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As you read this, I’m west of the Mississippi following the muddy tributary of the muddy Mississip, but I thought I’d remotely set signals to go up.  Here’s a WW2 story that intersects the sixth boro in a way I’d never heard . .  .  the Chicago museum I and most of you know as U-505 spent some time in the the sixth boro as USS Nemo, and I don’t mean the Florida eatery.  Note that there’s no mention of USS Nemo in this wikipedia account.

Click on the grainy b/w image of the Moran tugboat with the submarine below to get the story.

Hat tip to Bill Orzell for this story;  here are more of his stories in New York Almanack.

And here’s my question:  has any seen photos of USS Nemo in the sixth boro?

Click here for photos of and links to previous submarines I’ve encountered in NY waters since beginning this blog.

 

 

Today the sixth boro and environs face Henri, whose story is yet to be told.  August 26, 2011 . . . I was at the Staten Island Ferry terminal, and these Hurricane Irene signs were up.  When Irene’s story was told, it had done unusual damage upstate far from salt water;  here’s more.  Some repairs took until 2016 to complete.  From here I took the ferry to Whitehall in Manhattan, and then over I walked to South Street Seaport, where I wanted to see storm preparations.  See the story at the end of this post.  

In late August 2011, I was documenting a slow decomposition, getting footage of what became a documentary film called Graves of Arthur Kill. Gary Kane was the producer;  I was the director, or something.  If you’ve not yet seen the documentary, you can order it by clicking on the disintegrating wooden tugboat image along the left aside of this blog page.  Some of the vessels in this post are discussed by multiple sources in the documentary.  Keep in mind that these photos and the footage in the doc recorded these scenes a decade ago, almost to the day.  Hurricanes, freezing and thawing, and just plain daily oxidation have ravaged these already decrepit vessels for another 10 years, so if you were to go to these exact locations, not an easy feat, you’d see a devolution.

I’m not going to re-identify all these boats–already done elsewhere and in the doc–except to say we saw a variety of boats like this tanker above and the WW2 submarine chaser alongside it.

Other WW2 vessels repurposed for post-war civilian purposes are there.  More were there but had been scrapped prior to 2011.

See the rust sprouting out from behind WW2 haze gray.

In the past decade, the steam stack on this coastal ferry has collapsed, and the top deck of the ferry to the right has squatted into the ooze below.

Some steel-hulled steam tugboats we never managed to identify much more than maybe attributing a name;  they’d been here so long that no one remained alive who worked on them or wanted to talk about them.

We used a rowboat and had permission to film there, but the amount of decomposing metal and wood in the water made it nearly impossible to safely move through here. We never got out of the boat to climb onto any of these wrecks.  That would be if not Russian roulette then possibly some other form of tempting fate.

Most emblematic of the boats there might be this boat, USS ATR-89, with its struggling, try-to-get-back-afloat stance.  She was built in Manitowoc, WI, a town I’ve since frequently visited.

Wooden hulls, wooden superstructure . . .  I’m surprised they’ve lasted as long as they have.

Since taking this photo in August 2011, I’ve learned a lot about this boat and its four sisters, one of whom is now called Day Peckinpaugh

I’ve spent a lot of hours this month pulling together info on Day Peckinpaugh, launched as Interwaterways Line 101;  the sister vessel above and below was launched in July 1921 in Duluth as Interwaterways Line 105. The ghost writing in the photo below says Michigan, the name she carried during the years she ran bulk caustic soda between the Michigan Alkali plant in Wyandotte MI and Jersey City NJ via the Erie Canal.  Anyone local have photos of this vessel in the sixth boro or the Hudson River?  I have a photo of her taken in 1947 transiting a lock in the NYS Canal system, but I’ll hold off on posting that for a few weeks when the stories come out. What you’re looking at above and below is the remnants of a vessel currently one century and one month old. 

The Interwaterways Line boats were designed by Capt. Alexander McDougall, who also designed the whalebacks of the Great Lakes, like Meteor. Here‘s a whole blog devoted to McDougall’s whalebacks.

This ferry used to run between Newburgh and Beacon;  on this day in August 2011, we just rowed our boat onto the auto deck.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned Hurricane Irene and going over to South Street Seaport Museum.  Two of these vessels here have seen a lot of TLC$ in the past decade. That’s a good ending for now.  Helen, with the McAllister stack, is still afloat and waiting.

All photos in August 2011, WVD.

A final sentiment on Graves of Arthur Kill . . . Gary Kane and I set out to document what was actually in this much-discussed boneyard;  we wanted to name and show what existed, acknowledge what had existed but was already gone, and dispel some of the legends of this place.  We were both very proud of the work and happy with this review in  Wired magazine.  If you still want to write a review, get in touch.  It would be like writing a series review of Gilligan’s Island, but still a worthy exercise.

 

First, see these three photos from 2009 with updates.  I passed by this spot in Seaford DE this past week . . . on a mission, and the former Flagship Nanticoke Queen restaurant is no more.  Only a graded lot remains where the USS McKeever Brothers (SP-683) WW1 patrol and minesweeper vessel and fishing boat both before that and after the war once was. Route 13 has a bit less character.   The wooden hull was likely buried in a landfill.

From 2009, this is the 1958 Jakobson-built Dalzelleagle and then McAllister Brothers.  And yesterday, she was was towed away to be scrapped. At temperatures between 2500 and 2750°F, that steel will puddle and take new shapes.  Tomorrow I’ll post more photos of this 1958 beauty.

Another photo from 2009 of the 1907 Pegasus . . .  now also history and headed for the same high temperatures and red hot puddles.

A photo from 2012 . . . Siberian Sea, still afloat, and currently called Mike Azzolino.

Also still extant, in fact, David Silver took this photo less than a week ago, the May 1921 launched Day Peckinpaugh.  Yes, that is the Erie Canal between Locks E2 and E3.  The canal water level  is drawn down in the winter/spring for maintenance.

May 21, 1921 precisely was the day Interwaterways 101 came off the ways at the McDougall-Duluth Company shipyard.   Shouldn’t we hold a socially distanced party for the freight ship?

Here was the neat and active Eriemax freighter in 1961.

Thanks to David and Craig for use of their Day Peckinpaugh photos;  the others from 2009 and 2012, WVD.

As to the tragedy of 231′ x 71′ Seacor Power, Seacor Supporter, 131′ x 66′ , came to do some work in the sixth boro here a few years ago. Brazos is 145′ x 100′.

 

I’ve never “reblogged” before, but this is a good post and a good day to do it. Nine years on from this post, and 19 years on from the event that prompted this, I’d have thought we’d be more united.

tugster: a waterblog

Knowing what I knew, Maurania III headed up to the North River–where recently she raced– could only mean one thing, especially

given her accompaniment by Ellen and Elizabeth, also wearing the canvas frocks.  What it meant was that

USS New Yorkhad done its local doing and was

bound for sea.  We’re two days off the one decade anniversary of

quite the tragedy.

By the way, I’m with Bloomberg on this one: please stop calling it ground zero.  Let’s move on because time has moved on.

Also, for the record, we have a local election in my voting district, and I will hang up every time pollsters call and ask if I feel less or more secure now than before 9/11.  It’s a stupid question.  IMHO, be vigilant, but there NEVER is such a thing as complete security, although I’m grateful for those who endeavor to keep…

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As of this morning, USS Slater is back to Albany again, after its latest shipyard visit.

Below, thanks to Tim Rizzuto, are some photos from exactly 27 years ago, showing two McAllister tugboats assisting the large Russian, now Ukrainian, tugboat Gepard, which successfully delivered Slater from the Mediterranean to the sixth boro. I know this is a digression, but Gepard has an “exciting” history.  It’s still working, currently in the Black Sea.

Maybe someone can assist in identifying the two McAllister tugs.  This photo shows the significant difference in beam:  Gepard 66′ and Slater 37’…

 

From 1993, let’s jump to 1997.  Jeff Anzevino got the following photos as the destroyer escort made its initial trip up the Hudson to Albany.  Jeff has contributed many photos to this blog, going back almost to the beginning.  The tug pictured her is Rainbow, currently called Patriotic, which has been in the Morris Canal for quite a long time.  Patriotic is a 1937 Bushey build.

Also assisting in the 1997 tow were Benjamin Elliot and Mame Faye!

Jeff also caught the tow back in 2014.  And  . . . is that Margot on starboard?  That IS Benjamin Elliot on port.

Many thanks to Tim Rizzuto and Jeff Anzevino for use of these photos.  If you’re interested in donating to USS Slater.org to help defray expenses, click here.

I’d really appreciate identification of the McAllister tugs above.

My previous Slater posts can be found here.

 

Garth Foss, launched in 1993, is huge: 138′ x 46′ with 8000 hp and 80 tonnes of bollard pull.  Robert Allan says of Garth and sister Lindsey, ““They were really the first true purpose-designed tanker escort tugs in the world.”

Pacific Pride, launched in 1976 and measuring 84′ x 28′ and 2500 hp, is now Panama-registered D Dog.  She’s currently anchored off Callao Peru.

Next to her is Sirius, launched in 1974,  126′ x 38′ and 5750 hp, and currently laid up in Hawaii.

Guardian was launched in 1970, measuring 136′ x 37′ and 5750 hp, and is laid up.   Gladiator dates from 1975, measures in at 129′ x 37′ and  7200 hp.    She’s now Vanuatu-registered Resolve Gladiator, currently in the Irish Sea.

Over in Bremerton, I saw YTB 828 aka Catahecassa   101′ x 31′.  She was launched in 1974 in Marinette WI.  One source says that In 2013, she was sold to Basic Towing and renamed Gina.  Basic does own YTB 827 Chetek now known as Nickelena. Of course, all of this could be out of date.

Western Ranger was launched in 1968 as Oio, a Hawaiian Pineapple, then Dole tugboat.  In 1992 she came to Western Tugboat.  She’s  101′ x 31′ and rated at 3420 hp.  As of now, she’s on a run from Nome to Dutch Harbor.

Flyer was built in 1981.  She’s all of 37′ x 16′ and 400 hp.  Hornet was built in 1966 and the tape says 42′ x 14′ and 360 hp.

Pathfinder was launched in 1970, 136′ x 37′ and 5750 hp.     Now she goes by Island Explorer and is off BC on a run from Seattle to Anchorage.

Valor was launched in 2007 and chartered to Crowley.  She’s  93′ x 40′ and 6772 hp.  Currently she’s in San Francisco Bay.

Andrew Foss was launched in 1982 as Andrew Foss, measuring in at 107′ x 38′ and 4290 hp.

The trip to the Seattle area in July 2010 produced lots of photos I posted here.  Maybe I should get updates on more of the boats I saw there.  I was invited to be there in August 2020 for a wedding, but like so many things . . . that’s not happening.

All photos, WVD.

Yes . . . I’ve been off wifi and away from the sixth boro, sometimes admiring images like the one below.  I’m back now and have more photos from July 2010 to revisit the Piscataqua, and a watershed where I canoed, kayaked, and just generally roamed from 1986 until 2000, along with some hiatuses out of the country.

A fixture in Portsmouth NH is the Moran fleet on Ceres Street.

L to R back in July 2010 are Mary M Coppedge, Carly A. Turecamo, and Eugenia Moran.  Mary M Coppedge, 1975 and 95′ x 30′ and 3200 hp is still in service.  Eugenia Moran 1966 and 102′ x 28′ and single screw 2875 hp and built at Jakobson  is “laid up.”   Carly A. Turecamo, 1966 and 98′ x 30′ and single screw at 2200 hp is now Marjorie Winsow.

Sakonnet . . . based in Gosport  . . . is a mystery to me.  This photo was taken in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Navy Yard (PSNY) in the Picataqua has been active since 1800, the presidency of John Adams, making it the oldest continuously operated USN shipyard.   YTB 771 aka Keokuk, 109′ x 31′ was commissioned in 1964. Some other YTBs that have been featured on this blog can be found here.  The sixth boro’s staple ex-YTB is Ellen McAllister.

YTL 602 aka Cocheco was commissioned in 1945.

Nose-to nose with YTL 602 is a tug I can’t identify.  It’s much newer and has lots of fendering below the waterline, an adaptation for working with submarines, which is PNSH’s specialty.

By this article, the mystery tug and the one below are both LT-65 tugs, although that seems impossible to me.

Sir William Pepperell appears to be a launch named for a Colonial merchant from Kittery ME, right across the Piscataqua.  Click here to read a 1924 published book about  Pepperell and two friends written by John Francis Sprague.

Two USCG cutters in the harbor that day were Reliance and

Campbell.

And of course . . . there were lobster boats galore.

 

I have not been back in since 2017, when I went to see the new Moran tug San Jose. It’s high time for a revisit.  A memorable canoe trip I took there was  . . . early 1990s on the Great Bay, starting in Newmarket and eventually losing the tide.

Here‘s a bit more.

All photos, WVD.

The whole trip, dock to dock, lasted almost exactly 24 hours, although given some delays, it could have been a few hours shorter.  Call this post “day and night,” or more accurately, “day, night, and day.” Here was part a.

Let’s start some hours later on day 1.  Most river traffic does not draw spectators like this did.

 

Even the family dog came out.

Twelve or so hours after that, a blistering summer sun had given way to the Thunder moon, here lighting a path northeastward from Staten Island.  I took this photo before 0500.

 

After biding time for a few hours here,

Nathan G let go lines and Slater began the  final leg of the trip to the yard;  Sarah D is over there, but the illusion is almost that Slater is underway on her own power,

watchman mimicking deck gun, pointing the way.

Once in the KVK, a blazing summer sun returned, replacing the Thunder moon.

Pier assignment received, the tugs eased the destroyer escort into the dock.

Many thanks to Bill Stolfi and Steve Munoz for the first three photos;  the sixth boro harbor photos by WVD.

For more info on USS Slater, click here and here.

Here , here, and here were posts from the 2014 dry-docking.

In July 2020, she heads down to Staten Island for another dry-docking, partly to address issues other than in 2014.  The photo below captures an 0600 view.  Today’s post covers the first three hours of the next 24, as it makes its way down to the Staten Island shipyard.  Tug Sarah D (roughly 90′ x 29′ and rated at 2000hp) arrives.  It’s a spectacular morning.

The ship and museum are located near the “U-Haul truck on building” which you may see driving through Albany NY, and have no idea what lies below on the river.

By 0730, Nathan G (roughly 73′ x 24′ and 1200hp) has arrived, and both tugs and all three crews are ready to move;  a series of unheard commands, a burst of power, a foamy wake, a tensing of the towlines, a hint of expended fuel . . . and

 

away they go.  The wealth of spectators reported farther downriver is already evident here.    Does anyone have photos showing the crowds on the shore?  Please get in touch if you are willing to share photos showing this.

Sarah D rotates Slater 180 degrees to point her downstream toward the tank farms and grain silos of Port of Albany.  The dimensions on Slater are 306′ x 37.’  Her engines are “cosmetically maintained” and she has an operating generator.

By the time the tow passes the very Dutch place name of “Paarda Hook,” or Horse Point, it is already 0830, and we, aboard the warm and elegant Dutch Apple II,  turn back.

More tomorrow.  Here’s Slater‘s history.  Her namesake is Frank O. Slater, a USN seaman who died near the Solomon Islands during an attack on USS San Francisco in November 1942.  Here’s an extensive history.

A bit more detail I learned, and hopefully noted accurately,  aboard Dutch Apple II:  Slater is one of 479 destroyer escorts built that remained in the USN, 44 of which were named for seamen from New York state.  She’s the only one preserved in the US.  Her mission, with her 216 sailors, was to accompany the North Atlantic convoys, of which she performed five;  no vessels were lost to U-boats during those five crossings.  After four years in the USN, she was sold to the Greek Navy, where she served forty (!) years; hence many more Greek seamen served aboard her than US seamen.

The dazzle paint reproduces her appearance during WW2; it was intended to confuse U-boats of her type and direction so that any torpedoes fired would more likely miss their targets.  After the U-boats were equipped with acoustic (sound homing) torpedoes, she and other DEs would tow foxer (or FXR) cables  [aka Kreissäge (circular saw) or Rattelboje (rattle buoy)] to lead the torpedoes off course.

For more info on the museum, click here.  If you use Facebook, they are here.

To repeat, I’m interested in photos of the crowds along the river Sunday to greet the ship; I’m also interested in photos of Slater alongside Intrepid from 1993 until 1997 and the initial tow upriver in 1997.

Where was Doornekamp’s Sheri Lynn S heading?

Downstream on the St. Lawrence to assist USS St. Louis, LCS-19, as she was making a port stop in Ogdensburg NY.

Also assisting was Océan Serge Genois.

 

If this USN press release is current and accurate, other LCSs expected to exit the Great Lakes this year include USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS-21), USS Kansas City (LCS-22), USS Oakland (LCS-24) and USS Mobile (LCS -6).

Now as seen from the US side of the River, standard procedure boom was deployed  around the LCS by a workboat provided by Seaway Marine Group.  More of this scene is captured in this article/photo from the Watertown Daily Times NNY360.

Once the LCS was boomed, the Seaway Marine boat patroled the exclusion zone.

 

 

Fifteen or so miles downstream from Ogdensburg, the Océan tug guides the LCS into the Iroquois locks.

 

All these photos from the Canadian side are compliments of Pat English, who posted a video on FB Seaway News Voie Maritime Info of the Ocean tug rocking back and forth to keep the LCS centered in the lock chamber.  All photos from the US side are compliments of Jake Van Reenen.

Again, many thanks to Pat and Jake for use of these photos.

Previous tugster posts with LCS vessels can be found here.  Previous posts at Iroquois lock are here.

 

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

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My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

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