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Wow!  It’s time to flip the calendar to March 2022 already; that means flashing back to March 2012.  A photo of Bow Chain on the KVK seems a good place to start, for reasons apparent at the end of this post.

Since these “retro” posts highlight what’s no more to be seen, this is a good one, Brendan, a 6140 hp tug that now is Cindy Rose.

Sea-land Racer dominates the foreground, but look at the unmistakable Viking farther back.

Yes, I mean this Eklof-KSea-Kirby 4300 hp Viking, dismantled a few years ago already.

This 3900 hp Brendan still works daily in the boro.

Also passing the Sea-land Racer is this 1900 hp Pegasus, when she looked as she had coming from the shipyard without an upper wheelhouse.  Pegasus is still a busy machine in the port.

2012 was the year I decided to see the Panama Canal before the new sections opened.  In the middle ground here between the Miraflores locks and the ridge, you can see the mounds of dirt on the middle distant ground.  Those mounds represent dirt displaced digging the new channels.

In the farther lane, Pacific-bound it’s Nord Snow Queen and nearer . . .  Atlantic Polaris.  And again in the photo below, see the dirt removed to create the new channel.  As of this writing, Atlantic is at the dock in Houston and Nord between the ancient, now-Russian port of Novorossiysk and wherever she will be able to enter port.

See more dirt on the nearer ridge?  And the traffic, like Chiquita Schweiz and now called Schweiz Reefer, it continues night and day

Tugboats–see many of them here–have a greater role in the new Panama Canal channels, replacing the locomotives evident in some of the photos above and below, but they were already plentiful pre-expansion.  Here Veraguas 1 heads Pacificward…

assisting Bow Summer in accompaniment with

locomotives aka mules, once supplied by GE but now sourced elsewhereEver Dynamic, like the Odfjell parcel tankers whose names begin with “bow” [no doubt named for the renowned bowsprite],

are as likely to be seen in any major port as in the sixth boro. Ever Dynamic had been in the sixth boro just a month earlier than here, making me almost feel like it was welcoming me to Panama, which I found a very hospitable place.  Bow Summer as of this writing waits outside a South African port. Ever Dynamic was dismantled in Alang almost exactly two years ago.

All photos, WVD, in March 2010.

Sea-land Racer and Viking have both been dismantled in the past five years, Racer in Alang and Viking in Texas.

 

It’s been over a month since I did a thoroughly non-scientific sampling of ships in the boro. I’ve not gotten photos this time, but ONE Apus is back in town after a long hiatus, a time to reconstruct the cells after a Pacific mishap. 

Above, not quite a month on, Nordspring is in the Atlantic between Charleston and Gibraltar.  Al Qibla, below, is currently in the Charleston parking lot, after having been in the Savannah offshore parking lot . . . well, technically,  anchorage.

 

Stolt Larix has departed Houston for sea.

Lady Malou, between November 9 and November 29, has made it through the Panama Canal and is now at a berth in Guatemala, Pacific side.

Polar Cod is heading between Houston and the Panama Canal.

Calypso–an excellent name for a ship–has departed for the Caribbean, maybe the north coast of South America.

The sixth boro’s own Katherine Walker is in the sixth boro.  She’s named for the light keeper who for decades–until 1919– tended that light right off her stern in this photo.

This month I finally caught another of the Explorer-class CMA CGM ULCVs, Magellan. Its namesake Fernão de Magalhães got involved in lethal politics between rival groups on or near the island of Cebu.

Magellan left NYC for Savannah, and now it’s on its way to the Canal and the Pacific.

Spar Pyxis is still in the boro, discharging road salt loaded in Hereke, TR at the Duraport salt pile.

All photos, WVD, who thinks this sixth boro place is the real NYC that never sleeps.

 

I’ve seen blue, orange, and whiteGreen is the only remaining Seatrade specialized reefer I’ve yet to photograph.  The other day I caught Seatrade Red outbound.

Jonathan C. accompanied her out to retrieve the pilot.

Seatrade was established in 1951, and chose to focus on small reefer vessels.  The fleet is comprised of about 50 vessels, but there are only five in the “colour” class of reefer container carriers.

Jonathan C. accompanied her out to retrieve the pilot, and then spun around

for the next job.  I count six people in the photo above.

Seatrade Green just left Tauranga NZ with an ETA at the Panama Canal westside for March 11, so at some point in late March the Green could be back in the sixth boro.

All photos, WVD. And below, from March 2012, is a photo of another type of Seatrade reefer, Buzzard Bay.

Barrington Island, which used to be a regular in the sixth boro, is also part of their fleet.

 

I’ve mentioned before about my people the Dutch celebrating “old years day” on December 31.   As the child of immigrants, I’m blessed by this one of many ways they see the world differently, a perspective I’m happy to share.  So here is a retrospective of the year, the result of a process of scanning through photos in the blog library, not overthinking it.

January.  Gunhilde Maersk with James, Kirby, and JRT plus Miriam Moran.  the year of the 1200-footers aka ULCVs becoming commonplace in the sixth boro.

February.  Ocean Henry Bain serves as a safety boat during  the ice canoe race I documented in my Carnavalons posts.

March. Cerro Grande here escorted a Caribbean-bound LNG ship, one of all the Panama Tugs posts

April. When I saw this section of drained canal bed between O-6 to O-7 in Oswego, I thought the work’d never get done before the season began, but I was wrong.  Of all my 2018 NYS Canals posts, this and this posted with the greatest urgency.

May.  Reliable pushed seaward by Lucy H.  As of today, Reliable lies under the sea gathering fishes and entertaining Davy Jones near Shinnecock.

June.  Jay Bee V headed out on a high-profile mission.  Has she returned to the sixth boro yet?

July.  I missed Rosemary‘s christening because that’s what happens when you don’t look at your calendar. First come first serve for a few tugster lighthouse calendars.  Send me an email with your mailing address.   As I said, I ran a few extra when I made up my Christmas gifts.

August.  Kimberly Selvick with AEP barges was one of the treats I saw in Calumet.  This day south of Chicago planted a seed of curiosity about the Lake Michigan/Mississippi River link I hope to be able to explore in 2019.  Many thanks to Christine Douglas.

September.  J. W.  Cooper delivers a pilot in Port Colborne at the Lake Erie end of the Welland Canal.  Because I hadn’t a satisfying enough fix from the canal earlier, I returned there in October.

October.  One Stork, a pink ULCV,  came into town.  It wasn’t her first visit/delivery, but it was the first that I caught.  She’s currently in the sixth boro.

November.  Morton S. Bouchard IV rounds Shooters Island light, Bouchard celebrated a big anniversary this year.

December.  Ruth M. Reinauer heads west into the Kills in December, the start of heating oil season.

And that’s it for the year, time for me to securely lock up Tugster Tower and prepare myself to meet 2019.  The older I get, the more profound is my awareness that although I make many plans for a new year, I might not see the end of it.  It’s just how it is.  Every day is a blessing.  Last year had my own personal ultima thule; I pray that 2019 brings its new ones.

Thanks to everyone who read, commented, and assisted me in 2018.  Happy and constructive new year day by day to you all.

I’ve been holding on to these photos until my article came out online, which happened yesterday.  You can read it here. For sixth boro watchers or astute followers of this blog, what do you notice about the vessel–Maria Energy–centered as it enters the chamber at Cocoli?  Answer follows.

 

 

What Cerro Ancon is doing above, and Cerro Grande below would be done by locomotives, aka “mules” here and here in the 1914 parts of the Canal, still functioning of course.  Originally these locomotives were made–where else?–in Schenectady.  Here’s a then-and-now look at Canal locomotives.  The current mules come from Japan.  Here’s more.

 

The switch to tugs only involves, as you might guess, some familiarization, which is the topic of my next article, not yet out online.

The photos above and below show more differences between the 1914 locks and the ones that opened in 2016, referred to as the “third set.”  The new gates roll and the water saving basins do just that . . .  saving 60% of the water for each lockage.

In the distance beyond Maria Energy, you can see ships in the Miraflores locks.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  And the connection with the sixth boro?  Maria Energy is part of the TEN fleet . . . which includes the handymax tanker Afrodite.

 

 

With all the dredging in the Canal, you’d expect spoils hopper barges, and

sure enough, we met several.  Cazalla is a 2012 product of SIMA Peru, Chimbote shipyard.

Barge 852 pushed by Gorgona I,

which I believe is an older boat.  But I’ve been unable to find any information on her age or provenance.

Culebra appears to be the same design as Gorgona 1.  Here she works a spud barge over

near the Gatun Dam, which regulates Chagres River flow to create the Lake. Nor have I found any info on the smaller push tug there, Quail.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Rio Indio could have been grouped with yesterday’s post because it’s a Z-Tech 6000:  ASD with 4826 hp Wärtsilä engines with azimuthing 7.8′ propellers in Kort nozzles, generating 61 tons of bollard pull.  I include it here for contrast with the rest of the boats in this post.

Calovebora came out the next year (2010) with an upgrade:  it’s an ASD (azimuth stern drive)  Z-Tech 6500, larger propellers and slightly beamier than Rio Indio, with a 12V228 GE power plant generating 5845 hp and 65 tons bollard pull by means of Schottel SPR 1515 FP units.  The GE power plants were produced in the big small city of Grove City, PA . . .  Pennsylvania.

Farfan is basically a twin of Calovebora, as are all the other boats in this post.  This photo was taken at the dredging center in Gamboa.

Belén also is a 6500.  Most of this series is named for Panamian rivers: Belén was discovered by Columbus, who also then discovered that the existing population were not hospitable to outsiders who gave signs of settling.

Dolega as well is fleet mate of the other 6500 boats.  Here she’s made up to a mooring in Gamboa.

Morning Claire was US-bound when we met her in Gatun Lake on March 5;  yesterday she arrived and departed the sixth born.  Her “slow” arrival is explained by the fact that she stopped at a half dozen ports on her way here, and as of tomorrow, she’ll be in Boston.

Providing a “cut-style” assist to Morning Claire through the Canal is Sajalices, another Z-Tech 6500.

And our last 6500 for this post is Parita 1, product of 2011, whom we met at Atlantic Ocean level the morning we were headed for Gatun locks.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who alone is responsible for any errors in info here.

And remember, I’m still looking for photos of helm seats, captain’s chairs.  I’d like to do a post on them.  I’m looking for the full range:   luxurious to decrepit or basic or high-tech.  Email me a photo of the chair and identify the vessel. You don’t need to be sitting in it.  I’ve got photos of three seats so far, but I’d like a half dozen before doing a post.

Before 2000, the Canal was operated by the Panama Canal Commission; beginning on January 1, 2000 (Y2K), the Commission was replaced by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).  It appears the first tugs purchased by the ACP were from Canada, specifically from Irving Shipbuilding.  One was Colón.  It arrived in Panama in late 2001.  

We encountered this tug near the Atlantic Bridge project, which will span both the 1914 locks and the latest set, Aqua Clara on the north end.

Compared with the US-built ones in yesterday’s post, the Canadians are about 5′ longer and 2′ wider. Colón is rated at 54 tons bollard pull generated by two Deutz SBV-8M-628s produced 4400 hp transmitted by Schottel SRP 1212s with Kort nozzles.

Coclé, shown here in Miraflores Lake, was the other tug in that contract.

Herrera, shown here assisting a bunker from the Miraflores lock to the Pedro Miguel, fits the same dimensions and arrival time in the Canal, although I’ve not sure how to explain how the Irving order went from two to more.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who offers more tomorrow.

 

Recent tugboat building contracts at the Canal have gone to Chinese and Spanish shipyards.

What I did was look at all the (ACP or Panama Canal Authority) tugboat photos I took–and only those–and classify them by age and provenance.  The photos below were the US built tugs I saw, all three built before 2000.

Guia, below, is the oldest tug I saw.  She was built by Houma Fabricators in 1987.  Full specs are here, but she has 31 tons bollard pull, powered by 2 EMD 645-E6 for a rated 3000 hp and Voith-Schneider cyclical propulsion.

Unidad, from Houma Fabricators,  is a repeat of  Guia.  At least five others were built and are active.  The line in the photo is between the tanker and a mooring.

 

Cacique came from Halter-Moss Point, 1997 for the Panama Canal Commission.  Full specs are here.  She has a bollard pull of 32 tons from the same power plant as Guia.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

The “enlargement” of the Panama Canal involved a lot of dredging in Panama, as well as in ports served by the Neopanamax ships:  deepening approaches, widening channels, and even eliminating islands in part or whole in Gatun Lake.  I put the ” ” there because it’s more accurate to say “creating a third set of locks,” two sets were built a century ago.  To illustrate click here;  in the fifth photo, Atlantic Polaris is in set 1, and Nord Snow Queen in set 2.   Try again, in the same post, the fourth photo from the end, Bow Summer is in the first set, and Ever Dynamic in the second.   The third set construction site was visible back in 2012 here in the fifth photo, on the hill beyond Water Phoenix.

To dredging then, on the Atlantic side, DEME is busy with a fleet

that includes D’Artagnan heading up the efforts, a cutterhead suction dredge that can work down to 114.’

A category I’d not seen before is a self-propelled hopper barge, such as Pagadder and

Sloeber, although the latter was behind a dock that obscured most of her.  On the photo above, see the split midships on the bow;  that’s how she bottom dumps, as a dump scow would.

Quibian I is Panama-flagged and working in Lake Gatun, which is really the dammed up Chagres River.

 

The tenders alongside include (far to near)  Diablo, Espada, and Diablo II.

Drill barge Barú, proudly christened in 2006,  is one of the dredge-related vessels operating near the Culebra Cut. Barú, named for a Panamanian volcano, seems an appropriate name for a vessel whose mission is to drill holes so that charges can be set.   Back in 2012, I got these photos of charges detonated after being set deep by Kraken, over in the Arthur Kill.

The tender above and below is Chame II.  She followed us toward Culebra Cut while she was on a run to load more explosives.

Over on the Pacific side, dredging is performed by Jan de Nul, a Luxembourgois dredging firm.   Filippo Brunelleschi ran day and night dredging the Pacific side approaches;  a trailing suction hopper dredge, she can operate down to 124 ‘!  To digress, I’m not sure which tugs were there off the stern and in front of Taboga.

Not surprisingly for a European firm, Jan de Nul (JDN)–like DEME–uses self-propelled split hopper scows.

The two here are Magellano 1800 above and Verrazzano 1800 below, both flagged Mauritius (Port Louis) like the JDN tug we saw here.

And finally, that’s Filippo B in the distance coming back in toward the Pacificside locks, passing Maggie M.  I’m not sure why Maggie M was anchored here.

All photos by Will Van Drop, who suggests these places to celebrate the green saint’s day.

 

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