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I started a series called transitioning, but here’s something new.  Actually I did a transit post a few years back when a Boston ex-fireboat transited the sixth boro on its way to  Lake Huron to reinvent as a dive boat.

This post started with Glenn Raymo catching a shot of NOAA 5503 northbound in Poughkeepsie.

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Then, unprompted, Mike Pelletier, engineer of Urger noticed it between locks 2 and 3 in Waterford, westbound.  When I noticed it on AIS, southbound on the Welland, I knew she was doing a long haul.  So here’s what I’ve since learned:  this vessel “was transferred to NOAA from the CG in Fort Macon NC.  Its final destination is Muskegon MI,  where it will undergo a full overhaul and be refit for service as a research vessel on the Great Lakes.”   Many thanks to Glenn, Mike, and my other sources.

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But if NOAA is transiting far, Sand Master is going much much farther.  Any ideas what HN RTB is?

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Here’s a photo of Sand Master I got just over a month ago at the Great Lake just west of the Bayonne Bridge.

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Try Roatán, Honduras.

Thanks all for the photos and the information.  And please help keep eyes open for unique transiting vessels and those who work mostly here.

Barrel comes up with unusual photos . . . and this one below,  Merritt,  shows a side-cast dredge with a draft of less than 5′.

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It appears she’s still in use.

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Here’s the info.

bb1USACE DREDGE MERRITT FACT SHEET-2

I wish that tree was not obscuring the tug, but the real star here is the ship, an oddity that began life in the last years of the nineteenth century as a battleship, BB-5.   The first in her class was USS Indiana, BB-1. 

bb1USS Kearsarge as crane ship AB-1 transiting Panama canal

After 20 years as a battleship, she was idled for 20 years, at which point she was converted into arcane ship, Crane Ship No. 1, with lifting capacity of 250 tons, a weight more impressive then than now.  It does qualify this as a “second lives” post, though.  Finally, in 1955, she was sold as scrap.

bb2USS Kearsarge FORMER BATTLE AHIP CONVERTE4D TO CRANE SHIP PHILA NAVY YARD 1923

Click here for navsource’s great photo documentation–including the dramatic graving dock view below– of her entire half century career.

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Here’s a 1936 derrick boat, with a sign over the stern house that would get my attention.

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I’m not sure when she went out of service.

bb4USACE DERRICKBOAT BABCOCK FACT SHEET

Many thanks to barrel for these glimpses into the archives.

Given the history and range of projects of Elsbeth II, you might imagine how thrilled I was to see her for the first time yesterday.  And she has to be among a small set of working vessels based in North America with brightwork!  She truly fits under the category exotic.

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I saw this tugboat six years ago in the Delaware River, but Sarah D looks spanking new  in NYS Marine Highway colors.

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Happy flag day.  Do you know the significance of this date?

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OSG Courageous, she’s one large tugboat and an infrequent

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visitor in this port.  I can’t quite make out the barge name. Of course, she’s not as colossal as her big sister –OSG Vision–who spent some time here . . . four (!!) years ago.

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Sassafras is a fixture in the sixth boro, but she rarely looks as good as she does when many shore dwellers in the other boros are just waking up.  Here she

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lies alongside Petali Lady.

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Mister Jim here is lightering (?) bulker Antigoni B, who seems to have since headed upriver.

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And since this is called random tugs, let me throw in two photos from the Digital collections of the New york State archives . . . SS Brazil entering the sixth boro on May 31, 1951.  What the photo makes very clear to me is how much traffic in the harbor has changed in 65 years.   Can anyone identify the six tugboats from at least three different companies here?  I can’t.

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Here the party passes a quite different looking Governors Island.

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All photos except for the last two by Will Van Dorp.  These last two come from a treasure trove aka Digital Collections of the New York State Archives. 

Unrelated:  If you’re free Saturday, it’s the annual mermaid migration on Coney Island.

 

and so much more!  Never have I seen so many barges in such close proximity one to another.  What if you woke up and saw this from your bunk?

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I’d thought to call this a whatzit post, but

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the prime mover is a tug I’d long hoped to see . . . Elsbeth II, of the Smith Maritime fleet, and that link is to Burkhard Bilger’s article from the New Yorker a few years back.

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6000 hp and three screws.

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Built in Palatka, Florida, Sarah D was another of my subjects this morning, since she’s a new acquisition for NYS Marine Highway.  .

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I never got her and the tow–aka Atlanta Bridge–in the same frame until here. Cargo barge Atlanta Bridge has transported some interesting cargoes.

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Here Sarah D has pulled ahead of Elsbeth II.

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You can see how windy it has been for the past 24+ hours in the sixth boro.

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I hope there’s someone upriver getting photos of the ballasting and floating off, aka the second half of the FLO-FLO ops.

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The first photo comes from Seaman Sou-Sobriquet, whom I thank;  all the others were taken by Will Van Dorp.

 

Part of the way up in the Chesapeake watershed, Roaring Bull works daily for the better part of the year.   Take a ride on it.  from Harrisburg I-81, it’s a mere 30 miles north.  From West Milton I-80, 40 miles south.

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Baltimore . . . 100 miles, Philly 130, NYC 200, and Pittsburgh 225;  and

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and it’s lost in time.

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It’s a must-see, and inspected by the USCG.

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Unlike double ended ferries, this one has the best bow and stern thrusters.

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with a name that conjures up this taurus pining for love. 

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And yes, it’s in a part of the Susquehanna River valley where there are lots of horses pulling buggies.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  For sights and sounds of the ferry under way, click here and here.

Oleander has to be the most regular ship coming into the sixth born.  Put it this way:  if it’s Thursday, Oleander will arrive from Bermuda, the B in BCL.

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Ever Diamond seems basically to shuttle between eastern Asia and eastern US.

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Some day I should see how many of the 10 Ever Dainty-class of Evergreen Marine container ships I have photos of in the sixth boro.

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IMHO, vessels like Anthem of the Seas are most interesting under some unusual light, like dawn here last week.

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I lamented the fact there were no dancers in the glass ball.

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MV Loujiane is part of GBX, serving, I gather, as both bulk storage of cementitious material and movie set.

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Has anyone ever seen photos of Loujiane, ex-Abu-Louijiane, ex-Bahma . . . arriving in the sixth born?  She must have arrived here at some point in the 1990s, by the photo comments here.

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Over in Walkabout Bay in the spot where Alice often discharges, Pagona was working the other day.

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Rounding out the post, it’s the vessel everyone in NYC should be familiar with, especially her being in proximity to the bridge she nearly brought down.  Recognize her?

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It’s Chemical Pioneer.   During the decade I’ve been watching she’s been a hardworking vessel, but

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here’s the NTSB report.  Click here for one of her ITB fleet mates, now scrapped.

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See the US flag flying off the stern here and

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here?

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That makes this 1999 built container vessel somewhat unique among traffic in the Kills.

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Enjoy it.

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I’m not sure what purpose that primer-red upfolded arm serves or what it’s called.   rs4

Here Ellen McAllister 

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retrieves the docking pilot.

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while Robert continues the assist.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s still out cat fishing.   And while the fish were not biting, I read this Rick Bass collection, which I highly recommend if you’re looking to read.

 

I’ve often posted photos of ROROs and PCTCs, but here’s the old school.  Here’s a Ford ship loading Ford cars from the Chester PA plant.  MV Lake Benbow was one of the first six Ford-owned vessels transporting Ford products around the world.  Click here for her interesting history:  built 1918 for the US Naval Overseas Transport Service (NOTS), purchased by Ford in 1925, which operated it until 1937.  Given the automobiles awaiting loading, maybe 1935 Fords, this photo appears to have been taken near the end of its time as a Ford vessel.

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The Chester plant made Fords from 1927 until 1958.  Click here for more photos and info on the Chester plant.  When that plant closed, operations moved to Mahwah NJ, where after some years, the same script was followed. 

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Click here for Ford production location photos both vintage and abroad.

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Ford was know to have tried to own all aspects of their operation, from the Fordlandia gambit to northern forests and mines, but other companies like US Steel, Bethlehem, fruit companies and petroleum companies did the same.   By the way, now that it’s summer BBQ season, do you know the connection between Ford and Kingsford charcoal?

 

Again, thanks to barrel for these photos.

The sixth boro includes a portion of Raritan Bay, and once there was a USACE dredge called Raritan, built in 1908 in Sparrows Point, as seen below.  She was scrapped in 1956 after having been sold out of the USACE and renamed Sandmate.

br8USACE DREDGE RARITAN BUILT 1908-2

The next series shows a life raft of the era being tested off Fort Mifflin back in 1925.

br8aaUSACE DREDGE RARITAN LIFE RAFT TESTS FORT MIFFLIN 1925-1

 

rd3USACE DREDGE RARITAN LIFE RAFT TEST FORT MIFFLIN 1925-3

To me it looks more like a camel than a life raft.

br8dUSACE DREDGE RARITAN LIFE RAFT TEST FORT MIFFLIN 1925-5

 

Would this type of life raft ever be used in rough seas?

Thanks to barrel for this glimpse of the past.

Paris this springtime has seen new waterfronts, quite miserable for anyone wedded to the old margins.  Click on the image to read the story.

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But I’m not focusing here on “paris,” but rather “pairs” that have been “pairing” around the sixth boro.  And that appears to be Flinterland over beyond the warehouses just arrived from Paramaribo.   Both Paris and Paramaribo are on my list of “gotta got there soon” places.  In the foreground and eastbound on the East River, it’s Foxy 3 and Rae.

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I caught Marie J Turecamo and Mary Turecamo doing the do-see-doe allemand left recently just off Caddell.

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The background margins seemed to be trying to add a script.

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With the Turecamos, the background served as a record of change on the Bayonne Bridge.

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And Mary appears to have just had a makeover.

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And what’s this on the margin of the sixth boro and Brooklyn . .  other than a surplus military vessel in the Navy yard?  Here’s a previous allusion to IX-514.

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Are there pairs in those boxes?  Yes, I know these are the flocks of pigeons that are said to create art when they fly.  Here though in daylight they look like Joseph Perkins boxes with living creatures in them, mimicking a microcosm of the residents of NYC.

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But I’ve somehow gotten myself off topic, but no matter, it’s springtime.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who took a break from catfishing and stumbled onto an answer thanks to the site naturalareasnyc.org.  According to them, NYC includes over 76,000 acres of open water, i.e., the sixth boro.  That number of acres converts to about 119 square miles (mi2).  Manhattan, in comparison is only 23 mi2.

Here are the other land boros’ areas:

Bronx, 42 mi2

Staten Island,  58 mi2

Brooklyn, 71 mi2

Queens, 109 mi2

And size matters.  It’s time for the 119-acre-boro to have its own official name and status.

OK, I’ll hand this back to the robots and reel in my catfish.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click 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.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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