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I’m traveling and was thinking not to post, but these are just too good to pass up.

It’s a very familiar looking livery for folks familiar with the sixth boro and many other places . . .  the lion boats.

What’s not familiar though is the background . . .

given that this is late May, but it’s Ann T Cheramie departing Kodiak!

Many thanks to Clay W for passing these photos along.

On this date in May 2013, I was near Portland OR scanning slides, images Seth Tane had taken decades earlier.  

The images have value in a macro sense, not the small details but rather the extent of change in the past almost 50 years. 

Tomorrow (2023) the fleet comes in.  But what year did LCC-20 come in . . . maybe 1985 or 1986?  It seems she’s still active. I now believe that lightship is the former LV-84.

But there are details here too, like these.  Might these two tugs be what’s more commonly known to me as Christine M. McAllister and H. J. Reinauer?   And look at the crowds!!

Is this the former lightship St. Clair?

Will this former tanker, former crane ship be fodder for underwater archeologists of the 22nd century?

I’d love to see this tugboat today.

What a different skyline!!  The Esso tanker’s been scrapped two decades already. 

Kehoe tugs have appeared here on this blog a few years ago.  Here in this fog, they look every bit to be a fading past.

All photos, thanks to Seth Tane.  Any errors, WVD.

If you’ve got time and inclination and an interest in the comments of a decade ago, click in the links below for that journey back in time to 6 b 5  d   aka sixth boro fifth dimension posts . . . .

6B5D 01

6B5D 2

6B5D 3

6B5D 4

6B5D 5

6B5D 6

6B5D 7

6B5D 8

6B5D 9

6B5D 10



Many thanks to Tony for keeping me current on vessels in the boro.  Most of these are transients, like Capt Richard of Norfolk Dredging.  Other equipment of the dredging

company was towed through in recent months as well, likely returning from a dredging project somewhere.

Stadt Amsterdam was in town, in fact at Pier 17, about a month ago.  From the sixth boro she headed east, with her itinerary listed here.  Pier 17 is also where I caught Capitán Miranda–after being tipped off by Tony.  Danmark was there too as well as the vessels of the beer run. Has any beer been delivered there by boat since?

With LCS Cleveland just launched with a splash and a douse over in Marinette, USS Cooperstown was recently commissioned in a location relatively close to  . . . Cooperstown.. I believe she overwintered in Escanaba, where we we welcomed recently as the first passenger vessel to call since the Americans.

Hidden away, Tony caught Rachel Marie and more.  Here’s a blast from the way past featuring her exploits tugging on whole islands!

Shelby Rose may be a fleet mate.

Jimmy, recently spoiled by spa treatment, stands forward of a whole line of boats and countless stories.

Mr Connor was ashore getting spiffy.


I’ve often seen Manhasset Bay on AIS, but thanks to Tony, here’s

my first time to see her in the boro.

And rounding things out, behold Joanne Marie, following her makeover after I got these photos over her coming into town the other month . . .  wow!! that was February.  Time does pass quickly!

Much appreciation to Tony A for keeping an eye on sixth boro traffic while I get lost elsewhere.

I have one more LL set, which I’ll post soon, but I first wanted to observe a connection between Eastport ME and Escanaba MI.  Back in April, I was issued travel docs to get to Eastport via Toronto and Saint John NB, which meant a re-entry at St Stephen/Calais.  Since I met up with others at the Saint John airport and we all were crossing in the same van, we were all asked to step into the CBP office for further scrutiny.  Of course, our travel, though circuitous, was legit and we were sent on our way, but that was after some CBP expressed skepticism about a cruise ship being in Eastport.

As it turns out, Eastport, as the deepest eastern US port, it has seen recent cruise ships and was once the 2nd busiest port in the US!  I quote from the second link in the previous sentence:  “

Passengers traveling to and from Boston and Saint John, New Brunswick, came by packed schooners and then crowded steamships, French said. Larger steamships soon made multiple stops in the city each week, carrying hundreds of people at a time. 

In 1876, Eastport launched the North American sardine industry, totaling 18 canning factories along its shores within a decade. The arrival of the railroad to Eastport in 1898 caused the port to further flourish as goods and passengers gained new access to the country’s rail network. As it did, the city’s population reached its peak at just over 5,000. 

Following the invention and spread of the automobile in the early 20th century, the massive steamships fell out of popularity, and in 1933 stopped coming to Eastport altogether.”

For specifics on steamers that once called in Eastport, check this johnwood1946 link.

As I get to the connection between Eastport and Escanaba, let me digress with the next two photos:  it’s Viking Polaris, the newest cruise ship on the Great Lakes, waiting for us to pass at Côte Ste. Catherine in the South Shore Canal portion of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Bow above by a friend and stern . . . my photo.

This brings us a week later and over 1000 nm farther west to Escanaba MI and

this warm welcome.

I was told by two unrelated folks in town that we were the first passenger vessel to call in Escanaba in over a half century.  Of course, that triggered me to wonder what the previous vessel was.  The archivist at the local county historical society was very prompt in responding to my Q, writing… “During the later 1940s and the 1950s both SS North American and SS South American made stops in Escanaba.  The boats docked at the municipal dock at that time, and passengers (as many as 400) walked across the park to the old House of Ludington Hotel for lunch, followed by strolling around the city.  I do have photos of one of the boats at the dock.  Many older adults who were young folks at the time remember that the passengers threw coins into the water and kids dove off the dock for them.  (Those stories always give me a ‘third world’ feeling.)”

Phenomenal!  I know of the two American ships and their ignominious end.  It also gave me pause to think we were following in the wake of these two fine vessels produced by GLEW!

Here’s some info about Escanaba’s Sand Point Light, which I’ll be sure to visit later this season.  Another stop will be House of Ludington.  To be acknowledged but now long gone is also Sialia

Many thanks to Karen Lindquist, archivist, for the info about Escanaba and its previous visitors.  

All photos, unless otherwise stated, and any errors, WVD


Here was “government boats 44” from almost six years ago.  Before you click on the link in the previous sentence, do you recognize the vessel fighting the fire below?

It’s none other than the oldest active fireboat in the world, unless someone can prove that it’s not.  

And if you’re not familiar with the boat yet, it’s Edward M. Cotter, built as W. S. Grattan in Elizabethport NJ in 1900 !!!, and –as seen above–still active doing what it was built for as part of the  Buffalo Fire Department.  For info on its current namesake, click here.  More photos here

Other photos I’ve taken of Cotter over the years can be seen here. Other fireboats posts… here.

Thanks much to Brian R. Wroblewski for use of these photos.  More photos of Cotter and BFD on scene can be seen on FB at Buffalo Fire & Rescue On Scene for April 15, 2023.  Previous photos from Brian on this blog can be seen here

Big announcement on tugster tomorrow. 

SD 37 was quite some time ago, but what flummoxes me is that I thought I’d done this post, a profile of another Mister Darby model I saw at the September 2022 Tugboat Roundup.  It seems, to my embarrassment that I never posted these.  

To the models we go.  Some model builders from Quebec had come down to Waterford to display their craft.  That’s one of the models westbound in the Erie Canal below. 

The real tug whose bow we look across above is Joncaire;  the model is marked as a Smit tug called Moniqua, but I can find no information about the namesake.

Edgar Bonnet was the most powerful tugboat in the world when IHC launched it in 1953 for the Suez Canal.  The tugboat was sunk in the Suez Canal in 1956-57 during what some call the Second Arab-israeli War. When it was raised in March 1957, the Canal was reopened. For someone who can read Polish, here’s the story, and google can translate.  Some specs, the original Smit tug was 152′ x 39′.  The raising got lots of media attention;  even UN SG Dag Hammarskjold was present.  In 1958, it was renamed Antar.

All these models were 2′ to 3′ in length.



Mister Darby interested me the most, because it’s none other than the current Atlantic Salvor. 

Many thanks to modeler Carl Durocher

and friends for showing off their boats at Waterford.  And my apologies for not having posted his photos until now. 


Quick . . . name that unit?


The Patsy Paulie?

Name the unit yet?

The Patsy Paulie is the old B. No. 280, pushed here by the old Rhea I. Bouchard, now The Beatrice.  I’m sure there’s a story, and I know that I don’t know it.

And thanks to Birk Thomas, behold the new livery, paint and name on the old Guilford Courthouse, last seen on tugster here about six long weeks ago.

Thanks to Birk for use of the photo;  all others and any errors, WVD.

Click here for previous installments in this series.



I’m back in the sixth boro.  And it’s always exciting to see what’s new.  The 2021 UHL Faith, an F900 Eco-Lifter fits that bill.

UHL Faith first stopped at the Howland Hook docks, and Gerard Thornton got the first three photos in this post.

The red tubular structures on deck are components of a crane.

Right after arriving in the boro, Wednesday I hurried over to see Howland Hook from the NJ side to get these photos. 

Gerard reports the crane components were Paceco.  I’m not sure what model crane these parts will become.

Friday morning finds UHL Faith at the head of the Elizabeth Channel of NYNJ port.

Have other UHL vessels visited the sixth boro?

Many thanks to Gerard for the first three photos;  the others, WVD.


One enjoyable thing about this tugster “business” is that you all send me photos, some of which I’ve shared 108 times before this post.

First, from a Mississippi River vantage point that I only recently left, some photos from Lew, who previously contributed these photos.  

I’ll consult for the low down on this vessel.



Thanks, Lew, and I’d left New Orleans just the day before;  sorry to have missed you.  I did, however, serendipitously cross paths with Bjoern of New York Media Boat while I was there.  That’s another story.

Tony A sent along these photos of George Holland, ex-Sassafras!


How about this photo from May 1946, sent along by William Lafferty.

William writes:  “St. Louis Shipbuilding & Steel Company was very proud of its post-war towboats, and with good reason.  Merlin Banta was christened Havana Zephyr at St. Louis on 15 May 1946 by Mrs. Kenneth Baker, wife of a co-owner of Streett Towing Company of St. Louis.  Streett had it built to tow petroleum barges from Baton Rouge to Bettendorf, Iowa, where Socony Vacuum Oil Company had a large refinery.  Originally with twin Superior turbo-charged 80-MX-6 Diesels, 1980-bhp total, replaced in 1973 by twin EMD 12-567Es, 2800-bhp when it ran as H. F. Leonard for Huffman Towing Company, St. Louis.  It now has 3200-bhp EMDs since 2010.  Streett had SLSB&SCo build a couple more, but nothing that looked like this.  “C C” on it today stands for Chemical Carriers, Inc., of Plaquemine.”  Gone are the days of “streamlined” tugboats, which in 1936 led to a streamlined tugboat called David here, which is still around although with a changed appearance.

And finally, how about this from Sea Bart . . .  Loke Viking

a huge 279′ x 75′.

Sea Bart writes that he saw the actual vessel off Scotland, and in the local pilot’s station, there’s a model


made with Legos.  The the size of the model!

Many thanks to Lew, Tony A, William Lafferty, and Sea Bart for passing along these photos. 

Here are photos of my encounter with Merlin Banta back in 2014.


Since I’m currently riding the long rails, including this one, I’ve queued up a few posts.  More on the rails soon.

But let’s go back a decade and a month in this case, and see some happenings in the sixth boro in 2013.  Diane B was already around, and here she was taking advantage of the high tide to make her way with a light John Blanche downstream from the head of navigation on the Hutchinson River to the East River tidal strait.

Americas Spirit came in with assistance from Barbara McAllister and McAllister Sisters.  Barbara is now Patsy K, and sisters is still Sisters.  Spirit is still Spirit.

Marquette’s Miss Emily made a run through the KVK, likely in connection with some dredge work.

Vernon G was already Mary Gellatly then.  Now she’s a very busy Mackenzie Rose.

Catherine Turecamo retrieves a docking pilot.  Catherine is now on the Lakes as John Marshall.

Harry McNeal moves Clyde along by the hip.  Work was just months away from the old version of the Bayonne bridge.  Both boats I believe are still in the boro.

Lincoln Sea was the biggest regular in the boro, and still occasionally comes through.

Gramma Lee T. Moran still worked here, and I’d not yet met her namesake. 

You know it, of course, this photo is about the Mini Cooper, not the RORO that delivered it here.

Mixed traffic worked here, as it still true.

A very rusty Horizon Trader-  a 1973 cargo ship now long scrapped-passed through the port with its 2325 teu capacity.

Back then an occasional tanker with this type of Cyrillic writing could be seen. 

And around this time I started to use the tag “collaboration.”  This photo comes from Capt. Fred Kosnac on an “excessively windy” day.

All photos here, as attributed.  Thanks to Fred for the photo above. 

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June 2023