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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 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.

Today will be a two-post day.  Here’s the first one, and it follows on this May update.  These photos come thanks to Kevin Oldenburg.  The next post will come in an hour.

She was headed up to Feeney’s Shipyard in the Rondout for a continuation of the conversion from oil spill response vessel to pilot boat mother ship.  Atone point, she was identical to New Jersey Responder or Deep Blue Responder.

Unlike her move back in May, only a few miles, this time she traveled under her own power.  And travel she did . . . . 13 knots worth.

Hat tip to Kevin.  Previous photos attributed to Kevin can be found here.

 

On the 2020 calendar, the top right photo shows a shore fisherman, a small fishing boat, a tug, and a tanker.    The 2013 and 49,999 dwt tanker, Elandra Sea, as of this morning is in the Java Sea, likely almost as far from the sixth boro as you can get.  The tug escorting her in is Capt. Brian A. McAllister.   It turns out that was the only photo I took of that vessel, because of the fisherman, small boat, and industrial vessels and setting.

What I was really there for that morning was the mothership of Sandy Hook Pilots, New York No. 1, the current one as the new one is being created.  It seemed to be an event happening on the after deck. Surprisingly, I believe I’ve never posted this shot until now.

Upper left on the June 2020 page is Helen Laraway; seconds before I took the photo chosen for the calendar, she passed this this container ship E. R. Montecito, escorted in by  James D.

The 2004 and 7544teu container ship is currently in the Malacca Strait, heading for Durban SA, and carries a new name. . . GSL Grania.  I cherish info like this, reinforcing the fact that the sixth boro is but a tiny place on a planet of countless coastlines.

Assisting her in were James D, JRT, and Margaret.

The lower photo on the calendar was taken in the Mohawk Valley, lock E-13, easily accessed via the westbound lanes of the NYS Thruway.  Grande Caribe was Chicago bound.  For more info on E-13, click here.

As she departed the lock, she passed one of the newest tugboats on the Erie Canal, Port Jackson, named for the part of Amsterdam NY  on the south side of the river.    It turns out that the family of the namesake of Port Jackson moved west and distinguished himself.   The barge attached to Port Jackson no doubt has an identified; I wish I knew it and its history, given the riveted hull.

The next shot after the one on the calendar shows the 183′ x 40′ Grande Caribe shrinking as it juxtaposes with the ridge that makes up the Noses.   Grande Caribe is currently in Warren RI, as Blount Small Ships Adventures has decided that in the wake of COVID, it’s better to use 2020 to plan for 2021.   So, neither of the Grande vessels will be transiting the canal this year.  Given the virus, I’ve planed some gallivants, but as is true for everyone, much of that is on hold.  I’m free to gallivant now, but my sense of responsibility says I stay put and see this all as opportunity to craft a different path.

All photos, WVD, who is working his way through his library again.  Last week it was Pieces of the Frame and Uncommon Carriers.  I’m currently re-reading The Night Inspector, historical novel by Frederick Busch, on the exploits in post-Civil War New York featuring a mask-wearing disfigured wounded vet who worked as a sniper in the Civil War, and his friend M, who is none other than Herman Melville, the washed up writer who currently works in the harbor as a night inspector, aka a deputy inspector of Customs who would row out to any ships arriving inport in the dark hours and waiting until morning to clear customs. Here‘s another review.

I’ve also discovered the many videos of Tim B at Sea on youtube.  Interesting stuff . . .  answers to questions you’ve not even considered yet in some cases.

See the exciting announcement at the end of this post.

Sunday I got word thanks to Shipshooter–Jonathan Atkin–that the pilot boat-to-be would be moving from Caddell’s back to the Sandy Hook Pilots (SHP) base on Monday morning right around sunrise.  Pilot boat-to-be?  There’s still much work to do before she enters service.  And at 0626, I saw the shift begin, as Dorothy J pulled her away from the floating drydock that has been her home the past few months. I visited her here back in December 2019 after she’d appeared at the SHP base about a year ago.  The current SHP No. 1 New York is at sea at the sea buoy end of the Ambrose Channel.

Once clear of the dry docks, the several-mile tow got underway.

Dorothy J kept the bow pointed while Robert IV had the stern.

Just east of the salt pile, the tow was reconfigured so that Robert IV got the Pilot No. 1 on the nose.

Robert IV continued the push toward the Narrows, after Dorothy J had gone ahead.

Just off the pilot station, Dorothy J came back alongside . . .

and Pilot No. 1 slides in opposite side of the dock from Pilot No. 2 New Jersey.

 

All photos, WVD, who will update the continuing transformation as available.

Here‘s a NY Media Boat report on a day at sea on the current Pilot Boat No. 1.

The big announcement, click on the image below.  A week from today you can join me for a different type of virtual canal tour.

Polling has not yet ended, the clock goes on for two more days now, since I got a bunch of votes last night. With all certainty, though, polls will close on December 21 . . .  earlier if two days elapse without a single new vote.  Your votes and suggestions –in comments and in emails–have already influenced the design of the calendar.

Many thanks to David Silver for this photo . . .  can you guess where it was taken?

You might want to see where previous photos shared by David Silver were taken here.   You can find the answer at the end of this post.

While you’re trying to figure out the answer using the title and the night pics, have a look at the project of converting a Responder class OSRV into a new Sandy Hook Pilots “mothership”.

For a complete Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) equipment list, click here.

As I understand it, Maine Responder was sold out of MSRC because it was considered excess.   Maybe someone can confirm that.

Here’s the wheels.

Have you guessed where David took the top picture?  The answer is .  . . Elizabethport, NJ.  In the darkness are three exquisite exotics:   Regulus, Kelly Ann Candies, and Highland Eagle.  Kelly Ann came into the sixth boro yesterday just before dark, but it was so foggy in the Narrows that in the 500′ or so visibility she was as invisible to someone there as she’d be 500 miles at sea.  And then, she left before good light this morning.  I caught Kelly Ann entering Guanabara Bay almost six years ago.  Regulus I caught in Bayonne earlier this fall, and Highland Eagle I caught in northern Lake Huron this summer, where she was doing some sounding work.

Many thanks to David for this photo.  The others by Will Van Dorp, who is eager to see how the ex-Maine Responder evolves.

 

. . . as in  boarding party, which might never be pleasant for anyone, but it goes with the enterprise.

YM Evolution was coming in the other day with New Jersey to port, and

 

lots of coasties descending starboard.

 

When I say lots, I mean two

boats

full.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who although unrelated, is recalling that sojourn that a container ship spent in Philly earlier this year.  Meanwhile,  MSC Gayane has been bailed out and is currently in Chile…

Here are some of the rules for boarding.  And no doubt, some of you have seen this dramatic boarding of a sub on the high seas.

Daybreak finds us entering the Welland Canal, taking a pilot from J. W. Cooper.

The past few weeks at MRC have brought the decapitation of Algorail.

Tecumseh is docked just below lock 8.

Algosea slips into the parallel lock chamber at lock 4, upbound.

We encounter NACC Argonaut as she heads upbound below lock 2.

Then we switch pilots at Lake Ontario level and

we pass Ojibway as we make a course for Toronto.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

The rosy fingers of dawn paint the eastern sky, as we

prepare to meet the pilot boat off Port Weller, which means Lake Ontario is nearly behind us.  The pilot has just departed Federal Yukina via Mrs C, and

and readies to join us.

Summertime is the repair season for icebreakers like CCGS Pierre Radisson, named for the renegade French fur trapper.

Behold the immense entrance to the double flight at Welland lock 4.

A crewman on Tim S. Dool employs and time-tested communication device, and it actually works well.

Saginaw discharges coal.

CSL Welland meets us.

Just before climbing W-8, we pass Federal Seto, Happy Rover, and wait for

Algoma Strongfield.

Atlantic Huron is tied up just north of the scrapyard . . . but that’s for tomorrow’s post.

All photos in the Welland Canal by Will Van Dorp, who posts about four days behind these days since wifi is not always available.  When this post appears today, we are approaching the south end of Lake Huron.

 

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.

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