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I’m back and just in time for the last day of the year, which –as explained in previous years— in my Dutch tradition is a reflection day, a time to if not assess then at least recall some of the sights of the past 12 months.  A photo-driven blog makes that simultaneously easy and hard;  easy because there’s a photographic record and not easy because there’s such an extensive photographic record to sift though.

A word about this set of photos:  these are some “seconds” that did not make the final cut for my 2023 tugster calendar.  The actual calendars are still available if you’ve not ordered one;  find the order info here. I’m ordering a bunch myself. 

One windy day last January I caught a Pilot No 1–the old New York–doing drills under the VZ Bridge.  Just recently I met one of the engineers on that boat, a person with epic stories about the sixth boro.

A warm day in February, I caught JRT Moran assisting QM2 into her Red Hook berth. 

March I spent a delightful day on Douglas B. Mackie observing the water side of a Jersey shore beach replenishment project, thanks to the hard-working folks at GLDD. 

April . . .  I caught Jane McAllister heading out;  correct if I’m wrong, but my sense is that soon afterward she made her way down to South America to join the expanding ranks of US-built tugs working on various projects on the south side of the Caribbean. 

As a member of the Canal Society of NYS, I had the opportunity to see Urger up close and sun-warmed on the bank of the Oswego in Lysander NY. 

A clutch of Centerline tugboats waited for their next assignment at the base just east of the Bayonne Bridge.   Note the fully foliated trees beyond them along the KVK.

From the humid heat of western Louisiana and onto the Gulf of Mexico, Legs III–shown 

here spudded up just east of SW Pass, afforded a memorable journey on its way up to the sixth boro.  Thx, Seth. 

Back in the boro, later in August, a Space X rocket recovery boat named Bob–for an astronaut– came through the sixth boro.  More on Bob–the astronaut–here

In September, I finally got to my first ever Gloucester schooner race, thanks to Rick Miles of Artemis, the sailboat and not the rocket. 

Icebreaker Polar Circle was in the boro a few days in September as well.  Now it’s up in Canada, one hopes doing what icebreakers are intended to do. US naval logistics vessel Cape Wrath is at the dock in Baltimore ready and waiting a logistics assignment. 

Ticonderoga certainly and Apache possibly are beyond their time working and waiting.  I believe Ticonderoga is at the scrappers in Brownsville. 

Passing the UN building on the East River, veteran Mulberry is currently out of the army and working in the private sector.  I’ve a request:  for some time I’ve seen a tug marked as Scholarie working the waters west of the Cape Cod Canal;  a photo suggested it might be called Schoharie. Anyone help out?

And finally, a photo taken just two days ago while passing through the sixth boro during what can hardly be called “cover of darkness” it’s Capt Joseph E. Pearce on its way to a shipyard on the mighty Rondout to pick up some custom fabrication for a Boston enterprise. Many thanks to the Stasinos brothers for the opportunity.

I’d be remiss in ending this post and this year without mentioning lost friends, preserving a memory of their importance to me personally . . .  Bonnie of frogma–first ever to comment of this blog so many years ago and a companion in many adventures– and Mageb, whose so frequent comments here I already miss. 

I plan to post tomorrow, although I may miss my high noon post time because I hope to post whatever best sunrise 2023 photos I can capture in the morning.  

Happy, safe, and prosperous new year to you all.  I’m posting early today because I want my readers who live much much farther east than the sixth boro to get these wishes before their new trip around the sun begins. Bonne annee!  Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

 

I wasn’t sure what prompted McCormack Boys to come from the dredge sites and into the sixth boro the other morning, 

 

and when I saw it, I was initially surprised.  I’d not seen a barge like this before, but 

upon reflection it made perfect sense . . .

all the vessels and their multiple engines need fuel.  So either you bring other companies’ tankers or tanks out there

or you get your own, which I presume Great Lakes Dredge & dock have with the functionality named 1003

 

All photos, WVD. 

Since starting the blog, I’ve noticed constant change in the sixth boro, shorelines of the five boros and NJ, and a few other places I get to repeatedly.  For example, a year and a half ago Bayonne Dry Dock added their marine travel lift, and anyone looking in that direction gets treated to a rotation of work boats, revealing hull lines and wheels, the usually invisible parts of a boat. 

Saint Emilion (SE) spent about a month on the hard;  in fact, I caught her in the slings about to lift here a few months back.   In the photo above SE shares the yard with NRC Guardian, an oil spill response boat one hopes never to need.  Below the other boat is McCormack Boys. Seeing them juxtaposed like this illustrates the difference in scale between a 73′ tug and a 105′ one.

Beam on the two boats is a less dramatic difference of 38′ v. 26′.

Charleston, 95′ x 34′, has interesting five-bladed props, aka wheels.  For some sense of the variety of props, click here

Recently Alex McAllister was out of the water for a period of time, which could be as routine as you own car going up on the lift now and then. 

Note the Kort nozzles (ducted propeller)  that enclose the props on Alex. Nozzles can also be seen above on McCormack Boys.

All photos, WVD, whose previous high-and-dry posts can be seen here

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that this is the week tugster launched 16 years ago.  Back then and sometimes since, I sometimes describe this blog as a research project without a defined end point or goal;  observe, photograph, sometimes chat, analyze, repeat  . . . is the method. If analyze means reading, then google or whatever search engine you prefer . . .  is your friend.

That there are patterns is clearer now, even with and maybe because of occasional wrong deductions along the way.   Despite my frequent use of “random” in titles, my “patterns” geek level has climbed such that a newbie to the site might wonder about the minutae, the invented words and acronyms.  Trust me:  I still am (mostly) a sociable, balanced person albeit with the more maricentric perspective I strived for.  

In case you’re wondering, some video sources these days are What the Ship and marktwained, other maricentric and rivacentric sites.  Rivacentric . . . I like that   because seeing life from the perspective of rivers is not the same as seeing it from shoreless seas or  trails, roads and highways.  

I’ve been kicking a rival idea around in my head . . .  using the method described above, I’d love to do something–likely not a blog–about various agriculture/food production sectors now compared with how they were 50 or so years ago, the time when I was growing up with agricultural chores all year long on a family farm.  My brother dairy farms the “old” way on the land where I grew up, and friends work for today’s east coast megafarms.  Then there’s farming with poultry, beef and other meat animals, apples and other fruits, grains and other cash crops, produce, mushrooms,  . . . that’s only land farming and the list of farming types can go on . . .

I think about doing this ag then/now project a lot, but I have time to do only one research project, not both.

 

Lightning is here and has been for at least four years, and Thunder is on its way.

From 2014 and therefore two years newer than Lightning, Adeline Marie, previously Denise A. Bouchard, was heading over to the Industry Day on Wednesday. I caught a few photos of her as Rubia in between her original and her latest livery. 

The 2006 Kristin Poling first came to the sixth boro as the 5000 hp 111′ x 36′ Chesapeake.   Here was my first good view of her as a Poling/Cutler tugboat.

Atlantic Enterprise has been keeping busy with runs with dredge spoils from the North River passenger terminal out to the dump site aka HARS.   For a day’s worth of reading, click here for a July 2022 report on HARS. 

The 1981 Susan Miller pushes a small deck barge through congested waters here. She’s been working in the boro for as long as I’ve been doing this blog. 

The 1968 Marie J. Turecamo has worked in the Moran livery for over 20 years. 

Scale is clear from this side-by-side photo of the 2007 Saint Emilion (105′ x 38′ and 4800 hp) and the 1982 McCormack Boys ( 74′ x 26′ and 1200 hp), both hauled out over at Bayonne Dry Dock. 

The 2007 Normandy (79′ x 27′ and 1900 hp) has been in the boro since 2015. 

The 1981 Navigator (64′ x 24′ and 1200 hp)  has to be one among the busiest boats in the harbor and the region.

The 1975 Mary Emma (100′ x 31′ and 3900 hp) has worked under this livery since 2021.  I caught her transformation here about a year ago. 

All photos and any errors, WVD, who thanks you for continuing to read this blog. 

At least two other dredging projects are happening in the sixth boro simultaneously.  The one in the Buttermilk Channel  came to my attention because of the following two photos taken by Captain Malcolm of  schooner Pioneer.

Neither this tug–Miss Gloria— nor the dredge were ones I was familiar with. Miss Gloria is a 2003 Rodriguez Brothers tug operated by Marquette, and plenty of other Rodriguez boats work the sixth boro, and Marquette boats have been here before as well, mostly involved in dredging projects.

Malcolm’s photos intrigued me enough that I decided to come out for a night sail on Pioneer;  it had been far too long since I last had done that, especially given Pioneer‘s role in my starting this blog to begin with:  I’d been volunteer crew on the schooner before I started the blog, had taken lots of harbor activity photos, and then created this blog as a means to share those photos. 

Here’s a one-photo digression then for a photo I took more than 16 years ago from another vessel of Pioneer–black hull–and Adirondack sailing together in the Upper Bay at dusk. Although both are schooners, over a century of age and shipbuilding materials development and some very different history separate them.

To return from this digression, the following photos I took of the Great Lakes D & D dredging in the Buttermilk, photos i took after Malcolm suggested I put my feet back on Pioneer‘s deck. More photos of that lovely evening to follow.

I also have not shared photos I took of outstanding GLDD equipment I took in March. Click here for a January 2022 preview. 

Miss Gloria was elsewhere, but Smith Predator, who’s been doing dredge spoils runs the past few weeks, was standing by as a dump scow was being filled. I’d seen Smith Predator on AIS, and with a name like that, it had attracted my attention, but to date, I’d not gotten a good clear photo, only very distant ones.

 

Thanks to Captain Malcolm for the first two photos and the suggestion to come sailing;  all others, WVD.

More photos from the Pioneer sail to follow.

Below is a variation on the photos I posted yesterday, showing a bit more context to the west.  Let’s recap identifying right to left:  Regulus, Teresa with Acadia, and GLDD tugboat Douglas B. Mackie and dredge barge Ellis Island.  

I’ve posted other GLDD dredges in the past:   Padre Island here, Terrapin Island here, Dodge Island hereGLDD trailing suction head dredges have “Island” in the name, but they are only some of GLDD’s dredging machines.

Mackie is huge:  158′ x 52′ x 27.3′ draft, and powered by two Mak 12M32C-T3, 7,831HP each, turning controllable pitch propellers. The dredge barge has its own power for the pumps.  See some stats here, and more  stats here.

Note the black hull of Mackie and the red of Ellis Island

Ellis Island measures 433′ x ’92, can dredge down to 122′ and has hopper capacity of just shy of 15,000 yd3.  Dredge spoils can discharged through the bottom of the hull over a designated dump site.

She’s been working off Sandy Hook. I believe this is the only ATB trailing suction hopper dredge in the US.

All photos, WVD, who supposes she came in for protection from rough seas;  as of this morning, she headed back out to the work area.

 

April 1, 2011 … and this was not a joke.  More on this distressed vessel at the end of this post.

McCormack Boys and

Turecamo Girls with Barney Turecamo.  All three are still working in the same liveries, I believe.

Long Island-built Escort was phased out as a certain coal-fired power plant shut down.  She’s taken on new life as Northstar Innovator, based on NJ’s

Maurice River, although I’ve yet to see her. 

Stad Amsterdam is not currently in Amsterdam;  she’s not far away though in Scheveningen.  If you want to pronounce this shibboleth as a Dutch speaker would, have a listen. 

Spring sunrises . . .  Coming into port is the 2017-scrapped Atlantic Cartier

escorted by Ellen McAllister and

passing Bow Clipper and Maria J.  That tug is now Nicholas Vinik. Bow Clipper is now in Santos Brasil. 

The venerable Chemical Pioneer was ushered in by Ellen McAllister and McAllister Responder. I say “venerable” because she was built using the stern of Sea Witch, after a massive conflagration in the port, told here by the Fire Fighter site.   .

Two small USMMA boats made their way through the fog.   I’m not sure the name of the vessel to the left, but the one to the right was Growler and she’s back (though hidden away) in the sixth boro.

Of course, I post a photo of Kristin Poling, which had only a few months of service left at this point. She started service in 1934 as Poughkeepsie Socony.

Marion M . . . I’ve been told she was sold to parties in the Chesapeake who planned to restore her and put her up for sale in 2018.  Does anyone have an update on that?

And finally, we return to Le Papillon . . .  the 48′ steel schooner was dragged off the beach but I lost track of her after that.  I believe she was cut up.

It all seems like stuff from long ago . .    all photos, WVD.

This secret lake had great ice for these old boats like Ariel, Ice Queen, Whirlwind, Genevieve, and others.   I was asked not to tell then, and by now I’ve forgotten exactly where this Shangri-la was, but

the ice boating was ideal.  Has anyone heard of Hudson River Valley ice boating happening this year?  The temperature is perfect, but that doesn’t always mean the ice surface is.  I checked here and it doesn’t look favorable.

Evrotas was getting an assist from Amy C McAllisterEvrotas is currently St. Eustatius-bound from Texas.  Amy C is in the Mariners Harbor yard, and I’ve not seen her in a while.

Amazing, which has to be one of the most amazing extraordinary names for a bulk carrier, was discharging salt.  Currently she’s anchored off in the Black Sea.  The ice of February 2011, the heat from oil, and the need for salt of the roads interrelate.

Then, as now, the sixth boro was busy with (l to r) dredge New York, GL 501, MSC Yano, Horizon Discovery,  K-Sea’s Maryland, DBL 17. I may have left someone out there.  To choose two of these, the originally Esso Maryland is now Liz VinikHorizon Discovery was scrapped in Brownsville in February 2015.

Ipanema heads out to sea in the rich morning glow.  She may have sailed into her sunset as Norsul Ranaee, unrelated to this photo.

Irida discharges salt.  She appears to have been scrapped.

MOL Partner is inbound on the Con Hook range. That’s a GLDD mechanical dredge at work and (maybe) some Bouchard tugboats in the distant left.  MOL Partner is passing the Aleutians between China and Tacoma.

We leave it here.  All photos from exactly a decade ago, to the month, WVD.

 

I took this photo in Waterford eastern terminus of the Erie Canal on November 1, 2010, and the canal had not yet closed.  I had just returned from part of a transit, and we had met lots of boats.  Although we had been bound for the Great Lakes, most, like the intriguing Baidarka, was bound for sea.  As of this writing, Baidarka is back on the Canadian Pacific coast.

A week later, in the sixth boro, docked in front of USNS Sisler, it’s the “love it or hate it” Sea Raven, now turned into new steel.

Sea Bear was engaged in the deepening of the sixth boro, and here a crew on the sheerleg was repositioning the anchor.

Lots of dredges including GLDD New York were involved.  More later.  Captain D, currently in the sixth boro on other duties, was dredge tender.

Then, as now Atlantic Salvor, was active.   I particularly like this shot with the 0730 “golden hour” light.  A very different set of buildings then largely defined the Manhattan skyline.

Wanderbird swooped through the harbor on their way south.

Padre Island and Terrapin Island were regulars recontouring the sixth boro bed.

Beaufort Sea, 1971, is no more. 

The brilliant colored Little Bear, built 1952, became a DonJon vessel, but I’ve not seen her since the Disch auction.

Susan Witte . . . I can’t tell you anything about her either.

Back then I would spend my Thanksgivings in Philly, and the high point of that holiday was not the excellent food and drink and company, but rather seeing the big barge for the first time.

Pilot towed in La Princesa, here assisted up the Delaware by Grace and Valentine Moran.   Pilot has been sold Panamanian, and La Princesa–577′ x 105′–I’ve neither seen nor heard from.  I believe Valentine is still active, but I don’t know about Grace.

All photos, WVD, who looks at these and wonders how a decade has so quickly passed.

 

I’d seen Ocean Tower on AIS earlier and watched it pass along with its tow, but I was focused on something else, so this was my best shot.  I had caught its reddish color, the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock color. 

Phil Little caught this photo from his Weehawken cliff.  I believe the tow had gone up the North River to wait for a favorable time through Hell Gate on the other side of the island.  

Later in the day I got a query from Lew.  This was the closest he could get from his vantage point, and he wondered what that gargantuan crane was.

I concluded I should contact my friend Nelson Brace, whose photos of Cape Cod Canal transits I always found spectacular.  Nelson told me he works with a group called ‘Photogs Я Us’ .  They even have a FB page that’s a “must-see” if you do FB.

And here’s the close-up of the dredge from ‘Photogs Я Us’ …  It’s the dredge New York. I’m not sure where she has more recently been working, but she’s currently heading for Boston, where the harbor channel deepening process is on.

Her bucket can dig down to 83′ down and take up to 25 cubic yds of material.

Many thanks to the fine photographers of ‘Photogs Я Us’ for these closeups.

Also to Phil and Lew for contacting me.

I recall when GLDD’s New York was operating in the sixth boro, deepening the channels here and here.  Also, she was passively involved in an incident some of you may recall as well.  Below are more photos I took of dredge New York working just NW of the Staten Island Ferry terminal in fall 2010.

Captain D is the assist boat.  These photos show the role of the derrick over the Liebherr 996. 

Here’s a crowded dredge zone.

 

Here’s the USACE on the project in Boston.

 

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