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Brazos is in the sixth boro;  I caught her at the east end of Fire Island a few months back here.

R/V Shearwater approached, but that’s likely just because Shearwater appears to survey every square millimeter of the sixth boro and beyond.

A day later I approached Brazos between the raindrops and from a different angle.  A kayaker was checking her out too.

 

 

On yet another day recently and in some different geography, notice the vessel?

I checked the same location a few hours later, and the fog had moved on or just plain dissipated, revealing USCGC Coho. If you’re interested in a tour of the cutter, click here.

All photos, WVD.

If you have a hankering for more boats-in-the-fog photos, do a google image search with the search string “fog tugster.”

Here were the first two installments of this series.  And what prompts this post is the news yesterday about a $200 million structure in the assembly stages just four years ago.  Click on the image below to see the post I did just four years ago.

It will be scrapped as announced yesterday here.  The physical disassembled parts will be sold as will portions of it non-fungible tokens (NFTs), whatever they are;  I can’t quite understand them even after reading this.  Doesn’t that sound like eating your cake and still having it?

You can’t save everything . . . as the next two photos from Tony A show . . . relative to the 1907 Pegasus. For comparison, check out Paul Strubeck’s thorough cataloging of the many lives of Pegasus through the many years. 

Here’s the engine that powered Pegasus for many years, originally from Landing Ship Tank, LST 121 , which itself lived only three years before being scrapped and the engine transplanted into Pegasus.

The next two photos come thanks to Steve Munoz.  The 1945 USS Sanctuary (AH-17) looked shabby here in Baltimore harbor in 1997;  it last until 2011, when it was scrapped in Brownsville, TX, then ESCO and now SteelCoast. 

Another photo from Steve shows SS Stonewall Jackson, a Waterman LASH vessel in the Upper Bay;  note the Staten Island ferries off the stern.    Scroll through and see Jackson on the beach in Alang in 2002.  Tug Rachel will arrive in Brownsville with Lihue, a very smiliar LASH vessel within a week;  she’s currently approashing the strait between Mexico and western Cuba.

Here’s a photo I took of the beautiful NS Savannah;  a recent MARAD public comment period on what should be done with her ended less than a month ago;  I’m not sure when the results will be publicly commented on.   

Sometimes preserved vessels change hands, as is the case with the 1936 Eagle, another photo from Steve Munoz taken in 1992.  

More on this tomorrow.  Many thanks to Tony and Steve for use of these photos.

Ship preservation is tough and costly.  Turning an almost-new metal structure into NFTs . . . just mind boggling.

 

 

 

Taxes pay for all these vessels, for the common good.

NYPD has a fleet.  Anyone know how many  boats make up the NYPD “floating plant”?

NYC has two ferry fleets, the orange one and this newer one, NYCF.  Anyone know when the first new-generation Staten Island ferry will arrive in the sixth boro?  Does NYCF really have 30 boats or is it 20?  I’ve read both numbers.  

Passing a westbound Cape Canaveral ,

this NY State Police launch passes one of another NYC fleet, a DEP tanker.

There’s also a federal fleet in the area.  This 49′ BUSL is about to disappear on the far side of a ULCV . . .

and then over the horizon.

The USCG has even smaller AToN tenders,

like this one on the inland side of NY.

Recently calling in Stapleton, it’s Sycamore (WLB-209), and off her port side is 47′ MLB Sandy Hook. 

 

All photos, WVD.

 

The water and its edges are good places to see birds;  that’s the origin of this series.

The next six photos were taken in August 1997, almost 25 years ago.  I post them now because I recently learned some new info, which pertains to the gentleman in brown (driving the boat and bearded and sunglasses) and his father, carrying the umbrella and US flag in the next photo, who claimed to own the island where we landed.  Look at the photo and get a sense of where I might have been that day back in August 1997.

The building to the left is a lighthouse. The anchored boat above and the flag are clues.  Where is this?

Yup, that’s me in a dark blind peering through an opening at . . .

puffins,

 

literally thousands of puffins.  In those days I had a film camera, as did everyone, with very little if any zoom.   I say that to underscore the fact that the puffins were on the rocks just beyond the blind.  More on this place and my guides at the end of this post. 

If you do FB, you may have seen this photo before, a young Cooper’s hawk.  I took the photo on Long Island.    Yes, it was tormenting a backyard bird feeder, which is how I saw it after it buzzed the feeder at speeds I’d seen no other bird flying.

Recently along the KVK, this heron landed quite close to me.  It may have confused my cold, motionless form for driftwood along the shore there. Note the black crown and head plumes.

The specialized chest feathers seem almost like a cape here.

After several minutes of sitting near me, it raised its wings

and flew over to the Bayonne side…  for better prey on the other side of the river, I suppose.

So here’s the puffin story.  The boat was then called Chief.  The owners stressed that it’d never been fished, and it was the conveyance by a puffin tour operated out of Jonesport ME by the Norton family–Barna with the beflagged umbrella and his son John driving the tender.   The island is Machias Seal Island, a disputed “grey zone” US or Canadian territory.  When I took the trip, Barna Norton, then 82 years old, said with utmost confidence that he owned the island, having inherited it by virtue of having been the first descendant of lobsterman “big” Barney Beal to bear his name.  John, Barna’s son, was mostly quiet on the trip, leaving his long-winded but fascinating father to tell all the tales . .  the helicopter incident, the dead terns, his 6’7″ namesake, and more.  If you never read links on this blog, you must read this one . . . with the title of “The Man who went to war with Canada,” that man being Barna Norton.

A story not in the linked article that I remember relates to Barna’s son, John, again told by Barna.  A border enforcer against all comers, John was noted in the USCG days in Alaska as having boarded a Russian fishing trawler at gunpoint to inform the captain of that vessel that they had been fishing in undisputed US waters. 

All photos, WVD, who can’t vouch that tours on the island now via Barbara Frost, which might be Chief under new ownership, would be a Barna value-added added puffin tour, but the puffins (and their chainsaw-like sounds in a rookery) are a real treat.  That link has a recording of one;  imagine about 3000 puffins making that sound simultaneously.

 

See the name on this black-hulled yacht?  Note the simple upper helm?

Check again as we pass.  I took these two photos back in July 2016, making that the Mt. Hope Bridge and beyond that, the Brayton Point cooling towers, now gone.  Pilar?  Maybe you’ve heard of it in relation to Hemingway and currently in Cuba.

Pilar was hull #576 from Wheeler Yacht Company, launched in 1934 and taken to Key West, not a water delivery until Miami.  April 5, 1934 was the day Hemingway himself went to Coney Island to order his new boat, a 38′ Wheeler Playmate.  That day is described well in this post.  If you want to read hundreds more pages about the boat and Hemingway, read this tome by Paul Hendrickson.  I read the 700-page book, hoping to learn more about Coney Island, but besides that, I learned the minutiae of all of Hemingway’s trips on the boat, which he last saw in 1960, when he was advised to leave Cuba and not long before his death.  Pilar is still in Cuba, one of two Wheeler boats there.  More on that at the end of this post.

The “Pilar” shown here was launched in 1933 as Elhanor, hull #527 and five feet shorter than Hemingway’s boat, a 38-footer that cost him just under $7500 in 1934.

Besides yachts, Wheeler on Coney Island Creek built vessels for the US Army, Navy, and Coast Guard.  They built over 200 patrol boats for the USCG, like the one below.  Click on the photo for more info. One is being restored in Seattle.   Howard Wheeler opened his shipyard on Coney Island Creek in 1910, but by 1950, this facility and another in Queens, were gone. 

Here’s the general location.

It’s a tidal waterway adjacent to the water portion of Gravesend  Bay.  I rowed up in and its many wrecks some years ago here and here. If you’ve never seen the yellow submarine aka Quester, here are photos. 

Let have a look at the Wheeler Shipyard then and now. The b/w photos are all from  Mystic Seaport, Rosenfeld Collection. That’s the Cropsey Avenue drawbridge open with a yacht coming through from the shipyard, looking from SW to NE.  For a closer up look at the photo below, click on the photo.

Beyond that bridge, this was the exterior of the shipyard in January 1944;  around a shipyard that builds wooden boats and ships, you’d expect to find lots of lumber.

And inside, you’d expect scenes of curved, clamped, and glued wood.

Here’s a photo I took of Cropsey Avenue Bridge, looking SE to NW, because it’s the shot I could get. Just off the left side of the photo is the Starbucks.   From my location, I then shot SW to NE

to where the buildings of the shipyard would have been.  Absolutely nothing of the yard remains.  To the left is a parking lot and supermarket;  to the right is a furniture store.

More info on Wheeler Coney Island can be found here. The other Wheeler boat in Cuba is Granma, the vessel that in 1956 took Fidel Castro and his fellows from Mexico to Cuba.  The captain of the vessel then was Norberto Collado Abreu, who had received US Congressional recognition for his service with the Cuban Navy in WW2. For a long read on the boat and Capt. Abreu, click here.

All photos othjerwise uncredited, WVD, who visted Hemingway’s Key West house here almost a decade ago.

And if you’re interested in buying a replica of the Wheeler 38, you can.  See here. More on the original Coney Island boat here.

A similar post on a marine service business (MSB) I did here not quite two months ago.

Well . . . a couple of Great Lakes mariners who prefer to remain nameless . . . but let’s start with a photo of Joel B from a few years ago.  She’s quite the attractive boat! Thanks so much to a GL Mariner for responding to Saturday’s post by sending another of that boat in better times.

This was taken in Muskegon;  the unnamed tug to the right sank at the dock, I’m told.

USCGC WMEC 146 McLane, launched 1927, has been a dockside display in Muskegon for more than two decades.

I’ve seen RV Laurentian once on Lake Huron, but here she is close up.

Andy Milne is a 1956 Russel Brothers tug, and as such, she’s well documented here at the Russel Brothers site.  Click here for various Russel Brothers tugs I’ve posted over the years.

The next three photos, taken by another Great Lakes mariner out exploring territory,  make up a panorama from left to right of the Lyons NY Canal drydock.  Here from l to r, it’s a tender (Dana?), DeWitt Clinton, various dredges, Syracuse, and Grouper.

This continues that pan, with l to r, a quarters (or accommodations)  barge, Syracuse, Grouper, and DB #2A.  DB expands to “derrick barge.”  On the hard and to the extreme right, note a buoy boat sans cabin.

And completing the pan, here are two new Canal Corp boats, wintering nose-to-nose, and DB #2B below them.

Many thanks to Great Lakes Mariners for use of these photos.

I’ve been to Muskegon a number of times and my photos can be found here.

Sorry about the photo size; it’s an ongoing struggle.

All small craft working in January get my attention, but

this one attracted me even more because of its lines.  Is this a one-off or can someone identify the manufacturer?  An indicator of my severe case of cabin fever this year is that I’ve been looking at lots of small boat ads.  I’d really be happy to find a Grover  26 or 28. . . if anyone knows of one that’s available.  

Crewboats, like the one with the cyclopean light,  make their way among lots of other traffic in places like the KVK.

 

As you know, foreshortening compresses space in a frame . . . .

As close as this looks, it’s entirely safe.

Patricia is a small boat in this pond though

NYS Naval Militia Moose 440 patrols year around.

 

All photos, WVD, who’s serious about that Grover built search.

 

The smaller surprise was to see USCGC Beluga (WPB- 87325) traveling with speed from Sandy Hook into the Upper Bay. 

I don’t believe I’ve seen Beluga before, although she looks identical to the 70+ Protector class 87′ boats named for marine predators.  I didn’t realize that many marine predators existed, although once you start counting . . . they add up. More on parameters for replacing the WPBs here.

But what really surprised me was what Tony A mentioned about the blue/yellow vessel in the photo.  Of course, it’s R/VShearwater, the Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey boat that’s been creating a complex bathymetric picture of parts of the sixth boro.  I long thought she had an unusual design.  What I hadn’t known is

that she’s former USCG WSES-3.  WSES expands to “surface effects ships.”  Hull 1 of the WSES series, WSES-1, was built for the US Navy as 110BH, then modified and became USCGC Dorado, then back to the USN as SES-200 Sea Flyer, then IX-515.  That’s a lot of modification. More on that here (start near bottom of p 25) and here. For a photo of Shearwater, black hull and orange USCG stripe, click here.   For her Alpine tech specs, click here.

All photos, WVD, who enjoys learning from surprises.  Many thanks, Tony A.

Back in December 2013 I did this post . . .  Recently I had a short time back in one of my old digs . . . Haverhill MA and stopped briefly to walk along the Merrimack River.

When I lived there 20 years ago, access to the water existed, but not like this arrangement.

But what really intrigued me was the repurposed USCG 40′ utility boat, my all-time favorite design.  See the whole evolution of the design here.

This one is very nicely restored and kept.

If I understand this right, the Slavit family offers free tours on this 1959 vessel.   But there are issues . . .

All photos, WVD, who was thrilled to see this restoration on the Merrimack, where I used to kayak and once had the good fortune to take a tour with the Merrimack’s legendary “Red” Slavit.  Red would explicitly say he new quite a bit about the river, and what he didn’t know he just made up, to be  more interesting.

 

I’m always out looking for new sightings, and this is one . . . James C. Miller, based in Port Jefferson.

By the amount of freeboard in the stern, I’m guessing she could take on a fair amount of cargo.

Emily Miller is a sweet launch.

To me, this work boat was complete unidentifiable.  It appears to have had a rough life.

This anchored Parker might be in the channel?  Nah . . . foreshortening with such a large ULCV is misleading, and the Parker here is doing “bridge safety” work, while keeping a fish line working too.

This Bayonne line boat had me fooled at first; with the orange collar, I thought it was doing a USCG inspection.

USCG 28144 26144 . . . I’m guessing this is a Metal Shark 28 Courageous 26′ trailerable ATON boat.

This small cat survey boat called Ronald P. Jensen is one of the Rogers Surveying boats you see in the harbor, and beyond. Red Rogers is another.

 

Sweet Love appears to be a Ranger tug.  They started small but now go up to 41′.  I love the bicycles up high here.

And finally . . .  this  crowded Hunter 45 is called Naked Truth.  Interesting naming, her tender is called Little Lie.

All photos, WVD.

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