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An icon of the sixth boro will no longer be seen in its waters.  Two days ago, Chemical Pioneer departed through the VZ Narrows for Philadelphia, where she is currently.  After discharging her cargo and being prepared, she will depart the Delaware on a towline to a foreign port to be scrapped. 

An icon you may say?  In early June 1973, and under the name C. V. Sea Witch, a 612-teu container ship, she was outbound for sea from Howland Hook for Norfolk.  As she rounded the turn beyond the east end of the KVK, a non-responsive rudder caused her to collide with a tanker, Esso Brussels, anchored in Stapleton.  I’ve written about this earlier, particularly in this post with photos of the burnt out vessels.  For context of other spectacularly tragic shipboard fires, click here. Auke Visser’s great site has a narrative as well as graphic photos of the fires this malfunction caused. 

I took these photos in early November when Chemical Pioneer arrived in the sixth boro for her penultimate voyage.

All photos, WVD, who hopes to see photos of the tanker on a towline as she heads out the Delaware for the final journey.

Last but certainly not least, click here to see bowsprite’s tributes to the lives of Chemical Pioneer.

 

Random means all within the past month and all ages and sizes, like Giancarlo D  2016   508′ x 85′.

Kmarin Resolution is also a 2016  build, but 820′ x 144′.  Lightering is  Linda Moran with barge HoustonLinda was the tug spared in the W & D fire back in 2008. Maybe someone can identify the Reinauer units in the distance.

 

Golden Shiner is 2007 and 748′ x 105′.  Challenge Passage is 590′ x 105′ and was launched in 2005.

and River Shiner 2005 and same dimensions as the other Shiner, both sometimes in other contexts referred to as bait fish.

 

Chandra B, 2016 and 79′ x 23′, is the sixth boro’s latest and greatest harbor tanker.

Endelo Swan, 2007 and 328′ x 49′ is quite small ocean-going tanker.  She’s currently westbound in the English Channel between Antwerp and La Rochelle.

Stena Imperator, launched 2017 and measuring 600′ x 32′, seems to have quite elaborate crew quarters.  I have enough photos of her to do a profile, and maybe i will one of these days.

Hellespont Promise,  2007 and 748′ x 105′, is currently heading for the Caribbean.

NCC Reem,  2012  and 600′ x 105′, is currently upbound on the Mississippi just below St. James.

And finally, Eagle Hatteras measures 820′ x 144′, making her the same size as Kmarin Resolution.   Chemical Pioneer, 686′ x 98′ is the unique USShipping tanker that started her life as a container ship and may now be end the end of her life before the scrappers.  The tankers date from 2010 and 1968, respectively. Chemical Pioneer and Chandra B are the only Jones Act tankers in this post.

All photos, WVD, who misses way more tankers and other vessels than he catches.

 

In several hours yesterday, a diverse set of vessels came by.  I could begin with Chemical Pioneer, a 1968 vessel that’s been calling here in some form for half a century.  She first called here as a container ship, until  her big fire.

As Chemical Pioneer was assisted into a berth in Bayonne, an MSC vessel came in,

MSC Vittoria.

She was followed by a tanker, Hellespont Promise, about the same vintage as the MSC ship.

A 2012 ULCV was next, the 13k teu Cosco Hope.

 

As Hope departed, two other vessels came in, each a different sort from what has preceded in this post. 

Here Grimaldi’s 2017 Grande Torino passes Chemical Pioneer,

followed by 2014 bulk carrier Genco Weatherly, under a beautiful sky.

Two months ago, Weatherly was in Turkey, no doubt discharging scrap metal and she’s likely here to reload.

All photos, WVD, who feels fortunate to have a chance to see this variety in just a few hours sitting by the dock of the bay.

Posts focusing on the tugboats to follow.

The bridge photo at the end of part A was of Kristin Poling, right after she’d been taken out of service.  In her long life from 1934 until 2011, she carried the nameplates of Poughkeepsie Socony, Mobil New York, and Captain Sam, before taking on her last name. 

Here’s a shot from the bow, and

here from near the stern looking forward along the catwalk.

This is one of my all-time favorite photos.  I wonder where this Coastie is today.

A decade ago, Maurania III worked in the harbor, here alongside the venerable Chemical Pioneer and

here muscling Suez Canal Bridge around Bergen Point.

APL Coral was scrapped in 2017, I believe.  Anyone know what those bolts of green fabric are?  By their location, I’d guess an anti-piracy measure.  Nicole Leigh continues to work.

DEP’s Newtown Creek was in her last days;  currently she’s a dive destination in Pompano Beach, FL known as Lady Luck.

Lygra (1979) went to Alang in 2018, after carrying that name as well as Centro America, Nornews Service, and Transfjord. 

Does anyone know where Captain Zeke has gone to?  I don’t.   If I ever did, I’ve forgotten.

Catherine Turecamo assists SN Azzurra away from a dock. The tanker seems still to be working as Augusta;  she’s also carried the names Blue Dolphin and Stena Commander.  In 2014, Catherine T. went to fresh water and, the last I knew,  became a Chicago area based John Marshall.

If you click on no links in this post except this one, you will be pleased;  it’s the legendary 1937 commuter yacht AphroditeHERE is the link.  Those all-caps are intentional.

Note the raked forward portion of Maersk Murotsu, getting an assist from Kimberly Turecamo. The tanker is currently known as Ardmore Seafarer, which I have seen but not photographed in the boro.  It’s impossible to keep up . . .  hang on to that thought until the end of the post.

And let’s close out  with some busy photos, here Barbara McAllister moves a barge, East Coast follows light, and Gramma Lee T Moran assists a tanker.  Barbara is now Patsy K.

And finally, the waters here are churned up by James Turecamo, Resolute, and Laura K Moran, as well as a few tankers off to the left.

All photos, WVD, who’s astonished how much changes if not daily or monthly but surely by decade.

And about that thought I asked you hang onto:  I’m considering taking a break, a sabbatical, or as Chapter 17 of Moby Dick explains . . .  a ramadan, a term used with respect. I say this as a solicitation of advice.

 

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.

Sixteen 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.

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