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She started out as S. O. Co. No. 14 from a shipyard not far from her current Penn’s Landing berth and worked for almost 80 years.   For more on that story, read this article from the historiccamdencounty.com.

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The next two photos are credited to Bonnie Halda, who took them last week.

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Baltimore, completed in 1906, was built at the same yard as Pegasus,  1907.

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Except for the two credited to Bonnie Halda, all photos were taken by Will Van Dorp.   For a post with more photos of these old-timers and others, click here.

For an even older and much modified one, click here for a post I did on Charlotte, built in 1880 as a sandbagger.  Click here for info on Swell, a repurposed 1912 tug operating in British Columbia.

I’m thrilled to discover entirely new stories, like this one, which I found after following up some info I’d seen on a historical marker sign in Bath, NC, a month ago.  Click here and scroll to see the historical marker.  I saw it briefly in the headlights but took no photos.

When I googled “floating theater bath nc,” I learned a book had been written about this barge and immediately ordered a copy of the book, where I got the stories, including the one about “G-string” shows, which I’ll explain at the end of this post.  I guarantee you’ll be surprised.  Click here for some details about Prof. Gillespie’s process in writing the book.

James  Adams used two tugs–Elk and Trouper— to move the “floating theater” from town to town in the Chesapeake and the estuarial fingers of North Carolina back in the days when movie theaters and certainly mass entertainment penetrated into all the hamlets and backwaters of this portion of the US.

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Although I’d never heard of this entertainment in the backwaters where I was born, it’s fairly well covered with blogposts like this and newspaper articles like this. The Chesapeake Log has done a story.   In fact, there’s a group that wishes to recreate the barge.

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Needless to say, any project on the water always faces this danger from its element, among other perils.

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November 1929

Between venues, Elk and Trouper would tow the barge, like horses moving the old time traveling carnival to the next town.

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Now about “G-string” shows . . . From page 63 of the book, “there were three primary comic characters in the repertoire theater . . .[one was the G-string character], an old man, the geezer.  He was evolved from the 19th century comic Yankee character, sometimes with a dose of the frontiersman thrown in.  …  squeaky male voice and a goatee-like beard.  The cartoon Uncle Sam is a G-string character.”  I’ve looked online for other references to this meaning of G-string . . . with no corroboration.

Who knew?  Edna Ferber and her Showboat . . . which I don’t know well . . . I thought that was based on Mississippi traffic.  The sixth boro and the Hudson have their very own Lehigh Valley 79 Showboat Barge as in here, here, and here.  There was once the floating entertainments of Periwinkle and Driftwood . . .  now all gone.And the whole eastern seaboard has Amara Zee . . . (scroll) Caravan Stage Company.

I think it’s high time Edna Ferber’s story gets reinterpreted as a movie, this time including Elk and Trouper.

 

This is GHP&W 9, and since this unexpected trip to new ports has materialized, here we are.  Passing through Thimble Shoals Channel looking toward the Delmarva peninsula . . . it’s hard to capture the expanse of this bridge/tunnel.  But once inside, vessels to behold through the sudden rain include

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a noisy LCAC,

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a historically-named fishing boat,

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a Stiletto,

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and a landing craft.  Is that a pelican-shaped drone flying escort?

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Although we passed through Hampton Roads, the rain grayed out any sign of shore, where I’d been ashore four years ago.  Gold Coast was pushing a covered barge with

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seagull lookouts.

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Spring Scenery left a lot to the imagination.

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But the fleet lining the Norfolk shore was fabulous starting with USNS Lewis B Puller,

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possibly about to get a push from Tracy Moran, and

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USNS Supply,

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and Robert E. Perry.

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And much more, but for this post, we stop here.  All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

The first photos here comes from John Jedrlinic, who took the one immediately below in Norfolk in August.  So far as I know, Julie Anne has not yet seen the sixth boro.

photo date 23 AUG 2015

I’m also not sure A. J. McAllister has seen the sixth boro.  Believe it or not, A. J. dates from 2003, built in Panama City, FL.  Jed snapped this shot as she passed USS Bulkely.  Unknowable from the Oct. 16, 2015 photo, the tight light on A. J. was attached to bulker New Spirit.

photo date 16 OCT 2015

Can you guess this one?

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It’s a nicely tidied up Quenames, New England bound.

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Charles A has been in the harbor since at least this summer.

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Coming in out of the rising sun, it’s Marie J. Turecamo and Kirby Moran.

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And headed in that direction, it’s Elizabeth McAllister.

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Now let’s size down . . .  Robbins Reef is 42.4 ‘ loa,

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Helen Paker is 39′,

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and Ava Jude is 25′ . . .

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This last photo I can’t identify, although I count at least four crew.  Photo comes thanks to Phil Little.

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Thanks to Jed and Phil for the first and last photos here;  all the others are by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s looking back at the Maryland Rte 213 Bridge at Chesapeake City, as we exit the C & D Canal and enter the Chesapeake at sunrise.

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On call on the north side of the waterway is Delaware Responder, one of a fleet of 15 nationwide.  Here and here I’ve previously posted.

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We pass the unmistakeable Dann Marine docks and

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head into the Chesapeake, water level of the largest watershed in the East, which stretches northward nearly to the Mohawk and the Erie Canal.   The area is the southern end of a flyway that extends to the Saint Lawrence.

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You’d think that almost obscured light would be called Eagle Point Light, but the turkey gets the name.

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The Bay sees a lot of traffic, although Amara Zee, a traveling theatre show,  has to be one of the more unique vessels navigating it.  I have more photos of Amara Zee, which I saw up close more than 10years ago, but I’ll put them up only if I hear from readers about experience with the group, which traveled from the Hudson to the Saint Lawrence, could not enter their homeport in Canada without being arrested, and are now headed south for winter shows.   Note Turkey Point Light in the distance directly off the stern.

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The Chesapeake is to crabs as Maine water is to lobster.

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Aerostats, though, surprised me.  This one is over 200′ loa, in spite of its appearance.  The tether is monitored by

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patrols from APG, Aberdeen Proving Ground, a facility that replaced the outgrown Sandy Hook Proving Ground.

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As this post began with a bridge, so it ends . . . the Key Bridge marks the entrance to Baltimore.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Following up from yesterday’s post . . . tug Chesapeake is larger, more powerful than the other Patapsco-class tugs.  It also has more windows in the wheelhouse.  In addition, the photos of Chesapeake and Susquehanna were taken in Baltimore and Savannah, resp.; not in NYC’s sixth boro as were the others.

For today I’ll start with a mystery tug, one I’ve not found any info on.

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I’d love to know more.

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Also, in Baltimore, it’s Annabelle Dorothy Moran.

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Click here to see my first shots of Annabelle almost three years ago as she sailed underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.

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And another boat I know nothing about . . . McL?

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Donal G. McAllister is Baltimore’s McAllister ex-YTB.

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New England Coast is another boat I’d never seen before . . . docked here at the Dann Marine base in Chesapeake City, MD.

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And approaching Chesapeake City from the south, it’s Calusa Coast, a frequent visitor to the sixth boro. I photographed her first here, over eight years ago.

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All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

My library for the time period  January 1, 2012 until today contains 11,244 fotos.  Starting from tomorrow, any 2012 fotos will be taken along the road.  So I decided to choose ONE foto per month, quite subjectively and without regard for this foto having previously been featured here.  I don’t claim these are the best of the month. Only 12 fotos, one per month.

January, Sandmaster . . .  waiting to refuel.  Today, Dec 22 . . .  Sandmaster was out there doing what it usually does, mining sand.

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February . . . Eagle Beaumont escorted in the Arthur Kill by Charles D. McAllister.

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March . . . side by side, CSAV Suape and bulker Honesty, Pacific bound through the Miraflores locks, demonstrating graphically what panamax means.

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April . . . red-trimmed Taurus west bound on the KVK, cutting past Advance Victoria.  And just today, I saw Taurus, now blue-trimmed, heading north between Manhattan and Jersey City.

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Choosing just one foto per month is tough, but for May, here’s Swan packed and almost ready to go hulldown toward Africa with these specimens of the Crowley, Reinauer, and Allied fleets.

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June . . . Weeks Shelby tows shuttle Enterprise from JFK toward Manhattan.

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July and an unforgettable 4th using Pegasus as subject under the rocket’s glare

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August . . . and coal-fired Badger heads into the sunset . . . and Wisconsin.

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September, and a parade of vessels including Urger and Buffalo leave the Federal Lock bound for Waterford.   My inimitable platform here is Fred’s Tug44.

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At the start of the Great Chesapeake Schooner race, crew is setting sail on the unique tugantine Norfolk Rebel.  In the distance, it’s Pride of Baltimore 2.

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Coming into the home stretch from Montreal, it’s Atlantic Salvor delivering segments of the WTC1 antenna.

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And December . . .  it’s Stena Primorsk looming over the USCG vessels.   At this time, Stena Primorsk was impatient to load that first hold with “north dakota crude,” only to experience the malfunction that has left her temporarily disabled upriver, its outer hull gashed open.

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Tomorrow I hit the road . . . gallivanting and visiting season.  I thank all of you for reading, many of you for helping me get these fotos, lots of you for correcting my errors and supplying missing info. Happy New Year and let’s pray for much-needed Peace on Earth . . . .

First, check “parrotlect flickrstream” along the left margin here for my favorite 45 fotos from the start of the Great Chesapeake Schooner Race last week.  I had posted some of them earlier, but put them up in the moment and without the benefit of my “foto-cleanup” tools.

Here is the real predecessor for this post . . . small specialized East coast designs.  And here’s a question . . . guess the loa and beam of this vessel.  Answer and fotos follow.

 Some small craft are just beautiful . . .  sweet

not to emphasize the “just” there.  Seriously sweet lines here.

And here. And nearby but in the shadows was a twin called Puffin.   And that vintage Johnson Sea horse 18 was attached to the

the prettiest motorboat I’ve ever seen.  I don’t think that Johnson comes with the blender attachment seen here!!

This is Silk.  Silk is a pushboat.  Believe it or not, it’s the prime mover for a 65′ skipjack, and while hauling for oysters, Silk needs to be hanging high and dry.  I regret I didn’t get a chance to look at the engine.

Stanley Norman dates from 1902.  And that boom looks impossibly long.

And here’s a surprise, maybe.  The vessel in the top foto here is a restored 1925 Hooper Island Draketail named Peg Wallace, measuring a belief-defying 37’6″ loa with a beam of only 6’8″!!  I’d written of local Chesapeake and southern boats here almost two years ago, but this was my first encounter with a draketail.  Scroll down to pete44’s comment here to learn his sense of the origin of the design.

I’d love to see her move through the water.

Draketail . . .  named for a duck.  Make way!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Why gild the lily?  I’ll just put up some of my favorites and number them.  If you so wish, comment and refer to the number.   I put number or caption ABOVE fotos because of how you scroll to read a blog.  Sultana will be 1.  Who is that figurehead?

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3

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8  Anyone know the name of this boat?

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12  I missed the name of this yawl.  What a beauty!

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All 23 fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Many thanks to Capt Terry Briggs for the invite to come to the 23rd annual Great! Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race.  See you for the 24th!  If you want info on how to support the educational mission, click here. Seeing Norfolk Rebel set sail was quite moving!

I post this as the race is approaching its finish; see live tracking at the bottom here.

Twenty-fours hours ago Baltimore-based Chock WYTL-65602 was leaving Annapolis to go on station as pin boat 1 . . . the west side of the starting gate.  Pin boat here takes on a whole new meaning.  For a Chock-sibling with a different mission, see bowsprite’s latest here.

Norfolk Rebel, currently itself transformed into a schooner and sailing, was the other pin boat.  Here the jaunty captain and crew relax as schooners arrive at the starting line midday yesterday.

Condor was our platform, dashing around trying to catch the arriving schooners as they plotted a “red-carpet” course toward the pin boats.  No offense to the smaller, class B boats . . . the faster ones . . . but we focused on the larger class A boats.  First in was A. J. Meerwald.  Links to many of the vessels can be found here for full info, but Meerwald is 84 years afloat.

Next across the red carpet . . . Sultana . . .

Lady Maryland . . . whom I sawsome years back in the sixth boro,

Some of the class B boats like the one in the distance . . . I never could identify.  Any help?  RORO is Rigel Leader.

Mystic Whaler and unidentified in background.

And the two vessels  (sort of) that started it all . . .  From l to r, 1916-launched, Tottenville NY-built Virgina  and Pride of Baltimore 2.

Kings Pointer . . .  Summerwind, a 1929 Alden schooner, and unidentified smaller vessels.

Anyone identify these?

Libertate.

A part of the field just minutes before the starter-cannon.

When a schooner races starts on a day with little wind, vessels crowd on all manner of sail, and yet . . . the “natives” on SUPs pass them.  I believe the schooner is Prom Queen, now vying for first across the finish line.

Mystic Whaler and Summerwind, with bulker Clipper Emperor in the distance.

Part of the field follows.  Notice the difference between the start of a schooner race and a tug race.

First Coast bypassed the schooners towing a barge and was already in Norfolk by the wee hours today.

The natives sat down on their boards and hung out at pin boat Chock,

as racers rocket south toward Norfolk.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to anyone who can identify some of the vessels I could not.

More from the race’s start tomorrow.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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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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