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The Narrows is a prime location for me to get photos of vessels coming in from sea if they have AIS because I have several hours notice of arrival for any traffic going anywhere into or through the Upper Bay, eg., on their way to Brooklyn berths, the North River, or the East River.  I can walk around or–in case of rain or cold–sit in my car.

The downside is that it’s a wide spot, so even the zoom can draw in only limited detail.

Having said all that, here’s a shot from Bay Ridge over to the Sandy Hook Pilots station, showing (from far to near) the current black hull-yellow trimmed pilot boat mother ship New York No. 1, its eventual replacement currently with a blue hull, and the smaller boats.  Lop off the thin upper wheelhouse and paint the hull/trim, and make a thousand more modifications . . .  and you’ll have the new mother ship.

My goal was to get photos of Commander Iona, which I did and posted here. Unexpected was the arrival of Dina Polaris, which I’d first seen only a month and a half or so ago.

 

Mister Jim has been a regular on this blog and in the sixth boro surrounding waters since she first arrived a few years ago.

 

The Severn Sailing Association came through the rain with a whole host of sloops . . . from closest to farthest:  Commitment, Intrepid, Valiant, Courage, Invincible, Renaissance, Daring, Brave, Warrior.

Rhea I. Bouchard headed in with her barge, but by this time the rain was falling so hard I couldn’t confirm the name/number on the barge.

Magdalen headed out, passing a sloop and

R/V Heidi Lynn Scuthorpe, a first sighting for me.

Click here for more info on Heidi Lynn and Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute. Click here for a more technical article from Workboat on this vessel.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who feels compensated for staying out in the rain.

I saw Nauvoo (Heidi Lynn‘s previous name) years back and I posted a pic here.  I also saw Beglane.

Stephen B heads light westbound about to pass under the Bayonne Bridge, as

Mary H, especially busy during the cold times of the year, pushes some petroleum product in the opposite direction.  Soon leaves will decorate Shooters out beyond her. There’s a pool hall in Queens by the name Shooters, so to clarify, here are some Shooters history posts from way back.

Mr Jim moves some aggregates, also eastbound out of Newark Bay.

James D. nudges Dublin Express as needed into Howland Hook.

Eric and Capt. Brian A. assist a CMA CGM box ship.

Evelyn Cutler moves some petroleum along the supply chain.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s burning high octane himself these days.

Related:  Let me reiterate Lee Rust’s question of a day or so ago:  What is the current working estimate of operating tugs in NY’s sixth boro?  For starters, I think it’s hard to count because of the dynamic, transient nature of traffic.  Just ballparking it without breaking it down by company and enumerating, I’d say 75 at least.  For consistency, let’s say we can count a tugboat as present if it shows up on AIS/VHF/traffic control at least once a month.  I’d love to hear you estimates.

I’ve mentioned before about my people the Dutch celebrating “old years day” on December 31.   As the child of immigrants, I’m blessed by this one of many ways they see the world differently, a perspective I’m happy to share.  So here is a retrospective of the year, the result of a process of scanning through photos in the blog library, not overthinking it.

January.  Gunhilde Maersk with James, Kirby, and JRT plus Miriam Moran.  the year of the 1200-footers aka ULCVs becoming commonplace in the sixth boro.

February.  Ocean Henry Bain serves as a safety boat during  the ice canoe race I documented in my Carnavalons posts.

March. Cerro Grande here escorted a Caribbean-bound LNG ship, one of all the Panama Tugs posts

April. When I saw this section of drained canal bed between O-6 to O-7 in Oswego, I thought the work’d never get done before the season began, but I was wrong.  Of all my 2018 NYS Canals posts, this and this posted with the greatest urgency.

May.  Reliable pushed seaward by Lucy H.  As of today, Reliable lies under the sea gathering fishes and entertaining Davy Jones near Shinnecock.

June.  Jay Bee V headed out on a high-profile mission.  Has she returned to the sixth boro yet?

July.  I missed Rosemary‘s christening because that’s what happens when you don’t look at your calendar. First come first serve for a few tugster lighthouse calendars.  Send me an email with your mailing address.   As I said, I ran a few extra when I made up my Christmas gifts.

August.  Kimberly Selvick with AEP barges was one of the treats I saw in Calumet.  This day south of Chicago planted a seed of curiosity about the Lake Michigan/Mississippi River link I hope to be able to explore in 2019.  Many thanks to Christine Douglas.

September.  J. W.  Cooper delivers a pilot in Port Colborne at the Lake Erie end of the Welland Canal.  Because I hadn’t a satisfying enough fix from the canal earlier, I returned there in October.

October.  One Stork, a pink ULCV,  came into town.  It wasn’t her first visit/delivery, but it was the first that I caught.  She’s currently in the sixth boro.

November.  Morton S. Bouchard IV rounds Shooters Island light, Bouchard celebrated a big anniversary this year.

December.  Ruth M. Reinauer heads west into the Kills in December, the start of heating oil season.

And that’s it for the year, time for me to securely lock up Tugster Tower and prepare myself to meet 2019.  The older I get, the more profound is my awareness that although I make many plans for a new year, I might not see the end of it.  It’s just how it is.  Every day is a blessing.  Last year had my own personal ultima thule; I pray that 2019 brings its new ones.

Thanks to everyone who read, commented, and assisted me in 2018.  Happy and constructive new year day by day to you all.

Sometimes voices talk to me as I’m taking photos.  I realize I’m leaving myself wide open when I write something like that, but I’m not joking.  Especially when a vessel named Opportunity comes in.  Be honest.  What would the voice in your head say?

 

And then it goes away?

So once you register that “opportunity comes and goes,”  and then you see other vessels doing the same . . . .?

sure . . . Yankee comes and goes.  Her sister vessel . . .  Freedom comes and goes.

Even clunkier names . . .  RHL Agilitas . . . yup . . . .

she comes and goes . . . from Kingston Jamaica to Halifax Canada.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who himself comes and goes.   Then other times he eats shoots and leaves. 

 

Let’s call this Fednav’s B-class . . .

Federal Biscay is one of six in that class, all built in 2015 by Oshima.

 

She’s upbound to load, possibly grain for export.  To get a sense of her recent itineraries, click here and scroll.

As a non-US/Canadian vessel, she needs to carry a pilot the whole distance within the Seaway . . . I mean from eastern edge of Quebecois water to whatever her destination and the return.

 

On Lake Erie, she crossed Federal Bering,

a similar bulker.  To see her recent port stops, click here.

 

Bering is down bound, and

 

has to wait for traffic to clear through lock W8 before proceeding.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wants to remind you of the NYS Canal Conference happening on Staten Island next week.  I will show Graves of Arthur Kill and speak on a panel about the hidden places of the sixth boro.

 

BFD’s fireboat Cotter is always a high point of a Buffalo visit, a Crescent Shipyard 1900 (!!) Elizabethport NJ product, aka the world’s oldest active fireboat. 

Headed west for Port Colborne, we’re treated to beauty over SteelWinds. 

As darkness looms, JW Cooper arrives to drop off a pilot.

Imagine my dismay passing MRC after dark,

and head down to Ontario level through the night.

Daybreak brings us to nearly Ontario, and we wait for Wilson T. Cooper to exit the lock W-1.

Port Weller’s shipyard a year ago was occupied by Presque Isle. 

 

We drop off our pilot and

 

enter Lake Ontario.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Again, many thanks to Christine Douglas, let’s explore the Calumet River a bit more.  Actually, a lot more.  Let’s go back and see more of the GL yard.  From l to r here, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana.

Closest up is the oldest . . . Virginia, launched 1914, just two years younger than Grouper aka Alaska and Green Bay. Virginia was re-powered in 1921 and again in 1951.

Massachusetts dates from 1928.

After a few hours, she headed up the Calumet for a tow.

For a ninety-year-old machine making a profit, she was just beautiful.

 

Next under the 96th Street Bridge was Florida, 1926.

Note the orientation and shape of the aft bitt.

The bridge . . . Calumet River Norfolk Southern RR Bridges . . . dates from 1912.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Again, thanks to Christine for the tour.

 

MRC is located on the east side of the entrance to the Welland Canal.  This was a part of the trip I was eager to see. I recall seeing English River for as long as I’ve taken photos on the Lakes.  Paul H. Townsend I first saw here.

Townsend dates from 1945, and

English River  . . . from 1961. Here’s a post I did on her 10 years ago.

 

Marcoux Princess of Acadia arrived here on a towline from the Maritimes.  Click here for photos of her on the Saint Lawrence a year and a half ago.

 

Doubled up at the south end of the scrap yard were Algorail and Algoway, launched in 1968 and 1972, respectively.

 

Algoway on a towline was featured here.  This is the first post that includes Algorail.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Too bad this intriguingly named RORO was so far away when I saw it.  Actually Drive Green is the project;  the actual vessel name is Drive Green Highway.  The project seeks to reduce NOx and CO2; it’s more streamlined, uses slippery hull coating, incorporates solar-powered LED lighting throughout the ship, and more.  Click here for RORO history.  I don’t know why the orange is not some version of chartreuse.

Breezy Victoria really should be parts of a “names” post, but I took it this same foggy visit to this part of the port.

Note the upper 400′ of the Staten Island side bridge tower is missing as

Pilot No 1 aka New York heads back out to her station.   Here from winter 2014 is the same boat at the same bridge in different weather.

If you use your peripheral vision, you can just make out West Bank Light off the starboard stern of pilot boat New York.

Orange Ocean follows the fog bank into the Narrows.

And here’s the vessel I came out to see:  Grande Mariner on her return from Honduras!!  Here you can see the West Bank Light a little more clearly.

I board Grande Mariner again in July, for some more tours of the Great Lakes.  Next winter’s plan for Grande Mariner is a trip to Panama! 

Having no pressing demands on Thursday morning, I went back down to the Narrows, and once again it was

socked in!

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

I appreciate it when folks send in photos they’ve taken.  Sharing photos is one of the joys of the Internet.

Here from Ashley Hutto, Mister Jim pushing five barges, upbound through the Highlands.  If you could swivel the camera to the right, you’d be looking at West Point.  I love the reality-defying lens.

The next two photos come from Phil Porteus . . .  you’re looking across a scrap barge at a set of barges filled with special Delaware Bay sand heading west in the  KVK and

pushed by the fairly new Daisy Mae.

From Jake van Reenen, this is what a small tug looks like on an Interstate, in this case before heading north mostly on I-95.  Photo taken in Miami.

From Sean McQuilken, it’s commissioning time for

USS Ralph Johnson, its namesake being a 19-year-old Marine who died in Vietnam in March 1968, a half century ago.

And last but not at all least, thanks to Hugo Sluimer via Fred Trooster, it’s the “US pilot boat” Elbe on the hard near Rotterdam.  Post-publication note:  Elbe WAS a pilot boat in the US, but she was way way more.  See here.

Many thanks to Ashley, Phil, Sean, and Fred.

 

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