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Tugster feels so very blessed this year that I’m recognizing the top gift boat in the sixth boro. If NYC ever decided to have a water-borne symbol of gift-giving season, the most appropriate boat for the elf to ride would HAVE to be this one. See all the packages, wrapped sensibly, on the deck? While you try to name that boat, let me digress a little to use the print to push the next image farther down the page.
Digression #1: Here are my Christmas posts from 2015 2014 one about a Rockefeller Center tree that arrived by ferry one that arrived here by barge towed by a tug called Spuyten Duyvil and finally my post from 2013.
Digression #2: If you’re not from NYC or a large city, you might wonder where city folks go to cut their trees. Here’s a feature from the NYTimes about a Christmas tree vendor who’s come to the same neighborhood NYC with trees for the past 19 years.
Digression #3: Nope, I don’t get my tree from this vendor. In fact, I haven’t had a tree for . . . decades. Not interested. So here was the post I put up in 2006, about my first ever Christmas present. Here’s the story about our first Christmas tree. My father, who drove a school bus in addition to running a dairy farm, brought home our first tree back when I was 5 or 6. I think it was his and my mother’s first also, because “christmas trees” did not exist for them in pre-WW2 Netherlands. Where did he get the tree and what prompted him to bring it home, you might wonder . . . Well, as he was leaving the school with his last bus run before the Christmas break, he noticed the custodian throwing a tree into the snowbank next to the dumpster. It must have been set up somewhere in the school–the office? We LOVED that tree, and it still had some tinsel on it. My parents were willing to spring for a string of lights, which could be used again year after year, but tinsel? In my imagination, that tree was the best.
When my kids were small, I did get a Christmas tree, and we decorated it with more than a string of lights.
So have you figured out this vessel that does nothing all year round except deliver packages like these?
Of course, it’s Twin Tube, featured many times on this blog.
She is the sixth boros quintessential package boat that delivers no
matter the weather.
Merry Christmas to the operators of Twin Tube.
And merry merry Christmas spirit to all of you who read this blog today and any day.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s received so many gifts every day and doesn’t need anything more on December 25.
Here’s the index on previous second lives posts. I use “second lives” for what land folk call “adaptive reuse.” It strikes me that there may be more instances of repurposing re-design and -engineering on water than on land, but that’s may just be my opinion.
But first, I thought to call this “pre-boomed” to follow up on yesterday’s post and the wonderful backstory I got in email yesterday from William Lafferty, frequent contributor here. Here also sent along the photo below, which shows Twin Tube in 1951, i.e., before I was born and I’m 63.
Here’s part of what William wrote: “It shows the Twintube just after it entered service in fall 1951. Twintube was launched 28 August 1951, Captain Blount’s mother doing the honors, and built on Blount’s account. He used it as a travelling “demonstrator” for his shipyard’s products (it was Blount’s hull number 6) but also used it to haul oysters. Power plant originally was a rather rare 4-cylinder Harnischfeger 138-hp Diesel. (Click here for a 1950 news article including a photo of a 6-cylinder marine diesel.) Harnischfeger (the H in the mining equipment manufacturer P & H) had been set up in 1945 at Port Washington, Wisconsin, by P & H to exploit the workboat and yacht market. P & H closed the division, then at Crystal Lake, Illinois, in 1963. In spring 1952 Blount sold the vessel to the Staten Island Oil Company, who converted it to a tanker with a 40,000 gallon capacity in eight 5,000 gallon compartments within its “tubes.” The rest is, as they say, history.”
By the way, reference to “Staten Island Oil Company” brings me back to one of my favorite articles by the late great Don Sutherland here.
Here’s the index for all my previous Blount posts.
All this repurposing leads me to the second half of this post. A friend named Matt–former all-oceans sailor–is looking to write a serious history about Cross Sound Ferry vessel Cape Henlopen, ex- USS LST-510. Note the 510 still carried on its starboard bow. She was built in the great shipbuilding state of Indiana.
Here she passes Orient Point Lighthouse at the start of its 80-minute ride over to New London.
Matt is interested in interviewing past and present crew and seeing old photos of the vessel in any of its previous lives: Cape Henlopen, MV Virginia Beach, USS Buncombe County, or LST-510. If you send your interest in participating directly to my email, I’ll pass it along to Matt.
Many thanks again to William Lafferty for the Twintube story and photo. I took the photos of Cape Henlopen in March 2014. Here’s a version of the vessel by bowsprite.
Here’s the index for previous Twin Tube posts. This freight vessel is 64′ x 19′ x 8.5, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that it is one of the first Blount built vessels ever, launched in 1951. Here’s the index to all my previous Blount posts.
This is how I imagine her, but recently . . .
the boom has been missing. I don’t know the story, but I’d like to.
Most larger cargo vessels provisioned by Twin Tube have their own on-board cranes, so maybe the boom was removed to avoid having to negotiate the dock lines as she had to here in a blinding snowstorm back a year and a half ago.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Unrelated but important: If you are local, free and have the slightest inclination to make merry, there’s a soiree on Lehigh Valley 79 THIS Friday night, as a means to consolidate doubloons to keep the barge afloat. Details here. See you there, if my best approximation of pirate hood. Here’s a post I did nearly five years ago. And one more.
Here’s an index of previous posts with this title.
And a lot of photos of small craft. Given recent temperatures, it’s notable that all these vessels would NOT be able these days to navigate waters much north of the sixth boro or on the Great Lakes, because of ice conditions. Given the significant clues, can you identify the vessel and location below? Answers follow.
Here’s Julia, a sturdy all weather boat out with McKinley Sea.
Here’s Julia a few weeks ago–when the whelp of Hudson River ice still went out into the Lower Bay–
retrieving personnel from NS Lotus.
Taking the stern of Kimberly Poling . . . a small USACE I don’t recognize.
See the small unidentified boat beyond Mako‘s stern. I believe it’s the Vane crew boat, not
to be confused with Grace D.
ABC-1 was out with supplies a few weeks ago, no matter the single-digit temperatures.
These temperatures could kill, but small fish boats like Pannaway are out there.
And if I’m reading that right, Pannaway is registered in a New Hampshire, my home state as you can read on the “about tugster” page.
Harbor Charlie is out with the small NYPD boat.
Now, let’s mix things up a bit. Seth Tane took this photo in the sixth boro back in the late 70s or early 80s. Can anyone identify this boat, Karen L? I ran a lot of photos from that era by Seth in a series here almost two years ago. In this case, Karen L seems to have just returned four jolly tars back to their ship in the anchorage as another crewman watches from the rail.
Rich Taylor took this photo recently off St. Lucia, four different very balanced tars in a long narrow boat.
This photo comes via Fred Trooster in Rotterdam showing line handlers there. Here’s a post I did over three years ago of line handlers in the Kills.
And this somehow returns us to the mystery vessel at the top of the post: Knight Rider following the FDR just north of the United Nations, the blue flag in the top photo being the clue.
Thanks to Rich, Seth, and Fred for the photos already attributed. All others by Will Van Dorp.
Click here for my previous Twin Tube posts, Note to self . . . I’d like to see the wheelhouse of this work horse if it ever stops working. Today when I saw the boat, it looked different. Can you see it?
No . . . it has not been renamed Butterfly, as appears between the “legs” of the A-frame.
The boom is missing. Temporary?
The builder and designer behind this long-lived vessel and many others –I’m told–is also responsible for the alphanumerics on this disused rail bridge in Wayne County, NY. Mr Blount painted the date of each year (’50, 55, 91, 97, 03, and 04) he transited underneath this bridge, the lowest currently between Waterford to Lake Erie.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Saturday morning . . . sunrise . . . Gran Couva.
Same time . . . MTM Hamburg.
An hour later, Stolt Bobcat heads for sea. Can you make out her original name in raised metal letters?
Golden Legend. That’s Firefighter II overtaking to port and a boom boat to starboard.
MTM Hamburg inbound the Kills leased by Gramma Lee T Moran.
Voge Paul in Gravesend Bay with Twin Tube and
Gran Couva Trinidad bound and
not a half hour later Afrodite in the offing bound
for Albany, where as of this writing, she’s not yet arrived.
All photos yesterday morning by Will Van Dorp.
Here was 7 in the series.
BB 163 . . . is a still used antique, up on the Canal that connects the Great Lakes with the sixth boro. Some day, when it’s warmer, I hope to learn much more about these BBs, buoy boats. I’ll do more on BB 163 later. For now, I can’t look at this and NOT see the flag of Colombia or Ecuador.
Gabby has been featured here many times.
Miller Boys is a crew boat.
But really the focus here is the line boats operated by Ken’s Marine.
It might be 5 above zero or 5 below 100 F, these crews are shuttling lines from ship to shore, negotiating with crews on a vessel as well as crews on shore.
Note the ship line handler chief watching the line boat and signaling to his crew to pay out line.
Once the line boat gets to the shoreline, the shore crew takes over. Given the ice I know is on those rocks, this is a job requiring concentration and sure-footedness as well as strength.
Once lines are on, the line boat stands off until they get snugged. Then there are lots more lines to get on.
“All fast” needs to be done quickly and thoroughly. Not long after this vessel was snug, two container ships passed between Medi Osaka on this side and UACC Masafi on the other side, creating tremendous lateral pressure on all vessels, straining the lines.
But all fast is all fast. Bravo, guys.
All Fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Here’s the first post I did on this vessel more than 5 years ago.
When I saw Twin Tube–a workhorse older than me– northbound yesterday, I’d no idea we’d meet up again later. What caught my attention right then was
the lowering boom, something I’d not noticed before.
Here she is, as Electra rages, westbound in the KVK, boom lowered and supplies-laden.
And then it was explained to me . . . rather, demonstrated . . . , lower boom to get into work position.
Note the operator of the ship’s crane upper left. A week ago this crew basked in sun on tropical seas.
Now they need groceries, spare parts, stores . . . .
As a resident of and a familiar with New York’s City’s SIX boros, I feel strongly that this–and not the luxury baubles and almost ancient poets–make us a city of ships.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
. . . aka a jumble.
Below, s/v Concetta meets Charles D. McAllister (Jacksonville, FL, 1967, 94′ x 29′) in late October.
Twin Tube (Blount, 1951, 64′ x 19′) passes the polytube rack. If you click on the link in the previous sentence, you’ll see the very next completed Blount project was of Ceres, a “grain elevator.” A google search turned up no fotos. Anyone know of any?
Bow Hector in the Kills a few days ago . . . now in Morehead City. Bow! Hector!
Taft Beach . . . shuttling dredge spoils, inbound.
Sludge tanker North River noses past 118,000-bbl barge Charleston.
On Marathon Day, this was Explorer of the Seas ( I think) approaching the Narrows, as seen past the stern of Transib Bridge.
A few days ago . . . it’s Challenge Paradise. I wonder if that’s ever a command. . . .
And at the same moment, crude oil tanker Felicity. By the way, I passed between felicity and challenge paradise . .. steering clear. Both vessels are currently southbound off the coast of the Carolinas.
Finally, in the Buttermilk, it’s MAST’s r/v Blue Sea, passing Wilson Newcastle and McAllister Responder. Responder and Charles D. are two of the triplets built near the end of the run at Gibbs Gas Engine, currently a place to sleep and stroll. The last time I saw Roderick-the third triplet– in the sixth boro was here.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
. . . sometimes aka Kate’s Light. And I did a Katherine Walker post here without including the light in that post. So here’s my attempt at amends. All Robbins Reef today . . .
The tug Robbins Reef is an ex-army tug, sibling of 8th Sea, built in 1953 in Fells Point at American Electric Welding. Can anyone add info on the former American Electric Welding shipyard? National also appears to be a sibling, but I am starting to digress.
Back to the light by that name . . . in the distance.
See you at the Noble Maritime auction tonight, I hope.