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How about cold pics today, like these first two of Line. For the story, click here, an article that never got paper published.
What floats in the Hudson here is like what floats in my tea all day. I recall that the crew I interviewed here told me I should try to see one of these in dry dock to understand how the design of the hull makes these small tugs great for breaking ice. “It has an ice pick,” one person said.
Anyhow, this is about WYTL design. See the ice pick? The bow rides up on the ice and the perpendicular notch saws through.
I’m glad I finally got to see this, and I hope you too are chilled by thinking of icebreakers and the beautiful season shaping us a half year from now.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Yesterday, I had permission to board the 1905 ferry Binghamton for the first time in almost four years. I had studied my 2011 photos a little, but the boat is so changed inside that I really should have printed out some 2011 shots to try to replicate them. That said, it’s so modified that that might not have worked in some cases. Enjoy.
Shoreside entrance in October 2011
and the same mirror but more context in August 2015. Preserved or cashed in?
The south end in October 2011
and in August 2015.
The whole vessel in 2011, noting the detail left on the wheelhouses
. . . and in August 2015.
East side as seen from NYWaterways in 2011,
with a (blurry, sorry) close-up;
and yesterday, August 201,
with a close-up,showing that someone clearly detached the name board and stowed it on the river side of the wheelhouse.
The top level east side of the bar in 2011, and
2015, showing a more sinuous row of clerestory windows mostly broken.
This is looking southward along the river side lower level and . . .
same shot from 2011 but cropped closer to the landing and
the same landing in august 2015, with the surveyor showing scale.
This is looking northward toward the GW Bridge in 2011, and
and the current less enclosed view.
These are the remains of built-in benches, not add-ons.
This is looking northward toward the GW Bridge along the west side and
a close-up of decking on that quarter.
On the same side this is the passageway once leading to the four-cylinder double-compound reciprocating power plant rated 1,400 horsepower, and from
from farther southward showing silt left by higher tides.
This is the opposite passageway to the engine on the sunny riverside,
and the same from farther southward.
This is the grand staircase looking southward shoreside
with mirrored ceilings creating a dusty but otherwise Escher-like possibility as go up to the bar.
This is the south end of the bar deck looking across the river, and the same
direction as seen from farther northward.
A patron at this bar might be very tired and very merry, but the mixologist prepares no more drinks and this
ferry is definitely out of service.
And we need someone to update Edna.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
I went quite close to the source of the Hudson four years ago . . . here. But earlier this summer I stopped in Glens Falls, just because I wanted to see the falls.
Here’s more . . .
Back to the Route 9 bridge, here’s the old central office, and click here for an interesting Finch Paper history.
But here’s the real nugget . . . the really interesting piece of history, and it’s UNDER the bridge. Charles Reed Bishop, local boy orphaned by age 4, who tagged along with a friend with connections–William Little Lee. At age 24, the two of them headed for San Francisco, and since this was 1846, that meant sailing around Cape Horn and stopping in Hawaii along the way. Bishop stayed, became a citizen of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and the rest of the story is here.
How’s that for an unlikely trajectory for a Hudson river boy AND information found under a bridge? And about 50 miles south of here, in Troy, along the river’s edge is another plaque celebrating another Hudson river boy with an unlikely trajectory into the Pacific.
Photos by Will Van Dorp.
Here’s the index.
Of course, it’s two boats, the sloop Clearwater tied up to the ex-NYC DEP skimmer Cormorant. As I understand the situation, it’s on the market . . . again.
I don’t know the date of this photo or the identity of the person showing scale.
And here’s Clearwater pulling away. But, before they cast off lines, their crew was on the dock checking
this short nose sturgeon. Now I can’t prove a connection between dead fish and TZ construction, but a few days ago I read this article at the Lohud site that included this paragraph: “In June 2012, the fisheries service determined Tappan Zee construction would injure or kill some sturgeon but was “not likely to jeopardize the continued existence” of the fish. Under a federal permit issued to the Thruway Authority, two of each species can be killed during construction.” I’m surprised such language exists in the paperwork. And what happens if this limit is exceeded?
Well, here’s another paragraph from the article: “[Riverkeeper] said 100 Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon have died since the start of construction in 2012. From 2009 to 2011, it said six sturgeon deaths were reported to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.”
Here’s a statement of Cormorant‘s mission, now turned over to the USACE.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, back on June 12, 2015.
Recently in t-shirt weather in the sixth boro . . . it’s a classic, Thomas J. Brown.
Ellen S. Bouchard,
Resolute with a Bouchard barge,
and Evening Star, also with a Bouchard barge.
Elizabeth McAllister light,
Robert E. McAllister,
and finally Ellen McAllister shifting
Cielo di Roma . . .
Thomas J. Brown . . . enjoy another look at this classic.
All photos by Will Van Dorp. And in the post above, subtracting the three tugs in the O. Nonimus Bosch photo, you have over 25,000 horsepower, of which 1000 of those ponies are generated by Thomas J.
Note: I wrote this a year ago for a print publication, but they’ve not used it. It’s timely, so here it is in its entirety. The style is different because of its history and intention. Here was my post #1 with this title from January 2010. And HERE was 2.
Line crosses the ice fields covering a chokepoint in the Hudson River like an army tank traversing boulders. The vessel—more than a half century old—pitches and tosses erratically. And the steel hull polishing itself on brash ice—jagged floating ice clumps– is loud, arrhythmic, and almost alarming as the small ice breaker advances through the ice or attempts to, sometimes halting.
“It’s counterintuitive,” said Bosun Mate Chief Bradford Long. “My initial sense was that I was harming the vessel. But it was built for ice up to a foot thick. When it stops, you take care that the rudder position is centered, then power astern before attempting a new track. Having the rudder anywhere but centered could damage it.”
During an average ice season, some 300 vessels from tug/barge units to ocean-going tankers and bulk carriers navigate the Hudson. During the 2012-13 season, Coast Guard crews broke ice and facilitated movement of 7.96 million barrels of petroleum products and 297,000 tons of dry bulk products in the Northeast, with a combined total value of nearly $2 billion. They also answered 17 official requests for assistance and assisted 37 vessels in need.
During “ice season” Line is one of three 65’ ice breaking tugs working in conjunction with 140’ Bay-class ice breakers whose missions include keeping key portions of the Hudson River open. The larger ice breakers like Penobscot Bay can handle ice up to 36” thick and work the chokepoints such as Esopus Meadows and Silver Point, while Line breaks ice at facilities such as petroleum terminals and pilot stations. “Commercial operators notify us about 24 hours in advance of their arrival at a terminal. We break up the ice and –if necessary—a 140-footer comes in and sweeps the ice away just before the tug and barge arrives,” says Long.
WYTL 65611 Line, is homeported in Bayonne, New Jersey, as is its sister vessel WYTL 65610 Hawser. A third sibling WYTL 65612 Wire is based in Saugerties, New York. All three were launched from Barbour Boat Works in New Bern, North Carolina, within two months of each other in 1963, now 52 years ago.
Barbour also made some classy runabouts, like this one seen in their old boat works, now operating as the North Carolina History Center.
Jet Lowe took the photo below of the Barbour work tug Sam. Click here for more pics of Sam by Jet Lowe. Can’t you look at wooden Sam and see hints of the WYTL design? And these 65′ icebreakers . . . what will replace them?
The three WYTLs break ice on a “1 in 3” schedule: one week of Hudson River ice breaking operations, then a second week of patrols and breakouts closer to their homeport, and then a third week of maintenance in port. Line, currently with a crew of eight, operates during daylight hours only, unless emergency search-and rescue operations dictate otherwise, said Long. At night, the vessel might dock on shore power available only at either West Point or Saugerties, 45 and 90 miles respectively north of the Battery.
The current season is the first breaking Hudson River ice for BMC Long, whose 14-year career has provided prior Coast Guard ice experience on Lake Champlain and the Bering Sea. Line’s current ice breaking duties include maintenance of the “track” followed by commercial vessels, as well as facilities “break-outs,” meaning the WYTL breaks ice in circular patterns or noses up to a dock and uses prop wash to clear out a possible channel. Line has a single four-blade 56” prop turned by a 500 horsepower Caterpillar 34-12.
WYTL crew also communicate with passing commercial vessels gathering data on their vessels, cargoes, and encountered ice conditions. That information is shared with the Coast Guard Sector New York’s “ice officer,” Chief Warrant Officer Kary Moss. According to Moss, “domestic icebreaking operations are intended to … minimize waterways closures during the winter, enabling commercial vessels to transit through ice-covered critical channels.” Moss manages the information generated by the WYTLS, the 140-footers, and Coast Guard Auxiliary Air, or AuxAir “ice patrols.” These latter are observation flights—daily if weather permits—by civilian aircraft from Sandy Hook to Albany to report on and photograph ice conditions and river traffic. During the 2012-13 ice season, AuxAir made 37 reconnaissance flights. Moss then issues the daily ice report both broadcast on VHF channel 22 and electronically.
Since their 1963 arrival the WYTLs in the Hudson Valley have had a variety of missions, which did not include breaking ice on the Hudson for the first two decades. Line and the other two New York area WYTLs—Wire and Hawser—have unique extended cabins used to accommodate additional crew, including doctors, who would board passenger vessels for inspection/quarantine in greater New York harbor. The WYTLs also moved empty sanitation scows during instances like the tugboat strike of 1979, as evidenced below in the letter of citation from the commandant of the Coast Guard . . ..
As the winter and ice season of 2013-14 establishes a place in the cold and ice record books, BMC Long and crew feel a sense of accomplishment about their role on this half-century-old boat assisting commercial vessels in getting the heating oil through.
So here we are 12 months later, and it’s deja vu all over again . . . or something.
Here’s Tatiana Schlossberg’s article from today’s NYTimes on the 2015 icebreaking effort.
World’s End is not some lamentation about the single digit temperatures we’ve seen in these parts; it’s one of the great place names in the Hudson Highlands from 40 to 55 miles north of the the Statue. Enjoy these summer/winter pics of this curve in the vicinity of World’s End. West Point is just to the left, and we’re headed north.
Birk Thomas–of tugboat information.com– took this photo in just about the same place less than a week ago.
I took this two summers ago, and that’s Pollepel Island in the distance.
Same place . . . Birk’s photo from last week. Visibility is so restricted that the Island cannot be seen.
And here are two more shots of the same view in summer, from off Cornell and
Patty Nolan. That’s Buchanan 12 heading north in the photo below.
Photos 2 and 4 used with thanks to Birk Thomas. All others by Will Van Dorp.
Taken Feb 4 by Bjoern Kils . . . the spearhead.
Taken this morning by bowsprite, the onslaught of frazil ice. Is that Amy C. McAllister pushing the Bouchard barge? Anyone guess the light tug in front of Ellis Island?
And taken yesterday by Allen Baker looking over the stern of Mediterranean Sea northward toward Albany, the state of the Hudson right now . . .
ditto all . . . here’s the view from the wheelhouse of Mediterranean Sea.
And as if by magic . . . some pics of the same unit by Allen from a remote vantage point . . . coming with
a sign of caution, unheeded
in this photo by Bob Dahringer of a coyote on ice up near Catskill. According to Bob, “Stephen Reinauer was following us upriver, they said the poor thing fell into the water when they went by him, but he got himself out.”
And finally . . . from Ashley Hutto and taken on Monday this week . . . the NSFW belle of winter in the sixth boro. . .
Thanks to Bjoern, bowsprite, Allen, Bob, and Ashley for these reports on the ice.
From over four years ago, here was the first post about this reserve fleet. I’m excited about the discussion that has gone on in the comments. I’m also hoping that this post generates more of you to search through your old family photos and post card collections . . . and share more photos of this ghost fleet. Using the search term “Hudson River National Defense Fleet,” I got this collection of photos.
Many thanks to Allen Baker for sharing the photo below. Bob McLaren took the photo from the passenger steamer Alexander Hamilton going past the reserve fleet at Jones Point, circa 1962.
Here’s a photo of the fleet from a NYTimes its called “lively morgue.”
And Alexander Hamilton (scroll through here) . . . whose charred bones–I understand–still lie in Raritan Bay . . . and all the other now gone passenger steamers on the Hudson, that’s a whole other topic I’d love to share photos about. Click here for more photos of both the ghost fleet AND the Hamilton.
Again, thanks to Allen Baker for this photo; here is one of many other photos Allen has shared.