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Tinkering with the digital file, I’ve made SSV Corwith Cramer clearer here than she was to the naked eye as she came through the foggy Narrows yesterday morning.

Maintaining this blog over many years and springtimes  has taught me how much fog is a spring phenomenon.  Here on a clearer day, Corwith Cramer (1987) raced into the Narrows ahead of a near-summer rainstorm.

USNS Pomeroy is always gray, but she’s even grayer in the fogs of spring.

Had the fog not been here, you’d see the cliffs of Manhattan out beyond this car float,

and to my naked, non-corrected, non-digital eyes, Joyce was much less clear than she is here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s grateful for assistance with photo manipulation tools.

“Really random” posts tend to be far-flung, so let’s start out with this photo by Jed, who has contributed many photos recently.   Then there’s JED, who has contributed photos starting from 2008.   The boat dates from 1975.

photo date 27 APRIL 2015

From Jan Oosterboer via Fred Trooster, here’s the 1955 tug Argus along with

0aaaarrt2ARGUS, Calandkanaal-0941

Orion (1961), and

0aaaarrt3ORION, Calandkanaal-0947

0aaaarrt3aORION, Calandkanaal-010

Sirius (1966).  It appears that Sirius–like Orion and Brendan Turecamo–also has a wheelhouse that can be raised.

0aaaarrt4SIRIUS, Calandkanaal-0971

For the scale of the “tow” here, scroll down and

0aaaarrt3bSIRIUS, Calandkanaal-0989

behold–Thialf, with a combined lifting capacity of over 14,000 tons!!  Click here to see the view down from Thialf’s deck AND be sure to read the comments that follow.   Here are a few other heavy-lifters including Saipem 7000.

0aaaarrt5THIALF, Calandkanaal-060

Heading back to NYC but as  the South Street Seaport Museum area of the sixth boro of NYC  looked in 1985, from a secret salt, it’s the 1939 USCGC WYT-93, Raritan!  The two vessels around her are, of course 1885 schooner Pioneer and 1908 lightship Ambrose.  Click here for a list of specifics and missions on Raritan, but one of her operations was against M/V Sarah of Radio NewYork International.  M/V Sarah was eventually blown up for a movie stunt.


And rounding this post out . . . from Elizabeth, in Alameda, it’s  the 1943 YT-181 Mazapeta.


In the distance is T-AKR-1001 GTS Admiral W. M. Callaghan, an MSC RORO named for a significant USN officer.


Credit for each of these photos is as attributed.  Thanks to you all.

Here’s an index of the series.

Can you place the scene below . . . on the other side of the tracks?   Photos come thanks to Elizabeth Wood who’s on her own gallivant.


I’ve never been here, but now  . . .  it’s moved way up on my list.


It’s Grand Canyon State and some sister vessels,


Cape Orlando,


and USCGC Waesche.


For a different shade of gray than the ones above, here’s Matson’s Mahimahi.



And here’s Ahbra Franco assisting


Hanjin Buddha.  I can’t identify the tractor alongside the Hanjin ship.



I see a trip to the Bay area in my future.

Many thanks to Elizabeth for these photos.

Somewhat related:  To see what gray paint bowsprite has recently spilled, click here.

Click here to read the first five posts in this series.

I’ve noticed the vessel below docked along the south side of GMD Bayonne the last few days, and wondered about the name, Capt. David I Lyon, which sounds unusually American for a ship in the harbor.   Looking closer, I see the  black-gray-blue-yellow stack stripes that identify it as an MSC vessel, not to be confused with this type of MSC vessel.   I turns out Capt. David I Lyon is a very newly christened MSC vessel, and here’s the rest of the story.    Hat’s off.


Completely unrelated . . . there must be some fish swarming alongside the vessel, maybe feeding and leaving scraps for the gulls.


Check out Zim Texas, looking like a typical sixth boro sized c-ship . . . loaded with a few thousand identical containers.  But . . .


up there near the top of the stack . . .


I’ll never know what oversize cargo is wrapped there.  Here’s a post I did the first time I noticed that not all cargo on a c-ship is containers.  Here’s another.


And finally, yesterday I overheard the conversation of these two cormorants .  . saying something about Gabby and the brightly colored squares, and I thought they were talking about a 1960s rock band I don’t remember.    But then I looked out beyond the two chatty birds and noticed


Gabby.  That Gabby, but what was the cargo on this barge?


Can you see it better here . . . thanks to New York Media Boat, the best way to see what’s happening in the sixth boro.  Many thanks to Bjoern for sharing this photo.   Here, from the Staten Island Advance, is more detail.


Again . . . thanks to my friend Bjoern for sharing this photo.  And if you are out on the water today, keep your eyes open wide . . . and cameras handy.

All other photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here was 28.

Click here for a photo of this tug showing its deep belly.  How long has the canal owned her?  Answer follows.


Click here for info on Arkansas-built Gelberman, here photographed yesterday pulling a tree out of the way of navigation.


Driftmaster I believe dates from 1947, making her older than me.   Scroll through here for photos of Driftmaster helping with clean-up post Sandy.


Jersey City fire vessel Joseph Lovero is named for their dispatcher who died in that attack twelve and a half years ago.


343 arrived in the harbor nearly four years ago.  Click here for the welcome ceremony in the harbor when she arrived in April 2010.


T-AKR  316 Pomeroy, named for a Medal of Honor winner who died on a Korean mountain at age 22,  has been dry-docked in Bayonne for about a month now for maintenance.


Click here for more info on the Watson-class.


So we’re back to the beginning.  Governor Roosevelt came to the canal as a steam-powered icebreaker in 1927!  I’d love to see pics of canal traffic from back then.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Cold winter waterscapes –like especially hot dry landscapes –delight with the optical ilusions they yield.  Behold Hyundai Glory . . . or maybe just an assemblage of coherent containers hovering together.


Have a look at MSC Catania.   On the left in the distance, notice the very long  arm of the Statue of Liberty, and midway between it and the ship . . . a very tall building in Queens, One Court Square, looking much taller than its 50 stories.


Rosemary Miller ? (center)  meets Torm Aslaug, which triggered today’s series.


Sand Master and sand mining barge nearly spans the Narrows.


Tanker Cape Tallin heads for the anchorage, passing the tops of the towers of Marine Parkway.


Here’s the foto that started the series.  notice two grayish shapes forward of the bow of Torm Aslug?  I could see them all the way from the top of a bridge on the Belt Parkway.


Here, as seen from Mount Mitchill, the highest headland on the east coast south of Maine . . .  you can see the same two vessels–MSC by the color of their stacks–and McAllister Responder.



This is the closest I could get . . . . T-AKE 13 USNS Medgar Evers at the Leonardo docks of  Naval Weapons Station Earle.


East of her . . . I don’t know, but my guess would be a T-AOE.


Any guess on the viewpoint of Manhattan with Hood Island departing back south for more tropical fruit?


It’s taken from the same ridge at Sandy Hook, looking down across the still closed Sandy Hook National Park area.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Two weeks ago, Sandy raged, leaving a deadly and disastrous trail through the sixth boro and surrounding land masses.  Athena has also blanketed us, through many green leaves somehow remain on trees.  Companies are attempting to return to routine.  Ever notice how much the KVK channel zigzags, as seen here with APL Spinel tailing Meagan Ann and her scow.  The strait’s not at all straight.

Clearly what’s blasted from and scooped out of the AK is virgin rock.

Sandy scoured away much of the volunteer vegetation along the KVK.  A foto taken here a month ago would show lots of weeds and a quite living tree.

The absence of cover makes it easier for this hawk to spot the “shore squirrels.”

Storms eroding a beach sometimes uncover shipwreck (here and here) , treasure, skeletons . . . all manner of stuff. See the last foto here, taken about 20 years ago.  The surge along one section of the KVK unearthed dozens of these bricks.  Is Belgian Syndicate a local firm?

A fair number of government boats are still around, like this one . . . taking advantage of unseasonal warmth . . . and

Clean Waters, a Region 2 EPA vessel I’d heard about but never seen until yesterday.  Given Region 2’s size, I wonder how many other vessels–I saw Kenneth Biglane once once and that was already three years ago–they have and where they’re usually homeported.

Wright and Kennedy (only the stacks are visible forward of Wright’s house) are still in town.  Understandably, some folks I’ve talked to still live in conditions far from normal.

I’m guessing this train–unusual as it is– has to do with the completion of a job, not Sandy:  Sea Bear tows a train of eight or nine vessels, including  Iron Wolf.

Yet, recreational sail has returned. Sun Dragon is the nearer.

Line handlers aboard CSAV Rio Aysen . . .  (check their recent stops at that link) take in all this harbor activity.   Vessel is named for a river in southern Chile.

All fotos yesterday by Will Van Dorp, for whom the sixth boro is among other things an ever-changing puzzle.

Here was installment #21.

This foto was taken from Front Street in Stapleton, Staten Island.  The gray vessel is docked at the pier now used by Firefighter II.  What’s remarkable about this foto–I think–is that Hurricane Sandy has brought together here  (l to r) a re-purposed C5 and a repurposed C4, two old-fashioned but reborn American built ships.  Let’s take them chronologically.  The black hull is T/S Kennedy, a C4-S-66a originally built by Avondale Industries as Velma Lykes, has been activated to serve as housing for relief workers.  Thank you Mass Maritime.   The gray hull is SS Wright, a C5-S-78a originally built by Ingalls Shipbuilding as Mormacsun, was quite some time ago reconfigured as aviation (helicopter) logistics support ship T-AVB-1.

Here’s as close as I could get, and

here’s a view from the south.

RIBs are a common sight here, and

Is this the Moose boat that sank off Breezy Point back in September 2012?

And finally . . . I know Patrick Sky is not a government boat, but she was posing here yesterday with a snmall UACE vessel.

While looking at this list of MARAD design vessels, which include Wright and Kennedy, I notice E. A. Fisher, built in 1963 and donated to NYC in 1993.  Of course, I’m new on this scene, but has anyone heard of this vessel?  What became of it?

Here was 11.

First, this foto from Colin Syndercombe in Cape Town, and I believe the foto comes from The Latest Maritime News.  It appears MV Chamarel, which burned earlier in August off Namibia, will become yet another wreck in the sands of the Skeleton Coast.

To Michele McMorrow, thanks for her foto of Walrus, snapped near Bahr’s Landing in Highlands, NJ.  At first I thought it was being delivered for use by tugster . . .  I was mistaken.

RORO Cape Washington is the latest MSC vessel in for maintenance at the dry dock in Bayonne.

Currently in the sixth boro, it’s almost-new NCC Shams, not an inspiring name unless you consider that “shams” is Arabic for “sunshine.”

My foto snapped in Port Huron, it’s Lakes Pilots Association’s Huron Maid.

Also along the Port Huron waterfront, it’s Grayfox, a Sea Cadet vessel.

And finally  . . . since this post started with a walrus and since tugster does NOT appear in person frequently on this blog, here’s a foto of tugster and Badger on the waterfront in Manitowoc.  And apropos of nothing . . .  what’s the connection between dachshund and badger?

First enjoy the foto below and read this announcement from Old Salt’s blog here.

Answer:  “dach” is German for “badger,” so the word “dachshund” means “badger dog.”  Now you know !!

Unless otherwise attributed, all fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Here was 19.

From, a foto I’ve long sought:  NYC prison barge Resolution leaving the sixth boro (East River portion) on Giant 4 in 1997, assisted by ITC Towage tug Suhaili. She traveled to the UK, where she became HM Prison Weare.  It seems that less than a decade later, her use as a prison was discontinued, although I’m not sure the vessel has been scrapped.   Credit for the foto goes to Hans van der Ster and to Smit.    Currently the sixth boro is home to prison vessel Vernon C. Bain.

The next fotos–updates on T-ATF 172 Apache come compliments of Mark Helmkamp, Ocean Tug & Salvage Ship Class Manager for the Military Sealift Command.  The foto below shows the handoff of the decommissioned sub USS Philadelphia from Apache to Sioux at the former Rodman Naval Station.

Note the sub on the wire on the Pacific side of the ride.

The next two fotos show Apache towing the sub through the Miraflores Locks.   It’s rainy season at the Canal.  Many thanks to Dianne Woods-Olvera Cavness for these fotos.


And finally, from Cape Town and thanks to Colin Syndercombe, a followup on Mighty Servant . . .  here carrying an unidentified oil rig.

And if I’ve whetted your appetite for workboats hither and yon, check out what Jed located in the BVI here.

This compilation from Will Van Dorp, who’s back in the sixth boro after a family gallivant.  For fotos, see the top 100 fotos on the Flickr show along the left margin.

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October 2020