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It appears this tug and derrick barge are working over by the power house at the Vischer Ferry 2000′ twice-bent Dam opposite lock E-7.  This is the dam where Margot and Watermaster have broken up ice jams the past few winters.

Here’s a closer up and 

an even closer up, confirming that it’s Canal tug Amsterdam and Derrick Barge (DB) 8.  And sorry . . .  this is a call for group sourcing.  Many thanks to Canal Society president Craig Williams, who started filling in details as follows:  “Amsterdam… was B. B. Odell Jr., built in Schenectady in 1901 (50.4′ x12.4′ x5.9′).  In the Department of Public Works report for 1945 (1946) Amsterdam is described as having been built, along with the Averill, ‘for the old Erie Canal, [and is] no longer efficient to operate and [having] deteriorated to the point it is no longer feasible to operate them.’ ”  A post on Averill is in the works.

Urger, on the other hand and shown here as a steam vessel and with a different superstructure configuration, has appeared on this blog many times and will appear some more next month, or so is the plan.  Urger was converted from steam to diesel in 1948.  

I can’t be certain, but Urger here appears to already be dieselized in the next photos. 

Below is a closer -up of the photo above showing the jackstaff on the bow topped with a wind direction indicator.

 

Here are two more tugs we might find more about. . . . the story of Queen City is [again from Craig] “very complicated.  In 1946 it was reported as ‘so weak it will no longer hold patches’ yet they overhaul its engine in 1948 (for use on another boat?).  It is replaced in the early 1950s by one of the 1950s tugs [of the] Pittsford, Lockport... [class]. Merchant Vessels for 1926 says that the Queen City was built in Buffalo in 1906.  The State reported that year that they had rebuilt the tug, completely replanking the hull, new decks and pilot house, and the boiler and engine ‘thoroughly repaired’  Was it then probably considered a new tug?

The Merchant Vessels for 1902 credits NYS with a Queen City, nearly the same dimensions as having been built in Poughkeepsie in 1889.  Curiously, the State Superintendent of Public Works describes painting the Queen City in 1881.  There is a 1879 Lockport newspaper article that mentions the State hiring the tug Queen City to help tow boats at Lockport.”  Maybe a name like Queen City gets recycled?”

As to Flower City, “According to Merchant Vessels it was built in Buffalo in 1909 though it doesn’t show up in the State’s annual reports until a note for 1912 that it worked throughout the season (sort of implying something new).  It was condemned in 1937, replaced by a State Department of Corrections tug Refuge.  Don’t know if it was dismantled at that time.”  Actually, I’d love to learn more about tugs operated by the State Department of Corrections.

All photos used thanks to the Canal Society of New York.  Many thanks to Craig Williams for filling in detail for these government boats.

 

Many thanks to all who commented on the “mystery tug” post and identified it as Callanan No. 1.  See the comments for much more info on the tug.  William Lafferty sends along this photo of the tug and its crew.  I count seven crew.  Also, that looks like a jackstaff on the bow to judge air draft;  it also has a wind vane.

Paul Strubeck sent along this colorful image of the tug in better days sharing a lock with Joan Kehoe. Jeff S points out that Callanan No. 1 ended her days sunk in Brandywine Creek and was cut up where she sank. 

Enjoy some more Kehoe boats.  I don’t believe Albert Gayer took the next few photos.

Note the difference in wheelhouse design between Erin Kehoe and Martin J. Kehoe.  The caption refers to the Martin J. as having a “pigeon coop” wheelhouse.  The lines running to spotlights on the barge are also noteworthy, indicative of commercial traffic then running through the Barge Canal 24/7 except during ice season.

The TBI Group have done a stellar job cataloging many 20th century tugboats, but for a company like Kehoe more work needs to be done.  Check this image from NJScuba;  might this be this Erin Kehoe later reefed as Colleen?

The Conners Marine Company had some tugboats at some point that did not bear the name “Conners.”  For now, especially since I’m on very little information, here are some obvious Conners boats

Above and below, it’s Arthur Conners.  I’ve no clue about the location of these shots along the Barge Canal. 

I don’t know if the Harry R. Conners below is the same boat as the one in this ad, proclaiming it as among the first (I’m skeptical about words like first and biggest.) to switch over from steam to diesel propulsion;  if so, Harry R. had an Atlas-Imperial engine.  “Among the” is always a good hedge. Tugboats of New York (George Matteson) mentions that Conners had an all-diesel fleet.

Conners Marine Company shows up in legal decisions from the Great Lakes to salt water.

Elise Ann Conners is still extant and awaiting rebirth on the Rondout, where I’ve gotten photos of her here

These photos were taken below lock E-27 in Lyons, NY, with Elise Ann eastbound.

Unless this name was used by Conners more than once, Elise Ann was launched in 1881, making her . . . way overdue for some serious attention.  I know the owners and have not spoken with them, so I mean no disrespect, but a 141-year-old tugboat is extraordinary.

I’ll stop here.  Many thanks to William and Paul for sending along those photos of Callanan No. 1. 

Also, many thanks to the Canal Society of New York, which permitted me to bring these photos out of the dark archives and onto your screen.

See the man on the pier using his cell phone to get a photo?  I wonder what he imagined he was looking at, other than a group on the water on a spectacular December day.  Did he know he was witnessing the culmination of an odyssey?

The Columbia, Snake, Clark Fork, Missouri, Mississippi, [to saltwater] Mobile, Tombigbee, Tenn-Tom Waterway, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Kanawha, Allegheny, Chadakoin, Lake Chautauqua, Lake Erie, Erie Canal, Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Hudson . . .  [I may have left one out].  What do they have in common?

Neal Moore‘s paddled them stringing together a path on his 675-day canoe trip along his 7500-mile route of inland rivers from saltwater Astoria OR to the saltwater Statue of Liberty, an extreme form of social distancing during the time of Covid.   Photos of the last several miles follow.  

Note that the other paddlers traveled to the sixth boro of NYC to join him for the last few miles,

just as they–“river angels”– had during different segments of the 22-month trip.  Some elites of paddling enjoyed the sixth boro yesterday.

From Pier 84 Manhattan to the Statue and back, they rode the ebb.

 

Why, you might be wondering?  Moore, a self-described expatriate who wanted to explore the United States in the reverse order of the historical east-to-west “settlement” route, sought out to meet people, find our commonalities, our united strength.  Some might call that direction “the wrong way.”

After one circumnavigation of Liberty Island following his paddling up and down all those watersheds, the journey was done.  After unpacking his Old Town canoe, he scrambled

with assistance onto the Media Boat, triumphantly but humbly.

 

He stepped over onto a larger vessel in the NYMB fleet, for interviews and a trip back to terra firma,

22rivers’ goal completed, for now.

All photos, WVD, thanks to New York Media Boat conveyance.  I have many, many more photos.

For Ben McGrath’s New Yorker piece on Neal Moore, click here.  Also, check out Ben’s book Riverman.  Let me add two more references:  another McGrath article and a book Mississippi Solo here.

Of course, Neal’s whole epic can be traced at his site, 22Rivers.

I first learned of 22Rivers from Bob Stopper, who met Neal in Lyons NY two months ago, and I and posted about it here (scroll).

More links as follows:

Norm Miller, Missouri River guide

John Ruskey, lower Mississippi River system guide who was on the Hudson yesterday.  He’s also the founder of Quapaw Canoe Company.

Tom Hilton, Astoria-based Fisher Poet, whom I met last night.

And at the risk of leaving someone out, here’s a longtime favorite of mine, an account of a rowboat from Brooklyn to Eastport ME by way of New Orleans . . . Nathaniel Stone’s On the Water.

Who’d I leave out?

The idea for this series is that while watching a movie, I see tugboats in it unexpectedly.  This happened last night as  I watched Kill the Irishman, a 2011 movie based on events in Cleveland OH during the mid-1970s, when a mob war led to 37 bombings in Cuyahoga County.  I was outside the US during that time period and had no recollection of it, nor do I recall this movie from a decade ago. 

The protagonist is Danny Greene, who first worked as a longshoreman on the Cleveland docks. While taking a break from discharging grain, he points out this container ship being escorted and tells his fellow dockworkers that containerization will take away all their jobs. 

Is this a model?  I don’t recognize the livery on either tugboat or containership.  Haven’t all escort tugs in Cleveland always been GL tugs?Were there ever containerships of this type in Cleveland in the 1950s or 1960s?  Danny was born in 1933, dropped out of high school, did a few years in the military, and came back to Cleveland in the 1950s, I’d calculate.

At one point in the early 1970s, Greene gets a loan from Shondor Birns, a racketeer who gets this money from the Gambino family, leading to this gratuitous shot of an eastbound tug in the East River.  Now that could be a canaler like  Crow or Cheyenne . . . .  These photos are both screen grabs and the tugboat below plays no role in the movie except to establish the location, already done by the buildings.

Can anyone shed any further light on these two tugboats, the ship, and containerization on the Great Lakes in that time period? 

Screen grabs by WVD, whose previous film tugs can be found here.

Timo Pajunen took this photo back in 2010.  Here are my questions for you:  whose livery?  what mission?  what was McArthur‘s original mission?  I’ll answer at the end of the post.

Charles Ritchie took this.  Hawk YTL-153 has fine pedigree:   in 1941, she was built and launched in Pearl Harbor and was present during the attack.  Since 1980, she’s been based in Narragansett Bay, operated by Specialty Diving Services Inc.  Do I see this correctly that she’s being operated from a topside helm?   Here is Charles Ritchie’s project.

When I posted Brad Ickes’ photos a month back, I forgot to post the best shots of Cable Queen he had sent.  I hope this makes amends for my having misplaced them.

The other day I noticed Cable Queen is docked back at her usual spot, nestled in a corner just west of the Moran dock.

These days there are photos everywhere of the salvage of incorrectly-ballasted  RORO Golden Ray.  This structure, as I understand it, incorporates both a saw and a lift.  This photo and the next two come from Chris RoehrigThese photos from gCaptain are stunning.   The yellow structure over the wreck is Versabar’s VB 10,000, a heavy lift vessel launched in 2010. 

Moving the deck barge around with portion of the wreck are Crosby tugs, Crosby Star, a 4200 hp boat, below and

to the left.  The real eye-catcher here is Kurt J Crosby, here alongside Crosby Leader.  Kurt J, according to the company website, packs a whopping 16500 hp!  Have a look at their photo of the 2000 build. Crobsy Leader, dwarfed and mostly obscured here, itself is rated at 15000 hp.  Seeing these behemoths at work would almost make a trip down there worthwhile.

Jack Ronalds sent along these photos from Strait of Canso.  It’s Calusa Coast and her

tank barge Delaware.  They’ve spent some years working on the Great Lakes and are now returning

to salt water.  They have returned to the sixth boro, where I photographed her 13 years ago, but I’ve not yet seen them this visit.  For a treasure trove of Jack Ronalds/marine traffic photos, click here.

Getting back to that first photo, MV McArthur began life in 1965 as NOAAS McArthur (S330).  She was decommissioned in 2003. In 2006 she was purchased by Blackwater USA (you’ve heard of them and their founder Eric Prince?) who offered it as a “warship for hire.”  In the murk, Blackwater USA morphed into a series of other private security businessesMV McArthur became Eaton while operated by Saracen International.  At last record, the Norfolk VA vessel flew the flag of Comoros and was called Maandeeq,  and since AIS showed her last in June 2019 in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, India,  just north of Alang, I don’t think she’s chasing pirates anymore. 

For a crazy tangent, Gujarat is the 9th largest state in India by population.  At 9th place (of 34), it has a population greater than Italy, South Korea, Spain, Poland, etc.  It’s way larger than Canada, whose population is currently at 37 million.  India’s largest state by population, Uttar Pradesh,  is 200 million, which would make it the 8th largest country in the world by population, bigger than Russia, Mexico, Japan, etc . . .   But I digress.

Many thanks to Timo, Charles, Brad, Chris, and Jack for sharing these photos.

Related:  If you’ve not yet read Chris Maag’s story on NY sixth boro shipping, you can read it here, and enjoy the photos/video by Chris Pedota as well.

 

 

As of this morning, USS Slater is back to Albany again, after its latest shipyard visit.

Below, thanks to Tim Rizzuto, are some photos from exactly 27 years ago, showing two McAllister tugboats assisting the large Russian, now Ukrainian, tugboat Gepard, which successfully delivered Slater from the Mediterranean to the sixth boro. I know this is a digression, but Gepard has an “exciting” history.  It’s still working, currently in the Black Sea.

Maybe someone can assist in identifying the two McAllister tugs.  This photo shows the significant difference in beam:  Gepard 66′ and Slater 37’…

 

From 1993, let’s jump to 1997.  Jeff Anzevino got the following photos as the destroyer escort made its initial trip up the Hudson to Albany.  Jeff has contributed many photos to this blog, going back almost to the beginning.  The tug pictured her is Rainbow, currently called Patriotic, which has been in the Morris Canal for quite a long time.  Patriotic is a 1937 Bushey build.

Also assisting in the 1997 tow were Benjamin Elliot and Mame Faye!

Jeff also caught the tow back in 2014.  And  . . . is that Margot on starboard?  That IS Benjamin Elliot on port.

Many thanks to Tim Rizzuto and Jeff Anzevino for use of these photos.  If you’re interested in donating to USS Slater.org to help defray expenses, click here.

I’d really appreciate identification of the McAllister tugs above.

My previous Slater posts can be found here.

 

I recently received this image and note.  Maybe someone can identify this moment [many years ago] in an evolutionary process.

“I was born on Staten Island and have had this untitled, undated, and uncredited photo for years. I believe it’s taken from the water on the Arthur Kill of an unconverted Moran steam tug. wondering if you might be able to shed some light on who she might be. At first I thought it might be the Ned Moran, but it seems Ned lost her stack rather than wheel house?
If you have any thoughts or leads to her name/history I would be very appreciative.”

In response to my suggestion that the letter might be a D, he wrote “My thoughts on it being a M stack marker was based on the top and bottom serifs but you are correct that these could also be a D. But on the right side of stack the mid section of the letter seems to be unattached or detached rather than a continuous piece of steel connected to the foreground part of the letter.”       Since then, I’m convinced it’s indeed an M.

Some of the photos I’ve taken in this location can be found here.   The documentary Gary Kane and I filmed there nine years ago now is referred to in this post.

Many thanks to Chris for sending along this question and photo, which I’ll call unidentified of a vessel that’s unsalvageable.

 

I started this series yesterday to complement the Clyde S VanEnkvort article.  Without the crewman below, you might have difficulty identifying what this shows.

It’s the bow of Erie Trader after a night on Lake Superior.

The photo below shows the location from which I shot the photo above.  Note how calm the cold waters of Superior are.

Here’s a side view of that same crow’s nest, with wind-down icicles.

In addition to the reason I gave yesterday for clearing ice, there’s another;  hatch covers must be cleared to open when we get to the dock.

Sledge hammers and crowbars work, so do propane torches.

When we tied up at the dock, I went ashore to photograph ice buildup elsewhere on the ATB.

The reddish coating of everything on the dock is ore, taconite, semi-processed iron ore.

Seven hundred miles away and several days away we docked to Detroit to discharge about 35,000 tons of ore at the fiery steel plant.

 

Air temperature was in the single digits, and not far from the steel plant fires, ice floating past in the Detroit River

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I’m still looking for someone who might get a photo of that exotic ship coming into the sixth boro early this month.  But I also still don’t have a firm ETA for that vessel, Decisive.  She’s still out at sea but never in this  voyage has she been laying cable; as I understand it, she’s a cable “de-layer.”

 

Thanks so much for voting.  This post will end the “candidates”  soliciting feedback for my 2020 calendar.  The calendar is now a “go,” although voting will stay open until December 21, ie, if you are just hearing about this and have not yet voted–one winner for each month–you can still express your choice, carefully telling me which choice is for which month.

The options for October follow:

A

B

C

D

E

The November possibilities are

A

B

C

D

E

And that’s it.  The December photos have mostly yet to be taken, so the onus for that month is jointly on you all and me.  To repeat, here are the guidelines for a December photo:  a qualified photo for polling must involve a vessel and a non-verbal detail(s) identifying it as having been taken in a December.

Thanks for your help.  I’ll keep you updated on the calendar.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

A big thanks for reading and VOTING.  Once again, see the December 5 post for instructions. Today’s post has only two months, so your vote will be two letters.  Ask your friends to vote.  Voting hasn’t closed for previous installments, and I won’t close the voting until  December 21.

Here are the August choices.

A

B

C

September was a hard month to whittle down to three.  So I offer more choices here than for any other month.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

And that’s it for today’s voting;  remember that today’s vote will be only two letters, one for August and one for September.

To complete the calendar, there’s one more post of options coming tomorrow.  I’ve received proposed photos for the December page, but photos are still solicited.

All photos in this post by Will Van Dorp.

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