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Happy September 3, 

and August 2

and  . . . well, someone’s vision of  the moment or a zeitgeist,

heritage,

zeitgeist,

heritage,

zeitgeist,

heritage…

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who thinks that’s where a tension exists.

 

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Happy 4th of July!  Here’s the first post by this title with a story of what John Adams wrote Abigail around this time 241 years ago.

So why do we celebrate this day?  Uh . . . the British surrendered?  It marks the first battle for independence?

DDG-55 Stout  (photo taken May 20, 2015)

We got freedom to say what we want, pray to whomever we choose, buy as many guns as we want, refuse to be unreasonably searched, charged too much bail, have access to lawyers in court, and things like that?

The founders of the US signed the Declaration of Independence?

Nope!  Nope, nope.  None of those is correct.  The British didn’t surrender for another 6 years and didn’t vacate their occupation force from the sixth boro–the only boro then–until 1783.  The Constitution wasn’t written for another decade and some!!

Here’s a good quick “not fake” read for today called “9 Things You May Not Know About the  Declaration of Independence.”

I’ll get back to that . .  but what is that military gray ship over there trying to camouflage itself against Staten Island ferry orange?  I took the rest of these photos about 24 hours ago . . .   The flag at the stern is NOT US…

It’s French.  So maybe they’re here to help us  celebrate the contributions of Rochambeau, DeGrasse. and Lafayette?

Nope, they helped after 1776 . . ..  In fact the Alliance had not even existed yet for a few years .  . .

Well, maybe the crew of the French L 9032 is here to ride the NYWheel?

Nope.  That’s in some turmoil.

See the billboard there?  Maybe they’re here for “the lowest cost health plan?”

Maybe they’re here for Macy’s !!?  Rowland Hussey Macy WAS a sailor, after all;  the red Macy’s logo star was the tattoo he wore on his hand . . .

 

Actually  I have NO idea why FS Dumont D’Urville docked over at the old homeport yesterday . . .  maybe someone can illuminate us . . .?

But to get back to 4th July . . . here was the response of George III–the accused– to the Declaration:  I’d never read it until now and it’s short and precious and defensive!!

Here’s another 4 July tugster post from the archives . . .  And if you still have time to read, here are “Six things you (probably) didn’t know about the 4th July. . . .”  And the flag of that year?  Maybe here.  And the drink of choice to fete the day back then . . .?  Well, it was not beer or rum.  Rick Spilman has it here.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who offers another link to the big document of the day here, and wishes you a happy independence day.

 

Here was the first in this series.

Recognize this ferry for decades since 1988 has been laid up, recently just west of the Bayonne Bridge . . . not the best photo but it’s Pvt. Nicholas Minue?  I can’t remember if it was still there last time I passed . . .

Know the story?

Pvt. Minue lies in Carthage, Tunisia, one of the cemeteries in 15 countries around the world.  Below, a Tunisian man, Abdullah Lagahre tends Minue’s marker; for more on this story and the source of this photo, click here.

Near and far, may their sacrifice be remembered and respected.

Here are some related links . . .  classified stars on a wall, the wall in Fort Huachuca, and what the VA spent on Confederate graves as of 2013.

Here’s a story of another Medal of Honor awardee whose remains lie overseas, this time in Asia.

 

Actually, only part of this leg is through the ICW, or another way to say this is that from Cape May to NYC you need to be in the ocean.  For a map that shows this, click here. This leg takes us from Baltimore to New York City, which in this case is not the end of the trip.  More on that later.

Below, Key’s Anthem is Baltimore’s new Inner Harbor water taxi, the first vessel of 10, one that’s all local vernacular . . . a Hooper’s Island drake tail.

Tiwai Point prepares to discharge a load of sugar, from Colombia, I think . . .

Bridget McAllister (and other McAllister boats) waits at the dock.

We head out past Natty Boh and Brooklyn . . . ,

Vane’s Carlyn,

and Justin with an unidentified load.

Was it Justin that towed Tamaroa out to the reef site last week?

At the Chesapeake side of the C & D Canal, it’s Dann Ocean’s home base, with (l to r) First Coast, Diamond Coast, New England Coast, Sea Coast, and Gold Coast.  By the way, Gallatin called this the Delaware & Chesapeake Canal and estimated it as 22 miles long with 18 locks.  The current Chesapeake & Delaware is 14 miles long and all water is at sea level, i.e., no locks.  Here’s the history.

Defender (I think) steams inbound for Pennsauken with Cape Cod tailing a Crowley barge.  Depending on which barge this was, capacity is 400–500 teus.

Gulf Venture/Carrier anchors off Salem . . .

And then morning brings a jagged island up out from the deeps and we

line up some towers . . . while Le Grand Bleu waits in Gravesend Bay.

Note the unusual wake and splash pattern on Jonathan C.‘s stern?

And an unfamiliar Kirby vessel– Mount St. Elias–moves DBL 77 upriver.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

This post follows in the spirit of What Rip Saw 1 and 2.  And the Emma in question is she who wrote the New Colossus.  Her ghost whispered to me yesterday as I looked south from the Battery and saw among other things the muddy tinge to the waters, a hint of freshet from upriver.

First she just rambled a bit dropping references to all the Corsairs and locally-owned Valiant and Conqueror .  ..

She reminded me that Le Grand Bleu had been here before here (scroll) and here, as well as craft of the same type like Topaz and  Luna.  And something about mischief associated with yachts like Alicia . . .

Then Emma’s voice became clearer . . . “I have to revise it,” she said, and then trailed off a bit, almost a mumble, but

what I caught was

“From whence this storied pomp,” cried she

With averted eyes.  “Spare me your pompous, your show-offs,

Your superrich, your oligarchs of energy.

Back with Corsair, Valiant, and Conqueror;  I’ve seen it before.

Send instead your strivers, tempest tossed to me;

Otherwise my lamp matters no more.”

 

Then, Emma was gone, flown off with the wings of a gull.

All I have is this set of photos and a recollection of her thoughts, her voice, to share.

Another oligarchinaut whose vessel appears here is Abramovich, who gave this yacht to its current owner Shvidler.

Here’s more to keep a lookout for this summer.

A month or so ago, I talked with Don Lake, who wanted to tell me some family history, which I transcribe here:  “My family has been on tugs for many years, beginning with my grandfather, Captain James Lake, who began his career as a young boy on Rondout Creek, NY, in the late 1800s and later moved down to New York harbor where he acquired his Master Mariner’s license with unlimited tonnage and pilotage.  In the early 1920s he was also instrumental in the formation of Local 333 along with Captain Joe O’Hare, who organized the tug boat workers of NY harbor.

I have relatives who worked for M. J. Tracy for many years, an old line company in NY, specializing in coal delivery to the power generating stations in NY and NJ at Con Edison and PSE & G.

There’s a great history of the company in a back issue of Tug Bitts from the Tug Boat Enthusiasts organization.”  [The organization is now dormant.]

Helen L. Tracy has since ultimately been rechristened Providence, and I posted a photo of the boat here a few months back tied up on the Mississippi just around the bend downstream from New Orleans. That is, it is the same boat unless I’m confused here.    Another question . . . what was the connection between Avondale Towing Line and M. J. Tracy Towing Company?  I could call Don, but I’m putting the question out to blog readers.  Here’s what I learned about the photo from the Portal to Texas History.

At times like this I really wish there was a digital archive of the years of Tug Bitts.  Is there any plan to do this?  I’d be happy to contribute some ducats for this to happen, and I’m sure lots of other folks would too.

Again, many thanks to Don for writing and sending along a photo I need to frame.

Here’s more on Rondout Creek, currently home to Hudson River Maritime Museum and formerly headquarters for Cornell Steamboat Company. And if you haven’t read Thomas Cornell and the Cornell Steamboat Company by Stuart Murray, here’s how you can order this must-read.

Click here for a Tracy boat from the 1952 tug boat race.

I’ve mentioned before that this is my miscellaneous category, although “everything” you pull out of your line locker or junk drawer is important for something, “miscellany” sounds dismissive.

Here’s how this post  works:  I’ll put in no comment until the second time through.  Starting with the one below, see the man face mostly down in the small craft sculling with right hand.  See the “cannon” forward, recoil preventer in place?

 

Someone’s altar?

I’d meant to include this a few weeks ago, but forgot.

And here . . . notice a splash of color where often you’d just read a phrase like “safety first” or “no smoking”?  Ice waters below and

lock walls here.

“Yes!!   I beat the ship,” thought he.   But why’s he blowing the horn so much, a**hole!!@#, thought he.

And finally . . . ever stop into a Wawa for coffee?  I’ll get back to that.

Reprise time.  See the gun there?  I paced it out at about nine feet long.  It’s a punt gun, formerly used by “market hunters” in a host of flyways, including locally along Long Island.  I finally visited the New York State Museum in Albany recently, and this is one of the displays.  Much more about punt guns and sneak boxes here.

Nearby in the Museum, here’s a sixth boro diorama.  Meseck boats came up in the previous line locker post also. And here’s the Carroll Towing post I’d wanted to include that 1946 clipping in.

And the painting on the forward side of the superstructure, here’s more on that CSL project to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the creation of an independent Canadian confederation.  And if you ever wonder what the francophone Canadians call the “Canada goose,” it’s a bernache du Canada.

And that SUP racing to cross the river in front  of a ship!  It’s that season, and soon conditions like those that created a near-fatal incident last summer will present themselves again.  Don’t be a statistic!  Here’s James Berman’s article from Workboat magazine with the “wheelhouse perspective.”

And Wawa, I’d read this and let it slip through my fingers.  They are having an ATB unit built.  Nah . . . not to transport coffee, which is sold at their midAtlantic convenience store gas stations. I’m wondering what they’ll call it . . . Wawa One?  Wawa Wanna cuppa?  Watuppa?

 

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who wishes you a happy and peaceful day..

Sixth boro fifth dimension posts are about vintage NYC harbor shipping culture photos.  This very welcome photo I received from frequent commenter/researcher William Lafferty.  This should be an easy question for many of you:  where was this photo taken?

Here’s what William says about the photo above:  “You don’t see classic New York harbor steam tugs in color often.  I acquired this red border slide years ago.  It shows Carroll Towing tugs docked, I’m guessing, in Greenpoint, between 1950 and 1955, very late in their careers.  You should be able to identify the location.  From left to right we have J. F. Carroll, Jr.Sally CarrollRichard S. Carroll, and Anne Carroll.  The J. F. Carroll, Jr. was built at Baltimore in 1911 by Spedden Shipbuilding Company as the Neptune for the Curtis Bay Towing Company there.  The Army Engineering Department got it in 1915 and renamed it San Luis operating it in the New York District.  After World War II Carroll obtained it, and it lasted until 1958, probably ending its days at Witte’s. [Note:  Witte’s today is known as Donjon Recycling.] The Sally Carroll was built by John H. Dialogue at Camden in 1906 as the Haverstraw for the Cornell Steamboat Company but the Lehigh Valley Railroad bought it in 1907 and renamed it Aurora.  After a stint in World War I as a minesweeper and later towing tug for the navy, it was returned to LV in 1919.  Carroll got it in the early ’50s but it, too, disappears by 1960.  The Anne Carroll was another Lehigh Valley carfloat tug, built by the Staten Island Shipbuilding Company at Port Richmond in 1910 as the Auburn, and dismantled at Staten Island in 1960.

My particular interest is the wooden Richard S. Carroll, since it was built on the lakes.  It was launched as Active 4 January 1919 at the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, yard of the Leathem & Smith Towing & Wrecking Company, one of a number of small yards on the Lakes and East Coast to built standardized 100-foot wooden tugs for the Emergency Fleet Corporation.  Powered by a double cylinder vertical compound steam engine built by Chicago’s Marine Iron Works, it operated for the United States Shipping Board in New York harbor until 1925 when transferred to the navy as USS Active  YT 112.  Decommissioned by the navy in June 1946, Carroll bought it 21 July 1947 and renamed it.  It was dismantled at Staten Island in 1956 and its final document surrendered at New York on 20 February 1957.”

Besides the location question, does anyone have additional photos of any of these Carroll tugs, particularly Richard S.?

Many thanks to William Lafferty for this photo and information.

A photo of Anne Carroll appears in this post about the 1952 Hudson River tugboat race.

. . . and in case you’re rummaging through your change drawer for some cash to buy something for yourself or someone else special, here are some ideas.  Buy a raffle ticket for an opportunity next summer to ride an Interlake Steamship vessel on the Great Lakes . . .  Here’s a post I did a few months back on the classic Interlake Oberstar.   And from International Shipmasters’:  The funds from sales keep our lodge financially secure and we donate every year to other various maritime related non-profits. Sea Cadets, Whistles on the Water, and Shipmaster Grand Lodge Scholarship Fund.  Our own scholarship fund is endowed and gives 3 scholarship awards each year of $500 to each, 1 Canadian, 1 US, 1 hawse piper.   Click on the image below for information on purchasing a raffle ticket.  I have mine . . . and I imagine these would make a great gift for lots of folks you want to give a gift to.

lotterytix

If you win and need something to do when you’re not just mesmerized by Great Lakes scenery, here are some books to consider.  Of course, you can read them any time . . . real books, not device books. Here’s what the Icelanders say about giving books.

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Here are some of the books I’ve read this past year.  I’d recommend all of them.

bks1

The Big Book of Real Boats and Ships was an impulse buy after someone mentioned it on FB.  George J. Zaffo did a whole series of these books back in the 1950s and 1960s.  Here’s more on his and similar books. What makes it interesting for me is that real means real;  here’s the info on C. Hayward Meseck, the vessel in the illustration below.

bks2

Also from Zaffo, here’s info on the tug in the foreground below, Barbara Moran (1948), scuttled in 1990 and sits upright about 70′ below the surface. 

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This past year I’ve met lots of folks whom I’ve encouraged to write their stories or have someone else write them.  Bob Mattsson did that a few years ago, and I finally read it this year.

bks4

Here’s part of page 1.

bks3b

Up River is another one I read this year, one that helps you see what you can’t see from the river.  The cover photo below shows Tomkins Cove Quarry, one of many quarries whose scale you get no sense from the river.  Recently on a trip from NYC to Waterford on the river with some folks who had never done the trip, I brought this along and noticed they paged through during the entire trip as a way to “see” what they otherwise couldn’t.  Thanks to Capt. Thalassic for introducing me to this book.  You can “page” through the entire book here!

bks3

All those books . . . this time of year, it all reminds me of a post I did here 10 years ago about the circumstances around the first Christmas presents I ever got .  .  .

 

Actually, the full title of this book is Tugboats Illustrated: History-Technology-Seamanship with Drawings by the author Paul Farrell

I first heard of the book and Paul Farrell last February;  I got an email from an editor at W. W. Norton expressing interest in licensing one of my photos for the cover of the forthcoming book. The photo was the 9th in the post called “Helen’s Last Waltz.” I was thrilled, as you might imagine, and we arrived at a price. Then I hoped it would be an attractive, technically accurate book.

ti1

A few months later, Norton’s publicity department sent along a five-page sampler and asked if I’d write a review of the book. The cover letter described Tugboats Illustrated as “gorgeously detailed guide to the evolution, design, and role of tugboats” from “ the earliest days of steam up to today’s most advanced ocean-going workboats” and referred to its “dynamic drawings that show how different kinds of propellers move, to explanations of the physics and engineering that allow this movement to happen.”

Mr. Farrell, an architect with almost a half century of experience, was described as having spent a quarter century researching and writing this book, his first. When someone spends that amount of time focusing on a subject, I’m impressed. But I wasn’t ready to do a review until I saw the entire 156-page book, which arrived in November.  The photo below should illustrate how comprehensive this slim but well-designed book is.

ticontents

I first paged through it and then read it cover to cover. Paging through, I noticed how many of these “dynamic drawings” there are, more than 70 of them at least, depending how you count.  Below is a sample of a set of drawings from p. 114, illustrating an evolution that always mesmerizes me . . . a flanking turn with a long tow on a winding river, and he shows it from both the downstream and upstream perspective.

ti114

Indeed, an architect’s drawings honed by years of professional work complemented with captions, guided by the experts in the wheelhouse, illustrate complex maneuvers in this and many other instances.  Ironically, Farrell never intended to showcase his illustrations in the book; he says it began as “rough sketching intended to guide a mythical illustrator who would intuit just the right feel and content” until he realized this these sketches, such as they were, would work. He reports that doing the set of drawings to illustrate hull chines as seen from underwater were pivotal. I find them charming, below (p. 93),  a boon to the book and not just “limited” or “enough.”

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Then there are the photographs, over 80 of them in total and more than half of them in color, many of them taken by photographers whose work I know and have great respect for: Brian Gauvin, Alan Haig-Brown, and Pat Folan.  There was one photo by Rod Smith, who has so many to choose from in his albums on the shipbuilding work at Senesco. Many of the black-and-white photos come from the collections of Steven Lang and Brent Dibner. Other photos introduced me to photographers I’d like to see more of in the future.

In the “Acknowledgements,” Farrell reveals that he first sent a draft of the book to Norton in 1996, a full twenty years ago. When a book takes shape over such a long period of time as this one, it gets vetted for accuracy and thoroughness, which this one has.

Got friends who want to learn about tugboats? Want to expand your own knowledge of the history and variety of these vessels? Then order it here.

I’m just so thrilled that my photo from that July 17, 2012 move graces the cover of this fine book that I’ll digress and post three more photos from that day.

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Helen, she is a classic from 1900!   Does anyone have photos of her working out of South Carolina waters as Georgetown?  In that photo above, Helen looks just slightly like Little Toot in Hardie Gramatky’s wonderful watercolors, reproduced on p. 11 of Paul Farrell’s book.

Click here for some previous reviews.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

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