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Hell Gate has to be one of the most storied waterways in the sixth boro.  How could I have mostly ignored it so long?!!

The other day I caught Vinik No. 6 and Liz Vinik westbound  through that section of the East River.   In the background, that’s the Bronx.

An indicator of current is the fact that NYPD boat here is barely making headway.  Current in a tidal strait like the so-called East River is constantly and dramatically changing.  That’s Manhattan in the background.

Nicholas Vinik also passed through the other day, returning from a job.  That NYC DEP GUP headquarters in the background.  The Hell Gate RR Bridge seems in need of some paint.  Referencing this part of Hell Gate, captbbrucato describes it from a captain’s perspective here.

A recent development is the transit of NYC Ferry service through the Gate to the Bronx on the Soundview run.

Wye River heads eastbound to retrieve a barge, meeting

Cape Canaveral and DBL 101 on the way.

Along the shoreline here, that’s Astoria Queens to the left, and Manhattan along the entire distant background.  Most iconic is the spire of the Empire State Building.

State Trooper . . .  I’m assuming that’s a government boat.

That’s it for now.  I hope to return to Hell Gate soon.  All photos, WVD. 

Timo Pajunen took this photo back in 2010.  Here are my questions for you:  whose livery?  what mission?  what was McArthur‘s original mission?  I’ll answer at the end of the post.

Charles Ritchie took this.  Hawk YTL-153 has fine pedigree:   in 1941, she was built and launched in Pearl Harbor and was present during the attack.  Since 1980, she’s been based in Narragansett Bay, operated by Specialty Diving Services Inc.  Do I see this correctly that she’s being operated from a topside helm?   Here is Charles Ritchie’s project.

When I posted Brad Ickes’ photos a month back, I forgot to post the best shots of Cable Queen he had sent.  I hope this makes amends for my having misplaced them.

The other day I noticed Cable Queen is docked back at her usual spot, nestled in a corner just west of the Moran dock.

These days there are photos everywhere of the salvage of incorrectly-ballasted  RORO Golden Ray.  This structure, as I understand it, incorporates both a saw and a lift.  This photo and the next two come from Chris RoehrigThese photos from gCaptain are stunning.   The yellow structure over the wreck is Versabar’s VB 10,000, a heavy lift vessel launched in 2010. 

Moving the deck barge around with portion of the wreck are Crosby tugs, Crosby Star, a 4200 hp boat, below and

to the left.  The real eye-catcher here is Kurt J Crosby, here alongside Crosby Leader.  Kurt J, according to the company website, packs a whopping 16500 hp!  Have a look at their photo of the 2000 build. Crobsy Leader, dwarfed and mostly obscured here, itself is rated at 15000 hp.  Seeing these behemoths at work would almost make a trip down there worthwhile.

Jack Ronalds sent along these photos from Strait of Canso.  It’s Calusa Coast and her

tank barge Delaware.  They’ve spent some years working on the Great Lakes and are now returning

to salt water.  They have returned to the sixth boro, where I photographed her 13 years ago, but I’ve not yet seen them this visit.  For a treasure trove of Jack Ronalds/marine traffic photos, click here.

Getting back to that first photo, MV McArthur began life in 1965 as NOAAS McArthur (S330).  She was decommissioned in 2003. In 2006 she was purchased by Blackwater USA (you’ve heard of them and their founder Eric Prince?) who offered it as a “warship for hire.”  In the murk, Blackwater USA morphed into a series of other private security businessesMV McArthur became Eaton while operated by Saracen International.  At last record, the Norfolk VA vessel flew the flag of Comoros and was called Maandeeq,  and since AIS showed her last in June 2019 in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, India,  just north of Alang, I don’t think she’s chasing pirates anymore. 

For a crazy tangent, Gujarat is the 9th largest state in India by population.  At 9th place (of 34), it has a population greater than Italy, South Korea, Spain, Poland, etc.  It’s way larger than Canada, whose population is currently at 37 million.  India’s largest state by population, Uttar Pradesh,  is 200 million, which would make it the 8th largest country in the world by population, bigger than Russia, Mexico, Japan, etc . . .   But I digress.

Many thanks to Timo, Charles, Brad, Chris, and Jack for sharing these photos.

Related:  If you’ve not yet read Chris Maag’s story on NY sixth boro shipping, you can read it here, and enjoy the photos/video by Chris Pedota as well.

 

 

Here we go again . . .  the start of another month means we jump back to that month 10 years earlier.  Crystal Cutler was quite new, here pushing Patricia E. Poling. Manhattan had a different skyline at that time.

I was heartbroken when I learned that USACE’s 1963 Hudson got reefed just over a year ago.    With her lines, she’s now supposed to house marine life, 10 fathoms or more down, and not quite 3 miles off Fire Island. I doubt those fish and invertebrates appreciate those lines.

The 1980 OSG Independence has been a victim of 2020;  the 131′ x 37′  5600 hp tug was scrapped earlier this year.

A gallivant to Narragansett Bay revealed this vessel in the used vehicle trade, then running between Providence and Cape Verde, I believe.  Danalith, a 1976 build, is said to be called Mouhssine, flying the flag of Tanzania.

Also in Narragansett Bay, over by the Jamestown bridge, was a Belford NJ boat, Coastline Kidd.  I’ve not found any info about this boat. 

Craig Eric Reinauer is now Albert, now squiring Margaret all over the Great Lakes.

Gramma Lee T Moran, whose namesake is the same as a Great Lakes ore boat, currently works in Baltimore harbor.

2010’s Yeoman Brook is today’s Caroline Oldendorff.  These name changes confuse me.   Caroline Oldendorff is currently in Amsterdam, having sailed in from Jintang, China.

This is not the best photo, but this was T/V Kings Pointer from 1992 until 2012.  Here’s a link for more info on her life, but basically, from launch in 1983 until 1992, she was T-AGOS-2 aka USNS Contender.  Currently she’s T/V General Rudder, named for General James E. Rudder.   The USMMA has a new vessel designated as T/V Kings Pointer

And finally, late December found me in the charming port of Charleston, where I caught pilot boat Fort Moultrie, waiting for a ship.  Is Fort Moultrie still at work?

All photos, 10 years ago, WVD, who sometimes thinks it must be much longer ago than that.

The new take is this:  “ultra LIGHT container vessel,” which this surely is.  Judging by her draft markings, her draft is less than that of the larger tugboats in the harbor.

When a vessel enters port this empty, or light,there has to be a story.  Did it just come out of the shipyard?  If so, why?  For example, Laura Maersk had to be towed into port almost half a year ago, and left here ultra light, i.e., with nary a container, visible that is.

A short search reveals ALS Juno suffered engine failure less than two years ago near the Sea of Marmara.  It was then towed by Ocean Ergunto be repaired.  She’s arriving in the sixth boro from ports in the eastern end of the Med, i.e., Turkey and Greece, which she departed two weeks and a day ago.  Additional misfortunes are listed in that link.

The 2009 build has also seen a lot of name changes:  Rueitv Schepers, Rudolf Schepers, AP, Arkas Africa, and now ALS Juno

It also turns out that she and several fleet mates with names all beginning ALS (ALS Venus, ALS Mars, etc.) are part of the ONE group, best known for its distinctive magenta hulls.

Greetings, Al.

All this is inconclusive, but I wonder what the story is.

I don’t mean to sow confusion:  ULCV does normally mean ultra large container vessel, and even though I tried, I couldn’t come up with a better acronym for such an empty one.  Maybe there’s a technical one.   Maybe a reader will propose both a better acronym and the backstory for the empty vessel.

All photos and info, WVD.

I had a notice, so when the LCM came around the bend, I was waiting.  This LCM I knew well from Jake Van Reenen operated it for barging in the Seaway areas of the 1000 Islands and Lake Ontario.

The 1000 Islands is a very different environment than this, the East River headed into Hell Gate, or at the time I took the photos, Hell Gate water running west.  

Right now, it’s headed to a new home in Maine.  Note the crewman looking back along Roosevelt Island and getting a photo.

The background is Mill Rock, entirely Mill Rock Park.  Read much more about Mill Rock here. See the travel home and pickup inside the LCM?  That is exactly the raison d’etre of landing crafts.  I know somewhat out there who’d appreciate knowing that it was once LCM 8219.

The land mass to the right is Randalls/Wards Island.  Remember . . . the five boros comprise many islands.

The two bridges here, for outatowners, are the Triborough (now RFK) Bridge and the Hell Gate (RR) Bridge.

Randalls is home to an enormous sewage treatment operation, i.e., it’s home to NYC DEP, those good folks with fine boats who deal with what I call the “gross universal product,”  or GUP.

But I digress, Seaway Supplier heads for the Sound and eventually downeast Maine.

All photos, WVD.  Many thanks to Jake for the heads up.

She’s been over at Mariners Harbor Yacht Club (Staten Island)  for at least two years now.  She started life in 1953 as Mars for Boston Towboat.  Dimensions, then as now, are 96′ x 25′.  In 2000 (?), Mars was sold and a conversion began to make her an expedition yacht, owned by the online job search site monster.com, hence the name Sea MonsterHere‘s a description of work done, and a number of dollars spent.  Any guesses on that dollar amount?  The answer is in the link two sentences back.

It’s way outside my budget, but I like the look.  And I’d imagine for folks who don’t think twice about several million dollars for a yacht, this would make a great tender.  Anyone seen photos of the actual interior and machinery?

Photo and rumination, WVD.

Don’t they call this “truck Friday,” you know . . . that day after T’day?  After all trucks deliver the goods as part of the supply chain.  Or they retire and graduate to advertise goods.  Answers follow.

  1.  The one that carries the corn . . .

 . . . the green truck and below …

2.  the red pickup?

3.  This one could be yours for $2500.

 

 

You’re making guesses, right?

4.  I took the photo in the Netherlands.

5.

6.

7. 

8.

9.

My answers follow. 

1.  1950 GMC 1.5 or 2-ton

2.  1961 International C-Series

3.  1930 Ford Model A stake body

4.  1957 (Dodge) Desoto

5.  late 1920s Graham Brothers

6.  1930 Ford Model A pickup

7.  1939 Chevrolet stake body

8.  late 1940s Reo Speed Wagon.  By the way, REO are the initials of Ransom Eli Olds.

9.  I have no idea.  It appears to be a kit truck. . .  like the VW kits.

All photos, WVD.

 

Essential workers spend the holidays at the job site.  They always have.

 

Here‘s a list of types of essential workers, note that this crewman needs to catch up on sleep.

I’ll let you read the faces and body language, but I’d say they’re catching up on news since they have a signal on their devices.

 

Seafarers might be thrilled to see non-crew when they come into a port.

See the workers on the bunker barge?

Well, they saw me and then wanted their photo taken.  I suspect they may be Fugro Explorer crew.

These are local workers high over the East River.  Their platform or their task?

They appear to be at the level of Civic Fame, the lady inspired by Audrey Munson atop the NYC Municipal Building.  NYC artists made Audrey Munson famous, but her life did not end well.

 

All photos and sentiments, WVD, who thanks you for reading this, especially today, the 14th anniversary of this blog, which began here over 4700 posts ago.  Since then, you all have made over 13, 400 comments.  Comments are always welcome.  Thank you.

And since it is Thanksgiving, here’s a Thanksgiving story from Thanksgiving Day 1952 and a photo with at least three people on the boro from 21 years later of the boat that almost burned, Dalzellera

“During 1952 and 1953, the Dalzell Towing Co. was completing the diesel conversion of their “new” Dalzellera, which was formerly the Central RR of NJ (CRRNJ) tug Bethlehem, a steam tug built around 1915. It was Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1952, and there weren’t many people at the Dalzell yard just west of the Bayonne Bridge on the Kills as my uncle, Bob Munoz, pulled into the yard on a tug, possibly the Dalzellaird. He pulled alongside the Dalzellera and tied up the boat. As he crossed over to the Dalzellera to go ashore he noticed that there appeared to be extreme heat coming from the galley at the after end of the house. The boat was all locked up for the long holiday weekend, but with some help Bob found some tools and broke the padlock off the hatch door. Upon entering the extremely hot galley, he realized that the galley stove was inadvertently left on and set for maximum heat. He immediately shut it down and ventilated the galley. It appeared that the stove was being used to keep the workers warm that were finishing up the tug and preparing her for service, but forgot to turn off the stove before leaving for the long holiday weekend.
However, when the yard staff returned back to work on Monday morning, he caught hell for breaking the lock on the hatch; that is until he told his story about preventing their “new” boat from catching fire before she even docked her first ship.
Shortly after this incident, Bob worked on this boat as mate and captain for about 12 years.

Photo by Steve Munoz, who sent along the story.

 

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.

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