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I’m just observing, not criticizing, but the vessel turnout in 2022 seems quite small. I understand that lots of other things are happening globally.   Following USS Bataan, USCGC Sycamore (WLB-209) and HMS Protector (A-173) arrive.  They are both about 20 years in service and have both done assignments in the Arctic.

Sycamore made a run up to the GW before turning around. I saw her here in the sixth boro just over a year ago.

Protector did not begin life as a UK Royal Navy ice patrol vessel.  Rather, it was built as the 2001 Polarbjørn in Lithuania for GC Rieber, a Norwegian company based in Bergen, a port I visited way back in 1985, on one of my early gallivants.  Unfortunately, in those days I traveled sans camera.

 

 

USCGC Dependable (WMEC-626) built at AmShip in Lorain OH and commissioned in 1968,  is over the midcentury mark and still at work.  AmShip Lorain-closed since the early 1980s-  built some icons, several of their lakers still very much in active service.

 

Most of the medium endurance cutters of Dependable‘s cohort-Reliance class– are still in service, either in the US or elsewhere.

 

 

USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) was commissioned in 2015.   Like Sycamore and Dependable, she was built on the Great Lakes

Four years ago here, I visited the Marinette Shipyard town where Milwaukee came into existence. Some products of Marinette include Sycamore–above–and Ellen McAllister, also involved in Wednesday’s parade into the sixth boro. Katherine Walker, part of the welcoming committee Wednesday, is another Marinette product, as are some of the current Staten island ferries (Molinari class) and some ATBs, like Brandywine and Christiana that pass through the port now and then.

 

As Milwaukee steamed upriver, she slowed and spun a 180 turn much faster than I imagined possible for a 378′ vessel.   I wish I’d been on shore just off her improvised turning basin when she did so. Was anyone there and can send photos?

A sister of Milwaukee, USS Duluth (LCS 21) was commissioned in her namesake city only earlier this week.

All photos, WVD, who hopes to get in some more Fleet Week sights this weekend.  If you’re reading this and arrived in the sixth boro–aka the primary boro–of NYC, welcome. 

 

 

Try this: a cruise from Buenos Aires to . . . Milwaukee!! These folks are currently doing it.

Below is my screen capture as they were leaving the sixth boro.   Here‘s my blog post of them along the west side of Manhattan.

Post by the robots as WVD is away.

Question:  Where is ILI 105 today?  Answer at the end of this post. 

As you can tell from its similarity to Day Peckinpaugh (ILI 101)  and ILI 102, this is the fifth of five identical Eriemax freighters launched in Duluth in 1921 and eventually worked between the Great Lakes and salt water of the eastern US, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico.  In July 2021, ILI 105 turned a century old. I consider her my “found art” living garden, as you’ll see below.

Here ILI 105 was discharging Midwest grain into the elevator in Gowanus. Empty, she would return upriver, transit the Barge Canal to Buffalo or farther for the next load.  Countless voyages like those brought her repeatedly through the Canal that bisects New York to this day.

In 1936 she was sold to Michigan-Atlantic Corporation, New York NY and renamed Michigan.

In 1963, still transiting the Barge Canal on a regular basis, she was sold to Liquid Carriers Corporation, a subsidiary of Spentonbush (Spencer, Toner, and Bushey)  Fuel Transport Services, Inc., was under contract to Wyandotte to maintain the caustic soda transport service.

 

Here she waited just above lock E-9.  Note the sunken concrete barges off her stern.

The rest of these photos took in August 2021, in two separate shoots. You’ll recognize the location as you scroll through.

Does the wreck upper left corner remind you of anything?

Here she floats in apparent space, or in a medium as different as possible from these Aral Sea fishing boats.

And here’s where I say she’s a voluntary transformation of non-sentient steel into green, lush “found art,” which I’ll dub “ore to steel to green.”

This final photo should both conjure up visions of ILI 105 in her prime and reveal exactly where she today lies, right in a backwater of the sixth boro. You may recognize YOG-64 and Bloxom and more off her stern.

Color photos, WVD.  All others used with permission from the Canal Society of New York.

Here was part 1, all taken in Lake Erie port of Erie PA.

The next four photos were taken in the Lake Ontario port of Oswego, partway through the delivery of the newbuild to the sixth boro.  I share these photos now because my most recent article in ProfessionalMariner has just come out.  Enjoy it here.

 

Appropriate for today, I took these photos using ambient shoreside light before the rain that was supposed to happen the day the crew was going to enter the NYS Canals system at lock O8 on the Oswego Canal.

Fortunately there’s a bridge just before the entrance to O8, which protected my lens from the rain as I got this shot.   That bridge is the same one from which the top 1950s photo was taken in this recent post featuring Albert Gayer photos.

Here the boat is exiting O8 headed up the Oswego Canal to O7.  The clocktower in the distance is atop City Hall, an Oswego landmark.

A few days later I caught the next photos in Little Falls NY, as the boat approached the top of E17, the big lock.  Notice on the cliff just above the leading edge of the wheelhouse . . .

a climber about to rappel down a cliff on Moss Island.   A few years ago I waited atop the same cliff to get photos of Rebecca Ann pushing the new dredge Oyster Bay.

Lock 17 is worth a visit during the season;  the lift is the greatest in the Canal, 40.5′.

Here the boat was exiting the bottom of the lock, under the raised “guillotine” door.

 

All photos, WVD, who mentions both Oswego and Little Falls in various trips in these virtual tours.

Albert Gayer’s photos beckon us back, with this well-known livery and the big white M on a black stack.  Mary Moran was built in Beaumont TX in 1941 and was called Mary Moran from 1947 until 1974.  Questions I’d have is about the voyages:  how far into salt water would she go and same  . . .  in the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence.    Note the Texaco star on the barge house.  Are there photos of her in the Welland Canal?

Seaval was launched in 1950 in New Orleans, and changed hands three times in two years, becoming Seaval in 1952.  She kept that name for about a decade.  Eventually she was owned by Purves as Anna Marie Altman, who scrapped her in 2021.  There must be lots of photos of her working on the Great Lakes. She’s pushing barge Pittston.

Marie S. Moran was built at the same Beaumont TX Bethlehem Steel shipyard as Mary Moran, just six years earlier.  In 1961 or 1962, she was sold to Sierra Leonian interests, renamed Afpet (African Petroleum) 5.  Note she appears to be getting some repainting on the wheelhouse.  There must be many more photos of her on the Great Lakes, since she likely had the same range as the younger Mary Moran.  How about a photo of the two of them crossing?

How about this beauty, with what appears to be a wood superstructure?

My question is this:  is this the 1914 boat by the name Clayton P. Kehoe or the 1943?  My money is on the 1914 boat, which carried that name from 1968 until 1971;  recall that Gayer lived until 1976, so he could have taken this photo.  Also, the 1943 boat had this name for only a year or less and looks quite different in the photo in the 1943 link. Interestingly, this boat carried several Moran names as well as Dauntless No. 5

in its lifetime and was built at the same Ferrysburg MI yard as Urger.

William J. Moran is a Moran name used at least twice, for a 1916 boat (which foundered in the late 1930s) as well as a 1938.  My money says this is the 1938 boat, which was built at Defoe in Bay City MI.  Eventually, she may have become Anne Moran and Eklof’s Yankee, which was scrapped in 1993.   Here she’s pushing tank barge Seaboard 38.

Recall that the Moran story, told so well in the 1956 book Tugboat by Eugene F. Moran and Louis Reid, begins with Thomas Moran, an immigrant kid in Frankfort NY in the vicinity of today’s lock E-19.  That 1956 book is an excellent read.

That was a digression from this last photo for today . . . Sheila Moran, pushing Barrett No. 2.   Two boats carried this name, twice very briefly and another launched in 1941, which would carry the name until 1975 (with a very brief interruption.  So this is the 1941 boat, also built in Beaumont TX. The 1939 boat carried the name Catherine Moran for most of its career on the Barge Canal from 1947 until 1960, and has appeared on this blog several times.  A model of that boat exists at Oswego’s H. Lee White Maritime Museum.

All photos, Albert Gayer and used with permission from the Canal Society of New York, who hold a winter symposium in about a month, although it appears the website has not yet been updated.

Related question:  When did the last Moran tugboat exit the Barge Canal?

My sources include these:  http://www.tugboatinformation.com/     and   https://greatlakes.bgsu.edu/item/438169     and https://gltugs.wordpress.com/

 

Thomas A. Feeney tows an unidentified barge, which appears to be wood.

A closeup of the same photo shows the tug is clearly Thomas A. Feeney, the founder of the shipyard that built wooden barges.  Any idea where  Thomas A. Feeney may have been built?  Her fate?  Openings can be seen at the top of the wheelhouse as well.

K. Whittelsey, was built in 1930, scrapped in 2008, and of course there were a lot of stories found in legal decisions–and photos— in between.

Here she transits westbound at lock E-8.  She spent some of her working years as a OTCo boat, a sad few years sunk in Gowanus Canal.

Tug Seneca pushing tank barge Atlantic.  Any ideas on which Seneca this was?  Note the “Observe Safe Boating Week”  banner and the laundry hanging below along the port side.  The gentleman standing on the gate almost appears to be holding a cell phone to his left ear.

This would be the 1907 Eileen McAllister.

Morania No. 9 was built at Matton Shipyard in 1951

 and christened Edward Matton.  Was that upper house removed?

 

I’m left to wonder about the conversation between the formally dressed man-in-black on shore and crewm,an on the boat.  But more important, if this is also No. 9, what happened to then portholes in the wheelhouse?

In 2000, she was reefed off Manasquan River as Patrick J. McHugh as part of the Axel Carlson Artificial Reef.

As I stated yesterday, I have hundreds of these images for not only tugboats but also canal motor ships. Besides these, I’m told the Canal Society has thousands more negatives in storage, yet to be scanned or even inventoried. 

I’m posting these in small batches to elicit what memories and associations are out there.   Although I also post on Facebook to widen the cast, please comment here rather than on FB so that your comments remain with the post, not lost in the FB feed and flow.

As a way to begin working through the cache, I have jumped into this without a thorough plan;  more Conners and Blue Line and Feeney images will follow.  Using the tags, you can link to what’s been done in the past by clicking on a given tag [but maybe you already know that.]

 

I’ve been entrusted with copies of photos from the Canal Society of New York taken by Albert Gayer.  Gayer collected photographic glass negatives and old postcards showing canal-related scenes as you can spend the whole day looking at here.  My favorites include this 1902 bicyclist in Rexford and this 1897 (?) hard hat diver about to descend into Buffalo harbor on a ladder, much as would be done in such a project today.

He also took photos of tugboats and other commercial vessels operating in the what was the Barge Canal, in the 1950s.  If I’m wrong about that or any of this, I expect to be corrected.

For some of these, I’ve been able to locate information.  For example, details on Hustler 

can be found at the ever-valuable Tugboatinformation.com   One unique feature–at least to my 21st century eyes–is her version of an “upper wheelhouse,” which I suspect could be retracted as needed to lower her air draft.   It is my hope that readers can group-source much more about the three boats in today’s post.  

For example, in the photo below, the Oil Transfer Company (Otco) logo is still in the stack.  Otco was acquired by Moran in 1950, yet just beyond the tug is an automobile that looks to be at oldest a 1952 Mercury wagon.  So why is the Otco logo still on the stack?

Next up, it’s clearly Anna L. Conners, a Conners Marine tug, that seems to be undergoing some paint maintenance.  

Here she’s clearly westbound at the top of Lock E-17 in Little Falls.  Anna L. Conners (or Connors) was built at Jakobson in Oyster Bay in 1942 for Standard Towing.  What become of her in the 1990s when she dropped out of documentation as Mid State 1?  Other than lawsuits, I find nothing about Conners Marine.  I’ve found reference in case law to a Conners Marine tug Maple Leaf.  Which other Barge Canal tugboats did Conners operate?  Of course, there’s the still-extant 1881 Elise Ann Conners.

Sagamore was a fairly common name for vessels in parts of the 19th and 20th centuries, and oddly enough, a small (1730 teu) US-flagged container ship, Delaware ported, is currently sailing off Oman.

This Sagamore was part of the James McWilliams Blue Line fleet, a family business that appears to have started in the late 19th century by James’ father, Owen J. McWilliams.  The 1957 Spartan,  also in that fleet, was reefed in 1986 at Sea Girt;  fewer than 30 years in service seems a short life for a boat.  

 Sagamore has more port lights than I’ve even seen in a tugboat. What became of Sachem and Bristol, referred to and depicted in the first link in this paragraph?

I have many more of these Barge Canal tugboat photos from the Gayer collection.  I hope you enjoy filling in more pieces of the history of these vessels.

For more on the Canal Society of New York, click here, or check them out on Facebook here

Parts B, C, etc. can be forthcoming.

 

The year is in its last hours, and these vessels saw their last hours in this year as well.  Of course, this is a subjective list, made up of mostly photos I’ve taken over the years of sixth boro and Great Lakes vessels. This list is not definitive.  If you know of others, you might add them in the comments section.

Many photos of Helen McAllister have appeared here over the years, but time caught up with the 1900 Helen, who began and ended her life on Staten Island.  I caught her doing her last dance –a tango or a waltz– here.

More than 10 years of silence passed between the photo above at the McAllister NY yard and the one below in Tottenville.  Eagle-eyed Tony A. caught her stripped of her identification and ready for the scrapping jaws last month.

The 1907 Pegasus saw her end this year as well.  I spent many hours on Pegasus, and regretfully, sometimes the scrappers’ jaws are the most humane end for boats. 

The 1970 Joanne Reinauer III also saw its end.  I learned a lot about the modifications made to tugboat from her and from photos of her tranformations supplied by readers.  My photo below is from 2009.

The 1972 Viking also saw a series of modifications.  You might think a powerful machine like this . . . like these . . . would never wear out, but like you and me, they do.  I believe it was 2021 that she was scrapped, but it may have been earlier.  The photo below is from the September 5, 2010 tugboat race.

The Great Lakes shed some vessels also.  Mississagi began work in 1943.  I took the photo in Lake St. Clair in August 2016. She was towed to a Sault Ste. Marie scrapyard in October 2021.

Manistee dates from the same year and has the same dimensions–620′ x 60′– as Mississagi.  This photo I took in Toledo, where she had been laid up for some time.  More on Manistee here.

Ojibway, a 1952 bulker, is currently underway in the Saint Lawrence River, bound for Port Cartier with a load of grain.  After that, she’ll lay up awaiting an uncertain future.   For what it’s worth, she came off the ways the year I was born.

And on a sad note, the 1975 St. Clair was relatively new for a Great Lakes bulk carrier, but a devastating fire during winter layup  in February 2019 condemned her; she arrived at the scrapyard in Port Colborne just a few weeks ago. Photo here is credited to Corey Hammond.

Thanks to Tony and Corey for their photos;  all others, WVD, who wishes you all a healthy and happy 2022 and the fulfillment of all your goals.

And unrelated to this post but entirely germane to this day of reflection/new goal setting before a new year, check out Ellen Magellan’s expeditions.  That’s not her real name but it’s so clever I wish I’d come up with it. 

 

In Mackinaw City four and a half years ago, I took and posted photos of the very rusty 1938 fish tug Kari A, one of which you see directly below.  But a lot can happen in that period of time, further decrepitude or thorough rehabilitation.

Above, that’s before, and what follows, is now.

Many thanks to Darrin Lapine, who wanted updated photo of his boat.  The good news is that Kari A. has been rejuvenated and is ready to fish again in 2022. 

Kari A. began life at Burger Boat in Manitowoc and christened Hustler, as seen here

You notice there’s no name on the bow?

 

When 2022 is upon us and it’s fishing time, the name Hustler will be repainted on the boat, her once and future name.

Many thanks to Darrin Lapine assisting in updating this post.  After all, suppose you imagined that my still unfinished 1948 beast still looked like the first photo here and not the last photos here.

Many previous posts with fish tugs can be found here.

Meagan Ann is not new, but that blue coaming on the barge looks to be.

Witte 3301 came into the harbor via Ambrose the other day for the very first time.

pushed by Meagan Ann.  Recently launched in Erie PA,

the barge, which I estimate to be about 220′, was brought to the sixth boro by Zeus, returned from the Great Lakes after at least five years up on the fresh water. 

Zeus, the first boat this October I see with pink trim,

moved both 3301 and 3302 around via the Saint Lawrence, but then handed one of the barges off to Meagan Ann just outside the VZ Bridge.

 

Welcome back, Zeus,  although soon after dropping off the barges, she headed off to the Dann Marine base in Chesapeake City.

One stop of the new barges was captured by my Halifax counterpart, Mac Mackay here

All photos, WVD.

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