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Call this Simone at the “7” in the sixth boro. Bound for sea.


A large part of what drives my continuing this blog is the satisfaction of trying to capture the magic of the traffic in NYC’s harbor, what I call the sixth boro.  And some boats and companies conjure more magic than others in my very suggestible mind.  But take Simone, she ‘s not a new boat–1970-launched–but consider her recent itinerary:  a year ago she had just returned from Senegal, and a year and half ago she had traversed the Panama Canal at least twice and made trips to California and Hawaii.   I’m impressed by that.  This is why I left the farm all those years ago.


To digress just slightly, here’s a photo of Simone one day earlier than the ones I’ve taken.  Birk Thomas of tugboat took this.  This photo was taken just west of the Bayonne Bridge–looking south– and shows better than any photo I’ve seen the immense progress that’s being made of the raising of the Bayonne Bridge roadbed.


Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of these photos of Simone, here heading out with MSC Monica a smallish and oldish container vessel.




I’d be thrilled to get a job on a Tradewinds vessel, but for now I can watch Simone pass by and say “ah.”


Thanks to Birk for the photo already attributed, and all the others by Will Van Dorp, who says “ah.”

Here was a post from a year and a half ago when I missed Miss Lis.

As for Ipanema in the links above, I’ve been there, and here was the first of 25 posts from there.


World’s End is not some lamentation about the single digit temperatures we’ve seen in these parts;  it’s one of the great place names in the Hudson Highlands from 40 to 55 miles north of the the Statue.  Enjoy these summer/winter pics of this curve in the vicinity of World’s End.  West Point is just to the left, and we’re headed north.


Birk Thomas–of tugboat– took this photo in just about the same place less than a week ago.


I took this two summers ago, and that’s Pollepel Island in the distance.


Same place . . . Birk’s photo from last week.  Visibility is so restricted that the Island cannot be seen.


And here are two more shots of the same view in summer, from off Cornell and


Patty Nolan. That’s Buchanan 12 heading north in the photo below.


Photos 2 and 4 used with thanks to Birk Thomas.  All others by Will Van Dorp.


Here was 15.  The first relief crew post appeared here over seven years ago.  The idea is to feature someone else’s photos and/or writing, just because so many of you see, photograph, and write such interesting stuff AND –of course–because collaboration is such powerful leaven.

All these photos today come from Birk Thomas.  The event was the departure last week of CV-60 USS Saratoga–Brooklyn built–for the scrapyard.    For some intriguing photos of the other end of her life, click here for this navsource site.

Signet Warhorse III is the motive force.


Iona McAllister, Rainbow, and Buckley McAllister assist with the hookup and departure from Narragansett Bay.


Not until last night did I learn that a final aircraft takeoff and landing was happening at this very moment up on her flight deck.




Warhorse . . . what a name!



Note the riding crew on the deck.



Rainbow straightens out the tow. . .





in the early minutes of the tow.


Again, many thanks to Birk Thomas for use of these photos, which not all of you have seen on Facebook.

As Harvey (1931) made its way northward from a dry dock visit, Slater (1944) was a hundred miles upriver, making its way south.  The next two photos come from Birk Thomas, taken north of Newburgh NY as sun was lowering onto the hills  in the west.


Benjamin Elliot (1960) is the assist tug.   Margot (1958) has Slater alongside . .  the other side.


John Dunn caught this photo of the tow south of Newburgh, after sunset.


Since Margot cannot be seen in the photos above, here’s her profile as I shot it back in September 2013.


Many thanks to Birk and John for the photos.


When this event happened on Memorial Day in the sixth boro, I wrote about it as “cast.”   The New London cast right after the 4th of July was quite different.   All these fotos come with thanks to Birk Thomas, now at sea. Ferry New London is automatically part of the local and daily cast .

Thames (rhymes with “james” ) Towboat Company’s   John P. Wronowski (2004) was built in Florida.

Gwendolyn (1975) was built in Louisiana.

USCGC Eagle began to take shape in Hamburg in 1936.

USS Carter Hall had her keel laid in Louisiana in 1991.

Adam uses her 450 hp mostly around the Thames Towboat Company yards, where it was built.

Patricia Ann came out of a Louisiana shipyard as a YTB on hull #758 . .  to Hercules #766, now in Nigeria.

Figureheads need inspection.

John P. and Paul A. Wronowski (1980 in Connecticut) assist USS Carter Hall into its berth.  Paul A. was one of the first z-drive tugs ever built.

Ticonderoga (1936 by Herreshoff in Boston as Tioga) begs to be seen from closer, much closer.

Ferry Race Point is cast, even if she’s really working the run to Fisher’s Island.

Behold Wolf . . . she flies the flag of the Conch Republic, where I found myself exactly a year ago!

Cisne Branco . . . like Eagle was in the sixth boro almost two months ago.

Schooner Brilliant, 1932 in the Bronx, is truly brilliant.

Schooner A. J. Meerwald, 1932 in South Jersey, homeports in Bivalve . . . yes the village is truly called that.

Wisconsin-built YP-700 had its keel laid in 1987.

Another shot of Paul A.

It’s Amistad  (Connecticut with a 2000 launch) with its unmistakable rake.

Again . . . many thanks to Birk for these fotos.

I suppose I could call this “random and gorgeous tug fotos I wish I’d taken.”

Thanks to John Skelson for this one of Coastline Bay Star.  I’ve seen this vessel only once in this incarnation of her, but it was in Belt traffic from which a foto was impossible.  John nails it here.  What a beaut!!

The rest come from Birk Thomas.  This series I just find stunning:  Gramma Lee T turns out after escorting her Nth vessel.  I’m wondering if there’s an actual count of assists for her decade of service since her June 2002 delivery.  Happy Decade 1 celebration.

Birk got this foto off New London: Allison Crosby looks like a Vane boat, whose series she post-dates, but for ocean towing, she has a 10,500 hp plant in the engine room.

Buster Bouchard has been around since 1979, but I saw her in the sixth boro for the first time only this spring.

The newest twins in the boro . . . Discovery Coast and Chesapeake Coast.

Also, by Birk, Ocean Delta, Norway-built, moving more parts for the nickel mining operation in Newfoundland.

Ocean Delta (ex-Sistella)  is a 1973 UT 505 design from the Ulstein Group.   Click here for a snowy/icy foto of Ocean Delta.

Thanks to Birk and John for these fotos.

Many thanks to Birk Thomas for these fotos.   I find this a case of beauty that’s often there but mostly unappreciated because it’s a scene just not frequently or easily seen.  Here was non-boro tugs 2.

The tug and barge are clearing US customs re-entering the US off New London on a run homeward from Halifax.

The barge–which had transported power plant components from the Mississippi to Halifax–was clearly light.  For a view of Gulf Cajun and the loaded barge arriving in Halifax, check Tugfax site here.    From Halifax, the cargo will move to a Vale nickel-processingproject in Newfoundland.

Here she is, Gulf Cajun, 1976, 5600 hp, and as chance would

have it, even tonight, she’s off Atlantic City, leaving Long Island to port.   Although these fotos show her a creature of the deep blue sea, in many ways she resembles Atlantic Salvor, currently shuttling sixth boro dredge spoils out of the harbor channels.

Birk, thanks for these and other fotos.  I use Birk’s site here a lot.

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