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I could also call this “other peoples photos” but here is yesterday’s arrival of the hospital ship as seen from three friends’ perspectives.

Phil Little took this, and referred to it as his Normandy landing shot, an appropriate name given that this asset, arriving with a large support group, marks a surge, a counteroffensive against the invisible foe.  Note that the top of WTC1 is obscured, as is most of the VZ Bridge, center right.

To reiterate, Comfort‘s 1000 beds and 12 operating rooms will take overflow from other hospitals, overflow of NON-covid-19 patients.  Click here for much more info on the ship, medical facilities and operating life.  Click here for video of the hospital ship arriving.

The flotilla is almost to her berth, here passing Hudson Yards.

Renee Lutz Stanley took this one from a pier south of Intrepid while trying very hard to practice social distancing.

Phil calls this the “turn-in.”

This last two come from David Silver, taken looking south.

Cruise ships and hospital ship are roughly the same color, but that color gives a profoundly different impression in each.  Comfort with its relatively few “port holes” and glass is a place of intensive inward examination, a place apart, one hopes, for healing.

Many thanks to Phil, Renee, and David for use of these photos.  Please do continue social distancing and hand-washing.

Note:  Tomorrow I may slip my post time a little; you’ll understand, I hope, tomorrow.  Mentioning hope, check out this link to learn about, among other things, an iron cow!!  Hope, SS Hope, was born of USS Consolation, AH-15.

Anyone know the US first hospital ship?   When did USNS Comfort last call in the sixth boro?  Answers follow below.

I used the photo below just over five years ago in a post about Red Cross ships;  tanker SS Rose City became USNS Comfort in 1985.  Study the photo and compare it to the current iteration.

I’m thrilled Mercy has been activated in the west and Comfort will arrrive here, but only a very short time ago there was serious consideration to mothball and maybe scrap at least one of these vessels. Also, as positive as they are, what they are not is panaceas. Mechanical, electrical, and other bugs need to be sorted out on the ships.  Crews need to resolve dynamics;  after all, even two months ago all those crews were happily working elsewhere, and as USNS ships, they have hybrid civilian/military crews.

And the US first hospital ship, establishing a “makeover” tradition, began life in Cape Girardeau, MO in 1859 as a Mississippi River steamer.  The Confederacy transformed it into a barracks, the US army captured it, and she was made into a hospital ship. I believe she carried the name Red Rover throughout all three lives.   Nursing staff on USS Red Rover were members of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Click here for a ketch used to evacuate wounded going back to 1803.  What were we involved with 217 years ago?

USNS Comfort made her last call in NYC was in September 2001, and I honestly didn’t recall that.  Does anyone have photos to share from that deployment?

Finally, I’ve mentioned it before, but back in 1980 SS Rose City had a young crewman named John Moynihan, who wrote a noteworthy account of his hitch aboard the vessel.  It’s a great book in itself;  his father was a senator from New York.

Long ago and faraway, I boarded this hospital ship on a tributary of the Congo River;  that it operated there at all is a scintilla of evidence that even a dictator can do good things by his subjected peoples.  I’m unable to learn the disposition of this ship, SS Mama Yemo, but a little researching did lead me to understand that it was developed by a US doctor, William Close, whom I’d love to learn more about.

SS Rose City photo thanks to William Lafferty;  sentiments and filtering of info by WVD, who thanks you for keeping your distance.

Hats off to the folks dredging USNS Comfort‘s berth even as we read.

And finally, a request . . .  if you get photos of her arrival tomorrow, consider sharing them with this blog.

 

 

As the sixth boro prepares to receive USNS Comfort,

on the other side of the continent earlier this week, USNS Mercy departed port of San Diego. No specific ETA is reported as yet for either vessel, as  . .  well . . . preps need to be made.

U.S.N.S. MERCY T-AH 19.
Seen leaving for the Port of Los Angeles to alleviate the burden on local hospitals there dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic by taking non-coronavirus afflicted patients.

► ONLY REPRODUCE WITH CREDIT GIVEN TO W. MICHAEL YOUNG ◄

 

Launched as SS Worth MA-299 on 1 July 1975 (in San Diego, California) and entered service as a hospital ship on 8 November 1986 (to US Navy).
Homeport in San Diego, California, she measures 894′ x 106.’
She is propelled by two boilers, two GE turbines, one shaft, 24,500hp (18.3MW) and can cruise at 17 knots.  Her complement is as follows:  12 civilian and 58 military during Reduced Operating Status, and 61 civilian and 1,214 military during Full Operating Status.  Her time to activate is 5 days
Photographed by W. Michael Young at San Diego, California on March 23, 2020.
© 2020 W. Michael Young
4629 Cass Street, PMB 78
San Diego CA 92109-2805
United States of America
► ONLY REPRODUCE WITH CREDIT GIVEN TO W. MICHAEL YOUNG ◄

As it turns out, Mercy went just outside the harbor and anchored, to complete preparations before deployment.  There are many closeup photos of the preps at the pier in the link in the previous sentence.

Also, click here to see a 1985 photo of USNS Mercy being created out of SS Worth, a San Clemente-class tanker.

Many thanks to W. Michael Young for the Mercy photos;  Comfort photo I took in Baltimore exactly 10 years ago this month.  Both vessels were built by NASSCO in the mid-1970s.

And entirely unrelated:  Has anyone ever seen El-Mahrousa, the 1865-launched Egyptian training ship?

Time gets away from me quite a lot.  Notwithstanding the 50-degree temperatures and bursting blooms, it certainly does not feel like it, we’re several days into spring, and I’d intended this as my last winter’s day post, following up on another post from this Great Lakes mariner . . .  maybe I should say great Great Lakes mariner.  No matter, since I’m social distancing from my tugster editor these days.

From Sturgeon Bay, it’s Meredith Ashton and Fischer Hayden.  Meredith Ashton once worked in the sixth boro as Specialist,not Specialist II.

From Milwaukee . . . it’s Neeskay, and

from Port Huron, it’s Manitou, which also had a New York chapter.

See the white stuff above?

Anyhow, many thanks to the captain Nemo of the inland seas.

 

Guess the port?  The tug is Orgullo De Izabal [Pride of Izabal] , built in 2007 by Damen in Gorinchem, NL.  She measures 72′ x 22.’

In the same port was AS Fiorelia, a small container vessel I believe I’ve seen in the sixth boro, just never–so far as I can determine–posted here. Note the container cranes. And the port is?

How’s this for the non-stealth sub.  I’ve never seen one, but Joseph T said he traveled down to 100′ without “donning dive gear or calculating decompression tables.”

 

Boca Grande, a Kirby tug, and Seabulk Towing’s Condor  . . .  make this port of Miami, and Terminal H, according to Joseph.   The tugs are 1100 hp and 6700 hp, respectively.   Have you guessed the top two photos’ location yet?

Bayou Teche here secures the 403;  farther down the dock, Oceania Sirena is about to depart.   Bayou Teche is a 3000 hp Kirby boat about five years old.

So, the first two photos Joseph took in Santo Tomás de Castilla, Guatemala, heart of Garifuna land.  Surprisingly, that bay was first colonized, unsuccessfully, by the Belgians!

Below, l to r, it’s Oasis of the Seas and Seven Seas Explorer, Joseph’s ride.

Many thanks for these photos, Joseph.

 

Here from 2013 was the first in the series. Since then I’ve done another series called “tale of the tape,” borrowing from boxing analysis or automotive competitions.  Consider today’s and tomorrow’s post as something similar to what you’d see and read if a car magazine compared a 2020 C8 Corvette with a Tesla Cybertruck, or a 1969 Karmann Ghia convertible, or even a 1948 Willys Overland Jeepster . . .  more on that later.

The photo below I use with permission from Fred Miller.   It carries Oneida name boards;  Oneida is the same vessel as Grouper, the 1912 boat I’ve posted so much about over the years.

Ruth M. Reinauer dates from almost a century later and could not be a more different boat, built for an entirely different mission.  They are apples and oranges, you might say, dogs and cats.  I’ll let you enumerate the differences and similarities for yourself.

Thanks to Fred for the top photo;  the bottom one I took.

I’ll let George speak here, starting in the Bay area:  “One real treat was University of Alaska’s research vessel Sikuliaq. She’s an NSF vessel, operated by Alaska, but was down here to fill in while the delivery of Sally Ride AGOR-28 was delayed, and perhaps is working for Scripps again. These were the best shots I’ve ever had of her.”  A bit more on Sikuliaq:  she was built on the Great Lakes at Marinette WI; that was a long delivery. Click here for a rendering, showing her ice-breaking hull.

photo by George Schneider in May 2019

At Half Moon Bay, George writes:  “Caleb, IMO 899162 is neglected state, but certainly not fatal if anybody takes an interest in her.  Unfortunately, she fits the description of vessels the governments are finding reasons to eliminate before they sink, so she might not be around long.  I understand she’s been “ousted” from the harbor several times, now permanently. She was originally the Navy harbor tug Panameta, YT 402.  She was reported sunk as a target on 4 Sept 1977, but in 1978 she went up for sale.  Western Tug Company picked her up and renamed her Ocean Mariner.  I have an opinion that she operated in that time under the name Cindy B.  By 1992 she was Caleb for Salmon Bay Barge Lines, who operated her through 2004 as a tug, before she became the classic floating dream for someone.”  And that  may explain her current sorry state.

“Western Tug Company picked her up and renamed herOcean Mariner.I have an opinion that she operated in that time under the name Cindy B.  By 1992 she was Caleb for Salmon Bay Barge Lines, who operated her through 2004 as a tug, before she became the classic floating dream for someone.”  And that  may explain her current sorry state.

“Robert Gray has been renamed in the past two months.  She’s now named Sacajawea.  Although built as Robert Gray, this isn’t her first name change.  During WWII she served in the Army as LT 666.”  [That means she is 110′ loa,   built in Lake Washington SY Seattle in 1936.  LT 653, the preceding hull number, is Bloxom.]  “In the 1950’s she became Don J Miller II  for the U. S. Geologic Survey.”

“At the time of the photo below,  she was documented as Robert Gray, and classed as a research vessel.  She is now classed as passenger vessel Sacajawea, so I imagine the hope is to use her as a charter yacht, although there’s quite a trend towards stationary B&B’s on old classy vessels.  Her home port has been changed from Portland to Seattle.  That renaming is an interesting one; the captain Robert Gray is credited with finding the mouth of the Columbia River, while one might wonder if the guide Sacajawea knew about it all along.”

Over in Contra Costa, “The noble old Burton tug Pomaika’i has worked for Gulf, East, and West Coast owners first as El Zorro Grande, Helen J. Turecamo, and Manfred Nystrom.   Greger is showing his pride in his fleet by having the new name welded onto the hull.”

“In April 2019, I photographed a 70-foot Army Post-war ST, the former ST 2112. She’s previously sailed as Rachelle Brusco and Erica S, both of which names can still be seen on her. Now she’s named Pacific Pilot, and hasn’t yet received the loving care that Greger obviously puts into his vessels.”

And finally, we head to San Diego:  “Down in South Bay, Normand Reach was at a better pier for photos. What a monster she is! At 121 meters in length, she’s as big as the drilling rigs I cut my teeth on. Back then, the biggest support craft weren’t half that length, and of course, about 1/10 the tonnage.”

photo by George Schneider March 2019

A big thank you to George for use of these photos from California.  I have many,many more.

 

 

 

George sends me lots of photos of ports I’ve not yet visited, and they’re convincing me to expand my horizons and see some new places. More on that later.

Let’s start in San Diego with Bernardine C, aka Bernie, a unique push boat that Curtin Marine built at their own facility in Long Beach, and her certificates show her as “Hull #1”.  She was completed in 2015.  Note her winch protected under her wheelhouse.  She’s registered at 45′ x 22′ x 5′, and powered by two John Deere Tier-3 engines, rated at 1000 HP.  Full information on her and other Curtin vessels can be found here.

Next tug along is Contender, belonging to Pacific Tug Boat.  She’s a 62′ x 28′ x 8′, built in 1964 (or 69 ?) at some yard in Long Beach, possibly Jones Tug & Barge, and is rated at 1200 HP.  George writes:  “In her previous life, as Rebel II, she and a similar boat, Tuffy II (now Tommy?), took deck barges to resupply Catalina Island on a twice-daily basis. I never knew them to miss a trip due to rough weather.  When another operator took over that franchise in 2016, both tugs were picked up by Pacific Tug Boat.”

Now for some boats George reported on from the Bay area, let’s start with Raccoon, a USACE debris collector that shows a slight resemblance to her origins as a Navy Seaplane Wrecking Derrick.  George:  “Where there were zones for seaplanes to take off and land, there was a need to get the wreckage of one out of the way quickly if one crashed, so those in the air could land before they ran out of fuel. These vessels, called YSDs, or “Mary Anne’s”,  were self-propelled crane vessels to fulfill that need.  To see an example of a YSD with an aircraft on its foredeck, click here.”

Of interest, Raccoon has an updated crane and burns a quite innovative fuel made of soybeans.

Here an image of YSD-64 in the Caroline Islands taken on 5 March 1945.  On her deck is an Avenger.  Click here for another Avenger.

Let’s end with Phyllis T, one of three 50-foot steel push boats built by Inland Boat Co. of Orange Texas in 2001 commissioned by Tudor-Saliba Construction Company for the retrofitting of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.  She is operated by Dutra Dredging and still in use.

Many thanks to George for use of these photos from California.

 

You have to be in the right place at the right time to get radiant photos like these, and what better place to witness the colors in sky and on water than from a boat.

Newark Bay with its calm waters and its sculptural industry . . .  I don’t mean to get carried away here, this is the perfect place and time to get these photos.

Some tugboats follow a container ship to the docks in this twilight . . . that’s what it is, but I squint a bit, let the caffeine do its work, and I see future vehicles descending with retrorockets firing.

Or maybe you see something else, just what it is . . . commerce on the waters.  No matter . . . these are beautiful photos.  Not all days are this beautiful, and not all beautiful days allow for even momentary admiration of scenes like this.  And who can tell that millions of folks live within a 10-mile radius of this spot

Many thanks to Skip for sharing these photos and letting me post them here.

 

A friend who works on the Great Lakes sent me these next two photos recently.  When I saw Anglian Lady in the foreground, my first thought was that I’d seen her myself but she looked somehow different.  More on that later.

Anglian Lady was Thornycraft built and launched in Southampton UK as Hamtun, a 132′ x 31′ steam tug that operated for the company now known as Red Funnel. From there, it was sold to interests in Belgium and then back in England before being purchased by Purvis Marine of Sault Ste. Marie.

But the tugboat I recalled was not Anglian Lady.  It was another distinctive tug by Purvis Marine below.

I was thrilled back in September 2017 when I got out in front of it here.  Location?  Some clues are the structures beyond the bow and the stern of this tug.

Avenger IV is the tug I recalled.  She’s from Cochrane 1962, a former steam tug, 120′ x 30′.

The location?  This is a dozen miles east of the Mackinac Bridge.

The PML website can be found here.

Many thanks to the Great Lakes mariner for the first two photos and for getting me to have a second look at Purvis Marine.

And the G-tugs in the background of the top photo likely include Minnesota and North Dakota.

 

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