You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Bjoern Kils’ tag.

Thanks to Bjoern of New York Media Boat, it’s  . . .  LCU 1657.  This was last week, March 2022

At first glance I thought it was a landing craft with a large add-on wheelhouse.  Later I noticed the landing craft was being pushed by a small tugboat named Pierson.  I’m not familiar with this unit.  LCU 1657 was built by Defoe Shipbuilding in Bay City MI in the early 1970s.

George Schneider sent me these photos from July 2021 in San Diego of a very similar if not identical vessel.  He writes “LCU 1648 was built in 1955 by Marinette Marine in Wisconsin.  She is not a commissioned warship, and is considered a ‘boat’ in the Navy hierarchy.”

From August 2021, here’s something unusual.  George writes “the remote-controlled prototype Sea Hawk passed us to the South.  I was still on the bow [of my vessel], and although she was up-sun, I still got some good, clear shots of her.  Then, just to be a nuisance, I called our bridge and asked if they could get the Sea Hawk to turn around and pass down our starboard side for better lighting.  The Captain didn’t dignify my call with an answer, but the Navy must have heard me, because that’s exactly what she did.  So I got excellent underway shots of her, plus


I got a shot of her boat number, which is slightly different than we thought.” 

Since the sixth boro is not usual Navy waters except during Fleet Week, we don’t get such exotic vessels here. 

We do see a lot of Vane Brothers vessels in the sixth boro and throughout the East Coast, but in August 2021, Delaware was in  . . . LA!  She’s currently working in Oakland CA.

Many thanks to Bjoern and George for use of these photos.

The NY Media Boat has a pick up point in Manhattan, but I chose to board the boat at Liberty Landing in Jersey City, where this view of lower Manhattan awaits. From here, our goal was almost 20 nm away, even though we’d not take the shortest route.  Some tasks call for efficient and direct routes, and other tasks crave scenic, gunk-hole exploration routes.

This was the goal, the station boat, in this case Pilot No. 1 New York. Of course,  “on station” may not be at anchor, rather it might be steaming slow circles or figure eights in the vicinity of the entrance to Ambrose Channel, with an America class boat ready to deliver pilots between ships and the station boat.   This is entirely stating the obvious, but standing on shore, you may not be able to see the station boat; however, from the station boat, you can clearly see a large city spread out before you.  Obviously, you can’t see the tidal zone of the beach  . .  and more . . .  because of the curvature of the earth.  At one point, an Ambrose lightship was in this vicinity.

Our actual goal was the “A” buoy, aka the “sea buoy,” which marks the “sea” end of Ambrose Channel.   Note the green patina “whistle” in the lower half of the buoy;  it makes a sighing tone as water motion pressures air through it. Click here to hear a variety of buoy noises.   Here‘s another view of the type.  By the way, in the image below, that’s the station boat in the distance, the white speck to the right of the buoy.

But all that is not the story.  See the bird “swimming” to the right of the A buoy?  Well, it was trapped, tangled in discarded fishing line. 

This turned into the adventure.  Click on the image . . . and you’ll see the rescue and hear the sounds, including the buoy whistle and VHF crackle.  That’s Bjoern at the helm and then carrying the bird after I cut the main line.  I’m the guy with the white hat and knife. 

The gull’s body and right leg had been entangled in the line.   What this photo doesn’t show is the blood on Bjoern’s foot and my hand.  Gulls have a reputation for biting the hands that disentangle it . . .  as reward for saving them from certain death by starvation.   Oh well, you’ve seen blood before, and salt water heals everything.

Here’s closeup of some of that line.

Click on the clip below for the context of the video.   By the way, the footage comes from the in-cabin CCTV camera.

Fishing grounds . . . the NJ Upper Bay portion of the sixth boro. Quick question to be answered at the end of the post:  how many commercial fishing ports does NJ have and can you name them?  Eastern Welder is a perennial boat here;  Hyundai Victory is one of the ULCVs newly recent here.

I can’t tell you the name of the nearer boat,

but it certainly shows the influence of the deadrise boat from farther south. Click here for a technical definition of deadrise.

Fishing from pedal kayak has surged in popularity, and

can be fishing where they’re not expected.

Bjoern Kils and I on the New York Media Boat Defender visited the nearest NJ commercial fishing port, Belford NJ, the other day.

Although Belford has a lot of boats, it is NOT NJ’s largest fishing port. More on that assignment in an upcoming post.

Belford Creek is home to a diverse set of fish boats.

Given the trail of gulls following Trisha Marie, fish are being cleaned during the ride back to port.

Note the VZ Bridge and the Manhattan skyline visible from the Belford Channel.

Meanwhile dozens of small boats fish the Lower Bay this time of year, while whales gorge themselves on all the bunker in the Bay.

So . . . besides Belford, the other NJ commercial fishing ports are Point Pleasant, Viking Village in Barnegat Light, Atlantic City, Cape May/Wildwood, and Port Norris.  Viking Village is the largest at this time.  Belford is the newest.   More here. Looks like I need to do some more gallivanting . . .

If you’re looking for a non-traditional food for T’day in this non-traditional year, get fish.  It may not be all that non-traditional. Here‘s info on the Belford Seafood Co Op.

All photos and sentiments, WVD.

Quick  . ..  name the ship name the ONE vessel  . . .

The first three photos were taken Sunday by Bjoern of the New York Media Boat.

And if you know the tugs in the sixth boro you have a 75% chance of naming all tugs here too . . .   three of the four 6000 hp tugs by Moran.  I’m not first in pointing out how small the tugs look relative to the 1200′ ONE Stork.  I hope you guessed that right.  The tugs are JRT, James D, Jonathan, and then Margaret farther back.

While we’re on names . . .  Glenn Raymo caught this photo  upriver.

Dodo . . . First ONE Stork and then Dodo.

Over by Shooters Island the other day, I caught Amstel Stork, coming from Port Newark and headed upriver herself.

Jonathan and Miriam assist her around Bergen Point, but here’s my point:  two vessels named “stork” in the harbor the same week!!?  What going on?  And with Dutch as my first language, I read this as Ooievaar van Amsted . . . that big bird name being ooievaar in Dutch.

Recently, vessels with the following names have visited the sixth boro:   NYK Blue Jay    Southern Owl   Stena Penguin  …   See what I mean about a trend that has emerged?  A few years back I saw the Eagle fleet, eg in yesterday’s post, and separate from that . . . Asphalt Eagle.  A few years back I saw a Peacock.

Here are some I suppose I’ll never see:  Subsea Seven has some bird vessels, esp  in diving support.

Millennium Falcon….  oh wait, that might not have launched yet . . .   Magic Victoria was here recently, although my photo was too blurry to use here.  Surfer Rosa . . . that name of the many I’ve posted here will stick with me.   As of this morning, Surfer Rosa is westbound in the Med just outside Algerian waters.

Many thanks to Bjoern and Glenn for use of their photos.


July 13 saw my first sighting of this intrepid anachronism, here juxtaposed with a 21st century realm of Logi.


She was then probing the inland seas, seeing how far she could voyage, possibly looking for a passage to the Mississippi and the Gulf via Lake Michigan.  OK, indulge me on that speculation.




Our paths next crossed on September 1, as she made her way through the Erie Canal,


with all the modifications that entailed and the use of sunstones to


avoid getting lost in the meandering rivers.


And late last week, Bjoern Kils of the New York Media Boat got this fabulous shot of her scoping out the sixth boro before


she slipped into a Manhattan cove for a spell.



I missed the display in the Winter Garden and hope I can get there again before the boat moves on.


Many thanks to Bjoern for use of that photo. For more of Bjoern’s photos, click here.  All others by Will Van Dorp.  And following up on some info from Conrad Milster, here’s a video on a Viking ship that traveled to Chicago in 1893.  Yes, 1893!!   And the crossing from Bergen NO to New Haven CT with Captain Magnus Andersen and 11 crew took 30 days.  Then the vessel, dubbed Viking, traveled up the Hudson and through the pre-Barge Canal on its way to Chicago with stops in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Cleveland.  The vessel is still there in Geneva IL.  Here’s another video on the ship.

To pick up on the NY canals’ connection, as we approach the bicentennial of the start of the Erie Canal, it would be great to seek out and archive any photos–still languishing in local photo troves–of the 1893 passage there of Viking, as well as of any other outstanding vessels that have traversed the Canal throughout its history.

And since my focus these days is on chrononauts, there is this fleet that comes through the sixth boro every few years.  I caught up with them in Newburgh in 2012 and Oswego in 2014.



Here was the welcome for 343.

Yesterday, Feehan arrived in the sixth boro.  I miscalculated and missed the event, but New York Media Boat was there for the jubilation.







Many thanks to Bjoern Kils of the Media Boat for use of these photos.

You can call this “Capt. Log gone;  Chandra B arrived.”  Log out or log off . . . might work also.  Anyone know if Capt. Log, launched 1979 and retired at 0000 hrs on 1/1/15,  has sold and if so to whom?  Click here for a Professional Mariner article  on the vessel.


taken September 2013

But the real story here is that a new appropriate-sized double-hulled tanker has taken her place in the sixth boro. Welcome Chandra B.


Here she fuels up


Positive Carry, a Feadship,  on the Upper Bay.


Many thanks to Bjoern of New York Media Boat for these photos.

Jay Michael  comes thanks to Bjoern Kils of NY Media Boat.  I’m not sure why I’ve “deep freezed” these photos since April.



I caught this photo of Lynx leaving for the Commonwealth a few weeks ago.


Notice the curved panel atop the front of the wheelhouse?


It’s an open upper nag station.  Check out the controls.  Ever used?


Her tow had an interesting name for a barge.


Recognize this boat from the mast?



For something really different, here are two clips from youtube.

First, on Chrysler Sea Mules . . . anyone have experience with them?  Are there any restored versions?

And second, on Kettenschleppers, toueurs or chain tugs  . . .  the video is not English but you can get the drift in two minutes or less.  They’re used in long unventilated tunnels which would fill with fumes if combustion engines were used.



I will be back tomorrow with close-ups of L’Hermione and more, but Bjoern of New York Media Boat sent me the very intriguing photo below.  Recognize it?  Answer follows.  Clue:  Elizabeth Anna.


Well, L’Hermione  (pronounced LAIR me un) will find her way into more of these photos.  Here’s the venerable W. O. Decker.  Click and scroll to see her at work a few decades back.


It’s Pelham, power unit for Wavertree not long ago.


And it’s James Turecamo, preparing to escort in the French frigate currently at South Street.


And Frederick E. Bouchard, in the process of switching B. No. 264 from on the hawser to alongside.


And my first shot of James E. Brown, brand spanking new.  I’ll devote a whole post to James E. soon, I hope.


Laura K. Moran watches the French lion pass . . .


as does Frances out in Gravesend Bay.


And the answer to the question about Elizabeth Anna . . . the top photo . . . I believe it’s the erstwhile Bear, the Disch tug acquired by DonJon at an auction back in December 2014.  I wonder where she’s headed.  Anyone help out?

Except the top photo by Bjoern Kils, all photos in the past few days by Will Van Dorp.

And if I haven’t said this explicitly enough, New York Media Boat is the faster, most versatile, shallowest draft means to see whatever you want in the sixth boro.  Need waterborne support for a project or  . . .want to see or show someone the sixth boro and its borders with the other boros, check them out.

But first, many thanks to Bjoern Kils of New York Media Boat for the enjoyable ride aboard his RHIB Amundsen.   I’ve decided to divide the photos into two posts.  These cover the first 15 minutes (!!) of the trip to the yard.


arriving for the pick up at Pier 25, westside of Manhattan looking towards Jersey City

Bartholdi was finishing up his copper creation a year AFTER Wavertree began its career as a bulk carrier of jute.



I was thrilled to see the tugs that did the tow, starting with Thomas J. Brown.  This tug has appeared here many times, but here’s probably my favorite.


Thomas J. Brown, 1962 built


On starboard side was Pelham.


Pelham, 1960 built.



This post covers only 15 minutes, but it seemed like ages, watching this highly unusual tow traverse the Upper Bay.


at the 31


passing Robbins Reef Light and  . . .


the Verrazano.


and into the Kills

Now if you were on Rae yesterday, you might be feeling left out at this point, but here’s the beginning of your part.  I first saw Rae more than 10 years ago , when she was still  Miss Bonnie.  Click here and scroll.


passing the dented 6

In the hard hat here and in the rigging earlier probably with the NYTimes photographer who took this photo, it’s Mike Weiss, South Street’s Waterfront Foreman.


Waving from the shrouds here it’s Capt. Jonathan Boulware, now executive director of SSSM.


If there had been a salt pile in the late 19th century, Wavertree could have transported it, as it spent its last years before the 1910 dismasting in the tramp trades . . .  Maybe someone can help with specifics here, but I recall reading that Wavertree called in the sixth boro before 1910.


Here’s a closeup of Rae now in Fox colors, and click here for one from five years ago.


Rae, 1952 built


And we’ll pick up here tomorrow.


to the lower left, that’s Joyce D. Brown about to overtake

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Many thanks to Bjoern of NY Media boat for the ride and to Mike and Jonathan of SSSM for the advance notice of the transit.


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

Join 1,583 other subscribers
If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Documentary "Graves of Arthur Kill" is AVAILABLE again here.Click here to buy now!

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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


June 2023