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See the name on this black-hulled yacht?  Note the simple upper helm?

Check again as we pass.  I took these two photos back in July 2016, making that the Mt. Hope Bridge and beyond that, the Brayton Point cooling towers, now gone.  Pilar?  Maybe you’ve heard of it in relation to Hemingway and currently in Cuba.

Pilar was hull #576 from Wheeler Yacht Company, launched in 1934 and taken to Key West, not a water delivery until Miami.  April 5, 1934 was the day Hemingway himself went to Coney Island to order his new boat, a 38′ Wheeler Playmate.  That day is described well in this post.  If you want to read hundreds more pages about the boat and Hemingway, read this tome by Paul Hendrickson.  I read the 700-page book, hoping to learn more about Coney Island, but besides that, I learned the minutiae of all of Hemingway’s trips on the boat, which he last saw in 1960, when he was advised to leave Cuba and not long before his death.  Pilar is still in Cuba, one of two Wheeler boats there.  More on that at the end of this post.

The “Pilar” shown here was launched in 1933 as Elhanor, hull #527 and five feet shorter than Hemingway’s boat, a 38-footer that cost him just under $7500 in 1934.

Besides yachts, Wheeler on Coney Island Creek built vessels for the US Army, Navy, and Coast Guard.  They built over 200 patrol boats for the USCG, like the one below.  Click on the photo for more info. One is being restored in Seattle.   Howard Wheeler opened his shipyard on Coney Island Creek in 1910, but by 1950, this facility and another in Queens, were gone. 

Here’s the general location.

It’s a tidal waterway adjacent to the water portion of Gravesend  Bay.  I rowed up in and its many wrecks some years ago here and here. If you’ve never seen the yellow submarine aka Quester, here are photos. 

Let have a look at the Wheeler Shipyard then and now. The b/w photos are all from  Mystic Seaport, Rosenfeld Collection. That’s the Cropsey Avenue drawbridge open with a yacht coming through from the shipyard, looking from SW to NE.  For a closer up look at the photo below, click on the photo.

Beyond that bridge, this was the exterior of the shipyard in January 1944;  around a shipyard that builds wooden boats and ships, you’d expect to find lots of lumber.

And inside, you’d expect scenes of curved, clamped, and glued wood.

Here’s a photo I took of Cropsey Avenue Bridge, looking SE to NW, because it’s the shot I could get. Just off the left side of the photo is the Starbucks.   From my location, I then shot SW to NE

to where the buildings of the shipyard would have been.  Absolutely nothing of the yard remains.  To the left is a parking lot and supermarket;  to the right is a furniture store.

More info on Wheeler Coney Island can be found here. The other Wheeler boat in Cuba is Granma, the vessel that in 1956 took Fidel Castro and his fellows from Mexico to Cuba.  The captain of the vessel then was Norberto Collado Abreu, who had received US Congressional recognition for his service with the Cuban Navy in WW2. For a long read on the boat and Capt. Abreu, click here.

All photos othjerwise uncredited, WVD, who visted Hemingway’s Key West house here almost a decade ago.

And if you’re interested in buying a replica of the Wheeler 38, you can.  See here. More on the original Coney Island boat here.

A similar post on a marine service business (MSB) I did here not quite two months ago.

Here are many previous posts in this series.  If you have photos of a port I’ve not yet featured, please send them along.

Today’s port might be one you’ve not heard of.  To tell the truth, neither had I until I had the opportunity to sail into it.  Faro Luna marks the east end of the entrance to the port.  The first classic car I saw–a bright aqua 1953 Ford–sped along a road behind the lighthouse.

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After a winding entrance of several miles, the large bay opens up, showing in the east the foothills of the Escambray Mountains.

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Bustein is a small aggregate carrier that shuttles between southern Cuba and the Caymans.

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5 de Septiembre was the first tugboat I saw, not long after anchoring.

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Here is XII Festival pushing oil barge PT 400 Z.

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A light tanker Kalikratis waited at anchor.

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Several small craft skittered across the bay, this one for passengers and

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these probably headed outside to fish.

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Nearer the port was a scrapyard

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and some older tugs (l to r) Titan and II Frente Oriental.  If I read this right, Titan was built east of Moscow on a tributary of the Volga River.  II Frente Oriental is also Russian built.

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Perla del Sur is Cuban built from 2007,

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whereas Tormenta 1, 2004, comes from Romania.

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Here both Perla del Sur and Tormenta 1 head out at dusk for an assist.

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And with this post, chugster has returned to the tugster label, and in the next post, intends to return to the sixth boro.

The parrot on my shoulder has started informing me the market cannot bear much more of these old jalopies, so here’s the last installment for now.  Speaking of jalopies, that’s a word I deliberately chose not to use until now.  Anyone know the origin of this word?

The vehicle below . . . puzzles me in its origins as well.  I’d call it a Cienfuegos rat rod, Cienfuegos being my port of entry, where I took all of the photos in today’s post.   And as to the identification, I’m just guessing, so I might be slightly off on some.

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Here’s the first car I had a chance to look at close up.

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1949 Chevrolet

 

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1956 Chrysler and 1956 Chevrolet

 

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1950 Chevrolet

 

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1951 Ford

 

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1985 Kamaz

 

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1958 Pontiac, and that’s a gas station in the background

 

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1950 Plymouth

 

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1956 Willys

 

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1952 Chevrolet

 

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1952 Buick, with the portholes recently bondo’ed in?

 

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1957 Plymouth Belvedere

 

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1958 Chrysler

 

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1956 Dodge followed by the ubiquitous 1970s Lada

And a personal favorite from my time in Africa . . . any one guess?

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???

And here’s the final shot in the series, the commonplace Chevrolet but with a pearlescent paint job, which doesn’t show that well on this photo.

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Almost all photos by Will Van Dorp, who was auditioning as a car show model above.  Think I have a future?  I saw a very efficient “booth babe” (someone else’s term, not mine) at the NY Boat Show last month;  she had more guys checking out the products at this particular booth than at any other booth.

In contrast to the photos of the cars in Cuba, here are a few from my hunting ground in the Georgia woods.  See them all in the camouflage?

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I saw no Hudsons on the tropical island, although I did some a few Studebakers and even one Corvair.

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And as you’ve seen, Buicks were plentiful, with or without portholes.

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That blue sedan–five photos up–is a Peugeot 404 from about 1970.

And finally . . . jalopy . . . here’s the origin of the word, and here’s that location.

By tomorrow, chugster hopes to dive back into the water and re-emerge as tugster; either that, or he risks getting bit by the parrot who serves as chair of the board.

 

 

 

Chugging right along from yesterday’s post . . . I’m recalling my visits in recent years to a certain junkyard not far from I-75 in Georgia . . . . of course I Today’s post will start out right in front of the office of the captain of the port,

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1957 Ford Fairlane

here’s the view of the port from across the street,

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A recent Hyundai hangs with a 1950s Pontaic, Chevy, and Cadillac.

and there’s a whole lot more to see when I walk down the street.

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1945ish Packard Clipper with great paint and missing trim.

 

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1946 Ford and 1955 Chevrolet

 

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1957 Chevrolet and 1947 Chevrolet with another Hyundai

 

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1958ish Fiat? and 1958 Rambler

 

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Prominent is a 1958 Buick? but also a three-wheeler, some old Chevys and a Mercury.

 

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1949 Dodge

 

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1956 Pontiac

 

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1946 DeSoto

 

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1950 Chevy

And we end today with another shot of the 1957 Ford, next to a 1959 Buick convertible.

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To put these photos into a context, watch a few minutes of this video, showing Havana streets about three generations ago, just to see that it was all the same cars. For what appears to be fairly well documented history, read this article and this one as well.  For a bit more history with vintage air travel posters and maps, click here.

And unless I hear loud boos and hisses about topic, I have one more installment.  Boos and hisses about misidentification–or anything else– as well as questions and up-antes  are entirely welcome.  I was thinking to put some of these together into a 18-month calendar for my brother, who is the REAL car nut in my life, eh?

All photos by Will Van Dorp, except this last one where he plays talent and the driver takes the photo.

Back in 2011 on my way back from my daughter’s wedding in Georgia, I passed through Key West aka the Conch Republic, and while there, of course, I couldn’t help stopping at Fort Jefferson on Dry Tortugas, where here, I wrote about first hearing of “chugs” and seeing one.

Given that and given the fact that in a few days south of the Florida Strait, I saw about one percent of the 60,000 or so vintage US automobiles, many with Soviet pollution-rich but said-to-be economical engines such as Volgas, let me in the spirit of truckster share a few here.   Chug was the sound many of them made, and between the leaded fuel and absence of pollution controls, that chug-chug-chug was palpable.  I’ll identify what I can, but most of my years/makes are guesses.

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1949 Chevrolet

 

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1950 Chevrolet

 

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1940 Chevrolet

 

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1950 Buick with 1956 Buick parked behind it

 

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1951 Willys modified into small bus

 

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1942 Chevrolet

 

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Extra points if you guess this brand of truck.  Answer at end of post.   And note the horse/cart hauling sugar cane.

 

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1951 Buick

And here we are back to the 1949 Chevrolet, with the

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Volga engine, i.e., this is a Cold War hybrid.  Click here for an insightful article which calls Cuba the “Galapagos Islands” of cars. 

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More soon, if you wish, before I get back to tugs and other workboats.

All photos taken by Will Van Dorp, with one at least by his camera.

That red truck pulling the chassis with the Hamburg-Sud container is made by China National Heavy Truck Group.  China also supplies many of the modern buses. 

 

Let me pick up here, a closer up of the mystery tug Alnair from yesterday’s post.  I have no further info, but one reader–Thanks, L–wrote to suggest that Alnair looks like a YTB.  I’d thought so, too, but in Cuba?

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So consider this one, not my photo, but if you click on the photo and do a search for YTB, you’ll find that until May 2006, this “Cuban” tug was known as Apalachicola YTB 767.  So could Alnair be Chesaning YTB 769, for example?

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Al Mendares looks to be a small tanker named for the river that flows through Havana.

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And here from the seawall  . . . MSC Opera, which as of this writing is across the Yucatan Strait in Mexico.

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The red vessel is Vega, a trailing suction hopper dredger.

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And finally, this ungainly vessel is a ferry.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

For more on YTBs, click here.

 

Click on the photo below to learn more about it, taken in late January 118 years ago.

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Here’s that same location last week.  Sorry about holding the camera crooked;  if I straighten it out now, the 1845 lighthouse disappears.

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The guys sitting on the seawall to the extreme left are tour bus drivers.  Did you notice the two tour buses on the central ridge line in the photo above?

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A little farther into the port I saw Sea Wolf A, 72′ x 23′ built by Damex in Santiago in 1996, and in spite of this info, not laid up. You can find more info here by using the “find” feature.

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Alnair . . . I have no information on her. Anyone help?

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And a pilotboat . . . is a pilotboat, not to disparage pilots and their skills in any way whatsoever.

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Can you guess the white ship whose hull dwarfs the pilot?

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Find the answer here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who was on a journalistic mission.

Click here for posts about many other ports.

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