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Almost two years ago, Chris did this guest post about an experience he had sailing in the Mediterranean in this ride.  The vessel below, now threatened, was on the hook off Palma, Mallorca, in one of her last years of service.


On that same deployment, he caught this foto of SS France, speeding past his vessel toward the Straits of Gibraltar.


Here’s another of Chris’ fotos, Sac Badalona (see #113)  . . . at that time  not long to be afloat and intact.


Here’s Chris’ ride low and dry and cold in Boston Naval Shipyard’s Drydock 4, winter 1969-70.  What shrinks ASR-16 Tringa once accommodated Leviathan.


During that drydocking, Chris had a chance to get fotos along the Boston waterfront.  You can read the restaurant sign as Anthony’s Pier 4.  Can you identify the steamer and the schooner?  Answer follows . . .


This foto taken some time between December 1969 and March 1970 shows two tugs afloat and one sunk at the dock near Rowes Wharf in Boston . . . now a very different place.   Can anyone identify?  Chris has no clues other than the time and places info.   I’m grateful to Chris for sending along these scans, although both he and I will rely on some group-sourcing to know more about these vessels.   Enjoy.


Disintegrating in Noank in the 69-70 time frame, it’s the remains of once-four-masted schooner Alice L. Pendleton.


Moving south to New London, it’s W. H. Welch.


Also in New London . .  does that say Spaigo Carroll?


Also in New London . . . it’s ferry Martha’s Vineyard.


And this is the Thames River boneyard a,




and c.


And finally, identification on the vessels at Anthony’s Pier 4 . . . steamer Peter Stuyvesant (victim of the Blizzard of 1978) and –a real coup in terms on an identification by eastriver and his “new englander” shipmate”–it’s 1863 Alice S. Wentworth, who went victim to a storm in 1974.

Many thanks to Chris for sending along these fotos, which belong to him.

Looking at this set of fotos, words beginning with “w” came to mind.  Like wind-swept, an apt way to describe this land’s end called Halibut Point in Rockport, here looking toward Maine.  That’s “halibut” as in “haul about,” because as you sail round the point, you’ll encounter different winds.  The rockpile is quarried chunks never loaded onto to ships, never built into construction sites.


Wind again comes to mind in this assemblage of traditional and new-fangled means of harnessing it.  One is up, and two will follow. Schooners are Highlander Sea and Adventure.


Wavemaster is NOT the familiar name for the 47′ MLB like these, but it should be.


Wake . . . follows codzilla


OK . .  this one’s a stretch, but whenever I see a small RIB like this of the Massachusetts Environmental Police, I think sirens . . . not whistles, but then


there’s a Rupert, a 50′ RIB, and if the previous was whistles, then this is whistles and bells.   If anyone’s thinking to give tugster a gift for Christmas, this is tops on my wishlist.


Viking Starliner wandered through the sixth boro the other day, possibly in for some work, but then it headed south . . . Florida-bound?


And finally this, a winter-cold sunrise, taken a week ago with  a hint that December is not far off, a year winds down, waning hours of light.


And just apropos of absolutely nothing, had we had a few more hurricanes, we’d have gotten to hurricane William this year.

Three years ago I did posts about wooden vessels and names while in the greater Cape Ann area.  This time what struck me was the variety of vessels in this small but intensely important peninsula.  Essex Shipbuilding Museum is always “must stop there” . . . and make a donation if you wish.  Essex has fewer than 4000 people.   Treat yourself to beautiful lines fleshed out in old  . . .

and new like these.

Speak of random tugs, it’s YTL-438, built on City Island, NY,  in 1944, Nicholas T today.

I can’t hear the word “Gloucester” without thinking of fish and lobsters and other sea life.  Read what Capt Joey has to say about Western Venture, here with Osprey. Joey’s GMG does “citizen journalism” par excellence on many aspect of Gloucester life, and a more historically focused website on Gloucester industry can be found here.

Vessels old and

new–like these three midwater trawlers of Western Sea Fishing— line the piers when they’re not at sea.   It no secret that fishing brings risks:  a vessel I featured here three years ago–Plan B-sank earlier this year.

Small and newish like Cat Eyes or

or classic, versatile, and large like 1924 Highlander Sea (for sale)  and 1926 Adventure both Essex built . . .  they all lie in the few dozen acres of water in Gloucester’s Inner Harbor.   See Adventure‘ s site here and some fun fotos here.

Treats appear at every glance, near and far.

Can anyone tell me more about Traveler . .  and all her lives?  Here’s what I learned from Good Morning Gloucester:  follow the comments and you’ll learn that she was launched in “1942 by Cambridge Ship Builder, Inc. based in MD, for the US Army. She is 79.9 ft. long, was a rescue boat serving in WWII picking up downed fighter pilots and had full infirmary facilities aboard.”

More Gloucester tomorrow.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who realizes he should come back here more often.   And if you’ve never been to Cape Ann, sooner is better.

Actually this is Kristin 3, counting the mystery vessel post.  Let’s start in the wheelhouse, aka ship’s office, looking to port.  Notice the gauging equipment, sound-activated telephone, all the manuals.

Over on the starboard side below the controls, here’s a closeup of the pushbutton engine order telegraph, which corresponds to

this twin in the engine compartment, the engineer’s station looking forward.  The light down here is provided by portholes above.

Here’s a closeup of the starboard EMD 16-645-E2–if I recall–12-567

I’m guessing that Schoonmaker was a parts/service company?


Looking down/forward from the fiddley at port engine

After getting this foto of Kristin Poling just north of the Tappan Zee in May 2008, I wondered what I’d see through the portholes above the stern, and now

I know it’s a naturally-lit out-of-the-weather access area to the rudder machinery.

Note the folding joint on the mast.  What lies below these portholes is

the galley.  Again, the natural lighting is remarkable.    A note about these fotos . . . Kristin has been idle for several months now, and no attempt was made during this foto shoot to “spruce-up” any of the areas.

Large wooden door leads to the freezer, and the smaller door beside it  opens a defacto fridge.

Any guesses what lies beyond these portholes on the port side?

One of the crew’s quarters with sink, locker, and

bunk.  Is this color an off-white, yellowed with age, or was this “institutional buff”?

And these covered portholes on the forward port side of the “stern island” leads to

the engineer’s cabin.  The two recessed “bookshelves” are the interior of the portholes above.  I wonder the vintage of the desk and

(as seen from the portside porthole) the bunk with shelving beneath?    Excuse the blurry foto.

Corresponding portholes on the starboard side lead to the captain’s cabin.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of Kristin as much as I did.

A near-twin of KristinChester A. Poling–was my introduction to the name Poling, although it was another company.  I heard about Chester A. in the 1990s from a diver in Cape Ann, MA.  Like Kristin, Chester A. was launched in 1934 from the shipyard in Mariner’s Harbor.  Originally 251′, both were lengthened by a 30-foot midsection in 1956.   From this foto, it appears the bow bulwarks on Chester were less protected.  Click on the image to get to Auke Visser’s fabulous site, from which the foto is taken.  Take your pic here from a wealth of video by folks diving on Chester.

Again, many thanks to Ed Poling and Jim Ash for the opportunity to see/foto Kristin in her dotage.    Thanks to you all for reading and commenting.  Special thanks to Johannah for the info on all-welded construction article and to Sachem1907  on the identification of the locks, which confirms operation by these vessels onto the Great Lakes.  I welcome more info and further history on these vessels of past era.

My all-time favorite fotos of Kristin were taken here less than a year ago by Paul Strubeck and “lightened-up” by  tugster.

8 was here.    In the foto below, note the name in raised metal.

Doubleclick enlarges, and then notice the same raised letters here.

Originally called John E. Matton,  built in 1958 near the confluence of the Erie Canal and the Hudson, the foto below [of Mischief] was taken in June 2010, and

the foto below of Thornton Bros was taken today, under the Bayonne Bridge, where

this foto was taken today as well . . . of the 1961  Caitlin Ann, as

was this foto in summer 2009 . ..  as Caribbean Sea.

This “colander” bow of  tanker Dispatch (ex-Texaco 147, Richmond, Nepco Dispatch) was taken in August 2011.  Dispatch was one of three identical ( I suppose) tankers built by Texas Steamship in Bath, Maine, in 1919.  Texaco 147 sank off Cape Ann in February 1957, and has therefore weathered underwater and differently.  Click here to see  a recent foto of Texaco 145 aka Chelsea.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to Jeff Schurr for info on Dispatch.

As the sixth boro holds its tugboat race this weekend, Cape Ann has its schooner race.  Wish I could be in two places at once!  And speaking of the tugboat races, see who has really caught the illustration bug and might be another “sketchy” spectator!  Bravo!

Here was RP #12.

Jim Reilly noticed a picture of Dolphin III on this blog and wrote the following cautionary tale . . .   “I bought Dolphin III from a less than honest gentlemen up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire back in 2005.  She is a 45′  Young Brothers built in Corea, Maine. She was originally a “stick boat” used to harpoon giant bluefin and swordfish in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. When I bought her she had a 25′ bow pulpit that the harpooner (stick man) would stand on to be over the fish before they ever heard the boat. That is also why there is such a high tower on her…for spotting finning sword/tuna. She is powered by a single Detroit diesel.
The original steam down from New Hampshire to Brooklyn, NY was quite a trek. My crew consisted of my father, who only came to escape my mother and sneak a few beers, and his buddy who was escaping his wife. Not exactly a “fit crew”…LOL  The first day of steaming was beautiful as we steamed through Cape Cod Bay into Sandwich, at the foot of the canal. We berthed in Sandwich over night and waited for the sun to come up. All I can say is FOG, FOG, FOG for the next three days we were socked in.  With food, beer and money running low, we headed out in the soup [and tide]. Dolphin III does about 8kts and the canal does about 6kts for a net total of 2kts…LOL.  Two kts in pea soup fog with the chart plotter not reading a course because forward speed was too slow…hair raising to say the least. It seemed like days before we emerged in Buzzards Bay. A lessoned hard learned…wait until the canal is flowing with you before shovin off…LOL.     We made Montauk by nightfall and as we were pulling into the fuel dock at the Montauk Yacht Club the steering went. We spent the next day getting funds wired to us, making repairs and hitting Liars Saloon in Montauk for a few laughs. The next morning it was blowing a gale, so we remained at the dock. By this time my fathers buddy (a true land lubber) had enough and summoned his daughter to drive east and pick him up…LOL

We set out the next morning and had flat calm seas as we cruised through the Long Island Sound. We were making good time when once again the steering gave way. We weighed anchor and attempted to make repairs. No matter what we tried, we could get no steering from her. I attempted steering with a pipe wrench on the rudder post, but knew we would never get through Hell Gate like that, so we radioed Sea Tow and were towed into Norwalk CT. A resident marine mechanic there said I was looking at $5,000 in repairs.  Me and my father sat in the cockpit, feet up on the transom and laughed at how we should change the name of the vessel to Jynxie or Jonah when a man at the dock inquired about purchasing the vessel. He was a commercial diver from Jersey and was looking for that type of vessel. I explained that the boat was going to need work and as we shared a few drinks he decided to buy the boat from me right then and there. I took a down payment and a cab home to Brooklyn. A week long trip that should have taken no more than three days and we show up with no boat…….just a typical story that is my life.
A week later the buyer met me in Brooklyn with the remainder of the payment and steamed the boat down to Barnegat Light for awhile where she was dry docked for at least a year. It looks like he is finally working her.   My father, who is very sickly now, still shakes his head and laughs at the entire trip. Last year I bought a 44′ wooden lobster boat from Maine and the trip went a lot smoother.  Sorry for the long drawn out tale. I feel like I am lying on a couch talking to a shrink about a traumatic ordeal…LOL   Next time you see the Dolphin III have a laugh and tell  your pals she’s an ex-stick boat originally from downeast Maine. Best of Luck to you.”

Jim . . . thanks much for the story.    Fotos taken last summer by Will Van Dorp.  I’ve not noticed Dolphin III in the sixth boro since then.

Anyone have a great sixth boro story, please get in touch.

Government Boats 14 was here, from over a year ago.  A subtitle here might be navy vessels future and army vessels present.  Like this vessel below, sent along by Rod Smith of Narragansett Bay Shipping, where you can savor more shots of the same vessel.  Can you identify it?  Does “FSF 1” stand for “frighteningly sci-fi 1,” which this truly is?  More below.

Now onto army vessels.  Oxymoron?  Nope, Enjoy these two, contributed by Joe Herbert:  LT-2085 Anzio (US Army tug built in 1955) , and

a Nathaniel Greene class tug, LT-801.   More of the Nathaniel Greene class here.

For scale of the afterdeck, check out the size of the barbeque grille relative to the winch.

For a list said to be all Army vessels, click here.    More here.  For a close-up of LT-806 in Kuwait, click here.  More Army tug fotos here.

For a frighteningly sci-fi US ARMY vessel prototype built in Australia, click here.

Here’s a full-vessel shot of cement-gray FSF 1 aka Sea Fighter passing Fort Adams in Narragansett Bay.

Again, thanks to Joe (here are fotos he previously contributed) and Rod, whose Narragansett Bay Shipping blog –on my blogroll–chronicles the diverse traffic on that body of water;  check it out.

Any errors in the above info can be blamed on Will Van Dorp, aka tugster.

Thanks to Fairlane and Ben for pointing out an example of “you travel far away to find what you left behind”  :  shipbuilders in southern New England labored to create vessels like Cayo Largo (2008) , below and here (fotos 6 and 7).  In fact, Cayo Largo displays front-and-center on the Blount Boats Shipyard site here.

The same Blount workers built Isla Grande (1976)  and Cayo Norte (1995) , and if you want graphic evidence, look at this shot of Cross Sound’s  Caribbean Ferry (1972) that despite its name never left New England, I don’t think.  They built Isleno in 2004.  (third foto down) and La Princesa (2009) (fotos 2 and 3).

As you enjoy these “walk-around” shots of Isla Grande, some of you

might consider her applicability for short sea shipping on

the Hudson, if not elsewhere as well.

Other Blount boats already depicted on tugster include the following:

Twin Tube (1952)

Bergen Point and Vulcan III (ex-Bethtug I and Bethtug III, respectively.  1958)

Scotty Sky (1960)

Miss New Jersey (1991) and bunches of other Circle Line boats.

Mister T (2001)

Labrador Sea (2002)

I’m sure I’ve missed some Blount boats that I’ve seen.  The one I’d really like to know the disposition of . . . is Kasai (1960) and built for the rivers of the Congo, where I worked from 1973 until 1975.  Anyone know?  Here’s a story of a ferry disaster on the Kasai River just a few years back.

Unrelated:  I’ve looked high and low for fotos of Asso 22, the tugboat seized yesterday off Libya.  See story here, with fotos, of course, of politicians.


Here’s a foto of a foto taken at Fort Wetherill.  I couldn’t make out the name of the vessel, but can you identify the objects on the dock in the foreground?  Answer follows.

Fort Wetherill serves as a great venue for shipwatching;  here’s another shot of Danalith bound for sea, and  

tailed by Northeast Pilot IV, which also

met Thalassa Desgagnes when she arrived.  Thalassa is an apt name for a vessel.

Here’s a close-up of Northeast Pilot IV, a product of Narragansett Bay’s own Gladding-Hearn.Here’s Northeast Pilot V, which I presume is

a newer boat.Also based in Newport is Tiger Shark,

WPB 87359, one of dozens in this 87′ class.

Hidden away here is the stern launch small boat.

Back to that first pic . . .  those are mines.

Does anyone know the name of that mine-laying vessel?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Last time I posted a foto of WLV-612, the year 2009 had just begun and she was docked in North Cove in Lower Manhattan.   Now she’s on the Newport waterfront;  I’ve no idea the identity of the huge  sloop at Nantucket‘s stern.

Narragansett Bay is a ria (never heard that word before today) Pell Bridge (below)  between Newport and Conanicut Island, and  Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge (who knew?)   between the Island and North Kingston

Lobsterboat Shamrock here passes Rose Island, between Newport and Jamestown.  Rose Island Light is a B & B.

Here’s a view of calm waters below the cliff that runs in front of the “cottages” of notables like the Vanderbilts and Astors of the Gilded Age.

Coastline Kidd moves one of the painting barges working on the Pell Bridge.  A year ago in the KVK I caught sibling Coastline Girls here.

Entering the Bay from the north around Castle Hill Light and accompanied by the pilotboat,  it’s

Thalassa Desgagnes, here passing Fort Wetherill.

Leaving the Bay and passing the same park, it’s 34-year-old general cargo vessel Danalith, here outbound for

the Republic of Cape Verde?

More Narragansett Bay soon.  Many thanks to Rod Smith (of and Birk Thomas (of tugboat for hospitality and info.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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