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Another secret salt’s been photographing, this one in the waters near Galveston, a place I’ve not been.


Here he passed San Roberto and Rana Miller, which I have not seen in the sixth boro since 2009.


The orange boats are AET, and assist with lightering operations, as does Rana.   Josephine K Miller must be offshore.


Mr. Henry works for Barry Graham Oil Services.


Thor is one large tractor tug.


I’m not sure what vessel that is in the foreground, but


Ocean Star appears to be a petroleum museum, a concept I’d not considered,


whereas these rigs have not yet been promoted–or demoted–to museum service.


One of these years, i’ll have to gallivant this way.  Many thanks to the secret salts.


Thanks to Gerard Thornton for use of these photos.


Steppenwolf, or at least strutting gull.  Beneath the wheel, or at least the wheels of the cranes.  The Glass Bead Game, or at least the metal box shifting enterprise.   Journey to the East, or at least shuttling between east and west and all the other cardinal points . . . .  Maybe a dedicated literature carrier?


I’ll stop here, but I love these moody, Hesse-enhancing photos by Gerard.

I have seen Ernest Hemingway in the boro a few times, and I’m waiting for Thomas Pynchon, although I thought I recognized him more than once.


I’ve done so many Grouper posts over the years that I should  recap.  The photos you see below show a tugboat called Green Bay, which was built in Cleveland OH in 1912 as Gary.    Here are the subsequent renamings of Gary:  Green Bay 1934, Oneida 1981, Iroquois 1987, Alaska 1990, and finally Grouper 1998.  Today, Grouper languishes in the Erie Canal near Lock E-28A, a good 325 miles from the sixth boro.   Many folks would love to see it resurrect with the name Grouper or some other one.

I’ve gotten lots of email about Grouper, but I really like messages like this one I got last weekend from Jeff Gylland:

“I rode Grouper as a kid all the time.  My Grandfather, Lester Gamble,  was the captain of then tug Green Bay out of Manitowoc, WI.  Have many memories of strong coffee and even stronger language.  The boat was converted from coal to diesel in the 1950s.  I have many pictures if you are interested.  Would love to come to Lyons with 50 gallons of paint and put the old Green, White and Red in the correct places.”

So I wrote Jeff, told him what I knew, and a bit later got another email, this one from Jeff’s aunt, Deborah Wiegand:

“I see my nephew Jeff contacted you and already sent some of our photos.  I have a collection ( maybe 20+) of professionally taken photos of the Green Bay taken during the years 1953-69 when my dad Lester R. Gamble was her captain.

The family had thought the tug had been scrapped until a historical blog based in Manitowoc came up with the information on her decline and current situation and brought it to my attention. It is heart-breaking to us.  Both Jeff and I regularly rode along with Dad on tows and have many stories & good memories to share of her.  Please let us know how we can help. Don’t hesitate to call me is you want to chat.”
I believe City of Midland 41, below, was converted into a barge which began operating as Pere Marquette 41 in 1998.  Ah, the circle of life.


Here Green Bay moves the Great Lakes steamer SS South American, built 1913, which some readers may recall seeing in the Delaware River as late as 1992.


Edward L. Ryerson is a beautiful bulk carrier, launched in 1960,  still operating on the Great Lakes.


Note the ice on the harbor here.


Here Green Bay fights a fire in 1952.


Many thanks to Deborah and Jeff for these fabulous photos.  It is my hope that Green Bay, Grouper, et al  .  . is brought out of its stupor in Lyons and finds yet another life.


Palabora . . . she’s got LEGS!!!  Italian legs.  … Lei ha le gambe!   gambe that will stand astride that harbor and be noticed, cartwheeling on the shore as traffic goes in and out of the Kills, and


the legs of Bartholdi’s lady will be forever modestly covered.  So why are they made in Pescara on the Adriatic, and not in an American steel mill?  When you break it down, some parts are from Canada, Holland, Germany . . . .  I have no problem with this fact, but I think it should be noted as such.

Thanks to New York Media Boat for the photo.

Here are previous iterations of this title.



Let’s start with Bjoern’s photos from a month ago just about already.  The New York Media Boat runs almost all year round and provides wet and cold weather gear.




Actually I took this photo, intending it as a baseline photo for the process of preparing the barque to travel the Atlantic next spring, on the deck of a heavy lift ship. I took this photo near Caddell Dry Dock almost two weeks ago.


A really gallivanting Larry Seney took the next few photos in Hawaii:  Namahoe,


Mahi, and


Hoku Loa.  More info on Hoku Loa can be located here.


Thanks to Alex Weiss for this photo of Independence.


Ted M sent this papa smurf aka Pleon photo taken in early August in New Bedford.  Now it’s over in the Arthur Kill.


And the last photo comes from an East River jogger, Art Feinglass, who took this photo of Navigator passing the old Domino Sugar refinery, an architect’s playground.



Thanks to Bjoern, Larry, Alex, Ted, and Art for these photos.


So the difference that makes the “really” is that several folks have contributed these photos.

Starting in Toronto with Jan van der Doe, here’s M. R. Kane, which has appeared here and here previously on this blog.  In the first link, you’ll see Kane towing the hull that would become tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry.


Next three photos came from Allan Seymour, who took them as he traversed the Cape Cod Canal recently.  This Independence is rated at 5400 hp.


Bohemia and barge wait to pass.


And Buckley McAllister shares escort work on the Canal with Independence.


The rest of these photos I’ve caught recently, all of tugs I’d not previously seen.  Miss Ila came through the sixth bork Saturday,


Miss Lizzy I saw Friday, and



Performance I saw in Massena earlier this month, and


Robinson Bay.  These last two are operated by DOT’s Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), which is looking to replace these aging tugs.  Robinson Bay (103′ loa and built in Wisconsin in 1957) and Performance (50′ and Indiana, 1997) do maintenance work on the US portions of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.



Thanks to Jan and Allan for the first photos here.  All the others are by Will Van Dorp.

Who else greeted Wavertree on the rest of the way home?  John J. Harvey is always in on celebrations.


Lettie G. Howard was there,


as was the helicopter.  Feehan presented herself on the far side of Rae.


Pioneer accounted for


herself with crew in the crosstrees.


Pioneer and Lettie teamed up at times.


Wire showed up.


New York Harbor School had two boats there, including Privateer and their


newest vessel Virginia Maitland Sachs, about which I’ll post soon.


Melvillian throngs came down to the “extremest limit of land” on Pier 15 and 16, for one reason or another, but who were about to be treated to some excellent ship handling.


Rae took the lead, showing the need for tugboats of all sizes.




The larger tugs pushed and pulled as needed to ease into the slip




until all lines were fast and


and the shoreside work needed doing.


Bravo to all involved.  If you want to take part in a toast to Wavertree, you can buy tickets here for the September 29 evening.


If you haven’t read the NYTimes article by James Barron yet, click here.


All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes I left no one out and who as before is grateful to the South Street Seaport Museum and the photographers’ boat provided by US Merchant Marine Academy and crewed by a set of dedicated cadets.

Often folks ask how one can learn about the harbor or is there a book about the sixth boro.  Volunteering at South Street Seaport Museum is a great way available to all to get access to the water, to learn from like-minded folks, and to start on a journey of reading the harbor and its traffic for yourself.  Each volunteer’s journey will be unique, and willing hands make institutions like this museum survive and thrive.

Almost exactly 16 months ago, Wavertree left Pier 16 for a lot of work at Caddell Dry Dock.    Here was my set of photos from that day, and here,  subsequent ones at several month intervals.  Yesterday she made way, back to Pier 16.


Here’s looking back west.  Compare the photo below with the third one here to see how much work has been accomplished on the Bayonne Bridge during the same 16 months.


Yesterday, Rae helped, as did


Dorothy J and Robert IV.


The combined age of Rae, Robert IV, and Dorothy J is 139 years, whereas the beautifully restored flagship they escorted in is 131 years old.


And as the tow approached the Statue, John J. Harvey joined in.



These photos all by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to the South Street Seaport Museum and the photographers’ boat provided by US Merchant Marine Academy and crewed by a set of dedicated cadets.

For some interesting history on Wavertree and info on a fundraiser on board on September 29, 2016, click here.  For the story of how Wavertree came from Argentina to New York, read Peter & Norma Stanford’s A Dream of Tall Ships, which I reviewed here some time ago.

More photos of the return tomorrow.

Here are some posts about Lettie G. Howard.


Want to join the crew for a sail to Gloucester for the 2016 schooner race, be part of the race crew, or help sail the 1893 schooner back to NYC’s sixth boro?


You’d be crew in training, integrated into watch-standing along with her professional crew.


On the return, she stops in New London for the Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival.  And all the while, you’d be supporting the good work of South Street Seaport Museum, which has many other unparalleled events coming up in the next few weeks.


Here are the specifics on ticket prices, dates, and itineraries:

NYC to Gloucester | 8/29-9/2: $800.00*
Gloucester Schooner Race | 9/4: $160.00
Gloucester to New London | 9/5-9/9: $800.00
New London to NYC | 9/11-9/13: $480.00
*Sail the first leg and join the race at no additional cost!
To reserve your spot,  email:



The first and last photos here come from Hannah Basch-Gould;  all the other have been taken by Will Van Dorp, who on these dates will be gallivanting to francophone Canada in search of Champlain’s dream.

You’d have thought I use this title more often, but it’s been almost three years since it last appeared. I’m starting with this photo of the lightship WLV-612, because this is where I’ll be this evening for a FREE and open-to-the-public 6 pm showing of our documentary Graves of Arthur Kill.  Seats for those who arrive first.

Over the years I’ve done many posts about the WLV-612, but my favorite is this one.


Here’s a very recent arrival in the sixth boro’s pool of workboats . . . Fort McHenry, just off the ways, although just yesterday an even-more recent arrival.  more on that one soon, I hope.  I don’t know how new Double Skin 315 is.


Ships in the anchorage and waterways must think they are in a tropical clime, given the temperatures of August 2016.


NS Parade, Iron Point, MTM St Jean …  have all been here recently.


Robert E. McAllister returned from a job, possibly having assisted Robert E. Peary.


MSC Lucy headed out past


Larry J. Hebert, standing by at a maintenance dredging job.


MOL Bellwether, all 1105′ loa of her, leave into the humid haze, existing here along with


some wind to propel this sloop.


Finally, just the name, sir;  No need for the entire genealogy. This photo comes compliments of Bob Dahringer.


Thanks to Bob for the photo above;  all others by Will Van Dorp.


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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.


October 2016
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