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This post covers a day and a half of travel, shown in pink and green.  You’ll understand why by the end of this post.

We departed Chandeleur Islands and headed for Mississippi’s Gulf Islands, part of a National Seashore.

In the distance off Pascagoula, we saw Crowley tug Achievement and her barge.

 

No Worries . . . that’s the small open fishing boat anchored near the rig.

 

F/V Apache Rose was at anchor showing off its “wing trawling” innovation.

Lois Ann L. Moran, with its very familiar livery, anchored off Mobile Bay, to the west of a dozen or so anchored vessels.

Sand Island Light marks the southernmost tip of the state of Alabama.

I’ll just point out here that we saw countless rigs off Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  That fact contrasts with what will follow in an upcoming post.

Lots of placards indicated presence of Cox and Telos, but I saw none marked Hilcorp or other energy companies. 

We ended that day off Perdido Key Resort in Floribama, where some skullduggery appeared to warrant keeping our distance. 

The next morning we entered Pensacola

for some crew change and grub shopping. 

Fort Pickens, one of only four southern US forts to remain in Union hands during the Civil War, lay on a barrier beach.   Updates were made to the fort up through WW2.

USCGC Walnut (WLB-205) is homeported in Pensacola, but nearby were two other CGCs,

Reliance and

Diligence.  A WLB and a WMEC made up part of the fleet in the sixth boro back in May 2022.

And here is the reason I extended this installment all the way to Pensacola.  As we made for our landing, we passed Gulf Dawn, which itself was passing that large blue/white vessel in the background . . . .

It’s Jacklyn, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket landing ship-to-be.  Well, now it will never be, since Julie F towed it out of Pensacola just two days ago, destination ISL Brownsville TX.  The story in detail can be read/heard here.

All photos, any errors, WVD, who will reprise this trip on the blog soon with more vessels.

 

 

It’s hard settling back into the blog after being in steamy alligatorland for most of the month, and didn’t even expect to be suddenly back.  So my solution, the ether in my air intake, so to speak, is to just somewhat randomly choose and post photos I took in Junes from 2012 through 2016.

Starting with June 2012, behold Sam M and

Buchanan 1.  I recall learning that Sam M made its way to Alaska, and Buchanan 1 . . . to the Rondout.  Would you consider Sam M to be a lugger tug?

June 2013 took me to Philly a few times, where I got photos of  Madeline and Captain Harry in the distance and

Sentry pulling El Rey, San Juan bound.  The two Wilmington Tug vessels still work the Delaware River, whereas Sentry–last I read–flies the Bolivian flag. I should get down to Philly again one of these days.

In 2014 it’s Navigator and

Sabine.   Navigator is still based in the sixth boro and Sabine is in the GOM.

In 2015, it’s Stephen B–still in the sixth boro–and

Evening Star, along with Wavertree during her makeover.  Stephen B still works out of the boro by that name although Evening Star now has started working out of the boro again as Jordan Rose. 

And 2016, it’s Eric McAllister and

a newly arrived Jonathan C Moran.  Jonathan is still here, but Eric is in Baltimore.

All photos in a series of Junes, WVD, who does Junes from 2017 through 2021 tomorrow.

Let’s jump back to May 2012.  Over along the Manhattan side of the East River then, I caught this scene.  Since then, there’s been some movement:   Peking to Germany,  Marion M to the Chesapeake,  Helen McAllister to  . . . rebirth as new steel.

Cheyenne has migrated to the Lake Michigan for now.

Twin Tube is still around but sans the boom.

Ellen McAllister is also still hard at work in the sixth boro, but I don’t see her doing much indirect towing as here.

Mark Moran was just passing through from the shipyard to Charleston.

Swan, built in 1981 and showing as her last movement three and a half years ago in China, has likely gone to rebirth as new steel.

But a decade ago in May 2012, she was here to move some used tugboats over to West Africa. Here she’s already down and BFT No. 38 with a crew boat strapped on has already been loaded, while

McAllister Sisters and McAllister Girls wait with three Crowley tugs, 

Cavalier, Pioneer, and Mars

After they are floated aboard, the tide turns the anchored Swan.

Socrates and Heron also float aboard, and

overnight, Swan gets deballasted and raises the hull, so that we can see their five-bladed wheels.   More of the story here.

Also in the boro those days was Picton Castle, showing the flag and more, maybe recruiting some hands

before sailing away.  Does anyone have news about her?  Has she really stayed in Lunenburg since late 2020?

All photos, WVD, exactly 120 months ago.

Unrelated to any of this, read this May 2004 article by the late great Don Sutherland and reflect on how much change has occurred.

Does equipment ever change in the sixth boro?  Of course.

Thornton Bros, the 1958 Matton Shipyard product, was scrapped in 2014.

The 1971 Maria J is now Nicholas Vinik.

USACE Hudson, the sweetest Corps boat I’ve ever seen, got transformed into a fish house in 2019.   Advance Victoria, 2006, is now Kition M, anchored in the Persian/Arabian Gulf.

The 2002 Labrador Sea is now Vane’s Brooklyn.

The 1944 Gage Paul inadvertently became a very deep fish house in 2015.

The 2002 Gramma Lee T is now in Norfolk.

Does the US Navy still have airships?  If ever I have the chance to ride in one of these, I’ll take it in a heartbeat!

Bruce A brought in the 1970 Crowley Mars and

Michael J brought in the 1975 Crowley Pioneer;  both Crowley’s were shipped off to Africa later in 2012.  The 1971 Michael J. was scrapped late in 2021. Christine was working for Reinauer.

The massive 1970 Penn No. 6 is now the massive Vinik No. 6.

The 1972 Catherine Turecamo is now on the Great Lakes as John Marshall. 

Do you still want to tell me nothing ever changes in the sixth boro?

All photos taken by WVD during the first SIX days of 2012.

 

Tony A sent this along labeled as “m-o-a-t,” mother of all tugs, and Pacific Reliance is truly a large tugboat at 121′ x 42′

with 9280 hp turning two 12′ diameter propeller and pushing around a 560′ tank barge that carries 155k barrels of liquid product.  But there are larger tugboats.  Justine McAllister gets called in to assist the Crowley unit into the dock.

CMT Pike heads north about to be obscured by an incoming MSC ship.

 

Seeley pushes along a block of four scows.

 

JRT and Kirby prepare to sail a Minerva tanker.  Minerva, Roman goddess of war and other things, seems appropriate these days.

The indefatigable Ellen McAllister passes Barney Turecamo on her way to a job.

Catherine C. Miller moves Weeks crane 577 to a lift site.

Emily Ann returns from a job. 

Nicolas Vinik gallops off to a job,

following Liz Vinik, herself

follwing Gregg McAllister.

And the beat goes on . . . all photos, WVD, except of course the one from Tony A, to whom I am grateful.

That vessel in yesterday’s post was the 1983 Curaçao-flagged Mighty Servant 1, a semisubmersible heavy lift ship that hung around the sixth boro for much of December 2011.  As of this posting, Mighty Servant 1 is traveling between Shanghai and Singapore.

“Semisubmersible” in this case means  she can ballast herself so that large and heavy objects can float into place above her “flat bed” deck.  When she deballasts, she lifts those objects out of the water.  To deliver these same objects, the sequence is reversed and whatever heavy floating object floats off.   I recall that while watching this process, which is very slow, uninformed folks near me watching it thought the USCG should be informed of a sinking ship in the boro.

Notice the clear deck area above and then below, large barges–sold to foreign buyers–being loaded over cradles. 

Besides barges, two large tugboats were also floated onto the deck.

Centurion was an Invader-class Crowley tug from 1976 until this sale to Nigerian interests in 2011.  Hercules was YTB-766 from 1961 until 2001, when it was sold to Boston Towing and renamed Hercules, a name it carried over to Nigeria. Charles A. and Gabby still work in the boro.

 

Once loaded, the deballasting begins and the underside of the vessels become visible and dry

How tall are you?  That’s an 11′ diameter prop you’re looking at.

Once loaded correctly, a few days went by to snug all the cargo for the crossing.  For some scale, the barge nearest us, RTC 90, is about 364′ loa.  Also in the photo below, bottom right of the Empire State Building, that’s QM2.

All photos, WVD, who at this point headed south, so I’m not sure which day they departed for Nigeria.

For recent photos of another cargo on Mighty Servant 1, this one for SpaceX, click here.  And a USN job, click here.

 

Many thanks to Sandy Berg and SkEye Stream for the photo below, drone assisted in Kingston ON.  In the foreground is Group Ocean’s Escorte, a 1967 Jakobson of Oyster Bay product, first launched as Menasha (YTB-773/YTM-761) for the U.S. Navy.  Off Escorte‘s stern it’s Sheri Lynn S, a Lake Ontario tug seen here.

Next, let’s go SW from Kingston to Picton, where CSL Assiniboine is discharging slag, a steel furnace byproduct with multiple uses.  Now if you’ve never seen the inside of a self-unloading ship’s hold, here are photos of one such arrangement, thanks to Picton Terminals.

Since the photo above shows only a bit of deck and the boom, here’s a photo I took in winter 2019 of CSL Assiniboine, 

and two more I took in September 2019 in

the South Shore Canal section of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Now let’s get back to Picton Terminals.  Sometimes a land machine gets lifted into the hold to assist.  Balder back in 2013 brought Atacama Desert salt to Staten Island as a “road safety product” and she carried such a machine permanently in her belly.

Whatever the angle of repose for slag, it was just not slumping here. Making it slump to feed into the self-unloading gates at the bottom of the hold

can be tricky. 

Now to move to another continent, Weeks tug Thomas here heads out of Rotterdam last week for Ascension Island.  Now THAT is a long voyage, about 4000 nautical miles, a two-week voyage at 10 knots. 

Thomas is pulling barge NP 476 loaded with various pieces of equipment, including a Eurocarrier 2110, a multipurpose vessel.

Next down to Gulf coastal waters and some photos I received an embarrassingly long time ago . . .  sorry, stuff gets lost in the shuffle . . .  it’s Heide Moran with barge Carolina

Heide is now Dann Ocean’s Helen, and I’ve not seen her in the sixth boro. 

Also from eastriver, another tugboat I’ve not yet seen . . .  the 10,000+ hp Ocean Wave.

Ocean Wave is one of four Crowley vessels of this class;  the others are Ocean Sun, Sky, and Wind.   If you look closely at the photo above, a crewman off the port side of the wheelhouse is providing an ocean–or at least–a waterway wave. 

Many thanks to Sandy Berg, SkEye Stream, Picton Terminals, Jan vander Doe, Ruud Zegwaard, and eastriver.  I have lots more photos that you’ve sent.  If I don’t immediately post, it’s because I’m trying to best position them, and that’s what leads me sometimes to lose sight, aka forget.

If you’re looking for something LONG to read, today is August 2, and that was the date 31 years ago that Iraqi forces overran Kuwait, where I was working.  This account is an attempt to document my late summer/fall of 1990, the strangest months of my life.  I have a more refined version, a pandemic project of revision, that I can send you if you want the latest iteration.

 

I took this photo in Waterford eastern terminus of the Erie Canal on November 1, 2010, and the canal had not yet closed.  I had just returned from part of a transit, and we had met lots of boats.  Although we had been bound for the Great Lakes, most, like the intriguing Baidarka, was bound for sea.  As of this writing, Baidarka is back on the Canadian Pacific coast.

A week later, in the sixth boro, docked in front of USNS Sisler, it’s the “love it or hate it” Sea Raven, now turned into new steel.

Sea Bear was engaged in the deepening of the sixth boro, and here a crew on the sheerleg was repositioning the anchor.

Lots of dredges including GLDD New York were involved.  More later.  Captain D, currently in the sixth boro on other duties, was dredge tender.

Then, as now Atlantic Salvor, was active.   I particularly like this shot with the 0730 “golden hour” light.  A very different set of buildings then largely defined the Manhattan skyline.

Wanderbird swooped through the harbor on their way south.

Padre Island and Terrapin Island were regulars recontouring the sixth boro bed.

Beaufort Sea, 1971, is no more. 

The brilliant colored Little Bear, built 1952, became a DonJon vessel, but I’ve not seen her since the Disch auction.

Susan Witte . . . I can’t tell you anything about her either.

Back then I would spend my Thanksgivings in Philly, and the high point of that holiday was not the excellent food and drink and company, but rather seeing the big barge for the first time.

Pilot towed in La Princesa, here assisted up the Delaware by Grace and Valentine Moran.   Pilot has been sold Panamanian, and La Princesa–577′ x 105′–I’ve neither seen nor heard from.  I believe Valentine is still active, but I don’t know about Grace.

All photos, WVD, who looks at these and wonders how a decade has so quickly passed.

 

In July 2010, the 1968 Black Hawk was one of two sister tugs operated by Sound Freight Lines.  Since then, the sister Seminole has been sold foreign, and Black Hawk has been sold to Sause Brothers Ocean Towing.  Sause refurbished her and for an account of Black Hawk towing a barge from San Francisco to Vancouver, click here. Details on Black Hawk are 112′ x 34′ and 3700 hp.

Chief, 1999, is/was one of Crowley’s Harbor class tugs.  She’s 97′ x 36′ and 4800 hp.

James T. Quigg is no doubt now wearing Centerline Logistics colors.  She dates from 1971 and measures in at 98′ x 30′ and 3000 hp.   Since launch, she’s worked the US East Coast, once called Fournier Boys,  and Hawaii, as well as the West Coast.

Alaska Titan came off the ways in 2008.  She’s one of a half dozen “titans” operated by Western Towboat.

Currently following the waterway through the islands of the Alaska panhandle, she measures in at 112′ x 35′ and 5000 hp.

Westrac, 1987, is another Western Towboat vessel, measuring in at 63′ x 28′ and 2500 hp.

This Triton, launched 1965, now goes by Wycliffe.  She’s 115′ x 31′ and 2500 hp.   She’s currently in Ensenada MX.

Dixie, 1951, has a history in towing log rafts on the Columbia River hundreds of miles above Portland OR. She’s 46′ x 15′ and 575 hp.

Pacific Star, launched 2008, now goes by Signet Courageous.  She’s 92′ x 40′ and 6610 hp. She’s currently in the Gulf of Mexico off Corpus Christi.

On Lake Washington, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain were out sailing.  The two vessels are now outside the Puget Sound in Gray’s Harbor, and Hawaiian Chieftain, as I understand it, has been “laid up.”  The two replica vessels have a waterline length of 72’and 62′, respectively.

Island Packer puzzles me a bit.  It seems not be cost effective to operate the 1943 converted landing craft between here and the Aleutians, where Chernofsky is located.  I suppose it was in Seattle that day for service.  I don’t know.

Katie Ann, launched in Baltimore in 1969, almost 300′ loa and powered by 8000 hp,  is one of six processing/packing/freezing vessels operated by American Seafoods.  She operates with a crew of 75.  As of this writing, according to AIS, she’s in exactly the same location I photographed her in July 2010, but only because she’s between seasons.

Viking has the lines of a converted oiler, like these.  She could be the 120′ crabber/trawler built for crabbing/fishing by Marco in 1975.

All photos, WVD, in July 2010.

 

 

Garth Foss, launched in 1993, is huge: 138′ x 46′ with 8000 hp and 80 tonnes of bollard pull.  Robert Allan says of Garth and sister Lindsey, ““They were really the first true purpose-designed tanker escort tugs in the world.”

Pacific Pride, launched in 1976 and measuring 84′ x 28′ and 2500 hp, is now Panama-registered D Dog.  She’s currently anchored off Callao Peru.

Next to her is Sirius, launched in 1974,  126′ x 38′ and 5750 hp, and currently laid up in Hawaii.

Guardian was launched in 1970, measuring 136′ x 37′ and 5750 hp, and is laid up.   Gladiator dates from 1975, measures in at 129′ x 37′ and  7200 hp.    She’s now Vanuatu-registered Resolve Gladiator, currently in the Irish Sea.

Over in Bremerton, I saw YTB 828 aka Catahecassa   101′ x 31′.  She was launched in 1974 in Marinette WI.  One source says that In 2013, she was sold to Basic Towing and renamed Gina.  Basic does own YTB 827 Chetek now known as Nickelena. Of course, all of this could be out of date.

Western Ranger was launched in 1968 as Oio, a Hawaiian Pineapple, then Dole tugboat.  In 1992 she came to Western Tugboat.  She’s  101′ x 31′ and rated at 3420 hp.  As of now, she’s on a run from Nome to Dutch Harbor.

Flyer was built in 1981.  She’s all of 37′ x 16′ and 400 hp.  Hornet was built in 1966 and the tape says 42′ x 14′ and 360 hp.

Pathfinder was launched in 1970, 136′ x 37′ and 5750 hp.     Now she goes by Island Explorer and is off BC on a run from Seattle to Anchorage.

Valor was launched in 2007 and chartered to Crowley.  She’s  93′ x 40′ and 6772 hp.  Currently she’s in San Francisco Bay.

Andrew Foss was launched in 1982 as Andrew Foss, measuring in at 107′ x 38′ and 4290 hp.

The trip to the Seattle area in July 2010 produced lots of photos I posted here.  Maybe I should get updates on more of the boats I saw there.  I was invited to be there in August 2020 for a wedding, but like so many things . . . that’s not happening.

All photos, WVD.

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