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Let’s stay in Leiden for two more posts. Here’s a 3:32 minute time lapse showing the city, about the same size population as Elizabeth NJ.

The Dutch seem to understand the touristic attraction of old boats, making available–I was told–free docking for vessels fitting certain parameters of restoration. They’re yachts, no longer work boats although they COULD do light work.    I wandered until I located the docks for old tugboats.  This “block” is about 1000′ north of the one we saw yesterday here, just south of the first “o” in “Noorderkwartier” in the map below.

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From a bridge looking east, we see the 1916 Amor first in line and she’s for sale (“te koop“).

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Then looking north from the same spot, that’s Gerda on the left and Alba on the right.  We’ll get back to Alba at the end of this post.

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Here’s a side view of Gerda, about which I found no information.

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Let’s walk northward along the land side of photo above, Oude Herengracht Straat.   The third boat back in the photo above is Lodewijck, 

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a 1927 build.

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Notice her towing hook.

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This one, Grietje, two farther northward along the right side of the photo #2 above.

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Notice her pelican hook for towing.

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Behind her is Obsessie, dating from 1925.  Click here for an incomplete alphabetical listing of the restored tugboat fleet, aka motorsleepboot vloot.

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Here she is as seen from the other side of the canal.

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Jan dates from 1920.

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Here were are on the other side looking at the first in line in photo #2 above.  Alba is a beauty that dates from 1911.  Click here for another set of her.

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These and others–actual steam vessels–will make their way through the waterways to events like this one in late May.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will post about a different historic vessels “block” in Leiden tomorrow.

 

I’m back at the helm and have switched the robots off.  I’ve been in Netherlands (Nederland, in the language), which translates as “low lands.”  Where it’s low, you find water, of course, and where you have water, you’ll find boats and bridges.

You also find moats.  See the jagged blue rectangle in map below showing the center–the historical starting point–of the city of Leiden, a city of 122,000 midwayish between Rotterdam and Amsterdam.  All the photos in this post show one” block” of the Nieuwe Rijn (New Rhine), attached to the Oude (old) Rijn.   In fact, the Nieuwe Rijn (NR) is only a little over a mile channelized portion of the Oude Rijn, a 30-mile stretch of river no longer attached to the Rhine, the 750-mile river that everyone knows.  Think oxbow lakes along the Mississippi, only straight.

Imagine the blue rectangle as a clock;  you locate this one-block area on the map below at around the 4:00 position of the moat, at the intersection of the NR and the Herrengracht, a main vertical canal you can see there.

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At this intersection there’s this old fuel barge.

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I don’t know if it still functions.

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Here’s the real focus of this post, low airdraft tugs like Jason.  The wheelhouse roof and windows are hinged, as you can see in this short video where Jason tows a barge through one of these low bridges.

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See the blue/white sign near the left center;  it reads “Herrengracht.”  I love the paint job on that Smart.

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The blue tour boats are operated by a company called “bootjes en broodjes,” or small boats and rolls.

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Eat. Drink. Tour.   Also, learn about Leiden.  Talk.  Duck!

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And among low air draft tugs in this block of waterway, here’s the real focus, the tug on the waterside of the small covered barge is called Triton.

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Notice the fuel barge and Jason?   In a lot of places in the waterways in Leiden, those smooth but curved top barges have seating on them as bars and restaurants.

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Here’s Triton with a house to get out of the weather.  She’s 100 years old exactly, a mere youngster compared with the buildings surrounding the waterways.

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Triton reminds me a lot of Augie and Heidi.

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Now if the spelling “rijn” seemed familiar, think of this guy . . . a favorite son whom we all know by his first name, Rembrandt.

Many more Dutch photos to come;  remember this is just one block of waterway. All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

It was spring 1987 when I saw this boat first, a decade and a half after her retirement.  She and her sister Venus were a sorry sight on the bank of the Charles near the Science Museum; if you wanted a photo that screamed “forlorn,” they were that shot.  Unfortunately, I took very few photos back then.   Over the years, I knew Venus was scrapped and always wondered about Luna.   Here’s a chronology of steps toward the saving of Luna–and loss of Venus–in the first two/thirds of the 1990s.

All the photos in this post–and there are a lot of them–were taken less than a week ago over in Chelsea.

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Click here for a chronology of Luna’s life from 1997 until end of 2000, which found Luna in Boothbay, Samples Shipyard.

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I don’t think you’ll argue if I say she’s a great looking 86-year-old today.

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Talented and exacting volunteers were attending to details when I visited.

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Of course, she’ll never push again  But who imagines sending an 86-year-old out to work?

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Here’s another link with some duplicate info.  John G. Alden was the designer.

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The “lights” under the tender bring light into the engine room.

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Here’s from the engine room deck looking up . . at the gauge boards, with

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project priorities in full view throughout.

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As a result of Luna’s immersion(s), her Winton engines, exciters, and motor will likely never run again.

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Here’s a finished starboard aft crew cabin.  Note the stencil on the mattress for Boston Tow Boat.

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Those are functioning 1930-era bulbs, and yes, Bag Balm has been around since long before 1930.  My father used it in the stable.

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What!?  No Nescafe?

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Many thanks to Ben Grudinskas of Atlantic Hunter for this tour.   Here’s another shot of Atlantic Hunter arriving at last year’s Roundup.

The name on the bow of the vessel to the left says “Boston Pilot,” but that’s just a name.  The real Boston Pilot Boats are shown in this short youtube video. See more stills here.

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MV Fintry was originally built for the British Royal Navy.  Since then, she has undergone conversion to an expedition yacht, as seen here.   Click here to see the boats not chosen for this project.

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Harbor Fuels delivers fuel around the harbor with a barge pushed by a tug with a great name, Bumper.

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Now here’s an interesting story, a boat developed by a treasure hunter, who seems to be in a sea of trouble, as described by this article. 

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This is the sub that was to be used to salvage over $1 billion worth of platinum from SS Port Nicholson, if that cargo was actually on board. Sub Sea Research still has a website, here.

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Face-off . . . well actually Justice is assisting WMEC 903 Harriet Lane out of port.  That’s the Bunker Hill monument in the distance.  Justice is a Tacoma-built 5400 hp tug.

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Does anyone know whether Justice traveled to the East Coast under her own power?

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Here’s the USCG history of the name Harriet Lane.  Ms. Lane was a US First Lady who was NOT married to POTUS.  If you want more info, click here.

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Freedom is a Justice‘s slightly smaller 4400 hp cousin.  Freedom and her twin–Liberty–were both launched by Washburn & Doughty in the first half of 2003.   For photos of Liberty at work back in 2009, click here and here.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Back last November, I devoted a whole month to ports and harbors.  As I get new material, I’ll continue that series.   Here Boston’s latest fireboat passes in front of Logan’s control tower.

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Here’s her namesake.

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Massport has its own fireboat, American United.  Its predecessor–Howard W. Fitzpatrick— was the subject of several tugster posts as it made its way up to Lake Huron to become a dive boat.

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Claire looks like she was based on a hydrofoil design, but I can’t find any evidence to support that.

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From my vantage point, I could tell the controls were right up in the bow.  I’d love to get a tour of her wheelhouse.

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This Nantucket aka LV-112 moved from Oyster Bay to Boston six years ago, a transit covered by tugster here.  This Nantucket is not to be confused with WLV-612, which frequently appears in the sixth boro.

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Angus . . . good to meet you.  Somehow I expected you to look like Brangus.

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Can anyone fill in some info on the history of King Triton?  Is it a modified former government vessel?  In the background are the digesters on Deer Island.

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I believe that’s Ocean King, whom I saw in the sixth bork back in 2010.

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Here, identification thanks to Paul Strubeck are the 1958 Nancy (red), the 1954 Brandywine (green) , and an unnamed Army tug.  And over on the far left side of the pier, it’s

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the 1940 Brooklyn-built Gaspee.

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Over on the fish side of the harbor, here’s David Tonnesen’s 45′ stainless steel sculpture called Cod.  Wind spins the discs on its back, and windspeed determines the color of the eye, s0 it’s a wind speed indicator.

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Along both sides of Boston’s Fish Pier,

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boats offload their catch.

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More from the port of Boston tomorrow.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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. 

 

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.

One of my (formerly) secret heroes is Guy Noir, secret because I may be revealing too much about myself in admitting that.  But life’s too short to care about drivel like that.   Noir has an office on the 20th floor of the Acme Building in a “city that knows how to keep its secrets,”  yet each week a different mysterious woman seems to find him in quest of a favor. So imagine this as a view from Noir’s Portsmouth VA office around 1600 hrs .  . . on the last night of the year.  It’s rainy but warm and all the creeks feeding into the estuary course in, with color and warmth of some old coffee  . . .  I was last here, though on the river then, about six weeks ago here.  And notice the hammerhead crane to the right.  Here’s

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the deal.  But I’ll come back to this history stuff later.

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For now, this is a record of the last night of the year, what my parents used to call “old years night.”

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In the fading light, there’s Michael J. McAllister, another McA (Nancy??) behind it, Camie, and a trio of Robbins Maritime minis called Thunder, Lightning, and Squall.  AND if you look carefully beyond the McAllister tugs, you’ll see Dann Ocean’s Neptune and the Colonna Shipyard, where a Staten Island ferry is being overhauled. Click here for previous posts referring to Colonna.

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In the driving rain as the last hours of the year ebb away, Vane tug Chatham heads south;  the oil must move . . . . even when the postal stream sleeps.

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Shadows . . . on a rainy night paint the river.   And under the “tent” inside

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And so ended 2015 for me . . . not a low-flying aircraft but a high flying window perch.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, private and public eye.

 

Let’s go farther south–i.e., up the Elizabeth. Covered barge . . .

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pushed by Gram-Me.  Coal?

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Capt. Woody and Alexis of w3marine have the best logo.  See it better here. Fleetmate Ocean Endeavor was in yesterday’s post.

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Lorette is one of two Norfolk tugs that used to be Moran boats.

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As you can see by the livery, Ellie J is also a Norfolk tug, but although

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similar, Stevens Towing’s Island Express is not.

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Here’s a small portion of McAllister Virginia‘s fleet:  Nancy and Eileen.  The last time I saw Eileen she was returning a Staten Island ferry post rehab.

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Vulcan construction has its logo on a number of tugs here, including Arapaho,

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Aries,

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Capt. Ron L, and

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VMC Chattanooga.

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Alexander Duff is a Vane tug.

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Kodiak, here I think leaving the soybean depot– used to be Vane’s Capt. Russi.

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Kodiak has been in the sixth boro on a few occasions.  Here’s more of her current fleet:  Maverick, ?Southern Star?, and Challenger.

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Hoss, like the boats immediately above is also an Intracoastal Marine boat. Hoss is a close relative via Wiley Manufacturing of the sixth boro’s Patricia.   Sun Merchant, which I saw here in Savannah, is a Vane boat.

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Corman Marine’s Captain Mac is yet another tugboat in the Elizabeth owned by a construction company.

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Camie and Cajun look alike but may be owned by Robbins Maritime and Bay Transportation, respectively.

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Three Sisters seems to be owned by a family-oriented company called Smith Brothers.

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Elizabeth Ann, operated by Atlantic Gulf Towing, used to be known as El Hippo Grande, a truly satisfactory name for a workboat.

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And finally, we seem to have two Skanska-owned boats, Ranger and

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Cap’n Ed.

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All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who imagined there’d be only about 10 photos in this post about a short section of the waterway in the Norfolk/Portsmouth VA area.  For the entirely delightful travel through the area, I am very grateful to the USMMA Sailing Foundation.

A request, though.   Over by the Norfolk Dredging yard, I saw their small tug Palmyra through the trees and could not get a good shot.  Has anyone taken one over the years?  If so, could you share it on this blog?  Send me an email, please.

Finally, some of you got an earlier version of this last night when I pushed the wrong button.  Sorry about that.  I could give other reasons for that error, but it was a slip and I had not intended you to think I had started using placeholder gibberish as captions.

Cheers.

 

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