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

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It appears she’s still in use.

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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.

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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.

Here was the previous installment.  And here were the cargos and places of summer.  And if you missed it previously, here’s an article about Seaway Supplier I published in Professional Mariner last year.  The first six photos are used with permission from Seaway Marine Group.

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Trucks like the ones with the white tanks transport stocks of fish from hatcheries to water bodies, in this case Lake Ontario.  Here’s the first time I noticed one of these trucks on the highway.

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Off Oswego, it’s ready, aim,

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swim!

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Elsewhere at sites determined by the DEC . . . fish are brought in.

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and the truck returns to shore for the next load.

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The photos below all come thanks to Cathy Contant, who

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works in the inlet and bay where I learned to swim almost 60 years ago. Back then, when a coal ship came in here, everyone had to get out of the water.  But I digress.

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How could I not recognize the lighthouse AND Chimney Bluffs way in the distance.

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Here’s what Seaway Marine writes on their FB page:  “We have transported 40 trucks, via 6 port locations stocking over 500,000 fish into Lake Ontario aboard our USCG certified landing craft, Seaway Supplier.”

Many thanks to Jake and Cathy for use of these photos.

 

This collage of orange and blue indicates that something unusual approaches . . .

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0846 hr . . .

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0904

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Atlantic Salvor might have been headed out on a long range mission, but

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at this point, I realized this mission would begin in the Lower Bay of the sixth boro along with

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lots of other vessels, although

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something new this year was the escort of four commercial tugs:  Sassafras, Miriam Moran, 

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Atlantic Salvor, and Normandy.   1150.    I was happy to find someone to talk to.

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It’s fleet week NYC.  Welcome all.

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It’s USS DDG 96,

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HMCS D 282,

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WMEC 911,

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HMCS MM 700,

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HMCS MM 708,

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LHD 5,

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DDG 99,

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and LSD 43.

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At 1216, Eric McAllister joins the welcome party . . .

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WLM 552.

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An E-2 flew by too.

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The message on the port wheel well ((?) amused me.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here was last year’s arrival.

 

Click here for previous photos from Jed.  Click here for a photo of John W. Brown when she housed a high school in the sixth boro, pre-1988.  Jed took these photos while he was onboard in Norfolk this past weekend.   Click here for info about her September 2016 visit back to her place when she was assigned to the NYC Board of Education.

JOHN W BROWN

 

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For the rest, I’ll let Jed’s photos speak for themselves.

photo date 22 MAY 2016

photo date 22 MAY 2016

 

KIRBY MORAN

Steven McAllister is a 1963 YTB.   John W. Brown had already passed 20 eventful years under her keel by then.

photo date 22 MAY 2016

photo date 22 MAY 2016

 

photo date 22 MAY 2016

photo date 22 MAY 2016

 

photo date 22 MAY 2016

photo date 22 MAY 2016

 

Many thanks to Jed for these photos.  NYC should be seeing its own wave of gray arriving today.

Below is a photo taken on June 10, 1946 showing dozens of Liberty ships anchored between where the TZ Bridge would be built  (BF is correction thanks to Tony A’s comment)  and Haverstraw.  That looks like Ossining in the distance.  This photo and hundreds of others can be found in the Digital Collections of the NY State Archives here.   Who knows, Brown could actually be anchored among the others.

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This is a singular image, a 1969 tugboat in a century-and-a-half-old graving dock in Brooklyn.  Some of you maybe saw it on FB, but not everybody wades in FB waters.  What makes this photo so powerful to me is such a combination of composition, subject matter, and light that different people will look at this and see not all the same things.  Some might see beauty, and others defeat . . . or power, or fatigue, expense, challenge . . . .  It strikes me as not unlike this Mark Twain passage on conflicting ways of seeing a river.  And I’ll stop myself here.

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Click here for a favorite I took of the 1969 YTB-803 Nanticoke, now Robert E. McAllister.

Thanks again to Donald Edwards for permission to use this exquisite photo.

And while we’re on a Mark Twain morning, at the end of this post is a clue to my summer/fall employment.

. ..  make that boats and ships.  Thanks to Allen Baker for sending along this set of T-AKR 294 Antares moving out of GMD back in January 2010.  Yup, some drafts get caught in an eddy and they spin round and round never getting posted.  But I’m a believer that late is better than never.

Antares is a Fast Sealift vessel.  Other Fast Sealift ships can be found here.

Charles D and Ellen McAllister assist her stern first out and

spin her around to head for sea.

Recent other government boats include this NJ State Police launch and

this one I’ve never seen before.  (Or since, unless it’s been repainted)

One more, here’s  300 of the New York Naval Militia.

First three fotos come thanks to Allen Baker, from early 2010.  Others are mine.

Back in 2008, I had a chance to see a VS-driven tug for the first time here and here.  Since that time, this tug has become Matthew McAllister, a Narragansett Bay-based tug which is McAllister’s only VS tug.  A local set of boats with VS props is operated by the Staten Island ferry.  Here’s a post that shows the ferries’ VS system out of the water.

But I digress.  The question in this post is  . . . where do these props come from?  How big and heavy are they?

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There are two in this park in Portsmouth VA, and

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on both, on the “hub,” there’s info.  I’ve seen this before on tug Pegasus here.

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Diameter . . . 28′ and almost 40 tons each!  They’re from one of these oilers. 

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has left for sea and will be in the signal-free zone for a few weeks.  The robot will put up a few more posts, but don’t expect any answers to questions, as I might not have a signal until early February, when I hope also to have some new tales to tell.

As was true yesterday, all photos today were taken in the first 12 hours of 2016.  For Chatham, the last tug I saw in 2015, the year end/start distinction was likely irrelevant.  No doubt the same holiday treats were out in the galley in the wee hours of 2016 as were a few hours before in 2015.

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From a different angle as last night, here are Michael J,

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Camie,

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and the “weather tugs.”  I’m happy the precipitation of December 31 has ceased.

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Although some people movers waited in reserve, 

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another was cross-crissing the Elizabeth.  By the way, is this the same James C. Echols?  Is it still LNG powered?  Does anyone know where the new ferries are being built and delivery dates?

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The quick side ramp system impressed me.  It was in fact similar to a system on “water bus” I saw near Rotterdam a while back.

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Surrie heads back to base, passing BB-64 USS Wisconsin

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Recognize this vessel, which spent a little time in the sixth boro a bit over a year ago?

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It’s HMS Justice, slinging Bryant Sea now in the curvaceous Elizabeth River and

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passing Mahan, Stout, and

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Oscar Austin, far right.

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Closing out today . .  what can you do with $12 million and a 1962 North Sea trawler?  Check here for this story on explorer yacht Discovery.  Here’s another story with much better photos.   Docked astern of Discovery is Shearwater, which was doing a project in the sixth boro back in sumer 2013.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

One of my (formerly) secret heroes is Guy Noir, secret because I may be revealing too much about myself in admitting that.  But life’s too short to care about drivel like that.   Noir has an office on the 20th floor of the Acme Building in a “city that knows how to keep its secrets,”  yet each week a different mysterious woman seems to find him in quest of a favor. So imagine this as a view from Noir’s Portsmouth VA office around 1600 hrs .  . . on the last night of the year.  It’s rainy but warm and all the creeks feeding into the estuary course in, with color and warmth of some old coffee  . . .  I was last here, though on the river then, about six weeks ago here.  And notice the hammerhead crane to the right.  Here’s

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the deal.  But I’ll come back to this history stuff later.

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For now, this is a record of the last night of the year, what my parents used to call “old years night.”

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In the fading light, there’s Michael J. McAllister, another McA (Nancy??) behind it, Camie, and a trio of Robbins Maritime minis called Thunder, Lightning, and Squall.  AND if you look carefully beyond the McAllister tugs, you’ll see Dann Ocean’s Neptune and the Colonna Shipyard, where a Staten Island ferry is being overhauled. Click here for previous posts referring to Colonna.

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In the driving rain as the last hours of the year ebb away, Vane tug Chatham heads south;  the oil must move . . . . even when the postal stream sleeps.

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Shadows . . . on a rainy night paint the river.   And under the “tent” inside

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And so ended 2015 for me . . . not a low-flying aircraft but a high flying window perch.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, private and public eye.

 

If you saw the 2015 tugboat race, you may have glimpsed this vessel . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She’s the current vessel of Ship 243 of Sea Scouts.  Here’s what her current mate says about her:  “Sea Horse was built in 1973 by Swiftships in Morgan City La.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Designed as  for Vietnam, she was never was deployed.  For some time she was used in the San Francisco Bay area as a training ship for Navy Special Forces.  Then she was used by the CIA for what,  who knows. She was covered in radar absorbing tiles.  There was afire in the engine room and then mothballed before we got her.”

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Click here for details of what Sea Scouts do.

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Sea Horse has been hauled out and for regular maintenance, which always costs.  Click here for details about how you can help.  Given how difficult most of us know it is to find a work niche for our lives, Sea Horse is a valuable driver in that search;  I wish there’d been Sea Scouts around where I grew up.   If you do FB, check out Sea Scout Ship 243.  Click here and here for two posts about another community on the water program.

The first two photos are by Will Van Dorp.  The others are all used thanks to Robert Meseck, currently Mate and soon to be Skipper of the unit.

Click here for a previous swiftship post on this blog.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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