You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Lehigh Valley No. 79’ category.

Once these were wooden barges, which

were towed around the harbor with a wide range of cargoes.  In the foreground … disintegrating … is one a tug that once could have done the towing, now unidentifiable and impotent.

The sixth boro has many such tugs and barges, although given the efficient advance of decrepitude, fewer each season.

Once there was even a sixth boro barge called Periwinkle, no doubt painted in that color, a popular nightspot.

Here’s another barge called Driftwood, whose paint scheme and additional storage transformed a coffee (or whatever else commodity)  transporter into an off-off-Broadway-even-off-the-island entertainment palace.  Only stories remain and can be told by David Sharps, who

created the Waterfront Museum out of a wooden barge he literally dug and pumped out of the Hudson River mud, saving it from the fate of those barges above.    The two fotos above come courtesy of David Sharps.   Now the barge, the 1914 Lehigh Valley 79 tours with 1907 tug Pegasus, and other

vessels like the 1901 Urger, featured in many posts on this blog, help us visualize what those ruins in the top fotos once looked like and serve as places of entertainment even today.   Here’s one set of fotos of Urger high, dry, but cold.

Anyhow, with five minutes of your time, you can help  LV-79 and Pegasus collect a $250,000 grant for ongoing repairs.  Just click here–AND each day until May 21 on the icon upper left side of this blog to vote.  Partners in Preservation has chosen to award $$ by grant applicants demonstrated ability to use social media.  So please vote . . . and ask a handful of your friends to do so as well . . . .

Unless otherwise attributed, all fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Since I woke up this May morning from a dream about attending a meditation session, the logical choice is to start my day writing a post that reflects upon–well–preservation.  Two weeks ago I wrote about the Alwyn Vincent project.  To quote the site, “she’s finally out,” and on the steel wheels ‘n rails of a synchrolift.

She was getting her “haircut and a shave” even before she stopped moving.  When all logistical arrangements converge, the late 1950s tug will travel over-the-road 60 or so miles to its new life, as a functioning steam tug on a freshwater reservoir.

To support the self-described  ‘Bunch of Crazy Farmers’ (personified by Andy, in orange below) who now own the tug, the Alwyn website says they “selling space for banners of about 1 metre square, at R5 000 ($US 639.30). The advertisements are mostly in connection with agricultural products and services, partly because everybody knows who are responsible for saving this historic vessel! Partly also, it’s because those are the firms we know, support and can ask!”

I suppose they’d accept US sponsors as well;  book your space on the hull! Contact Elma on

Which brings me to South Street Seaport, and this sight that greeted me two days ago.   After at least 20 years of deterioration, work is happening.

Spongy wood was being removed, and

I got my first ever look inside, after 10 years of wondering . . . .

Jim and Glen peeled away tired materials from the 1980s.

Installed inside the windows years ago was this captioning that

told some of the story.  A sister vessel–New York Central #16–was saved only to end tragically at the Bourne Bridge rotary in Massachusetts, just six years ago.

The late Don Sutherland told of spending the last night aboard #16 . . .  I wish I’d recorded his telling that story. I have recorded Norman Brouwer telling the story of buying this pierside house from #16 from the late John J. Witte, and I hope to share details of that project soon.

Not everything can be preserved . . .  On Friday I caught Cheyenne –a current Witte (officially DonJon Marine) tug–heading from the East River into the Upper Bay pushing a load of (I believe) fine scrap, chopped up pieces bound for recycling.  Just a week ago, Cheyenne was pushing some  preserved vintage jets.

Some valuable artifacts might not be saved much longer unless dreams convert into reality and $$;  others like Liemba and Yavari seem to live way beyond their expected lifespans in spite of their being out of the spotlight.

Which brings up this part of a dream:  Partners in Preservation is dangling cash  $US 3 million, and  . . .<<<Tug Pegasus (1907) and Waterfront Museum Barge aka Lehigh Valley 79 (1914)  have teamed up in a grant application for $$ for preservation work each vessel needs.  As a component of the decision-making about who gets the $$, Partners in Preservation have a “socialmedia-meter” running from now until May 21.  To help Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 register high on this “meter,” you can do two things from wherever on the planet you may be:  1)  befriend them on Facebook and get dozens of your friends to befriend them as well, and 2)   vote DAILY here.    DAILY!  Seems like a crazy way to run an election, but  . . . that’s social media and in this case, the cause is worthy.>>>

And later this afternoon–1300–1700h  I’ll be down on Pier 25 minding the plank between 79 and Pegasus, as part of Partners in Preservation “open house” weekend.

Thanks to Colin Syndercombe for the Cape Town fotos;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Sort of related, here’s a “tale of two projects” post from about a year ago.

Tugboats in the sixth boro of New York City vary not quite infinitely, but almost.   Consider Pegasus (1907)here with Lehigh Valley 79 (1914) alongside.  And my social medium tells me they’re about to link up and travel again soon.    Watch Pier 25.

And Coral Coast (1970) versus its fleetmate,

and newest tugboat in the boro .  .  . Discovery Coast (2012).

Amy C. McAllister (1975) and

Bohemia (2007).

Taurus (1979) and

James Turecamo (1969) along assisting Scott Turecamo (1998).

Thornton Brothers (1958),

Caitlin Ann (1961), and

Maria J (1958).

Rounding it all out . . . is JoAnne Reinauer III (1970), here passing the unmistakeable Torm-orange house of Torm Thames (2005), and see this spotlight by selfabsorbedboomer.

Having called this set almost infinitely varied, I must say there’s NOTHING operating in the sixth boro quite an unusual as Joseph Thompson Jr. (portions from 1944), the tug portion of an ATM unit currently working the North Coast between US and Canadian ports.   Thank’s to Isaac Pennock aka tugboathunter for introducing me to this vessel;  For the dizzying set of transformations, read the bio by boatnerd here . . . and follow the fotos, especially the ones by Mark Vander Meulen, Steve Hause, Lee Rowe, and Rod Burdick.

Foto of Discovery Coast by Joel Milton;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

After a four-day festival of introducing New York folk to historic vessels and (more) . . .  Pegasus escorts Lehigh Valley 79 back to Red Hook.

So if I had to list the “more” in  question, I’d say  . . .  history and stories of the port and days gone by and “fire mops” and leaky pipes with names like “old Faithful” , glimpses of present but ever-changing skylines, demonstrations of docking and departures,  churning up mud bottoms and making white frothy spray, lurching and rolling  and pitching on the Hudson, and

now it’s homewater bound, heading for Red Hook;

but first, a quick stop in Erie Basin for

remaking the tow, shifting Pegasus to the side most conducive

to getting the 97-year-old barge that serves among MANY other things as a circus tent and an art gallery

away from a little more past

and fast to its dock, back to the closest front-row seat to the

sweet face of Bartholdi’s imagination.

Lines get adjusted and readjusted according

to commands from the wheelhouse.

Bartholdi’s lady is always first to raise her hand and ask all about another weekend stop on the tour.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who encourages your support of Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79.

Ok, I used to call group some of these in  “from the line locker” or call them “whatzits,” but those don’t fit well here.  I’m not sure “anomalies” fits completely here, nor were all these taken in the sixth boro, strictly contained.

Thomas D. Witte is shifting a tanker into a dock here, along with Laura K Moran.  I’ve never seen a Donjon vessel shipshifting , although it might occur frequently.  Tanker was Stavronisi, launched 15 years ago in Crimea.

Prisco Ekaterina, also Black Sea-built though less than two years ago, has an unusual (IMHO) bulb on its bow. It looks like a paddle prow.

Thank Poseidon . . . and whole lot of other folks, sixth boro waters are fairly clean.  This weekend I saw thousands of these (unidentified) fish, the longest two here headed right about six inches long.  Porgies?

The “barrel buoy” with strobes duct-taped in place seems to follow the dredge crews around the harbor.  That’s Hubert Bays , not quite 10 years old and four feet longer than W. O. Decker, in the distance, maybe off to deliver bunker fuel?

I don’t know the name of this mustardy truckable tug, but the assortment of gear on the barge it pushed made me smile, and think of primitive camping.

A Bowsprite foto from about a month ago shows Pegasus heading up to Cold Spring with Lehigh Valley 79 on the hip.  I wrote about the almost-two-hundred-year-old combined age unit here.

Here’s another “whatzit” headed up the North River snapped by Bowsprite just before mid-September.  To me it looks like a Turkish gullet.  Anyone know it?

This foto is dedicated to Dave, unlit neon is the best . . . until night falls, of course.

All fotos, unless attributed to Bowsprite, by Will Van Dorp.

A week ago Lehigh Valley 79 closed up business at the dock in Brooklyn, keeping a weather eye open but eager to begin its gallivant northward on the hip of Pegasus.  Ultimate destination for 79 is the Roundup in Waterford, or as some say … Waterchevy.  Waterwärtsilä?

By Friday morning Earl had weakened, veered, and gotten delayed;   both captains’ word was “Travel with the tide.  Cold Spring would be destination for day 1.”

We steamed past familiar landmarks and

under the Tappan Zee.

The young pup with chin on window sill found this first trip north agreeable enough.

By the time we approached the Bear Mountain Bridge, the only accommodation needed was to prepare

the towing lights.

<<I guess this stowaway took that as signal to come up for fresh air .>>

By nightfall, barge and tug were secured in Cold Spring, and despite

gale-force gusts funneling down past Storm King all night, all was well at dawn.

From here, Pegasus returned to the sixth boro, and Lehigh Valley 79 was passed like an enormous baton carried on the nose

of Cornell.

The bottom foto comes from Paul Strubeck.  All others by Will Van Dorp, who hopes to be at the Roundup soon.

I dedicate this post to Mage, who notices when I neglect the cruise ships that make up part of harbor traffic.  All the following fotos were taken Friday and Saturday, September 3 from Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 between Red Hook to Cold Spring, about 50 miles upriver from the Battery (aka southernmost tip of Manhattan).

We left Queen Mary 2 behind in Red Hook.

Grande Caribe – an inland cruiser — waited at Chelsea Piers, as

did Justice.

Caribbean Princess docks here at Pier 88, a stroll away from the Empire State Building.

Over along the Palisades, north of the GW Bridge, Blue Guitar anchors before heading farther upriver.  Whatever else her itinerary, I recall seeing Blue Guitar here last summer as well.

Champion passed us south of the Tappan Zee.  Anyone know anything about Champion?

Off Hook Mountain we crossed Glen Cove, who moves all manner of products for people . . . so –by stretch — Glen Cove fits into this post as well.

Commander is a tour boat working out of Haverstraw;  here she follows us northward from the Bear Mountain Bridge.  To me , this is the most beautiful stretch of the Hudson.  The link at the start of this paragraph reveals Commander‘s rich and storied past dating back to World War 1.

A day after we passed her at Chelsea Piers, Grande Caribe leapfrogs past us between West Point and Cold Spring.

Penn No. 4 herds people in solo vessels (SVs?) like a border collie moving sheep or goats or cows.

River Rose is a classy sternwheeler out of Newburgh with

a stern drive that actually moves water …

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Every now and then I feel conflicted by a set of “fresh” fotos, each interesting in itself, but maybe not enough for an entire post.  I don’t know where my notion of “enough” comes from, but clearly the limitations exist in my head.  So I’m trying out titles like “salmagundi”  or “gallimaufry,” partly because  alternatives like “mixed bag” or “miscellanea” don’t thrill me.  Salmagundi exudes New York, and “gallimaufry” suggests that other “galli-” word I often use for … travel.

First, this oil painting of the Weehawken docks 1939 by Robert Bruce Haig captures what must have been the rough smoky port, now long-disappeared.

Bowsprite caught this foto of “red tide” riding up past Battery Park City on Labor Day.

She also took this foto of  fireboat John D. McKean, riding water reddened by sunset.

The Waterfront Museum, currently over halfway to the Roundup in Waterford (aka waterchevy?) travels with an exhibit of encaustic paintings by Rich Samuelson.  The show, up only until October, is called “tugboats and waterfront scenes.”

The GW Bridge lines up with its older sibling

structure, Jeffreys Point Lighthouse, clearly at least 10 years senior to the bridge and deserving of respect therefrom.

And a menacing tentacle of “Hurricane Earl” crawled over Manhattan midafternoon last week  as I viewed from a vantage point just south of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

First foto thanks to Arlie Haig (daughter of the artist), next two merci a Bowsprite, and the last ones by Will Van Dorp.

Sunrise on the last day of August:  Comet heads south across the upper bay.  Forecast is for the upper  90s.

By 7 am, it’s already getting warm;  Evening Mist heads over toward Red Hook.

8 am Vale departs KVK, where Torm Sofia remains docked.

Here’s a surprise:  farther into KVK out beyond Doris Moran and the barge Alexandra, that’s Amalthea, which I saw departing Philly last Thursday.  (See third and fourth fotos from end of post here.  )

Buchanan 1 pushes crushed rock into the Kills.

Around 930 am, Java Sea heads somewhere up the River with oil.

By 5 pm, the boro is stifling as an oven as Evening Tide arrives to move a barge out of Red Hook.  In the center of the foto is the stern of the 1907 Pegasus;  foto is taken from the interior of Lehigh Valley #79.  Pegasus and 79 head up to Cold Spring, NY, on Friday.

and by 730, the sun sets over Jersey City (That’s Ellis Island) while Aegean Sea pushes rock into the East River.

My camera and I retire for the evening, but the traffic goes on and on.

Happy September.

(Note:  Doubleclick enlarges all fotos)

What’s this . . . fiddling and dancing and taking shade near

Lower Manhattan, an intriguing hideaway in that bustling and ranted-about geography?

And this . . . same location, but doesn’t that suggest two folks standing near the forward railing

on a tug “made to” the 79 Barge, which

moves other folks as well, here photographing the Brooklyn Bridge at golden hour, as

crew stands lookout, watching two tugs–Volunteer and W. O. Decker–heading east on the river of the same name . . .

… uh . . . this meandering string started out as a question.  Forget the question, please.  And I hope you get a sense of places of peace in the bestirred land masses around the sixth boro.

Here’s the same tug and barge, clearly lashed, at Pier 6 in the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, with a late August sun setting behind the house.  You can catch Pegasus and Lehigh Valley Barge #79 at that location until Tuesday, August 31 …  and at points along the Hudson for the next 16 days after that.

After sunset . . . Pegasus heads over to homebase in Jersey City.  Hey . . . tugs and crews need sleep.

Check out bowsprite’s magical drawings of the duo here.

All fotos here taken yesterday by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated but fascinating:  Marie’s Tide & Current Taxi has been busy this month:

August 9: Coney Island Creek, with Debbie Tuch and me

August 10:  Gowanus Canal

August 12:  Staten Island “graveyard of ships

August 15:  Shooter’s Island

August 22:  “mystery tour”

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

Join 552 other followers

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

Graves of Arthur Kill

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

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

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

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.


March 2015
« Feb    

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 552 other followers