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Sorry if I confused a few of you with the acronym GHP&W. You see how it expands above. I suppose this is a sixth boro gunkhole of an upscale sort, and I’ll let you guess where at first. And given the date today, my misleading clue is “turkey sailboat.”
I’ll use relative cardinal directions: looking north,
And five minutes later . . . looking west,
and east. That’s Brooklyn over on the far side.
And . . . while staying in the channels, you could get to a Manhattan dock in less than 20 minutes from our initial photo.
Here’s a chart view and here’s
more context. See the two green diamonds at lower left of this image? The lower of the two is Teal Bulker, which you saw above. The blue diamond down there is a NYWaterways boat, just 17 minutes from Pier 11. And just north of the complex is a beach that might hint at what sixth boro coastlines once were.
All photos by Will Van Dorp. Oh, and that clue intended to distract, here it is, and it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank all of you for reading tugster and contributing in so many ways. To everyone that I’ve crossed paths with in the past year and the foregone 2950+ posts, thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving today and every day. Life is precious and unpredictable.
The bridge still looks familiar to someone from the 1930s, although I’d love to see photos of Shooters from then, and
of course the bridge is getting unfamiliar.
Ellen McAllister and Specialist way in the distance are familiar, as
is Port Elizabeth, so
no doubt about it, this is Mariner’s Harbor . . . stern to Richmond Terrace, the mark in the foreground with Capt. Willie Landers in the middle and Maersk Denver over in Port Elizabeth.
All photos here by Will Van Dorp.
Related: Is this the story of Capt. Willie Landers’ namesake?
I may need some correction here, but it appears Boothbay Harbor is an entity different than Boothbay, and there’s an East and West Boothbay as well. It’s sort of like the Hamptons in NY and the Oranges in NJ, I suppose. Anyhow, I saw the scene below in Boothbay harbor and I realized I’d located one of the things I was seeking. So the connection is the gray/white/red pinky schooner at the end of the wharf:
The connection is that the person who built Ardelle and others would be–is–an excellent choice to work on . . .
the hauled out Ernestina. Watch the short video at that link if you have a minute and a half to spare.
I was just a visitor, so I left the crew alone.
The quicker the work’s done, the quicker it gets
back here to its empty dock at the New Bedford State Pier. But again, I digress.
Monitor, below, is an aptly-named state-owned Department of Marine Resources vessel, passing here near Ram Island Light.
And here I really digress, but seeing isolated lighthouses like this reminds me of the stories I heard long ago of William H. Wincapaw, also known as Flying Santa.
All photos, digressions, and faux-pas by Will Van Dorp.
If you want to share photos of a gunkhole, harbor, port, or wharf before the end of this month, send me an email. This was GHP&W 24.
Click here for many more posts I’ve done with some connection to the Boothbays.
Let’s go farther south–i.e., up the Elizabeth. Covered barge . . .
pushed by Gram-Me. Coal?
Capt. Woody and Alexis of w3marine have the best logo. See it better here. Fleetmate Ocean Endeavor was in yesterday’s post.
As you can see by the livery, Ellie J is also a Norfolk tug, but although
similar, Stevens Towing’s Island Express is not.
Vulcan construction has its logo on a number of tugs here, including Arapaho,
Capt. Ron L, and
Alexander Duff is a Vane tug.
Kodiak, here I think leaving the soybean depot– used to be Vane’s Capt. Russi.
Kodiak has been in the sixth boro on a few occasions. Here’s more of her current fleet: Maverick, ?Southern Star?, and Challenger.
Hoss, like the boats immediately above is also an Intracoastal Marine boat. Hoss is a close relative via Wiley Manufacturing of the sixth boro’s Patricia. Sun Merchant, which I saw here in Savannah, is a Vane boat.
Corman Marine’s Captain Mac is yet another tugboat in the Elizabeth owned by a construction company.
Camie and Cajun look alike but may be owned by Robbins Maritime and Bay Transportation, respectively.
Three Sisters seems to be owned by a family-oriented company called Smith Brothers.
Elizabeth Ann, operated by Atlantic Gulf Towing, used to be known as El Hippo Grande, a truly satisfactory name for a workboat.
And finally, we seem to have two Skanska-owned boats, Ranger and
All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who imagined there’d be only about 10 photos in this post about a short section of the waterway in the Norfolk/Portsmouth VA area. For the entirely delightful travel through the area, I am very grateful to the USMMA Sailing Foundation.
A request, though. Over by the Norfolk Dredging yard, I saw their small tug Palmyra through the trees and could not get a good shot. Has anyone taken one over the years? If so, could you share it on this blog? Send me an email, please.
Finally, some of you got an earlier version of this last night when I pushed the wrong button. Sorry about that. I could give other reasons for that error, but it was a slip and I had not intended you to think I had started using placeholder gibberish as captions.
It’s still November 2015, so for me, it’s day 22 of this focus.
I guess this would be a small Navy yard tug. Click here (and scroll) to see a variant with roll bars. Here it closes the security gate after a Moran tug has come inside.
More security is provided by WPB-87329 Cochito.
Emily Anne McAllister (2003) waits at the Norfolk International Terminals.
And there’s a long list of commercial tugboats, more than I want to squeeze into this post. So let’s start with Ocean Endeavor (1966),
Night Hawk (1981),
Dauntless II (1953),
Payton Grace Moran (2015),
Goose Creek (1981), and finally for now
Steven McAllister (1963).
All foggy/rainy photos above by Will Van Dorp.
One of these days we’ll meander farther south on the Elizabeth River aka ICW. In the meantime, if you have photos of work vessels from any port huge or tiny, get in touch; there are still a few days of November left.
And since we’re a week or so from December, my idea for next month’s collaboration is “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.
Let’s start at the sixth boro’s own Kearny Point. Federal Ship Building & Dry Dock used to be there. On December 1, 1943, a time when that place was turning out a vessel a week or so, hull #303 was delivered as USS Stern, DE-187. After eight years as a USN vessel, she was transferred to the Netherlands as F-811, HNLMS Van Zijll, her identity until 1967 when she was returned to the US and scrapped.
John van der Doe, frequent contributor on this blog, sailed on F-811 around the world in 1954–55, as he says “employed with the US Naval Task-force Pacific fleet 4 or 6 (forgot the number) during the Korean war.”
Aden, stop for bunkers.
Hong Kong, awaiting orders.
Yokosuka, Japan, here and
here. That background landscape is still recognizable today.
Click here for some more of that era.
Pacific side of the Panama Canal, now 1955.
And here’s a photo of the Kearny-built vessel taking on stores in Ponta Delgada, Azores.
Later, Jan took this photo in then-Leningrad. I believe that’s St. Isaac’s Cathedral.
Many thanks to Jan for these photos from long ago and faraway.
By 3:00 pm, the deck of Wards Island was at capacity with buoys. It was time to head back west to a scow on the wall in Brewerton, an accidental destination for
Champlain almost exactly 400 years ago. Champlain was a gallivanter extraordinaire, crossing the Atlantic about 25 times in those days, and a guy even better at negotiation and diplomacy than he was at traveling. But I digress.
Since there are two bridges between the Lake and the scow, the boom had been lowered and now it’s raised for the job. Attached to the scow is the larger tender known not by a number but as Dana.
It’s clearly November when 4:30 looks like this.
Boom is lowered for the several miles back to Lock 23, where a surprise
awaits me. I had assumed that only the stern propellor on Wards Island was operational, but after Syracuse uncoupled and we started the rotation to tie up,
there was prop wash from under the bow, just as you would expect from a double-ender ferry.
In order to spin the boat 180 degrees without having to make a 36-point turn, Syracuse put some pressure on the bow,
and by 5:40 we were all fast. Then it was time to
put the power of Wards Island to sleep. Below deck there were a bunch more surprises, like these port lights as seen from within and the rivets.
And two spacious accommodations, one on each side of the vessel.
Two engines, although only the Cat D353 Series E runs.
A Frankenstein knife switch board.
And mentioned in this post last year, Wards Island began life as a ferry in 1929, looking like her twin . . . Tenkenas, there were more surprises like
this speaking tube and behind it,
this brass builders plate.
Many thanks to the NYS Canal Corp and its floating plant for permission to do this series.
Unrelated and sad news: I learned yesterday that John Skelson has passed. RIP, John. Click here for some of the many posts I credited to him in the past years.
These photos were taken November 16, 2015, with temperatures in the 50s and no wind. Obviously, mid-November is not always so ideal for this operation. In fact, photos on the boat showed this work being done in 1992, with buoys heavily ice and snow covered.
Here one crewman–let’s call him the signaler– radios the tug instructions for the approach to the buoy.
Once within two yards of so, another crewman captures the buoy with a boat hook.
Besides the VHF, the signaler uses hand signals for the crane operator, who hoists the hooked buoy as high as a connector link, which gets cleated to the boat while
the cotter pin connected to the shackle gets cut.
The crane operator relies entirely on signals from the signaler.
Once the summer buoy is lifted away, the anchor chain is attached to the spar buoy, which is then
pushed overboard, where it’ll stay until the reverse process in the spring.
Meanwhile, the beacon is removed from each buoy.
Oneida Lake has floating and fixed nav aids. This is Messenger Shoals, a fixed nav aid on a concrete island poured into sheet piling. To the left of the aid in Blind Island, and as little as a foot of water.
The aid here–113–is called a cabinet.
The large size–about 6′ high–used to hold batteries.
The entire cabinet is lifted off for the winter.
On the north side of the lake is a village called Cleveland, once important for supplying passing commercial canal traffic and glass making. Now it may go out of existence.
When the foredeck is full and late autumn sun starts to go down, we headed to the west side of the lake to offload today’s work and prep the boat for tomorrow.
And that will be tomorrow’s post.
Again, many thanks to NYS Canal Corp for permission to do this story and to the crews of Wards Island and Syracuse for helping me out.
At the end of the Oneida Lake series, you’ll see why this could also be called “second lives 15 part b.”
Technically, this post starts out early morning in Clay, NY, with tug Syracuse and crane ship Wards Island tied to the east end of Lock 23.
Wards Island–and her sister ship Tenkenas–were built in 1929 by Electric Boat of Groton CT. Later in the series I’ll show you the brass builder’s plate. By 1937, both were listed as abandoned. For some of the history of intervening years, check out A Long Haul starting on p. 128.
Here Syracuse pushes Wards Island under the rail bridge just west of Route 11 heading for the lake. A key to the location is the Brewerton Range Rear lighthouse, visible in the trees along the right side margin of the photo.
The lake is unusually glassy for November and the fall task of replacing the summer navigation buoys with winter “placeholder” spar buoys, seen here below between the crane boom and the spud. Wards Island is fully self-propelled in the manner you’d expect of a former double-ender ferry, just very slow, a time waste on a large lake like Oneida. Click here for info on tug and barge wrecks in the lake.
Here’s the view through the controls of the crane looking toward the east end of the lake.
To the right you see the Verona Beach Lighthouse, and buoy 106 is in sight to the left of the hook.
The tow is maneuvered into position and a crewman captures the buoy with the boat hook.
The crew make the connection and 106 gets raised. In part b and c of this series, I’ll show the crew actions step by step.
Since no spar buoy replaces 106, anchor and all are brought up. In the distance to the left you can see the Route 13 bridge between Verona and Sylvan Beach. Click here for one of many posts I did in 2014 with photos from near the Route 13 bridge.
Buoy 107 is next on the boat, and
the first spar buoy goes in, anchored to mark the spot.
By 1130, we’re approaching buoy 109.
The crewman with the yellow sweatshirt is using a tool to hook between the buoy lift point and the crane hook.
Once a buoy is on the boat, the flashing beacon is removed and
stowed in a locker.
All photos by Will Van Dorp. More of Oneida Lake tomorrow.
Many thanks to the NYS Canal Corporation for granting permission to photograph the work of Wards Island.
And this–believe it or not–is Galilee. Galilee, Rhode Island.
Here’s a close up of Tradition.
Amelia Bucolo intrigues me because of what it’s towing to port. I’ve no context to tell how common this is. The builder, by the way, is Gladding-Hearn, 1966.
The rig is unlike any fishing rig I can recall seeing, too.
Is it a market boat?
True American is fiberglass. See the gloves atop the cabin?
I stopped in Point Judith only to catch the ferry to Block Island, but I’ll definitely be back.
Here’s a similar port post from six years ago.
All photos here by Will Van Dorp.