You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘history’ category.

Palatine Bridge is where the lodging was, but the trail runs on the south side here, so when I departed at a bit past 0700, I needed to cross back to the Canajoharie side and then head east.  In the middle of the river/canal, a boat heads east as well, to get out of the canalized river before the locks close  . . . a few days hence.  As I write this, the canal has closed for the season.   The photo below was taken in the same location as photo 4 here

Visible to the east of Canajoharie is the Noses, a geological fault, the gap that has made this a trail since time immemorial.  See the fog between the two ridges?

Here’s a shot from the Thruway a bit to the west, but the photo illustrates the localization of fog in the Mohawk valley in early fall . . .  the water is still warm whereas the air is at least 20 degrees cooler.  The fog effectively illustrates the water course.  Yes, I have a crack starting in my windshield.

Back to the gap, I took this photo from the bike trail, the southernmost thoroughfare through the gap.  Next is 5S, next are the four lanes of the Thruway aka I-90, next  . . . where the boat is is the Mohawk, and beyond that and not visible in this photo are the existing railroad–Amtrak and freight–and then 5N.  The vessel is Hornblower Express, being repositioned to Toronto, also getting through the system before it closes for the season

The bike trail here looks like this.

The next town headed east is Fultonville, across the river from Fonda.  Traveling on the water, you barely sense Fultonville, but named for the artist and tinkerer associated with steam-powered river transportation, this town has been here since the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825.  Below, that’s the Fultonville Reformed Church.

A bit east of the church is the old West Shore freight house, a remnant of the  previous life of the bike trail . . .   once the railed trail 

A half dozen miles to the east, we cross Schoharie Creek.  That’s the Thruway bridge in the distance;  Schoharie Creek is the Mohawk’s largest tributary.  The Mohawk and lock E-12 lie behind the photographer here.

Still see the Thruway bridge in the distance?  The bridge serving as my photo platform and bike trail here no longer serves cars and trucks . . 

As I rode I craved fruit.  This time of year, the wild grapes are very tasty.

A half dozen miles east of Schoharie Creek is the old lock 28 and Yankee lock.  The ridge in the distance is the location of Amsterdam NY.

Here that ridge continues as part of western Amsterdam NY.  Note the rail traffic on the opposite side of the Mohawk?  Pink containers come from pink ships . . .

A half dozen miles east of Amsterdam is Rotterdam Junction NY, the home of the Mabee farm, and this the oldest house extant in the Mohawk Valley.  Adjacent to it is the old Mabee family cemetery.  I first came to the Mabee farm more than a decade ago for the building and splashing of Onrust.

And another stretch beyond that, just before lock E8 is the Hungry Chicken Market and country store in an excellent location not 500 feet from the bike trail.  I knew I was approaching my day’s objective . . . Schenectady, so it was a good place to have a snack before the end of the day’s ride.

That’s it for reportage and photos from my day 6.  I could have continued on to Waterford that day, but I was ready for a shower and a rest.

I spent two nights in Camillus because the forecast saw high winds and rain.  A day in bed did me good, although I felt a bit guilty until the rains came.  In early afternoon, when I took the photo below, I took this color photo from my window, feeling happy to be indoors. 

The next morning, headlamp on, I made for the bike trail.  I was crossing the main rail line when the sun rose.  After several miles of riding, I crossed it again because of an unmarked detour on the trail.  A trail bridge at the SW end of Onondaga Lake was under construction or repair, which led to a long back track.  For a story highlighting the connection Syracuse once had to tide-and-salt water, click here and scroll to the bottom.

I had google maps as well as Gaia GPS, and it cost me a lot of data, but I made it through the labyrinth that was Syracuse.  Highlights were the Niagara Mohawk Building, and  

a short revisit outside the Erie Canal Museum. Significant is the fact that Erie Boulevard, seen to the right on the photo below, is a portion of the 19th century Erie Canal that has been filled in.  Other “Erie Boulevard” locations in NYS are also atop these filled waterways.

Once east of the streets of Syracuse and eastern suburbs, I made it to the 36-mile Old Erie Canal State Park, a welcome relief, and a must-pedal area of the trail.  The trail lies atop the towpath, and long stretches of extant canal have water in them.  I saw folks fishing.

A few years ago in the fall I’d visited Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, where I took these photos of circus life on the canal.  There’s much more to see as well.  For now, I had miles to go . . . so andiamo.

I stopped to see vestiges of 19th century industry, like this clay pot factory, located for easy and safe transport of the fragile cargo.  Now . . .  we choose to use plastic ones . . .

Onward . . . I zoomed through Canastota, my “easy goal” for the day.  Then Icrossed the NYS Thruway and headed for Rome.  The trailside of the Verona town buildings made for a “canvas” for muralists.  The Stark’s Landing reference means that this location a century and a half ago served as a transport and cargo handling center.  

Now this section of the canal was empty and although land was farmed, no indication remained of the previous supply chain modes.

Eventually I crossed the contemporary canal at lock 21, passed the junction lock, and followed the NE bound trail into Rome.  For some good views and the “junction lock” and the NE bound trail, click here and see photos 3 and 4 from last.  

It was another 50-mile day . . .   technically longer given the detour just west of Syracuse city.

Report and photos . . . WVD.

When you see lettering like that, you know it’s either old, or pretending to be.  In the case of this Prudence, it’s the real deal.

All kinds of details can be found in this article, but if you want to hear it from me . . .

She dates from 1911, all wood, built at the Irving Reed Shipyard in Boothbay ME as Madeleine, and is one of less than a handful of “coastal steamers” still extant.

She survived the 1938 hurricane.

In 1921, she was sold from Maine to Bristol RI interests who named her Prudence.  At one time and possibly still, she has rope steering.  That I’d love to see.  Once steam, she was dieselized more than a half century ago.

All photos, WVD.

Recently reefed . . .   Jane.  I took this photo from the Arthur Kill in September 2016.

Built in 1939 at Pusey and Jones, she went from Jane to Adam J to Jacklyn to Erica to Jane . . . and now to the bottom as a fish house off Jones Beach NY;  she lies in 51′ of water.   Here‘s the story.

Hoss (1962 and ex-Chauncey and Sharon C and sister of Patricia and Kristy Ann Reinauer) was put down off Ocean City MD less than a week ago, 81′ down, I’m told.  Here‘s a link, but it’s on FB.  I took the photo below near Norfolk in January 2011.

Information catch-up . . . A couple weeks back I did a post on the 2001 Great Noith River Tugboat race, and there was a question about the Class 1 winner.  Powhatan won according to the

trophy.

See it upper right side.

However, to further complicate matters, Rich Violino writes:  “ I along with Steve Munoz was aboard the Janet McAllister. On the trip back to the yard, we were told that the Z-Two had been declared the winner. But as the trophy attests, that was not accurate.”  With such a contentious result, I’m happy there’s not millions hanging on the results.  It is, after all, a fun day out . . . at least I think it is. 

And below . . .  over by South Reach, the green icons is CMA CGM Panama;  she certainly has a record for the number of escorts.

And finally, from a post I did five years ago with photos from Harry, check out what a harbor crowded with recreational boats looks like . . .   Click on the photo for the context.

Photos from HT, Steve Munoz and WVD.

 

 

I’ve never “reblogged” before, but this is a good post and a good day to do it. Nine years on from this post, and 19 years on from the event that prompted this, I’d have thought we’d be more united.

tugster: a waterblog

Knowing what I knew, Maurania III headed up to the North River–where recently she raced– could only mean one thing, especially

given her accompaniment by Ellen and Elizabeth, also wearing the canvas frocks.  What it meant was that

USS New Yorkhad done its local doing and was

bound for sea.  We’re two days off the one decade anniversary of

quite the tragedy.

By the way, I’m with Bloomberg on this one: please stop calling it ground zero.  Let’s move on because time has moved on.

Also, for the record, we have a local election in my voting district, and I will hang up every time pollsters call and ask if I feel less or more secure now than before 9/11.  It’s a stupid question.  IMHO, be vigilant, but there NEVER is such a thing as complete security, although I’m grateful for those who endeavor to keep…

View original post 23 more words

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.

 

Serendipity is as scintillating as any fireworks. And I hope today’s post is an illustration . . . .  Can you make sense of the photo below?

A car carrier came into the sixth boro less than a week ago, and I happened to be in a place that afforded this perspective.  Just luck.  It reminded me of the question about the tree falling in the woods when now one’s around.  If I’d not been at my location when Liberty Promise steamed by, would it really have happened?  What a name, too, Liberty Promise, and a Jones Act RORO with a registry given as NY NY!* This is unicorn-rare, folks.

*Someone got a waiver to make this a Jones Act RORO, built 2010.

I keep most kinds of politics (eg, partisan) off this blog, but celebrating as profound a political holiday as Independence Day . . . the foundation day, is paramount. The oldest magazine in the world, The Scots Magazine, had this reaction in August 1776  to the Philadelphia signing:  “these gentlemen ‘assume to themselves an unalienable right of talking nonsense’.”  That’s some wit!

Take some time in the next few days to think about a country of over 331 million celebrating liberty’s promise, and how that promise gets fulfilled.  My vantage point, my perspective for taking this photo was entirely unique;  no one was within a 100′ of me when I took it; similarly, remember that your perspective on July 4 in the USA is personal, unique, and that means 331 million folks have a different perspective on everything, including liberty’s promise.

By the way, as of this posting, Liberty Promise has just entered Jacksonville FL.

All photos, WVD, whose previous independence day posts can be found here. I plan to spend the day/weekend working,  chasing a “spectacular warship” down the Hudson.

Happy 245th!

 

 

The 1968-built  Chemical Pioneer is a long- and multiple-lived vessel.  Here‘s a photo of her, then known as C. V. Sea Witch, in 1970.  She entered history books in the sixth boro on the night of June 1 into 2, 1973, most of you likely know the story of her tragic encounter, fatal for 16 mariners, collision and subsequent fire with SS Esso Brussels, loaded with Nigerian crude. Fire engulfed both ships and as they dragged anchor under the VZ Bridge, threatened the integrity of the bridge.

Thanks to Steve Munoz, here are photos of Esso Brussels taken several months later

at the Todd Shipyard in Hoboken, which closed two years later, part of a cascade of lost shipyards in the sixth boro.

Later that year she was towed to Greece, where she was rebuilt and emerged from the shipyard in 1974 as Petrola XVII.  She carried the name Petrola--with various number suffixes–until she was scrapped in 1985.

 

Here’s the rebuilt C. V. Sea Witch, now called Chemical Pioneer.

 

Many thanks for these photos to Steve Munoz, who had been aboard McAllister Bros. with his uncle Capt. Bob Munoz.  I could have called this “Thanks to Steve Munoz 20.”

Unfortunately, the disaster of early June 1973 has not been the only one in sixth boro history.  NY Tugmaster’s Weblog devotes a post to some of these, with three most horrific ones occurring in the month of June.  Many thanks to Capt. Brucato for compiling these with links to the final reports.

Interestingly, the hull of PS General Slocum was converted to a coal barge, and it sank in December 1911.  Texaco Massachusetts was towed to a shipyard,  repaired,  and returned to service, as were two attending tugboats, Latin American and Esso Vermont.  Dramatic photos of the Texaco Massachetts/Alva Cape post-collision fire and rescue efforts can be seen here. Alva Cape was eventually towed 150 miles SE of the Narrows and sunk.

From August 20, 1973 . . . it’s another narrated job from Steve. This time, MS Olympia is getting sailed.   Launched in 1953 in Glasgow, she was a long-lived vessel.  Any guesses when she went out of service?

“MS Olympia at 57th St Pier North R.  Eugene F Moran and  Maureen Moran wait on the river side of the pier.”

I gather Eugene was the 1951 Jakobson-build, the ninth and final tug by that name.  Maureen worked under that name from 1971 until 2010.

“Our vantage point was “McA Bros.”

McAllister Bros.  pushing the bow of MS Olympia.  ”

 

“MS Olympia heading for sea.”  Off her port bow, you can see the tall building at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Lower Manhattan on the North River side was truly a different place in 1973.    Have you guessed when this vessel went out of service?  You can read her service history and see lots of photos, some even in the sixth boro, here.

One job done, on to the next for McAllister Bros.  By the way, anyone know why the flag is at half mast?  My search came up empty handed.

And the answer is . . . 2009.  She was beached in Alang on 24 July 2009 and nothing was left a year later.  Her last visit in NYC had been in 2001.

 

This batch of photos is from 1958 from Steve, who has shared photos for at least 17 posts, and maybe more. I’m grateful Steve provides the captioning, because I was in second grade at the time.  Steve explains:  “I was just over 10 years old, and although being brought up on the water on my grandfather’s old 40’ cabin cruiser, I had never been on a tugboat—yet. When I came home from school at lunchtime, my mother told me to come home from school quickly at the end of the day so that I could get my homework done . . . because my aunt was picking me and my father up  to meet my uncle, Capt. Bob Munoz, on his tugboat to do a special job.”  More of that narrative follows at the end of this post.

Below, from that day, with Steve’s comments in quotes: “Diana L Moran alongside USS Franklin D. Roosevelt …”

I gather from records that the 1945-launched carrier had just completed a refit and overhaul at the time.   Diane L was Jakobson built and two years old at this time. If you’re not familiar with the sixth boro, that’s the Williamsburg Bridge and in the distance to the north, the Empire State Building.

Dalzellera pulling USS FDR-CV42-with assistance from Catherine Moran and Dalzellaird.”

This Catherine Moran, built in 1939, was mentioned in relation to Erie Canal work here, and may still be working as Sherry D in Napa CA.

Dalzellera pulling with assistance from Catherine Moran, Dalzellaird, and Fred B Dalzell.”

“Taken from the stern of Dalzellera alongside USS FDR.”

“USS Enterprise  (CV-6) at  Brooklyn Navy Yard.”

She participated in more major battles in WW2 than any other USN vessel.    Efforts by NYS to purchase and turn her into a memorial were unsuccessful.  Soon after Steve took these photos, she was sold for scrap, done subsequently at Kearny NJ.

“USS Independence (CV-62) at Brooklyn under construction.”

For this carrier as I saw her in 2010 in Bremerton WA, go to the end of this post.  In March 2017, she was towed out of Bremerton, 16000 miles around Cape Horn to be scrapped in Texas, which was completed in early 2019.  Anyone know who did this tow?

Barbara Moran in East River, heading east.”

This was the 1949, not the 1948, boat by that name.

Steve gave me a long version of his account of the day, but I’ve taken liberty to abridge it.  “Uncle Bob greeted us as we boarded the Dalzell Towing Company’s Dalzellera, flagship of the Dalzell fleet and converted from steam to diesel only 5 years earlier, was previously the Jersey Central RR steam tug Bethlehem. Dalzellera had a 1750hp diesel engine, a surplus WW II submarine engine coupled to a new unique drive system for NY harbor–a controllable pitch propeller.   When Dalzell was purchased by McAllister in 1965, she was renamed D. E. McAllister.

But that day our special job happened to be at the New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn Navy Yard, helping move the aircraft carrier USS FDR from its slip into the East River,  downriver,  and then  into the graving dock. It was a dead ship,  968’ long, 45,000 tons, in port for overhaul and repairs. The time for this move was selected to take advantage of the slack water in the early evening.  Dalzell had the contract with the US Navy to move the ship, but did not have enough of its own tugs available to do the job alone. Hence,  tugs from McAllister, Bronx Towing, Red Star, and Moran were also involved, for a total of 13 tugs.

Uncle Bob was the mate on the Dalzellera, but for this job he was one of several pilots assigned to control and monitor the movement of the ship and the tugs assisting the carrier. He was stationed up on the port bow on the flight deck.

Having the ship on a hawser allowed a unique vantage point as seen in the pictures.  And, it was uneventful. I was on the port side of the main deck with everyone else away from the after deck, just in case the line snapped. Then it happened. BANG!  I watched the line part and jump up toward the carrier’s bow. No one was on the after deck, so no one was hurt, no damage done.  Another line was lowered and the towing continued like nothing ever happened. As we got closer to the dock, Carol Moran got too close to one of FDR‘s overhangs on the port side and destroyed her mast, which fell onto her deck. Shortly afterwards the tug was relieved to allow it to head back to the yard before dark, since her mast lights were out.

Dalzellera was relieved of hawser duty just before the ship’s bow entered the graving dock and helped continue the push into the dock while the yard personnel started getting lines up to the ship to guide it into position. It was dusk when the task was finished. We picked up Bob at the end of the pier and headed back to our base.  After this day I was hooked on tugs.”

Thanks much, Steve.  As with the Enterprise, efforts by NYS to purchase USS FDR and turn her into a memorial were unsuccessful, and she was scrapped in Kearny NJ in 1978. Some photos of that last trip to the scrapyard can be found here.

For more tugboats of this decade, click here.

Finally, here’s USS Independence as I saw her in 2010 in Bremerton WA.

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,415 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Archives

October 2020
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031