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That declaration . . . it’s good to read it now and again, especially these days.  And since I choose to post at noon, this post will be up for half the holiday, even if the holiday is NOT the actual date the document was signed.

In civilian life, flags are freely displayed, without compulsion.  The current US flag is the 27th design.  Careb also flies the AGLCA banner and the flag of New Mexico, a location impossible to navigate to.

 

Tug Churchill and sailing canal boat Lois McClure each fly a flag, every day under way and not just on holidays.

The signers–SOME of the delegates to the Second Continental Congress–remained committed in their discussions despite their many disagreements.   A number of delegates would not sign. And the country has been the greatest possible ever since, mistakes notwithstanding.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp.

Previous flag posts can be read here.

 

A few days ago I stumbled into a rabbit hole and enjoyed it down there.  I won’t stay in 2008 for too long, but evolution I found in the ship department intrigued me, change change change. It also made concrete the reality of the scrapyards in  the less-touristed ocean-margins of the globe. Take Orange Star;  she’s scrapped now and another Orange Star delivers our juice.  But what a beauty this juice tanker is,

with lines that would look sweet on a yacht. Laura K has been reassigned to another port.  This  Orange Star was cut up in Alang in October 2010.

Ditto Saudi Tabuk.  She went for scrap in November 2013.  The tug on her bow is Catherine Turecamo, now operating on the Great Lakes as John Marshall.

Sea Venture was scrapped in January 2011.

Hammurabi sold for scrap in spring 2012.   She arrived in Alang as Hummura in the first week of summer 2012.

Some D-class Evergreen vessels have been scrapped, but Ever Diamond is still at work.  Comparing the two classes,  the Ls are 135′ longer and 46′ wider.

Stena Poseidon is now Canadian flagged as the much-drabber Espada Desgagnes, which I spotted on  the St. Lawrence last fall.   Donald C, lightening here, became Mediterranean Sea and is currently laid up.

And let’s end this retrospect with a tug, then Hornbeck’s Brooklyn Service and now just plain Brooklyn.  She’s been around the block a bit, and I’ll put in a link here if you want a circuitous tour. I caught her in Baltimore last spring in her current livery.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wonders what the waterscape will look like in 2028, if I’m around to see it.

This morning I was looking for something, I thought happened in spring 2008.  Alas, I had the date wrong, but this research led me to these photos, some of which I may have posted before, all taken between April 10 and 17 2008, i.e., a decade ago exactly.  Back then I’d go into work an hour or so early, and because I had not yet plugged into AIS on my phone–I had a flipper–it was catch as catch could. Revisiting these photos stunned me with how much specific equipment has changed.

Baltic Sea and Coral Sea have gone over to West Africa.  Maybe a gallivant there is in order.  I last left West Africa forty years ago!!.

Maryland is still in the area;  I caught a glimpse of her in Jamaica Bay last week as Liz Vinik, but not close enough for a photo showing anything but a speck.  Check out Birk’s site’s info on Vinik Marine Services.

Nathan E. Stewart came to an ignoble end.

Both K-Sea and Allied have been purchased by Kirby.  Petrel has gone to Philadelphia, where she’s working as Northstar Integrity. Below, she was pushing Sugar Express, up to the plant in Yonkers.

Crude oil tanker Wilana (now Kamari) arriving at dawn on a very calm slack water Arthur Kill was the high point of that week, especially because it was the first tanker I’d watched coming into Linden.  I’ll not forget how silent the process was.

On the starboard bow was Catherine Turecamo, now working in freshwater near the Great Lakes as John Marshall.

On her stern was Laura K Moran, now moved to another Moran base.  And, notice the Bayonne Bridge now longer has the geometry as shown below.

Any time I feel that stuff never changes, guess I should look through my archives.

All photos taken in mid-April 2008 by Will Van Dorp, who wonders if anyone out there read Future Shock by Alvin Toffler.  It was published almost a half century ago but I think he was on to something.

 

Ever since learning that the official name of the “little red lighthouse” was Jeffrey’s Hook Light, I wondered who this Jeffrey was.

That is . . . until now.

From a report written in 1991 by Betsy Bradley and Elisa Urbanelli, I offer this:

So it might be another example of anglicized Dutch “colonial” term. Other examples are in the Kills.  Juffrouw is a common Dutch word even today.  Dutch influence lives on in many names in the Valley. Click here for many many more.

Photos by Will Van Dorp.

For many more lighthouses, click here.

First, bravo to Lee Rust who puzzled out 2 of the 3 photos from IS1.  And I’ll just paste in his concise answers here:  “#1 is Colleen Kehoe passing under the Bear Mountain bridge southbound sometime around the late ’70’s or early ’80’s. Since 1996 this vessel is has been part of the Axel Carlson scuba diving reef off Mantoloking NJ.     And #2. Red, right, returning… Northbound towards Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge under construction… 1956-ish.”

Let me add a bit:  #1, click here to see Coleen–and Budweiser banner– about to be reefed in 1996.  And #2, the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge opened in February 1957.    #3 Paul Strubeck helped me, “That’s the Lester J. Gillen of Gillen Lighterage.” The Gillen company is mentioned in this NYTimes article about a South Street Seaport Museum exhibit from 1977.   Thanks much, Lee and Paul.

Below, that’s Ingrid’s father–the photographer for most of this series–in 1957 sitting on the bollard in front of MV Sunoco.

Mystic Sun and Maumee Sun here raft up to a dock in Port Newark in December 1959. Both date from 1948 and had cargo capacity of roughly 15,000 barrels.  Anyone know who the buyers were when they were sold in 1969 and 1966, respectively?  Mystic Sun appeared in this blog previously here.

Finally, here’s Sunoil, launched in August 1944 as Waxhaws.  The T2-SE-A1 tanker was scrapped in 1972.

Mr. Staats worked on ships for almost 50 years.

Many thanks to Ingrid for sharing these photos.  More to come.

 

Recall that I refer to the sixth boro of NYC as the water, which has served to create and develop the city’s other boros and to connect it via waterways to places near and far.   Also, on this blog, fifth dimension is time, a vehicle to ride backward in it to where the nature is the same but the machines and structures are mostly gone or changed.  “IS” here refers to Ingrid Staats, who has been digitizing her father’s photos and is sharing them here.  Her father worked on a Sun Oil coastal fleet vessel.  So let’s have some fun.  I know a bit more than I’m telling about some of these photos, and will share that tomorrow or soon.  Here’s your chance to identify and/or speculate.

Photo 1:  What tug?  Which location/direction?

Photo 2:  Location?  More?  Date?

Photo 3:  Tug?  Company?  Anything else on any of these photos?

Ok . . .  more soon along with the info I know.

Here’s a link to a book that deals with an aspect of Sun Oil I’d never considered but which has NO relationship with the photos Ingrid has passed along.

Many thanks to Ingrid to sharing these.

Click on the photo below and you’ll see basic details of 1979-built LNG carrier LNG Virgo.  

Click on the image below, and you’ll find a 9-minute video with details of a boatload of refugees rescued by LNG Virgo in the South China Sea and what happens 30+ years later.

Lauren Vuong, one of those refugees, writes:  “I was seven years old when my family was rescued from the South China Sea in June 1980.  We were part of the “Boat People” crisis.  We were ten days at sea, lost and depleted of food, water and fuel.  Barring a miracle, death was an imminent certainty.  That miracle appeared in the form of a liquefied natural gas carrier flying the American flag, LNG Virgo, an image that forever cemented itself in my mind as being synonymous with life and freedom.”

Lauren, now making a documentary about their rescue, has a GoFundMe site if you want to help.  Recently Lauren was at SUNY Maritime at an LNG conference.

Lauren’s story reminds me of an email I got a few years back and shared here;  it involves a rescue conducted by a tug that went on to work in the sixth boro.

 

Kudos to Ginger, who guessed what the anniversary alluded to yesterday was.  Today begins year 12 of this blog.  So in the midst of all the references to CYBER- this and that, I’ll be my default contrarian self and call the next series a CYPHER series, lots of posts beginning with the number 12.  In today’s I took a photo from the top “hit” month in each year since 2006.

So in 2006, December was the top month, and the photo below (or one like it)  appeared in KVK.

In 2007, September was the top month, and this was from Historic Tug.

In 2008, June, and this was from Transitioning.

September in 2009 and from Divers 2. 

In 2010, November, and this is from Pilot and the Princesa.

June 2011, and context is Like Groundhog Day 3. 

2012, May, and Blueing Beyond the Sixth Boro. 

2013, March, and Looking for a Ship.

2014, March, and Botruc Plum Isle. 

March again in 2015, and this has context in Highway 4. 

March yet again, 2016, and Backing Down Heina. 

And finally, the greatest number of hits in 2017 was in July, likely because of the posts related to Peking‘s move. 

A reason to glance backward periodically is to see what has changed.  The corollary then is that a reason to do a daily waterblog is to record what was present when. And doing that permits me to see changes in myself and my tools.   Blogging, as you might guess, takes a fair amount of my time and guides a bulk of my focus, but it rewards me enough to continue.  I can’t say for how long, nor do I have to.  I’ve always refused to sign my boss’s multimillion dollar contract, although that might cost me the cover story on some high-profile magazine . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

And let’s hear some applause for Ginger.

 

Here, from a year ago, were previous Gmelin photos.

All I can tell about the photo below is that it shows Homeric, 1931.  Of the three tugs to her starboard and the six or so in the distance as well as the small sloop and stick lighter to the right . . . I can say nothing else and hope someone reading this will have some detail to add.

Six years earlier, some had criticized Capt. John Roberts for being unable–not unwilling–to rescue anyone from Raifuku Maru some 500 miles off Boston.

Homeric went eight years between keel-laying and entering service because a war intervened, then saw service for less than 20 years.

As was true for Homeric, RMS Empress of Australia was built in the German shipyard now located in Poland.  This Empress of Australia was launched in 1913;  Kaiser Wilhelm II made her into the royal yacht, imagining he would receive the surrendered allied fleets from her.  Oh well . . .

Other details here on the photo marked 1931 . . .  to the right behind the ship I can see a pier marked Ellerman’s Wilson Line, although I don’t know what pier number that would be.  And on the stern of the assist tug I can make out  the Howard portion of  . . . Howard C. Moore, a Moran boat by then.

My point is that visual detail and charm notwithstanding, there’s a vacuum of fact in these photos.

Which brings me to a book I reread yesterday and would recommend–Sailors, Waterways, and Tugboats I Have Known–although the title is bulky.  The author–Capt. Fred G. Godfrey, who also wrote a novel Fugitive Deckhand–though born ashore, lived from infancy on a canal barge his parents operated in the New York Canal system.  In the first chapter, he mentions the first tugboat he ever rode aboard, a Buffalo-built 1899 steam tug named Triton.  He was four then, and then later he worked aboard as a deckhand and cook.  To be fair, Godfrey included three photos of Triton, but I wanted more, although his details about the galley of a tug of a century ago are rich.   In chapter two, he writes about George Field, an 1882 Buffalo-built tug his father captained.   And again, there were two pictures, and I wanted more, although the anecdote of the time he intervened–as a kid–and shoved a helmsman bent on sabotaging the boat  . . . is great.    Third chapter  . . . it’s Junior Murphy, built 1909 in New Baltimore NY.  Again, two photos of the boat are included as well as info about cargoes–including hay– and ports of call that included St.-Jean -sur-Richelieu, QC.

I read this book a few years ago before I’d gained familiarity with these waterways and it was unsatisfying.  Now I know most of the references, and I want a thousand more photos and would have loved to converse with Capt. Godfrey.

I’m not being whiney.  I love the Gmelin photos and the Godfrey books. In fact, if anyone wants to trade some vintage photos of tugboats for my second copy of Sailors, Waterways, and Tugboats . . ., let me know.

I hope a satisfying record remains for the readers and researchers working here in 2117.

 

 

 

From this angle, Fort Lee–birthplace of the motion-picture industry– looks quite pristine.  Yes, that’s the west tower of the GW Bridge.  Am I correct in thinking the marketing name of the twin towers in the distance is the Moderns 1 and 2?

And on the subject of “towers” that Ocean Tower, a name I never know how to pronounce, as I first raised the question here over nine years ago.

Here’s the tow I saw last week.

 

Judging from the barge name TZC-102,  these bridge supports will undergird parts of the TZ Bridge, the completion of this huge project will soon transform into a huge sale of assets.

And where are these supports pre-cast?

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who thinks you might enjoy this recent Scientific America article on suspension v. cable-stay bridges.

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