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Two days, two ULCVs, and two distinctly different types of weather.

OOCL Brussels glided into a foggy harbor with

Ava ready for indirect towing.  OOCL Brussels is 10 years old and has box capacity of 13200 teu.

Here’s the bestickered AMP box ready for use.

Below the AMP box, in the aft mooring station, notice the speck of orange?

It’s still there as Justine passes.

That turns out to be a crewman, his 21st century version of a spyglass turned on me, just as I’d turned my camera on him.  Seconds later, I waved and he waved back.  Send me an email, sir.


A few days later, actually yesterday morning, Justine played a role again,

possibly a role as a press boat(?) for the gentleman with the camera slung over his left shoulder,

as Zim Sammy Ofer departed port.

Ofer represents another design for large box ships as well as other innovations, such as LNG or dual-fuel propulsion.  Keep in mind that no matter how much LNG is touted as “natural” gas, it’s no more natural than any other fossil fuel product.  However, it is cleaner and more energy dense.  Ofer‘s capacity is 15,000 teu.  Also, notice the unusual, non-bulbous bow.  More on Ofer here

This time, Capt. Brian was hooked in for indirect towing with Ellen standing by.

Note the fire monitor at the top of the stack

and the crew sans spyglass at the morning station.


As they departed with Marjorie and 

Ava also assisting,

they exited the Narrows and Ambrose and soon were heading SW at 19 knots!

All photos, any errors, WVD.

For some context, by this time this scheduled post appears,  I will have completed step 4, and I’ll come back for all the other NOL river sights, but for now, enjoy this one from the waters of the crescent city.

My first association upon reading “unmanned” on this small craft relates to a Hemingway novel and a character who suffered a war wound that . . . unmanned . . . him.  I guess that this is not the reference here, however. 

Here’s a question:  why include blacked-out windows on an uncrewed vessel?

Dry Tortugas serves as support vessel; in fact, behold the afterdeck . . .

there’s a companion, a twin,  supported there.

If the first boat we saw was Savior 1, then this must be Savior 2.


In faint lettering, there’s the Savior 2 name.  Here’s an article about Romeo Papa Boats.

All photos, any errors, WVD, who’s not sure he sees these boats in NOL as tugster or traxster, but thinks it does not really matter.

Addendum:  When they returned a few hours later, I noticed a window open and now I call BS on the “unmanned” claim.  Maybe the sign could say “observer on board this driverless boat.”

All photos, any errors, WVD.

Previous “uncrewed” posts can be found here. This post is used with permission from    I’ve added that publication to my blogroll. Google helps you translate. 

The images below show what that publication calls “le drone Drix,” a drone developed by exail.

This surface drone has been traveling the Bay of Biscay this month studying the interaction between dolphins and their prey.   It’s part of what’s called Delmoges, expanded as shown in this link. 

Part of what interested me about this article is that the French use the word “drone.”  This sent me in search of the word’s derivation and I found it reflects back to WW1, bugs, Dayton OH, and the bee world, as seen here

Many thanks to the editor of LeMarin  Anne-Laure Grosmolard for use of this article.  Credit for the photos is Bernard Jégou. 


Seen yesterday by Donald Edwards . . . whose photos previously appeared here. The story behind the paint job follows. 

Today’s post features exactly what the title says . . . a random set of recent visitors to the sixth boro, like the 2015 Hafnia Raven, here escorted in by Margaret Moran

Bass is a 2021 build. 

Britta Oldendorff dates from 2020. 

ONE Wren is a 2018 vessel. 

Proteus Bohemia is a 2022 LNG-capable tanker. 

with externals to prove it.  And for all I know, she’s using LNG for fuel.

Captain Paris has come and departed the port, and as a 2014 crude tanker, is the oldster of this set.

Leikanger is a 2016 build, with its fuel touted on the side, as was the case with Grouse Sun, a few months back.  For a comparison of LNG and methanol, click here

Here’s more on CMA CGM Kimberley:  this livery marks CMA CGM’s splash into new cleaner fuels.  This begs the question:  among the innovations passing through the sixth boro, LNG fuel and methanol capability is one that’s touted on the ships themselves.  When will LNG bunkering be available in port of NYNJ?  How about methanol bunkering?  It’s happening elsewhere

Many thanks to Don for sharing the CMA CGM Kimberley photo he caught while she was inbound passing Caddells.  All others, WVD. 


Cape Canaveral passed me the other day, and it seemed something had changed . . .

Had I previously seen this green/blue symbol, like a flame or a drop?  I suspect it may refer to dual fuel capability or aspiration.  Is this a single boat symbol or the unveiling of a new part of the Kirby logo?

It was not there on this photo of this boat in 2021.

And recently when a fleetmate transited the KVK, it was not on that boat . . . 


on either side. 


Something to keep track of, I guess. 

All photos, WVD, who has the luxury of not playing in the sea smoke out there today. 

In May 2019, I caught one of the Kirby Capes arrive for the very first time, passing the original Cape at the east end of the KVK here.  My first view of the third Cape, sans that green/blue flame or drop symbol was here in March 2020. 

Unrelated:  Half a decade ago i spent this weekend in Quebec City to see the sporting event of the year . . . ice canoe racing.  It was a mere -8, v. a -30 today.  See my posts from the Saint Lawrence here

I’ve got a backlog of photos you all have sent along.  I’ll start here with some photos from my sister, Cookie Baker, who has sent along this and this, along with others over the years. 

Any guesses as to the what and where?

Some of you already know, but the 

location here is Alameda CA.  Saildrone fits in the same niche as the XOcean vessels that were working in the NY Bight a few months back.  USVs have been used on the Great Lakes already also here.  And then there’s Sea Hawk, what the USN is experimenting with in the SURFDEVRON program.

Many thanks to my sister for sending these photos along to her sixth boro brother. 


If you read this blog regularly, you’ll recall I spent a large part of June and July on a liftboat called Legs III.  A similar liftboat called Ram VII did some work in the sixth boro in September.   Now for parts of November and December, a huge liftboat has operated off the South Fork of Long Island, and recently came in to dock in Bridgeport CT.  Legs III legs are currently around 70′.  Ram VII legs are 145′.  Any guesses on the height of the legs on the liftboat below?

Legs III had two cranes;  L/B Jill has four, with the largest a capacity of 500 tons, and a 140′ boom.   The other cranes have lifting capacity of 60, 25, and 10 tons. 

Another Secor vessel was also docked at Barnum’s Landing, but I’ll save that for another post. 

L/B Jill has an impressive helideck, capable of supporting helicopters no larger/heavier than a Sikorski S-92, which weighs just shy of 14 tons.


Note the life boats and lifer aft canisters.  Jill operates with 12 crew and can accommodate up to 136 passengers, i.e., technicians usually on whatever project

it’s supporting in depths up to 275′.   This means that Jill could “leg down” in almost any part of Long Island Sound.  Dimensions on Jill are 178′ x 135′.

Liftboats have been described as combination of a cargo vessel, crane ship, hotel, and restaurant. 

I’m not sure how long Jill will be at Barnum’s Landing or what exactly it’s doing there. 

All photos, any errors, WVD.  For more info on Jill, as well as some great layout drawings, click here. As to the length of legs, she’s a 335 class;  usually that number represents the length of legs.

If you’re wondering about that name Barnum, the reference is indeed to Phineas Taylor Barnum, the showman, entrepreneur, and politician; the guy who said things like these . . .

This photo on FB “historic Erie Canal” group on December 4.   It appears to show a westbound vessel approaching Lockport on the Barge Canal, no date given, but the cars appear to be mostly late 1950s models, so it could be from the early 1960s. The Rebel is pushing a barge that looks to be a  tank barge lacking a manifold.  Maybe it’s a deck barge or a scow.  A photo from the bow would be helpful.   There’s also a derrick that I thought was along the portside of the barge.  All the tanks on The Rebel confused me. 

Groupsourcing resulted in this fantastic identification from William Lafferty:  “It was a former YSD-11 class seaplane wrecking derrick for the Navy, YSD-28.  It was built at the Charleston Navy yard in 1942.  It was sold in the early 1961 to King & Doan, Inc., of Georgetown, Delaware, and converted to what we see here.  King & Doan was a dredging concern.  The tanks hold lubricating oil and fuel for the dredging outfit, I suspect.  It was sold in 1971 and went to New Orleans for a couple of owners.  Seems to have passed out in the mid-1980s.”

My conclusion then is that this was King & Doan’s trip through the Barge Canal to a dredging operation somewhere on the Great Lakes, maybe a Great Lakes port, possibly in 1961 or 1962.   Googling King & Doan,  I come up with one of my own photos and more context. 

Click on the photos below to get their original source. Photos there include one attributed to frequent tugster-contributor George Schneider



This last one comes from William Lafferty. 

Adding to these connections, George Schneider sent along this photo (scroll) of Raccoon, a USACE debris collector that works in the Bay area.  You may recall the the sixth boro has its own USACE debris collector, Driftmaster, launched 1947, a different design that must surely have been influenced byYSDs.

Unrelated to this post, but to OPP 91 (scroll) and tug Thomas (Weeks) in the Netherlands on a RT from/to Ascension Island.  A Youtube channel I follow recently added a 17-minute video called “Unloading Stone at Ascension Island.”  It tells a different part of a magazine article I did last year here.  

If you enjoy “Unloading Stone,” give Joe Franta a like!

“Vintage CJ” has to come to mind when you see this photo, and time has modified this folding windshield jeep to give it an “articulating” frame. The lake middle left side is Canandaigua. 

This is a photo from a month ago; by now along this road, snow lies on the grass at the foot of bare trees.

Certainly a seasonal photo of a truckload of Christmas trees coming out of the Adirondacks.

This is the first UPS EV I’ve ever seen, taken recently in lower Manhattan.  Here’s more on UPS’ embrace of new power vehicles. 

Here the second Rivian delivery van I’ve seen in Amazon colors.  It was one of a batch crossing the VZ bridge.  I saw the first one (and batch) leaving a facility about a month ago in Connecticut.   Unless I’m researching this too quickly, Normal IL is the launch point for all these Rivian vehicles.  How far back do electric vehicles go?  Answer at end of this post.

I’ve read references to a food truck revolution.  I had planned to use Buenos Nachos Amigos in a Halloween post, but the time came and went too quickly.  

Here’s an unusual drink truck I saw at a wedding recently . .  a 1933 Ford, just a month ago in a place where snow and sleet are swirling right now.  Maybe working at a food or drink truck truck would be a fun part-time job. 

Hummers certainly attract attention even when they’re painted a sedate color, as this one is not. 

I had to get this photo on a northbound highway.  Is this a Kenworth towing a Hinckley?

It was still summer when I saw this approximately 60-year-old Willys pickup looking like it had just been manufactured.  All restored, it has every bit as much vintage as the lead photo.

All photos in the past few months, WVD, whose truckster! posts represent a lot of fun for me and go back to my demon wanting to make mischief back on April 1, 2015.

Click here for a timeline of EVs.

Drive safe, sober, and clean. 

Might it be fun to do a truck calendar . . . best of truckster! . . . this year . . .    Have you seen an extraordinary vintage truck on your local roads, trails, and highways?  Send me a snap?

Thanks to Jan van der Doe, enjoy these photos of a radschleppdampfer, translated as “side wheel steamer,” a museum ship in Duisburg, Germany.

The side wheel barge tug Oscar Huber was built in Duisburg Ruhrort in 1922. She towed barges until 1966 between Rotterdam and Karlsruhe, about a 300-mile trip on the Rhine. She’s a sole survivor, the only of its kind on the Rhine River saved from scrapping. In 1974 it was turned into a museum.


See her in her 1950s b/w glory in this video, with all narration in German. Color video sans narration can be seen here. More video here


She was recently moved w to a shipyard in Friedrichsfeld–15 miles down the Rhine– as shown here by Herkules IX and Franz Haniel 14.  Both push boats operate for HGK.


Note the folded down stacks.


Many thanks to Jan for sharing these photos. 

Click here for some posts of Swiss side wheel steamers, photos thanks to Rich Taylor. 

Speaking of HGK and inland river towing, my latest favorite YouTube channel is marktwained, chronicling the work of a Mississippi River captain/pilot.


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