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This light is available for only a few minutes twice a day but then only if the rising or setting sun is not cloud covered.  Humidity existed the other morning too, in advance of the impending rain.  I’m not sure why, but late winter/early spring light seems richer as well, although that may be related to directionality.

Alex McAllister approached from the east end of the KVK, and her illumination and that of her background differs

from that of Amy Moran, approaching from the west end of the strait.

Pokomoke followed Alex, about a minute later, but the light has already changed.

 

Andiamo‘s port bow has caught no rays yet, unlike the west side of the dock where she’s tied up.

Meanwhile, Amy moves past and into the Upper Bay.  Lighting like this is certainly worth getting up and out for.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who linked previous installments of this title here.

For good photos, andiamo one of these pre-dawns.

 

 

Part of today’s post follows on yesterday’s, the arrival of NYK Blue Jay.  Although she is no larger than the other ULCVs now serving the sixth boro, the fog obscuring the Staten Island in the background creates an illusion of size. Miniature tugs follow this vessel appearing the largest thing ever to enter the harbor.  If the 1920s launched an era of skyscrapers on boro of Manhattan, then the past year and a half that has ushered in the ULCVs is truly an era of coast scrapers, certainly hoping not bottom scrapers.  Out at the entrance to the Ambrose, pilots climbing from the pilot boat must feel they’re beside a rolling, pitching, yawing skyscraper.

If painted orange, Robbins would look like a traffic cone.

Note the three tugs totaling  combined 18000 hp lined up alongside, and

fog downsizes the heights of the skyscrapers.

Let’s switch gears and embrace the merger of tanker names and popular culture, specifically the villainous organization at the heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Since my son has caught me up on Hydra, this seems one of the strangest vessel names I’ve seen…   If you know the reference, it rivals King Barley and Turmoil.

Siirt I’ve seen before.

Undine heads in with Brazilian oil, I believe.  Un-dine . . . has intriguing semantic possibilities, or well, it’s just the name of a type of water fairy.  Since I mentioned popular culture earlier here, Undine would fit right into the Australian show Tidelanders.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes you understand the educational and therapeutic benefits he gains from haunting the port.

 

Full disclosure . . . I’m not feeling much festive this year personally.  So maybe it’s my own wary eye that leads to my seeing so few wreaths on boats, maybe it’s just this lingering head cold.

But it warmed my heart to see them, like here

on Pegasus, and

ditto on Alex McAllister.

 

And although this is not a set of Christmas decorations per se, this would be something I’d put in my front yard . . .  if I had one.  Nav aids fished out of the Erie Canal in prep for ice skating season . . .  are far superior to the hideous (IMHO) air inflated fabric figurines that seem to have taken over lawn ornamentation in my ‘hoods.  The photo below comes thanks to Bob Stopper.

Why have no works of popular culture NOT featured dancing navaids on a snowy barge and herded into lock by a brightly painted tugboat?

Thanks Bob.  And merry Christmas–whatever you need to do to make it merry–to everyone reading this today.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp, who shares this link about the Flying Santa tradition of New England, an effort that cheered the family of a once-dear friend.

The blog will take Tuesday, December 25, off, since tugster wants to leave Tugster Tower–or the sixth boro spire– and NOT wear out the keyboard.

If you want Christmas posts from previous years, check here.

 

 

A friend once took this photo of a wall in San Francisco.  And Manhattan has this street called Wall that was quite ineffective in keeping the originals of Mannahatta out.

But as you can see from the photo below, Manhattan today is a walled city, with a wall made of lego-colored boxes.

[And this is just a space digression so that

 

you can’t see the next photo

 

on your screen.

 

There are more photos below.

 

I wouldn’t want you to make sense of the first photo

 

right away.

OK, enough, with

 

the digression.]

 

Here’s the rest of that shot, two Maersk ships passing just north of the VZ Bridge.

All these photos were taken within a total of less than two minutes

Alex sees Maersk Shenzhen out, then will likely do a 180 and assist Capt. Brian seeing Gunhilde Maersk into the KVK.

And now I have a question:  NYMaritime defines ULCVs and SULCVs (super ultralarge container vessel) basically as follows:  anything larger than 997′ and 140′ beam is considered a ULCV, and anything with beam in excess of 159′ is a SULCV.  Vessel traffic describes ships of Gunhilde‘s class as SULCV but does not do so for Shenzhen.  But now guess the relative dimensions of these two vessels.

Maersk Shenzhen  1062′ x 157’*  10,000 teu.  Previously she was Hyundai Pluto. 

Gunhilde Maersk  1204′ x 138′ *   7000 teu.

Is there some mistake here?

*These numbers come from shipspotting.com.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Nineteen boxes wide!

And stacked higher behind the bridge than in front of it.

It was a windy day, and Alex did her part to ensure she rounded the bend.

Eric on the starboard bow was there if needed to thrust the bow within the channel.

And at the opposite stern, Capt. Brian A.  could do what was needed

to make this rounding of Bergen Point

just routine, as Maersk Shenzhen made a few more turns before setting a course across the Atlantic directly for Suez and points beyond.  I caught her in port earlier as Hyundai Pluto, sister of Jupiter.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose previous installments of this title all involved McAllister boats as well.

 

Evergreen Marine ships have a unique profile.  Ten of the 30 vessels in this L class have been built in Taiwan, including the one below, Ever Lovely. 

 

Meeting Ever Lovely were Alex and Eric McAllister.

 

 

Inside the Narrows, the docking pilot

came aboard from Alex.

 

As Lovely arrived, Legacy departed.

Only a few years ago, vessels of these dimensions would be the largest container ships calling in NYC.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Did you hear about Peak Pegasus, the vessel racing to get US soybeans into China before retaliatory 25% tariffs are slapped on?  More on Peak Pegasus at the end of this post.

Well, these two container ship had no need to hurry into the sixth boro, yet here’s something I’ve never seen before . . . two container ships entering the Narrows in quite close succession.

Obviously the passage accommodates all, but still . . . a new sight for me, the reason I return here again and again.

See QM2 in the distance to the right?  I caught her first arrival here 11 years ago.  Dawn was too late for me to catch it.  That ominous sky got me thinking . . . storm clouds.  Locally I was just concerned about getting spots on my lens.  But then I thought about the story of Peak Pegasus, the impending trade war.  I could see those as storm clouds, and shipping . . . this is a front line, like every seaport in the US.

Take the value of all the imported cargo on Maersk Buton and

add to it the value of whatever’s on OOCL Berlin . . . and every other ship entering a US port for the foreseeable future and add the product of that and  .25 . . . the sum’s rising.  Ditto  . . . whatever is on Bomar Caen–headed for Colombia–might just be less attractive if .25 gets added to the price of those goods.  Maybe Colombia is not affected.

I’m by no means an expert in much, and please educate me if I’m wrong, but these storm clouds seemed appropriate this morning.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp, who first read the name of the Maersk ship as butoh, which would have been much more interesting.

Peak Pegasus plowed at top speed to make port, but  . . . she failed.  More here.   Here’s a story from the same vessel from a few months back.

Cosco Prince Rupert came into town recently 27 days out of Pusan, Korea.

She was launched in South Korea in 2011, has dimensions of 1095′ x 141′, and has container capacity of 8208.  By current standards, she’s upper medium-sized calling in the sixth boro of NYC.

Prince Rupert’s namesake?  He was the first governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

JPO Capricornus, 2005, 865′ x 106,’ teu capacity of 4132 . . .  makes her a smaller size calling these days.  She was a week out of Cartagena upon her arrival in NYC.  She was built in South Korea.

 

Atlantic Sky, a CONRO vessel with capacity of 3800 tea and 1300 vehicles, was launched in 2017 in China.  The tape has her at 970′ x 121′.

 

 

 

Ever Leading launched in 2012 in South Korea.  She has 8452-teu capacity and has dimensions of 1099′ x 151′.

 

Zim Ukrayina  was launched in 2009 in the Philippines.  Her dimensions are 849′ x 105′ and her teu capacity is 4360.

She made the voyage from just north of  Hong Kong (Da Chang Bay) to NYC in 40 days.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

CMA CGM T. Roosevelt is not the only 1200′ ship calling here these days.  CMA CGM J. Adams has recently visited the harbor, as has NYK Wren, ninth of the NYK “bird” series, which arrived and departed in the hours too dark for photos.   There are several 1200′ OOCL vessels, including recently OOCL Chongqing.

If you need an image to show why assist tugs look triangular from this angle, this might be it.

 

 

Ten years ago, it would take two ships to move this number of containers.

It’s hard to keep up with new ULCS entering service.  OOCL Chongqing is rated at 13,208 teus; the newest vessels are already up to 21,000!

 

 

She recently departed Charleston and is headed for Suez and back to Asia through the Indian Ocean.

 

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

That’s twelve hundred feet of France heading into Bergen Point.  Note the scale of 108′ McAllister Sisters near the bow.  Of course, this group of ships set a record back last summer and that was then eclipsed by early September with the arrival of CMA CGM T. Roosevelt.  But it is my first time to photograph a ULCV;  previous arrivals and departures were at night, or I was distracted or traveling.  Does ULCV apply to vessels of this size?

And if OOCL France looks a drab shade of grey, well, she left China on Christmas day and this is her first port since then.

Tailing straight back is Capt. Brian A. McAllister . . .  until

she gets the signal to

initiate the rotation, assisting the twin bow thrusters on the ship and

the other tugs:

Sisters, Marjorie B., and

 

and Alex.

That makes over 19,000 hp of ship-assist spinning OOCL France clockwise in front of Shooters Island.  For the record, this is my first time to catch one of the largest box ships in the Kills.  Details:  1200′ x 157′ and 144,044 summer dwt;  launched 2013 as NYK Hercules and 13,208 teu, i.e., over 1000 teu fewer than CMA CGM T. Roosevelt, photos of which I’ll post soon.

 

All photos yesterday by Will Van Dorp, who keeps watching the names and numbers in hopes of catching a larger vessel or an autonomous one.

 

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