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I’m back and just in time for the last day of the year, which –as explained in previous years— in my Dutch tradition is a reflection day, a time to if not assess then at least recall some of the sights of the past 12 months.  A photo-driven blog makes that simultaneously easy and hard;  easy because there’s a photographic record and not easy because there’s such an extensive photographic record to sift though.

A word about this set of photos:  these are some “seconds” that did not make the final cut for my 2023 tugster calendar.  The actual calendars are still available if you’ve not ordered one;  find the order info here. I’m ordering a bunch myself. 

One windy day last January I caught a Pilot No 1–the old New York–doing drills under the VZ Bridge.  Just recently I met one of the engineers on that boat, a person with epic stories about the sixth boro.

A warm day in February, I caught JRT Moran assisting QM2 into her Red Hook berth. 

March I spent a delightful day on Douglas B. Mackie observing the water side of a Jersey shore beach replenishment project, thanks to the hard-working folks at GLDD. 

April . . .  I caught Jane McAllister heading out;  correct if I’m wrong, but my sense is that soon afterward she made her way down to South America to join the expanding ranks of US-built tugs working on various projects on the south side of the Caribbean. 

As a member of the Canal Society of NYS, I had the opportunity to see Urger up close and sun-warmed on the bank of the Oswego in Lysander NY. 

A clutch of Centerline tugboats waited for their next assignment at the base just east of the Bayonne Bridge.   Note the fully foliated trees beyond them along the KVK.

From the humid heat of western Louisiana and onto the Gulf of Mexico, Legs III–shown 

here spudded up just east of SW Pass, afforded a memorable journey on its way up to the sixth boro.  Thx, Seth. 

Back in the boro, later in August, a Space X rocket recovery boat named Bob–for an astronaut– came through the sixth boro.  More on Bob–the astronaut–here

In September, I finally got to my first ever Gloucester schooner race, thanks to Rick Miles of Artemis, the sailboat and not the rocket. 

Icebreaker Polar Circle was in the boro a few days in September as well.  Now it’s up in Canada, one hopes doing what icebreakers are intended to do. US naval logistics vessel Cape Wrath is at the dock in Baltimore ready and waiting a logistics assignment. 

Ticonderoga certainly and Apache possibly are beyond their time working and waiting.  I believe Ticonderoga is at the scrappers in Brownsville. 

Passing the UN building on the East River, veteran Mulberry is currently out of the army and working in the private sector.  I’ve a request:  for some time I’ve seen a tug marked as Scholarie working the waters west of the Cape Cod Canal;  a photo suggested it might be called Schoharie. Anyone help out?

And finally, a photo taken just two days ago while passing through the sixth boro during what can hardly be called “cover of darkness” it’s Capt Joseph E. Pearce on its way to a shipyard on the mighty Rondout to pick up some custom fabrication for a Boston enterprise. Many thanks to the Stasinos brothers for the opportunity.

I’d be remiss in ending this post and this year without mentioning lost friends, preserving a memory of their importance to me personally . . .  Bonnie of frogma–first ever to comment of this blog so many years ago and a companion in many adventures– and Mageb, whose so frequent comments here I already miss. 

I plan to post tomorrow, although I may miss my high noon post time because I hope to post whatever best sunrise 2023 photos I can capture in the morning.  

Happy, safe, and prosperous new year to you all.  I’m posting early today because I want my readers who live much much farther east than the sixth boro to get these wishes before their new trip around the sun begins. Bonne annee!  Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

 

I spent part of a quiet T’day thinking about doing a 2023 calendar, and difficult as it always is to winnow the choices down to 12 or so shots, I’m doing a calendar.  Price will likely be $20 again.    Sorry to bring up buying on this Black Friday.

Going back through the 2022 photos reminded me of the highs and lows of my personal year.  I also looked again at some gallivant photos I’ve never posted on the blog.  Today seems a good although dark, rainy day to open the line locker. 

Any guesses on this roadside attraction?  It’s a 3/8 size replica measuring 63′ x 13.’  I’ll let you do the math.  Answers below.   Doesn’t the design suggest a Zumwalt class destroyer?

I took the photo in April 2022. 

 

Here’s another roadside attraction.  Maybe I could do some road photos 2022 posts.  Any ideas about this similar replica vessel, this one appropriately on terra firma, or terra mudda?

There’s a clue in this photo. 

So before moving to the next sets, here’s some ID:  both are replica from the Confederate Navy and both are located in North Carolina, whose flag you see above.  The first is CSS Albemarle, moored in the Roanoke River in Plymouth NC.   The actual vessel–158′ x 35′ — was commissioned in April 1864, and sunk in October of the same year.  More here.

The second vessel is CSS Neuse II, a replica of a 152′ x 34′ steam-powered ironclad ram.  Also launched in April 1864, the underpowered and “overdrafted” warship bogged down and never left the immediate area of Kinston NC, where she was built.  Finally, in March 1865, her crew burnt the vessel in the river to prevent its capture by Union land forces.  More here

Previous US Civil War vessels I’ve mentioned on this blog are USS Cairo and CSS Hunley.   Any suggestions for other Civil War navies sites to visit?

The fine print on the vessel below says University of Maryland; it’s their RV Rachel Carson down in Solomons MD. 

I took the Carson photo from the decks of skipjack Dee of St Mary’s, a delightful cruise under sail as part of a friend’s even-more-delightful wedding. 

I’m not allowed to say much about the next set, but I have the privilege to see this tricky maneuvering up close.  

Note that this vessel, currently underway between Indonesia and South Korea, is assisted by four tugboats. 

Thanks so much for the hospitality.  You know who you are.  Again, sorry I’m not permitted to say much more or publish my article.  If you have any questions or comments about this last set, email or telephone me.

All photos, any errors, WVD, who’s thinking of doing a freighter cruise soon, with a destination in eastern or southeastern Asia.  does anyone have suggestions?  I’ve not yet contacted these folks.  

Every day is Thanksgiving, but we dedicate one day to talk about it.  One undeniable detail of the US popular T’giving narrative involves a transAtlantic vessel, Mayflower.  Some of this info about the Mayflower might be new. Less than a decade after arriving in North America, it may have been dismantled and used in a barn building project.  Reference to Mayflower, original and replica, can be found in these previous blog posts.

Of course, instances of earlier thanksgiving in the US exist, like this one from 1607 and involved a vessel named Virginia, in Maine.   My point is . . . it’s a story of migration by ship.

That’s the connection:  this blog features ships, and this post is a sampling of vessels that’ve called in the sixth boro in recent weeks and months, like The Amigo, a 2012 Croatia-built asphalt/bitumen tanker. Cargo in the tanks needs to be kept well above the boiling point to maintain liquidity.

MSC Shirley is a 2000-built Polish-built container ship with a capacity of 2024 teu.

Seaways Redwood is a 2013 South Korea-built crude tanker.  South Korea currently builds the highest percentage of global shipping, although other Pacific Asian countries are in second and third places, as you’ll see in this sampling. 

Grande Texas is a PCTC built 2021 in China, off Ningbo.  She has the capacity of 7,600 ceu (car equivalent units).

Ardmore Dauntless and Ardmore Enterprise, both built South Korea but in 2015 and 2013, respectively.  Enterprise has slightly larger capacity. 

Aruna Berk is a drybulk carrier launched in China in 2011.

Thor Maximus is a 2005 Japan-built drybulk carrier.

ONE Wren is a 2018 Japan-built 14000 teu container ship.

Atlantic Spirit is a McKeil tanker, launched in 2011 from a shipyard in China.

McKeil is a Canadian company.  McKeil tugboats work mostly the Great Lakes;  one company tug visited the sixth boro a few years back here. 

Thundercat is a 2008 crude carrier built in China.  

Given a 1980s cartoon series, I had to chuckle at this name. 

Key Ohana is a 2010 Japan built bulk carrier.  

MSC Agadir is a Korea-built 8886 teu container ship dating from 2012.

Note the scrubbing add-on for emissions.  MSC Shirley, above, also has an exhaust-filtering system.

Northern Jaguar is a 2009 8400-teu container ship built in South Korea.  Small size as it is relative to the ship, the rudder and prop spray size relative to a single container is gigantic;  think of following that down the highway as you would a trailer-mounted container.

Jag Leela is a 1999 South Korea built crude tanker. She appeared on this blog back in 2010 here

Poorly-lit but I include this photo anyhow because it shows Ever Forward, the newest and likely the best-known ship in this post, due to her not moving forward earlier this year.  She’s currently heading south in the Red Sea, getting chased by a friend named Mike

All photos and any errors, WVD, who offers this as an assortment of commercial vessels in and out of the sixth boro. Post 98 in the series appeared here way back in April.

None of these vessels will ever maintain the lasting hold Mayflower has on the US psyche, but the fact is that much of what folks will list as what they are thankful for involves conveyance of vessels like these in and out of the sixth boro.  That’s part of why I do posts like this one.

Happy thanksgiving today.

 

The first time I used this title, although with a pretentious spelling, was here, more than 12 years ago, a collaboration I immediately liked.  This year I’ve posted quite a few, especially in the first three months of 2022, all related to the Barge Canal. 

Here’s one I’ve not posted.  I wish more text existed on the image, but all I can make out, other than STEAM BOAT COAL is Chas. C. Wing, the steamer tug to the right.  Wing came off the ways in Poughkeepsie in 1894;  it makes me wonder when the last tugboat was launched from Poughkeepsie.   She measured 50 x 15, registered in Albany, and according to MVUS, had a crew of one.  That makes me wonder about a number of things. Here she tows at least three dry bulk barges up to lock E-3.   This photo was likely taken by George Michon.  The Michon Collection (of photos) is in the NYS Museum.  Thanks, George, since you were taking photos on the Canal 30 years before I was born.

Delta Fox has been in the boro around for a while, but I’ve never seen her work.  I’m told she’s been sold foreign.  The 1980 tug measures 66′ x  24′, built in   1980, and has 1200 hp. That looks like a substantial Little Toot beside her.   This photo and the next two were taken by Tony A. 

This is the Hudson-Athens Light, in the early 00s of the watch.  I’d never put together until now that this light’s twin sister is in the LI Sound:  Stepping Stones.  The photo shows a whole different meaning to “lighthouse.”

James Turecamo came out of the shipyard not far to the north of this photo:  Matton,  1969.  She ‘s 92′ x 27’ and brings 2000 hp to the job. 

The next photos all come from the erudite George Schneider,  And rather than paraphrase, I’ll just verbatim quote his inimitable wit and style:  “U S ARMY RET ST 893 was originally the Army ST 893, built by J K Welding in Brooklyn NY in July 1945.  At some point (apparently in the 1980’s) she was transferred to Humboldt State College in Eureka CA, still named ST 893 and undocumented.  They added additional deckhouse to her for use as an oceanographic research and training vessel.  Sold in 1998, she was documented about 2004 with the painfully long name she now bears.  Her home port was changed to Kings Bay GA by a Florida owner, but she is now owned by someone in Anacortes WA.”  It makes me wonder how and how often she’s transited the Panama Canal. 

Next, it’s Gina as told by George:  “GINA (1247922), formerly CATAHECASSA (YTB 828).  She is owned by Basic Towing of Escanaba MI, but with the death of Papa Kobasic a few years ago, the company is streamlining and it’s unlikely this tug will return to the Lakes, where she was built in 1974.”  She’s another Panama Canal transiting tugboat.  Other YTBs on this blog, other than the sixth boro’s Ellen McAllister, can be found here

TIOGA (1021169) no longer has her red hull and red stacks.  One might guess she’s in the process of being sold, but you’ll also note the Crowley logo is freshly marked on her, also with the blue highlights.  Is the company we knew half a century ago only as “Red Stack” becoming Blue Stack? “

George shares lots of photos, and I really should pass more on for you all to see. 

Next I’ll interject a photo I took a few years back.  If you don’t immediately know why I post this photo of a NRofHP plaque, see the next photo. 

This photo from Kevin Oldenburg shows Edna A pushing Chancellor, the “landmarked” 1938 tug to the location where she’ll be “dismantled,” a somewhat archaic word that I find preferable to “scrapped.”  Preferable words of not, many wanted to see Chancellor live on, and now she will only in photos. Edna A has been featured in some momentous projects the past few years.   For some of Kevin’s other work, click here

Thanks to all of you who send in photos now and then.  As blogster-in-chief at tugster tower, I sometimes post when I feel I can do justice to you and your photo. 

A bit more reflection this anniversary week . . . I’m reminded we all see everything through our unique eye/brain/personality lenses.  That could lead to conflict, but here, other perspectives help motivate me to devote time to this desk every day.  And the value of collaboration, that goes without explaining.  So thanks.  Thanks for the comments as well.  Today’s photos come thanks to George, Tony, and Kevin., but other days  . . . other people.  You know who you are. 

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Since starting the blog, I’ve noticed constant change in the sixth boro, shorelines of the five boros and NJ, and a few other places I get to repeatedly.  For example, a year and a half ago Bayonne Dry Dock added their marine travel lift, and anyone looking in that direction gets treated to a rotation of work boats, revealing hull lines and wheels, the usually invisible parts of a boat. 

Saint Emilion (SE) spent about a month on the hard;  in fact, I caught her in the slings about to lift here a few months back.   In the photo above SE shares the yard with NRC Guardian, an oil spill response boat one hopes never to need.  Below the other boat is McCormack Boys. Seeing them juxtaposed like this illustrates the difference in scale between a 73′ tug and a 105′ one.

Beam on the two boats is a less dramatic difference of 38′ v. 26′.

Charleston, 95′ x 34′, has interesting five-bladed props, aka wheels.  For some sense of the variety of props, click here

Recently Alex McAllister was out of the water for a period of time, which could be as routine as you own car going up on the lift now and then. 

Note the Kort nozzles (ducted propeller)  that enclose the props on Alex. Nozzles can also be seen above on McCormack Boys.

All photos, WVD, whose previous high-and-dry posts can be seen here

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that this is the week tugster launched 16 years ago.  Back then and sometimes since, I sometimes describe this blog as a research project without a defined end point or goal;  observe, photograph, sometimes chat, analyze, repeat  . . . is the method. If analyze means reading, then google or whatever search engine you prefer . . .  is your friend.

That there are patterns is clearer now, even with and maybe because of occasional wrong deductions along the way.   Despite my frequent use of “random” in titles, my “patterns” geek level has climbed such that a newbie to the site might wonder about the minutae, the invented words and acronyms.  Trust me:  I still am (mostly) a sociable, balanced person albeit with the more maricentric perspective I strived for.  

In case you’re wondering, some video sources these days are What the Ship and marktwained, other maricentric and rivacentric sites.  Rivacentric . . . I like that   because seeing life from the perspective of rivers is not the same as seeing it from shoreless seas or  trails, roads and highways.  

I’ve been kicking a rival idea around in my head . . .  using the method described above, I’d love to do something–likely not a blog–about various agriculture/food production sectors now compared with how they were 50 or so years ago, the time when I was growing up with agricultural chores all year long on a family farm.  My brother dairy farms the “old” way on the land where I grew up, and friends work for today’s east coast megafarms.  Then there’s farming with poultry, beef and other meat animals, apples and other fruits, grains and other cash crops, produce, mushrooms,  . . . that’s only land farming and the list of farming types can go on . . .

I think about doing this ag then/now project a lot, but I have time to do only one research project, not both.

 

Happy independence day.  While taking your coffee break, give this document signed by fallible but brave men 246 years ago a read….

I took these photos a decade ago on

a memorable night

in the sixth boro.

Later I posted my first “illuminations” post, reprising language from one of the 56 signers of that document, who put aside their petty disagreements to unite on what they considered common ground despite their differences.

Like I said, from one fallible person to all the rest of you fallible folks, happy independence day.

All photos, WVD.

Happy Canada Day to our neighbors to the north, where half my relatives come from.

I barely saw the sixth boro this June, so I had to catch up a bit, adding another day to the month to do so.  Over by the Bayonne Centerline yard, I saw three previously Bouchard boats all wearing or about the wear the lion.  L to r, it’s now Ellen S. Bouchard, Adeline Marie, and William F. Fallon Jr, previously named

Ellen S. Bouchard, Denise A. Bouchard, and J. George Betz

I also noticed a flag flying at what appeared to be half mast. 

 

I wonder if that flag marked the passing of Capt. Brian A. McAllister, long an iconic figure in the all the boros of NYC.  This photo below was taken at the christening of Ava M. McAllister in midJuly 2019.

All photos, WVD.

 

Since I’m not yet out of the bayou, and since Mage–who might need some cheering up– requested it, here are more photos from the currently ongoing flower parade on the waterways of Westland, a section of the province of South Holland in the low country aka Netherlands. 

Hey . . . they brought out the king, or as the Dutch would say . . . the “koning van rock n roll.”

Since this blog is called tugster, and should NYS Canals do such a parade for the 200th anniversary of DeWitt Clinton’s trip, THIS is a role to play for small tugs, whether private of NYS owned. 

In Westland, even local professionals get involved. 

How about another shot of a small tow boat.  By the way, is that a cheater tug with an excavator in the background of some of these photos?

I’m not even sure who might have sponsored some of these “floats,” but they do make me proud of my Dutch heritage with its attention of aesthetics and tolerance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have another push boat in the mix. 

 

And let’s end with a string of floats towed by Walrus, another small tugboat.

Thanks to Jan for sharing these, to Mage for requesting more yesterday, to my friends at NYS Canals for paying attention, and to you all for reading.

Every day that passes, I’m closer to a lot of things, including getting out of the hot bayou near Avery Island. Click here because I know you know Avery Island.

 

 

If you hop on a plane today, you might still catch the last two days of this flower parade in the land and specific region of my father;  my mother grew up farther east on the Rhine. Here’s an English version of what’s going on;  Westland is a region connected by waterways, not a town.  Here’s a map, and here’s info on the boats. I’m going to send this blogpost to my friends at the NYS Canals, because I think the integrated boat/bike/camping event is a worthy model for Canals to study.  

With my limited WiFi, I post these for you to enjoy.   Let’s start, of course, with a prime mover, a small tugboat mentioned in an earlier post comments as an opduwer.

I’m guessing this float was sponsored by an automobile dealer who sells US vehicles. 

The range of themes surprises me. Note another small tugboat.

 

I love this one.  

Actually, I love them all. 

And given my current long stay in the bayou, I had to include this.

I have a few dozen more photos, if you indicate interest in seeing more. 

Many thanks to Jan van der Doe for sending these along, more photos of a summer festival in another place, maybe not entirely different than the mermaid parade, which I missed last weekend.  Imagine if NYS coordinated a people’s event of this magnitude in 2025 to fete the 200th anniversary of the year DeWitt Clinton made the 10-day journey from Buffalo to NYC to unite the fresh and salt waters. 

June 2012 was pivotal for me.  A photo sent along by a friend alerted me to Canal commerce–Canadian corn– entering the US at Oswego, a place I knew something of from my youth. 

If that was a spark, then the breeze that fanned it was an invitation to do my trial article for Professional Mariner magazine, which led me to Kingston NY, the mouth of the Rondout, and a project involving use of a half century old tug Cornell to do TOAR signoffs.  My most recent article in the magazine came out today and can be seen here.

On that assignment, I was privileged to have a mentor, Brian Gauvin, do the photography.

Other big events for June 2012 included the movement of shuttle Enterprise from JFK airport ,

ultimately to the Intrepid Museum to be

hoisted onto the flight deck as part of the display, now covered.

My daughter went off to Brasil (again) and the Amazon, leading me to go there myself a year later, fearing she’d never return because she loved it so much there.

I’d given her a camera before she went, and was rewarded with some quite interesting photos, like these small motor boats that looked almost like slippers …

with straight shafts coming straight out of air-cooled engines.

During my trip up to the Rondout, I stopped in Newburgh, where replicas of La Niña and Pinta, crafted using traditional techniques on the Una River in Bahia, Brasil, attracted crowds, one of many stops along the great loop route. 

Other festivities on the Hudson that summer . . .

included the sails and music associated with the Clearwater Festival, and of course the small boats moving in some of the venues.

 

Patty Nolan and Augie were the small tugs, and of course the sailboats including Mystic Whaler, Woody Guthrie,

 

and of course the sloop Clearwater.  The Clearwater organization will not be doing a music festival in June 2022.  Mystic Whaler is now working in Oxnard CA at the Channel Islands Museum.

Summer time and the living is easy well, at least it feels that way some days . . . . 

All photos, except the first one, WVD.  That first photo was taken by Allan H. Seymour.

 

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