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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
the deal. But I’ll come back to this history stuff later.
For now, this is a record of the last night of the year, what my parents used to call “old years night.”
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.
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.
Shadows . . . on a rainy night paint the river. And under the “tent” inside
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 . . .
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.”
Click here for details of what Sea Scouts do.
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.
It’s still November 2015, so for me, it’s day 22 of this focus.
I guess this would be a small Navy yard tug. Click here (and scroll) to see a variant with roll bars. Here it closes the security gate after a Moran tug has come inside.
More security is provided by WPB-87329 Cochito.
Emily Anne McAllister (2003) waits at the Norfolk International Terminals.
And there’s a long list of commercial tugboats, more than I want to squeeze into this post. So let’s start with Ocean Endeavor (1966),
Night Hawk (1981),
Dauntless II (1953),
Payton Grace Moran (2015),
Goose Creek (1981), and finally for now
Steven McAllister (1963).
All foggy/rainy photos above by Will Van Dorp.
One of these days we’ll meander farther south on the Elizabeth River aka ICW. In the meantime, if you have photos of work vessels from any port huge or tiny, get in touch; there are still a few days of November left.
And since we’re a week or so from December, my idea for next month’s collaboration is “antique/classic” workboats, functioning or wrecked. Of course, a definition for that category is impossible. For example, NewYorkBoater says this: “The definition of an antique boat according to Antique and Classic Boating Society is a boat built between 1919 and 1942. A classic was built between 1943 and 1975 and the term contemporary, are boats built from 1976 and on.” Hmm . . . what do you call an old vessel built before 1919 . . . a restoration project? antediluvian?
If you take another transportation sector–automobiles, you get another definition: 25 years old or more. And for the great race, here were the rules for this year: “Vehicle entries must have been manufactured in 1972 or before.” Next year’s cut-off will likely be 1973.
So my flexible definition is . . . photo should have been taken in 1999 or before, by you or of you or a family member, and in the case of a wreck, probably identifiable. Exception . . . it could be a boat built before . . . say . . . 1965.
This post is a direct follow-up to one I did a week ago, documenting the 270-nm trip from Kings Point NY to Norfolk aboard USMMA Sailing Foundation vessel Tortuga. This post documents the second and final leg of the trip to Tortuga‘s winter berth in New Bern NC, a 179-nm trip from Norfolk.
Let’s start here. Departure time on day 1 is 1100 h. If you think the navy vessel in dry dock looks familiar, well . . . it visited the sixth boro in May 2012, and I toured the ship DDG 57 USS Mitscher at that time here.
A USN presence is pervasive along the Elizabeth river portion of the ICW, but the Norfolk Naval Ship is
Click here and here for info on the Elizabeth River, technically a tidal estuary. Click on the map below to get interactivity.
I was surprised to learn there’s a lock in the ICW, the Great Bridge Lock. I was even more surprised to learn the USACE contracts the operation and maintenance of the lock to a company called US Facilities.
I must read more about the ICW, but in WW2 it proved a safe route for commerce when enemy submarines preyed on vessels offshore.
Paradise Creek pushes oil along the ICW today; when I started this blog, it was a regular workhorse in the sixth boro of NYC.
The color of ICW water is determined by natural tannins.
The ICW is composed of wide open bays and sounds–which have narrow channels-as well as narrow cuts. Here Evelyn Doris of the ICM fleet pushes a covered barge–soybeans, I’ll wager–northbound, possibly to Norfolk.
Ahead is the US Rte 64 Bridge over the Alligator River, a swing bridge.
Note the proximity of the photo above to the Atlantic Ocean.
Tannins in the Alligator River water create this color.
North Carolina today protects a lot of its coastal wetlands. Hunting is permitted, and in fact, VHF radio picked up a lot of communication with folks hunting in there.
Parts of the ICW flow through cuts like the Alligator-Pungo Canal.
This moment of arrival in Belhaven meant a lot to me, because just around the point in the center of the photo is the hospital where I was born. I hadn’t known it, but Belhaven also considers itself the birthplace of the ICW.
Departure time on day 3 was 0600, Jupiter and Venus were higher in the sky than the rising sun.
See the mine area on the south side of the Pamlico River below.
Hunting abounds here.
Note the spelling.
Belhaven used to support a fishing fleet. I’ve no idea how the size of the fleet and market in Hobucken has fluctuated over the years.
Tortuga is docked here for winter.
All photos by Will Van Dorp. Again many thanks to the USMMA Sailing Foundation for inviting me to crew in winter relocation for Tortuga.
Know Apra? Actually I didn’t, so let’s make this about guessing the location. All photos come from Kyle Stubbs, who has previously contributed these photos. Most of the text here is also from Kyle, who took these photos in summer 2010.
By now, clearly you can identify the body of big water. Taisei Maru No. 28 is a longline fishing vessel built at Takuma, Japan in 1991. She stopped for a port call at Apra Harbor presumably to take on supplies.
CSC Brave is a 2007-built chemical/product tanker.
Goliath was built at Yokosuka, Japan in 1980 as Kinuura. Ready to guess?
And here’s another big clue with Matson’s 2004 Philadelphia built Maunawili.
Chamorro, now operated by Seabridge, Inc., was built by Halter at News Orleans in 1974 as Mister Bob for Jackson Marine Corporation. One of a large series of tugs, you’ve previously seen photos of her sisters Mister Darby, now Atlantic Salvor,and Mister Peter, now the blighted Barents Sea.
USNS Vadm K. R. Wheeler, T-AG 5001, built by North American Shipbuilding at Larose, LA in 2007, is operated by the Navy as an “Offshore Petroleum Distribution System (OPDS),” designed to facilitate the transfer of fuel from tankers to onshore installations from up to 8 miles offshore. Alongside is her tender, the 160′ loa crew boat Fast Tempo.
And finally, it’s USS Pearl Harbor, LSD-52.
Apra is a deepwater port in Guam.
Again, many thanks to Kyle for sharing these photos.
This is GHP&W 9, and since this unexpected trip to new ports has materialized, here we are. Passing through Thimble Shoals Channel looking toward the Delmarva peninsula . . . it’s hard to capture the expanse of this bridge/tunnel. But once inside, vessels to behold through the sudden rain include
a noisy LCAC,
a historically-named fishing boat,
and a landing craft. Is that a pelican-shaped drone flying escort?
Although we passed through Hampton Roads, the rain grayed out any sign of shore, where I’d been ashore four years ago. Gold Coast was pushing a covered barge with
Spring Scenery left a lot to the imagination.
But the fleet lining the Norfolk shore was fabulous starting with USNS Lewis B Puller,
possibly about to get a push from Tracy Moran, and
and Robert E. Perry.
And much more, but for this post, we stop here. All photos here by Will Van Dorp.
The title is such a mouthful that I’ll soon reduce it to GHP&W. Although this blog began with photos and observations of mostly working vessels in the great harbor associated with New York City, the watery part of which I call the sixth boro, the blog followed a course suggested by these vessels to other GHP&Ws. And given then the global nature of water traffic, it seems logical to devote at least a month to other GHP&Ws.
I’ll kick off with this post about a port I’ll likely never visit, the former Aral Sea fishing port of Moynaq in Uzbekistan. The photos come from Getty Images by Bjorn Holland and Kelly Cheng. Surprisingly maybe, I live in a neighborhood of NYC where Uzbek is the dominant language, which was part of my motivation to read a Tom Bissell book called Chasing the Sea: Lost among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia. I highly recommend it.
So here are some detail areas of a huge aerial photo print I saw the other day. Can anyone point to detail that confirms a date? My guess is somewhere in the 50s or 60s. The first photo below shows the southeast point of Bayonne NJ. The peninsula bisecting the top and bottom is MOTBY. Governors Island is upper right and the Statue is upper left with the southern tip of Manhattan along the top.
Below is a closer up of the lower right corner of the photo above, showing that tugboat, some barges, and two sets of trucks at the cement dock.
Note the Statue and Ellis Island. To the left of it is now Liberty State Park. The Caven Point Pier crosses the center of the photo and the current Global Terminal is still waiting for fill.
Below is the just capped landfill that is topped by the Bayonne Golf Club. Lower left is quite the gunkhole with disintegrating watercraft I’d love to see a closeup of.
Remember that all the B/W “photos” above are parts of the same aerial shot.
Let’s have a fun month with lots of GHP&Ws. And not to be too prescriptive, I’d love photos from a variety of GHP&Ws in Asia and Africa, mostly lacking in my previous 2900+ posts. Of course, here and here are a few posts I’ve done on African ports; here, Asian; and here and here, South American.
While I’m asking for collaboration, I have a chance to replicate a trip on a major African river that I originally did in 1973-74; what I seek is leads to a publication that might be interested in the story and photos. The trip is pricey, and if I can sell a tale with photos, I can offset some of the expense. Anyone have ideas or connections?
Here was part 1. Thanks much for the comments. My conclusion is that most but not all were taken at the 1986 centennial celebration of our lady of the harbor. I am still seeking a photo of the canal tug Grand Erie, ex-USACE Chartiers, launched in 1951, at the event.
Barque Simón Bolívar, it would be good to see her back in the sixth boro again. At this point, she was less than a decade old. This past summer, she called in various ports in the Caribbean.
Any help here anyone?
Barque Eagle of course. Can anyone identify the tugs in this photo?
It’s schooner Pioneer in the background.
The red-hulled vessel at the foot of the tower . . is that stick lighter Ollie, now rotting away in VerPlanck? See the end of this post. Anyone know the USCG tug?
These look like the morning-after spent fireworks shells. What did it say in front of “industry” here? And here ends the photos supplied by Harry Thompson.
And here, as a note that I should do a post soon about Ollie . . . is one of the photos I took of her in 2010. I saw her earlier in 2015, and it’ was even sadder by five years than this one. Anyone have good pics of Ollie in her day?
Thanks very much, Harry, for getting this show going.
Yes, I am a fan of the X-Files, and yes . . . submarines have appeared on this blog before, like this one in Coney Island Creek. Or this one headed north in the Upper Bay. Parts of submarines have emerged on the blog like here and here. There have been fleets awaiting disassembly like here. But recently at a yard on the North Fork, I saw the object in the image below, which intrigued me. Here are some pics and then after you’ve observed the evidence and drawn some conclusions, I’ll tell you what I’ve read.
So what do you think? What is your version of this story?
Here’s Corey Kilgannon’s NYTimes story from eight years ago. Halfway through Kathleen Edgecomb’s The Day article you get a different version of the real history of the vessel. But by the time T. E. McMorrow writes this East Hampton Star article in August 2014, a whole new version of sub and owner have emerged.
Actually I don’t know the real story, and certainly have no clue of its future, since according to this BBC article, the court has blocked sale of the sub. Here’s the location of the real USS Deep Quest. Here’s a followup Emma Fitzsimmons’ article from the December 1, 2014 NYTimes. And according to this McMorrow follow-up of a few weeks ago, the sub owner is now in a federal facility, and the sub, even if it had never been so previously, is now federal property.
And the feds, they may put it up for sale. Want a toy with a “deep sea” history? Did anyone catch photos of it traversing the sixth boro back in 2007?
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
“Really random” posts tend to be far-flung, so let’s start out with this photo by Jed, who has contributed many photos recently. Then there’s JED, who has contributed photos starting from 2008. The boat dates from 1975.
From Jan Oosterboer via Fred Trooster, here’s the 1955 tug Argus along with
Orion (1961), and
Sirius (1966). It appears that Sirius–like Orion and Brendan Turecamo–also has a wheelhouse that can be raised.
For the scale of the “tow” here, scroll down and
behold–Thialf, with a combined lifting capacity of over 14,000 tons!! Click here to see the view down from Thialf’s deck AND be sure to read the comments that follow. Here are a few other heavy-lifters including Saipem 7000.
Heading back to NYC but as the South Street Seaport Museum area of the sixth boro of NYC looked in 1985, from a secret salt, it’s the 1939 USCGC WYT-93, Raritan! The two vessels around her are, of course 1885 schooner Pioneer and 1908 lightship Ambrose. Click here for a list of specifics and missions on Raritan, but one of her operations was against M/V Sarah of Radio NewYork International. M/V Sarah was eventually blown up for a movie stunt.
And rounding this post out . . . from Elizabeth, in Alameda, it’s the 1943 YT-181 Mazapeta.
In the distance is T-AKR-1001 GTS Admiral W. M. Callaghan, an MSC RORO named for a significant USN officer.
Credit for each of these photos is as attributed. Thanks to you all.