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Let’s start at the sixth boro’s own Kearny Point.  Federal Ship Building & Dry Dock used to be there.  On December 1, 1943, a time when that place was turning out a vessel a week or so, hull #303 was delivered as USS Stern, DE-187.     After eight years as a USN vessel, she was transferred to the Netherlands as F-811, HNLMS Van Zijll, her identity until 1967 when she was returned to the US and scrapped.

John van der Doe, frequent contributor on this blog, sailed on F-811 around the world in 1954–55, as he says “employed with the US Naval Task-force Pacific fleet 4 or 6 (forgot the number) during the Korean war.”

Port Said, 1954, north entrance to the Suez Canal.  The large statue shows Ferdinand de Lesseps.  A few years later, the statue was dynamited as celebration of the nationalization of the Canal.

0aa1Port Said 1954

Aden, stop for bunkers.

0aa2Aden (1)

Hong Kong, awaiting orders.

0aa3Hong Kong (2)

Yokosuka, Japan, here and

0aa4Yokosuko Japan (1)

here.   That background landscape is still recognizable today.

0aa5Naval tugs Yokosuka Japan 1954


0aa5bPapeete Tahiti (3)

Click here for some more of that era.

0aa6Papeete Tahiti (4)


0aa7Papeete Tahiti (2)

Pacific side of the Panama Canal, now 1955.

0aa7bPanama Canal (1)

Original “mule” style.  Click here (and scroll) for photos of the mules from 2012.  I wonder what the next generation will be.

0aa7cPanama Canal (2)


0aa8Panama Canal (4)

And here’s a photo of the Kearny-built vessel taking on stores in Ponta Delgada, Azores.


Later, Jan took this photo in then-Leningrad.  I believe that’s St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

0aa9Leningrad (3)


Many thanks to Jan for these photos from long ago and faraway.

John van der Doe has contributed many photos from Hamilton over the years, like here and here.

The bunkering boat Sterling Energy after delivering fuel to the Dutch tanker Stella Polaris.  Wow . . . Sterling Energy is Turkish built in 2002.

0aajvd1Hamilton Nov. 7, 2015 (1)

Pusher-tug Victorious with her asphalt tanker-barge John J. Carrick.  Victorious was built in China in 2009.

0aajvd2Hamilton Nov. 7, 2015 (2)

Again, John, thanks for these photos and a glimpse of Hamilton and the vessels that work there.


This photos and text come from JS, a frequent commenter on this blog.   He took the photos on a voyage that left NYC in July 1966 and returned to LA in December.

JS:  “President Pierce (C-3) is being dragged stern first from the dock by an Indonesian tug to mid channel in a shifting procedure.   I took the snaps standing on the dock of a rubber port in Java.  We loaded latex rubber.  The port was Belawan Deli. No one went ‘ashore’ but we did trade newly purchased Seiko watches for Bali heads to smuggle home and  sell in antique stores.That place was a short day or two sail from our loading general cargo in Singapore.”




Tugster:  I’ve no idea what has become of this steam tug. Here’s some info on Djatisari.


Here’s some info on Florian Ceynowa.

JS continues:  “It’s me on the right (2nd electrician, promoted from wiper), my uncle Al (John Noble‘s neighbor) and Steve Duhamel, the bull wiper.  He was great at moving 55-gallon drums anywhere in the engine room.  Also, note the longshoremens outhouse overhanging the stern rail of the Pierce.”


JS:  “Fish loading was from an anchorage in either Port Swettanam, or Penang, Malaysia. Local longshoremen winched them from boats alongside, stacked them in our t’ween deck reefers, and we discharged half the load into uncovered trucks on a cold Yokohama dock weeks later and the rest stayed on for U.S.”


“Whole frozen tuna gathered by the tails, being winched from fishing boats holds.”


“After a 6-month ‘jungle run’, conditions on board had become lax. The ship was in disarray, so perhaps the patrolmans report was a bit severe.   We were paid with cash and we happily descend the gangway in a “suitcase parade”.


Many thanks, JS.  I’d love to see more pics and hear other stories like these.

The world was truly a different place a half century ago.


Know Apra?  Actually I didn’t, so let’s make this about guessing the location.  All photos come from Kyle Stubbs, who has previously contributed these photos.  Most of the text here is also from Kyle, who took these photos in summer 2010.

The Ha. 62-76 is a World War II Japanese Type C Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarine.  It ran aground across the island from Apra.


By now, clearly you can identify the body of big water. Taisei Maru No. 28  is a longline fishing vessel built at Takuma, Japan in 1991. She stopped for a port call at Apra Harbor presumably to take on supplies.


Natsushima, a Japanese research vessel built by Kawasaki at Kobe in 1981 is operated by Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd.


CSC Brave is a 2007-built chemical/product tanker.


Goliath was built at Yokosuka, Japan in 1980 as Kinuura. Ready to guess?


Super Shuttle is a compact container ship built in Germany in 1977 as Passat.  It is used to transport cargo between the islands.  Now here’s a clue;  it’s operated by Seabridge, Inc.  


And here’s another big clue with Matson’s 2004 Philadelphia built Maunawili.


Chamorro, now operated by Seabridge, Inc., was built by Halter at News Orleans in 1974 as Mister Bob for Jackson Marine Corporation. One of a large series of tugs, you’ve previously seen photos of her sisters Mister Darby, now Atlantic Salvor,and Mister Peter, now the blighted Barents Sea.


USNS Vadm K. R. Wheeler, T-AG 5001, built by North American Shipbuilding at Larose, LA in 2007, is operated by the Navy as an “Offshore Petroleum Distribution System (OPDS),” designed to facilitate the transfer of fuel from tankers to onshore installations from up to 8 miles offshore. Alongside is her tender, the 160′ loa crew boat  Fast Tempo.


And finally, it’s USS Pearl Harbor, LSD-52. 



Apra is a deepwater port in Guam.

Again, many thanks to Kyle for sharing these photos.

Call this GHP&W 11.

Botlek is a section of the port of Rotterdam.  Here tugs Smit Texelbank and En Avant 1 and 20 assist craneship Oleg Strashnov into port for regular maintenance.


Prior to coming into port, Oleg Strashnov had been working in the North Sea gas fields.



Click here for more particulars of the craneship.  Click here for some of the many posts I’ve done on the port of Rotterdam.

These photos come via Fred Trooster.

For GHP&W 10, let’s gallivant over to the West Coast and look at some photos there by Glen, who moved to the Columbia watershed after a long career working on sixth boro waterways.

Let’s start out with Shaver’s Washington.  Notice anything unusual about this photo?  Answer at the end of the post.


And some more starting with Kirby’s Sirius,




Shaver’s Umatilla and Foss’ Howard Olsen,


Shaver’s Deschutes,






P. J. Brix, and


and Bernert’s Diane B.


And in that first photo, Washington travels on the river any way forward she pleases.

Many thanks to Glen  for these photos.


This is day 8 of the GHP&W series, so let me break pattern a bit.  If you missed the beginning, GHP&W is not a law firm; it’s abbrev for “gunk holes, harbors, ports, and wharves.”  I haven’t dusted off any wharves yet, but two-thirds of the months still lie ahead.

The story here is that TS Kings Pointer was out serving as a training platform and not at Kings Point, although there was a potential meeting somewhere south along our track to Portsmouth, VA.

Mile 1, 0738 Wednesday, heading for the Throg’s Neck Bridge.


0756.  Passing SUNY Maritime and TS Empire State. Click here for photos from her summer sea term 2015.


0804, Robert Burton, a Norfolk boat.


0907, Mary Gellatly with a sand scow at the southern tip of Governors Island.


1010, passing the northern tip of Sandy Hook but looking back at Naval Weapons Station Earle, with USNS Medgar Evers at the wharf.


1017, Romer Shoal Light and Coney Island.


1517, Capt. Willie Landers northbound off Beach Haven, I think.


1612, FV Jonathan Ryan and tug Pops in the distance.


1618, entering a grid marked “numerous scientific buoys.”


1657 off Atlantic City, with unidentified tug and barge


1740 and about to switch watch.


Thursday, 0852, looking north into the Chesapeake after going wide around Fisherman Island.


0910 . . . it’s the current  TS Kings Pointer, ex-Liberty Star. . .




. . . heading along Virginia Beach


before turning northward toward Long Island Sound.  Her former sister ship–Freedom Star–was in the area but we did not see her.


Meanwhile, we head north into the Thimble Shoal Channel Tunnel and into port, which you can follow tomorrow.  And that tug and crane barge in the distance . . . survey work for new infrastructure or maintenance dredging?



All photos by Will Van Dorp, with thanks to the USMMA Sailing Foundation for inviting me to crew in winter relocation for Tortuga.  It was a smooth trip.

aka GHP&W 4

Some of you might remember schooner Issuma . . .   ?  Since this post and this one five years ago, Richard Hudson has sailed the schooner from the Northern Atlantic, westward across the Northwest Passage to Alaska, down to Easter Island, and now he’s truly been gunkholing along the western side of southern South America, where there’s an archipelago not unlike parts of the coast of Maine.

The boat below, part of the Naviera Ulloa fleet, is also remarkably similar to the transporter in yesterday’s post.


Richard took these photos in mid-September, so this is approaching the start of spring here.


Don Jose, part of the Frasal fleet, is a multi-purpose transporter that sometimes transports commodities such as fish and wine.






Hull cleaning is done here in much the same way I’ve seen it done in Maine.






By the way, the distance from this archipelago in the south to the salt mines in the north of the country, Salar Grande de Tarapacá, Iquique-Chile, is about 1500 miles!  These are the mines where much of the road salt stored in Staten Island and elsewhere along the eastern US come from.

Many thanks to Richard Hudson for these photos. Priot to sailing on Issuma, he had a beautiful Tom Colvin-design pinkie schooner called Rosemary Ruth.

aka GHP&W 2.  Macedon only became a port when Clinton built his ditch.  The ditch and subsequent iterations connected it to the sea.  When I took the photo below back on Oct 21 2014, eastbound on Urger, I felt very far from salt water.


But Chris Williams’ photo below, taken October 25, 2015, shows how connected Macedon is to the sixth boro and all watery places on Earth beyond the VZ Bridge.   Less than a week ago, I did a post about Margot, the tug frequently-seen in NYC that delivered this cargo to the port of Macedon.


Bob Stopper took the next set photos.  The fact that a Goldhofer semitrailer of 12 axles, 48 wheels,  is needed shows the weight of the cargo delivered across the state by NYS Marine Highway.  The land portion of the cargo transfer is provided by Edwards Moving and Rigging.

01rs12 axels

Here’s a closeup of the hydraulics at the front of the trailer.


Transfer from barge to trailer begins with the jacking up of the cargo.

02rsjacks under cargo


1No passing zone (1024x768)

At this point, there are 96 wheels under and moving the cargo.

2Ninety six wheels under the cargo (1024x768)


3Balancing and raising the barge (1024x768)


4By land and by sea (1024x611)


5Here she comes. Goodbye canal, Hello Plank Road (1024x768)

The next photo taken by Rob Goldman, and taken from the NYS Canal Corporation FB page,  on October 31, 2015, shows how the Edwards trailer moves the cargo, one huge piece at a time, off the barge and into the port of Macedon.


Macedon is one of those place names in central NY named for places or people in classical Greek and Roman history.    Others are Troy, Ithaca, Palmyra, Greece, Athens, Rome  .  .  .  and more;  people memorialized in town names here include Hannibal, Scipio, Pompey, Homer, Ulysses, Brutus  . . . .

Credit for these photos goes to Chris, Bob, and Rob.  My personal connection to Macedon includes the fact that I bought my first car there, less than a half mile from the Canal, and at the time had no clue that it was a port, that it could be connected to the oceans.

Here are previous “port of __” posts i’ve done.

And finally, unrelated, here from another even smaller NY canal port, here’s into on an auction below.


The title is such a mouthful that I’ll soon reduce it to GHP&W. Although this blog began with photos and observations of mostly working vessels in the great harbor associated with New York City, the watery part of which I call the sixth boro, the blog followed a course suggested by these vessels to other GHP&Ws. And given then the global nature of water traffic, it seems logical to devote at least a month to other GHP&Ws.

I’ll kick off with this post about a port I’ll likely never visit, the former Aral Sea fishing port of Moynaq in Uzbekistan.  The photos come from Getty Images by Bjorn Holland and Kelly Cheng. Surprisingly maybe, I live in a neighborhood of NYC where Uzbek is the dominant language, which was part of my motivation to read a Tom Bissell book called Chasing the Sea:  Lost among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia.  I highly recommend it.

So here are some detail areas of a huge aerial photo print I saw the other day.  Can anyone point to detail that confirms a date?  My guess is somewhere in the 50s or 60s.   The first photo below shows the southeast point of Bayonne NJ.  The peninsula bisecting the top and bottom is MOTBY.  Governors Island is upper right and the Statue is upper left with the southern tip of Manhattan along the top.


Below is a closer up of the lower right corner of the photo above, showing that tugboat, some barges, and two sets of  trucks  at the cement dock.


Note the Statue and Ellis Island.  To the left of it is now Liberty State Park.  The Caven Point Pier crosses the center of the photo and the current Global Terminal is still waiting for fill.


Below is the just capped landfill that is topped by the Bayonne Golf Club.   Lower left is quite the gunkhole with disintegrating watercraft I’d love to see a closeup of.


Remember that all the B/W “photos” above are parts of the same aerial shot.

Let’s have a fun month with lots of GHP&Ws.  And not to be too prescriptive, I’d love photos from a variety of GHP&Ws in Asia and Africa, mostly lacking in my previous 2900+ posts.  Of course, here and here are a few posts I’ve done on African ports; here,  Asian; and here and here, South American.

While I’m asking for collaboration, I have a chance to replicate a trip on a major African river that I originally did in 1973-74;  what I seek is leads to a publication that might be interested in the story and photos. The trip is pricey, and if I can sell a tale with photos, I can offset some of the expense. Anyone have ideas or connections?

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click 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.


November 2015
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