You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘pilot boats’ category.

You may recall that back in 2014, I often juxtaposed  canal&river/rail in photos like the one below.

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This post was originally going to feature only photos of the river and canal from the rails, like the one below, but

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then I decided to pair photos from the train toward the water with the opposite:  photos from the water toward roughly the same land area where the rails lay and the trains speed.

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Train shots are difficult because of speed, coatings on the windows, trees and poles along the tracks . . .  but I’m quite sure a letter that begins “Dear Amtrak:  could you slow down, open windows, and otherwise accommodate the photographers” would not yield a positive response.

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I hope you enjoy this attempt on my part.  And if you ever have a chance to ride Amtrak along the Hudson, Mohawk, and Lake Champlain . . . sit on the better side of the car; switch sides if necessary.

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Here we’re on the Livingstone Avenue Bridge looking south and

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here we are south of it, looking north.  Yes, that’s Crow, Empire, W. O. Decker, and Grand Erie passing through the open swivel.

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Here’s the pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam

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as seen from both vantage points.

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The 1766 Guy Park Manor from a speeding train and

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from the Mohawk River/Erie Canal, where post-Irene repair has been going on since 2011.   Here’s a photo taken soon after the unusual weather.

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Schoharie Aqueduct from Amtrak,

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a slow boat, and

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the east bank of Schoharie Creek.

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Little Falls onramp to I-90 from rail and

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below.

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The rail bridge at Lock 19 from the span and

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from west of it at Lock 19.

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And these all east of Utica I can’t pair, but decided to include here anyhow:  a dairy pasture,

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a construction yard, and

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a truck depot.

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Maybe if I write that “Dear Amtrak” letter, I could just ask if the window could be cleaned a bit.  If you’re going to try this, take amtrak when the leaves are off the trees.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who embeds this post from “Good Morning Gloucester” to reveal a bit of my past . . . 1988.  Scroll all the way through to see a piece of shipwreck “treasure.”

What happens if you build a pilot boat in Massachusetts to be used on the Great Lakes?  It needs to get to its place of use.

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Thanks to the NY Media Boat, I got these photos this week as the Huron Spirit hurried through

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the sixth boro.   North of the watery boro, I was invited to ride through the Erie Canal  before it closes on November 20.

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Above is the wall above lock 16 and below, it’s the approach to lock 19, where you have to first duck under the triple-track rail bridge.

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The photo below, taken at lock 21, was Wednesday afternoon.  By now, the newest Gladding Hearn pilot boat has exited the Canal and is making its way up the Great Lakes chain.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wrote this story on the Lakes Pilots.

Another secret salt’s been photographing, this one in the waters near Galveston, a place I’ve not been.

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Here he passed San Roberto and Rana Miller, which I have not seen in the sixth boro since 2009.

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The orange boats are AET, and assist with lightering operations, as does Rana.   Josephine K Miller must be offshore.

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Mr. Henry works for Barry Graham Oil Services.

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Thor is one large tractor tug.

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I’m not sure what vessel that is in the foreground, but

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Ocean Star appears to be a petroleum museum, a concept I’d not considered,

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whereas these rigs have not yet been promoted–or demoted–to museum service.

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One of these years, i’ll have to gallivant this way.  Many thanks to the secret salts.

 

Here’s an article published by the USCG on this profession. And here’s my article/photos from the October 2016 issue of Professional Mariner on Lakes Pilots Association, District 2.  The photos in this post are outtakes from that article.

Below the captain of Huron Belle maneuvers into position to switch a District 2 pilot for a District 3 pilot on an upbound ship at the south end of Lake Huron.

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Here Great Lakes tugs Mississippi and

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Nebraska finesse a ship to negotiate a narrow bridge span on the Maumee River, as guided

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by a Lakes District pilot.  Imagine calling the commands to ship’s helm and tugs on bow and stern while watching this evolution from the bridge wing  700′ back from where the ship steel could splinter the bridge wood and steel. A seiche here can cause the river to run upstream, and that bridge, which sees a fair amount of water traffic, is a midwest version of the Portal Bridge.

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Pilots read the water as well as a plethora of tools to keep shipping without incident. Mark Twain said that as a pilot he “mastered the language of the river,”  and that’s still a requirement today.

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And there’s always the transfer of pilots, which represents a significant risk.

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This was a calm day, but in adverse conditions,

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this is a challenge not to be understated.

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Almost all photos here by Will Van Dorp.

Here are the previous posts I’ve done on the wind farm southeast of Block Island.  I took the photo below on June 27, as blades to spin the turbines arrived in Narragansett Bay.

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Rod Smith took the rest of these photos in late July and early August.

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It shows Brave Tern as it prepared to sail out to the farm, deploy its sea legs . .  aka spuds  . .

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and put the caps atop the columns onto the bases.

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For the specs on Brave Tern, you can check them out here,

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or here,

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or

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here.

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And check out the froth from her stern!

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To keep up with construction off Block Island, check out the Deepwater Water site.  Or for even more updates, friend them on FB.

Many thanks to Rod Smith for all these photos except the first one.

I hope to get out that way in October.

Let’s start with one that I can’t identify, other than by its name . . . Charlie E, I believe.  I took this photo in Port Colborne.

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I was wrong when I thought McKeil’s Sharon M I was an ex-Candies tug like Na Hoku or Greenland Sea.  It turns out she was built in Japan.

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I can’t ever remember seeing a heaping load of coal like this . . .

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Petite Forte was docked also along the Welland Canal with barge St. Mary’s Cement.

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I’ll put up a pilot boat post soon.  Meanwhile, can you identify this pilot boat?

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Jaclyn is a 41′ tug built in 1967.

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Joncaire, it turns out, is an important name in Niagara history.

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Eagle is a 57′ tugboat built in 1943 and operating out of Cleveland. Here she heads for the outer harbor.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is unpacking as quickly as possible, and preparing to repack soon.

We had a long transit from Detroit to Mackinac, so here are a lot of photos, starting with Federal Kumano and Ambassador Bridge in the distance;

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passing steel operations,

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and the mailboat Westcott.

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Near central Detroit a pilot boards Federal Kumano from Huron Maid.

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Entering Lake St. Clair, we pass Philip R. Clarke, 

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followed by Lubie in China township,

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Radcliffe R. Latimer, 

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Great Lakes Maritime Center,

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lightship Huron,

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and as we headed unbound into Lake Huron, we passed Arthur M. Anderson . . . the last vessel in contact with the Fitzgerald before she was taken by Superior.

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This was sunrise nearing the end of this leg, and in the night and distractions, I missed Alpena.

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This post closes with Buffalo, as she leaves the Mackinac Bridge behind her.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Each year around this time, SUNY Maritime cadets go to sea.  Click here for photos from last year’s departure and here, for ports throughout the summer.  You can track the vessel here.

Here was a clue that a ship was headed this way.

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The next three photos here come from Roger Munoz, high atop the 74th St ConEd plant.

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That’s Roosevelt Island on the other side, at the southern tip of which i waited.

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Here the training ship passes under the 59th Street Bridge,

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and past the Empire State Building . . .

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escorted by a fireboat and

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two McAllister tugboats.

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Some of the cadets who made this journey last summer are already employed as professional mariners today.  And somewhat related, any guesses how long ago this particular T/S Empire State, the VI,  was launched?  Click here for info on her former life.   To see some dramatic shots of the knife edge cutting through the middle of the Atlantic, click here.  If you’re impatient, jump ahead to the 3-minute mark.

Thanks much to Roger Munoz, a SUNY grad,  for the three photos from high atop the East River.

And here is a time lapse gif of ES VI passing, thanks to Rand Miller.

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Click on the photo below to learn more about it, taken in late January 118 years ago.

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Here’s that same location last week.  Sorry about holding the camera crooked;  if I straighten it out now, the 1845 lighthouse disappears.

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The guys sitting on the seawall to the extreme left are tour bus drivers.  Did you notice the two tour buses on the central ridge line in the photo above?

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A little farther into the port I saw Sea Wolf A, 72′ x 23′ built by Damex in Santiago in 1996, and in spite of this info, not laid up. You can find more info here by using the “find” feature.

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Alnair . . . I have no information on her. Anyone help?

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And a pilotboat . . . is a pilotboat, not to disparage pilots and their skills in any way whatsoever.

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Can you guess the white ship whose hull dwarfs the pilot?

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Find the answer here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who was on a journalistic mission.

Click here for posts about many other ports.

I’ve lived most of my life on one side of the Atlantic or another, which leaves me unfamiliar with the Pacific.  Thanks to Mage, frequent commenter on this blog, here’s a classic Pacific vessel, one built at Manuel Goularte’s yard in San Diego in 1914.  According to information on her filed with the National Register of Historical Places, “her active life of 1914 to present, Pilot has enjoyed the longest continuous career of any working watercraft in the western hemisphere.”

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These photos were taken by George Bailey, Mage’s husband.  Click here and scroll to see a photo of Pilot in 1916!  99 years ago.  Click here for a 5-minute documentary featuring Pilot.

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My “reading around” turns up Manuel Goularte in connection with another West Coast classic, Butcher Boy.”

Unrelated:  Grace Quan is another classic although replica West Coast boat I’d love to see.   The idea of a west coast trip is an itch I’m going to have to scratch soon!

 

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below 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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