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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!

 

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.

 

Taken over in Newark Bay . .  a shrink-wrapped airplane on a barge . .  foto compliments of the team over at Henry Marine.  I did this post in April 2013, but you should befriend them on Facebook at Tug Life at Henry Marine for a different take on working in the sixth boro.  Anyone know where this airplane has gone/is going?  Two of several previous posts with airplanes on barges are here and here.

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Over in Tottenville, it’s Bertha and the Outerbridge beyond that.  Thanks to Ashley for this foto.  Previously, Ashley sent along this foto.

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Up near the Thousand Islands and the Canadian border, it’s Bowditch, foto compliments of Bob Stopper.  Bowditch dates from 1954 and used to be called Hot Dog.  More of Bob’s fotos from upstate NY and other places soon.

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Taken on Penobscot Bay, it’s Cangarda, thanks to Allan Seymour.  He and Sally do the Sally W blog.

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The next two–showing fish tugs–were taken by my sister on Lake Huron in August.  Previously I did posts about fish tugs here, here, and here.   Here‘s another series on Nancy K.   See more L & R here.

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And last but not least, taken off New London during its schooner fest, it’s Malabar II, a 91-year-old vessel of John Alden design.  Fotos of this timeless vessel come compliments of Rod Clingman.

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Mant thanks to Rod, Allan, Bob, Maraki, and –last but not least–the crew at Henry Marine for permission to use these fotos.

Now some info on other people’s events:

Bertha

Working Harbor Committee Circumnavigation of Staten Island

Bring Harvest dome to Gowanus

and last but certainly not least . . .  that’s a tugster foto below.  Click here for details.

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You may have seen this foto sequence yesterday of Orlando Duque diving from a helicopter near the Statue of Liberty?  Well . .  more on the foto below later in this post, but the diver here is in fact she who inspired my post today by her instructions on how to swim from a schooner . . . a few years back.

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If you’ve looked at bowsprite’s link above, you’ll notice that my instructions begin differently.

1.  Choose your location, and few locations are as enticing to me as the Hudson north of the Bear Mountain Bridge, where I hiked a few months back.

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2.  Select a tugboat.  Buchanan 12, here managing eight stone scows just below Breakneck Ridge,  is photogenic but absolutely the wrong choice for this.

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Nor should you choose Kimberly Poling, here headed southbound on the Hudson in the same bends.

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Patty Nolan, however, fits the specs perfectly.  You may remember Patty here  from a few years back looking just a little different and facing a dilemma.

3.  Here’s where I concur with bowsprite’s first item:  find a captain who will let you off the boat.    We did.  The dock worker here belongs to the blue-hatted union.

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And off we go in search of an anchorage.  Now I know that since contemporary life comes with an infinite lists of troubles and limitations,  to relax . . . and celebrate life  . . . you gotta do it!

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The mature days of summer demand celebration.

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4.  Anchor in a safe location.  Bannerman, haunting in springtime, seems more welcoming in late summer.

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5.  Check the equipment.  Will Patty the figure figure be enticed to come up out of her cabin by this gold lamé?

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6.  Set up the sturgeoncam

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and deploy

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the crane.

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7.  Swim . . . without the strap or

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or with, in a variety of entrance styles.

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8.  Board the boat when the day is done . . . if you can figure out how.  I need to work on that one.  Or sturgeoncam here might have to swim down the Hudson . . . .  In late summer, that’s not a bad option.

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Would you believe this waterspotted lens proves I followed Patty and crew all the way back to Bear Mountain?

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Do you think I’d conclude this post without a video of tugster swinging from the crane?  Click on the foto to see.

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Don’t let Labor Day find you without a Hudson River dip in your experience.

By the way, from the local paper, one of my favorite weekly columns,  twelve places you should also visit in the Hudson Valley. 

You know the colors and organization, but can you name the vessel?  And as to the organization, do you know all the foreign countries where they operate?  I didn’t. 

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Anyhow, all these fotos come from Oregon compliments of Michael Bogoger of Doryman fame.  Actual photographer is Jamie Orr of Bristol Channel cutter Baggywrinkle, returning from sea.

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The vessel is USACE dredge Yaquina, here at the entrance to its namesake river.

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Michael’s searched tirelessly for this dredge ever since last October, when I posted these fotos of McFarland.  That post also generated this impressive list of USACE vessels from the esteemed Harold Tartell . . . a veritable encyclopedia of USACE newbuilds from 1855 until 2012 . . . including the 1981 Yaquina.

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Previously, the latest dredge in a distant location I’ve been looking at was Xin Hai Liu, in Rio.

For these fotos, many thanks to Michael and Jamie.

More accurately . . . I could call this “off Duty’s starboard,” as all this traffic passed Duty in a 45-minute period while she was herself “off duty” and on the hook in Gravesend Bay.   Less than 24 hours after I took these fotos, Duty raised the hook and sailed off south.

Two years back I snapped this foto of Duty out of the notch.   Here, if you doubleclick to enlarge the foto below, you can see two smudges on the horizon, one on either side.  Currently off Duty‘s starboard is a dredger . . . probably Padre Island.  Off her port is a Zim container ship.

And something astern of that . . . and

that!

Zim Tarragona is a regular in the sixth boro, although I’ve possibly never posted/identified a foto of her.

Following her is this array, and

outbound, meeting her is MSC Pilar, now Europe-bound.

Together those two vessels carried a lot of containers . . .

Next into the Narrows and meeting MSC Pilar are APL Garnet and a ketch (?) named Bee, about which I know nothing.

Pilar (okay . . . I just like that name) moves under the Bridge at 13 knots . . .

And as they move into the Upper Bay, APL Garnet and Bee meet

Histria Gemma, a sister of whom I included here some six months back.

All this traffic went unnoticed by this fisherman, who . . . by the way . . .  caught nothing from the depths either.

Next vessel in was the speedy Atlantic Compass, itself carrier of some mighty interesting cargoes.

And the final vessel of this 45-minute flurry of traffic . . . . Bow Clipper, previously featured here.  Out beyond Bow Clipper is the slope where the ‘scapegoats do roam.  Click here for a sense of her own roamings.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who  . . . during all this traffic, was wondering what was happening on Duty.

What I’ve ben reading lately?  Check out the Arthur Kill deepening project/blasting as negotiated by NYTugmaster here.

Happy 5th anniversary and the demise of Oriental Nicety at Oil-Electric here.

And how does a wind turbine blade arrive in Gloucester?  Check out Joey’s blog here.

Finally . . . from the NYTimes, a new museum in Antwerp looking like shipping containers here.

I needed smiles so bad that I went through the past few months of fotos looking for cheeriness.  And as I put these up, the sun broke through what feels like two weeks of mostly clouds.  A sea lion, and

a close up of a sea lion,

a deck seal,

lots of fish, and my pole-vaulting

amazon.

Yeah, and this goes out to Paul . . . I don’t know how you manage all those weeks on the job!  Tomorrow I have got to get some R & R.

Meanwhile the clouds are back and Willie is in my ear.

At my age . . . I’ve come to some places where –at each–I could spend a lifetime;  choices need to be made.  And if I can’t spend that much time at each, the alternative might be to just keep moving . . . since it’s too hard to figure out how

to get access.  Those do look like parts of the superstructure of USS New York, which makes the Avondale Shipyard over there somewhere.  In the sixth boro, tugboat Dorothy Elizabeth and prison barge Vernon C. Bain come out of Avondale, along with this huge international list.

Bayou Lafourche along 308 sports signs like this, birthplace of lots of Vane Brothers tugs, a Gellatly & Criscione, and several Penn Maritimes.

A couple of twists and turns later, there’s this Bollinger yard, home to the Sentinel-class of Coast Guard cutter.  Consider this, two major US shipyards in a town of  less than 3000!!  Here’s more info on those cutters.

Continue south for 12 miles and you’ll see North American Shipbuilding, one of several Edison-Chouest Offshore facilities.  Provider was delivered in 1999.

Manufacturing and then . . . those are banana “trees.”   And in this tropical waterway, a cornucopia of boats can be found like

Victor J. Curole, (1979)

as well as

Capt. Thuan, (1987)

Squeegee and Sponge,  (turns out they’re oil recovery vessels or were at one time, 1966)

Wyoming, (1940 fishing vessel)

nameless and Big Tattoo,  (1981)

a floating home?

Mia Molloy bow and

stern,

Winds of Change . . . (2002) which appears to have a pusher knee integrated into its bow,

Mr Russell,  (1995)

and I’d love to know more about this one,

Capt. Manuel,  (1982)

this nameless variation on Lil Rip,

lots of dipnetters,

nameless, Carissa Breigh, (1980)  and Junie Bop, (1981)

Lugger Tug,  (maybe 1981)

swarms of swamp fans,

… let me stop here on this post which breaks my record for number of fotos . . .  nameless, but I can almost make out the spelling of TUGSTER on the stern.  Is it possible I’ve found myself and my place to settle here?  She looks to have some pedigree . . . 1940s lines?  Can anyone help with a bit of history here?

Time for tugster  (1952) to stop this trip and contemplate and refresh with some Bayou Teche biere pale . . . .   For more on Bayou Teche, the place, click here.

I intend to return to the Bayou soon, spend more time, and  . . . who knows what might transpire.

All fotos here by either Will or Christina, partners in this jaunt-within-a-gallivant.

For a waterman’s view of the general area, click here.

I was delighted to learn that Birk Thomas had taken these last week.  They are golden hour fotos of a highly unusual transit up the East River.   That’s Queens on the left and a varying Manhattan skyline on the right.

In the past, this blog has published fotos of  covered submarine parts headed south to Newport News, like here and here . . .  ( read Les’ comment in that first link) but Birk caught the uncovered and partially assembled cargo headed north toward Connecticut.

A large part of what motivated me to start fotoblogging the traffic in New York harbor, which I started to call the sixth boro, is the diverse and intriguing traffic on the waters.  No single person I met knew the whole story or appreciated all the details.  New York is no simple river town where one person could sit on the bank and see everything that passes.  So to all of you who’ve collaborated on this tugster project in some way, I really appreciate it.

Here, in Hell Gate, Birk Lyman and Sea Shuttle look to be a whole different tow, given that the late afternoon sun is now behind the camera.   Here’s my first posting of  submarine sections on tugster almost three years ago.

Many thanks to Birk, who started this amazing resource.   Lyman belongs to Gateway Towing based in New Haven, CT.  Check out the Gateway Towing page.

Here and here are two previous “submarines in the sixth boro” posts.

I introduced the term aframax here four and a half years ago.  Relative to the sixth boro and the Kills, it means BIG, although by no means big by global standards.  At 113,043 DWT, Southern Spirit is a minor vessel in relation to the now scrapped Knock Nevis (564,763 DWT) or also-scrapped Batillus (553,662 DWT).

No matter, in the frigid 21-degree morning today, finger almost too cold to trigger the shutter, I felt warmed to see her glide in, with Gramma Lee T. Moran assisting.  Doubleclick enlarges.

In my observation, not many vessels navigate with KVK with a 5100-hp vector like Gramma Lee at the ready like this.  Here’s a 2002 article about the background and training of the first captain of Gramma Lee.

Spotting the assist was Catherine Turecamo, astern of Gramma Lee.

On a cold winter day, this is what the promise of heat looks like.  Can anyone help me figure out where this cargo–if it be crude–exited the earth?

As to promise of heat, if I were crew on watch, I’d be hoping for hot soup for lunch.

All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s a post I did five years ago with info on suezmax and capesize vessels and a foto of a very young tugster.

Unrelated:  For a mariner’s reaction to the Costa Concordia collision with Isola del Giglio, read Hawsepiper Paul here. Another mariner, Peter Boucher of Nautical Log, weighs in here.  I had the pleasure of meeting Peter last summer in Florida.

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