You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Pioneer’ category.

Here are previous iterations of this title.   Of course, many options exist for getting onto sixth boro waters.  One delightful way I’m most familiar with is aboard schooner Pioneer;  get tickets here.  Enjoy these photos, mostly taken from the cabin top starboard side and outboard the foremast earlier this week.

Soon after leaving the pier, we passed a 1920s schooner Pilot repurposed as an eatery/drinkery on the Brooklyn side, Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  More on Pilot and its owners here.  Click for more on the rest of the fleet and their restaurants.   Pilot came into the sixth boro as Highlander Sea, towed by Jaguar.

Within minutes of leaving the pier, four sails were set and we made our way south;  the engine was shut off as soon as it was no longer needed.

Looking astern toward Red Hook container terminal, I noticed a tugboat following us.

You would not expect an 1885 schooner to have anything other than traditional sails.

Without engine against a flood tide, we rounded Governors Island and got as far south as we could before entering the shallows off Bayonne, and we tacked and started out return to Manhattan.   With the engine silent, it was a magical sail.

 

Although other schooners like Clipper City take passengers to sail the harbor, Pioneer is by far, by very far, the oldest . . .

As we made our way back to the pier, night was falling, and we dropped sail and motored back under the Brooklyn Bridge.

 

All photos, WVD, who invites you to come sailing while the summer is here.

An invitation:  Any group of friends want to all sign up for an evening sail, say in early August while the days are still longer than later?  Either Pioneer grads or tugster folks or Pegasus alums or any other bond?

 

At least two other dredging projects are happening in the sixth boro simultaneously.  The one in the Buttermilk Channel  came to my attention because of the following two photos taken by Captain Malcolm of  schooner Pioneer.

Neither this tug–Miss Gloria— nor the dredge were ones I was familiar with. Miss Gloria is a 2003 Rodriguez Brothers tug operated by Marquette, and plenty of other Rodriguez boats work the sixth boro, and Marquette boats have been here before as well, mostly involved in dredging projects.

Malcolm’s photos intrigued me enough that I decided to come out for a night sail on Pioneer;  it had been far too long since I last had done that, especially given Pioneer‘s role in my starting this blog to begin with:  I’d been volunteer crew on the schooner before I started the blog, had taken lots of harbor activity photos, and then created this blog as a means to share those photos. 

Here’s a one-photo digression then for a photo I took more than 16 years ago from another vessel of Pioneer–black hull–and Adirondack sailing together in the Upper Bay at dusk. Although both are schooners, over a century of age and shipbuilding materials development and some very different history separate them.

To return from this digression, the following photos I took of the Great Lakes D & D dredging in the Buttermilk, photos i took after Malcolm suggested I put my feet back on Pioneer‘s deck. More photos of that lovely evening to follow.

I also have not shared photos I took of outstanding GLDD equipment I took in March. Click here for a January 2022 preview. 

Miss Gloria was elsewhere, but Smith Predator, who’s been doing dredge spoils runs the past few weeks, was standing by as a dump scow was being filled. I’d seen Smith Predator on AIS, and with a name like that, it had attracted my attention, but to date, I’d not gotten a good clear photo, only very distant ones.

 

Thanks to Captain Malcolm for the first two photos and the suggestion to come sailing;  all others, WVD.

More photos from the Pioneer sail to follow.

The “4” here refers to the dry dock, not the fourth post in this series.  The last post on Caddell  was Something Different 57.  And in the “high and dry” series, this would be number 11.  I’m just trying to anchor this post in the previous body of work. Also, I believe this dry dock was originally built as an auxilliary floating dry dock (ARD) by the USN to lift submarines out of their watery habitat, but I can’t corroborate that.

In Dry Dock 4 a half dozen years ago was the pilot boat New York.  I put this first so that the vessels in the rest of the photos can be compared against a standard, the dimensions of the same dry dock.

See above for scale.  On this date, winter 2014, Dry Dock 4 was shared by W. O. Decker and schooner Pioneer, currently both in Albany getting refurbished and improved. 

This boat’s a mystery to me;  the livery on upper pilothouse says it’s a Reinauer boat, but I took this photo over 10 years ago and have lost track of its identity.  You may know?

McAllisters Brothers was originally called Dalzelleagle.  I believe it’s currently in the sixth boro but mothballed.

The Fireboat John J. Harvey had some work done in Dry Dock 4 .  She has a long and storied career.

Doris Moran is a 4610 hp tugboat that does some sixth boro work, although she’s currently in Louisiana.

East Coast has not appeared on this blog very often.  She used to tow the sugar barge, and she may well still do so.

Let’s get to the end of this post with Clipper City, having some bottom work done on a cold winter’s day eight years ago already. 

All photos, WVD, who’d love to know more about the history of Dry Dock 4.

 

 

You’ll excuse this poor quality lede photo once you realize who/what took it:  the Statue of Liberty has functioning eyes and watches everything that passes through this sector of the sixth boro.  Think about that:  she’s big and she witnesses!  And yesterday it was raining here, so those are water droplets on the lens.

But the point of this post is the tug with an unusual tow just entering from the right.  I know it’s not very clear, but bear with me . .  or us.  It gets better.

A bit later, Phil Little was at the ready from the cliff across from the Manhattan passenger terminal, but who knew which side of the tow to watch until this point.

A bit later, Luis Melendez, NYC Parks dock master at Dyckman Marina,  was on the optimal albeit rainy side of the tow to see schooner Pioneer well defined against the scow.

Here’s a little bit of history if you’re not familiar with Pioneer:  she was built in Marcus Hook PA in 1885 as a sand sloop, operating between Delaware Bay and the Delaware River. So think of the photo this way, and I’m paraphrasing someone else here: she was a sand sloop converted to a sand schooner (and other configurations) now made to a sand or aggregate scow and headed upriver pushed by the mighty 1957 Frances.   Pioneer was hitching a ride to Albany for engine work.

A few dozen miles later, Kevin Oldenburg was ready to get even clearer pics.  It was still rainy but not yet dark.

 

After she rounded Jones Point,

she was soon visible from the Bear Mountain Overlook along Hwy 202.

That’s Iona Island off the port side and

sand sloop/schooner that Pioneer was, she had clearly a small fraction of capacity when compared to her 21st century scow descendants.

Many thanks to Justin Zizes, Jonathan Boulware, Phil Little, Luis Melendez, Kevin Oldenburg, and the Lady of the Harbor for their contributions–made in rainy December conditions–to this post.  By the way, did anyone get photos from W. O. Decker?  Anyone else from any other vantage point?

A previous time we had this many collaborators watching traffic was just over a decade ago and involved sailing barges and a mothership named Flinterborg.

Getting back to the Statue of Liberty cam, “girl with no eyes” made a great song, but it could certainly not be said to refer to our Lady of the sixth boro.

Since I mentioned Dyckman Marina, whatever became of Mon Lei, the Chinese junk formerly owned by Robert “believe it or not” Ripley and recently docked up there at the now defunct-La Marina for a few years?

Lady Liberty called me up last night to apologize for the poor quality of photo she delivered and asked why Pioneer had not hitched a ride on a nicer day.  I was speechless, because what does one say when the Lady calls you up on your personal number??!@#?

 

 

Eleven years ago I missed a christening because of work.  Then last year I missed one again for the same reason.  But last night, neither work nor weather could have  kept me away.

Ava (rhymes with “java”) M. McAllister has already been working in the harbor about a month, but time needed to be carved out of her busy schedule to welcome her to the harbor with ceremony.

Since her namesake is an accomplished skater, the tug demonstrated just a modicum of her skills . . . .

including some tug-modified twizzles and axels.  Notice the guests of honor including the namesake waving on the bow?

The pipers came, they played, and then they led the way

to the convivialities.

Welcome, Ava.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who several years back did a review of McAllister’s 150th anniversary book here.

For more of my photos including namesake breaking the bottle, go the McAllister Towing FB page.  

Schooner Ambergris came in from sea in mid-April, but I still don’t know anything more about her.  Anyone help?

Dolphin is truly a yacht;  it’s also likely a winter yacht down south.  Up north, we see vessels like this seasonally.  I can’t identify the burgee on the bow.

Schooner Pioneer, launched 1885!!, has never been a yacht, but in its current much-loved state, it operates only in the warmer half of the year and it’s an excursion vessel.

Passing the Hoboken/NJ Transit terminal, that unnamed trawler is truly a yacht coming north for the summer.

Care for a summer evening on a Chicago Grebe-built yacht?  Here’s the info on yacht Full Moon departures out of North Cove. If you want a full day’s amusement online, you could investigate these other Grebe-built yachts . . . .    Or you could read about this Chicago shipyard and many other topics in this great blog called Industrial History, which I’ve just added to my blogroll.

Sometimes the Erie Canal seems devoid of vessel traffic, but on this day at Lock 17, there were plenty of takers.  As I recall, these cruisers were from Texas, Michigan, Florida, and California!

By the boat name and the VHF manner as I overheard it, I can guess the previous employment of this vessel operator.

Yesterday I went to this location to meet a friend over beer and crab cakes, my first there in quite a while . . .  .  But if you’ve never hung out at Pier 66, you owe to yourself.  Advice . . . if you want a seat, go on the off hours!  It’s been way too long ago that this gathering happened there.

And although I took this photo in the fall, the reminder is clear:  be safe.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp.

 

Lest you think Combi-Dock III and Peking–I will get back to them– are the only thing happening in the watery parts of NYC, here’s just a sampling . . . in a series I started last summer.

SBI Macarena –a fairly new bulk carrier– came in past the Brooklynside ramps for the VZ Bridge,

passing Jo Provel on the way out . . .

looking quite large relative to the new NYC ferry.

Tanker New Confidence tested its systems–water and sonic–as Doris Moran arrived.

Where the Wind Blows sails south toward the Narrows, so fast that

I lost track of her, although I admit to being distracted by this squadron passing overhead Elizabeth Anne.

Pioneer–one of South Street Seaport Museum’s schooners–also sailed past and ever went outside

the Narrows, where I’ll pick this up another day.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, waiting for Combi-Dock III action.

 

Who else greeted Wavertree on the rest of the way home?  John J. Harvey is always in on celebrations.

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Lettie G. Howard was there,

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as was the helicopter.  Feehan presented herself on the far side of Rae.

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Pioneer accounted for

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herself with crew in the crosstrees.

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Pioneer and Lettie teamed up at times.

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Wire showed up.

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New York Harbor School had two boats there, including Privateer and their

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newest vessel Virginia Maitland Sachs, about which I’ll post soon.

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Melvillian throngs came down to the “extremest limit of land” on Pier 15 and 16, for one reason or another, but who were about to be treated to some excellent ship handling.

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Rae took the lead, showing the need for tugboats of all sizes.

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The larger tugs pushed and pulled as needed to ease into the slip

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until all lines were fast and

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and the shoreside work needed doing.

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Bravo to all involved.  If you want to take part in a toast to Wavertree, you can buy tickets here for the September 29 evening.

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If you haven’t read the NYTimes article by James Barron yet, click here.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes I left no one out and who as before is grateful to the South Street Seaport Museum and the photographers’ boat provided by US Merchant Marine Academy and crewed by a set of dedicated cadets.

Often folks ask how one can learn about the harbor or is there a book about the sixth boro.  Volunteering at South Street Seaport Museum is a great way available to all to get access to the water, to learn from like-minded folks, and to start on a journey of reading the harbor and its traffic for yourself.  Each volunteer’s journey will be unique, and willing hands make institutions like this museum survive and thrive.

Here was the first time I used this title.

America II looked resplendent bathed in a last burst of late afternoon sun yesterday.

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She was one of several sail vessels out;  here Pioneer seems headed over to a new loading point.

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On a meteorologically different afternoon a few weeks ago, I caught Lettie G. Howard out headed for the Kills. Here was another spring when I caught Lettie under very bare poles.

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I saw Topaz briefly only once, so far away she was only a tall mast, but Claude Scales caught this from his daily vantage point.  Click here for a close-up of Nantucket WLV-612 from three years ago.

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No words . . . no gilding the lily!

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Pioneer heads back to the dock.

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Anyone know where Mary E is sailing from these days?

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Thanks to Claude Scales for use of his Topaz photo.  All other photos by Will Van Dorp, who has used the title “autumn sail” much more frequently.  And if you have not yet read my article about sailing to Cuba last winter, you can read it here.

Here are previous posts in this series.  All photos below come compliments of Mike Weiss and were taken on September 24, i.e., about a month after Wavertree rose out of the water on Caddell Dry Dock No. 6.

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Rather than a very satisfying sifting through the index above, you can read a short history of Wavertree here.

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Many thanks, Mike.

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