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I’d planned something else for today, but then I saw the tree!  See it on the bow of Pilot No 2 New Jersey?  And that reminded me it was Three Kings day, Epiphany.

 

The colors are always best when wind chills are biting.   Pilot No 2 and the smaller boat, America, went out as it were in a procession.

America stayed out over the horizon, but New Jersey returned, tree intact.

This reminded me also of photos I’d taken from New York Media Boat and had intended to use for my Christmas post.  From its station out at the sea end  of Ambrose Channel, the VZ Bridge is clearly seen.

 

Coming from sea, this is first glimpse of the port, two states and all six boros.

Safe year to all.

All photos, WVD.  Thanks to New York Media Boat.

Six years ago, I posted this for Three Kings.  And the tree makes this a great complementary bookend for this season.

With the end of the year coming, it’s strangely difficult to put these posts together.  I’ve chased down several ideas the past few days, and abandoned them.   All these photos were taken in recent days, except one about a month ago.  They strike me as showing the different skies and waters of the unacknowledged boro. 

So, photos . . . like this of Christine M. McAllister, 125.5′ x 38′ and 6000 hp.  She’s returning to town after a rough encounter on Christmas day . . . .  Maybe someone else can tell the story of SS Denebola (T-AKR 289) first hand.  It’s been a while that Christine M. has appeared on this blog.

Soon to be ex-Eastern Dawn, 52′ x 22 and 1200 hp,  crosses the Upper Bay looking all resplendent in the new paint job.

Two Bouchard tugs are stacked up on the far side of Cape Henry, 109′ x 36′ and 5000 hp,  and her DBL 103, 102,000 barrel capacity barge. 

Dylan Cooper, 112′ x 35′ and 4720 hp, waits in the anchorage with RTC 108, around 108,000 barrels.

Genesis Vigilant, 98.5 x 34 and 3000 hp, also at anchor with GM 6508,  80,000 barrels capacity.

And finally . . .  misclassified on purpose, notice several things this windy morning  on the starboard side of OceanXplorer:  a tender, a helicopter, and areas marked ROV and CTD.  ROV I knew, but CTD I had to look up.  Check out this blog post by New York Media Boat.

All photos and any errors of fact or interpretation, WVD, who wishes you all a happy new year, or as my parents would say . . . gelukkig nieuwjaar.

Behold OceanXplorer.  I missed them in a search because I was looking for an Ocean Explorer.  Of the many exotics that have called in the sixth boro in recent years, this one stands out.

She started life as Volstad Surveyor in 2010, a much more spartan-looking workboat, launched at Construcciones Navales Paulino Freire, Spain.  Since then she’s seen major modification inside and out by OceanX, in partnership with BBC’s Blue Planet and James Cameron, who “sailed” to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 2012.

OceanX is the project of a Queens native named Ray Dalio, in town for a few days. 

Media was invited but somehow tugster was omitted from the guest list . . . at least so far.

Look at this and then see

this labeled diagram from here.  If you do FB, here‘s a story from Good Morning America of the previous boat in operation in mid-2019.

A comparison with Jacques Cousteau has been made;  Calypso was also a made-over workboat, and big money was involved there too.  In the photo below, note the person on the dock off the stern line of the vessel?

All photos, WVD.  Calypso is currently still in rebuild in Turkey, SE of Istanbul.

Several other projects come to mind:  Lone Ranger and Ocearch. If I’ve never posted my Ocearch story, here it is.

Barebones post today . . .  since these photos I took between 1030 and 1130.  By now, 1230, they’ve dropped the pilot at the end of Ambrose and set a course for . . .  warmer weather and

(but first sails need to be raised…

and adjusted.)

… warmer weather in Dominican Republic, where a load of cocoa awaits in that tropical heat, two weeks or so ahead.

Mid North River, they tacked and 

waved at the French Lady and

us . .  on the Media Boat

and they headed for the opening.

Bon voyage.  Many thanks to Bjoern at the New York Media Boat.

All photos, WVD.

More context . . .  see previous installments of Grain de Sail here. For info on their cargo, click here.

You can refresh–a choice word here– your memory as to the meaning of GUP, or just trust me that it’s my euphemism for Scheiße….  In the spirit of creating a parallel term to GUP, I offer “trashed [or discarded] universal product,” or TUP and DUP.  I prefer DUP, as it sounds like a term in a doo-wop song.  Seen from the water, here’s an important node in the DUP flow.  The E91st Street Marine Transfer Station (MTS) is one of a number around the city.   NY’s strongest* trucks enter from the landside and dump their DUP to be containerized by either Waste Management or Covanta.  When the containers are loaded and securely lidded, they’re transfered onto barges and moved to the railheads . . .

*NY’s strongest is the nickname for DSNY’s workers.  You’ve possibly heard of NYPD as the finest, FDNY as bravest, Corrections as boldest, public school teachers as brightest . . . But is there a term for the crews now moving DUP around the waterways that make up the sixth boro?  I think we need such a term . .  NY’s saltiest, maybe?

The railhead is near the Goethals Bridge, one on the Howland Hook side, and another

on the Elizabethport side. Black, I’m told is Covanta, and green is Waste Management.  Norfolk Tugs has the contract to move both sets.  

Thanks to NY Media Boat, I recently had the opportunity to see the transfer of green containers taking place.

These gantry cranes are a smaller version of the those that transfer containers in container ports, working on ULCVs and the smaller forebears.

Standing by here is Captain D, one of the vessels operated by NY’s saltiest.  Other tugs moving these DUP barges are Pathfinder, Paula Atwell, Robert Burton, and more.

All photos and acronym creation, WVD.

For more on NYC’s outsourced DUP, click here.

For some of these cranes arrival five and three and a half years ago, click here and here.

For floating these containers around the boro, click here.

As to calendars, thanks for your orders.  Over half of the 25 are already spoken for.  I may have to do a second run, but in that case, I can’t guarantee the same print costs/price.

 

The NY Media Boat has a pick up point in Manhattan, but I chose to board the boat at Liberty Landing in Jersey City, where this view of lower Manhattan awaits. From here, our goal was almost 20 nm away, even though we’d not take the shortest route.  Some tasks call for efficient and direct routes, and other tasks crave scenic, gunk-hole exploration routes.

This was the goal, the station boat, in this case Pilot No. 1 New York. Of course,  “on station” may not be at anchor, rather it might be steaming slow circles or figure eights in the vicinity of the entrance to Ambrose Channel, with an America class boat ready to deliver pilots between ships and the station boat.   This is entirely stating the obvious, but standing on shore, you may not be able to see the station boat; however, from the station boat, you can clearly see a large city spread out before you.  Obviously, you can’t see the tidal zone of the beach  . .  and more . . .  because of the curvature of the earth.  At one point, an Ambrose lightship was in this vicinity.

Our actual goal was the “A” buoy, aka the “sea buoy,” which marks the “sea” end of Ambrose Channel.   Note the green patina “whistle” in the lower half of the buoy;  it makes a sighing tone as water motion pressures air through it. Click here to hear a variety of buoy noises.   Here‘s another view of the type.  By the way, in the image below, that’s the station boat in the distance, the white speck to the right of the buoy.

But all that is not the story.  See the bird “swimming” to the right of the A buoy?  Well, it was trapped, tangled in discarded fishing line. 

This turned into the adventure.  Click on the image . . . and you’ll see the rescue and hear the sounds, including the buoy whistle and VHF crackle.  That’s Bjoern at the helm and then carrying the bird after I cut the main line.  I’m the guy with the white hat and knife. 

The gull’s body and right leg had been entangled in the line.   What this photo doesn’t show is the blood on Bjoern’s foot and my hand.  Gulls have a reputation for biting the hands that disentangle it . . .  as reward for saving them from certain death by starvation.   Oh well, you’ve seen blood before, and salt water heals everything.

Here’s closeup of some of that line.

Click on the clip below for the context of the video.   By the way, the footage comes from the in-cabin CCTV camera.

Many thanks to Bjoern at the Media Boat for the views from “sea” and the adventure. 

Photos, unless otherwise credited, WVD.

PS:  If you’re looking for food ideas for tomorrow, that gull was plump as a small turkey, given all the bunker out there.  And if you are spending T’day on a vessel and feel like it, send me a photo of your table, give me some info, and I’ll do a post about that.  I know this book  is out of date, so classics live on and maybe it needs to be updated.

I’m thankful we have so much to be thankful for every day.

Fishing grounds . . . the NJ Upper Bay portion of the sixth boro. Quick question to be answered at the end of the post:  how many commercial fishing ports does NJ have and can you name them?  Eastern Welder is a perennial boat here;  Hyundai Victory is one of the ULCVs newly recent here.

I can’t tell you the name of the nearer boat,

but it certainly shows the influence of the deadrise boat from farther south. Click here for a technical definition of deadrise.

Fishing from pedal kayak has surged in popularity, and

can be fishing where they’re not expected.

Bjoern Kils and I on the New York Media Boat Defender visited the nearest NJ commercial fishing port, Belford NJ, the other day.

Although Belford has a lot of boats, it is NOT NJ’s largest fishing port. More on that assignment in an upcoming post.

Belford Creek is home to a diverse set of fish boats.

Given the trail of gulls following Trisha Marie, fish are being cleaned during the ride back to port.

Note the VZ Bridge and the Manhattan skyline visible from the Belford Channel.

Meanwhile dozens of small boats fish the Lower Bay this time of year, while whales gorge themselves on all the bunker in the Bay.

So . . . besides Belford, the other NJ commercial fishing ports are Point Pleasant, Viking Village in Barnegat Light, Atlantic City, Cape May/Wildwood, and Port Norris.  Viking Village is the largest at this time.  Belford is the newest.   More here. Looks like I need to do some more gallivanting . . .

If you’re looking for a non-traditional food for T’day in this non-traditional year, get fish.  It may not be all that non-traditional. Here‘s info on the Belford Seafood Co Op.

All photos and sentiments, WVD.

2015 is the last year I saw the race;  in the following years I was working and away.  But 2015 Labor Day Sunday had beautiful weather.

Again, I’m not going to name each;  you can read the names either on the boats or in the tags . . .  and then match up. And in the photo above, the jetskis had no names, but I hope you noticed them.

I’ll make an exception for Sea Horse, the Linden-based Sea Scout boat.  Click here for more info on the boat.

 

 

See Harvey back at the end of the line?  It was 19 years ago that Harvey came out of retirement to assist when tragedy struck.

Both lead tugs here are nicely appointed with the colorful pennants.

Ellen certainly had the best matched “riding crew” that day.

Let’s hope the this race comes back in 2021.

All photos, WVD, whose fabulous ride was care of the NY Media Boat.  If you’re looking for something to do, click on the link and book a ride.

 

Let’s do 2013 and 2014, or redo them, same conditions as I stated yesterday. But first let’s look at the 2013 crowd, packing in like you wouldn’t with covid.  Here was the crowd at 1010 and

by 1035 they had grown significantly.

The compulsory muster takes place, irrigated by fireboat John J. Harvey.

Once the race begins, a front-runner like Decker

might soon get left in the wake.

The fire boat slices up from behind and

propels itself between two Miller boats.

Pushoffs happen next, sometimes quite equally matched like here, with 3900 hp countering 4200.

Let’s jump ahead to 2014, with the arrivals on the watery carpet,

the processing to the starting line,

and get straight to racing without all the preening and posturing.

Someone seems a bit oversize in that gray livery.

This is a fairly mis-matched pair:  Wayne at 5100 hp, and Ellen at 4000.  Maybe a re-match is in order Wayne v. Ava.

Thanks to Jeff Anzevino for this shot, the Media Boat has military background in common with Wayne.

After Wayne has strutted its stuff in the push-offs, some of the boats lined up for the roping the bollard.

Let’s hold it up here.  All photos, WVD.

 

This will be a photo-rich post, starting with bridge workers currently at the Brooklyn side VZ tower, aka the former Fort Lafayette.

You might remember Michele Jean;  Christina is the replacement vessel.

Most small craft in the sixth boro work all year round, in either construction, hydrographic surveys,

boom handling, launch service,

law enforcement,

and more.  Some fishing takes place all year round although winter fishing employs different craft.

 

Fishing machines as below . . .  only from about April to October.

Annunziata is a fishing boat I see a lot on AIS, but this is my first time to confirm boat with name under way.

New York Media Boat has some of their vessels working all year round, but here’s a catch, a NY Media Boat RIB in front of the Hudson Yards endless staircase called the Vessel, parts of which appeared on this blog during construction.

Then, the red boat below with kayak on roof, that’s a summertime only boat for up here.

And let’s close with the boom handlers;  tankers and oil barges are boomed during some of their harbor operations, as a precaution in case of spillage.  All year round these small craft do their boom wrangling.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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