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If you ever visit anywhere near Savannah, an absolute must-see is the Ships of the Sea Museum in the former William Scarbrough House, later the West Broad Street School. Given that the house and collection are stunning and the staff extraordinarily welcoming, it didn’t surprise me how crowded the museum was.

Excuse the quality of my photos taken sans tripod, but let’s start with this model of a vessel that has a connection with New York City.  Answer follows, but clues for now are that the vessel was built as the Denton in 1864 and you might know the whitish horizontal object to the left of the display case .  . .  in front of the bow of the model.

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The SSM models are quite large, and many of them are the handiwork of William E. Hitchcock.

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SS Savannah, e.g., is a great place to begin your tour and appreciate Hitchcock’s handiwork.  This vessel–the first steamship to cross the Atlantic--was built on the land’s edge the sixth boro.

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Notice the port side of Hitchcock’s model shows the paddlewheel, but

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the starboard side features a cutaway to the boiers and the paddlewheel collapsed as it would be while the vessel sailed, which was most of the time.

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Another of Hitchcock’s models shows a 220′ schooner as she appeared under construction.

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Notice that Forest City‘s demise–as was SS Savannah’s–happened on Fire Island.

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The SSM collection also includes a Hitchcock model of USS Passaic, another product of the sixth boro–Greenpoint–although many sources, including this one from wikipedia, state its shipyard as being Greenport, 120+ miles away.  Greenpoint’s Continental Iron Works also built Monitor, launched the same year as Passaic.

Back to the model at the top.  The vessel Denton had been renamed SS Dessoug when it delivered Cleopatra’s Needle to NYC.

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This and much more awaits you at Ships of the Sea Museum.  Thanks to Jed for suggesting–half a decade ago–that I go there.

These photos–warts and all-by Will Van Dorp.

 

I borrow this title from an event I’d love to see more photos of, an art trip marking National Maritime Day in May 1987 and reported on here and here.  What better way to leap into the future with blasts from the past, borrowing again.

My purpose in this post is to inform about a unique celebratory event at the Pratt campus in Brooklyn that will not be repeated after this week, Wednesday December 31 late into January 1 wee . . .  Here are the directions:  “There will be two gates open, one on the corner of Dekalb and Hall Street; the other is the main vehicle gate on Grand and Willoughby Aves.  Grand Ave does probably not show on maps because  there are super blocks on each side of Willoughby.  Once on the campus head for the smokestack or follow the noise to the calliope.   Closest subway stop is Washington\Clinton on the G train.  Get out at the Washington end of the station.  One block along  Lafayette ,  turn left around the church.  One block down Hall Street you will see Pratt Institute.”

Here and here are previous posts I’ve done on the whistles Conrad Milster has at Pratt.

Here are some of my photos of steam whistles, my tribute to steam . . .

aboard Belle of Louisville,

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at the Pageant of Steam,

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and all the rest at the Stoom fest near Rotterdam this past May.   Like the 1930 steam tug Roek.

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Or the 1933 British Navy torpedo recovery vessel Elfin.

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Yes, that’s a child playing on the torpedo.

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Or the 1893 Pieter Boele .  . . a steam tug with a bowsprit.

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Or the 1915 Hercules.

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Dress warm and come bathe in the sound and steam hooked up by Conrad Milster at Pratt.  I’ll see you there.

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All Most photos by Will Van Dorp.  The photo above is by the inimitable bowsprite, who captured steam and cold water rituals here 4 years ago.

Here was 15.  The first relief crew post appeared here over seven years ago.  The idea is to feature someone else’s photos and/or writing, just because so many of you see, photograph, and write such interesting stuff AND –of course–because collaboration is such powerful leaven.

All these photos today come from Birk Thomas.  The event was the departure last week of CV-60 USS Saratoga–Brooklyn built–for the scrapyard.    For some intriguing photos of the other end of her life, click here for this navsource site.

Signet Warhorse III is the motive force.

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Iona McAllister, Rainbow, and Buckley McAllister assist with the hookup and departure from Narragansett Bay.

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Not until last night did I learn that a final aircraft takeoff and landing was happening at this very moment up on her flight deck.

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Warhorse . . . what a name!

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Note the riding crew on the deck.

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Rainbow straightens out the tow. . .

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in the early minutes of the tow.

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Again, many thanks to Birk Thomas for use of these photos, which not all of you have seen on Facebook.

LNYBL?  Gulf of Mexico?  North Sea?  Persian Gulf?  No . . . it’s Lower NY Bay, and these days it’s populated with unusual equipment.

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That’s a spudded jackup barge holding Weeks 751, and off to the right, it’s an exotic

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called Michael Lawrence.  And I’m betting the working is happening in the same place DSV Joseph Bisso was operating about a half year ago.

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Two other tugs tending the work barge Bisso D/B Boaz are Pacific Dawn 1974 (ex-Pelican Magic) –above and below–and

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Smith Invader (2006).

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And what’s going on is the LNYB Rockaway Lateral Project, a  three-mile connection between Brooklyn and the existing offshore pipeline.  A closer-up map can be found here.  Anyone know how long ago the existing Transco pipeline went in?

More details of the deal here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s off the Canal for at least another day and a half.

First the specifics . . . 70 Henry Street Brooklyn Heights Cinema tonight at 7 for reception with showing starting at 8.    After the show, stop by at Park Plaza Bar about .1 mile nearby.

So it’s appropriate to lead these NYC Municipal Archives photos off with tugboat Brooklyn.

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Next  in an icy North River  (?) . . . . . . Richmond.

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Launches  Bronx and

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Queens.

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Passenger steamer Little Silver, which ran between the Battery and Long Branch, NJ in the first decade of the 20th century.

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And finally . . . John Scully, a very classy Dialogue (Use the “find” feature to search) built built tug

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And the connection . . . here’s what boats of this vintage look like today in “disintegration experiments” in waters everywhere.  I took these in August 2011 while Gary and I filmed Graves of Arthur Kill.

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Some boats of this time, of course, still operate like Pegasus (1907) and Urger (1901)

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while others try to stave off time so that they might once again like New York Central No. 13 (1887).

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Here just over a year ago was the release information about the documentary.

And here’s the BIG announcement:  the world premiere of the documentary will happen Wednesday, May 7 at 7 pm at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema and tickets for that evening’s fare . . . including ours are now on sale.  Click here for directions to Brooklyn Heights Cinema on Henry Street.   If you haven’t seen the documentary, we DO turn back the clock on some of the skeletons in the yard.

Just over a week ago, I stopped to look at the yard from outside, from the muddy margins.  Some photos are below.  In 2011, Gary Kane and I had permission to film inside the yard from a leaky rowboat, and the footage of “beautiful ruins” comes to you directly from the leaky rowboat.  By the way, I had a hand-powered bilge pump that kept our equipment dry.

Fragments with a wading bird,

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disintegration with graffiti,

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commingled wreckage,

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terminally rusted disrepair,

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debris still morphing but identifiable,

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ravaged whole machines juxtaposed with live ones.

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Here was the 2010 end of the “graveyard” series . . . all photos shot in the ship graveyard.  Use the search window to see  segments 1 through 3.  And here is the end of the “ghost puzzles” series, all photos I shot while we were filming the scrapyard portion of the documentary.

I hope to see you at the May 7 showing at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema; here again is the link for details.  Also, if you do Facebook, please go to the Graves of Arthur Kill page and click like.

Unrelated to some degree, click here for my latest photos in Professional Mariner magazine.

 

Can you figure this one out?

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Wooden hull, 62′ loa . . .

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it’s Revolution, and my first time to see it although I’ve known of it for some time through this and this.

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These photos taken today by Will Van Dorp, who hopes to have more questions answered soon . .  like what did she look like as Argo . . . and while working in Boston, Boothbay, and in the sixth boro as a fire boat.  ??

Chancellor . . . built pre-World War 2 in Brooklyn.  This post is timed to satisfy a request from Bob Price  . . . as follows:  “as part of a group working to restore the tug boat Chancellor, I am trying to find any extant engineering documentation regarding her construction details.  Built by Bushey & Sons in 1938, it is currently in the keeping of the Waterford Maritime Historical Society and my group of volunteers recently arranged to have it moved into dry dock at Lock 3 of the Erie Canal where we laboriously winterized it, pumped its bilges dry and a making plans to create a very thorough hit list of things to do.   If you would be so kind as to point me in the direction of any person or entity that might have access to drawings or any engineering related stuff pertaining to the Chancellor I would be most appreciative.  Thanks for your time.     Bob Price    Knox, NY      518.895.8954   The first three fotos below come from Bob.

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The next three I took in 2010.  Here she’s cruises north on the Hudson headed for Troy.

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Here’s she’s downbound following W. O. Decker into the Federal Lock.

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Housedown, she prepares to depart the bulkhead in Waterford.

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And in my foto from either 2006 or  2007 she goes nose-to-nose with Gowanus Bay.

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If anyone knows the whereabouts of construction drawings or other plans for Chancellor, you can also email me and I’ll pass the info on to Bob and his group.  Click here to see Fred tug44’s video of Chancellor being pushed upstream by the tagteam of Ben Elliot and National.

Here was 3 with links to 1 and 2.

I’ve been so far unable to find the original use of this barge, but I haven’t expended much shoe leather either.

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Click on the foto below from the July 21, 1977 NYTimes for an article on Michael O’Keefe’s barge restaurant opening.  Anyone identify the tug?

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Bulk commodities commerce needs some stretches of riverbank in the sixth boro.  Crushed stone in; garbage out, as well as

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recycled materials,

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aggregates,

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scrap metal, petroleum,

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salt, and

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desert scrapings aka road conditioner. 

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Products galore and more and

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more.

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Places to park aka dock are vital also.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

See it there, the modest red covered barge between Wavertree and Peking?  The steel covered barge is called Progress today.   Once it transported coffee from ship to shore.   I’m making a note to myself:  learn more about these.

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And right across the East River to the right of the firehouse at Fulton Landing, that modified but still modest white barge used to be Erie Lackawanna 375.  It too transported coffee.  More on this later.   I took this foto 6/16/2009.

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Here’s another modified coffee barge, this one just south of Camden, NJ, now the floating office of McAllister in that waterway.

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It’s a counterpart to this McAllister office on the KVK.   So given all these repurposed coffee barges I knew about, why

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did it take me a day short of seven years doing this blog to go to Bargemusic, the EL 375 barge in the foto above?   Shame on me, posing in the “shadow selfie” below, for waiting so long to check out this extraordinary barge.

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I trekked out there yesterday in spite of the gusty sub-freezing weather to hear some music and have a look.

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It was warm inside and the smell of old wood  . . . I felt immediately welcomed.  Note the brick fireplace to the left.  Some wood from American Legion lives on here.

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Jung Lin was warming up on the Steinway, as

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was Andy Simionescu.

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I didn’t–and one shouldn’t–take fotos during the performance, but during intermission, I went out onto the pier to see the view from the “back” of the stage.

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Here’s  the obit of founder Olga Bloom–with more info on her barge project– from the NYTimes almost exactly two years ago.  From this article, I learn this was her third barge, that it was built around 1900, and that Peter Stamford was instrumental in getting it permission to dock at Fulton Landing.   Here’s a spring 1978 article on what may have been Bargemusic’s first season.  Here’s a link that gets you an interview with the current president and calendar of upcoming events.  By the way, at 2:48 in that interview, a Bouchard tug passes eastbound on the East River.

Credits to those who offered marine trade skills and others can be found here.

Request:  the bargemusic site credits a Captain Hearnley as the one to tow the barge to this location.  Can anyone say anything about him?  Does anyone know the name of the tug or . . . have a foto of that tow?  When was the former EL 375 last  hauled?

Final shot for today, a foto from 8/27/2010 of Volunteer passing bargemusic.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  If you have never been to bargemusic, you’ll thank youself if you go there SOON.

For two more repurposed barges serving as cultural centers, click here and here.  Pennsy 399 will deliver sinterklaas to Kingston this coming week.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

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.

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