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Traffic on the East River captivates, in part, because of the context, the vertical density shrinks even large vessels, or flotillas like this.

Weeks 531, I’m thinking, must be fairly new, not only because I’ve seen her only in 2018, but more so because she doesn’t show up on the Weeks crane pages.  For a 500-ton lift capacity crane, she’s strangely absent online.

Unlike most crane barges that I’ve seen, she has a prominent superstructure.

When she was “west” bound the other day, Katherine was out front, tailed by

Susan and Michael (ex-Freddie K) Miller.

Back in January I caught the next two photos of Weeks 531 headed directly from the AK into Newark Bay.   At first view, I assumed Weeks had a huge new tug.

That’s Bergen Point between the equipment and my lens.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Can anyone fill in more info on the 531?

Previous posts featuring Weeks equipment can be found here with the Shuttle Enterprise and here with USAirways Flight 1549, in both cases involving Weeks 533, another 500-ton capacity crane.

Here was 1 in this series.

About a month ago, I caught up with Buchanan 12 moving crude materials, as is almost always the case with Buchanan 12, aggregates, one of the basic elements for most construction projects.

According to this story, about three million tons of aggregates were shipped on the Hudson in 2014.  My guess is that it’s higher today, since there’s long been  rock in “them thar hills.”




Some aggregates further move east toward the Sound, as these in the East River are.

Mister T is a Blount built tug.

And these seem mixed aggregates.


More statistics on aggregate production–including a listing of all the types–can be found here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


I’m guessing Eric R Thornton is off in search of some scrap waiting in

the Bronx maybe?

It’s been a long while since I’ve seen Penn No. 6, and here she and Normandy are made up to Penn No. 121.  See those four shore cranes against the sky?  Here’s a post I did on them almost a decade ago.


Here’s B. No. 250 eastbound for the Sound, with

Evening Star in the notch.

Some people would be pleased with this juxtaposition: MTA’s Highbridge Yard, with Harbor II, MetroNorth, and the 44th Precinct Police Station!

Barbara Ann holds station at the University Heights Bridge, with the unmistakeable Hall of Fame for Great Americans dome over the treeline.  That’s a place I’ve yet to visit, one of many places in the five boros.

Ditto . . . Ireland on the north side of that bridge.


And to conclude for another day . . . it’s Penn No. 91 with

Skipjack in the notch.

Oops!  All photos by Will Van Dorp . . . from aboard Manhattan II.

It turns out, I’ve done a post like this once before . . .  in 2012 here.  When I took the next two photos on Tuesday, I’d thought all the fleet week vessels had already departed.  Well, wrong . . . there went LHD-3 USS Kearsarge . . .

which reminded me this would be

a good time to use a photo by a jolly tar back about 10 years ago.  Notice the long-gone, long transformed Odin bunkering LHD-3….

Mid afternoon Tuesday this was a sight to behold along the East River, here approaching the Williamsburg Bridge . . . whatzit?

It’s another of the fleet leaving town . . . USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8).  The photo above and next two come from an alert Tony A doing his commerce on the East River.  In the photo below, it’s the green-fronted UN Building along with river with Trump Tower (dark) rising behind it.

When I caught notice of this, I thought I could hurry to Fort Wadsworth to catch photos of Yuma with Manhattan behind it, but my underestimation of  EPF’s speed and the coincidence of hitting every stoplight on Bay Terrace meant that when I got to the Fort,

Yuma was already making almost two dozen knots and headed for Norfolk, a trip that took less than 24 hours.

The EFTs are a further evolution of the HSTs, which I posted about here. By the way, Alakai was renamed USNS Puerto Rico, but then later that name was removed, since there’s a new EFT with the name USNS Puerto Rico in the offing.   So is the former Alakai now nameless?

Many thanks to Tony A for sending along the East River photos. Thanks to JED for the Odin/USS Kearsarge shot, and all the others by Will Van Dorp.

Happy June!

I think today is a holiday.  Somewhere.  If it weren’t, it just should be.

Actually it’s Children’s Day in Turkey.  And the Feast of St George at the Vatican and in England.  Slay-a-Dragon Day somewhere.  International Talk like Shakespeare Day . . . I could go on.  Feadship’s Casual Water is headed upriver, if not uptown.

Others are going in all directions . . .

mostly southbound.

Grande Mariner was westbound on the East River to get southbound to the River City. Know that place?

Some are Sound bound, and

others like Ma Belle are headed La Belle Province.

I can’t keep track of Elizabeth.

Flowers are blooming and

it’s great out.  Make time to enjoy the holiday.  Oh . . . River City starts here.

All photos in the past few days by Will Van Dorp, who did the first “spring giddiness” here.

I’ve done other East River series, but it’s time to start a new one.  The next 12 photos were taken yesterday over a total elapsed 11 minutes!  I happened to be near South Street Seaport in hopes of catching santacon craziness there, as I did many years ago here.

Let’s start with Alice discharging aggregates, and barely recognizable, that’s Matilde the cement making vessel.


A longer shot reveals a clutch of kayakers, which I hadn’t seen while shooting.


Down by Red Hook, I see Frances approach with two barges of aggregate.


Dean Reinauer passes, pushing a deeply laden


RTC 106.




Those are the stacked lanes of the BQE with the Brooklyn Heights esplanade atop.


Buchanan 1 heads in the same direction as the other two units, but at a slightly greater speed than










Again . . . all in 11 minutes.



All photos by Will Van Dorp.

That is a long way from the Staten Island base these boats have long used . . .  and how many engine rooms are hot here?


So Katie G and Colleen McAllister danced their way east to get north and way west past the dancing (or leaning) towers of the East River this morning.


Notice you can still see the original Libby Black name in the raised metal of Katie G McAllister, soon to be named something else?




Here’s a previous post I did featuring Katie G. remaking a tow at the Battery.


Click here and here for posts featuring Colleen at work.  Here’s one at the dock in Mariners.




I’m guessing this voyage will take about three weeks?


Godspeed, and beat the ice!

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Click here for another way to move a tug with a cold engine.  And here–scroll to the 4th photo–to see another way it can be done.  And another.  And I’ll add another post here with alongside towing.

I have more Saint Lawrence posts, but with a chrononautical weekend behind us, let me digress and report.  The mood for the first ship was set by the weather;  see what the mist did to my favorite downtown building–70 Pine.  Click here and be treated to a slideshow of views through time of boro Manhattan’s  tall observation cliffs, past present and future.


Looking eastbound up the East River, I saw her waiting, as


first one of her entourage arrived and


and then another.


The term “haze gray” was certainly demonstrated yesterday,


as was the vintage of this Liberty ship headed to sea, for a cruise.




Even the Higgins T-boat in the distance is a whole decade closer to the present–in inception– than Brown, although  yesterday all crowded into 2016.




It was a moving sight,


which I beheld,


only slightly regretting I was not aboard.



All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here are the previous posts in this series.  This is the SUNY training ship’s return this past week from a “sea term” that began this way on May 10. This first set of photos comes from Roger Munoz, who took them from high above 74th Street.




That’s Roosevelt Island just to her far side, and the Queens and the Bronx farther beyond.


Later that morning, Thomas Steinruck took these during the assist back into the dock




friends and family welcomed TS Empire State VI home.   Now it’s back to classes, study, and tests in this part of the Bronx.



Many thanks to Roger and Thomas for use of these photos.

Fly the Whale, that is.  And you can watch it all from the Barge Bar on the East River.


Click here for a short video showing how to beat traffic . . .


Of course, seaplanes or flying boats are nothing new to the sixth boro.  Click here for a short video of a Dornier Do-X arriving in a tugboat-filled harbor in 1929.  It has no sound, but if you want to hear the details, here’s another longer video.   Keyport NJ’s Aeromarine was operating long distance flights from the sixth boro even earlier.




Watch them come and go






watch from


here.  For seaplane prices, click here.  But it costs nothing to watch, which is the right price for me.


Click here for a previous post on Keyport.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who thinks that the photos in this post from February 2015 is an invigorating reminder of winter on a hot day.

Also, yesterday Marie Lorenz competed her journey in a rowboat from Buffalo to the sixth boro, and in true DeWitt Clinton fashion, she celebrated her accomplishment by pouring out some Lake Erie water into New York harbor.  See it and much more here.

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