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I have not been back to a closeup of the scrapyard in the Arthur Kill since last spring, but recent correspondence both in the comments area of the blog and private and directly to me prompt this revisitation. Click here to see the original post from August 2011. Let me just add that this vessel–Bayou Plaqumine–was originally called Junior Mine Planter (JMP) MAJOR ALBERT G. JENKINS, built 1921 in Bay City. MI. She didn’t become Bayou Plaquemine until after 1951. The photo below shows her location since the early 1970s.
Here’s the view looking northward from Plaquemine‘s bow, and
from a slightly different vantage point.
and in the opposite direction.
Here’s the text of an email I received last week and for which I am very grateful. “The Jenkins (aka Bayou Plaquemine) was captained by my grandfather, David B Nettles; the Jenkins was used to tow gunnery targets for the Navy and the shore batteries to take target practice with back in the 30’s in addition to her other duties while stationed in Pensacola, FL. My uncles and father all spent time aboard the Jenkins during their childhood and young adulthood. There was a second vessel stationed there as well, a twin sister of the Jenkins. I have photos of both. In fact I have one of the bronze bow emblems that was mounted to the Jenkins bow. I know she was docked at Fort Barrancas and at times Old Fort Pickens. I grew up with many stories about the vessel being shared. The family is all gone now but me and cousin or two. So the stories are all but gone now.”
Cold and damp winter weeks are a time to celebrate the past by telling its stories and sharing photos of its many faces. I hope this prompts more sharing.
I’ve paid attention to the recent activity on the blog in relation to “189 Ghost Ships,” including a question I received today about anyone having photos of the ghost fleet maintenance crew, including 85!! civilian employees. I’d love to see and post some of these photos if you are willing to scan them and share using my email address on the upper left hand side of the main tugster blog page.
By the way, sometimes conversation happen on the FB side of this blog; I’d rather they happen here so that archiving of comments is more certain than on FB.
All photos here by Will Van Dorp and taken in May 2010 and August 2011. If you want to see more of the scrapyard and a few of the stories, please order Graves of Arthur Kill. Click on the image of the DVD to get ordering info.
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
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.
When I approached the ferry terminal, I noticed some wheel hardware beginning to accumulate.
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.
Many thanks to John Skelson for sharing these photos . . . and I’ll leave you guessing for a day or so.
Notice the vessel westbound in the background. In the foreground, that’s Caddell’s with an Erie Lackawanna tug and a dilapidated ferry. The mystery vessel is what’s in the background.
The bridge needs no identification although the Bayonne shore in the background looks opener than it currently is.
The number of tugs is just fabulous.
And to return some color to the blog, here are Gary (right) and I sharing a beer after the show last night. Thanks to all who attended and to the crews of five interesting documentaries. I hope to see more of the festival Saturday and Sunday.
Again, thanks much to John Skelson for sharing the mystery photos. Now . . please weigh in.
What caught my attention was the towed side-by-side barge arrangement in the KVK,
GL 65 and 66,
with Stephanie Dann hanging off the stern.
Once between Stapleton and Bay Ridge, the tow was re-made and
and Sarah Dann took the two out the Narrows.
Forty-eight hours later, they are still southbound, almost 350 nautical miles out of the sixth boro and off Cape Hatteras, and still southbound.
So I have this question . . . so since there are southbound train songs, why do I know no southbound tow songs.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Here was 7. In the past week, the sixth boro has seen lows to about 5 . . . like last Monday morning, and highs in the low 50s. And then there’s been serious fog, as bowsprite captures here. This morning was clear and mild, almost springlike. Here was the north end of the Arthur Kill today a little after 0700, Capt Log heading south for a load.
To the left, NYK Rigel prepares to shove off from Howland Hook. To the right, dredgers dig on. . . or diggers dredge on. James Turecamo heads north and east . . .
as Minerva Zenia makes her way under the Goethals.
I wonder how I’ll get used to the alteration of the classic form of the Bayonne Bridge.
Here’s the impressive assembling of equipment staging for work on that other bridge project. Glenn Edwards looks huge in the mix.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp, just before the sun came up.
. .. to paraphrase Mark Twain …are highly exaggerated.
What? . . . you ask? Well, click on Auke Visser’s link. You’ll see a foto of her being raised after a sinking. Then follow through to the phrase “disposal date.”
Ticonderoga looks pretty good for being technically scrapped.
I took these pictures in December 2013, earlier this week.
Check Auke’s link: she was built in Baltimore in 1954 and had sailed as Socony 9, Mobil 9, and Exxon’s Ticonderoga–her name when she ran aground and sank in 1992.
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.
I’m excited to be doing another showing of Graves of Arthur Kill tonight. I hope to sell some copies, but I also look forward to hearing others’ stories of visiting the marine scrapyard over on the Arthur Kill.
Over the years i’ve done two series of blogposts on the yard: the ghosts series and the graveyard series. Another way of viewing the place is as disintegration. Enjoy these fotos and then I’ll explain where in a perfect world with endless resources I’d like to go next.
So I’d be thrilled if I could work with someone who could do time lapse simulation like this and this. I’d take a vessel like Hila aka ATR-89 from the time it arrived at the yard, and project its progressive disintegration over about a century.
Meanwhile, we have our imaginations. By the way, we’re selling the video also at Noble Maritime, all proceeds going to the museum.
All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.
By the way, bowsprite has her own commercial activities operating South Street Seaport’s 14 Fulton Street pop-up shop.
Here was 3 with links to 1 and 2.
I’ve been so far unable to find the original use of this barge, but I haven’t expended much shoe leather either.
Click on the foto below from the July 21, 1977 NYTimes for an article on Michael O’Keefe’s barge restaurant opening. Anyone identify the tug?
Bulk commodities commerce needs some stretches of riverbank in the sixth boro. Crushed stone in; garbage out, as well as
scrap metal, petroleum,
desert scrapings aka road conditioner.
Products galore and more and
Places to park aka dock are vital also.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Alpine Loyalty and an eastbound vessel . . .
a westbound one and
a freshly painted Marjorie B McAllister.
The westbounder is Valencia Bridge, one month out of Shanghai, here escorted by Resolute, both
seeming headed blithely toward not only the Bayonne Bridge but also another container ship.
Really though–with Resolute and Marjorie B– there never was a dangerous
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.