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Summertime . . . and today I’m lazy after finishing two projects that’ve been transfixing me all month.

So how about some sail . . . in the evening, like Aquidneck,


Long Island built?

a moth . . .

a Fathead (?),


a classic catboat,


I’m wondering if Meow man has ever tagged one of these?

Aurora (1949) with tanbark sails,


Adirondack II,


launched 1999

The Blue Peter  . . . unfortunately AFTER she had dropped her parachute spinnaker.


and finally Black Watch . . . built in the Bronx and a veteran of World War Two.


Note the different materials of each mast.

I’ve been to the Narragansett Bay before, but I need to spend more time there in summer.

But first, I hear there’s some big sail coming to the sixth boro.  Last but not least, all photos by Will Van Dorp

Know the location?


I took it from a southernmost point in the Bronx looking eastward toward North Brother Island . . . the brick chimney to the right.  I can’t identify either the Weeks tug or the current usage of the red-and-white striped stack to the left.


What caught my attention was the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on the front of the house of Mediterranean Sea.


By the time I got back to the sixth boro, the pink “M” on Moran tugs was once again white.  The only photo of a Moran tug I managed in the whole month of October was the one below, a photo of a photo of a Catherine Moran in the lobby of a restaurant in Lockport.  Label says . . . as you can read it . . . “Lockport 1939.”  Would this have been the vessel built by Neafie & Levy in 1904?


As to the pink ribbon, I was happy to see it.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


Of course, there is Tilly, seen afloat here just  a few weeks before she was allowed to sink near Key West.

And then there are a set of ice yachts, built in the Bronx but not listed on this website, although I’m not sure why.


And then there was sub chaser PC-1264–two dozen projects BEFORE Tilly, sold for scrap but never scrapped.


Close up of 1264 starboard at low tide.


A view of her port side . . . three years ago.   But if you go decades farther back in products of the Bronx, there is


this!!  Here’s an article from a 1916 issue of Power Boating (scroll to p. 37) on the Speedway products of the Consolidated in the Bronx.  Besides Consolidated, the Bronx also had Kyle & Purdy and


Here’s a Bronx product of Lyon-Tuttle shipyard, previously Kyle & Purdy.


And here’s another . . .


All photos by Will Van Dorp, who snapped the last three photos above at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY, a must-see for anyone interested in recreational boats.

And although this is a bit late, I’ll be at the midtown main branch of the New york Public Library this evening with Gary Kane to show and discuss our documentary . . . Graves of Arthur Kill.


I had fotos of Tilly on this blog about six weeks ago here, and on a cold sixth boro day that threatens to get colder, I want to salute smart folks like Mike Knape who a) spent it in a warm place and b) sent me a set of fotos of this boat which had the good sense to travel south itself.


Tilly is from 1943 and built in Morris Heights in the Bronx at Consolidated Shipbuilding.  An online museum should be created with images of as many of Consolidated Shipbuilding products as photos can be located of.    For example, this one.    Morris Heights also produced some of these iceboats . . . to give a seasonally appropriate vessel for the sixth boro.


Here, here, and here I did some posts from the Conch Republic myself a few years ago, although I had the poor judgement to go there when upnorth was warm.  Next time I should make my way here when a walk on New York streets is incomplete without glances over my shoulder in case a pack of polar bears might be following.   Poor Fred up in Fort Edward is hunkered down in his boathouse with famished  Ursus maritimuses circling.

Mike . . . many thanks for passing along these fotos from a warm place.

Captain Charles . .  1953.  Know the location?  The bridge in the background is a clue.  Answer can be found at the end of this post.


James Turecamo, like me class of 1969, foto taken just before yesterday’s planned building implosion.  By that early hour, James had already earned a fair amount of “keep.”  To see James in Turecamo livery, click here.


Hunter is something different!  She’s just towed in a dead fishing boat.  How much would a RIB like this cost new?


Catherine and Kimberly, both Turecamo, escorted Tonna up the Arthur Kill, past the scrapyard where Gary Kane and I filmed the documentary.


Jennie B, 1955, in the mighty Columbia.


Captain Bob, August 1945 Marietta Manufacturing Point Pleasant WV hull #538, is a one year younger sibling LT of Bloxom (June 1944 and hull # 519)!  Also, in this run was Mary E. Hannah and James A. Hannah, posted here on tugster in 2012.   To get a sense what Captain Bob (ex-Sea Commander) looks like high and dry–and by extension what Bloxom of Graves of Arthur Kill once did–click here.  On the vessel below, I love the green “door.”

Scroll through here and here for more LT Army fotos.


HMS Liberty 1978 here sidles up to schooner Virginia.


Linda L. Miller, eastbound of the East River.   Linda L. and Gabby Miller assisted in loading Mighty Servant a year and a half ago.


Coastline Bay Star, once known as Coney Island, dates from 1958.


Longsplice (originally Shrike, 1959) recently high and dry near the Arthur Kill.


Pilot, 1941 out of a yard in Sturgeon Bay WI, is a sibling of Spooky!


And this vessel, on the left bank of the Willamette, I’ve no idea.  Anyone help?


Getting back to that first foto, the bridge in the background is the Bronx-Whitestone.  Foto then is taken from the north end of that unique part of the Bronx called City Island.

All fotos taken in the past month by Will Van Dorp.

Very related:  I’m looking for someone (or some group of people)  to take over guest editor position of this blog for about a month this summer.  Compensation is a fortune of sixth boro shellbacks as well as fame;  you could become a paladin of the port.  You really can be geographically any watery place.  And you have to adhere to a disciplined foto-driven/sparse verbiage mix of workboats, history, eccentricity, and apolitical wit.  Of course, you can add to that a smattering of your own favorite sprinklings.

Hmmm . . . does that describe tugster?  Feel free to add to a characterization of the blog.  But seriously, I need to step away for a while this summer . . . to gallivant, of course.   Get in touch for details.   Learning the blogging template is not difficult.

This cryptic title will become clear in time, but first check out these fotos taken by Jim Ash . . . back more than a decade ago when the long-gone Coral Queen was headed up the creek . . . the creek referred to being also known as the Anne Hutchinson River.

The thing about these creeks is that large vessels–that’s a relative term–can only navigate them only when water levels are up.  But if you’re up the creek too long after ebb, you stay where you are until the water comes back.  When levels are up, you head downstream, around


any and all obstacles, overtop of submerged but hidden threats you know are there, underneath


the ones that don’t have to lift for you, through


the portals only at that instant when they’re open and you’re lined up, and


toward the open water.


More on this–the specialized creek work of Diane B and  . . . the proud, the very few . . . soon.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

All manner of small vessels traverse the waters of the sixth boro.  Twin Tube is truly one ageless fixture of the harbor.   If I did photoshopping, I’d have the boom dangle something tantalizing over the Statue’s upstretched hand.

Annie G II . . .  makes me wonder about Annie G I.  Here she

stands by as crew perform some truck task over on the west side of Governor’s Island.  I’ve enjoyed watching the derelict buildings on the Island disappear.   A largely unseen harbor project farther south (sorry no pics from UNDER the sixth boro) has been the tunneling of a new deeper “water main” (p. 7 ff) between Brooklyn and Staten Island.

A small USCG boat stops for maintenance on the red 32.  Unfortunately, I was on a vessel headed away from the buoy, and a few seconds after I took this, one crewman stepped aboard the buoy, on the other side.

A small USACE vessel speeds to the southeast past Robins Reef Light.

John P Brown pushes fewer than a dozen of the mere 1500 cars per year across the harbor, the miniscule fraction of merchandise that travels between NJ and parts of NYC on non-rubber wheels.

A small fishing boat crosses the bay under the cranes on hovering over Bayonne.

St Andrews runs light past some unidentified tugs obscured in the fog.  I spent July 4 docked near St Andrews.

New England style fishing boat heads out of the Bronx while Fox Boys (I think) pushes some scrap probably toward Jersey City.

In fading light, HMS Liberty heads for the Kills.   I’ve often wonder what the HMS stood for in this case. . . .   Is the H his, her, or something else . . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who wonders whether Sandy will be sandy or just windy, snowy, rainy,  . . . tricky . .  . .

Thanks for today’s fotos and text go to James Ash, port captain for Poling & Cutler.     “I took [these fotos of Coral Queen]  about 12 years ago from the Boston Post Road Bridge in Eastchester ( Mt. Vernon).
The “Rock Cut” is one of the most challenging transits as lining up for the turn around the last corner under the B.P.R. Bridge is a widow maker in a single hull, single screw, tanker built in 1920.
Probably a highlight of my career [is] the 1,200 trips up the Hutchinson River in my time on this vessel.
There was a time when she made two trips per day up this river,
one on each tide.   Master mariner Tony McDonald is at the helm on this trip.
I came in for crew change.”

Thanks much, Jim.

Here are my fotos of Coral Queenwhich began rebirth through the scrapyard portal a few years back now.

Imagine a tugboat with a bowsprit, at least some of the time?  See the link at the end.

First from Robert Apuzzo . . .  Crow (1963) in the East River, and

Susan Miller (1981, ex-Uncle Ned) in the Bronx River.  Speaking of the Bronx River, here’s its namesake tug and some info on doings in the Bronx River this summer.  By the way, you saw Bronx nearly lost in the lush bow pudding of Cornell here last September… scroll through a bit.

From John Watson, the newer (Feb 2011) and bigger (630′) orange juice tanker Orange Stararrives escorted by Laura K. Moran.

Same shot, bigger context.

A distant sound like a train whistle Saturday morning . . .  that was the aforementioned Cornell.

A school of Vane boats (l. to r. Elk River, Pataspsco, and Quantico Creek)  get their stern-parts bathed by the oracle waters Gowanus Canal.

Eagle Service, fairly fresh off the Great Lakes, heads into KVK about a week ago.

Like Eagle Service, Greenland Sea was originally built as a Bollinger-built Candies boat.  . .  Grant Candies (November 1996) and  Doc Candies (December 1990).

Another Hornbeck boat, Freedom Service (1983) heads into the Buttermilk from the East River.

Buchanan 12 (1972) heads into the East River.    See her light here.

Thanks to Robert and John for sharing their fotos.

Unrelated:  Here are some fotos from the Seattle Maritime Festival, tug race and more, from yesterday.  Wish I’d been able to go.   Here and here are some Seattle water fotos I took last summer.  For updates on Coot, the tug in W. O. Decker colors, click here. Scrolling through you’ll also find some great tugboat names as well as the hull–high and dry–of a supertug under construction.

Also unrelated but  . .  a two-minute video honoring WW2 vets.  Watch it all, please.

Anna Frater is the bowspritted tugboat;  click here to see it.    It’s not the first such tug to appear here:  check out this tugantine from 2008.

Remember, if you’re in NYC and free tonight . . .  Working Harbor Committee is presenting movie and panel:  Women at Sea.  If I didn’t have to work, I’d be there.

I’ve posted a set of fotos about this vessel here before, but still been unable to learn anything about it.  It lies where Westchester Creek (In fact, click on the link and you’ll see another foto of the same grounded vessel!)  flows into the East River west of the Whitestone Bridge.  And not that I haven’t looked, though it’s clear that my searches have focused on the wrong places.  Uncorroborated stories are these:  it was coming from South America, the owner abandoned a plan to turn Christina or Cristina into a floating restaurant . .  possibly in Philadelphia, it was dropped off there to mark a shoal.  A search of NYTimes archives from 1920 until 1980 turns up nothing about either this grounded vessel or

this one, not far away.

When spring actually gets here and work slows down, I plan to put a human powered vessel in this area and look around more.  Thanks to Robert Apuzzo for these fotos.

But . . . as often happens, I found some interesting info on other groundings in the harbor in the past 80 years . . . yes, one happened in the East River less than two weeks ago, as of this writing.  Some of these include:

May 1927  dreadnought Colorado Diamond Reef*  (between Governors Island and southeastern tip of the  Battery)

Dec 1936  freighter Malang Roosevelt Island, then Welfare Island

Aug 1951 battleship Wisconsin (actually North River near NJ across from 79th Street)

Oct 1955 battleship Wisconsin Diamond Reef

Feb 1970  tanker Desert Princess (ex-Hoegh Grace, 664′)   Mill Rock

Dec 1972  tanker Vitta (659′)  south of Ward Island, spilling 150 tons of oil

April 1979  tanker Algol East River off 10th Street.  If you have a NYTimes subscription, you can read the article here, telling that six Moran tugs came to the assistance of Algol in sprite of the strike then happening.

Apr 28 2005, a gasoline barge struck Diamond Reef, with some spillage.  See here.

Meanwhile, if I don’t find some info on that top wreck, I’ll succumb to all the imagined histories, maybe even embroider them a bit, and call it fiction.  Not so bad, eh?

Unrelated:  Check out this site dedicated to the waterway leading from Rotterdam to the North Sea . . .Maasmond (mouth of the Maas River) Maritime.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Free showing of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Click the image below to order your own copy!

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.


July 2016
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