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Cargo I’ll define as “goods transported for profit.”  Click here to see the range of cargoes posts.

So what’s this?  That’s what I wondered when I first glimpsed it yesterday, over by the Sandy Hook Pilots’ pier.

I got no confirmation, but there’s no mistaking what this is.  And there was this tugster post involving Onyx Arrow from just two weeks ago.

In an ideal world, I would have had means to look down onto the tow, say, from Fort Wadsworth or a drone.  From my vantage I didn’t get olfactory evidence, and maybe I should be thankful for that.

Just the facts . . . Gelberman towed the carcass and traveled a distance roughly 50 miles to the SE from the end of the Ambrose, and then returned.   The whale, I gather from this NOAA article, at some point such that it would not drift back into land, became a “whale fall.”  This surfing writer, based on who knows what authority, suggests this is the best way to dispose of such a carcass.

So who profits here are the locals of all the boros being spared the smell of decay but also all the creatures in the food chain around the whale fall.

Tangentially related and tied to the focus of most of my attention these days, did you ever hear the story about the what in the Erie Canal?  Well, go back to 1891, a Capt. Nickerson killed a 65′ whale off Cape Cod.  And he must have been really tired of salt water and his erstwhile profession because he decided to try making a fortune showing off his catch to folks along the inland waterways, in this case the Erie Canal, that highway mainlining immigrants into the American heartland and creating boom towns along the way.  I’m not sure what sort of steamer he used to tow the whale, but westbound he went, stopping at docks and charging folks . . . kind of like his own unique Coney Island show.  I’m told that the farther west he got, the less he could charge . . .  Check out this article telling of the whale’s impact in central New York state in November 1891 . . .   and for anyone not familiar with the route, Seneca Falls is on a cul-de-sac off the route to Buffalo.

Rembert, frequent contributor of wit and esoterica here, read my mind and informed me of a beluga that swam more than 100 miles up the Rhine back in 1966, animating a generation with a desire to clean up the watery environment and more . . ..

 

All photos above by Will Van Dorp.

And on yesterday’s post with the three landscape shots . . . commenters gussed it:  photos #2 and 3 were both taken from the Newburgh area looking south.  Photo #1 prompted me to do the post because at first glance, I thought it too was a photo taken from the Newburgh area looking south.  More careful study showed it was not.

Anyhow,  a friend and former colleague Scott Stroot recently took that photo in Oregon, and wrote this: “Columbia River Gorge, just downstream of Hood River OR. Some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world (IMHO).  Tugs & barges sharing the river with sail & para boarders is a pretty common sight in certain spots. Eastern end of this gorge is likewise dramatic, but the topography is temperate desert, as opposed to “wet side” verdant [as he usually sees in Kentucky]. Absolutely stunning.”  This is all the encouragement I need to add the Columbia River Gorge to my very long list of places to gallivant . . .  Thanks, Scott.

 

Let me start with the oldest ones not yet published.  There’s something timely about Tracy, the vessel below.  I took the photo from mid river between Ogdensburg NY and Prescott ON.  Are you hankering for a project?  Details below.

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The next day I got this photo as we entered Oswego.  RV Kaho was christened in this post I did a little over two years before.  Its mission is research on habitat and fish in Lake Ontario.  Here’s an article on that christening that mentions the meaning of the name in Ojibwe.

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I shot this last week as it was tied up at the dry dock in Bayonne, and wish I could have gotten closer.  Ferdinand R. Hassler was christened in 2012.  Its namesake is this gentleman, distinguished in two countries.

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Line has had light work this season in its role as a 65′ ice breaker.  Here’s an article I did on this 54-year-old vessel a few years back.

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I’m not sure where 343 is these days;  Feehan seems to be covering the North River these days.  Click here for photos of Feehan as she transited from Lake Ontario to the sixth boro.

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Fire Fighter II passes the hose rack–not water hoses–on the KVK.

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And here’s a twofer… a Staten Island ferry and a small USACE survey boat, I believe.

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So here’s why the top photo of Tracy is timely;  it’s for sale.    The minimum bid is $250,000 Canadian, which is a mere $189,880 US, given today’s exchange rate.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Let me start to play catch up here, since I have not done one of these posts in over half a year.  Anyone know why HMCS St. John’s (FHH-340) steamed into the sixth boro yesterday, Thanksgiving Day?  To assist this 45′ USCG response vessel and all the land-based law enforcement in keeping order on the so-called “black friday” chaos, perhaps?

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USNS GySgt. Fred W. Stockham (T-AK-3017) was waiting in the anchorage,possibly for a berth at GMD Bayonne. The vessel namesake had an interesting set of deployments.

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Icebreaker Penobscot Bay (WTGB-107) headed upriver a half month ago, but there was no imminent ice formation at that time, unless one traveled  well north of Inukjuak, but it would take some extraordinary turn-of-events for WTGB-107 to deploy there.

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The sixth boro has a number of these 29′ patrol craft.

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And to close out today’s post, USACE Moritz passes the evolving Rockefeller University campus expansion just north of the Queensboro Bridge.

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All photos in the past month by Will Van Dorp.

 

or Go North . . . or up and then down bound.It’s all better than going south ….

Anyhow, in the spirit of the first of series from earlier this past months’ peregrinations, I’ll start with the map.  The red pushpins are overnights and the yellows are shorter stops.  An unexpected jaunt will be from Ogdensburg to Quebec City without stopping at Trois Rivieres or Montreal, where we stop after Quebec City.

blogmap

Locks there’ll be plenty–37 total I believe–because the alternative is shown below. You can descend the Lachine Rapids, but in a different type of boat.   Lachine . . . that’s French for what it looks like in English . . . China, as in … the folks like Cartier thought that if only they could get past the rapids, they’d be in China.

steamboatlachine

Here’s another way to look at the St Lawrence watershed, care of an USACE diagram.

inland seas

Here’s to hoping you read this and to my having wifi.

By the way, I was shocked when I learned the namesake of the St Lawrence, patron saint of the BBQ.  Sizzlicious!!

Continuing with a record of random towing vessels encountered along the “go west” route, let’s pick up with HR Pike, another low air draft tug formerly associated with the GE cleanup.

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I’m not sure what the cargo here is, but this vessel lacks any hint of sheer.

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Here’s what I believe is a fleet mate of HR Otter . . . Helen Laraway.

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See how much has changed about the operation in Coeymans, if my claim of 18 months ago here was correct then.

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Otter and Laraway both operate out of the port of Coeymans, a former brickyard that has become a booming hub for staging shipment of construction materials. Pun intended.

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I’m guessing that it won’t be long before Otter gets painted to match Pike, its older sibling by one year.

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Just north of the port of Coeymans Coral Coast is standing by at the loading facility for the quarries at Ravenna.

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And in this Hudson River shoreline setting that bears resemblance to a jungle, south of Albany, it’s a USACE spud barge and

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pushboat Sentinel II.  Sorry I don’t know any more about its project.

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The banks up north of Catskill are magical, as seen here with morning fog and Olana, the Persian palace of Frederic Church.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes to get back this way again later this summer.

Chicago in the haze ahead means this is the last of this series; we’ve gotten as far west as this gallivant will go.  The link in the previous sentence shows a map of the trajectory, with all of its legs.

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That’s Navy Pier.

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Squinting, I see this as a man doing a tire repair on a flipped over bicycle, but of course my eyes have their issues.

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A surprise was the use of tug-barge excursion trips with the likes of

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City View.

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Not all tug-barge traffic transported passengers, however.

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I’ll have to find out more about Kiowa after journey’s end.

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Riverview is part of the people-scow fleet and it just squeezes under the bridges.

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USACE Racine has a scow beside the Chicago Harbor Lock.

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All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who has now begun other gallivants while on the way home.

Barrel comes up with unusual photos . . . and this one below,  Merritt,  shows a side-cast dredge with a draft of less than 5′.

bbd1USACE DREDGE MERRITT-1

It appears she’s still in use.

bbd2USACE DREDGE MERRITT-2

 

bbd3USACE DREDGE MERRITT-3

Here’s the info.

bb1USACE DREDGE MERRITT FACT SHEET-2

I wish that tree was not obscuring the tug, but the real star here is the ship, an oddity that began life in the last years of the nineteenth century as a battleship, BB-5.   The first in her class was USS Indiana, BB-1. 

bb1USS Kearsarge as crane ship AB-1 transiting Panama canal

After 20 years as a battleship, she was idled for 20 years, at which point she was converted into arcane ship, Crane Ship No. 1, with lifting capacity of 250 tons, a weight more impressive then than now.  It does qualify this as a “second lives” post, though.  Finally, in 1955, she was sold as scrap.

bb2USS Kearsarge FORMER BATTLE AHIP CONVERTE4D TO CRANE SHIP PHILA NAVY YARD 1923

Click here for navsource’s great photo documentation–including the dramatic graving dock view below– of her entire half century career.

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Here’s a 1936 derrick boat, with a sign over the stern house that would get my attention.

bb3USACE DERRICKBOAT BABCOCK - FIXED

I’m not sure when she went out of service.

bb4USACE DERRICKBOAT BABCOCK FACT SHEET

Many thanks to barrel for these glimpses into the archives.

The sixth boro includes a portion of Raritan Bay, and once there was a USACE dredge called Raritan, built in 1908 in Sparrows Point, as seen below.  She was scrapped in 1956 after having been sold out of the USACE and renamed Sandmate.

br8USACE DREDGE RARITAN BUILT 1908-2

The next series shows a life raft of the era being tested off Fort Mifflin back in 1925.

br8aaUSACE DREDGE RARITAN LIFE RAFT TESTS FORT MIFFLIN 1925-1

 

rd3USACE DREDGE RARITAN LIFE RAFT TEST FORT MIFFLIN 1925-3

To me it looks more like a camel than a life raft.

br8dUSACE DREDGE RARITAN LIFE RAFT TEST FORT MIFFLIN 1925-5

 

Would this type of life raft ever be used in rough seas?

Thanks to barrel for this glimpse of the past.

Quick post here . . . since barrel has sent me way up into catfish territory with this boat, Tom Stallings.  Although the photo says it was built in 1919 in Charleston WV, the Charles Ward Shipyard records here do not list the boat. The 1929 records of the Chief of Engineers say that Tom Stallings replaced an earlier snag boat called Quapaw, a photo of which I located here.   Although the Tenn-Tom exhibit is off my near-future itineraries for now, there’s a stern-wheeler snag boat saved and open to tours still out there, here. Has anyone been there?

bt6Corps of Engineers Snag Boat Tom Stalling 5- 15- 1919

Here’s another oldie that seems to have disintegrated into history, pipeline dredge Gillespie.

USACE PIPE LINE DREDGE GILLESPIE BUILT 1915

 

USACE PIPE LINE DREDGE GILLESPIE FACT SHEET

 

Many thanks to barrel for sending along these yellowed records.

I am in fact in catfish territory for a week, attending to family business.

If I read the nameplate right, this is the number Uno!  According to barrel, it was built by the Corps Design Center.  Was that then in Neponset MA at the Lawley yard?   See June 1943.  Anyone know the details of its loss?

bt3DPC TUG BUILT BY CORPS DESIGN CTR. 1

DPC 66 was built in Decatur AL, and later was briefly a Pauline L. Moran before sold to Portugal where she was Mafra or Mafro.

bt2DPC TUG # 66 - FIXED

DPC 70 and 71 were also produced in Decatur in 1944.

bt4DPC TWO TUGS # 70 & 71 BUILT BY MARINE DESIGN CENTER PILA.

General Humphreys was a product of the Charles Ward Engineering.  She was sold in 1946 and became Sarah R, but no further info.

bt5CORPS OF ENGINEERS 85ft INSPECTION BOAT GENERAL HUMPHREYS 3- 19- 1928

Here’s another photo of Mateur, which appeared here about a month ago. At that point, Dan Owen’s comment refreshed my memory of these vessels and the vital “Catfish Navy.”

bt7DPC PUSH BOAT MATER BUILT 1944

In spite of all the specific dates and numbers here, I have no clue . . . except that Tulagi appears to be on the namebaord.  The date suggests that the vessel now known as Bloxon would have been here at this time as well.

bt8DPC PUSH BOAT NO NAME JUST A CONTRACT # 5651 BUILT MARIETTA MFG - Copy

Tunis was DPC 617, and

bt9DPC PUSH BOAT TUNIS 1944 ST LOUIS SHIP BUILDING DESIGN CENTER U SACE FIXED

Casablanca was DPC 616, both more catfish navy.

bt10DPC PUSHBOAT CASABLANCA DESIGNED IN MARINE DESIGN CTR PHILA

Midway Islands was a DPC towboat built for the catfish navy and later picked up by the private sector.    I’m not sure how long she worked for American Commercial Barge Lines.  I can’t find her DPC #.

bt11180 FOOT PUSH BOAT MIDWAY ISLANDS BUILT BY DPC PICTURE STATES RUNNING AT 120 RPM

And let’s end on something contemporary . . . George C. Grugett, near Memphis this very morning.

bt12MV GEORGE C. GRUGETT was built and classed in 2013 for the USACE Memphis District

Many thanks to barrel for giving me something to work on over coffee this morning.

Unrelated but very interesting, a 49′ x 12′ boat is found under a house in Highlands NJ.  But I was appalled that it appears to have been cut up.

 

 

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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Tale of Two Marlins

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