You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘W. O. Decker’ category.

The race may last for less than 10 minutes for (most) boats, but each participant spends hours before and after.  Here, using the power of thousands of conceptual horses and one very real donkey, all four vessels in Miller contingent make their way upriver.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At Pier 66, crew on deck and crew below start them up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lady B (read her interesting history here and here, the latter explaining that the “B” stands for either “Benazir” or Bhutto.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For boats that arrive on the scene early, Red Hook may have come straight from a job delivering bunker to Norwegian Breakaway, there’s time for what might look like lollygagging, and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(in these next two shots from William Hyman) saluting the spectators or just

0aaaaaac5

being seen.  Does Seagus have another name?

0aaaaaac6

But it’s also getting acquainted time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some regulars didn’t show, and other vessels arrived that I’d never seen before.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had to look up South River Rescue Squad attending the Great North River race . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Somewhere in the attractively dressed race day crew on Jake-boat Resolute are two of the principals of tugboatinformation.com . . .  hi Birk and Craig, as well as the force majeure aka Rod behind Narragansett Bay Shipping.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This kayaker stays well out of the stream.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The white bowstriped vessel–Lt. Michael P. Murphy– in the distance won the prize for persistence, finishing the course in a historic half an hour . . . spending most of that time doing a mid-race-course onboard repair.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Despite forecasts of storms–and rain north of the GW Bridge–the only lightning I saw was here and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

thunder from the crowds on the piers.  That’s the intrepid bowsprite showing us her drawing/painting arm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Spectators took advantage of any platform.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

More soon.   Thanks to William Hyman for his fotos, especially the one of an exuberant W. O. Decker, which I featured hard at work using Seth Tane fotos from over 30 years ago here.  Click here for John Huntington’s superb fotos from a wet place in the race . . ..

Again, my hat’s off to all who must work on Labor Day, including my son, who always works holidays for the higher hourly rate.  And if you’re inclined, read what Paul Krugman has to say about Labor Day.

Uh . . . what’s this?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s Buddy, living breathing braying hoof-beglittered mascot of Debora Miller.  If you’ve never been to the New York’s race, there’s a best mascot category.  In the past there’ve been  . . . dogs, hermit crabs, even a chicken . . . but Buddy redefines the contest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With the threat of rain, someone made a wise decision and advanced the start of the race.  Here Resolute, Catherine Miller, Tasman Sea, and Red Hook move toward the starting line . . . feted by now-retired 1931 fireboat John J. Harvey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Foto thanks to William Hyman . . . the line up.

0aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw

And at 10:29:30 . . . they’re off . . . with 1930 wooden tug W. O. Decker taking an early and easy lead!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

45 seconds later . . . W. O. Decker has dropped back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s they are 15 seconds later.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

John J. Harvey is not a tug, but to see the speed out of this octogenarian . . . was humbling.   An engineer toiling away in the engine room later told me all four engines were driving propulsion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The red tug–Resolute–went on to win, although I don’t yet have the official times.  I could have written them down, but I was far too busy applauding and taking fotos.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here’s the crowd at the finish line.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Part B tomorrow.  Thanks to William Hyman for foto 4.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

Many thanks to Glen Miller of Miller’s Launch for my ride this year.

Unrelated and almost forgot:  Here’s a query from Jeff S, a frequent commenter on this blog:  he saw a “very weather beaten wooden sailing vessel (hull) at the Jersey end of the Goethels Bridge, about 65-70 foot long , two deck cabins and a bowsprit.”  It was parked in the oversize lot waiting to cross the Bridge when traffic gets light.  Anyone have an idea what this may be?

 

More Seth Tane fotos.

Foto #1.  It’s 1979, 34 years ago.  What I see is no structure on Pier 17 Manhattan, lots of covered warehouses and a ship on the Brooklyn side.   Extreme lower right of foto . . . is that the floating hospital?  There’s another large white vessel to the left of lightship Ambrose.  There’s a vacant lot just to the south of the Brooklyn side access to the Bridge.  And a large ATB looking tug in the Navy Yard.   What have I missed?

0aaaaft1

Foto #2.  W. O. Decker–in my posts here and here and many other places–comes to pick up a tow, Poling #16.   Digression:  if you do Facebook, here’s the Marion M (shown in the second Decker link there) updates site with fotos.    Lots of intriguing details in the background of the Navy yard here.

0aaaaft1b

0aaaaft2

Foto #3  Driving Decker here is most likely Geo Matteson, author of Tugboats of New York.  A 2013 “reshoot” of this cityscape is a “must do.”

0aaaaft3

Foto #4.  Tied up at Pier 17, Decker remakes the tow to get the tanker alongside.

0aaaaft4

All fotos by Seth Tane.

If you’re interested in collaborating in a documentation of the changing harbor, particularly the evolving articulation between the sixth boro and the other five, please contact me.  See address upper left side.

Forecast for the morning after the Oscars was for some sun, which I sorely needed.  And who’s out . . . William Oscar aka W. O. Decker, for starters.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CCNI Aquiles and Dallas Express at Global . . . and a Moose boat racing toward us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I couldn’t quite figure out what Sorensen Miller‘s load was.   In the background, that’s the Newark Bay Bridge, which doesn’t make it on my fotos much.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Virginia Sue was fishing off Clermont.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

John P. Brown moved nine (?) railcars from Brooklyn to Jersey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clipper Legacy arrived here yesterday.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shawn Miller‘s pushing trucks around again, this one  all ready for the mid-March holiday.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Taurus light moves past Christine McAllister.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And . . . let’s conclude with another shot of William Oscar, wherever it may be heading.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All fotos this morning before the clouds moved in . . . by Will Van Dorp.

Those film awards started in 1929.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

William Oscar Decker was launched in 1930.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Every day should be Oscar day and every night . . . Oscar night.  And the winner is  . . . W. O.!  Shouldn’t there be a George Stanley statuette front and center of wheelhouse?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Foto #1 taken in September 2010 in Troy, and the other two taken in July 2012 in the East River.

So after work today, I went looking for evidence that New Yorkers celebrate mardi gras.    I saw this instead . . .  seal?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not!   Unless seals these days carry flashlights and trail markers and have a support

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

vessels like Linda Ann, herself supported by W. O. Decker and Peking.

Here is one of a series of six posts I did five years ago about Peking, which moved across the bay that day.    And half a year back, here‘s a post I did about W. O. Decker and Helen McAllister‘s last waltz.   And Wavertree . . .  I regret that in my dozen years wandering the sixth boro, Wavertree has not ONCE left the dock.  I know some of you must have fotos . . . and good memories of her moves, but   I have none.

BUT . . . click here for a mystery vessel with three masts square-rigged in a foto I was given some years back.  Anyone want to take a stab at identifying it?  The conclusion a few years back is that the foto is “‘shopped,”  although it was done some years ago.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My guess is that someone was inspecting Wavertree‘s wet side.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Later I thought I saw a mermaid . . . but I struck out again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And for the record, after 1700 hr on the E train I finally saw some mardi gras beads . . . worn by a couple going to a party.  I had to ask.

All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.

When I posted about the race last year, I recapped the five previous years posts too.  See that here for part a and here for part b.

The day started early for me;  here at 07:01, not knowing I’d see her later in the morning, I passed Weddell Sea in the notch.

By 07:47, I was in the McAllister yard, thanks to Harold Tartell and of course the McAllisters.  Maurania III, also in last year’s race, will be the ride.

By 09:50, we were off Pier 84;  W. O. Decker and Meagan Ann were already there.

Aound then, Debora, Susan, and Shawn Miller lined up for a family shot.

At 10:01, it’s Pegasus and  . . .lo and behold . . . Weddell Sea has come out of the notch in the Upper Bay anchorage to join in the festivities.

I’ve never even seen this Little Toot. . .  out of Highlands, NJ, and she’s not so little.

10:06 . . .  Quantico Creek, Buchanan 1, Vulcan III, and Debora Miller begin to line up with us for the parade past Pier 84.

And when Weddell Sea and especially Lincoln Sea mingle with other boats, their size is apparent.  …  8000 hp, Lincoln Sea, appeared in K-Sea colors in the 2006 race.

10:43 some of the boats have turned around and waiting for the  race to begin . . .  the tide is flooding, adverse.

10:45 . . . note the two dark green tugs Gage Paul Thornton and Thornton Bros. still needing to turn around, as does

Freddie K Miller.  

If my camera clock is correct, the race started at 10:47, and

tomorrow I’ll get you the results.

It was great meeting/catching up with so many folks today, and again . . . thanks to Harold and McAllister towing for getting me on Maurania III.

Is Marion M (Greenport, NY 1932) on her own power projecting that potentially gorgeous deck before her?  Might she be?

I’ll be straightforward for once:  Marion M has been moved away from South Street because the museum needs space.  She is for sale. You/your organization can get information on purchasing her by contacting Captain Jonathan Boulware, Waterfront Director, South Street Seaport Museum.  His tele and email are:  212.748.8772      jboulware@seany.org.

Some specifics on her history accompany bowsprite’s rendering here.  Wooden tugboat W. O. Decker (1930) demonstrates that she has the stuff  still in her.  Decker stays at South Street Seaport Museum.   Here and here are two of my many favorite bowsprite illustrations of Decker.

All these fotos come compliments of Jonathan Boulware, who took them in late June, as

Decker towed Marion M out to

her holding area on the KVK . . . where you can pick her up.

I wanted to add a few more fotos of Helen McAllister . . .

who also has at least one

more life ahead of her.   Here’s how she might look under her own power headed your way.

And with all this movement, what might Peking be thinking, saying . ..  .?

Uh . . . she can’t talk, can she?

Again, Marion M can be yours.  Contact Jonathan Boulware, Waterfront Director, South Street Seaport Museum     212.748.8772      jboulware@seany.org      I’m told she’s listed in WoodenBoat‘s “Save a Classic” section, but I haven’t seen that yet.

I’d love to see her gussied up to 1932 standards.  I’d even put greenbacks and sweat equity in the project.  I’m reminded of what the “crazy farmers of Villiersdorp” managed to do . . . or the Onrust project in Rotterdam Junction.

Unrelated but NYTimes article about resurgence:  Cross-harbor rail about to expand exponentially on the sixth boro!!

… of course with boats, the number of “second lives” can astonish you, and (as for “last,”) see the note at the end of the post.  Helen’s tenure as “tryin ta be” museum artifact at South Street was more like a fourth life* already!

Anyhow, we knew departure would happen, just not when the day was.  But when I happened by minutes after nine this morning and I saw this . . .  my plans for the next few hours vanished . . . .

Helen sliding into the stream at the end of Deckers towline . . . meant only one thing.

0923 hr . . . Decker heads out to confer with Responder, who has often moved South Street vessels, including Peking four + years ago.

Responder asks Decker to go into the confined space to bring Helen to the dance floor.

Decker (and crew, of course) were thrilled to do this escort.

Long-timers at the Museum–Carlos, Victor, and Sal–get in last moments.

0953 . . . the tow gets made with Responder, and

the lines to Decker get

loosened.  Hand-over has happened.

For a short tense interval, the boats exchange sweet somethings, maybe some tears, and then

they waltz away . . . toward a future.

The Statue waves in recognition.

And Decker, as escort, has finished her duties by 1024 hr.

Such beautiful curves, such proud rake!    Surely there is another life

for Helen somewhere.  John Watson waits high on his cliff to get fotos of the tow heading into the KVK.

Thanks to John Watson for this foto and to Jonathan Boulware for assisting with my fotos.

And I’d really enjoy hearing your comments on any experiences you’ve had in the long life of the beautiful Helen (ex-Georgetown, ex-Admiral Dewey).  Does anyone have fotos to share of Helen docking vessels during 1992 OpSail?

“Last” . . . well, many boats have second, third, etc lives.  Helen is headed back to the McAllister yard;  SSS Museum needs to focus on fewer vessels.  What comes next is as unknown as . . . tomorrow.

Related:  Here was a previous significant day in SSSM involving major passages with the McAllisters.

* As to Helen’s previous lives, she was built in Port Richmond, Staten Island as Admiral Dewey for Berwind-White Coal;  see p. 8 of Erin Urban’s Caddell Dry Dock: 100 Years Harborside for a foto of Admiral Dewey.

A year ago I was pessimistic and wrote a bleak post and made this offer.  I have now officially passed some benjamins.   Last Saturday I went back to the South Street Seaport Museum and the new life excited me.  First, there’s this new blog, which I hope continues.  My friend John Watson, volunteer at the museum for decades and frequent contributor on tugster, has been responsible for many of the fotos.

Then, of course, volunteer spirit at SSSM has been irrepressible.  On Saturday February 18, over two dozen volunteers doing winter maintenance worked on or in four of the vessels at least.  A year of idleness has allowed rust to invade everywhere, rust that needs to be busted.

Hammers, chains, power grinders . . . whatever would combine with sweat to prep for rust inhibitor and ultimately new paint was pressed into service. I even set down my camera a few hours and assaulted some areas of rust, just because I enjoyed it.

Leaks were stopped, even if only with temporary fixes for now.

Hatches were sanded and painted.

It’s no simple cliche that rust never sleeps, and big projects like Wavertree require huge infusions of cash and effort to hold off the ravages of time.   But the spirit of volunteerism is also indispensible.This googlemap view shows where all the current museum vessels used to park.  Can you name them all?  Some may still go to better places.

Ambrose and Lettie G. Howard often docked in the open space here;  they are off-site for repair and refurbishing before they return.What really impressed me was inside Schermerhorn Row.  Floor 3 has “Super Models,”  ship replicas from the collection, smartly displayed.

It also has “Bottled Up,”  miniature vessels in glass.  And if you want to see how ships navigate the bottleneck, you can find a display on that too.

Contemporary hand tools are used rust-busting the ships outside, but Floor 4 has “Hand Held Devices,” an installation of scores of historic hand tools, some of

which you might not recognize, but

then there’s an interactive display that can

help with that too.

Floor 5 has “Coffee, Tea, Fish, and the Tattooed Man,” all

tributes to trades that once transacted just outside the building on the docks.

On the way back down, stop again on Floor 3 for a set of Edward Burtynsky‘s stunning fotos of shipbreaking in Bangladesh.

But don’t take my word for any of this. There’s more than I describe here.  And more to come . . . like the re-opening of some form of research library . . . .   Become a member.  Come and visit.  Stop by and bust rust.   The barge name here describes what’s happening at the Museum.

South Street Seaport is once again

alive!  My fotos don’t really do it justice.  Bravo to all who made this happen.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,224 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

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

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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

Archives

June 2018
M T W T F S S
« May    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930