Pegasus, just as folks on Harvey zoomed in on us.  In the cowboy hat, it’s Mitch . . . of Newtown Pentacle.

Over 150 folks enjoyed a FREE!@#@!  Hudson River ride on Pegasus Saturday.  Lucky them!!  I’m just saying . . .  this is a rare treat, and you could make it less rare by joining in this way or that.  FYI . . . the engine burns about 35 gallons per hour, if I recall correctly.

If you’re in or around the sixth boro tomorrow, you may see this scene above.  I took that foto about a month ago.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who yesterday befriended MV Algolake. a bonafide facebooking, literate ore carrier!   Be the first among your FB friends to befriend an ore carrier;  for me it’s therapeutic, helping me forget the bulk carrier Alice that has made distance between us!!

The last milestone was the 1000, but this one, post 1280, goes up exactly four years (well, I’m three days late, actually)  after my first ever post.  Since then, I’ve spent countless hours of free time educating and entertaining myself,   touring other folk through the sixth boro,

interacting with passersby in ports wherever they beckon–ports like the sixth boro,


Baltimore (and many other places …)  and more I hope to come.  Thanks to all for your tours and advice and feedback.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying this blog more than ever, learning to see, fishing

(sometimes in extreme conditions) for

flights of fancy and

all manner of lore and historical info about the sixth boro and all the waters connected to it.

Like yesterday, I was reading about Alice L. Moran, her marvelous feats, and wondering if she’s still called Amsterdam and working in Bahraini waters.    And I was reading about PY-16 USS Zircon (later a pilotboat named New York and previously a Pusey & Jones steam yacht Nakhoda), predecessor of pilotboat New York.

I’ve enjoyed these first 1280 and will be continuing.  Meanwhile, here’s another interesting thing I stumbled upon yesterday on page 12 of the Spring 1966 Tow Line magazine.   I hope no one is irked by my printing a screen shot here.  Enjoy.  Letter 1 with request on left and response on right.

Thanks for reading this blog and commenting for four years.  The ride goes on.

Photo credits here to Les, Allen, Carolina, and bowsprite.  Greets to the guys on SKS Tyne.

Meanwhile, a few words about the MWA Waterfront Conference tomorrow:  ”

New York, NY: On Tuesday, November 30, senior officials and representatives from over 14 government agencies will join over 500 waterfront advocates, educators, and planning experts for the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s 2010 Waterfront Conference at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center.

Dozens of agency officials, politicians, and other experts will be on hand to offer their perspectives on the future of the NY-NJ Harbor, including: NYC Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, Bob Martin of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Col. John R. Boulé II of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Capt. Linda Fagan of the US Coast Guard, Peter Davidson of the Empire State Development Corporation, David Bragdon of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, Adrian Benepe of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Amanda Burden of the NYC Planning Commission, Cas Holloway of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and Seth Pinsky of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.”

Here’s Autumn Sail 2.  All fotos today come compliments of Melanie Lettau, who crews on A. J. Meerwald, below.  The occasion for the gathering down on the Chesapeake was

the annual schooner race from Baltimore to Portsmouth, VA.  Here are the results.  Below, it’s Sultana and Summerwind.  Summerwind, based at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, was the Class AA winner.

Privateer Lynx finished third.

Lady Maryland–yes she is painted pink –finished fourth.

left to right, Woodwind (?)  and the curvaceous Shanty

And not to be omitted, with a second place finish, it’s Pride of Baltimore II.

A schooner that would have been happy to race last week–When and If-did not, since it’s for sale.  Who knows . . . some other participants from previous years but NOT on hand in 2010 might also be for sale.

Final shot . . . left to right:  Norfolk Rebel (the world’s only “tugantine”), Summerwind, Lady Maryland, and an unidentifed tug in the background.

All fotos by Melanie Lettau.  Thanks a bunch!

And some sixth boro autumn sailing pics coming soon.

The Yahoo tugboat groups has recently hosted an interesting discussion on “oldest” tugs in the United States, North America, or US-built.  Here’s a batch I’ve seen in the past year.

Baltimore . . . 1906, afloat in Baltimore.

Rose . . . 1906,  afloat in Camden, NJ.

Jupiter . . . 1901, afloat in Philadelphia.

Pegasus . . . 1907,  afloat in Jersey City.

Urger . . . 1901, working near Albany.   I took this foto in Lyons in February.

New York Central No. 13 . . . 1887,  ashore on Staten Island.

I’d love to see recent fotos of the following:  Fanny J, 1874, probably in Haiti;  Tramp, 1874; Rustler, 1886; Jill Marie, 1889; and Spanky Paine, 1892.  Many boats much younger than all those mentioned here have been scrapped or left to linger in graveyards.

All fotos in this post by Will Van Dorp, taken in 2010.  Last time I had a batch adding up to 550 years.

Unrelated but a “must-see” is the current exhibit at Atlantic Gallery called “Water”  which features work by 75 artists including Pamela Talese and the peripatetic bowsprite.

aka poisson d’avril, which is what the French call this delightful day.  At that link in previous sentence, check out the list of  (they say) well-known pranks.

A year ago, I put up a post that I’ve now concluded shows a hoax, a doctored foto . . . although I did not know it was a fake or intend it to be one.  I’d still like more analysis of what this shows and who did it.

I mention last year’s post because I heard about Edgar Allen Poe’s April 1, 1829 misinformation involving the lighthouse then at this location:  Lazaretto Point in Baltimore.  The hoax?  A man would fly from the world’s tallest structure–then Shot Tower–across the harbor and Fort McHenry to this lighthouse.  A crowd gathered here and waited . . . until nothing happened and the date began to sink in.    Poe was given to other hoaxes like the Balloon hoax of 1844.  He should just have called it “science fiction.”  By the way, Poe has figured prominently twice before in tugster:  here and here.

Hoaxes are sometimes well-received; other times the response might be prosecution.  Periodically I put up silly stuff, just for fun, like this one featuring light fixture reflections on the Staten Island ferry, never claiming otherwise.  Like those below . . . just a kid’s soap bubbles, or  . . .  you never know.

Captain James restaurant is no hoax but a unique Baltimore eatery.  New York hoaxes?  The Madoff gang comes to mind, like a nagging migraine.  More interesting is Orson Welles, but a century before the New York Sun published a story about an astronomer’s sightings of biped beavers, man-bats, and blue unicorns on the surface of  the moon.

Water on fire?  Remember the Cuyahoga in the mid-20th century?  But how about this youtube video . . . burning tap water?  Not a hoax.  Floating sand?

New statue dedicated to Jim Morrison or some other ecdysiast?

See you at the Fool’s Parade at the intersection of 14th Ave and Canal Street on the first of April . . . muster around noon?  After the parade, which’ll feature ALL the workboats of the sixth boro doing laps in front of the Statue and stopping at a barge spudded there with all manner of eats free for the taking by the BEST grubistas on the nearby shores and music & dancing to please every tongue and ear and eye and limb, there’ll be a bash in front of Snug Harbor:  all the orange juice you can drink and escargots au vin sans limites, maybe even some good eats from GMG, eh Joey?

Great sci-fi short stories based in New York:  The Third Level and Accidental Time Traveller by Jack Finney.  The third level refers to stairways leading to time portals located below the passenger boarding area in Grand Central, detours I look for when I’m not interested in boarding a train to work.

Oh, the statue . . . not a hoax but Orpheus himself, signed by Warren G. Harding.

Fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Again, thanks to Allen Baker for the Baltimore “local knowledge.”

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