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If there’s a shortage of any kind of stuff these days, there seems to be a dire scarcity of compassion, tolerance,  . . .  So it doesn’t matter what you believe or don’t believe, I’m sure we have common ground in thinking we need

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peace on Earth and goodwill towards everyone, especially this year.  That’s what I see in these decorations and hear in the music.

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From here in NY’s sixth boro on bows and

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sterns.

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From the south,

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the middle,

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and the north . . .

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and from this card someone sent me . . . have a happy day.  And a calm and boring day;  let

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me explain.  Click on the image below to hear a song by Capt. Josh Horton that probably captures the sentiments of crews at sea today.

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Here was 2014, and here was 2013.  Also, two years ago it thrilled me to share photos I received from the good folks at Hughes Marine to get photos from 1997 —here –of the year the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree came downriver by tug and barge.  And more good folks at Cross Sound Ferry sent along photos from 2003, here, when their ferry North Star delivered the tree that year . . . crewed in part by Rockettes!

If you’ve got time today for the background on how NORAD started reporting on Santa movements back at the height (or depth) of the Cold War in 1955, click here.  Here’s another version of the same Cold War story.

Thanks to Brendan Matton for the photo of Paul Andrew, Tali Padilla for the photo of Z-One lit up at the San Juan dock, Lisa Kolibabek of Cape Cod and Bonnie Halda for Jupiter both on the Delaware River, and Mike Magnant for the be-snowmanned Toot Toot.  Barrel sent me the photo of the red clad beard guy on the green 29. I took the photos at South Street Seaport Museum.

Finally, if you want to squelch the “red elf” mythology, check out the name of this 1963-built bulker AND its status.

 

“Really random” posts tend to be far-flung, so let’s start out with this photo by Jed, who has contributed many photos recently.   Then there’s JED, who has contributed photos starting from 2008.   The boat dates from 1975.

photo date 27 APRIL 2015

From Jan Oosterboer via Fred Trooster, here’s the 1955 tug Argus along with

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Orion (1961), and

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Sirius (1966).  It appears that Sirius–like Orion and Brendan Turecamo–also has a wheelhouse that can be raised.

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For the scale of the “tow” here, scroll down and

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behold–Thialf, with a combined lifting capacity of over 14,000 tons!!  Click here to see the view down from Thialf’s deck AND be sure to read the comments that follow.   Here are a few other heavy-lifters including Saipem 7000.

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Heading back to NYC but as  the South Street Seaport Museum area of the sixth boro of NYC  looked in 1985, from a secret salt, it’s the 1939 USCGC WYT-93, Raritan!  The two vessels around her are, of course 1885 schooner Pioneer and 1908 lightship Ambrose.  Click here for a list of specifics and missions on Raritan, but one of her operations was against M/V Sarah of Radio NewYork International.  M/V Sarah was eventually blown up for a movie stunt.

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And rounding this post out . . . from Elizabeth, in Alameda, it’s  the 1943 YT-181 Mazapeta.

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In the distance is T-AKR-1001 GTS Admiral W. M. Callaghan, an MSC RORO named for a significant USN officer.

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Credit for each of these photos is as attributed.  Thanks to you all.

First, if you’re free today and within travel distance of Lower Manhattan, do yourself a favor and attend this event, 4 p. m., a book signing by Dr. James M. Lindgren.  His new book is a much needed complement to Peter Stanford’s A Dream of Tall Ships, reviewed here a few months ago.   Details in Preserving South Street Seaport cover almost a half century and will enthrall anyone who’s ever volunteered at, donated to, been employed by, or attended any events of South Street Seaport Museum.  Lindgren laments SSSM’s absence of institutional memory saying, “Discontinuity instead defined the Seaport’s administration.”  Amen . .  as a volunteer I wanted to know the historical context for what seemed to me to be museum administrations’ repeated squandering of  hope despite herculean efforts on the part of volunteers and staff I knew.

As my contribution to creation of memory, I offer these photos and I’d ask again for some pooling of photos about the myriad efforts of this museum over the years.

Pier 17.  April 17, 2014.  According to Lindgren, this mall opened on Sept 11, 1985 with a fireworks show.  Its demise may by this week’s end be complete.

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April 12, 2014.  Photo by Justin Zizes.

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Feb 23, 2014.

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Jan 21, 2014 . . . Lettie G. Howard returns.

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Sept 20, 2013.  This is the last photo I ever took FROM the upper balcony of Pier 17.

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Sept 12, 2013.

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July 2012.  A fire had broken out on the pier, and Shark was the first on scene responder.   Damage was minimal, despite appearances here.

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Now for some photos of vessels that have docked in the South Street area in the past half century.

July 2012 . . . Helen McAllister departs, assisted by W. O. Decker and McAllister Responder.

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June 2012.  Departure of Marion M as seen from house of W. O. Decker.  Photo by Jonathan Boulware.  The last I knew, Marion M is being restored on the Chesapeake by a former SSSM volunteer.

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Lettie G. Howard hauled out in 2009.

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2009. The Floating Hospital . .  . was never part of the SSSM collection.

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2009.  Maj. Gen. Hart aka John A. Lynch aka Harlem.

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Helen McAllister with Peking and Wavertree.   Portion of bow of Marion M along Helen‘s starboard.

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Mathilda posing with W. O. Decker in Kingston.  2009.

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Moshulu now in Philadelphia.

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2005, I believe.  Spuyten Duyvil (not a SSSM vessel) and Pioneer.

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Thanks to Justin and Jonathan for use of their photos.  All others by Will Van Dorp.  For many stories on these vessels, that mall, and so much more, pick up or download these books and read them asap.

 

 

Between spring 2004 and summer 2007, I volunteered about 1000 hours at South Street Seaport Museum, or SSSM, mostly on Pioneer but also on W. O. Decker and Lettie G. Howard.  The experience was exhilarating—learning the lingo of schooner sailing and the lines and procedures, rustbusting and painting,  all good for maintaining youthfulness and  toning up aging muscle.  Without my time at SSSM, there might never have been this blog called tugster about a place I imagine as the sixth (and primary) boro.

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What pulled me away from volunteering was my sprouting curiosity about all the other vessels and projects and careers in the harbor with more tugboats than I could recall without the assistance of my camera.  Downloading my photos after a day’s sail would lead to a night’s worth of googling, to learn what I could about the boats, companies, cargoes, and ultimately the crews.  Volunteering there felt focused too exclusively on SSSM and their vessels’ tracks from Pier 16 back to Pier 16.   This frustration should not have surprised me, given my lifelong wanderlust and curiosity.

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SSSM has stayed with me though. One sweet memory I carry of SSSM is of the stories I heard as a volunteer about the time of creation, creation of the museum, that is.   But these stories came in fragments, and the gaps between have triggered lots more questions.  The more I heard, the less I felt I knew.   A Dream of Tall Ships, covering the time period from 1967 until 1974 in 500 pages, is like a vessel loaded deep with memories filtered through the recollections of Peter and Norma Stanford, founders of  SSSM.  The account is detailed and peopled with legends from a half century ago, a time when nautical giants were feeling the urge to preserve what remained of commercial sail, both coastwise and global.  People like Alan Villiers and Karl Kortum, “ship savers” who inhabit this book, strike me as optimists who could imagine second (or “new”) lives for these old vessels built a century or more before. The Stanfords recall their travels to places like Punta Arenas and the old port of Buenos Aires to purchase Wavertree, one of the tall ships that seem in hibernation down at SSSM today.  The photo below–taken from among the over 60 images in the the book, shows Wavertree in the condition SSSM acquired her.

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The book describes a time in the history of SSSM and New York City when it seemed that only the brightest future could lie ahead.  When SSSM sponsored an event, the most powerful, brightest, wealthiest, and most generous of the city rolled up their sleeves and weighed in.  In a timeline of SSSM events in the postscript pages of the book, names appearing include Jack Kaplan, Brooke Astor, as well as Laurance and David Rockefeller.  Then there are giants like Pete Seeger and Burl Ives.  At a January 5, 1968 meeting at the Whitehall Club to launch SSSM’s James Monroe Luncheons, the pantheon of New York’s maritime industry showed up to listen to ocean historian Robert G. Albion speak. NY political elite like Mayor Lindsay were there, as was the famed naval architect Howard Chapelle.

Real estate struggles existed already back at the creation, but it seemed manifest that SSSM would grow into a premier maritime institution, center of the New York State Maritime Museum, and more.  Stanford documents the growing membership.  New York was heady with the growing fleet of tall ships and other interesting vessels.  Exciting happenings like Sea Day seemed to spread a love of the city’s connection with the sea, an event that predates “City of Water” day.

But don’t take my word for all the memories in this book.  I hope enough of you read this book—skim quickly through the too-long segments about martinis and such– and maybe if enough of us start to glow again with embers long ignored, maybe new energies will again start up the dream to make SSSM a street of tall ships that will inspire seafarers of the future.

As I stated earlier, the book has over 60 photos, like the one below showing Wavertree first arriving at the museum, and

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this one, showing ARA Libertad docked at the SSSM in July 1969 after delivering a portion of the Wavertree‘s topmast, shattered off in 1910 while rounding Cape Horn.  Two other interesting notes about the photo below.  First, when the Commissioner of Ports and Terminals tried to block Libertad from docking at the SSSM pier, Libertad‘s Captain Vazquez Maiztegui responded, “Libertad will berth in New York at South Street Seaport, no other place.”  Second, at around the same time, Pete Seeger and Clearwater put in there to celebrate her first arrival in New york.

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I immensely enjoyed this book.  My only regret is that it didn’t contain 160 photos or 1600 photos.  For example, on September 20, 1968, a Bronx River Towing tug delivered the vessel today known as Lettie G. Howard to Pier 16;  I’d love to know more and see a photo.  Square Rigger Bar & Grille is repeatedly mentioned;  let’s see at least the facade.  I’d be thrilled if an electronic addendum of photos from these early years could remedy this.

Here, here  and here are two posts I’ve previously done using photos showing history of vessels in  SSSM’s collection.

Again, get the book and read it soon.

Click here for some previous reviews I’ve posted.

Here was a post I did in early spring 2013.  She went to Portland, Maine for the work, and this morning

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she returned to South Street Seaport Museum pier, about 36 hours travel out of Gloucester.

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The timing was perfect for me . . . as I’m currently reading A Dream of Tall Ships, Peter Stanford’s account of the years from 1965–1974, when as the subtitle of the book has it, a story of “how NYers came together to save the city’s sailing-ship waterfront.”  Well . . . round 1, at least.

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Lettie looked glorious in the morning sun, nestling back beside Ambrose, but I couldn’t help looking especially closely at the bow.  I’d just read this account the day before in Stanford’s book, a recollection about the vessel then-called Caviare in September 1968

“there was one thing that needed replacing, which not vital to the schooner’s structure, mattered a great deal to her appearance.  This was the gammon knee, an oak extension of the stem arching forward under the bowsprit, which nicely completes the sweeping curve of the clipper bow.  The old schooner’s gammon knee had been chopped back into a stump to allow a heavy rope fender to be slung under the bow when she’d been adapted for work as a tug.”

Wow!  That’s one old foto I’d love to see, this vessel, with a rope bow fender, pushing a barge.  Anyone have such a foto?

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Lettie‘s back, and so is this fleet.  Maybe Lettie‘d love to come out fishing with them?  Vessel in the distance is Pati R. Moran.   Brown fishboat in the foreground is Eastern Welder.

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All fotos this morning by Will Van Dorp.

Today shows on most calendars as the winter solstice, and that makes me smile.  In my neck of the woods … er … cove in the boro, it’s just another workday.  But at many times in as many places, it’s been a BIG day.  For me, the  winter solstice conveys more hope.  So here’s a question . . .  do you prefer the winter solstice or

the summer?  Summer solstygians or

winter ones?  It fits that these red-thirsty ones hang out at a LIGHT ship in the dark season.  Unrelated, see some great lightship fotos from Oyster Bay at the end of this post.

Summer solsisters ashore from the sea or

or wintry ones who

just can’t satisfy their thirst?

Hope I gave you enough data for making up your mind.  My position is . . . yin and yang;  one means nothing without the other.  Meanwhile,

happy solstice!  From today, daylight starts lengthening again.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

As promised, a lightship Nantucket gets ready to move from Long Island to Salem, MA.  See great fotos here and here.

Cargoes past featured–besides plain colored containers–trucks, and boats like this. Anyone know the cargo of a rowboat called Liv?  Unrelated to the sixth boro, but the answer follows at end of post.   Some of these

traveled to sea yesterday on

President Polk.  Military colors?  Some engines or generators traveled a little farther back.

No . .  cargo here is not cobalt.  But can anyone tell me the types of oils or chemicals she carries?  For pics of her launch, see here;  scroll down a bit.

As to cargoes or potential ones here, use your imagi . . .

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ion. I still have no confirmation what this fishing boat catches.  MOL Express, 964′ loa.  Bering Sea (ex-Stacy Moran and ex-Cougar) stands by barge in the distance.

E-Bos undergoes lightering.

Cargo on Padre Island . . . rich Hudson Valley silt, soon “dissipant” on the  seabottom.

And more on this later:  a group a thirsty folk in matching red uniforms evoking a certain cargo-delivery outfit from up north . . .  .  Could they have liberated themselves from the hold of Ambrose?  Would they be carrying TWICs?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Liv . . . . info here.  Cargo/powerplant is a young woman named Katie Spotz.

First check this link to establish context.
Here’s the ultimate second lives story. Here’s another account. For only a $14,000 a week, you could share this space as a B&B along with a dozen of your best friends. Wow!! This could work for Ambrose.

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Or for Frying Pan, the ultimate party boat.

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There’s another one over at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City.

And Wavertree….

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it could certainly be the most unique hotel and conference center on the East Coast.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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