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I was about to put up a different post–that’ll be for tomorrow–when Jonathan Steinman sent along these photos. As I post this, tug Challenger is eastbound on the East River, approaching Hell Gate. The question on Jonathan’s mind, as well as mine and maybe yours . . . what is that assemblage balanced on the barge?
For outatowners, this photo is taken from the east side of Manhattan, looking over Roosevelt Island in the direction of Queens. The red-white chimneys are part of the Ravenswood #3 Generating Station aka Big Allis. And against the sky to the far right, you can see the tops of the towers of the Queensboro Bridge, aka the groovy 59th Street Bridge.
It looks somewhat like a floating dry dock door, but I’m inclined to guess that it’s a vessel component.
Here are some previous quite unique photos sent along by Jonathan. Jonathan . . . thanks much.
And here was Whatzit 24.
. . . comes from the same source as Relief Crew 17, Seth Tane, whose most recent work is called Sea Train. Back in the summer of 2014, Blue Marlin brought in a dry dock named Vigorous–the largest in the US. It came on the back of Blue Marlin from ZPMC. That dry dock is now working, and below you see its current load, USNS T-AH-19 Mercy. Yes, mercy!! Here are some previous iterations of Mercy.
Photo by Seth Tane, although I tinkered with it a bit.
More Mercy here.
Click here (and scroll) to see sister hospital vessel Comfort in a post I did five years ago.
Note: I wrote this a year ago for a print publication, but they’ve not used it. It’s timely, so here it is in its entirety. The style is different because of its history and intention. Here was my post #1 with this title from January 2010. And HERE was 2.
Line crosses the ice fields covering a chokepoint in the Hudson River like an army tank traversing boulders. The vessel—more than a half century old—pitches and tosses erratically. And the steel hull polishing itself on brash ice—jagged floating ice clumps– is loud, arrhythmic, and almost alarming as the small ice breaker advances through the ice or attempts to, sometimes halting.
“It’s counterintuitive,” said Bosun Mate Chief Bradford Long. “My initial sense was that I was harming the vessel. But it was built for ice up to a foot thick. When it stops, you take care that the rudder position is centered, then power astern before attempting a new track. Having the rudder anywhere but centered could damage it.”
During an average ice season, some 300 vessels from tug/barge units to ocean-going tankers and bulk carriers navigate the Hudson. During the 2012-13 season, Coast Guard crews broke ice and facilitated movement of 7.96 million barrels of petroleum products and 297,000 tons of dry bulk products in the Northeast, with a combined total value of nearly $2 billion. They also answered 17 official requests for assistance and assisted 37 vessels in need.
During “ice season” Line is one of three 65’ ice breaking tugs working in conjunction with 140’ Bay-class ice breakers whose missions include keeping key portions of the Hudson River open. The larger ice breakers like Penobscot Bay can handle ice up to 36” thick and work the chokepoints such as Esopus Meadows and Silver Point, while Line breaks ice at facilities such as petroleum terminals and pilot stations. “Commercial operators notify us about 24 hours in advance of their arrival at a terminal. We break up the ice and –if necessary—a 140-footer comes in and sweeps the ice away just before the tug and barge arrives,” says Long.
WYTL 65611 Line, is homeported in Bayonne, New Jersey, as is its sister vessel WYTL 65610 Hawser. A third sibling WYTL 65612 Wire is based in Saugerties, New York. All three were launched from Barbour Boat Works in New Bern, North Carolina, within two months of each other in 1963, now 52 years ago.
Barbour also made some classy runabouts, like this one seen in their old boat works, now operating as the North Carolina History Center.
Jet Lowe took the photo below of the Barbour work tug Sam. Click here for more pics of Sam by Jet Lowe. Can’t you look at wooden Sam and see hints of the WYTL design? And these 65′ icebreakers . . . what will replace them?
The three WYTLs break ice on a “1 in 3” schedule: one week of Hudson River ice breaking operations, then a second week of patrols and breakouts closer to their homeport, and then a third week of maintenance in port. Line, currently with a crew of eight, operates during daylight hours only, unless emergency search-and rescue operations dictate otherwise, said Long. At night, the vessel might dock on shore power available only at either West Point or Saugerties, 45 and 90 miles respectively north of the Battery.
The current season is the first breaking Hudson River ice for BMC Long, whose 14-year career has provided prior Coast Guard ice experience on Lake Champlain and the Bering Sea. Line’s current ice breaking duties include maintenance of the “track” followed by commercial vessels, as well as facilities “break-outs,” meaning the WYTL breaks ice in circular patterns or noses up to a dock and uses prop wash to clear out a possible channel. Line has a single four-blade 56” prop turned by a 500 horsepower Caterpillar 34-12.
WYTL crew also communicate with passing commercial vessels gathering data on their vessels, cargoes, and encountered ice conditions. That information is shared with the Coast Guard Sector New York’s “ice officer,” Chief Warrant Officer Kary Moss. According to Moss, “domestic icebreaking operations are intended to … minimize waterways closures during the winter, enabling commercial vessels to transit through ice-covered critical channels.” Moss manages the information generated by the WYTLS, the 140-footers, and Coast Guard Auxiliary Air, or AuxAir “ice patrols.” These latter are observation flights—daily if weather permits—by civilian aircraft from Sandy Hook to Albany to report on and photograph ice conditions and river traffic. During the 2012-13 ice season, AuxAir made 37 reconnaissance flights. Moss then issues the daily ice report both broadcast on VHF channel 22 and electronically.
Since their 1963 arrival the WYTLs in the Hudson Valley have had a variety of missions, which did not include breaking ice on the Hudson for the first two decades. Line and the other two New York area WYTLs—Wire and Hawser—have unique extended cabins used to accommodate additional crew, including doctors, who would board passenger vessels for inspection/quarantine in greater New York harbor. The WYTLs also moved empty sanitation scows during instances like the tugboat strike of 1979, as evidenced below in the letter of citation from the commandant of the Coast Guard . . ..
As the winter and ice season of 2013-14 establishes a place in the cold and ice record books, BMC Long and crew feel a sense of accomplishment about their role on this half-century-old boat assisting commercial vessels in getting the heating oil through.
So here we are 12 months later, and it’s deja vu all over again . . . or something.
Here’s Tatiana Schlossberg’s article from today’s NYTimes on the 2015 icebreaking effort.
This photo of
Doris Joan Moran that has been circulating on FB this morning. Sorry . . . I wish I knew who gets the credit for this unusual shot. Anyhow, it reminded me of a post I did five years ago here.
Here’s a Doris photo I took last week . . . uncoated.
So one reaction to the cold is to bundle up, grit your teeth, plod on, complain a little more . . .
But you have to admit, winter in the northern latitudes gives us new senses of hulls on snow bases, or
levitating above it.
Here’s roughly the same angle . . . as I took it in September 2012.
Thanks to Bob Stopper for the photo of tug Syracuse and to Erich Amberger for the winter photo of Wendy B. The others I took, except for the top photo, and I’d still like to know who took that.
Uh . . . I just mis-read the FB info on the frosted over tugboat above. It was spelled j-o-a-n, and I transferred that as d-o-r-i-s. I’m sloppy sometimes. Maybe I need an editor.
Here was 4. Pairings suggest to me springtime, and I certainly am ready for that to happen.
Here a blindingly cold blue Meagan Ann departs the Kills with a team of scows
Cape Sally and Cape Heane. Are there really capes by these names?
From back in January . . . it’s Chesapeake 1000 towed into the Kills by
Mary Alice and tailed by
Non-matching but a pair nonetheless here is Paul Andrew and Liberty V.
And since this post seems to be sticking to the color blue, here’s a pair I took a photo of midMay last year… Emily Ann driving Crow‘s last ride.
And although red . . . Little Bear and bigger sister Bear . . . has anyone recently gotten a photo of them you could share here?
To end on a blue note . . . does anyone ave photos of Atlantic Salvor in its current Caribbean context?
All photos here by Will Van Dorp.
First time photo of this tugboat underway . . . Stephen B pushing James Joseph. AND first time photo on this blog by Glen Dauphin, whose work I have admired on FB.
If I’m not mistaken, this is the same tug–previous name–and sans upper wheelhouse. I took the photo on New Years Day.
Haggerty Girls and RTC 107, with an assist from Matthews Tibbetts . . . getting underway.
Franklin Reinauer pushing past . . .
Kimberly Poling with Edwin A. Poling, no doubt headed up to where the ice is thicker.
Eric McAllister precedes her.
And finally Pacific Dawn . . .
. . . coming in from Gravesend Bay, where . .
can anyone explain what part of the gas project–if any–they’ve been working on just off Coney Island’s western tip?
Thanks much to Glen for the first photo above. All others by Will Van Dorp.
Tugs and buoys carry glaze like this or
this . . . .
Even local wrecks (that’s two side by side there) have a glaze that mimics the gleaming white paint they once wore . . . . And one local water guy whose blog I usually read conveys experiences like these. Hawsepiper, . . . this goes out to you.
At these times it’s good to remember we have our own deferred (defurred?) mardi gras parade when we ditch our winter burqas and enjoy the summer solstice warmth . . .
sometimes even without parasols
in fewer than 125 days from now.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Loosely related, click here for a bulk carrier named Mardi Gras and a whole youtube channel devoted for Asian tugs, jetfoils, fireboats, and other workboats.
World’s End is not some lamentation about the single digit temperatures we’ve seen in these parts; it’s one of the great place names in the Hudson Highlands from 40 to 55 miles north of the the Statue. Enjoy these summer/winter pics of this curve in the vicinity of World’s End. West Point is just to the left, and we’re headed north.
Birk Thomas–of tugboat information.com– took this photo in just about the same place less than a week ago.
I took this two summers ago, and that’s Pollepel Island in the distance.
Same place . . . Birk’s photo from last week. Visibility is so restricted that the Island cannot be seen.
And here are two more shots of the same view in summer, from off Cornell and
Patty Nolan. That’s Buchanan 12 heading north in the photo below.
Photos 2 and 4 used with thanks to Birk Thomas. All others by Will Van Dorp.
I’ll ditch the parody of the title of a book and movie I’ll forego.
The temperatures this morning were below 20 F and will go down to below 10 by tomorrow morning, and yet I was amazed by the routine activity happening on the KVK. When this vessel was a greater distance off, I didn’t recognize it because of the apparently white hull, the whit/grayish glaze of February.
That color makes it hard to distinguish where hull ends and froth begins.
Be careful if you’re out long in the wind-driven cold.
Now known as Brooklyn, click here for photos of her making a convenience store stop on my rocky office terrace over six years ago.
Photos by Will Van Dorp, who’d love to see your ideas of either shades of spray or glaze of spray . . . or some other variation on this . . .. matter.
Many thanks to Pierre Kfoury for sending along this very clever photo in shades of black, white, and gray of Bruce McAllister he took up by New Hamburg, NY. In Pierre’s photo, I like those gray shades and gray reflections too.
More shades of spray take us to Emerald Coast, passing Chesapeake Coast.
Sitting out on deck has to be evidence of a warm heart on a vessel
that will miss Mardi Gras in a warm place.
Frozen spray reinforces the fenders maybe?
The glaze coats the hull with a very light-gray layer.
Even on this vessel with a hot name . . . the icy shading is present. Is it true that this tanker was briefly in port to deliver the love drug –phenethylamine– to those of us crowded on the edges of the sixth boro? A few years ago, this vessel was in the sixth boro with the name Golden Venus; for photos of her and other vessels with fantastic names, click here.
So . . 50 shades of spray? How about 56 or 65 or . . .spray, gray, play . . . ? The number is only limited by the imagination and the eye.
I had gone looking to get a photo of this vessel, but by the time I got to my favorite cliffs, they all have headed to warmer waters. And given the usual fashion of mermaids, I can’t blame them.
Thanks again to Pierre Kfoury for his photo. All others by Will Van Dorp.