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I’ll get to the blue moon reference in a moment, but first . . .

Need one or more calendars for 2023?  I’ve approached the project differently this year:  the calendars are ready, you can preview, you can order here, and they’ll come directly to you.  That’s good for me because it frees me from tedious packaging and mailing, leaving time to be out taking photos.  Watching sixth boro traffic, traveling among traffic, taking photos of traffic, and researching traffic . . . are all preferable to me, as you know.  Case in point . . . blue moon, which is actually a sea story with the usual losses and gains, some photos I took yesterday.

Don’t the lines look somewhat Chesapeake…ish, a bit of bugeye in her lines?

Yesterday morning she crossed the Upper Bay, heading south late in November all under sail.  

Blue moon and today’s post photos have a tighter connection than blue moon and my 2023 marine calendar.  Here’s the connection:  the “three-sail bateau” aka ketch here is called Blue Moon.  The 69′ aluminum-hulled sailboat was built in the late 1980s as a cargo schooner, transporting tropical hardwoods.  Later she was owned by a co-founder of Crocs shoes. Now she’s a Nantucket-based excursion vessel whose owner makes an interesting sea story himself with a maritime Covid love story thrown into the mix.  Teased enough?  Find the details here.    There are even references to King’s Point USMMA, color blindness, and lobstering in the story.

She was not on AIS yesterday morning, so I needed to do a bit of research to identify her, and researching is another time-consuming task I enjoy.  In a past life I may have been an intelligence analyst.  Puzzling things out certainly beats waiting on line at my local USPS.

Here’s more on the boat.  It was designed by Thomas E. Colvin, designer of Rosemary Ruth and Le Papillon and built by Reuel Parker

All photos yesterday, WVD.  Fair winds, Blue Moon.  

Repeating myself here:  my 2023 calendars are available here.  At that link, you can preview all the pages;  no sailing vessels are included despite Blue Moon‘s, going south, appearance in this post.  The calendars could be going out into the USPS system tomorrow. 

If you want something customized, I can do that too.   

 

The first time I used this title, although with a pretentious spelling, was here, more than 12 years ago, a collaboration I immediately liked.  This year I’ve posted quite a few, especially in the first three months of 2022, all related to the Barge Canal. 

Here’s one I’ve not posted.  I wish more text existed on the image, but all I can make out, other than STEAM BOAT COAL is Chas. C. Wing, the steamer tug to the right.  Wing came off the ways in Poughkeepsie in 1894;  it makes me wonder when the last tugboat was launched from Poughkeepsie.   She measured 50 x 15, registered in Albany, and according to MVUS, had a crew of one.  That makes me wonder about a number of things. Here she tows at least three dry bulk barges up to lock E-3.   This photo was likely taken by George Michon.  The Michon Collection (of photos) is in the NYS Museum.  Thanks, George, since you were taking photos on the Canal 30 years before I was born.

Delta Fox has been in the boro around for a while, but I’ve never seen her work.  I’m told she’s been sold foreign.  The 1980 tug measures 66′ x  24′, built in   1980, and has 1200 hp. That looks like a substantial Little Toot beside her.   This photo and the next two were taken by Tony A. 

This is the Hudson-Athens Light, in the early 00s of the watch.  I’d never put together until now that this light’s twin sister is in the LI Sound:  Stepping Stones.  The photo shows a whole different meaning to “lighthouse.”

James Turecamo came out of the shipyard not far to the north of this photo:  Matton,  1969.  She ‘s 92′ x 27’ and brings 2000 hp to the job. 

The next photos all come from the erudite George Schneider,  And rather than paraphrase, I’ll just verbatim quote his inimitable wit and style:  “U S ARMY RET ST 893 was originally the Army ST 893, built by J K Welding in Brooklyn NY in July 1945.  At some point (apparently in the 1980’s) she was transferred to Humboldt State College in Eureka CA, still named ST 893 and undocumented.  They added additional deckhouse to her for use as an oceanographic research and training vessel.  Sold in 1998, she was documented about 2004 with the painfully long name she now bears.  Her home port was changed to Kings Bay GA by a Florida owner, but she is now owned by someone in Anacortes WA.”  It makes me wonder how and how often she’s transited the Panama Canal. 

Next, it’s Gina as told by George:  “GINA (1247922), formerly CATAHECASSA (YTB 828).  She is owned by Basic Towing of Escanaba MI, but with the death of Papa Kobasic a few years ago, the company is streamlining and it’s unlikely this tug will return to the Lakes, where she was built in 1974.”  She’s another Panama Canal transiting tugboat.  Other YTBs on this blog, other than the sixth boro’s Ellen McAllister, can be found here

TIOGA (1021169) no longer has her red hull and red stacks.  One might guess she’s in the process of being sold, but you’ll also note the Crowley logo is freshly marked on her, also with the blue highlights.  Is the company we knew half a century ago only as “Red Stack” becoming Blue Stack? “

George shares lots of photos, and I really should pass more on for you all to see. 

Next I’ll interject a photo I took a few years back.  If you don’t immediately know why I post this photo of a NRofHP plaque, see the next photo. 

This photo from Kevin Oldenburg shows Edna A pushing Chancellor, the “landmarked” 1938 tug to the location where she’ll be “dismantled,” a somewhat archaic word that I find preferable to “scrapped.”  Preferable words of not, many wanted to see Chancellor live on, and now she will only in photos. Edna A has been featured in some momentous projects the past few years.   For some of Kevin’s other work, click here

Thanks to all of you who send in photos now and then.  As blogster-in-chief at tugster tower, I sometimes post when I feel I can do justice to you and your photo. 

A bit more reflection this anniversary week . . . I’m reminded we all see everything through our unique eye/brain/personality lenses.  That could lead to conflict, but here, other perspectives help motivate me to devote time to this desk every day.  And the value of collaboration, that goes without explaining.  So thanks.  Thanks for the comments as well.  Today’s photos come thanks to George, Tony, and Kevin., but other days  . . . other people.  You know who you are. 

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Full disclosure first, I met the author, Paul Strubeck, around 15 years ago, and he’s been working on this voluminous tome for almost a decade.  We met on a retired diesel railroad tugboat, of course, not either of the ones depicted below.  Over the years, Paul has shared photos and information on this blog.

I’ll tell you what I think about this book in a moment, but first, any guesses on the date, location, and info on the two tugboats depicted on this striking cover?

The rear cover has some Dave Boone art.  Anything look familiar in that painting?

Soon after Paul and I  met, we took this same WHC tour together.  I’m certainly not a packrat, but the fact that I still have the program attests to my sense that it was an extraordinary tour, much narration of which was prefaced “you can’t see any trace any more, but …” because rail marine in the sixth boro is mostly a thing of the past.  What’s not in the past but an immutable geographical fact is that the sixth boro surrounds an ever more densely-populated archipelago that still needs resupplying today, mostly provided by trucks and frustrated drivers clogging highways today, hence efforts like the recent beer run, to name but one.  

Contractors move carfloats today, but at one time rail lines built their own dedicated tugboats, steam and diesel, and the evolution of the latter type is what Paul’s book interprets for us.  These tugboats are mostly gone, and he tracks the disposition of each one, but a few still in use have been redesigned so successfully you might never guess their previous lives.

As I said earlier, Paul has worked on this book for the better part of a decade.  When he wasn’t employed on a  tugboat, he got jobs on the railroad, which employs him now fulltime.  But when he wasn’t scheduled by some employer, he traveled to places where he researched this book in harbors, photo archives, libraries, and museums.   To “unpack” this table of contents a bit, the “Oil-electrics” chapter focuses on  the railroads that switched from steam propulsion to diesel:  first in 1916 the Pennsylvania RR re-powering steam tug Media with a 4-cylinder Southwark-Harris heavy oil engine;  in 1926 NY Central RR built a pair of tugs on Staten Island and named NY Central’s No. 33 and No. 34, and Erie was next. 

Then next four chapters elaborate on the naval architects, the decisions they made, and the tugboats they built.

“What’s inside a tug?” includes nomenclature

 

and specialized information not commonly known to a layperson as well as to a mariner who works on non-railroad tugs.

Documents like this top one from August 1978 demystify the daily/hourly activity of tugboat crew, in this case,  the marine engineer.  Paul brings his tugboat/locomotive perspective to the page.

The book has 266 color photos and 131 black/white, for a total of 397, of which 342 have never been book/web published;  he scanned them from company records, trade literature, negatives, and slides.  Each photo has a detailed caption.  Further, the book has 4 original maps, 22 blueprints/drawings, and 17 documents/advertisements from vintage marine diesel magazines.

There are 11 appendices, including

 

17 pages of Appendix K listing all East Coast diesel railroad tugboats and their dimensions, designers and builders, engine specs, multiple names, and [what I find very helpful] their disposition, i.e., still in use, scrapped, reefed, or other.  A total of 23 railroad companies are mentioned.

On the last page, you learn a bit about the author.  He’s already working on a volume 2, focusing on railroad tugs of the Great Lakes and Inland Waterways.

To me, this book is a delight to read through and a reference for East Coast tugboats.  On my bookshelf, it goes next to Thomas R. Flagg’s book New York Harbor Railroads In Color, volumes 1 and 2, published in 2000 and 2002 but with most information cut off in 1976.  Paul’s book will be a delight for historians, aficionados of rail and marine technology, modelers, urban planners, and the general public with curiosity about how we get stuff from place of manufacture to place(s) of use.

As anyone who releases a book or other work knows, an author does not want to keep a pile of books like this at home.  For info on ordering your copy, click here.  This is not a “mainstream” book you’d see while browsing the all-too-few bookstores surviving these days.  Rather, it is published by an independent railroad-focused publisher called Garbely Publishing.

To answer the questions about cover “photo,” the front cover shows Erie tugs Elmira and Marion  in Hoboken in March 1975. Marion was launched at Jakobson’s  in Oyster Bay NY in 1953 and is being prepared for reefing at this very moment in 2022.  Anyone know details?  Elmira was launched the same year on Staten Island and was scrapped in 1984 after an engine room fire.  The Dave Boone painting shows New York Dock Railway tug Brooklyn southbound on the North River.  Notice the Colgate clock along the right side.  Brooklyn (now Florida) is currently a rebuilt but active boat in the Crescent fleet in Savannah GA.  My image of the boat as I saw it in 2014 is below;  that day I took another shot of the tugboat which appears on page 190 of Paul’s book.

Previous book reviews I’ve posted here can be found at these links.

2021

2020

2017

2014

2012

2012

2010

 

 

 

Danmark, a 90-year-old full-rigged ship, is in town again.  She first came here in 1939 for the World’s Fair.

South Street waterfront of Manhattan then was a very different place, as of course was the whole city and world.

I’m not sure where she berthed back then.  A year later, after her homeland was invaded, she stayed in the US (Jacksonville FL for starters) because she had no homeport to return to.  In 1942, she was temporarily commissioned as a USCG vessel.

The brightwork is impeccable, as

is the gilt work.

Rigging like this is dense as a jungle, yet it’s all functional. 

And many of the current crew of Danish cadets, four of whom are mostly hidden but busy in the image below, 

were busy polishing the brass.

I’d love to see how the figurehead is polished. This figurehead has appeared on this blog once before back in 2007.  To see Danmark underway sail-powered, click here.   For a guided tour of the ship, click here

Meanwhile, I recently spotted another sailing vessel, one I’d not seen before, S/V Red Sea.  Thanks to Michele McMurrow and Jaap Van Dorp for the identification, although they called it by different names, they were both right.  For some backstory on this well-traveled schooner, click here

She’s arrived in the sixth boro from the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan.

 

Some Danmark photos, thanks to Tony A;  all others, WVD.  Enjoy the last day of summer 2022.

 

This exotic is extraordinarily exotic.   Any guesses based on appearance of  the red and white vessel below?

I’ll give a little more time to study while you prepare your guess.   Given her specs, which I share below, she’s not for offshore wind or the sixth boro, unless we have extraordinary weather  ahead.

I wish I’d been able to get closer, but 

that’s why I have a distance-shrinking lens.

Built in 2006 by Vard Langsten in Tomrefjord Norway with some construction at the Vard yard on the Black Sea in Romania, for the Russian Federation, the 243′ x 56′ icebreaker (technically, icebreaking tug) Polar Circle sailed into the sixth boro in 86-degree F weather.    The Vard facility in Romania is about 40 miles up the Danube from the Black Sea.

Previously she was home-ported in Kholmst, Sakhalin, formerly Maoka in Japanese Sakhalin.  At some recent point, she left there, registered Maltese (or maybe she was registered Maltese while up in eastern Russia, and she arrived in the sixth boro after a month-and-22-day voyage from Busan Korea.  Click here for more info and great photos of her in ice.  A previous name was Polar Pevek, “Pevek” being a settlement on the “north coast” of Russian, above the Arctic Circle.  

I’m wondering if there’s any connection between her arrival here and the “embargo” on Russian gas/oil.  Here her Norwegian owner lists her as available for charter. 

 

 

All photos, yesterday, WVD, whose previous major ice breaker photos are listed below.

Fennica and Nordica here and here.

Mackinaw and Polar Star and Sea.  I never did get closer photos. 

And a surprising set, scroll through for Soviet-era icebreakers built in St. Louis MO!!

Alaska has the Iditarod, Quebec City has the ice canoe races, Honobia OK has the Bigfoot 5K and there’s still time to make plans to get there.  And sometimes, the sixth boro (and lots of other waterway cities) has tugboat races.  

Enjoy this smattering of photos from Sept 2, 2012.

As often is the case, the weather was fabulous and a large number of organizations turned out with one or more boats for the race, the pushing, the line toss, the spinach eating, the grudge match maybe, and the beauty contest. 

 

Boats get decked out with almost every flag available.

There’s old school and new school padding .  . or fendering.

Some traveled in formation for the line up.

The Bronx came all the way from . . . da Bronx’ Westchester Creek.

Preliminary heats resulted in finalists to take on the fearsome, the feral, the never forgotten

Pegasus.

In the wake of the class 1 boats, the Hudson had developed some chop for classes 2 and 3.

Note the gent tossing the line has his entire coaching staff and his closest advisors on hand to help him guide the eye over the bollard.

All photos, September 2, 2012, WVD, who hopes NYC’s sixth boro sees a tugboat race in 2023.  If not by power boats, maybe it could be a rowing race in Whitehalls and dories.  . . . Here are the boats in the race back in 1952.   Here are some other tugboats racing in NYC in the 1950s.

Wow!  August almost passed us by without my doing a glance back to a decade ago.  McCrews is now in Philly I’m told.   Reliance and Justine are still with McAllister.  Lynx was sold foreign  and experienced an incident while being delivered, although I’m not sure how that turned out.  Barents and Yankee both were refurbished by Donjon:  Barents Sea is now Atlantic Enterprise and Yankee is now Signet Atlantic and sans upper wheelhouse.   Mark McAllister was scrapped, and Na-Hoku under the same name works for a company  based in Charleston SC.

 Ellen McAllister here was bringing in the future Alex McAllister, which has gone on to spend a lot of time working in the sixth boro, although I’ve not noticed her recently.

Patrice (had just had a tragic delivery fire in this photo)  and Bruce still work based out of the sixth boro.

 

I never did see Yankee after her upper wheelhouse was removed.  I may have to return to the GOM if I ever want to see her.

Duty is now Nydia P, and I’d have to go to Puerto Rico to see her.

Ireland became Hoppiness, and has been converted to a liveaboard on Lake Ontario but headed the inland waterways of the TVA system.

Labrador Sea is now Vane’s Brooklyn.

And finally, here’s a mixed set:  OSG 350 and OSG Vision still work under those names, Amy Moran became Stasinos John Joseph, and Scotty Sky became a snow bird and sails the Caribbean.

All August 2012, WVD, who after reflecting on all those changes admits to not being the same person as in August 2012 any more either.

 

Numbers are hard to keep straight, but I think we’re up to 11 in this series.  The most relevant preceding post would be “High and Dry 8” here.

Yesterday I think I caught Saint Emilion getting hauled, with quite a few folks looking on, although maybe that number of folks is standard.  Doing the honors was the mobile boat hoist over at Bayonne Dry Dock & Repair.  

See the ladder in the water to the left?  I’m supposing it’s standard practice to have divers ensure that the slings are properly positioned before hauling out.

 

 

All photos, WVD.  Because so many interesting shapes of a vessel can be seen only when it’s hauled out, I’ve done a long series of posts on such.  This might be a stretch, but when exposed, the hidden lines and features of a vessel can seem a bit like nudity.

No . . . what follows is not a count down.

But here was nine, and eight is already linked above, 

seven,

six,

five,

four and H & D Caddells 4

three and an erroneous three.  [See . . . I have a challenge with numbers.  I’ll have to go back and renumber at some point. Unintentionally duplicating numbers is the result of working too fast.]

two and another erroneous or at least inconsistent II

one

and then there were others, only some of which werePegasus and Patty Nolan…and some schooners . . .

June 2012 was pivotal for me.  A photo sent along by a friend alerted me to Canal commerce–Canadian corn– entering the US at Oswego, a place I knew something of from my youth. 

If that was a spark, then the breeze that fanned it was an invitation to do my trial article for Professional Mariner magazine, which led me to Kingston NY, the mouth of the Rondout, and a project involving use of a half century old tug Cornell to do TOAR signoffs.  My most recent article in the magazine came out today and can be seen here.

On that assignment, I was privileged to have a mentor, Brian Gauvin, do the photography.

Other big events for June 2012 included the movement of shuttle Enterprise from JFK airport ,

ultimately to the Intrepid Museum to be

hoisted onto the flight deck as part of the display, now covered.

My daughter went off to Brasil (again) and the Amazon, leading me to go there myself a year later, fearing she’d never return because she loved it so much there.

I’d given her a camera before she went, and was rewarded with some quite interesting photos, like these small motor boats that looked almost like slippers …

with straight shafts coming straight out of air-cooled engines.

During my trip up to the Rondout, I stopped in Newburgh, where replicas of La Niña and Pinta, crafted using traditional techniques on the Una River in Bahia, Brasil, attracted crowds, one of many stops along the great loop route. 

Other festivities on the Hudson that summer . . .

included the sails and music associated with the Clearwater Festival, and of course the small boats moving in some of the venues.

 

Patty Nolan and Augie were the small tugs, and of course the sailboats including Mystic Whaler, Woody Guthrie,

 

and of course the sloop Clearwater.  The Clearwater organization will not be doing a music festival in June 2022.  Mystic Whaler is now working in Oxnard CA at the Channel Islands Museum.

Summer time and the living is easy well, at least it feels that way some days . . . . 

All photos, except the first one, WVD.  That first photo was taken by Allan H. Seymour.

 

Click here for previous Memorial Day posts.

Click on the map below to interact with the purple locations, “foreign burial places of American war dead”. 

Meanwhile, here‘s another perspective from my friend Louis N. Carreras’ post A Sailor’s Prayer

 

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