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Icy roads are here again.  Well, even if they’re not–not yet– in the downstate area, New Yorkers place a value on being prepared.  You might call that a NY value, but I’m not going any further there.  And more accurately, preparing for the future is a universal value.

And in this season, bulkers arrive with beautiful names like Lake Dahlia and with holds filled with dozens of thousands of tons of “de-icer,” this load being off a desert in Chile.  A previous ship had come from this part of Mexico.

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In less than a handful of hours after “all fast,” clamshells start discharging at the rate of 30 tons per scoop.

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Two operations happen simultaneously . . . cranes empty the holds and

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loaders fill the trucks.

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When that ice starts coating the roadways,

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you and all the others thousands of drivers have a lot

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better chance of staying on track to

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your intended destination.  The photo below suggests it’s coming time for another truckster post.

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All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

Many thanks to Brian DeForest of Atlantic Salt.

 

 

Here and here are previous posts that feature this vessel, LV-87 Ambrose.  The first two photos below come from Birk Thomas in late winter 2012, as Ambrose was finishing up some yard work and then

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in March headed back to South Street Seaport Museum. 

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I took the remaining photos, the one below as the lightship was bathed in fireworks light on July 4 this year.

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The next two photos I took last week, trying to highlight Christmas red.

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By the way, next week I plan a post of any work vessel–or replica thereof–decorated for Christmas in some way.  I have a few already, but if you have such a photo to share, send it along soon.  Click here for some Christmas-related workboat photos from two years ago.

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Two older sister ships of Ambrose are Barnegat, LV 79, ex-Cape Lookout Shoal,  and delivered on 1 December 1904, now languishing in Pyne Point NJ; and

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Swiftsure, LV-83, ex-Relief, and delivered on 22 December 1904.  I’m wondering if there’s a photo showing both vessels in Camden at the shipyard in –say–October 1904, just prior to delivery.    I took both photos in summer 2010.

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Going back to this record of New York Shipbuilding history, does anyone know what became of LV 88 Columbia River, supposedly sold to Japan in 1988?

This post shows a photo of LV 84 Brunswick and tells of its demise.  Click here for other posts on lightships.  One lightship I’d really like to see is this one from 1911 in Surinam.

The top two photos credit to Birk Thomas;  all the others to Will Van Dorp.

 

I don’t make much fuss about Christmas for reasons I explained here 10 years ago;  when I really want something and I can afford it, I just get it.  Of course, I have no problems with anyone going all out with gifts.  Books and experiences make the best gifts.  Experiences . . . teach you and you can remember them forever.

Books . . . you read them once and then read them again or give them to someone you think will enjoy them as much as or more than you did.  See the book cover below . . .  great cover and fabulous book.  Inside you find crisp photos, reproductions of painting of McAllister vessels,  family stories,  . . . even an owners’ family tree that clarifies some of the boat names.  The story starts in 1864 as James McAllister (generation 1) stood on the northeast coast of Ireland about to emigrate across the Atlantic.

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One of my favorite stories involves the boat below, launched from Newport News Shipbuilding Co. in May 1909 as John Twohy, Jr, for Lambert’s Point Tow Boat Company.  Renamed J. P. McAllister, this boat served as a platform for the one-and-only Harry Houdini‘s escape from handcuffs and leg irons inside  a nailed-shut, weighted packing case.  Here’s a reference to this event in a recent NYTimes, but in this book, you get two photos of the event and facsimiles of the contemporary news story and the J. P. McAllister logbook entry, all attesting to the tremendous research involved in this beautifully produced volume.

One more great story . . . typical of struggles to divide up ownership in any family business.  When disagreement came to a head in on a cold Easter Sunday morning in 1904, “the partners decided to work out the percentages once and for all by meeting on a tugboat, taking it offshore, and not returning until they had an agreement.”  Now Capt. Jim (generation 2) told his 6 year-old son A. J. to wait at the pier until they all returned.  Which happened to be as night fell.  Here’s how it’s told:   “Capt. Jim … his face covered in blood . . .  jumped off [the boat onto the pier where A. J. had waited all day], grabbed A. J. by the hand, and said, ‘That’s it.  It’s settled.  The issue is settled.'”

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Below is one of my many favorite full-page photos in the book.  Another photo a few pages later adds detail not unlike Birk Thomas and collaborators do here.

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A book like this focuses not only on a family business but also New York City, with all six of its boros,  and the country.  The photo below shows the McAllister yard behind Ellis Island, real estate taken over in the 1970s for the creation of Liberty State Park.  Today’s margins of the harbor are that way only because of thousands of decisions.

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The author, Stephanie Hollyman has a website that highlights an impressive breadth of work.

Click here for ordering info.

Since we’re looking at books, here’s one that might be ripe for updating.   Another one I’ve reread and enjoyed recently is Buckets and Belt:  Evolution of the Great Lakes Self-Unloader by William M. Lafferty, Valerie van Heest, and Kenneth Pott.

November, port month on tugster, ends here, making this GHP&W 30.  Here’s how the month began.  One thing I learned putting together this post is that Port Richmond and Mariner’s Harbor appear not to share a border, at least according to the wikipedia map.  Between the western edge of Port Richmond and the eastern edge of Mariner’s (the west side of the Bayonne Bridge) is a neighborhood called Elm Park.  I’d never heard of it.  Also, look at the northeast tip of Port Richmond . . . it’s in the water only and includes the Caddell yard.  Furthermore, Port Richmond never seems like much of a port if you see it by road only.  Click here for photos of the land portion of Port Richmond.  Click on the map to make it interactive.

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A google satellite view shows the northernmost margin of land is port-intensive.  Click here for many vintage photos of Port Richmond, pre-Bayonne Bridge, back when Port Richmond was a major ferry/rail link.

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Although the late fall midday sun backlit these shots, let’s cruise the waterside of Port Richmond, starting at its northeastern point, where the Wavertree (1885) project is ongoing.

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Delaware River & Bay Authority’s Delaware is undergoing some major repowering work. 

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Frying Pan . . . light of the night vessel from up at Pier 66 is having some work done.

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In the belly of Frying Pan, where the engine and machinery used to be, a night club sometimes comes to life.    Click here for some renderings of the vessel by the elusive bowsprite.

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Miss Liberty, built 1954, is nearly finished with this dry-docking.  Notice here she is high and dry?  Well, just 45 minutes later, she had been

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splashed and was being towed to a wharf by Caddell’s own L. W. Caddell (1990).

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Continuing to the west, it’s the yards of Reinauer and Moran. From l to r, here, it seems to be Meredith C. Reinauer (2003), Laurie Ann Reinauer (2009), Reinauer Twins (2011), and Dace Reinauer (1968 but JUST repowered). . . and Joan Turecamo with (?) Brendan Turecamo.  The McAllister tug between the Reinauer ATBs . . . I’ll guess is Bruce A. Marjorie B. McAllister.

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This photo, taken a half hour earlier and before Joan Turecamo (1980) tied up, shows Kimberly Turecamo (1980), the very new and beamy  J. R. T. Moran (2015), and Brendan (1975).

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On the west side of the Moran yard, it’s Cable Queen (1952).  Click here for photos of this cable-layer at work through the years.

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And for the last shot of Port Richmond–although this may be straying westward into Elm Park waters, it’s Metropolitan Marine Transportation’s newest Normandy.

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All the photos today by Will Van Dorp.

So as I said at the beginning of this post, so ends the “gunk holes, harbors, ports, and wharves” series.  However, precedent on this blog makes it really easy to do a Port Richmond 2, 3, 4 . . . . etc. post.  also, if any of you feel like contributing a set of photos from a port of gunk hole, no matter how large or obscure, I welcome it.  Besides, there’s always then possibility of doing an “upland” version of any port, focusing on land-based businesses serving the work vessels.

And as for December, let me reprint this idea for a December theme:

How about  antique/classic workboats, functioning or wrecked.  Of course, a definition for that category is impossible.  For example, NewYorkBoater says this:  ‘The definition of an antique boat according to Antique and Classic Boating Society is a boat built between 1919 and 1942.  A classic was built between 1943 and 1975 and the term contemporary, are boats built from 1976 and on.’  Hmm . . . what do you call an old vessel built before 1919 . . . a restoration project?  antediluvian?

If you take another transportation sector–automobiles, you get another definition:  25 years old or more.    And for the great race, here were the rules for this year:  “Vehicle entries must have been manufactured in 1972 or before.”  Next year’s cut-off will likely be 1973.

So my flexible definition is  . . . photo should have been taken in 1999 or before, by you or of you or a family member, and in the case of a wreck, probably identifiable.  Exception . . .  it could be a boat built before  . . . say  . . . 1965.”

Many thanks to all of you who sent along photos, contributed ideas, and commented in November.

Here are the previous installments.

Rare as it is to see a chemical tanker traverse the East River, there’s no mystery about this vessel’s identity…  Ginga Lion.  For outatowners, the bridge goes by Koch Bridge, 59th Street Bridge, or Queensboro Bridge.

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These photos were taken last Wednesday–October 21–by Jonathan Steinman, frequent contributor of photos from along that tidal strait, which is not really a river.

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So here’s the mystery . . . or at least the question.  Given the Jones Act, how can this vessel make the stops it does.  On this run, it was traveling from Bayonne to Port Jeff, and as of this writing, she’s on her way to New Orleans. Prior ports of call and dates are as follows:  10/8 Gibraltar, 9/10 Pasir Gudang Malaysia, 9/4 Kuala Tanjung Indonesia, 8/18 Nantong China, 8/17 Zhangiagang China, 6/22 Houston.

Ginga Lion is clearly a foreign flagged chemical tanker.

I suspect the answer is that she’s not transferring cargo from one US port to another, just loading or offloading at a series of US stops, which I understand would be permissible.   Anyone clarify?

Many thanks to Jonathan for keeping eyes on the East River and sending along the question and photos.

 

A few years ago, I did this series of posts on the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Bayonne Bridge, which I needed to shoot under to get this photo of Laura K. Moran assisting Global Laguna-probably here for scrap– around Bergen Point.

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So let’s have a look at the construction project, one of two major infrastructure upgrades in greater NYC.  The photo below shows the New Jersey side of the project,  mirror image mostly for what’s happening on the New York side.  For scale, consider that the yellow horizontal structure–a gantry–is 500′ long.

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Note the six or so support piers, 6 of what will be 26.

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Below is a closer-up of the second pier from the left in the above photo.

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And here’s still closer.  See the worker?

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Here’s the fifth pier from the left.

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Here’s about 100′ feet of the gantry.   See the worker in the boom lift, just under the support pier?

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Now you see him?

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Still see him?

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Stay tuned.  Here’s a nj.com story on the work from before this summer.

I can’t wait for the project to finish and take a walk over the new east-looking walkway.  Never again will I get photos like this and this looking westward from the bridge, though.

For photos of the other bridge project, follow Kaleidoscope Eyes. 

Here was the welcome for 343.

Yesterday, Feehan arrived in the sixth boro.  I miscalculated and missed the event, but New York Media Boat was there for the jubilation.

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Many thanks to Bjoern Kils of the Media Boat for use of these photos.

Tis the season . . .  to keep your eyes and ears on the weather.  In 1938 . . . before hurricanes had names or we had satellites to track them thousands of miles off, a big one came ashore on Long Island, a once-a-century-or-longer storm.   Do you know this structure below?

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Here’s the ocean side view . . .

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and the inland side.  To the right and up the Acushnet River are the ports of

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New Bedford and Fairhaven.  Click here for info and photos on the building of the barrier.

The benchmark storm for the sixth boro is Sandy, and an event this past weekend happened on a location wiped out by the storm, Rockaway Beach at 106th Street.  Click here for posts/photos from my friend Barbara that chronicle the before/after in that part of NYC.  Welcome to the first annual Poseidon parade.

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and a temporary replacement for Whalemina, the glacial erratic rolled away by Sandy.

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Of the 10 worst hurricanes of the 20th century (judged by impact on the US), almost all happened  in September.  Since that link leaves off Katrina (??), I add this one.

Thanks to Barbara Barnard for the Poseidon Parade photos;  the ones from the Achushnet are by Will Van Dorp, who will have photos from up the Acushnet soon.   Technically, this fits into my “other watersheds” series.

 

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In remembering one, we memorialize all.  Here’s another article about William M. Feehan.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I got there JUST in time.  A few minutes after I arrived, lines were cast off, and the yard tug moved the bow into the stream.  What’s to comment . . . I’ll just put the times, to the nearest minute.

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Here the yard tug–L W Caddell is moving lines from the dry dock to Wavertree.

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And then it was lunch time.

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Here you see the dry dock “ballasting”  . . . or sinking.

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Note the “wet” portion of the dry dock as it rises, or “deballasts.”

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Note the size of the workers relative to the hull.

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The next step is pressure washing the communities that traveled on the hull from the East River to the KVK.

Here Wavertree will stay through the winter as she goes through a thorough and exciting transformation.  Become a member and send your own “bravo” to all the folks at South Street Seaport for all the strides in the right direction.  See here and here.

Tomorrow I hit the road for New England for a while. I will try to post, but my laptop has become quite uncooperative.

First, notice the Tugboat Roundup logo upper left?  Click on it for the schedule;  I’ll be giving an illustrated talk “1500 Miles on the Erie Canal”  Saturday and Sunday.

Also, if you are in Boston this Sunday, Maine Sail Freight will be at Long Wharf in Boston with pallets of products from farm and sea.  Click here for a link to other sail freight initiatives around the world.  Here’s more on that project;  a change is that schooner Adventure rather than Harvey Gamage will be transporting.

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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

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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