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I could have called this post about this vessel out there on a hazy midday “people movers 15″, because this is a cruise ship, unique in many ways:  size, shape, and place of origin.  I could also have called it “newest hull in the sixth boro 11″ because it is, although there are three other candidates that arrived here for the first time this past weekend.  I could have called it “exotics 28″ since I assumed this was another wind farm-related bathymetric vessel or some other research vessel like OceanXplorer, which came here not quite a year ago. A lot of wind farm vessels vessels in the sixth boro have either ocean or explorer in their name. 

See the notations on the hull?  According to this summary here, it’s a Norwegian design,  ordered by a Florida company, built by a Chinese shipyard,  flagged Bahamian, and operated by a company owned by a Bostonian.    Got all that?

She came into the sixth boro yesterday, traveled up to Hyde Park anchorage, and in the wee hours arrived at the Manhattan passenger terminal from the north.

She’s the second of her class, which will be comprised of seven vessels, one of which will be named for Sylvia Earle.  She departed Haimen CN in late July, stopped in Manilla first to crew up, and then in Malta to get hotel crew and supplies, and then the UK to begin a cruise.  I’ve no idea which all stops she made, since according to this notice, the 2021 cruising season was Covid-cancelled.

She did transit the Cape Cod Canal, where she was examined stem, stern, masthead to waterline by a drone.

That Ulstein bow was seen on a vessel in the Hudson four years ago exactly here, and in Cape Town nine years ago here.

More on Ocean Explorer here.

With dimensions of 343′ x 60′, she carries twice as many passengers as Grande Caribe or Grand Mariner,  the Blount “small ships,”  162 guests with 77 cabins of which 15 are solo cabins.  Her 162 passengers represent less than 4% of the number of passengers on Symphony of the Seas Ocean Explorer has been referred to as a polar expedition cruise vessel, like Fram, because of the construction of its hull. 

All photos and any errors, WVD.

As of posting, she’s at the north side of Pier 88.  Did anyone get pics of her in Provincetown?

 

This overcast day contributed to photos that appear to gray-out all but the range of bronze, red, and orange.  But what is this cargo and why is the title here a “redux”?

Here’s a closeup and

an even closer up. 

I counted a total of 14 of these Kalmar straddle carriers aka straddlers on deck. The fact that these have cabins says they are not autonomous models.  I believe these are electric, not hybrid, or diesel models.  Since they’re going to Maher Terminals, these would be “fleet renewal” electric ones alluded to here.  Anyone know how many straddlers can be found at the various terminals in the sixth boro?

 

In November 2018 on a blindingly bright day, the same vessel came to the sixth boro of NYC with the same type of load.  See it here.  The only differences are that that time it came from Finland and this was from Gydnia, Poland and straddlers were a different model headed for a different terminal in Port Elizabeth.

 

All photos yesterday, WVD.

Whiler we’re on “reduxes,”  this is the 100th anniversary of Day-Peckinpaugh‘s first visit to New York;  here’s a redux post on that first trip . . .

 

 

With Eastern Dawn in the foreground, the massive scale of these box boats is apparent.

Foreshortening gives the illusion that MSC Lauren cannot possibly avoid a collision.

Although this may be her first arrival in the sixth boro, this 12400 teu vessel has sailed the seas for a decade already.

See the crewman near the port bow quarter?

Now you see him?

 

If I recall correctly, she arrived here from Jamaica;  from here she travels to Italy.

Again . . . Linda L. Miller and the 6000 hp tugs show scale.  MSC Lauren is one of 560 container vessels operated by MSC, the second largest shipping company in the world.  Know the largest?  The third largest?  Answers are here.

So here’s a merger of truckster! and ULCVs, a photo I took last week from a parking lot.  I know what was loaded into that 20′ MSC container.  I invite you to guess.  Answer will be posted tomorrow . . . .

All photos, WVD, who is always happy to collaborate.

 

You’ve likely walked in a muddy wilderness area and seen animal tracks and tried to identify then.  Or, you’ve had the same experience with tracks in the snow.  So what would leave these tracks on AIS?

The vessel has been working the Sound for a few weeks.   The two blue vessels here are Cross Sound ferries....

 

Here’s the answer:  Deep Helder, a 2014 vessel conducting sea bed mapping.  Helder is the Dutch word for clear, hence the post title.  In the distance, those are the hills of Connecticut.

Deep Helder is a 213′ by 52′ multipurpose offshore supply vessel, contracted to stay in US waters for a time yet.  More on MMT surveying here.

Note a cable supported from the port stern here.  I got these photos from the Cross Sound New London and never got closer than two nm from the vessel.

I hope to get closer up photos and learn more of who all’s on board . . .

All photos/info and any errors, WVD, who could have called this “exotic,” of course.

The Soo is open, the SL Seaway is open, and now after 6 days, 3 hours, and 38 minutes of blockage . . . the Suez is open.

I’d started this post before Ever Given was freed and intend it as a survey of some of the tugs involved, here from largest to smaller. Obviously dimensions do not tell the whole story;  in fact, dimensions tell only the story of length and width, but most of these are not harbor tugs.  The largest is Alp Guard, 243′ x 69′ and generating just over 24000 hp.

Next are two quite similar Suez Canal Authority tugs, Ezzat Adel (226′ x 52′)

and Baraka 1, same dimensions, built in 1993 one year before Ezzat Adel.

Carlo Magno comes in at 180′ x 49′, still larger than anything in the sixth boro.

Now we’re at the scale of sixth boro tugs, although several in the boro are larger.  Basel 2 measures in at 119′ x 38′.

Salam 8 and 9 were there, coming in at 115′ x 36′

Svitzer Port Said 1 and 2 measure 104′ x 43′ and generate 6772, very similar to the largest sixth boro assist tugs.  For example Capt. Brian and Ava M. generate 6770 hp.

Mosaed 3 comes in at 98′ x 36′.

Of course, tugs weren’t the only factor.  Someone like Resolve or Smit Salvage taking charge is needed to orchestrate the efforts, which include dredging as well. If you’ve not seen this interview with salvage master Nick Sloane, it’s an enlightening listen.

Credit for photos is embedded in the photos;  click on each to see it.

Any errors, WVD.

Was this an event just waiting to happen?  See here.

 

Salt 14 dates from November 2017, with previous installments going back to 2009, when bulk carriers could not yet dock at the current location of Atlantic Salt aka “the salt pile”.  As of this time, there’s not much of a pile at the salt pile.

With our mild weather for the early part of this winter, no salt resupply happened until recently.  Strategic Unity brought in a load,

which she discharged using her own buckets. Those are big buckets though.

Then Katerina brought in a load.  Katerina left port last night.  I forget which, but one of these was from Mexico and the other from Egypt . . . imported road safety product.

Meanwhile, Pacific Talent is still here, from India.

She lightered in the anchorage

discharging off both sides

for a few days.

 

before moving to Duraport, where she is currently.

All photos, WVD.

 

This vessel–Mozu Arrow– intrigued me about two months ago, but I never saw it.  I’m grateful to Mike Abegg for these photos then.

I followed it on AIS, thinking maybe it’d lead to some Equatorial places, maybe to load tropical woods…  but instead, after hitting lots of US East Coast ports, it headed to Europe.

G2 Ocean has quite the diverse fleet, including some TEFCs, totally enclosed forestry carriers.

So when I noticed they were back in Red Hook–from Europe!!– I decided to take a boat ride.

Notice the two side hatches on the port side.

And, inside that RORO-like space, cranes operate, here discharging 10 bundles at once.  In high school I had a job offloading lumber, board by board, standing on the truck handing one board down to my boss–on a kiln rail car, as a furniture factory rep put down spacers so that air could get between the planks.  He also measured or scaled each plank, making notations on his clipboard to determine how much my boss got paid and to create an inventory of how much wood they’d put in the drying kiln.

Here, that’s all been done, so the pace is faster. 

But I still wondered where all this wood was coming from.  In the past, wood might come from the tropics but in the form of logs, forest giants, their buttressed roots cut off,  that might have fit only one log to a trailer.

So here’s the clue, and you can be sure I looked it up, especially when there’s an “over the top” slogan . . . perfection in timber.  Where might this be coming from?

It turns out this is European wood from forests and mills in central and eastern Europe, especially Romania.  I have to be honest . . . I’m not thrilled.  I know they likely buy our stuff, but don’t we have forests and mills in the US?  I’m guessing it’s planed timber, but there may be other products here.

All photos and sentiments, WVD.

As of yesterday evening, Mozu Arrow departed Red Hook for Baltimore.

 

Clifford Maersk is making her final approach into port of NYNJ, arriving here from King Abdul Aziz Seaport in Damman, KSA.   So what?  Check out the non-containerized cargo near the front center of the load.

See it?

As the container ship approached, I managed to get some closer up photos.    I have my theory, but I’ll leave it to you to state yours in the comments

 

Do you see the “squiggle” on the camouflage just right of the red panel, above the rightmost blue container marked “45”?  I call that shape “ithnayn,” Arabic for the number two.

Again, I’m not putting into words what I see here, but I will say it’s poorly wrapped, or formerly wrapped.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen intriguing cargoes.  Remember these Oshkosh trucks with Hebrew writing on them?  And then there have been other military hardware . . .  military trucks and other vehicles atop the boxes previously here, here, here, and here.   Once I even spotted a cigarette boat way up there.

All photos, WVD.  After your guesses, I’ll show my hand.   And since I’m not trick or treating or dancing tonight, here’s your second post for today.

I had planned something else for today, but then I noticed Sheila, and I caught such an intriguing detail that I decided to postpone the other post.  An update shows her as departing Ambrose Anchorage and heading to Coeymans.  As of posting, she’s passing the Palisades.   Sheila is a fairly new (2016) bulk carrier.

But my question . . . where in the world is the port abbreviated as IQ UQR? I thought it quite an unusual provenance for a vessel transiting the sixth boro.   If Sheila were in IQ UQR this morning, chances are she would see a shallow draft called Damen Hardinxveld.  A shallow draft tug like this no doubt works with lots of trailing suction hopper dredgers, and there are a lot of dredgers in IQ UQR removing the shifting sand.  Any guesses yet?  It may be hard because the Dutch are everywhere.  Click on the photo below and you’ll see where she is today.  Once you find her, follow the waterway inland and you’ll find the answer to the title questions.

The Sheila crew might also see Al-Sandibad.  In fact, she might even have had Al-Sandibad as an assist tug to get away from the dock.

Another tug in the mystery port is Al-Ashaar.  This might get you in the right part of the workd, given the geographical background and the courtesy flag flying from the mast of the tug.  Look closely at the lower name on Al-Sandibad also.   As for diminsions, Al-Sandibad (think “sinbad“) is 120.7′ x 36′.  Al-Ashaar (probably has this guy as namesake)  is 111.5′ x 32.8′.

So the answer is IQ UQR is the universal abbreviation for the port of Umm Qasr.  Got it?  It has a history going back to Alexander the Great in 325 BCE!!  There was also a battle there less than 20 years ago that caused the deaths of 14 coalition soldiers.  Coalition (HMS Bangor, Sandown, and Brocklesby) swept the area of mines.

To see the location and much more of the history of IQ UQR aka Umm Qasr, click here.

I was several miles from Umm Qasr in 1990.  At least one of tugster readers was in the vicinity more recently.  The port has been re-opened for only about a year.

If you want a virtual tour of the area including Khor Al-Zubair port, where I was, and Umm Qasr, you can play with this interactive map.

Sorry, folks.  I hit the “post” rather than the “save” button once again.  Well, enjoy the photos.  I’m going to take some time off.

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All photos, WVD, who has thousands more.

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