You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘service opportunity’ category.

The last in the series includes the short video below and

focuses on some of the folks in the harbor this quite windy Monday morning, including McAllister Brothers and


Sea Knights (thanks Jed for pointing out they weren’t Chinooks) as well as


a Schweizer-300 carrying an intrepid photojournalist and fine pilot.


RB-S boats were hither and


and yon.


Waterfront Commission police have a boat named Rev. John M. Corridan,  the priest featured in On the Waterfront!!


Here’s a closer shot of the NYFD units set up at 130th Street in Manhattan.


Once LPD-21 was secured on the south side of Pier 88,


the local Navy League Council distributed bags of delicious grub to those employed either public or


private.  The Navy League seems to have an impressive mission.


Once Sturgeon Bay was secured back at home port, time for  . . .  shore power!!


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

I have been truly privileged to watch Onrust grow:  the ship as well as the community and maybe the community more than the ship even.  Sure, it’s a replica of the first decked vessel in the “new world,” the first American yacht.  Onrust the original was a response to adversity:  Block’s Tyger burnt (sounds like William Blake) on the Manhattan shore, and Onrust was the response of crew who would otherwise have been stranded in . . . boring Manhattan… yeah and with nothing familiar around them.

Below are the lead bricks now ballasting the vessel, bearing names of folks who have ballasted the project.  By the way, each “brick,” which accurately describes the size, weighs about 60 pounds!  I know of what I speak, since i helped transfer them from one crushed pallet to a new strong one.  I’ve never handled gold bricks, but I’m guessing these are denser, heavier.


Onrust‘s passage into “shiphood” was marked by cheers and this lone bagpiper.


The sisters of St. Joseph came by to add their blessing.  Some timbers on the vessel come from an oak, estimated to be 400 years old, miraculously felled on convent property by lightning around the time the project was seeking lumber.  400 years, 400 years, eh?


This has to be the only crane in the Hudson watershed marked with a 400 banner.  Speaking of 400, here’s their schedule of events.


I won’t begin to list all the fabulous volunteers i met on this project, but they were literally drilling, hammering, painting . . . until Onrust began her unstoppable passage into shiphood, a transformation only possible when it floated.


It took the powerful trained eye of Bowsprite (see her own blog and our collaborative one) to notice the rudder straps–here being attached in the last half hour before SPLASH by the blacksmith–endow the restless one with a smile.


I can’t NOT see the smile now.  I won’t identify folks here, but blue shirts equal volunteers in this foto that also show some people who imbued the project with the vision needed to see it through this phrase.  First building . . .


and then it creeps through . . . penetrates the tree wall, negotiating its way into another medium . .. water and then a whole new phase begins, a phase called


SHIPHOOD!  Bravo Onrust project, clap for yourselves volunteers, Godspeed Onrust.  This blogger is humbled.  If this is possible, then what else is?

Some stats as I know them.  Weight lifted by crane:  about 20 tons.  Passenger capacity:  about 20.  LOA:  about 55 feet.  Please correct any errors.

By the way, here is an article from the Daily Gazette.  Since I had positioned myself down-the-bank to catch the vessel coming through the trees, I missed Greta smashing the champagne bottle on the bow . . .  and cutting her finger.  Sweat PLUS champagne PLUS blood . . . good omen!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Tugster reverts to kayakster to participate with LIC Community Boathouse on behalf of American Littoral Society to clean plastic and plastic and plastic from the beach up to the high tide mark on …

South Brother Island.  We paddled from Long Island City to land on this otherwise off-limits bird sanctuary.  Besides all the plastic and styrofoam we tallied up-debris that’ll linger for at least the next few centuries-

the beach was strewn broken glass, coal chunks, shells . . .  Bag it all, and then you see more.

A motorboat served as garbage scow to haul off the 20 garbage bags of debris-two trips-

and we paddled on to Ferry Point Park, swam and picnicked with coastal cleanup folks there . . .

before riding the tide eight miles back to Long Island City

avoiding differently maneuverable traffic.

All we lacked was an expedition illustator.

All photos, WVD.

Jeff Anzevino posted these shots of fotorazzi extraordinaire atop tug44 on his picasa page about the Waterford Tug RoundUp.  Jeff is giving a slide show in White Plains on Sept 15 (That’s THIS Monday)  at the “Color Camera Club.” For directions and program, click here.  According to Jeff,  his show will feature aerials of the Hudson River (Yonkers north to Columbia County), tugspotting photos he’s made over the past decade, and brand new NYC and Waterford fest photos.

I’m glad Jeff’s didn’t capture my expression just after Fred sounded his airhorns and I almost thought to dive for safety into the Hudson.

Below,  inside a Hudson River barge below, Jack Casey debuted rousing songs from his play called “The Trial of Bat Shea,” to be performed in Troy, NY, on Sept 19, 20.  For more info, scroll through the Renssalaer County Historical Society site.  Deft musicianship, rousing then haunting lyrics, unflinching emotional presence . . . that’s how I’d describe the pieces Jack played in the barge.  “… Bat Shea” tells a true story of a rigged election, unjust murder conviction, and callous execution of a man known to be innocent.  And Jack . . . hope you make a CD soon.

Also, coming up soon, it’s Riverkeeper’s NY Waterfest . . . a celebration of the sixth boro as a place to play and work.  Sept 28: 3rd annual Waterfest in New York City’s Battery Park City.   A day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of the Hudson River to New York’s history, commerce, arts, and culture, as well as the sources of and threats to NYC’s drinking water supply.  Speakers, water sports, hands on activities for all ages, a green village and more!

At last, on Sunday, the NYTimes has a Fleet Week article, which devotes a few paragraphs to the speedy vessels below and their capabilities. Watch the accompanying NYTimes slideshow, which devotes more than a third of its fotos to tattoos. Is this reinforcing stereotypes? Info on another Times article at the end of this post.

Landing ramps on the sterns of these MK 1’s show no names. Foto thanks to Gigi. More on Gigi soon, I hope.

Speed at rest nestles beside cutter Ida Lewis, named for the so-called bravest woman in America..

They rafted up facing the Statue and then zoomed northbound past the CRRNJ station. Would you believe 50 knots+ propelled by twin 2285-horsepower diesels?

Unrelated to these vessels, the Times ran another article on services for mariners yesterday. This one profiled Herb Reiss, a godsend to mariners ship-bound during their brief stay in the our fair harbor. A slideshow accompanies this story as well.

Photos, WVD.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard it, an almost imperceptible throbbing in the Congolese night like a slow heartbeat, a drum of some great diameter. At breakfast I learned the sounds meant a steamboat navigating up the Lulonga, tributary of the Congo. A week later when I heard it again, I got up and drove my motorcycle to the river village to see it dock, offload passengers and take on wood for the boilers. Up close the throb and hiss were disproportionate to the speed, the crude technology as surreal along the equatorial riverside as they would be in New York harbor, where–in fact–a steam engine waits to be coaxed back to life aboard Lilac, until 1971 a Coast Guard lighthouse/buoy tender operating on Delaware Bay.



Below is the top of the starboard engine. Notice all the levers.



Blogging about Lilac makes me aware of how little I know about steam engines. Lilac needs volunteers of all skill backgrounds. I took this foto of rods from the lower engine room deck. I need to return here and study this engine more.



Lilac was hull #426 at Pusey & Jones Corp. in Wilmington, Delaware. Fir, last of the class represented by Lilac, exists in the Pacific Northwest. See current story here. I’d love to hear more about Fir from you all up in the Northwest. Unlike Lilac, whose oil-burning triple expansion steam engines remain intact if in need of “overhaul,” Fir was “dieselized” in the 1950s.



Spare props are secured on the foredeck, aka the buoy deck.



Check out the color-coded levers used to control the steam-driven crane for hoisting buoys.



The crew, except the master or officers, slept in these racks in the forecastle below the buoy deck. Imagine their sleep and dreams as punctuated by the throbbing of the twin triple-expansion steam engines.

A story I heard way back when and would love to corroborate is that steam engines taken from vessels dieselized in the US were shipped to rivers like the Congo for a second life.

All photos by or of Will Van Dorp.

This follows on the Dutch Mystery. I savored Golden Re’al as an unexpected pleasure at the Waterford Tug Roundup. Golden Re’al is classified as a hagenaar, which has a similar meaning to “panamax;” a hagenaar (or “haagenaar”) is the maximum size that fit through the canals and under the bridges of Den Haag. I presume this sizing existed at a given time in Dutch canal and “air draft” history. At this link, compare hagenaar to Amsterdammer or Brusselaar. Golden Re’al is a 1903 two-masted aak; notice the mainmast, mounted to a hinged stand, folded forward.



The wheel connects to the rudder via cables. See below (two fotos down) for cable conduits along the deck.



I admit to being partial to leeboards. Notice the pulley between the aft end of the leeboard and the fender. We’ll trace it back to the helm.



Port and starboard pulleys with cranks control depth of each leeboard. L-shaped handle midpoint lubricates prop bearing. “Tunnel” conduits running aft outboard each pulley housing contain rudder cables.

Photos, Will Van Dorp.



Forward portion below houses a spacious galley. Notice the traditional tiles on backboard of gas stove.



Stove heats the saloon. Back aft under the helm is a cabin and engine compartment.


I’d still love to see the interior of that aak on the Hackensack. And here‘s another Dutch boat in North America project near Albany, looking for volunteers. Scroll through for a drawing of the “yacht,”  Onrust.

Several times I’ve used the title “from the line locker” for days too many ideas wanted to crowd themselves into the blog at once. To keep things new, let me now call this “trawl blog,” as in what a trawl net hauled up from a few minutes at the bottom of the harbor might yield, e.g., mussels, a puffer fish, a “white fish,” bits of seaweed, a Spanish dollar, a sea horse or two, etc. Well, some of those, and not that I’m a fan of trawling. So let’s unpack the cod end of my foto net.



Truckable tug Jayne Davis, above, pushes a barge with a clamshell back to the Brooklyn bank.



Buchanan 10 strings a bevy of barges on the hawser.



East River regular, aka diamondback terrapin, goes under cover. And no! this submerged terrapin has no affiliation, national security or otherwise, with a replica of a “turtle submarine” catching some Red Hook attention today. See going coastal’s story here for a great foto of the “turtle.”  Here’s a flickr foto set.



Migratory mourning dove rests on a bobstay above a safety net and oblivious to the cartoonish blue figure behind it.



Castle William, erstwhile military installation on Governor’s Island, serves as shade for nature painters.



And what vessel is this whose deck will serve as stage for an opera in . . . only a month!! Volunteers aka vollies are needed to get this space shipshape… er, ready for Il Tabarro. Email Carolina at PortsideNewYork if you can put in a few fun fantastic hours this coming Sunday afternoon or any Sunday afternoons this month. I’ll be there.

The heat has taxed my brain and the only commonality these fotos have is the cameras of Will Van Dorp. Sorry if this really rambling string culminates like a “Burma Shave” series. Anyone recall those? I hate billboards generally, but Burma Shave had a good gimmick.

Postscript: Let’s do a group gallery for the US Labor Day happening in about a month. If you’re so inclined, email me a foto depicting anyone laboring on the water anywhere. (Medium quality jpegs 500 pixels on their longest side preferred; include a brief description of the labor, laborer, or labored upon; also, tell me how to phrase the foto credit. This post might exemplify the foto subject material. It’d be great if you could get a “you gotta know somebody” type foto such as these on Fred’s blog.)

Just an idea to promote blogging; lurking is acceptable too.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


What’s this red vessel?


>>a sibling of this recently drydocked vessel along Staten Island’s tug alley? YES!

>>the stage for an opera performance, Il Tabarro—Giacomo Puccini‘s steamy opera about adultery and murder on a barge in Paris? YES!

Actually I’m relaying a call for

Volunteers!Sundays, 1-6pm followed by BBQ. Please pass the word even if you can’t join.


Carolina, who says “We could use your help. It’s always fun around PortSide. Folks of all ages, skill and fitness levels welcome.


next chance: this Sun 7/29/07 1-6pm, followed by BBQ
please chip in at least two hours

We are installing PortSide’s offices aboard the tanker, so tasks include refinishing two metal desks, and moving file cabinets, bookcases, and boxes from pier to ship. If we get a lot of people, we’ll do some other work on the ship (moving stuff, putting chafing gear on docklines)

Wear clothes you can get dirty. Bring workgloves if you have them.

When n Where:

aboard the Mary Whalen. Enter gate for American Stevedoring/Brooklyn Marine Terminal at Hamilton Avenue and Van Brunt Street.

Due to port security regulations, you must RSVP so we can get a list of names to the Guard. RSVP to Bring a photo ID to show the guard at the gate. We’’ll pick you up at the gate if you don’’t have a car.


Please pass the word!”

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June 2023