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What does a 70+ degree temperature day in February in the sixth boro look like?  Well . . . see for yourself.  Cornell light and likely back from a TOAR training, rafts up to Mary Whalen in Atlantic Basin.

Along the Brooklyn shore, there was Genesis Glory with GM11105.

Brooklyn–ex-Labrador Sea–light was headed for the Kills.

An anchored Crystal Cutler stood by with Patricia E. Poling.  Over in the distance is Malik al Ashtar, another 13,000+ teu container ship.  See Crystal light, high and dry here.

Over near the foot of Atlantic Avenue, Linda Lee Bouchard stands by alongside B. No. 205.

And finally, along the BQE and Brooklyn Heights, C. Angelo with EMA  1152, the EMA standing for Express Marine, the outfit that used to deliver fuel to the sixth boro’s coal-fired plants.  Express Marine tugs Consort and Escort used to be regulars in the port.  I believe they are currently “laid up.”

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

You can read  Ice 5 or 3 or 2.  But freezing temperatures in salt water look different than in fresh water, salt ice not like lake ice, which is a topic for tomorrow. The sixth boro low temperature in the first two days of January was well above 0 F, Maine and Minnesota well into the double digits negative F, and Anchorage, a balmy 46 ABOVE, warmer than places in Florida!

But I digress, cold is cold and uncomfortable.  Polar bear plunge notwithstanding, a strong swimmer won’t last a minute in this water.


But work goes on . . .

with extra layers

and precautions.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who really postponed admitting the new year had arrived because–dangerously– it was more comfortable thinking otherwise.


Genesis Vision has just gone onto the wire from alongside, and

tightens it, moving the barge outbound for Florida.  Click here for a 2013 photo of Genesis Vision as Superior Service.

Stephen Reinauer steams out to the Lower Bay to stand by with a barge just

vacated by Timothy L.

McKinley Sea returns in the direction of its barge out in the Upper Bay.

Hunting Creek provides a needed boost as Pokomoke moves Double Skin 39 out of the dock at IMTT.

In the fog, there’s a negotiation going on between Evening Mist and Evening Star that took me a bit to figure out . . . Ah . . .

Star goes into the notch of B. No. 250, and then Mist assists in the 180 degree turn.  Note the pink ribbon on Mist’s stack?

My father would say, “Dean‘s lit up like a Christmas tree.”

Helen Laraway . . . assisting?


The truth about Helen is that she was waiting as Anthem was departing.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


I have a bunch more “cypher 12” calendar-ready ideas to come, but time flows, changes and evolution press, and I don’t want to get left behind.  Again, I’m NOT selling calendars, but they are easy to make.  

Back eight years ago I did a post called Labrador Sea.  There she is below, photos I took yesterday.  You’ll notice a radically new paint job.  There’s a name change as well.  She’s still pushing the same barge, but now she’s Brooklyn, the latest Brooklyn.


DBL25 she’s pushing was the same formerly Kirby/K-Sea barge, and if you scroll through here, you’ll see DBL25 as paint was making her transition from a K-Sea to a Kirby barge.

Below is a photo from February 08, 2017 showing her in Kirby livery.  I’m wondering if the crews moved over to Vane with the boat.

All photos–yesterday’s and February’s–by Will Van Dorp.

As tugster continues its CYPHER series,  this is the 3633nd post, and almost 2.1 million hits.  Thanks for staying with me.

On the other hand, if I were selling calendars, the number 12 would be significant.    So for the next few days, let me offer some diverse dozens chosen quite subjectively, although what the photos have in common–besides subject–is that I like them.

Here’s a November 2016 photo along the Gowanus under the BQE.  This tug looks good in blue, but I’ll never forget her in orange.

Here’s a November 2015 when the upper deck of Bayonne had yet to be assembled, and the lower disassembled.  Amy C last appeared here as she nudged Empire State into her Fort Schuyler dock.

Here’s 2014.  She’s recently worked in the Keys.

Here’s ’13.  Where is Houma today?

’12.  Ellen‘s a regular on this blog.

’11.  Tasman has been doing this work since 1976!

’10.  Is ex-Little Bear in Erie along with Bear?

’09.  She now makes her way around the lower Caribbean .  . . and currently anchored in Trinidad.

’08.  And I’m adding another photo right after Linda (launched in ’08) of

Scott Turecamo (below) launched in 1998 but radically retrofitted in 2005, originally quite similar to Greenland Sea, here see the photos by Robert J. Smith.  How many of these ATBs does Moran now operate?  .

’07.  This was the only time I ever saw Penobscot.  Anyone know where foreign she went?

’06.  Note the size of the yard workers around the wheels on Ralph E. Bouchard.

Again, some of these photos show what has changed in the sixth boro, spawning ground for this blog.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


. . . a sixth boro set on a day that was predicted to bring rain.  When I first saw the photo below, I thought the McAllister tug was assisting a DonJon unit?

A few seconds later it was clear that Alex was overtaking the slower Paul Andrew.


Dr. Milton Waner–named for a plastic surgeon!!— here travels light.  Harley does have this focus on medicine in their recent namings, like Fight ALS and One Cure.  That’s Durham in the distance with the spud barge.


Around the same time, Eric McAllister, Thomas D. Witte, and James E. Brown appear, headed for the Kills.


Mr Russell comes out of the Kills.  And can you name the Vane tug in the distance?


It must be the newest Vane tug in the sixth boro, and I don’t know if she’s even more recent than Capt. Brian A. McAllister. For all I know, this could be her first week in town….  And from a full decade ago, here’s the previous Philadelphia in town, the ITB Philly.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I’m not shifting the focus of this blog to photography–although it’s always been photo driven–but it’s fun to shoot what the light allows, which in this case somewhat obscures the identification of the tug in the foreground and highlights in profile the construction over by the Goethals Bridge.  Also, I’ve not forgotten a realization of a few weeks back about there being nothing random;  context here is recent sixth boro.

Anyhow, name that tug?

Meanwhile, north of the GW, it’s Joan Moran (1975) with a coal barge, from what I could tell.

Farther downriver, it’s Atlantic Coast (2007) with a dredge scow.

On that same dredge project, Shannon Dann (1971) stands by with GL 602.

Wye River (2008) waits over by the Palisades,

Sea Wolf (1982) holds steady over by –is that?–Edgewater.

Barry Silverton counts down for an appointment with Fight ALS,

Brendan Turecamo (1975) hangs with Connecticut, and

that brings us back to the first photo, now benefitting from a different light and easily identifiable as

Doris Moran (1982).

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

After about 3600 posts and almost 11 years, I’ve concluded my titling is based on a flawed assumption, i.e., nothing is random or generic except such things as our understanding.  Another way of saying that is . . . everything has a specific context.  A better title for this post would be something like tug/barge units between Kingston-Rhinecliff and Bear Mountain Bridges on such/such date with various sceneries related to autumn in the case.  But, I’m not switching so bulky or to re-title everything, so on we go;  life has no first drafts.

Having blabbered all that, I just have to say the Hudson Valley is a beautiful place, and the creations of our work in it serve to complement the natural beauty.

Consider Delaware and DoubleSkin 50.


Or Coral Coast and

Cement Transporter 5300.


Sarah Ann and Cape Wendy.

And Haggerty Girls with

RTC 107, with birds rounding Bear Mountain . . ..


Here’s a closing look.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp.


Different day . . . different character . . .  the Hudson can have thick patches of fog, which

allow Dorothy J to slip past structures on a mysterious shore.

Farther along, Miss Gill guards some incongruous piles of

coal that surely did not arrive through the Delaware and Hudson Canal, which I visited recently but didn’t dip my foot into.

Wendell Sea waits alongside a fuel barge, and

Christiana–not a frequent visitor in the sixth boro–does in her own way

up by the GW Bridge.


Helen Laraway stands by scows of different sized crushed stone.

And this gets us down to the sixth boro.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I took these photos over a two-day period in late July, traveling the entire 130 miles of the Hudson from the Battery to Troy while on the trip from Narragansett Bay to the “source” of the Chicago River.  RV Shearwater here surveys the river/bay;  that’s Willy Wall on the horizon left, so the Battery is behind us.

The Tappan Zee nears completion:  the gap on the left side is all that needs to be bridged.  The Left Coast Lifter will then become the “left coast lowerer,” I assume.

Infrastructure materials come out of the ground here in Haverstraw,

Viking passes below Osborn Castle,

summer play happens in the Hudson,

Buchanan 12 pushes more raw materials for infrastructure,

a tribe paddles over to Bannerman’s,

a truck lifts three vessels in imitation of Combi-Dock III,

Vane’s Delaware pushes DoubleSkin 50 upriver,

Spring Sunshine offloads aggregates at Caymans, where

a 400-ton 12-story structure awaits (then) its float down to NJ [more on that soon],

yacht named Summer heads south for Key West,

raw materials that once rolled on roads await the trip back to the blast furnace,

a horde does sun salutations on shore,

the American goddess Columbia trumpets at the top of a needing-to-be-updated soldiers/sailors monument in Troy,


and an oracle wearing a sea creature hat and using an old-school device taps out verbiage suggesting I’m headed for Ithaca and not Chicago, although I’m pleased with that too.

All photos and observations by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to the oracle.

Somewhat related:  Click here for a CNN Travel clip called “Liquid City” and starts out with the sentence “most people think NYC has five boros, but there’s really a sixth one;  it’s the largest one and it connects all the others.”  I heard it while waiting at the airport in Indianapolis the other day and was stunned.  Do you suppose Justin Davidson reads tugster?

For blog posts written by folks going first northbound and then southbound on a LNV tug, click here and here.


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