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Recognize this location for sixth boro riverbank living?

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The fine print there says USNS GySgt. Fred W. Stockham (T-AK-3017), which was just outside the VZ Bridge a few days ago.

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Now it’s over by FDNY Marine 9, as if it were someone’s yacht.  The complex finally looked open, so I wandered in and

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here’s what I saw . . . right here on Staten Island.

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I don’t know who lives here or where the clientele comes from, but I’m positive the President-elect will be checking the residency papers on the opticians selling goggles.  Will there be waivers? here.

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Actually, I left quickly because this place gave me a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy feel.

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Now THIS is a strange juxtaposition in this Potemkin Village.

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But don’t take my word and photos for it.  Click here or next time you’re in Stapleton, check the place out, before new tenant emporiums arrive.

All photos this week by Will Van Dorp.

 

See the two big shoes on the Nadro Marine barge pushed by Margot?  You might also call them “pedestals” for the New York Wheel.  Those are size 110-ton shoes.  A little over a month ago, NY Media Boat caught the legs arriving, the legs which will wear these shoes.

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Here’s a close up with two crew getting prepared to offload these shoes.

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Chesapeake 1000–which you’ve seen working here and here–did the lift.  In the photo below taken just prior to the shoes’ arrival, Chesapeake 1000 is offloading the “multi-axle” furnished likely by Supor.  Sarah Ann assists with the swiveling of the large crane.

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Here’s a closeup of the multi-axle (there’s likely another name for that, but I don’t know it)

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and the drone that someone is using to document the transfer of cargoes.

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Here Margot finesses the Nadro/McKeil SV/M 86 with the shoes to the lift point.

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Here’s another view of the same, looking east.

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At this point, the barge is 110 tons lighter as the shoe is lifted and moved carefully onto the dock.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  More shoes to come, although my Canadian cousins call them “boots.”

Click here for some details from SIlive.com.  And since it’s always good to see more Margot, click here.

Palabora . . . she’s got LEGS!!!  Italian legs.  … Lei ha le gambe!   gambe that will stand astride that harbor and be noticed, cartwheeling on the shore as traffic goes in and out of the Kills, and

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the legs of Bartholdi’s lady will be forever modestly covered.  So why are they made in Pescara on the Adriatic, and not in an American steel mill?  When you break it down, some parts are from Canada, Holland, Germany . . . .  I have no problem with this fact, but I think it should be noted as such.

Thanks to New York Media Boat for the photo.

Here are previous iterations of this title.

 

 

Of course, there are little known gunkholes in the backwaters of the sixth boro where fossils–living and inert–float.  This one is off an inlet behind one island and concealed by another, a place easily missed, and if seen, it gives the impression of being off limits by land and too shallow by water, near the deadly bayou of Bloomfield.  But with the right conveyance and attitude, it’s feasible if you’re willing to probe.  And the fossils have names like . . .

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Caitlin Rose.  I don’t know much, but built in Savannah GA in 1956?  Relentless.  She’s before my time here, but I suppose she’s the one built in Port Arthur TX in 1950.

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I can’t make out all of the words here.

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Ticonderoga is obviously playing possum. Only a month ago she doe-see-doed into the Kills with the ex-Pleon, the blue tug behind her,

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a Jakobson from 1953.

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Dauntless .. . built in Jakobson & Peterson of Brooklyn in 1936, was once Martha Moran.

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From right to left here, Mike Azzolino was built for the USCG at Ira S. Bushey & Sons and commissioned as WYTM-72 Yankton in 1944.  Moving to the left, it’s Charles Oxman . . .

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was built by Pusey & Jones in 1940 and originally called H. S. Falk., and looked like this below, which explains the unusual wheelhouse today.  She seems to have come out of that same search for new direction as David, from a post here a year ago.

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The photo above I took from this tribute page. 

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The small tug off Oxman‘s starboard, i don’t know.

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The low slung tug that dominates the photo here is Erica, and beyond here is a Crow.

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Someone help me out here?

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And as far into this gunkhole as I dared to venture . . .  this one is nameless.

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Oh the stories that could be told here!  I hope someone can and will.  Balladeers like Gordon Lightfoot could memorialize these wrecks in a song like “Ghosts of Cape Horn,” which inspired a tugster post here years ago.  And looking at the last photo in that old post, I see Wavertree, which leads me to this art- and detail-rich site I don’t recall having seen before.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Click here to scan the many posts with KVK in the title.  Here’s a new one inspired by arrivals that had many folks, aship and ashore, paying attention.

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Wavertree is suddenly and lavishly being regaled with sights of 21st century merchant vessels

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Products tanker Polaris, delivered 129 years after Wavertree

and crew from all over the world are paying attention.

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And a mile farther east, at the old gypsum dock, tugboats like Laura K Moran and

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Stephen B pass.

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If you want to read a good book about when and how the US took possession of Eagle, read Captain Gordon McGowan’s The Skipper and the Eagle. The book has an introduction by Peter Stanford, a foreword by Alan Villiers, and the journey starts out from NYC’s own LaGuardia.

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I have many more closeups of the barque;  maybe

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I’ll put them up if I get encouragement.  A previous posts featuring Eagle can be seen here.   For a comparison of steering apparatus on Eagle with other vessels, click here.

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Here Swallow Ace crew check out an Eagle.

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The long street on the landside of this portion of the Kills is called Richmond Terrace.  For photos and explanation of what is and used to be there, click here and here,  from the ever fascinating forgotten-by.com.  Click here to see an image of a square rigger bulk carrier docked in front of Windsor Plaster Mills, now an Eastern Salt facility, in its heyday.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

This post shows the second leg of what felt like an epic journey, but first let’s back up about 10 minutes.  See the small blue vessel just off the bow of Wavertree?

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It’s a King’s Point vessel, and leaning out of the house, it’s Capt. Jonathan Kabak, formerly master of Pioneer, Lettie G. Howard, and other vessels.

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So let’s resume . . .  the tow travels west of Caddell and rounds up against the tide, ever so

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gracefully–to my eyes–making its way to the dock.  Thomas J. Brown and later Rae working the port side.

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it took a full quarter hour to spin Wavertree 180 degrees and inch it across the KVK, but then the heaving line flew, followed by the dock line.

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Thomas J. and Rae worked this side in coordination with Pelham–invisible all this time from my perspective–on the starboard side.

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almost all fast

Lots of money will be spent and sweat expended before the NEXT leg of the journey.

The 2001 (or earlier??) photo below comes from Mike Weiss, SSSM waterfront foreman.  It shows a more complete rig.

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Also from Mike’s FB post, the photo below shows Wavertree in her Argentina barge days.  For the saga of Peter Stanford’s efforts to get this hull from Argentina to the sixth boro, read A Dream of Tall Ships starting from p. 221.  Actually, the whole book makes an excellent read.

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All photos except the last two by Will Van Dorp, who is eager to see Wavertree‘s transformation in the year to come.

From gCaptain, here’s a good explanation of National Maritime Day, yesterday.

 

If you ever drive eastbound on Staten Island’s northern “land edge” route aka Richmond Terrace, you’ve probably seen this mural by Ian Kelleher.   The other day I stopped for a closer look and noticed

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a delightful additional spoke on Bayonne’s windmill–harkening back about 400 years–and a huge upside-down unicycle just west of the ferry racks.

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When I approached the ferry terminal, I noticed some wheel hardware beginning to accumulate.

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Parking racks?

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Keep your eyes on this location . . .  things could be happening soon.  By the way, notice there are details of ships hidden in the background of the three previous photos, speaking to the proximity of the Eye . . . or Wheel . . . to shipping channels.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Here just over a year ago was the release information about the documentary.

And here’s the BIG announcement:  the world premiere of the documentary will happen Wednesday, May 7 at 7 pm at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema and tickets for that evening’s fare . . . including ours are now on sale.  Click here for directions to Brooklyn Heights Cinema on Henry Street.   If you haven’t seen the documentary, we DO turn back the clock on some of the skeletons in the yard.

Just over a week ago, I stopped to look at the yard from outside, from the muddy margins.  Some photos are below.  In 2011, Gary Kane and I had permission to film inside the yard from a leaky rowboat, and the footage of “beautiful ruins” comes to you directly from the leaky rowboat.  By the way, I had a hand-powered bilge pump that kept our equipment dry.

Fragments with a wading bird,

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disintegration with graffiti,

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commingled wreckage,

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terminally rusted disrepair,

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debris still morphing but identifiable,

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ravaged whole machines juxtaposed with live ones.

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Here was the 2010 end of the “graveyard” series . . . all photos shot in the ship graveyard.  Use the search window to see  segments 1 through 3.  And here is the end of the “ghost puzzles” series, all photos I shot while we were filming the scrapyard portion of the documentary.

I hope to see you at the May 7 showing at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema; here again is the link for details.  Also, if you do Facebook, please go to the Graves of Arthur Kill page and click like.

Unrelated to some degree, click here for my latest photos in Professional Mariner magazine.

 

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Many thanks to Brad Ickes, who recently contacted me with some info about this vessel shown above, a one-0ff launched at Luders Shipyard in Stamford in 1952, their first ever steel vessel.    Like me, you may have seen her–seemingly always docked just west of the Moran building on the KVK.   Note the large spool on the foredeck and the intentional bow shape.

Her hull looks like that of a tug, although the deck equipment points to her intended work:  submarine cable laying, and if you notice the pennant . . . for New York Telephone.   Click here for info and a front page photo in a 1970 newspaper.   I’m guessing the foto below dates from her first arrival in the sixth boro of NYC.

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Here’s an undated foto of Cable Queen at work.

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Also, from Brad of OCG, here are some fotos of the vessel during a haul-out, showing the shallow draft

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and recessed wheels that are not characteristic of most tugboats.

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Here’s another undated foto of Cable Queen at work laying cable.

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I took the fotos below back in December 2009.

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Click here for this Cable Queen info and many more cable ships.  …here . . . for fotos of older Bell system equipment, including an older Cable Queen.  Here, from the Troy Record is a 1967 article about the vessel and crew working upriver at that time AND a foto of its master, William J. Fry of Staten Island.

Many thanks to Brad Ickes of OCG for reaching out with these fotos.

Will Van Dorp, who took the last two fotos, is alone responsible for any errors in interpretation.  I will be  hitting the road–with all its detours and other opportunities for side-gallivants– northeast-bound tomorrow.  If I can’t post then, happy, safe, and prosperous 2014.

What would a name like Ecology Queen lead you to expect?

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The Bayonne Bridge in upper right side of the foto should suggestion the location.   Also, just beyond the yellow crane with the red unit marked 450, you can see the upper house of Lincoln Sea.

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Ecology Queen is seriously boxy and equipped with a telescoping crane.

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I’m guessing she started like as a government boat . . . DEP –by the name– or Corps of Engineers by the functionality, but

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I don’t know.

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Notice the sheltered wheel and rudder.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp, a few days ago at MHYC.  Click on that link for lots of fotos.

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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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