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Recognize this location for sixth boro riverbank living?


The fine print there says USNS GySgt. Fred W. Stockham (T-AK-3017), which was just outside the VZ Bridge a few days ago.


Now it’s over by FDNY Marine 9, as if it were someone’s yacht.  The complex finally looked open, so I wandered in and


here’s what I saw . . . right here on Staten Island.


I don’t know who lives here or where the clientele comes from, but I’m positive the President-elect will be checking the residency papers on the opticians selling goggles.  Will there be waivers? here.


Actually, I left quickly because this place gave me a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy feel.


Now THIS is a strange juxtaposition in this Potemkin Village.


But don’t take my word and photos for it.  Click here or next time you’re in Stapleton, check the place out, before new tenant emporiums arrive.

All photos this week by Will Van Dorp.


Here’s where the “leverman” sits for a twelve-hour shift as the C. R. McCaskill slews port to starboard 400′ once each three and a half minutes.   Another way of saying that is  the dredge moves using a five-point mooring system: two swing anchors, two breast anchors and one stern anchor to move forward or back.  A different configuration uses a spudded idler barge;  in this case, the “swing” is longer and takes more more time.   Food gets delivered so that the leverman aka dredge operator can monitor all these screens and respond so that dredging can proceed 24/7 as long as equipment and conditions permit.  More on food later.


Slewing . . . drawing on cables attached to positioned anchors and pivoting on a stern point . . . requires that the 30” diamater hose be able to flex.  Hence, the easy curved slack before the piping to the beach.


The crewboat in the distance alternates between hydrographic survey work and other tasks.  More on that in a moment.  More crewboats in a future post.


Attachment at the stern is a ball and socket joint . . . like your hip.


Here’s the starboard GE engine, part of the power supply to the dredge.


Here is another view of the two huge hull-mounted pumps that do the work.


Another task of the crewboat is illustrated here:  recreational boaters sometimes allow their curiosity to override any sense of danger caused by a busy, slewing dredge.


The helicopter happened to be here on assignment to photograph the work from the air.


About the food, here’s  mission control presided over by Edwina Arthur, a member of the 30-50 person crew.


Food rules and pecking order are clearly posted.


Captain Randy Guidry, my host for this tour,  proudly displays the builder’s plate, Corn Island Shipyard in Indiana, where the hull was constructed.


As I stated in the previous post, McCaskill’s part in the dredging/beach replenishment has now ended and vessels and crew have moved south for the next job.

Many thanks to Captain Guidry, Jan Andrusky, and all the other fine folks at Weeks Marine for this tour.

All fotos, text, and (any inadvertent errors) by Will Van Dorp.

I’ll get to more of the Louisiana and Panama fotos once I “deglitch” something, so thanks to these shots from Isaac Pennock of tugboathunter we can head north.

Do you recognize this shade of blue?

It’s DonJon Marine’s new Great Lakes’ ATB Ken Boothe Sr. and barge Lakes Contender  in Erie, on Lake Erie. 

And it’s huge.  How huge?

Compare it with Witte 1407.

Here’s a video from more than a year ago showing Boothe first in the water.  It only gets somewhat more exciting than watching ice melt (like watching paint dry or grass grow)  after 3:40 . . .

Many thanks to Isaac for these shots.

Although I have many more “oldcarcity” fotos to share soon, John Watson got the following fotos from his sixth boro cliff yesterday, and they must go up.  Kudos , John!

John’s fotos are physical manifestations of the renaissance of South Street Seaport Museum.  Lightship Ambrose (LV-87), built 1908 . . . a year after  Pegasus, is headed to Caddell’s for some love aka life support.

She made her way across this stretch of the sixth boro escorted

by the gracious Charles D. McAllister.

as well as Elizabeth McAllister.  I can’t identify the smaller boat out front.

Again, thanks much, John.    Here’s a question from a tipster . . . not me! in ny.Curbed.  This is very promising news for the renascent museum; however, like all newborns AND reborns, it needs ongoing support . . . benjamins and members and volunteers.

My last fotos of a lightship in the sixth boro came here exactly two months ago.

Meanwhile, tugster continues a gallivant in the south . . . today off to a high point between Nickajack Lake and Chickamauga Lake.

Unrelated to this post but to one previously, here’s (thanks to Michele) is an interview/TV report from on-board Giulio Verne.

<<This just in!  Tugster faces an immediate election!!  See note at end of this post.>>>

Here was 10.  Here was 3 . . . ,  and the others you can locate through the search window.  Guesses might include new amusement park equipment for Coney Island?   Doubleclick enlarges.

exports of the now-discarded Berlusconi?

Au contraire . . . it’s Giulio Verne, having appeared on this blog once long ago here.

I’d love to see a helicopter alight on the house deck.

So why is she in the sixth boro, you ask?  To help install a backup and down under power system.  Read prysmian’s press release here. Here are mostly land fotos of the project that carries the river’s name.

Click here for the specs and diagrams of the vessel.

When I got these fotos, she was at leisure, but

thanks to Kaya, who surfed QE2‘s wake here some years back, enjoy this foto of her at work last week.  On the extreme right side of the foto is Port Imperial, named for Mr. Imperatore, NYWaterways floating homeport.

Thanks much to Kaya for the foto above and for news of and info on GV’s visit.  All other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  When something unidentifiable causes a traffic snarl on the Queensboro Bridge, it might just be Batman and a movie shoot.

More related:  Another recent visitor in the sixth boro has been this  . . . moltomega motor yacht . .  .  named Serene.   Thanks to eastriver for pointing out the article.


Tugster has been nominated for VillageVoice “best neighborhood (of course the sixth boro IS a NYC neighborhood and an ignored one at that!!) blog” AND for “best photo (even though that’s not how it’s really spelled) blog.”   It WOULD really be an honor to win this . . . so please vote vote and vote some more.  Ask your siblings and everyone to vote, please.

This just in:  an exemplar of French femininity is occupying Bedloe’s Island, and has done so for  . . . 125 years!!  And today . . . something just had to be done about it.  Rubber bullets?  No.  Tear gas canisters?  Nah.  Ghostbusters?  Daryl Hannah?

Bring in Aphrodite, former motor yacht of a Wall Street financier.    And as a testament to the tension between Liberte and Aphrodite, keep a fireboat near by.

Bring in bright lights to shine in the occupier’s eyes.

And when things begin to smolder, Hornblower Hybrid notwithstanding,

turn on the pumps, all

the pumps, and

intimidate with the largest vessel in that part of the harbor following an erratic course.

Cool it down with tens of thousands of gallons per minute.

Well . . . actually . . . let me join . . . bonne anniversaire, Mademoiselle Liberte, she who never sits down at her job.   I’m glad you’ve faithfully occupied that island, once used otherwise, all those years and spawned replicas all over the world.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Notice who is and is not represented in the parade.

Ooops!  I forgot, click here for “torchcam” and see things from the enlightener’s point of view.

Today marks the end of the four-day historic ship festival and the official opening of Pier 25.  Friday and Saturday I worked on Pegasus.  Click on that link and you can find details of her history, starting from her inception as Standard Oil No. 16, including a time when she sported the flying horse on her stack.  1907 was a recurring number in the history-oriented tour:  the date of Pegasus launch in Baltimore and the date of the opening of the Kenneth M. Murchison-designed Hoboken terminal of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.

Drydock tug Hoboken dates from 1963, but

Yankee ferry, the only surviving Ellis Island ferry, entered service in 1907.  Click here for much more about the Philadelphia-built Yankee.

Here’s a view of Union Dry Dock & Repair company . . . from Pegasus.

Also giving tours on the water was the historic John J. Harvey.   Type Harvey into the search window on this blog and you’ll see more fotos I’ve taken over the past five years.

Folks including me took fotos of Harvey from Pegasus, just as folks on Harvey zoomed in on us.  In the cowboy hat, it’s Mitch . . . of Newtown Pentacle.

Over 150 folks enjoyed a FREE!@#@!  Hudson River ride on Pegasus Saturday.  Lucky them!!  I’m just saying . . .  this is a rare treat, and you could make it less rare by joining in this way or that.  FYI . . . the engine burns about 35 gallons per hour, if I recall correctly.

If you’re in or around the sixth boro tomorrow, you may see this scene above.  I took that foto about a month ago.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who yesterday befriended MV Algolake. a bonafide facebooking, literate ore carrier!   Be the first among your FB friends to befriend an ore carrier;  for me it’s therapeutic, helping me forget the bulk carrier Alice that has made distance between us!!

Continuing my effort to see the sixth boro from every imaginable angle, I recently walked Hudson River Waterfront Walkway between Port Imperial and Edgemont Marina.  This post covers the first portion of the walk.  Follow on the interactive map below; click on the map/satellite view to make it live .  If you’re from outatown, that’s Manhattan to the lower right . . . specifically the 59th Street Sanitation Pier.    But it’s the view from the Jersey side I focus on here.

This set of fotos represents a starting point for me, evidence of a reconnoitre.  What is now rows upon rows of “luxury condos,” was at one time sets upon sets of rail infrastructure.

Below is the crumbling pier directly south of Son Cubano NJ.  Ironically, not more than a mile south of here were the Seatrain Lines docks with service via Seatrain New York and Seatrain Havana between  . . . New York and Havana.

This is the view of the pier “east” of Son Cubano.  Notice it, like most of them now, is a loose end, a pier from and too nowhere.   Now they are reminders, and should be treasured as such, although I know they will not be here 10 years from now.   Click here (bottom of post) for the quote from Rebecca Solnit . . . on ruins as memories . ..  or clues to seek out missed memories.

The piers are alive . . . although not with shipping or commerce.  Notice the Manhattan passenger terminal on the other side.

Who knows what vessels last cast lines off from these cleats and bollards?    Anyone have a sense of where a trove of fotos showing these docks used can be found?

This loose end is off Buffalo Court, but what town looks upon this?    West New York?  Guttenberg?  Will Port Imperial become a town?

More pilings reminding us that  a different life was led here 50 and 100 years ago on the Jersey side of the sixth boro across from and slightly south of Soldiers’ and  Sailors’ Monument and Riverside Church.  In the far distance, the tug is Bohemia;  Kristy Ann is the nearer one.

The serviceable pier Kristy Ann Reinauer passes here covers a pipeline.  For what . . . I don’t know.  Remember, this post just conveys what I saw on the recon walk.

When the area was developed, vessels in the water became starting points for fill.  What cargoes did this barge carry and along what routes?

I googled “bulls ferry” and “jacobs ferry” hoping to learn what vessel is depicted.  Find out what I got by clicking here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Coming soon . . . the journey into Edgewater, where Joseph Mitchell more than half a century ago studied the shad fishermen.   Any errors of fact . . . they’re mine.

If you click here and are familiar with some of the changes on the NYC waterfront, you’ll know some of these landmarks are gone.  Debate on choices of what to save and what to preserve are endless.  Recognize the vessel below?  What was its past and will be its future?

The vessel above and the one below live about 20 miles from Hell Gate.  Christeen, below, was built as an oyster sloop in 1883.  Click here and here for video of Christeen under sail today.

Here’s a summary of Christeen‘s features.  Click here for a quick timeline of  150+ years of water history of Oyster Bay, NY.  Of course, Oyster Bay launched many tugboats during the half century of Jakobson‘s tenure there.   Scan the list for boats that have appeared on this blog, (Cornell, Margot, Houma, Maryland, Escort, Consort …) too numerous to link to now, but you can use the search window to see them.  Jakobson’s even built a small submarine, X-1.  Jakobson’s yard is now gone without many traces.

The vessel in the top foto is Ida May as she currently looks, but

she once looked like this.

This is a down-at-the-heels queen whose future

hangs in the balance.  More info is available through the

Waterfront Center.

What prompted this post is an article in the NYTimes this morning about Pier D, near 64th Street.  If you’ve never seen it,

you won’t.  It’s gone.  See the article here.  I took this foto less than three months ago.

All fotos by will Van Dorp.

Keeping with tradition:  here’s #57.  Remember, doubleclick enlarges.

Unidentified kayaks foreground, and middleground from left to right: Layla Rene, Sea Bear, dredge Florida; and background, King Dorian (misspell of durian?).

Unidentified crew boat heading away and Barbara C approaching.

Kimberly Turecamo westbound.

Elk River westbound.

Pati R Moran headed to an anchorage.

W. O. Decker passes W O tanker called Sharon Sea.

Sarah Ann and unnamed blue sailboat painted almost DonJon blue.

McAllister Girls pushing dirt.

More of the kayakers taking Lucy Reinauer‘s stern, making helmsman a smidgeon nervous, I reckon.

Falcon and Houma tandem effort.

Unnamed Moran tug leading Caribbean Princess.

Carnival Glory foreground and some unidentified tugs in the distance.

Sorry about all the unidentified vessels today.  Maybe someone can help.

Meanwhile, some stories from the NYTimes this morning:  disputed waters between China and Japan AND Seamen’s Institute leaves Manhattan for Newark.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.


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June 2023