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At 0900 and a few minutes, USNS Comfort arrived at the Narrows.  Ava M was one of six McAllister units meeting her there to assist.

USACE, NYPD, and other agencies saw her in as well.

She passed the USCG station and

 

and the old hospital complex.

Another USNS vessel in the port was Watkins.

From this point off Bayonne, we’ll pick up the story tomorrow.

All photos, WVD.

Note:  Tomorrow I may slip my post time a little; you’ll understand, I hope, tomorrow.  Mentioning hope, check out this link to learn about, among other things, an iron cow!!  Hope, SS Hope, was born of USS Consolation, AH-15.

Anyone know the US first hospital ship?   When did USNS Comfort last call in the sixth boro?  Answers follow below.

I used the photo below just over five years ago in a post about Red Cross ships;  tanker SS Rose City became USNS Comfort in 1985.  Study the photo and compare it to the current iteration.

I’m thrilled Mercy has been activated in the west and Comfort will arrrive here, but only a very short time ago there was serious consideration to mothball and maybe scrap at least one of these vessels. Also, as positive as they are, what they are not is panaceas. Mechanical, electrical, and other bugs need to be sorted out on the ships.  Crews need to resolve dynamics;  after all, even two months ago all those crews were happily working elsewhere, and as USNS ships, they have hybrid civilian/military crews.

And the US first hospital ship, establishing a “makeover” tradition, began life in Cape Girardeau, MO in 1859 as a Mississippi River steamer.  The Confederacy transformed it into a barracks, the US army captured it, and she was made into a hospital ship. I believe she carried the name Red Rover throughout all three lives.   Nursing staff on USS Red Rover were members of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Click here for a ketch used to evacuate wounded going back to 1803.  What were we involved with 217 years ago?

USNS Comfort made her last call in NYC was in September 2001, and I honestly didn’t recall that.  Does anyone have photos to share from that deployment?

Finally, I’ve mentioned it before, but back in 1980 SS Rose City had a young crewman named John Moynihan, who wrote a noteworthy account of his hitch aboard the vessel.  It’s a great book in itself;  his father was a senator from New York.

Long ago and faraway, I boarded this hospital ship on a tributary of the Congo River;  that it operated there at all is a scintilla of evidence that even a dictator can do good things by his subjected peoples.  I’m unable to learn the disposition of this ship, SS Mama Yemo, but a little researching did lead me to understand that it was developed by a US doctor, William Close, whom I’d love to learn more about.

SS Rose City photo thanks to William Lafferty;  sentiments and filtering of info by WVD, who thanks you for keeping your distance.

Hats off to the folks dredging USNS Comfort‘s berth even as we read.

And finally, a request . . .  if you get photos of her arrival tomorrow, consider sharing them with this blog.

 

 

As the sixth boro prepares to receive USNS Comfort,

on the other side of the continent earlier this week, USNS Mercy departed port of San Diego. No specific ETA is reported as yet for either vessel, as  . .  well . . . preps need to be made.

U.S.N.S. MERCY T-AH 19.
Seen leaving for the Port of Los Angeles to alleviate the burden on local hospitals there dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic by taking non-coronavirus afflicted patients.

► ONLY REPRODUCE WITH CREDIT GIVEN TO W. MICHAEL YOUNG ◄

 

Launched as SS Worth MA-299 on 1 July 1975 (in San Diego, California) and entered service as a hospital ship on 8 November 1986 (to US Navy).
Homeport in San Diego, California, she measures 894′ x 106.’
She is propelled by two boilers, two GE turbines, one shaft, 24,500hp (18.3MW) and can cruise at 17 knots.  Her complement is as follows:  12 civilian and 58 military during Reduced Operating Status, and 61 civilian and 1,214 military during Full Operating Status.  Her time to activate is 5 days
Photographed by W. Michael Young at San Diego, California on March 23, 2020.
© 2020 W. Michael Young
4629 Cass Street, PMB 78
San Diego CA 92109-2805
United States of America
► ONLY REPRODUCE WITH CREDIT GIVEN TO W. MICHAEL YOUNG ◄

As it turns out, Mercy went just outside the harbor and anchored, to complete preparations before deployment.  There are many closeup photos of the preps at the pier in the link in the previous sentence.

Also, click here to see a 1985 photo of USNS Mercy being created out of SS Worth, a San Clemente-class tanker.

Many thanks to W. Michael Young for the Mercy photos;  Comfort photo I took in Baltimore exactly 10 years ago this month.  Both vessels were built by NASSCO in the mid-1970s.

And entirely unrelated:  Has anyone ever seen El-Mahrousa, the 1865-launched Egyptian training ship?

This weekend the Upper Bay portion of the sixth boro cradled two “fast logistics ships” or “Large, Medium-speed, Roll-on/Roll-off Ships” (aka T-AKR, although I’ve no idea how that alpha indicator relates to those descriptors;  LMSR would make more sense.)  at the same time, one off Fort Wadsworth, below) and the other

off Owl’s Head fishing pier.  The T-AKR above–USNS Sisler T-AKR-311–was preparing for sea trials at the end of her refurb period, and the one below–USNS Watkins T-AKR-315 was preparing to enter the graving dock in Bayonne to begin hers.  Sisler was launched in 1998, and Watkins, 2000, both by NASSCO in San Diego.

I also have questions about the relationship between the MSC–to which these vessels belong–and USNS, unless it is that technically all “ships” serving the USN are referred to as USNS.

Framing from memory, I took what were intended as identical photos of each.

 

I’m not sure when Sisler will return from her sea trials or

when Watkins will exit the graving dock.

I’m wondering if Sisler will be back in for a final coat of gray to cover what appears to be a primer coat.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose previous posts of T-AKRs can be found here.

 

Tinkering with the digital file, I’ve made SSV Corwith Cramer clearer here than she was to the naked eye as she came through the foggy Narrows yesterday morning.

Maintaining this blog over many years and springtimes  has taught me how much fog is a spring phenomenon.  Here on a clearer day, Corwith Cramer (1987) raced into the Narrows ahead of a near-summer rainstorm.

USNS Pomeroy is always gray, but she’s even grayer in the fogs of spring.

Had the fog not been here, you’d see the cliffs of Manhattan out beyond this car float,

and to my naked, non-corrected, non-digital eyes, Joyce was much less clear than she is here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s grateful for assistance with photo manipulation tools.

I’ve posted photos of USS Little Rock on this blog last winter, when it was frozen rock hard into the Montreal winter.  Its lines helped me identify these vessels some weeks back as I was driving along the eastern shore of Wisconsin, where I had stopped to see what was in the Marinette Marine yard;  my guess is that these will be LCS 13, 15, and 17. 

The yard has also turned out Staten Island ferries like Molinari, Powhatan class tugs like Apache, coastal buoy tenders like Katherine Walker, YTBs like Ellen McAllister,  LCMs like Jennifer Miller . . . and lots of RB (M)s  . . .those are some that I know.

Here’s a link to Marinette Marine and its parent company.

 

And while we’re looking at Wisconsin-built government boats, check out these photos on Grasp.  They were taken in Scotland last year by Tommy Bryceland, a North Sea tug captain.

You may recall that just last week, Grasp was south of Fire Island doing training and a memorial service on USS San Diego.

Justin Zizes sent me these photos a few weeks back also, even captioning them as government boats.

Absolutely, an NYPD personal watercraft is a diminutive government boat.

Thanks to Tommy and Justin ;  the others by Will Van Dorp, who will be heading for the Great Lakes soon, so any disruption in posting is no cause for concern.   Keep an eye on the sixth boro and beyond, please.

Here was a related post, Yano, watched by John Watson and me simultaeously and from different vantage points, each of us unbeknownst to the other.

Before the snow and cold hit this past week, actually Wednesday Jan 4, I was tipped off about an impending BDD dry dock exit in Bayonne.  And when James E. Brown grasps the door–think of it as a plug–that confirms something will be floating out.

To the extreme left,  see the plug, and Capt. Brian A. McAllister positions itself on the stern of USNS Soderman.

Ellen has the starboard stern quarter, and

Eric has a line on the bow.  For a point-by-point comparison of Eric and the Moran 6000s, click here.

 

Note how the ship dwarfs the lighthouse, and

the harbor dwarfs the ship,

almost entirely obscuring Alex standing by.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, whom wonders if anyone’s going to get photos of Millville and 1964 in the anchorage today.  I’m tied up.

Here are dozens of previous posts in this series.

I put this one up today specifically in response to a comment by a dear friend Rembert, who commented here about the apparent high center of gravity on American tugboats.  Mein Schiff 6, which is 969′ x 139′, appears to be quite “tall” but largely because of its verticality.

TUI operates Mein Schiff 7.  I’m guessing the “Leinen los”  here translates to the Dutch lekko [itself an approximation of the English],  the English “cast off.”

Here, from a different angle, is TUI’s logo projected overtop USNS Gilliland.

Steel–a great name–has similar vertical sides,

as does Orange Star, a transporter of my favorite beverage.

Ditto Denak Voyager.

For tugster, here’s an unusual shot of Avra, at the dock at night.

Let’s conclude with Navigator of the Seas, 1021′ x 127,’ so appearances aside, N o t S is actually less beamy than Mein Schiff 6.  Note the Chrysler Building in the photo below?

All photos by Will Van Dorp,who’s been unable to find air draft, particularly on Mein Schiff 6 and  Navigator of the Seas.  Anyone help?

And if you fans of the NYTimes missed Annie Correal’s story about shipping vehicles to Haiti out of Red Hook aboard Beauforce (replacement for Grey Shark?), click here to read it.

 

The gentleman in lower right had just cast his bait way out there . . . .

I was remarking about how unusual it is to see this type of MSC in the anchorage here.

But there she is, along with a smaller fishing boat.

And she was not alone.

The flag says this one’s French.  Forbin is a frigate whose namesake was once “grand admiral of Siam.”

But Forbin was not alone either:  beyond was

 

Niterói class frigate Brasil, U-27, a training vessel.

For some previous naval vessels from Brasil, click here.

What might cause them to be here?  My device . . . source of everything . . . has the answer:  the French at least are fishing.   OK.  End of story the device says so, eh?  So the story follows from here?

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who previously posted photos of USNS Charlton

here.

And as a postscript, Phil Gibson writes and sends along this photo:  “Here USNS Charlton appeared [two days before] on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 at 10:53 hours from the Brooklyn side of the Narrows on a foggy morning.”

 

It’s been a few months since I last used this title here . . .

USNS Gilliland has been alongside the Bayonne dry dock for a few weeks now, and the other day

I had the chance to see her alongside a bit closer.

This Danish hull has been in the water most of the time since 1972.

MLB 47279, based in Montauk, is a whole different type of government boat.

This source says 117 of these were built, introduced between 1997 and 2003, and

all remain in service.  To see these boats in action, click here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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