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Quick . . . name the fourth largest port in Florida?  The answer is here.  And I’ve long wanted to visit it, and my our good fortune is that recently friends–Allan and Sally–who are excellent photographers did, and here are some they share.   Click here for a photo of Cangarda they took and here for some of disintegrating ferry Binghamton.

The closest thing to Betty K VI in the sixth boro is Grey Shark.  And once I noticed Lygra, but only once.  Betty K VI–built in then-Serbia in 1988– measures barely over 200 ‘ loa.


About the same size but Danish-built in 1974, La Flecha.  She was originally Patricia S, changed in 1985 to Patricia Star, 1992 to Patricia S, 1993 to Sea Chariot, 1994 to Patricia Star, and 1998 to Sara Express, when it became La Flecha!  I wonder what the real stories are.


Ditto the much changed but inadequately painted Borocho, although I had to look


to the bow to decipher that. Borocho is even smaller than two previous, built in Japan by Honda Heavy Industries in 1977.   She was originally Yamato Maru No. 12 until 1993, then Pai Chang until 1996, then Quininde until 1998, Floreana until 2000, Genovesa until 2008, Niaski until 2012, and for now . . . Borocho.


A similar vessel is the better-painted, old design Wave Trader, here at the stern of La Flecha.  I haven’t been able to locate much more info about Wave Trader.


Lady Philomena, Norway-built in 1956,  has born 10 previous names, which you can read for yourself here.  As I write this post, she is underway from the Miami River for points southeast.


Directly forward of Lady Philomena when Allan and Sally took these photos was Eva. Built in Norway in 1968, she has been Marina Dania, Erik Boye, Katla, and Miss Eva Ii before her current designation.



A giant and a youngster, Miami Super dates from 1992 and measures just over 275′ loa.  As of this writing, she is in the approaches southwest of Santo Domingo.


OK . . . I need help with this one.  Maybe it’s deliberate obfuscation?


Family Island . . . sounds like an amusement park, but it’s a LaPaz-registered 1978 Danish-built small freighter, previously known as Ardua, Atlantic, and Queen Sea, in that order.


One more and this photo taken by Rich Taylor off Barbados, it’s the vessel currently known–so far as my info serves–as Rudisa Global.   Built in Spain in 1970, she’s since been called Manchester Merit, Manchester Merito, Fortuna, Kathleen, Kudu, Cement Two, Fortune R, and Libera.   Rudisa Global has recently been embroiled in some drug issues.

0aaaamrRUDISA GLOBAL Barbados 020815 - sc-2

Many thanks to Allan and Sally as well as Rich for these photos.  The Miami River intrigues me more than ever now that my appetite has been whetted.   I’m happy to see commerce persisting until some of these may end up as memorials on a beach somewhere like this one.   Or this.  Maybe then covered over like this.   Or never to be seen again . .  very deep-sixed.

And if these pics create a hunger for stories, some of this might be satisfied by Alvaro Mutis’ Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll.


The first two and last two photos here come thanks to John Jedrlinic . ..  aka Jed.  He took these of Marlin in Baltimore in late July 2009.


Has anyone heard of/seen it since it was sold foreign?


The next batch were taken in the Beerkanaal area seaward of Rotterdam in early March (I think) by Jan Oosterboer and sent via Rene Keuvelaar and Fred Trooster.  I’ll just list the names and embed more info:  Iskes Brent

0aaaarrt3BRENT, Beerkanaal-0143

Smit Panther with 1200′ CSCL South China Sea,

0aaaarrt4SMIT PANTHER, Beerkanaal-0092

Smit Ebro,

0aaaarrt5SMIT EBRO, Beerkanaal-085

Fairplay 24,

0aaaarrt6FAIRPLAY-24-, Beerkanaal-0051

SD Stingray with enhanced fire fighting gear,

0aaaarrt7SD STINGRAY, Beerkanaal-0030

Smit Cheetah,

0aaaarrt8SMIT CHEETAH, Beerkanaal-0019

Canadian built Svitzer Nabi and Nari,

0aaaarrt9SVITZER NARI en SVITZER NABI, Beerkanaal-0895

Smit Hudson

0aaaarrt10SMIT HUDSON en SVITZER NARI, Beerkanaal-0875

and SD Rebel.

0aaaarrt11SD REBEL, Beerkanaal-0810

Look at the palm trees.  Jed took this one of Fort Bragg last month in a place where northerners probably wished they were. . . .


. .  and this one of Susan Moran in Norfolk in early June 2012.


Thanks to Jed, Jan, Rene, and Fred for these photos.


Thanks to the many folks contributed to this post.

First, Russell Skeris sent this along of a James Turecamo in Turecamo livery.  Given all the flags, might this have been taken by an unknown photographer quite near her launch in 1969?


Next, hats off to Rand Miller who caught this photo of a brilliant red and gold Delta Fox, lighting up this grey day on the East River.  Hats off especially because Rand had to hastily throw on some clothes and take these photos while holding an umbrella and cell camera.  Some of those words are his, and I am grateful, as I hope are you.


New Bedford bound perhaps?


And gracias to my gallivanting sister who is still along the Colombian coast, watching remolcadores like Sirocco racing out to


escort in a freighter.


And appreciation to Allan and Sally Seymour, who recently made a trip up a watershed that’s long been on my list of “gotta do’s.”   Joseph A and P & L fleet mates gather here among the colorful buildings the mysterious Miami River, where


this vessel in TowboatUS colors perhaps stands watch in a manatee area.


Judging by the coloration of the buildings in the background, this unmade vessel with classic tugboat lines lies in the same area.  Anyone know the name?  the history?


Many thanks to Russell, Rand, Maraki, and Allan & Sally for these photos.




Condolences to the family, comfort to the survivors, and


gratitude to the rescuers.


Here’s a Newsday account.  And here the NYTimes article.  The photos above I took in 2011 and 2010.

Other photos I’ve taken of Sea Bear can be seen here and here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

In my sixth boro observation, Maersk has more container ships than other types of vessels.  Over four years ago, I posted this about the seven-pointed star logo, and all my photos there are ships carrying boxes.  So earlier this week when I read about the tanker Carla Maersk colliding with the bulk carrier Conti Peridot, I recalled having seen a Maersk tanker in the sixth boro in January, I wondered.  Had it been Carla?  Had Carla been in New York harbor?

See it there . .  the third tanker in the row, the blue hull at sunrise on January 23? Black hull is Whistler Spirit, then Cape Troy, and then . . .



Nope . ..  not Carla here approached by Julia Miller.  It’s  . . .


Kirsten Maersk.



As to the question . . . has Carla ever been here?  The answer I found was surprising . . . yes.  I have a photo of her from 2007 but the name then was Bro Promotion.  See the second photo here.

All photo by Will Van Dorp.

How many more folks in the cold first months of 2015 would have slipped on walkways or skidded off roadways had it not been for our annual salt infusion?  Spar Spica is the most recent vessel emptied here.


How many old trucks and cars have a second life in the Caribbean islands because of this trade conducted by Grey Shark?



What kind of petroproducts does Pula transport?


The classic Ellen McAllister escorts her in. . .



as another tanker . . . Arionas heads for sea


guided by Elizabeth McAllister.


Deep Blue–named for this??– lingered in port a few days as


did NS Lotus, here a few weeks ago when this ice drifted beyond the Narrows.  And what did the crews think of the ice drift?



I really have lost track of the number of salt ships that have delivered anti-ice properties to the land sides of the sixth boro. There was at least one between United Prestige–shown here in mid-February–and Spar Spica.


All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is ecstatic to be in a warmer sixth boro this morning.

For a Caribbean take on a salt pile–production and ship-loading side, see here, here, and here.


Curtis Bay Fells Point built 1956.  Taken 1987.  Click here for Fells Point with more of the fleet.   Scuttled in 2008 at Redbird Reef near the mouth of Delaware Bay.


James Turecamo built 1969 . . . in my first 2015 photo of her.  In the dry dock directly between James and the WTC, it’s MSC Harry L. Martin.



It’s the classic 1965 built Bushey-built Cheyenne. Here she was in Oswego in June 2014 about to head into the Great Lakes, making her a truly anadromous vessel.


Miriam Moran built 1979.


Bruce A. McAllister . . . built in 1974.


Ruby M . . . built in Oyster Bay in 1967.


Robbins Reef . . . 1953


with entourage that may have salvaged the white fiberglass boat on the barge.


And the current Fells Point, Maryland built in 2014.


Photos of both vessels Fell Point come thanks to Allen Baker.  All others by Will Van Dorp.


Click here for an index of previous second lives posts.  Reinventions are everywhere, but I have a hunch that the Caribbean offers an especially rewarding search area for second acts, third acts, and the number goes on.  Take a vessel named Azores.   I’d never heard of it before, but . . . suppose I say Stockholm, THAT Stockholm.  the one that left the sixth boro in July 1956 and could have been a disintegrating artificial reef lying near Andrea Doria.  Rich Taylor took the photo below in St. Kitts early last month.  Scroll through here to see her sans bow.  Click here to see her in dry dock and showing her unusual stern lines.  Here’s a long list of her previous names:  Stockholm until 1960, Volkerfreundschaft until 1985, Fritjof Nansen until 1993, Italia I until later in 1993, Italia Prima until 2003, Valtur Prima until later 2003, Caribe until 2005, Athena until 2013 . . . Azores until . . . further notice.

0aaazoresSt Kitts020915

And then there’s this tugboat looking like exactly what she is . . . undistracted by her pink deckhouse, can’t you imagine this as a former workhorse of the northeast?  Any guesses?

0aaaCONSTANTSt Maartin020615

She was once called James McAllister.  And here’s the story . . . built 1930 in Philly.   Does anyone have photos of her in Hayes colors . . . purple I presume?

Many thanks to Rich Taylor for these photos of vessels that have lived on and on.


You may recall my wondering about a Canal Corp boat I saw last year while I was working on the canal.  Alan Nelson sent the photo below showing the type of vessel while it performed ATON (aids to navigation) service.


Here’s what Alan wrote:  “It’s a 45’ buoy boat. Designation was “45 BU”. They were built 1957-’62 and in service through the 1980s. Used extensively on inland waters, they were powered by a GM 6-71 main engine and small Onan generator. Max speed approx. 8.5 knots.  Although they had a small galley and berthing area, they weren’t often used for overnight operations, and didn’t have a permanent crew assigned.   They were usually assigned to an ATON team to service small inland buoys and day markers. I ran one on the Delaware River around Philadelphia in the mid-1970s, until we took it up to New York for assignment to Lake Champlain. A slow and long trip, towed by the Coast Guard 65’ Tug Catenary.   The one in the attached photo is numbered 45301-D, the first one built. The one I ran was the 45306-D.”

Below is a further edited photo of the boat I saw.


And here are some photos by Bob Stopper last month in the dry dock in Lyons.





Alan and Bob . .  thanks much for your photos and information.

Now if you look closely at the subtitle of this blog, you’ll see a longer phrase there.  It now ends in “gallivants by any and all the crew.”  We are the blog crew . . .  you and me.  I’ve long stated in the “About Tugster” page drop-down just below the header of the Bayonne Bridge that “I like the idea of collaboration and am easy to get along with.”  I am thrilled by the amount of collaboration you all have offered.  So thank and let’s keep group-sourcing this blog together.


Summer and fall 2014 this blog posted lots of lock photos, a sample of which is here, but today there’s a treat.  Winter work on the canal requires that the water level be drawn way down for maintenance inside the locks.  Bob Stopper, a regular canal contributor and much more, took these photos inside lock 27, basically a machine that’s worked in the same way for a range of different traffic for over a century.

0aaaLock date 1913

To get a sense of what we’re seeing here . . . the “door” at the far end is 300′ away and the width here is 44.’  The “steps” we are looking at are the upper sill.  When Urger would sail into this lock, we needed eight feet of water above that concrete sill . . . or we’d hit with the keel.  In the distance notice the port holes on both sides along the “floor” and the minimum water “scum” lines.

0aa1Lock 27 upper sill, port holes, water lines

Here is a close up of the port holes and water lines.


Here we are behind the port holes in the water tunnel now iced over.  Through here, the lock fills and dumps.

0aa3Lock 27 Southside water tunnel with ice (1024x765)

Now from the top of the lock looking at the same scene:  the “door” is called a mitre gate and again, for scale the lock is 300′ by 44′.  Notice again the water line and the port holes.

0aa4Lock 27 entering miter gate, miter sill, 300 ft long x 44  ft wide (768x1024)

Here we are inside looking back at the sill,  upper mitre gates,  and “ribbon rail” dam that’s been temporarily installed across the canal to do winter maintenance.

0aa5Lock 27 Mitre sill (upper) , mitre gates, dam   (1024x768)

Here from farther outside the ribbon rail dam.  Notice the repainted mitre gate.

0aaaars2Lock 27 Bubblers ahead of ribbon rail dam

Here’s a close up of the bottom of a mitre gate showing the sill rubber seal and the white oak mitre timbers where the gates meet in canal center, and .

0aa6Lock 27 Miter sill,  sill seal rubber, white oak miter  timbers

along each edge there’s a quoin timber attached to needle sill gate.

0aa7Lock 27 Quoin timber attached to needle sill gate

These grates are called trash racks at the entrance to water-fill culvert.  In reality, they keep debris like large trees from entering.

L0aa8ock 27 Trash rack and entrance to water fill culvert   (1024x738)

And the is a wagon-body valve in situ on z-rails in a fill culvert.  How large is it?

0aa9Lock 27 Wagon body valve on Z rails in North fill culvert   (1024x768)

I took this photo at lock 2 last summer.  This wagon-body valve was waiting the arrival of a crane for installation deep inside the lock.  My estimate is that each of the wheels is greater than three feet in diameter.  Maybe someone can help confirm that estimate.


Here’s a view of the lower gates of lock 19 I took in late June 2014.  Lock operators were clearing water-logged tree branches jammed between the bottom of the mitre gate and the sill.  Remember that there’s at least eight feet below their rowboat.


Much gratitude to Bob Stopper for sharing his photographic journey inside lock 27.  Here, here, and here are links to Bob’s article in three parts from Wayne County Life on this inside out look at a lock.


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