You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘New York harbor’ category.

Here’s the series that this follows, a series that shows how busy this craneship still is at certain times of the year.  Of course, this could also be called what do you do with an obsolete New York City ferry, a vessel delivered by Electric Boat on October 14, 1929 and replaced by a bridge in fewer than 10 years.


Yes, this is the bow of the craneship, and until I spent a day on board last fall, I assumed the bow wheel was non-functioning if even present.




Excuse the rain spot.




Closeups of bow and




Here’s a shot from the deck of Wards Island from the incredible warm late November day last year when we pulled a day’s worth of buoys from Oneida Lake, and at the


end of the day, getting a glimpse of the builders plate in the engine compartment.



All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Palabora . . . she’s got LEGS!!!  Italian legs.  … Lei ha le gambe!   gambe that will stand astride that harbor and be noticed, cartwheeling on the shore as traffic goes in and out of the Kills, and


the legs of Bartholdi’s lady will be forever modestly covered.  So why are they made in Pescara on the Adriatic, and not in an American steel mill?  When you break it down, some parts are from Canada, Holland, Germany . . . .  I have no problem with this fact, but I think it should be noted as such.

Thanks to New York Media Boat for the photo.

Here are previous iterations of this title.



Of course, there are little known gunkholes in the backwaters of the sixth boro where fossils–living and inert–float.  This one is off an inlet behind one island and concealed by another, a place easily missed, and if seen, it gives the impression of being off limits by land and too shallow by water, near the deadly bayou of Bloomfield.  But with the right conveyance and attitude, it’s feasible if you’re willing to probe.  And the fossils have names like . . .


Caitlin Rose.  I don’t know much, but built in Savannah GA in 1956?  Relentless.  She’s before my time here, but I suppose she’s the one built in Port Arthur TX in 1950.


I can’t make out all of the words here.




Ticonderoga is obviously playing possum. Only a month ago she doe-see-doed into the Kills with the ex-Pleon, the blue tug behind her,


a Jakobson from 1953.


Dauntless .. . built in Jakobson & Peterson of Brooklyn in 1936, was once Martha Moran.


From right to left here, Mike Azzolino was built for the USCG at Ira S. Bushey & Sons and commissioned as WYTM-72 Yankton in 1944.  Moving to the left, it’s Charles Oxman . . .


was built by Pusey & Jones in 1940 and originally called H. S. Falk., and looked like this below, which explains the unusual wheelhouse today.  She seems to have come out of that same search for new direction as David, from a post here a year ago.


The photo above I took from this tribute page. 


The small tug off Oxman‘s starboard, i don’t know.





The low slung tug that dominates the photo here is Erica, and beyond here is a Crow.


Someone help me out here?


And as far into this gunkhole as I dared to venture . . .  this one is nameless.


Oh the stories that could be told here!  I hope someone can and will.  Balladeers like Gordon Lightfoot could memorialize these wrecks in a song like “Ghosts of Cape Horn,” which inspired a tugster post here years ago.  And looking at the last photo in that old post, I see Wavertree, which leads me to this art- and detail-rich site I don’t recall having seen before.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


As of six days ago, that gap was all that seemed to remain for a complete span.  Who knows . . . by now, that may be bridged as well.  Here are some of the posts that show the project of modifying the soon-to-be 85 year-old icon I’ve had on my blog since day 1.  Here were a set of posts I did when the bridge turned 80.




Once the higher span is complete and open for traffic, the lower span will be dismantled.  I wonder what the arches are feeling.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.


So the difference that makes the “really” is that several folks have contributed these photos.

Starting in Toronto with Jan van der Doe, here’s M. R. Kane, which has appeared here and here previously on this blog.  In the first link, you’ll see Kane towing the hull that would become tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry.


Next three photos came from Allan Seymour, who took them as he traversed the Cape Cod Canal recently.  This Independence is rated at 5400 hp.


Bohemia and barge wait to pass.


And Buckley McAllister shares escort work on the Canal with Independence.


The rest of these photos I’ve caught recently, all of tugs I’d not previously seen.  Miss Ila came through the sixth bork Saturday,


Miss Lizzy I saw Friday, and



Performance I saw in Massena earlier this month, and


Robinson Bay.  These last two are operated by DOT’s Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), which is looking to replace these aging tugs.  Robinson Bay (103′ loa and built in Wisconsin in 1957) and Performance (50′ and Indiana, 1997) do maintenance work on the US portions of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.



Thanks to Jan and Allan for the first photos here.  All the others are by Will Van Dorp.

Who else greeted Wavertree on the rest of the way home?  John J. Harvey is always in on celebrations.


Lettie G. Howard was there,


as was the helicopter.  Feehan presented herself on the far side of Rae.


Pioneer accounted for


herself with crew in the crosstrees.


Pioneer and Lettie teamed up at times.


Wire showed up.


New York Harbor School had two boats there, including Privateer and their


newest vessel Virginia Maitland Sachs, about which I’ll post soon.


Melvillian throngs came down to the “extremest limit of land” on Pier 15 and 16, for one reason or another, but who were about to be treated to some excellent ship handling.


Rae took the lead, showing the need for tugboats of all sizes.




The larger tugs pushed and pulled as needed to ease into the slip




until all lines were fast and


and the shoreside work needed doing.


Bravo to all involved.  If you want to take part in a toast to Wavertree, you can buy tickets here for the September 29 evening.


If you haven’t read the NYTimes article by James Barron yet, click here.


All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes I left no one out and who as before is grateful to the South Street Seaport Museum and the photographers’ boat provided by US Merchant Marine Academy and crewed by a set of dedicated cadets.

Often folks ask how one can learn about the harbor or is there a book about the sixth boro.  Volunteering at South Street Seaport Museum is a great way available to all to get access to the water, to learn from like-minded folks, and to start on a journey of reading the harbor and its traffic for yourself.  Each volunteer’s journey will be unique, and willing hands make institutions like this museum survive and thrive.

Almost exactly 16 months ago, Wavertree left Pier 16 for a lot of work at Caddell Dry Dock.    Here was my set of photos from that day, and here,  subsequent ones at several month intervals.  Yesterday she made way, back to Pier 16.


Here’s looking back west.  Compare the photo below with the third one here to see how much work has been accomplished on the Bayonne Bridge during the same 16 months.


Yesterday, Rae helped, as did


Dorothy J and Robert IV.


The combined age of Rae, Robert IV, and Dorothy J is 139 years, whereas the beautifully restored flagship they escorted in is 131 years old.


And as the tow approached the Statue, John J. Harvey joined in.



These photos all by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to the South Street Seaport Museum and the photographers’ boat provided by US Merchant Marine Academy and crewed by a set of dedicated cadets.

For some interesting history on Wavertree and info on a fundraiser on board on September 29, 2016, click here.  For the story of how Wavertree came from Argentina to New York, read Peter & Norma Stanford’s A Dream of Tall Ships, which I reviewed here some time ago.

More photos of the return tomorrow.

Today’s a good day to return to this series I had going for a few years and now return to.  More Chrononauts in the next few days…


But first, this vessel bringing in my favorite celebratory drink.


The fabulous September weather has allowed this project to rush to completion.  Remember, tomorrow


in early afternoon she goes on a towline back to South Street Seaport through a portion of the sixth boro of this city made great thanks to shipping work and capital.  You can watch from along the KVK, from the Battery, or from South Street Seaport Museum.


The name paint is on the list of about a thousand “last” things to do before departure.


Also, enjoying the spectacular equinox weather, the crewman who becomes almost invisible in the bow


of this 1100′ box ship,  


tethered to James D. Moran.


More on Peking as she gets prepared for her home-going.  Doesn’t this look like a shipyard for the ages?



All photos taken yesterday by Will Van Dorp.

Of all the project boats, converting work boats into yachts, few get completed to the degree this one has.


I took these photos last weekend in a cove just off a major portion of the sixth boro, thanks to a tip from MM & MM.


M. V. Santandrea keeps some elite company, its humble beginnings notwithstanding.  Click here to see her working lines usually submerged.  Now here’s the most important link . . . to see what she looks like inside, thanks to MM.  I have not found photos of her as she looked in 1961.


Converting a workboat to a yacht seems a common dream and sometimes succeeds, as in the 255′ salvage tug later called Lone Ranger, now called Sea Ranger.  Another success would be the 193′ Sea Wolf, former sister of pilots’ mothership Elbe.   Then there’s the sixth boro’s own Yemitzis.  And there’s Wendy B, which was 1940 built in Owen Sound, ON,  and which generated lots of interest at the 2012 TBRound Up.



There’s no mistaking that rigging.





Meanwhile, Santandrea . . . she’s a beauty.

PS:  Does anyone have updates and/or photos to share of Sea Monster, formerly of Narragansett Bay and once being worked on in Mamaroneck?

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, and thanks again to MM & MM.


July 13 saw my first sighting of this intrepid anachronism, here juxtaposed with a 21st century realm of Logi.


She was then probing the inland seas, seeing how far she could voyage, possibly looking for a passage to the Mississippi and the Gulf via Lake Michigan.  OK, indulge me on that speculation.




Our paths next crossed on September 1, as she made her way through the Erie Canal,


with all the modifications that entailed and the use of sunstones to


avoid getting lost in the meandering rivers.


And late last week, Bjoern Kils of the New York Media Boat got this fabulous shot of her scoping out the sixth boro before


she slipped into a Manhattan cove for a spell.



I missed the display in the Winter Garden and hope I can get there again before the boat moves on.


Many thanks to Bjoern for use of that photo. For more of Bjoern’s photos, click here.  All others by Will Van Dorp.  And following up on some info from Conrad Milster, here’s a video on a Viking ship that traveled to Chicago in 1893.  Yes, 1893!!   And the crossing from Bergen NO to New Haven CT with Captain Magnus Andersen and 11 crew took 30 days.  Then the vessel, dubbed Viking, traveled up the Hudson and through the pre-Barge Canal on its way to Chicago with stops in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Cleveland.  The vessel is still there in Geneva IL.  Here’s another video on the ship.

To pick up on the NY canals’ connection, as we approach the bicentennial of the start of the Erie Canal, it would be great to seek out and archive any photos–still languishing in local photo troves–of the 1893 passage there of Viking, as well as of any other outstanding vessels that have traversed the Canal throughout its history.

And since my focus these days is on chrononauts, there is this fleet that comes through the sixth boro every few years.  I caught up with them in Newburgh in 2012 and Oswego in 2014.



Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,027 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

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.


October 2016
« Sep