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Quick . . . name those units?

Type Vane Brothers into the search window, presuming you know these are Vane Brothers boats, and you’d get all the previous instances of this title, going back to 2009.

Now you can see the names . . . Potomac above and Fort McHenry below.

Philadelphia is legible here, as is

Kings Point.

On a related note, I’ve been doing some blog maintenance;  I finally added tags to the first three and a half years of this blog.  Tags?  You can find them in the “fine print” just below the title.  When I started the blog back in November 2006, I had enough to do just remembering the process of getting images and text on the page.  So until April 2010, I just skipped tags.  Their addition matters because now–if you want–you can efficiently trace all instances of a certain vessel appearing here.  For example, the first time I saw any Vane Brothers boat in the sixth boro was at the 2007 tugboat race;  it was Patapsco.  If you want to locate all the photos I’ve posted–and now tagged–type Patapsco into the search window, find it in the tags, click that tag, and voila . . . you can go all the way back to the first one.

The system is not fool proof because Patapsco, the word, might refer to the river and watershed also. It refers to any other vessel by that name as well. For example, if you type in Pegasus, you get both the 1907 tug and the 2006 boat.  However, with tags undated, you get more of the older images than previously.  Similarly, Philadelphia may refer to the boat above or the city; type that in the search window, and you’d get both.

And if I neglected to tag in in posts more recent than April 2010, it’ll be harder to find. If I made a mistake, you’d be given my mistaken info . . . GIGO.  Those caveats given, searching is now easier than it was.

All photos, WVD.

 

It’s a dark and soon to be rainy day in the sixth boro, so for your enjoyment . . . colorful photos from yesterday.

This ship uses the old spelling . . .  like Peking v. Beijing.  Know the current spelling?

 

Crystal Cutler came by with Patricia E. Poling, to add some greens to the palette.

 

The Hapag Lloyd box ship was assisted in by James D. Moran and

Mary Turecamo.

So . . . today’s maps would spell this as Qingdao, home to China’s second largest brewery . . . which uses the old spelling too.

All photos, Will Van Dorp.

*I could have called this “ports of ___” because I’m not telling you yet where this unexpected location is.  Not yet.  Tomorrow.

These photos were sent to me yesterday.  And I’m asking for your help if you chose, later in this post.

Here are the wares delivered by the “french bakery” boat.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll tell you where this is.

All photos sent from afar.  Again . . . where?

Now . . . I said I’m asking for your help.  Here’s why:  it turns out that in much of February and a part of March I will be very occupied and way inland.  So I’m asking for some relief crew posts.  Here are ones you have helped me with in the past.

Guidelines:  One to five related photos that you have permission to share; can be contemporary or historical; a short paragraph or caption for each but not too much text; no politics or religion; must be boat or truck topic; might be commercial … as in selling a book, CD, painting, service, vessel, idea, project . . .    There can always be exception, but it MUST be photo-driven, sparse text with embedded links . . . . as in the tugster format.

Don’t worry about creating the post or embedding links;  just send me the photo(s) and explanatory text to my email or PM on FB, and I’ll remain the editor.  You can choose to use a nickname.  Here’s your chance for some free publicity.

I’ll have access to wifi, just tied up and inland.

No . .  I’m not infirm, getting rehab, going to prison, expecting to be kidnapped, entering the witness protection program, or becoming a fugitive .  . . I just have some business to attend to starting in early February in a place of snow and ice.  If you want to ask some questions first about your relief post, I respond promptly.

 

 

ABC-1 is unique, a survivor.  Launched in Sturgeon Bay in November 1941, she was originally built for the US Army as a vessel to collect mine boxes.  Here she returns from a supply run in Port Elizabeth or Newark, as she’s done for as long as I’ve been paying attention.  Here, by the way, is the first in this series, one that didn’t even use this title.

 

I don’t know how long she’s worked in the sixth boro or if the hull and power have been modified since 1941.  Maybe someone can speak to this.

NYC DEP has a number of vessels, likely all of them larger than Sea Robin.

This is my first time to notice this boat.

All photos in recent cold days by Will Van Dorp.

 

Atlantic Star first arrived here four years ago, although that hardly seems possible.

Five identical vessels transport containers and anything “rolled on.”  See a partial cutaway here.

I’ve not yet made photos of Atlantic Sky and Sun, although I have noticed them either coming or going.

But I just learned they also carry passengers . . . it’s two weeks and three days from Hamburg to here.  More info here.

 

Has anyone reading this done it or know of someone who has?  I’d love to hear.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Take all the photos you like, but if you just sit on a dock by the bay watching the ships roll in and out, you’ll only know so much and nothing more.  If you suspected I was hinting at something in yesterday’s post, it was this review.

If you want to know more about working on a tugboat, you can get a job on a tugboat.  Of course, you’d have to survive the gauntlet of training, interview, application, physical, drug tests, etc.

Or you can pick up Tom Teague’s book, where among many other things he explains how he got hired for his first full-time tugboat job:  he got a telephone call from a tugboat captain the day before he was scheduled to meet with the US Navy recruiter.  The captain asked if he could start right away.  That night.  He did.  It was 1974.  The author was 20, and as he lets the reader know several times, he had good hair.

Teague describes how the towing business has changed in some significant ways since 1974.  Think about the photo below; “just having a beer” on a towing vessel today would trigger immediate firing.

Yet the same perils lurk whenever you work with powerful machines on the water in all kinds of weather.  A chapter entitled “Danger” illustrates the unforgiving environment of a workboat.  This chapter, framed by incidents involving unfortunate fellow crew and friends, makes the point that even knowledgeable, professional mariners might pay heavily for failing even for a second to pay attention.

By the way, if you’re a regular reader of tugster, do you recognize the tugboat on the cover?

You may have heard the aphorism “moments of terror interspersed by hours, days, etc. of boredom” in relation to a variety of fields.  It certainly applies to working on tugboats.  Boredom and dealing with it gets a whole chapter.  And Teague gets hilarious about creative attempts to alleviate boredom, without doing harm or damage.  Well, some coffee gets spilled, er… sacrificed.

Capt. Teague navigates story telling quite well, alternating, as he must have to aboard his boat, between abundant, straightforward explanation for a non-mariner reading the book and straying into the tales you’d expect of a mariner with many nautical miles under his keel.   He’s enlightening when recounting ordeals with weather and clarifying towing jargon.  Salty humor and fascinating characters abound when he catalogs nicknames–and their derivations–of fellow mariners he’s met over the decades.

Doing paperwork, I’m told, makes every captain’s eyes cross, but when Tom writes, not at all cryptically “Stay tuned for the next installment.  I’m still typing,” I suspect he’s going above and beyond the usual wheelhouse reports and confirmations.  There’s another book just over the horizon, and I for one am eagerly awaiting it.

Thomas Teague is still working in the wheelhouse as a tugboat captain after having started as a hawsepiper back in the 1970s.  With Tales from a Tugboat Captain, he seems to have gotten the call and jumped aboard writing about work with the likes of Studs Terkel and John McPhee.  There’s a whole genre here–Harberger’s Seized comes to mind as does Moynihan’s Voyage of the Rose City— waiting to be picked up and read on a cold winter’s day, or taken to the beach or on a cruise when the sun is hot.  And finally, I’m hoping that other mariners, upon completing their on-vessel reports, contribute to this genre.

Click here to order your copy of the book.  For additional photos and videos obviously not in the book, check out Captain Tom Teague on FB.  I’m told a book signing is planned for spring in Brooklyn and will post details about that when available.

See previous tugster reviews here.

Tangentially related, twelve years ago I posted this, which ends with a quote from Franz Kafka revealing how he imagined paperwork on boats.

And the boat on the cover, you may know it today as the “red” Cornell.

Radar helps when you can’t see in the fog, but

even on a clear day, you can’t see the crew operating this 2013 2000 hp tugboat, or its history . . . how it got to become a fixture in the sixth boro.

Ditto this 1994 tug, operating with 3000 hp.  Here Kimberly Poling is docked, and the outside viewer knows no reason why.

Brian Nicholas was launched under a different name before Nixon was elected.  If only one could be privy to all the conversations and dramas even happened aboard.

Mister Jim was based for 30 years in the Gulf of Mexico, although without looking at her logbooks, who knows where all she worked.

Ellen McAllister has the distinction in this post of having been launched before Nixon was elected also AND worked both sides of the Atlantic, and I would suspect she’s appeared on this blog more times than any other of the machines here, but still . . . even I, what do I know about her quirks and feats?

Helen Laraway, unless I tell you, would you know that she was working before Kennedy was elected POTUS?  And with rehabbing and repowering . . . she’s as good as new, I believe, and working hard for a 63-year-old.

James E. Brown is the youngster of this post, built in a fishing village originally called Coq d’Inde, now anglicized.

Finally, back in the fog . . .  It’s Stephanie Dann, a product of the Carter era.  As to these dates and use of POTUSes as time references, it’s not political, but you’ll see my point here in tomorrow’s post.

And yes, all photos and info here by Will Van Dorp.

 

Whenever I’ve seen this vessel, I had associations with a huge river in a big country.

These blue-white designs, though, didn’t conjure up that tropical river, yet they were strangely familiar.

The “upside-down V” didn’t initially strike me a Greek letter lambda either.

Later I started looking differently to try to figure out why that Greek frieze design looked familiar.  I’ve only been in Greece once and that was almost half a lifetime ago. Now it strikes me as strange that I didn’t think of the huge multinational e-commerce and tech company, the one who created a zillionaire.

Amazon Beauty was once Greek-flagged, but it’s not any more.  Now it appears to be shuttling some product between Point Tupper NS and Linden NJ.

Have you figured out the blue/white pattern and why it might be familiar?

Click here for the New York coffee cup, the ubiquitous vessel for coffee at one time, and now eclipsed by DD and Starbucks.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who send greetings to the photographer up in Point Tupper, who will get photos when she arrives.

 

I’m not disparaging, but my first thought was “just another” Vane tug heading across the bow, until

we passed and I noticed it was Charleston, which I believe is Vane’s newest tug in the sixth boro.

The new “ubiquitous” vessels on the sixth boro waterways move containerized trash.  Pathfinder is one of the tugboats assigned to this duty.   Covanta first got the contract for this business in 2013, and my first knowledge of these barges was here.

Two different generations of McAllister tugboats headed out recently, Capt. Brian A. and

Ellen.   Launched a half century apart and having a difference of almost 3000 hp, they are both working daily assisting ships in the harbor.

Janet D is a mere five years old and works in marine construction, working for the aptly named Construction and Marine Equipment Co.

Franklin Reinauer was built and christened by that name in 1984.

It appears to me here that Linda L. Miller, the truckable tug, is the prime mover, pushing Catherine C. Miller.  Click to enlarge the photo and you’ll see a handsome spread of Manhattan architecture, sans the peaks.

And let’s conclude with Mister Jim, who back in 2016 did not have the gray/red livery.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who missed the return of Atlantic Enterprise this morning, back from the work in Georgia.

It’s the sheer diversity of traffic on the sixth boro that keeps me coming back, although diverse does not mean unpredictable.  In summer, mermaids gather, specifically around the very day of the solstice.  In winter, fishing boats come .    In fall, the fishing boats are of a different sort.

Chele-C was fishing on the west side, and

 

Phyllis Ann over on the east

with Dutch Girl and

 

 

this boat I could not identify.

Eastern Welder has been a fixture in winter fishing as far back as I can remember.

 

Osprey are well known for their fishing ability, so I should not

have been surprised to also have seen HSV Osprey out extracting from the depths.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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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.

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