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I’m told Moss Island has some of the oldest rocks in the world, but no one needs to tell me about the potential faces in the rocks, likely the spirits recognized by folks who lived here a half millennium or more ago.  Those spirits are likely still here, recognized or not.

But what alarmed the geese the other day was not the ancients, but rather . . . blue metal.

 

guided by a skilled crew through this dramatic section of the Mohawk gorge.

 

If not for lock E17, this tow would soon tumble over a precipice, a niagara of the Mohawk.

 

Early 20th-century technology, still efficient as ever, drops vessels over 40 feet here,

and when the guillotine door opens,

they can head downriver  . . . eventually to the sea.

 

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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The day brightens a bit, but I stayed between Newburgh–to my back–and Beacon.

Whenever a boat passed, the gulls followed, feasting on the small fish stunned by the props.

The town below gets its name from the mountain, Mount Beacon.

Local squalls obscured the area north of Newburgh-Beacon.

Following Sarah Ann northbound was the indefatigable Buchanan 12.

 

A few miles upriver Buchanan 12 swapped these scows out for a loaded set, and in a few hours, returned southbound.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Bright and early, Kithy P passes Grande Mariner and enters

lock O8.

We followed Kithy P later, and departing lock O5, we met Rebecca Ann, who would enter the lock we had just vacated.

(Note:  as of today, Rebecca Ann is transiting the Welland Canal on the return trip to the sixth boro.)

On our way to Fulton, we passed some exotics.

And on our way to Phoenix, we passed my favorite docks in the system . . . repurposed flatbed trailers, three of them together.

This pontoon vessel had to exit O1 before we could enter, and

River Rose, a former sixth boro excursion boat now relocating to Michigan, had to wait for us.

 

And dead ahead, it’s Three Rivers, Clay NY, where the Oswego and the Erie Canals meet.   We will turn to port . . . east.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

. . . and beyond.  Let’s start with August 7, 2008 . . . up by the Iroquois lock of the Seaway.  And Canadian Provider . . .  well . . . in 2013 she was towed to Aliaga as OVI, and scrapped. Note that she’s a straight-decker . . . no self-unloading gear.

August 14 . . . reef-making consisted of sinking subway cars.  These went off Atlantic City.  To see their condition now, click here.

August 16 in the Arthur Kill, Volunteer was off to remake the tow.  Built in 1982, she met the scrappers earlier this year.

August 20 . . . Laura K and Margaret–I believe –have just helped Glasgow Express to Howland Hook terminal.  Glasgow (2002) is still at work, and so are Laura K (in Savannah) and Margaret in the sixth boro.

August 23 . . . Colleen McAllister and Dean Reinauer bring a barge through the Gate, reading for the Sound.  Colleen is now owned by for Port City Tug Company of Grosse Point.  Has anyone seen her in operation?  Dean went to Nigeria aboard Blue Marlin. 

Christine M McAllister stands by in Erie Basin on August 24.  This 6000hp tug is currently working down south of here.

August 27 . .  . the reclusive Susan E. Witte eastbound and Adriatic Sea westbound.  Beyond Adriatic, that might be Aegean.  Adriatic is currently on a tow on the 2000+ stretch of Ocean between Honolulu and Kwajalein!  Can someone confirm this?  Nine years ago, I caught Adriatic near the Bear Mountain Bridge here (scroll).

August 29 . . . Coral Sea westbound, while later in the same day,

the scarcely-seen up here Paul T Moran heads for the Bridge while Maryland approaches from that direction.  Coral Sea has gone to West Africa, Maryland has become Liz Vinik, and Paul T stays mostly around the Gulf.

The Tugboat Races and other contests were on the 31st that year.  Here Justin shows good style hitting that bollard.

HMS Liberty mixes it up with some real history.  Edith went down to Trinidad and the venerable Dorothy Elizabeth (1951) was scrapped the next year. Liberty is still in the sixth boro.

And to close it out . . . the 1907 Pegasus made a showing at the races that year.  She’s laid up on the morris Canal so far as I know.

  

I hope you enjoyed these walks through waters no longer here.

Now my big announcement:  as this posts, I’m on board Grande Mariner for the next seven weeks, Chicago bound.  I will post when I can with what photos I can.  But I’ve done that before.  GWA (Going west again) was my series title last year.  You have to read this one about my role on the vessel.   GW was the title I used in 2016.

Maybe this year it should TGWYA . . . thank god i’m going west again . . .  Anyhow . . . this is my version of a “gone fishing’ sign.

 

 

I took this in April;  I would never have guessed a Corvette was that much lower than an early 1950s (1952?) Pontiac.

Ditto here:  Kristy Ann once rescued a motorboat I happened to be on;  from the motorboat, Kristy Ann looked immense.  Next to . . . Nicole (I think that’s Nicole Leigh Reinauer.  I took the photo more than 10 years ago.), she’s a toy.

Notice the raised lettering on the front of the nearer tug’s wheelhouse?  It says Bear.  Bear was once all red.  Bear, believe it or not, had a fleet mate–Little Bear.  See it here.

Today these tugs are called Elizabeth Anna and Sarah Ann.  Sarah Ann used to be such a brilliant orange you’d never forget it.  Above and below, those photos were taken by Glenn Raymo.

Click here for previous “scale” posts.

Thanks to Glenn for use of his photo;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

 

Hats off to Glenn Raymo for figuring out where to be to catch this tow at first light.

I know it’s fruitless to wonder whether any archive has photos of any previous trip Ward’s Island made on the Hudson.  The only other trip it’s made may have been northbound in the late 1930s.

Hats off to the crews who can do this safely. With the rounded bottom propped up by welded on support beams,

she looks like an animal once living.

Dimensions of the hull are 115’6″ x 38′  x  14′.

 

It’s a job and it’s a melancholy sight too., knowing the next stop on this express route is the bottom of the ocean off Fire Island.

Many thanks to Glenn for catching this.  Previous “canal reef express” posts can be found here.

Following on the photos from April 29 and May 19, here is finale for Tender 6 and Reliable of Utica.  As of this posting, they are 2.5 nautical miles off Shinnecock and 80′ down, precisely placed and not sunk.  My guess is that soon this section of this chart will be updated.

Here is the last daylight for

Tender 6.

Here’s the final journey

 

for Reliable

of Utica.

Thanks for use of these photos to a generous gentleman. More photos can be seen here.

 

All photos today I took in May and early June of 2008.  Odin, configured this was in 1982, is now known as Jutte Cenac, after considerable reconfiguration.  You’d no longer look twice at her now, as you would back then.

Scotty Sky, the Blount-built tanker launched in 1960, was rendered obsolete on January 1, 2015  by OPA 90, and now calls the Caribbean home.

When I took this photo along the South Brooklyn docks, I had no idea that it was to become the Brookfield Place ferry terminal. 

I had no idea until looking this up that Joan McAllister is the current Nathan G.

Juliet Reinauer now works as Big Jake.

For Lettie G Howard, another decade is somewhat insignificant, given that it’s been afloat since 1893.  Currently she’s sailing up the St. Lawrence bound for Lake Erie. The NJ shoreline there has changed quite a bit, beginning with the removal of the Hess tanks there around 2014.

Crow was scrapped in 2015.  I caught her last ride powered by Emily Ann here (and scroll)  in May 2014.

And finally, back in 2008, this living fossil was still hard at work,

gainfully plying the Hudson. This Kristin was scrapped sometime in 2012.

All photos taken in late spring 2008 by Will Van Dorp.

 

See a statement at the end of this post.

The next vessel headed for the reef is Reliable of Utica, once a twin of Syracuse of Syracuse, which has been featured here in many previous posts. Fred of tug44 has also gotten some photos I have not.

For years–I’d estimate about two decades–Reliable has languished out of the water, as seen in photo below, which I took in June 2014.  Click here (and scroll to the third photo) for a photo of the bow while on the hard.

Its approximately 100-ton shell was lifted from the bank and placed in this  . . . coffin  (well, what else?) for a final journey, likely its only journey to the salt water.

As of publication today, Reliable –in its cortege–is being pushed by Rebecca Ann in proximity of the GW Bridge.

Lucy H pushed her through 22 locks–if my count is right–on her way to the flight, where I took these photos.

Many have said reefing might not be the best “re-purposing” of Reliable and other boats, but, as you can see, the migration of these vessels seaward has begun.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been here yesterday in this glorious light to see

Reliable make her final exit from the NYS Canal system.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wishes there’d been at least a single bagpiper for solemnity as Reliable sank into the chamber, foreshadowing the descent she’ll make soon into the briny not-so-deep but from which she’ll never emerge.

For last month’s first post in this series, Canal Reef Express 1, click here.

For a sense of how that bagpiper would sound and look, click on the YouTube link near the end of this tugster post from 2010.

What follows is a statement from Tom Prindle and posted on the Canal Society of New York FB page.

This comment was in the post with the Reliable photos, but it should be read on its own here, with no photos. Tom Prindle is a leader in preserving canal history. #savetheurger

“The scuttling of the Reliable and other canal vessels and the impending beaching of the venerable and much beloved Tug URGER begs the question with all due respect : who is making these decisions and how are they qualified to decide what is historic and what is not ? What should be saved and what should be destroyed ?These vessels need to be evaluated by those professionals charged with protecting the historic resources of our state. The Reliable may not look like much as she now is but she and the other vessels slated to be sunk are unique artifacts of New York State history. What is being planned for the 117 year old URGER is horrible. Her destruction was first proposed some 30 years ago. Instead John Jermano and Schuyler Meyer “re-imagined” the old tug as a floating classroom and ambassador of the NYS Canal System. Thousands of school kids from Harlem to Tonawanda have been welcomed aboard her. Now somebody has decided that for some reason must stop, Surely we can do better than that.”

Hats off,  Thanks, Tom.

 

 

Behold the Atlantics  . . . being A Salvor with the dump scow Witte 4003  and

A Enterprise . . . with the Chesapeake 1000. It’s delightful to see them now as twins, which they are, but hadn’t appeared to be.  Before we move to the next pictures, though, what are the “poles” beyond the dump scow?

The ridge is the highlands of Monmouth County above with West Bank Light below.

Mary Alice and Atlantic Salvor have been shuttling quite a few dump scows the past few weeks, it seems.

 

Caitlin Ann–which I first saw as Vivian L. Roehrig and later as Caribbean Sea— followed Enterprise in.

Different day, different towing arrangement . . . Atlantic Salvor returns with a light dump scow Weeks 258.

Caitlin Ann heads under the Bayonne Bridge, past its dismantled piers.

And the “poles” belong to  L/B Vision coming into the harbor with

her 95′ spindly spuds.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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