You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Chemical Pioneer’ tag.

April 1, 2011 … and this was not a joke.  More on this distressed vessel at the end of this post.

McCormack Boys and

Turecamo Girls with Barney Turecamo.  All three are still working in the same liveries, I believe.

Long Island-built Escort was phased out as a certain coal-fired power plant shut down.  She’s taken on new life as Northstar Innovator, based on NJ’s

Maurice River, although I’ve yet to see her. 

Stad Amsterdam is not currently in Amsterdam;  she’s not far away though in Scheveningen.  If you want to pronounce this shibboleth as a Dutch speaker would, have a listen. 

Spring sunrises . . .  Coming into port is the 2017-scrapped Atlantic Cartier

escorted by Ellen McAllister and

passing Bow Clipper and Maria J.  That tug is now Nicholas Vinik. Bow Clipper is now in Santos Brasil. 

The venerable Chemical Pioneer was ushered in by Ellen McAllister and McAllister Responder. I say “venerable” because she was built using the stern of Sea Witch, after a massive conflagration in the port, told here by the Fire Fighter site.   .

Two small USMMA boats made their way through the fog.   I’m not sure the name of the vessel to the left, but the one to the right was Growler and she’s back (though hidden away) in the sixth boro.

Of course, I post a photo of Kristin Poling, which had only a few months of service left at this point. She started service in 1934 as Poughkeepsie Socony.

Marion M . . . I’ve been told she was sold to parties in the Chesapeake who planned to restore her and put her up for sale in 2018.  Does anyone have an update on that?

And finally, we return to Le Papillon . . .  the 48′ steel schooner was dragged off the beach but I lost track of her after that.  I believe she was cut up.

It all seems like stuff from long ago . .    all photos, WVD.

The 1968-built  Chemical Pioneer is a long- and multiple-lived vessel.  Here‘s a photo of her, then known as C. V. Sea Witch, in 1970.  She entered history books in the sixth boro on the night of June 1 into 2, 1973, most of you likely know the story of her tragic encounter, fatal for 16 mariners, collision and subsequent fire with SS Esso Brussels, loaded with Nigerian crude. Fire engulfed both ships and as they dragged anchor under the VZ Bridge, threatened the integrity of the bridge.

Thanks to Steve Munoz, here are photos of Esso Brussels taken several months later

at the Todd Shipyard in Hoboken, which closed two years later, part of a cascade of lost shipyards in the sixth boro.

Later that year she was towed to Greece, where she was rebuilt and emerged from the shipyard in 1974 as Petrola XVII.  She carried the name Petrola--with various number suffixes–until she was scrapped in 1985.

 

Here’s the rebuilt C. V. Sea Witch, now called Chemical Pioneer.

 

Many thanks for these photos to Steve Munoz, who had been aboard McAllister Bros. with his uncle Capt. Bob Munoz.  I could have called this “Thanks to Steve Munoz 20.”

Unfortunately, the disaster of early June 1973 has not been the only one in sixth boro history.  NY Tugmaster’s Weblog devotes a post to some of these, with three most horrific ones occurring in the month of June.  Many thanks to Capt. Brucato for compiling these with links to the final reports.

Interestingly, the hull of PS General Slocum was converted to a coal barge, and it sank in December 1911.  Texaco Massachusetts was towed to a shipyard,  repaired,  and returned to service, as were two attending tugboats, Latin American and Esso Vermont.  Dramatic photos of the Texaco Massachetts/Alva Cape post-collision fire and rescue efforts can be seen here. Alva Cape was eventually towed 150 miles SE of the Narrows and sunk.

Oleander has to be the most regular ship coming into the sixth boro.  Put it this way:  if it’s Thursday, Oleander will arrive from Bermuda, the B in BCL.

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Ever Diamond seems basically to shuttle between eastern Asia and eastern US.

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Some day I should see how many of the 10 Ever Dainty-class of Evergreen Marine container ships I have photos of in the sixth boro.

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IMHO, vessels like Anthem of the Seas are most interesting under some unusual light, like dawn here last week.

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I lamented the fact there were no dancers in the glass ball.

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MV Loujiane Loujaine is part of GBX, serving, I gather, as both bulk storage of cementitious material and movie set.

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Has anyone ever seen photos of Loujaine, ex-Abu-Loujaine, ex-Bahma . . . arriving in the sixth boro?  She must have arrived here at some point in the 1990s, by the photo comments here.

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Over in Walkabout Bay in the spot where Alice often discharges, Pagona was working the other day.

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Rounding out the post, it’s the vessel everyone in NYC should be familiar with, especially her being in proximity to the bridge she nearly brought down.  Recognize her?

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It’s Chemical Pioneer.   During the decade I’ve been watching she’s been a hardworking vessel, but

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here’s the NTSB report.  Click here for one of her ITB fleet mates, now scrapped.

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All photos, WVD.

 

The sixth boro really does not have that many tugboats doing ship assist work, so when I see McAllister Responder and Ellen McAllister  move in this formation, no matter the weather, it can mean only one thing . . .

ship assist.  Chemical Pioneer has a checkered past with respect to the sixth boro:  she’s

part of Sea Witch and part newly grafted hull.

Thirteen mariners paid with the lives as a result

of the crash and inferno.  But ships are inanimate, just vessels shaped and reshaped by human hands.

We need her product, and so she’s

welcome in the port, I suppose.

And  Ellen and Responder are there to assist.

All fotos taken last Saturday by Will Van Dorp.

Just the facts:  Firefighter entered service in 1938 designed by Gibbs and Cox (who also designed the SS United States and the LCS)  . . . to last and last and last.  And she has.  Firefighter is not only the oldest active-duty FDNY vessel but also

she who can deliver the highest gpm (20,000) through her pumps.  One of Firefighter‘s finest moments occured in 1973 . . . after the collision of Sea Witch and Esso Brussels. just north of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.   See great text and  fotos of that accident here.   Salvaged portions of Sea Witch live on in Chemical Pioneer, still a regular in the sixth boro.  See her (Witch Pioneer) stern in this tugster post from a year ago.

Dimensions:  Built in Staten Island.  134′ x 32′ x 9′ with twin 16-cylinder 1500 hp engines.  gCaptain wrote about it here.  Watch a very informative 18-minute video here.

The Rolls-Royce of fireboats . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp in early March 2010.

If you’re still in the mood for video, you might check out this new site for cruiser USS  Olympia (C-6), featuring new reels of the battleship parading up the Hudson with Dewey on board in 1899, post-Battle of Manila Bay and Spanish-American War.  The second newsreel has the best video, 1899 technology.    Olympia today is is ship in trouble.

Whatzit?  Here here here are some previous answers to that question, but the foto below, is it abstract art?  I’d put it in a frame and hang it in my gallery.  And the title of this post, is it

this sixth boro vessel, or

this?

Nope.  Here’s the one, but it turns out the name Pioneer in many fields is like the last name Smith in this country . . .  very common.  It’s a sexy name in art, politics, religion, science . . .   the list goes on.  The vessel below gets its name from

a foundry located on the Delaware River.  See a whole set of 1987 fotos on this vessel in its Marcus Hook birthplace starting here on page 58.  Notice the star outline?  This bow shot shows what

downrig looks like.   Also notice the flat and barge-like  lines of her hull, effective for its first role back 125 years ago as a sand sloop, yes, sloop.  Her draft is variable, 4.5′ centerboard up and 12′ with it fully down.  For a view of her deck, click here.

And here’s how she looks fully rigged, under load, and crewed.  Who IS that sprite on bow watch?  Clues here and here.

So back to this . . . .

And could the artist be the master of Pioneer?

For answers, make your way to South Street Seaport, once the season begins.  Here and here are past fotos of Pioneer under sail.

For now,  enjoy these fotos, all taken by Will Van Dorp in 2010 and 2007.

Deltoid pumpkin seed?   Got a better guess?   Answer at end.

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Portside of the flank of a smiling shark?  Notice the heaving line en route just above the horizon.  Might there be someone dockside drawing lines . . . when they thought she said “catching” lines?  Language barriers exist sometime.

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Android in stirrups and slings for a posterior examination?  Notice the prep-work done by the man with powerwasher, starboard.  By the way, a focus on posteriors soon.

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Bird dance done sans feathers?

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Inspiration for a new muppets character with massive black beard, protruding ears, and pointy crown?

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Then might this be a draft of an alternate for Miss Piggy . . .  Missie Hip Potami . . . known by trademark overwrought green eye shadow?

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An over-worked  and sobbing scullery maid from a district of Hamburg?

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Classic nose ridge and bulging eyes  with exaggerated eyelashes . . .  or (see the comment by Les) rectangular eye, a whistling mouth, and “dolly partons.”  Ya know . . . I never saw it that way . . . til now.  Tassels . ..  pasties?

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And the first foto was New York Central No. 13, the 1887 riveted iron tugboat that recently got pierced, and pierced again.

The others:  an unidentified New York Waterways ferry, fishing vessel Amber Waves, chemical tanker Anemos I, pure car truck carrier Don Juan, and product tanker St. Pauli, and chemical tanker  Chemical Pioneer.

Amber Waves . . . built 1977 in Texas?   Anemos I . . . built in 2007 and chartered by Morgan Stanley?   PCTC Don  Juan .  . . built in 1995 with capacity of 5900 cars . . . how many Smarts would that be?  St Pauli . . . built in 2003 and flagged in Singapore,  and Chemical Pioneer . . . built 1968, flagged in the USA,  and steam turbine!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Inspiration for this post comes from a delightful book (given me by a very dear friend . . . you know who you are, merci) called Face to Face by brothers Francois and Jean Robert, who say, “yesterday we saw a padlock gazing at us with whimsical intensity.  It occurred to us that seeing is selection, a process of framing.  When it comes to photography you might call it mental cropping.  (My note: both can also be said about reporting.) As we begin consciously selecting and framing and cropping, the world became a delightfully communicative universe of human and animal faces–eyes, noses, and mouths–that tell a never-ending stream of silent stories.  These adventures in vision are only the tip of the iceberg, the first step in exploring the potential of projected realities.  Now choose your mood, take a look around you, wherever you are, and watch for faces that will haunt and hearten you.”  Remember as a kid, lying back on the grass and find cloud faces?

Ralph E. Bouchard and B. No. 230 move in the direction of Explorer of the Seas.  Not apparent from this foto . . . Explorer was at that moment reversing its way into the the Bayonne passenger terminal, backing into a parking spot if you will.

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Compliments of Bernie Ente of Working Harbor Committee, Hoegh Africa moves seaward through the KVK, overtaken by  . . .  she who’s been alleged as my “crush-du-jour,” Emma Miller.  Well, Alice has spurned me for just so long,  that part of me that always seeks “my other half” has decided that 700′ loa bulk carriers like Alice might just not be my long-lost other half.  Maybe Emma is more my type.

To get serious, Bernie has some fantastic “hidden harbor tours” planned, including four sunset tours and –what I get most excited about– a circumnavigation of Staten Island.  Click here to reserve your spot(s) while they last.

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Nathan E. Stewart emerges from behind New River, an American-built tanker from Avondale Industries, 1997.

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Emma again?   Nope.  It’s her sister Sunny Williams passing Histria Tiger, Romanian, proving that not all blues are created equal.  I’m partial to the lube tanker’s blue.  To digress into thoughts of love, I’ve never had a crush on someone with an identical twin.  I wonder how that would work.  Here, I feel something for Emma different from Sunny.  Hmm?   Such strange wiring I must have in me.

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Parting shot . . . stern of Chemical Pioneer, a very unusual ship to bear New York as its port of registry, escorted to sea by Rosemary McAllister, who arrived in the sixth boro almost a year ago.

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All shots, except Bernie’s, taken today by  . . . Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Henry’s logpage is up although the watercolors keep getting washed away by the stormy north Sea.

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