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Happy Earth Day. Well . . every day should be that, and although I recall and participated in the very first one in 1970, I’m no longer so enamored of the name. Planet Day would be better, and of course every day should be that as well. Actually . .. I’m rather more attracted to declaring this and every day Sea Day. Actually, every day already is, with a parade of random vessels making their way past the KV buoy every day all day.
See that random stuff floating in the foreground on KVK waters?
This was at my feet that same day, all arranged by tide and wind and buoyancy. And here’s more.
Some these pics I took a month ago, a day I’d just heard about the search for the tragic Malaysian Flight 370. What struck me as strange was the reporter’s reference to “sea junk” … a term that seemed to suggest the sea was responsible for debris of all sorts floating there.
Calling it “our junk” would make more sense.
Today is also the 50th anniversary of the opening of the 1964 World’s Fair. If you don’t think the world has changed much in a half century, watch The Magic Bus, a video about a journey from California to the World’s Fair.
OK . . . let’s go back to today. I got work to do. Look at this desk junk . . . my desk. Note the logo on cup and guarded by the feline.
Let mer see . . . happy see day.
First, if you’re free today and within travel distance of Lower Manhattan, do yourself a favor and attend this event, 4 p. m., a book signing by Dr. James M. Lindgren. His new book is a much needed complement to Peter Stanford’s A Dream of Tall Ships, reviewed here a few months ago. Details in Preserving South Street Seaport cover almost a half century and will enthrall anyone who’s ever volunteered at, donated to, been employed by, or attended any events of South Street Seaport Museum. Lindgren laments SSSM’s absence of institutional memory saying, “Discontinuity instead defined the Seaport’s administration.” Amen . . as a volunteer I wanted to know the historical context for what seemed to me to be museum administrations’ repeated squandering of hope despite herculean efforts on the part of volunteers and staff I knew.
As my contribution to creation of memory, I offer these photos and I’d ask again for some pooling of photos about the myriad efforts of this museum over the years.
Pier 17. April 17, 2014. According to Lindgren, this mall opened on Sept 11, 1985 with a fireworks show. Its demise may by this week’s end be complete.
April 12, 2014. Photo by Justin Zizes.
Feb 23, 2014.
Jan 21, 2014 . . . Lettie G. Howard returns.
Sept 20, 2013. This is the last photo I ever took FROM the upper balcony of Pier 17.
Sept 12, 2013.
July 2012. A fire had broken out on the pier, and Shark was the first on scene responder. Damage was minimal, despite appearances here.
Now for some photos of vessels that have docked in the South Street area in the past half century.
July 2012 . . . Helen McAllister departs, assisted by W. O. Decker and McAllister Responder.
June 2012. Departure of Marion M as seen from house of W. O. Decker. Photo by Jonathan Boulware. The last I knew, Marion M is being restored on the Chesapeake by a former SSSM volunteer.
Lettie G. Howard hauled out in 2009.
2009. The Floating Hospital . . . was never part of the SSSM collection.
2009. Maj. Gen. Hart aka John A. Lynch aka Harlem.
Helen McAllister with Peking and Wavertree. Portion of bow of Marion M along Helen‘s starboard.
Mathilda posing with W. O. Decker in Kingston. 2009.
Moshulu now in Philadelphia.
2005, I believe. Spuyten Duyvil (not a SSSM vessel) and Pioneer.
Thanks to Justin and Jonathan for use of their photos. All others by Will Van Dorp. For many stories on these vessels, that mall, and so much more, pick up or download these books and read them asap.
Here just over a year ago was the release information about the documentary.
And here’s the BIG announcement: the world premiere of the documentary will happen Wednesday, May 7 at 7 pm at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema and tickets for that evening’s fare . . . including ours are now on sale. Click here for directions to Brooklyn Heights Cinema on Henry Street. If you haven’t seen the documentary, we DO turn back the clock on some of the skeletons in the yard.
Just over a week ago, I stopped to look at the yard from outside, from the muddy margins. Some photos are below. In 2011, Gary Kane and I had permission to film inside the yard from a leaky rowboat, and the footage of “beautiful ruins” comes to you directly from the leaky rowboat. By the way, I had a hand-powered bilge pump that kept our equipment dry.
Fragments with a wading bird,
disintegration with graffiti,
terminally rusted disrepair,
debris still morphing but identifiable,
ravaged whole machines juxtaposed with live ones.
Here was the 2010 end of the “graveyard” series . . . all photos shot in the ship graveyard. Use the search window to see segments 1 through 3. And here is the end of the “ghost puzzles” series, all photos I shot while we were filming the scrapyard portion of the documentary.
Unrelated to some degree, click here for my latest photos in Professional Mariner magazine.
First some background . . .from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Chapter 24 . .. last two paragraphs:
“If I shall ever deserve any real repute in that small but high hushed world which I might not be unreasonably ambitious of; if hereafter I shall do anything upon the whole, a man might rather have done than to have left undone; if, at my death, my executors, or more properly my creditors, find any precious MSS. in my desk, then here I prospectively ascribe all the honor and the glory to whaling; for a whale-ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.”
New York once used a Liberty ship as a high school . . . from the late 1940s until the early 1980s, if I understand correctly. The photo below comes credit to Seth Tane. Read the print on the bow.
Here’s another photo of that school. Click on photo to see its provenance and more.
August 2011 . . . NYC Department of Education’s Harbor School takes possession of Privateer on long term lease from NYC Department of Transportation, Staten Island Ferry. It’s an ex- 46′ BUSL . . .”boat utility stern loading,” and
here’s Privateer today, after a “learn-on-the-job” transformation in which Harbor School students participated. Click here for a six-minute video shot mostly on the vessel used in vessel training AND oyster bed restoration.
Photos below show the Schottel drive unit being installed in Privateer after reconditioning.
Another one of Harbor School’s boats is Indy 7. Indy is so-named because she was one of twelve utility boats aboard CV-62 Independence, which I visited in Bremerton, Washington a few years back. CV-62 was a Forrestal-class carrier laid down in Brooklyn, and I’m thrilled that the tradition lives on, a government boat having a second life training local youth.
Thanks to Capt. Aaron Singh, waterfront director at NY Harbor School for this info and these photos. Photo below showing the Boston Whaler named Pescador comes credit of Captain Chris Gasiorek. Thanks, Chris.
If you’re reading this and you’re a graduate of Harbor School OR the SS John W. Brown School, I’d love to get a comment from you, especially about the path the school put you on.
I don’t know how many folks were glued to this webcam yesterday, but I was not the only one. Let me walk us around the foto, different in subtle ways than the other five in this post. First, note the time stamp upper left: it’s 11:16 a.m. This was happening yesterday midmorning at the Miraflores Lock, the first of three set of lifts out of the Pacific on a transit toward the Atlantic/Caribbean. In the distance on the right side, the large white object is Norwegian Star, negotiating the next set of locks . . . Pedro Miguel Locks.
The ship almost fully shown in this foto is Tai Success, bound for Altamira, Mexico. Tai Success is 656′ loa (length overall) by 104′ , the maximum width for the current set of locks. Extending from lower left is the ex-Left Coast Lifter, towed by Lauren Foss. Note the relative size of Tai Success and the crane barge. Lauren Foss at 141′ loa is larger than almost all tugs currently on the Hudson.
11:20 a. m. The entire crane is in the lock chamber. On the stern of the crane barge is Cerro Majagual, a 2013 Panama Canal tug built in Spain. For the transit from the San Francisco Bay area to Panama, this role was played by another Foss tug, Iver Foss. Iver is currently waiting for the tow on the Atlantic side.
11:24. The water in the lock has started to rise.
11:40. The doors on the high side of the Miraflores Locks have opened and the tow heads for Pedro Miguel. By the way, on the horizon beyond the Pedro Miguel you can see the Centennial Bridge, about 10 years old. As of this writing this morning, the tow was docked just north of this bridge. I suspect it will complete the transit and be on the Atlantic side by the end of today.
I see from the Journal News story that Fluor has already changed the crane name from Left Coast Lifter to I Lift New York, presuming they’ve “purged the old from Poseidon’s ledger.” If you look at the fourth foto above, you’ll notice “Left Coast Lifter” is still painted there. I wonder when that will be painted over; maybe the name purging will happen in Gatun Lake today?
Meanwhile, I’d like to propose some alternatives . . . Hudson River Hoister and Tappan Zee Titan are more local and maintain the same LCL pattern.
As to size, currently the largest crane in the Hudson Valley is DonJon’s Chesapeake 1000, the number being its tonnage lifting capacity. Last summer in Rio, I saw a crane called Pelicano 1 with a lifting capacity said to exceed 2000 tons. The ex-LCL is said to hav a capacity around 1900 tons.
Click here for one of the posts I did from the Panama Canal–a place well worth a visit and a second visit– about two years ago.
Keep in mind that once the tow clears the Atlantic side locks, it’s still more than 2000 nautical miles from the Narrows. Assuming an average speed of seven knots and no delays for weather or other causes, that’s still almost two weeks. So, I’ll wager ETA at the Narrows around February 1.
You might be wondering about the connection between the vessel below and my previous post . . . here about the delivery of the 1997 Rockefeller Center tree.
It turns out that in 2003 the vessel below –North Star– formerly offshore supply vessel known as Rio Hanna (1968) and Pelto Seahorse
carried these Rockettes and a very happy crewman
along with the 2003 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree from New London to a pier near Intrepid, where the ramps were positioned and the truck rolled off on its way east to deliver the tree. Read all about it here in the New London Day of November 12, 2003. The fifty-year-old 79′ Norway spruce came from yard of Frances Katkauskas in Manchester, CT.
Here the crew pose for a foto near the Circle Line pier after delivering the tree.
Many thanks to Guy Torsilieri for providing the lead and to Richard Sise of Cross Sound Ferry for providing these photos. These fotos were taken the year I moved to NYC but three years before I started this blog.
If anyone has other pics to share, I’d love to put them up here. And 2014 . . . sounds like another tree-by-water delivery is overdue.
OK . . . I’ll admit that I’m foolish enough to think every day is Christmas, every day in New Years, . . . and I could go on.
Let’s go back to November 1997. Tugboat Spuyten Duyvil delivered a barge carrying a Torsilieri truck carrying a Norway spruce bound for Rockefeller Center.
The tree was felled in Stony Point. Click here for the article by James Barron detailing the tree transaction.
If that tree is 74 feet, that’s a long trailer.
You gotta love those red balls. By the way, Hughes logo on the barge was painted out for this transit.
Here were some fotos taken in the Upper Bay. I highly recommend getting the children’s book version of the story in part to see the artistic liberties taken in rendering both tug and truck.
Fireboat John D. McKean does the honors.
Although I’m still working on locating more pics of this event, including Joyce Dopkeen’s shots of the offloading process, I am thrilled to share these with you here.
Again, many heartfelt thanks to Bill Hughes for sending these photos and to John Skelson for reformatting them.
I hope to have more belated “christmas” fotos soon.
I had fotos of Tilly on this blog about six weeks ago here, and on a cold sixth boro day that threatens to get colder, I want to salute smart folks like Mike Knape who a) spent it in a warm place and b) sent me a set of fotos of this boat which had the good sense to travel south itself.
Tilly is from 1943 and built in Morris Heights in the Bronx at Consolidated Shipbuilding. An online museum should be created with images of as many of Consolidated Shipbuilding products as photos can be located of. For example, this one. Morris Heights also produced some of these iceboats . . . to give a seasonally appropriate vessel for the sixth boro.
Here, here, and here I did some posts from the Conch Republic myself a few years ago, although I had the poor judgement to go there when upnorth was warm. Next time I should make my way here when a walk on New York streets is incomplete without glances over my shoulder in case a pack of polar bears might be following. Poor Fred up in Fort Edward is hunkered down in his boathouse with famished Ursus maritimuses circling.
Mike . . . many thanks for passing along these fotos from a warm place.