You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Mississippi watershed’ category.

With 2017 looming, it’s time to imagine some possible goals for the near future, assuming we have time.  “Big River” mentions a lot of places I’ve yet to see from the water.  Johnny Cash’s 1962 version isn’t my favorite, I link to it here because he looks so young.   This style boat named Natchez–for one of those places–has worked on the big river in many many capacities for a long time.  Anyone now who is credited for introducing steam to the Mississippi River system?  Answer follows.

By the way this Natchez was launched in 1975, but

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the steam plant that drives it

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has been around since 1925, albeit in a different vessel.

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New Orleans is over a hundred miles from the Gulf and the number of sea-going vessels that pass is phenomenal.

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And since they have such wanderlust-feeding names, I’ll let them speak for themselves . . .  the one directly below is SeaKay Spirit.

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Here’s a version of “Big River” closer to what I usually listen to, and it was recorded in long-gone Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City.

And speaking of Roosevelts, that’s who teamed up with Robert Fulton to introduce steam boating to the Mississipi River.

So why are there no contemporary and catchy songs about the Hudson watershed?  Oh, I’m no songwriter and play no instruments.

Now if only I can get a job sailing from St. Paul MN to the Gulf.  I’m working on it.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Crescent has fleets in at least three southern cities, and I’ve featured some of them previously here.

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Providence, built 1953, has quite some history in the Northeast, including the sixth boro. Port Allen was built in NYC at Consolidated in 1945, and Angus R. Cooper dates from 1965.

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I’d never thought of this before, but from this angle, it appears that W. O. Decker is painted in Crescent Towing livery.

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Margaret F. Cooper, similarly, worked for a time in NYC’s sixth boro.

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As did Miriam Walmsley Cooper!  But southern living seems to agree with these boats, from what I could see as I passed.

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Have another look at Providence.  I’m sure some of you have photos of some of these boats back when they worked in the Northeast.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Here’s the series.

And there, look at that name.   No, not that one. ..

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this one.  And the paint job–or time elapsed since the most recent one–lends authenticity to the name.

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She looks to have been “rode hard and put away wet,” but that expression may just apply to horses and this bulk

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carrier may just be happy dashing between the Mississippi and Veracruz.  And those streaks of red and yellow . . . they are just like the orange juice and grenadine you mix with the mescal.

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I wonder, though, if the rest of the fleet has names like

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Tequila Sunset, El Diablo, Margarita  . ..   or maybe like Hotel California, Lyin’ Eyes, or Peaceful Easy Feeling.   Then there could be Tequila Hangover, or Why the Dude Got Thrown out of the Cab.  Of course, if you really want to know the fleet mate names, check here.

All photos and speculation by Will Van Dorp.

Kirby pushboat Niceville, named for a Florida town that used to be Boggy, rounds

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the bend at Algiers Point.

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Marquette’s St. Peter heads

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downbound.

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Classic 1956 George W. Lenzie . ..

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was built at the Calumet Ship Yard & Dry Dock in Chicago, where Daryl Hannah was also built in 1956, launched three months after George W. Lenzie.

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Gregory David heads downstream under the spans of the Business 90 Bridge.

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The water tower in the background is on Guadalcanal Street in Federal City.

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Affirmed is a 2009 boat, here headed downstream.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, but if you want a great database for inland river tugs, check out Dick’s Towboat gallery.  Here are the previous posts in this series.

 

OK, it’s time to reprise this, and admit that once again I’ve learned something . . . by means of my error, my willingness to overgeneralize maybe.

A tolerant reader wrote this in reference to my Flanking, downstream post:

“Not trying to burst your bubble, but those photos indicate the Mike Schmaeng was steering the point,  not backing or flanking!  Also, the river is very low at this time, and there wouldn’t be any reason to flank Algiers Point.”

So let’s just call this River Addyson heading upstream at the Point.  So from this angle, what would you guess about this towboat? flu1

 

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From the view head-on, I’d never have guess there was over 180′ of boat behind those push knees.

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Here are the particulars on this vessel from 1958.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, and keep the corrections coming.

Unrelated:  Does anyone know what Seastreak New York is doing in Florida?   I was looking for something else and noticed here . . .

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There were “all fast” on Marco Island by 2100 yesterday, but this morning are underway, heading for  . .  Tampa?

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Apologies if you received a premature version of this post;  I hit the wrong button.

“Light” here refers not to load but to sunshine and clouds.  These photos were taken just below Algiers Point in unsettled December weather.  Some buildings of New Orleans are visible on the horizon to the left.

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These photos of Capes Kennedy and Knox were taken

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about an hour apart.  As part of the Ready Reserve fleet, they can be deployed with five days’ notice.

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SFL Kent–photos taken about an hour apart–as of this posting, she’s en route

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to Morocco.

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Notice the EO on the stack beyond the starboard side of SFL Kent?

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It’s Alice‘s sister Elsa!

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UBC Saiki is currently in Veracruz.

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These photos were taken within minutes of each other.

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Since this photo was taken, Century Royal has sailed to the DR.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

I must get back to downstream and upstream tows on the Mississippi soon, but I seriously misread this oncoming vessel.  Some of you might figure out my misread before the end of this post.

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What attracted my eye to Florida Enterprise was the superstructure, specifically the cranes overtop the holds.

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I’d seen structures somewhat like these on a ship in the KVK here … but they were not quite the same.

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Because of poor lighting and large distance relative to my position, I missed the really unusual feature of the vessel

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–or rather vessels–which I should have

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seen here.  See it?

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Florida Enterprise is a barge, and the prime mover here

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is now called Coastal 202.  Below is a photo taken by Barry Andersen, which I got permission to use from Fred Miller II, which shows Coastal 202–then called Jamie A. Baxter–light, an ITB out of the notch. The photo below was taken soon after the tug’s launch in mid-1977 from Peterson Builders in Sturgeon Bay WI.  Here’s another taken when the vessel was out of the notch and then known as Barbara Knessel.  

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Click here for some ITB posts I did back in 2008.   Click here for a better view of Coastal 202 and her cargo barge that shows she is in fact an ITB.

Now I’d love to see Coastal 202 out of the notch from all angles and to see ISH’s rail ferry too.

Truth be told, another surprise was that nola hula was nowhere to be seen  . ..  maybe headed out to sea like that humpback that splashed around the sixth boro last month?

 

Much more catching up to do, but first, I share some New Orleans photos from last week and then related photos and response from my inbox to the review of Tugboats Illustrated here.

This first series I include because I’m amazed by this maneuver, but it does not effectively depict it because a) I was moving behind and then alongside and forward of it in the series of photos taken over a 30-minute period of time, and b) I would need to get the photos from a fixed aerial position as it made the turn, and c) this is a relatively small tow . . . only 12 barges in relatively calm conditions.

Starting at 4:23 pm last Tuesday, I was following Ingram Barge Co. Mike Schmaeng.  Many years ago now I did this post on Ingram.  Ingram is a company that operates 150 boats, 5000 barges, over 4500 miles of inland waterway . . . all approximate numbers.

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4:47

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4:51

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4:53.

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On my next trip to Nola, I’ll set up on a tripod at a fixed point, maybe the upstream end of Crescent Park.  I also intend to check out some tighter points, such as Wilkerson Point, shown below.

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So now, in response to this photo from my review of Tugboats Illustrated . . .

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in my inbox, I got this note from a retired professional brown water mariner who wishes NO fistfights or pissing contest:

“RE: Sketch from the tugboat book.

The sketch showing a tow in a flanking maneuver is not how we do it on the inland rivers. If a tow is flanked as shown in the sketch, it will ALWAYS end up against the bank below the bend.   Attached is a photo of a towboat flanking Wilkerson Point, just above Baton Rouge.
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You can see from the wheel wash that the pilot is backing full astern to get the stern of the tow near the inside of the bend. He is not quite in position yet, but the tow will take up nearly the entire river. The stern of the boat will only be a hundred or so feet off the point all the way around the bend. A pilot will call on the radio, stating his intention to flank such and such a bend, point or bridge. Because for all purposes, the channel will be blocked, ALL northbound traffic, including ships will be required to stop well below the bend. From the time the pilot stops his engines to get into the flanking position until he can come full ahead coming out of the bend, it may take 30 to 45 minutes. The tow will probably not be in a position to come full ahead again until it is in the area of the refinery at top right.
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All “heavy” tows like this will flank certain bends and bridges between St. Louis and New Orleans at certain stages of the river. Before departing St. Louis, a downbound tow will place “flanking” buoys at each outboard stern barge. The buoys are marked on the second photo [with letter Os]. Since the current is used to float the tow around the bend, the inner buoy will show the pilot when there is no sternway or headway in the current and it is this buoy which tells the pilot that the flank is being correctly done. A flanking buoy is in place on the other corner because there are both left and right hand flanks required.
A tow of 35 loaded barges is common on the Mississippi River. A downbound tow will be made up seven wide and five long, not as stated in the book. A pilot has better control of such a tow during a flank. A northbound tow will be made up seven long and five wide, to get it through the current better.
The boat pictured in the photo is the AUSTEN S. CARGILL (now Justin Paul Eckstein), owned by Cargo Carriers, Inc., Minneapolis, a Cargill subsidiary. It is 182 by 55 feet. It is triple screw and at the time of the photo had a total of 6,630 hp. This photo was taken in 1964. It had 57,908 tons of grain in 40 barges, according to Cargill.  A tow being flanked may need just a gentle touch on the head of the tow;  that is why the tug is approaching the head of the tow, to assist if needed.
/s/ USCG licensed “Mate, Upon All Inland Rivers, Steam and Motor, All Gross Tons”

 

Thank you, sir.  And I hadn’t known about flanking buoys.

Click here for a 5-minute video by Towboat Toby who gives a really clear explanation as he walks a tow downstream around Wilkerson’s Point in high water.  Towboat Toby, I’m your fan!

So,  what think you, readers . . . and I don’t mean to backpedal on Paul Farrell’s excellent book, could that particular drawing have been modified to improve verisimilitude?  I like the looseness of Mr. Farrell’s drawings for the most part, but I think the Mate makes a good point.  And just calm talk . ..  not punches, please.  The writer makes a reasoned and constructive comment.

Chicago in the haze ahead means this is the last of this series; we’ve gotten as far west as this gallivant will go.  The link in the previous sentence shows a map of the trajectory, with all of its legs.

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That’s Navy Pier.

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Squinting, I see this as a man doing a tire repair on a flipped over bicycle, but of course my eyes have their issues.

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A surprise was the use of tug-barge excursion trips with the likes of

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City View.

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Not all tug-barge traffic transported passengers, however.

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I’ll have to find out more about Kiowa after journey’s end.

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Riverview is part of the people-scow fleet and it just squeezes under the bridges.

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USACE Racine has a scow beside the Chicago Harbor Lock.

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All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who has now begun other gallivants while on the way home.

Here are the previous five in this series.

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Triple engine/screw/stack Andrea’ might be the “newest” tugboat in the sixth boro.  All those triples is not something you see every day.  Of course, in the inland waters quadruples show up some time.

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My question is . . . why

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is there that apostrophe after the terminal A in Andrea’  ?

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But briefly back to the triples . . .  here’s a photo I took near the Ohio/Mississippi confluence just over three years ago of American Pillar.  Click here for other Mississippi boats I photographed back then.   Any idea where/when  American Pillar came into service? Answer follows.  And Andrea’  ?

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American Pillar is here, Nashville, 1976.  Andrea’ is Houma, 1999.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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

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.

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