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Some government boats have jet drives.  In this post from early September 2014, the smaller vessel had jet drive, whereas the larger one–propellers, although I can find no info about , eg, their diameter.

The other day in the East River I encountered FDNY’s newest (?) vessel, William M. Feehan.  Click here for Feehan‘s dedication in the sixth boro.

Feehan‘s 3450 hp, generated by three Caterpillar C-18 engines, gets propelled by three HJ 403 Hamilton jets.


Speeds are slightly faster in fresh water, but both fresh and salt water need to be in liquid state.

USS Little Rock‘s 96,000 hp are to no avail when water converts to solid state, even with just some chunks of solid, because of the otherwise highly desirable waterjets. For complete specs on USS Little Rock LCS-9, click here.

The photo above comes via Marc Piché and was taken by René Beauchamp.  All others by Will Van Dorp.


A different post was scheduled for today, but when good fortune smiles, I smile.  Behold  J. Adams bound for sea, as she could not have a year ago . . . in fact, she may very well not even have been completely fitted out a year ago. As of this writing, I believe that J. Adams and T. Roosevelt are the only two of CMA CGM’s 14,414-teu vessels calling in the sixth boro. CMA CGM has just launched a 20,600 tee vessel, not scheduled to call here.

I’ll smile even more once the walkway on the bridge opens, allowing photos from a different perspective.  Such a change in capacity from the vessel carrying the first containers outbound from the sixth boro back on April 26, 1956!  This tech spec sheet starts out with an interesting graph of vessel capacity since 1980, and much more.

Kirby Moran (6000 hp) looks small here, and notice the two bow thrust symbols on the bow, which–if I interpret this info correctly–operate with 5000 hp.

Captain D and her trash barge provide some sense of scale here.




For cleaner port air, she’s equipped with an HVSC by Wärtsilä , which also provides the propulsion power.


Kirby Moran–work on this vessel complete– heads back to sail the next ship out of port.

Following are James D and JRT.

I don’t know the calling ports for the other two 14,414 teu vessels:   A. Lincoln and  T. Jefferson.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here are the previous posts in this series.  So what is this?

It’s an ultra deepwater geotechnical drilling vessel.  It’s not drilling in the Upper Bay .  .  .

although it has the gear to do so.

With that helo pad above the wheelhouse, it looks to be what is associated with ports like Rio and Fourchon.

“Fugro”?  The name goes back to 1962:  “On 2 May 1962, Kees Joustra launches his own firm, whose name translates as Engineering Company for Foundation technology and Soil Mechanics, in short ‘Fugro’. ”

Above Fugro Explorer takes on fuel from Emerald Coast.  I was fortunate to get these photos–she’s been in and out of the harbor several times in the past half year–before she made through the East River bound for New Bedford, where she has now arrived.  She would have been a sight to behold on the East River, but omnipresence is not easy to manage, even in our sci-fi 2018 world.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s more on Fugro, “Ingenieursbureau voor Funderingstechniek en Grondmechanica.”  Fugro provided one of the vessels involved in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

And speaking of sci-fi, I’ve recently immersed myself in augmented reality experiences


I first used this title seven years ago, and a comparison shows how much things have changed:  some box ships “dead”, tugs modified and moved around, and the Bayonne Bridge clearance now above 151′.

Two of the three tugs waiting for Tage were James D and JRT, both 6000 hp tugs probably not even on the drawing board back in 2010 when the first post by this title was published.

Although CMA CGM Tage has the same midships bridge design as CMA CGM Roosevelt, she is considerably smaller, large though she is.  Tage has 9365 teu capacity compared to Roosevelt‘s 14000+.  Roosevelt first called here in September, and is currently back on the East Coast.  I missed that event because of a Great Lakes gallivant.   Note the next box ship a few miles behind her in the Ambrose Channel. In fact, five in a row lined up.

Here she passes Norton’s Point Light before

the docking pilot

comes aboard.

Compared with CMA CGM Roosevelt, Tage is 200 feet shorter.

The third tug on this arrival is Miriam Moran. 

Comparing the photos above and below–same shot wth different cropping–you can see some of what else was in proximity.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wonders when the Roosevelt will return (she was here again in November)  or the next even-bigger ship comes in and eclipses Roosevelt‘s record.  Actually last night a 14,000-teu Cosco Glory –same size as Roosevelt–was escorted into Port Elizabeth.

Anyone know CMA CGM Tage‘s namesake?


Really different?  This is what happens when your klompen dance gets too spirited.

Nearby, I’d never seen anything like Aqua Aircar called Prop Wash . . .

Here’s the Continental C-125 engine.

Here’s a video clip showing it under way in the 1950s.


It was entered in an antique boat show in Holland MI.

Photos by Will Van Dorp.


Here are previous “specialized” posts.

Below, the nose of an oversize aircraft?  high-speed locomotive?

sound equipment?

construction of a mini-roller coaster headed for Sandusky?

an art project?

No, it’s just Ariadne assisting Neptune, i.e.,

the CSV Ariadne laying a cable sub-Hudson for electrical transmission.  And being a lay person to this, I’m guessing it has some relationship to this repair job and this initial cable laying in 2011.  Here’s the Neptune connection.

Click here for the story of Ariadne, she is the red thread that solves puzzles and helps one escape mazes.

All photos and any errors by Will Van Dorp, who is currently far from the sixth boro but in possession of the red thread.

Click here for a state-of-the-art cable layer, and here for one that worked in the sixth born almost a half century ago.  Here’s a post that might be related to Ariadne‘s presence.

Thanks to you all who tipped me off about Ariadne‘s visit.


GWA stands “go[ing] west again,”  the next set of posts all attempting to catch myself and maybe you up, if you’re following along, with random and I hope interesting photos from the past almost three weeks.  I realize that catching up is impossible, and in this case while I had vacated the sixth boro, big stuff happened.

A word that comes to mind is protean– named for Proteus.  Type “define: protean” into google and you’ll appreciate why it’s difficult to catch up.  But here goes.

Within a half hour of departing Warren RI, we pass Naema and

Lionheart.  Do check the links.  Either would be worthy of a post in itself.

And still north of the Rte 138 bridge, we see NOAA R/V Henry B Bigelow.

On the cusp of Block Island Sound, we encounter inbound Atlantic Pioneer, where you’d expect her returning from a run. Here’s a post I did almost exactly two years ago when Atlantic Pioneer components still needed to be combined at the shipyard.

A bit further, it’s Carol Jean and Islander, both Block Island bound, although one will arrive much before the other.

By now, we’re into Long Island Sound and being overtaken by darkness.  That’s Atlantic Navigator II as a speck heading toward us.

This dawn photo found us within NYC and approaching the East river.  It’s Fort Totten, designed for the entire US by Robert E Lee.  Here could be a dilemma:  there’s no debate that I know of of striking his name from the credits for this fort.

We pass HuntsPoint Produce Market,

the floating pool,

Marty C–a Weeks tug I’ve never seen,

the “north end” of Roosevelt Island with the Blackwell Island Light,

Gabby L Miller pushing past Cornell Tech‘s yet-to-be used buildings,

the Brooklyn Navy yard with Asphalt Sailor and –I believe– the old Great Point,

swimmers in the water doing a Manhattan circumnatation,

and–let’s end it here for today–a yacht  named  Vava II.  Here’s info on her owner.

Protean  . . . day 1?  It’s not even over, and I think so.

Lots more to come.


I must get back to downstream and upstream tows on the Mississippi soon, but I seriously misread this oncoming vessel.  Some of you might figure out my misread before the end of this post.


What attracted my eye to Florida Enterprise was the superstructure, specifically the cranes overtop the holds.


I’d seen structures somewhat like these on a ship in the KVK here … but they were not quite the same.


Because of poor lighting and large distance relative to my position, I missed the really unusual feature of the vessel


–or rather vessels–which I should have


seen here.  See it?


Florida Enterprise is a barge, and the prime mover here


is now called Coastal 202.  Below is a photo taken by Barry Andersen, which I got permission to use from Fred Miller II, which shows Coastal 202–then called Jamie A. Baxter–light, an ITB out of the notch. The photo below was taken soon after the tug’s launch in mid-1977 from Peterson Builders in Sturgeon Bay WI.  Here’s another taken when the vessel was out of the notch and then known as Barbara Knessel.  


Click here for some ITB posts I did back in 2008.   Click here for a better view of Coastal 202 and her cargo barge that shows she is in fact an ITB.

Now I’d love to see Coastal 202 out of the notch from all angles and to see ISH’s rail ferry too.

Truth be told, another surprise was that nola hula was nowhere to be seen  . ..  maybe headed out to sea like that humpback that splashed around the sixth boro last month?


Actually, the full title of this book is Tugboats Illustrated: History-Technology-Seamanship with Drawings by the author Paul Farrell

I first heard of the book and Paul Farrell last February;  I got an email from an editor at W. W. Norton expressing interest in licensing one of my photos for the cover of the forthcoming book. The photo was the 9th in the post called “Helen’s Last Waltz.” I was thrilled, as you might imagine, and we arrived at a price. Then I hoped it would be an attractive, technically accurate book.


A few months later, Norton’s publicity department sent along a five-page sampler and asked if I’d write a review of the book. The cover letter described Tugboats Illustrated as “gorgeously detailed guide to the evolution, design, and role of tugboats” from “ the earliest days of steam up to today’s most advanced ocean-going workboats” and referred to its “dynamic drawings that show how different kinds of propellers move, to explanations of the physics and engineering that allow this movement to happen.”

Mr. Farrell, an architect with almost a half century of experience, was described as having spent a quarter century researching and writing this book, his first. When someone spends that amount of time focusing on a subject, I’m impressed. But I wasn’t ready to do a review until I saw the entire 156-page book, which arrived in November.  The photo below should illustrate how comprehensive this slim but well-designed book is.


I first paged through it and then read it cover to cover. Paging through, I noticed how many of these “dynamic drawings” there are, more than 70 of them at least, depending how you count.  Below is a sample of a set of drawings from p. 114, illustrating an evolution that always mesmerizes me . . . a flanking turn with a long tow on a winding river, and he shows it from both the downstream and upstream perspective.


Indeed, an architect’s drawings honed by years of professional work complemented with captions, guided by the experts in the wheelhouse, illustrate complex maneuvers in this and many other instances.  Ironically, Farrell never intended to showcase his illustrations in the book; he says it began as “rough sketching intended to guide a mythical illustrator who would intuit just the right feel and content” until he realized this these sketches, such as they were, would work. He reports that doing the set of drawings to illustrate hull chines as seen from underwater were pivotal. I find them charming, below (p. 93),  a boon to the book and not just “limited” or “enough.”


Then there are the photographs, over 80 of them in total and more than half of them in color, many of them taken by photographers whose work I know and have great respect for: Brian Gauvin, Alan Haig-Brown, and Pat Folan.  There was one photo by Rod Smith, who has so many to choose from in his albums on the shipbuilding work at Senesco. Many of the black-and-white photos come from the collections of Steven Lang and Brent Dibner. Other photos introduced me to photographers I’d like to see more of in the future.

In the “Acknowledgements,” Farrell reveals that he first sent a draft of the book to Norton in 1996, a full twenty years ago. When a book takes shape over such a long period of time as this one, it gets vetted for accuracy and thoroughness, which this one has.

Got friends who want to learn about tugboats? Want to expand your own knowledge of the history and variety of these vessels? Then order it here.

I’m just so thrilled that my photo from that July 17, 2012 move graces the cover of this fine book that I’ll digress and post three more photos from that day.




Helen, she is a classic from 1900!   Does anyone have photos of her working out of South Carolina waters as Georgetown?  In that photo above, Helen looks just slightly like Little Toot in Hardie Gramatky’s wonderful watercolors, reproduced on p. 11 of Paul Farrell’s book.

Click here for some previous reviews.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.



As of six days ago, that gap was all that seemed to remain for a complete span.  Who knows . . . by now, that may be bridged as well.  Here are some of the posts that show the project of modifying the soon-to-be 85 year-old icon I’ve had on my blog since day 1.  Here were a set of posts I did when the bridge turned 80.




Once the higher span is complete and open for traffic, the lower span will be dismantled.  I wonder what the arches are feeling.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.


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