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Here are earlier installments of this.  And if you’re not familiar the the location of Gowanus or its history, check the links embedded.  If you live in the NYC area and drive or take Brooklyn subways, you have no doubt gone over it.  If you’ve wondered where the name comes from, check this alphabetical listing with great old photos.

Last week I had the opportunity to travel up the waterway, thanks to James Stasinos.  Gowanus Bay is marked by the grain elevators, (built in 1922!!), and the storage ship Loujaine.  For a full history of the cement carrier originally called Bahma, click here.

The tug was headed up the canal, as it does several times daily, is the cleanup, which has recently begun in earnest.

A bit farther in, Diane B turns John Blanche before heading across the Upper Bay. 

As we head in, we first head through the Hamilton Avenue  bridge and under the Gowanus Expressway flyover. The passage is narrow and located on a turn.

Here’s the view to port.

Once through there, we weave between a scrap yard and Lowe’s parking lot.

Above and below, that’s the Ninth Avenue bridge.  Like the Hamilton Avenue bridge, passing involves a conversation with the bridge tender.

Here we look over the bridge  and beyond while waiting for the bridge to open.

This is the view to starboard as we wait.

Once through, we arrive at the pickup site.  Note the excavator that could tell stories

 

of sifting through and removing the “black mayonnaise.”  Nuggets of historical interest are being collected for future display.   It’ll be years before this project is complete.

 

Many thanks to James for the trip.  All photos, interpretation, WVD.

Once I rowed to the head of the Canal here.  And in November 2013, I traveled up the waterway, and photos of the cargo are scattered throughout posts from late November that year. 

2011 began in Charleston, a great place to welcome a new year.  Strolling around, I encounter the 1962 75′ buoy tender Anvil, 75301, here made up to CGB68013.  In the background, that’s cutter Cormorant or Chinook.

Heading farther north a day or two later, it’s Hoss, sister of Patricia, and now habitat for fish and other sea life.  Click here to see her sink if you do FB.

Still farther north, I see this T-boat, a 1952 Higgins named for a high point in Ireland.

Lucinda Smith, then based in Maine, is currently based on Cape Cod.

Bering Sea, like a lot of K-Sea boat, has become a Kirby boat;  it is currently in Philadelphia.  According to Birk’s invaluable site, this boat was Stacy Moran for a short time.  I never saw it in Moran red.

Thanks to my friend Paul Strubeck, this Kristin Poling needed an assist from Cornell to get through an ice jam.  This is one of my all-time favorite photos.  It looks to me like a submarine in the very deeps.

McCormack Boys was active in the sixth boro back in 2011, and although she’s still working, I’ve not seen her in years.

I glimpsed Stephen Scott in Boston a few months back, but since this photo was taken, she’s lost the upper wheelhouse.

There’s classic winter light beyond Torm Carina, provisioned here by Twin Tube.  Torm Carina is currently in the Taiwan Strait. 

Later Margaret and Joan Moran assist the tanker westbound in the KVK while Taurus passes.  Taurus has become Joker, wears Hays purple, and I’ve not even seen her yet.  I guess it’s high time I hang out in Philadelphia again.

A wintry photo shows McKinley Sea in the KVK eastbound.  In the distance,

notice the now foreign-based Scotty Patrick Sky.  If you want to see her, gallivant to St. Lucia.  McKinley Sea is currently laid up in Louisiana.

Erie Service, now Genesis Valiant, pushes her barge 6507 westbound. 

And on a personal note, it was in January 2011 that I stumbled into a locality that had been attracting me.  I suppose if ever I created a retreat, I’d have to call it Galivants Hideaway.   Here‘s another Galivants Ferry set of photos.

Thanks to Paul for use of his photo.  All other photos, a decade back, WVD.

 

It’s morning again!  If you can read photo, this is a long one, will take you a while.

Truth be told, I took this photo on December 28, but close enough.  Seeing the magic of dawn light is the reason I often get up in the brutal darkness.

If you want to see something extraordinary, skip down to the ***.

Happy, healthy, prosperous, exciting, adventurous, loving 2021 .

Photo by WVD, who’s done lots of previous “dawn” posts.

If you don’t read photo and need some language, here’s Willa Cather:  “[Dawn] is always such a forgiving time. When that first cold, bright streak comes over the water, it’s as if all our sins were pardoned; as if the sky leaned over the earth and kissed it and gave it absolution.”   

If you need that translated into  . . . say . . . Maori, it’s here:  “Ko te [Dawn] he wa tino murua. Ka tae mai taua makariri tuatahi, maramara mai ra ki runga i te wai, peera ka murua o tatou hara katoa; me te mea ka okioki te rangi ki te whenua ka kihi i a ia ka tino mate.”

***If you can read swarm display drones on a mesh network [that’s a mouthful], take 14 minutes to watch this incredible event from last night in Scotland. If you need to know how it’s done, here‘s an 8-minute behind the scenes.  Thanks to Michele McMorrow for sharing this, and teaching me a new word that has nothing to do with drones:  hogmanay.

I’d forgotten about the Lady Gaga show.  Here’s more

 

I don’t celebrate holidays much, but “old year’s day” I take seriously, to look back and assess.  Today’s post features photos you may remember from 2020.  I chose these from the several thousand photos I put into public domain this year.  It’s a personal and subjective exercise;  on a different day I might choose another dozen from the thousands.  Four of these were taken by others.  And given the name of this blog, I added 45 installments of “random tugs” this year.

My sister took this photo as French Bakery Belen approached her vessel.  I choose it here because its location may surprise you.  I’ll reference the photos below if you want to know context.  My take on this photo is to prepare for surprise;  assume nothing.  I think I should say assume carefully, because we all make thousands of assumptions each day.

Photos of an odd barge came to my attention this year, thanks to Isaac Pennock.   Here it’s pushed southbound in the Oswego Canal;  note the outdoor helm.   From Oswego, it took the Erie Canal and the Hudson River before it transited the sixth boro and puzzled a lot of folks.  The moral of the story is that there’s always a story and it’ll make sense. 

That barge now is here, which I’ve yet to set foot on.  Maybe 2021 will change that.  Click here to see before and after.  Think caterpillar-to-butterfly.

Unlike the salty sixth boro, freshwater inland waterways freeze sooner and stay frozen longer.  This ATB is loading iron ore near Duluth, all that ice notwithstanding.  Today, that same vessel is pushing ore across Lake Superior most likely toward Lake Michigan.  Spend New Year’s Eve at the Soo and you’ll see them transit, definitely more exciting than watching a dropping ball …

The world wide web depends on wires, and they’re under the oceans, and vessels like these operated by US mariners set and maintain them.  Hello everywhere and anywhere.

After an ocean voyage, Sheri Lynn S is splashing into the Saint Lawrence River, and the start of its first river trip since transiting downstream the Yangtze.  It’s been working in the Great Lakes system ever since.

This ghostly white vessel marked a time this 2020 year that everything changed.  USNS Comfort was surely not a silver bullet, but on that day in March, it was a psychological boost.

And here’s an example of what else changed:  note the crew welcoming the docking pilot . . .   masked, as have been essential workers, including those on the water, ever since.

Tugster is fortunate to sometimes physical distance, escape to places where population density is a small decimal of one percent of what it is in the six boros. It’s one thing to be a hermit in the boros, and another thing to be such in places like this.

Up the Hudson, Slater here is about to do-si-do and then promenade grand right and left  all the way south to the KVK for some upgrades.

Pilgrim somehow managed to transit the sixth boro without being detected.  The round-the-world traditional Russian vessel is now on the hard in Duluth, while its mariners raise funds to put it on a truck to the Salish Sea so that it can get back to its starting point in Russia.  I’m amazed that in 2020 this project happened as much as I’m amazed by the warm welcome they received as they traversed NYS on the Erie Canal. Here‘s their website, and there’s a button to push to read in English.

Steve Munoz sent along a lot of interesting photos this year, and I’m grateful.  Below, that’s the September 2001 Great North River Tugboat Race . . . and the water thrusters are on Z-Two. More photos here. One thing I recall from Steve is his observation that as they passed the WTC, no one imagined that a few days on, they would fall, at great human toll.  This gets back to the “assume nothing” and carpe diem every diem.

Since I’ve broached the Latin here, how about this one:  diligenter inspicere.  [That’s for all you Latin lovers.  Did you catch the story about Latin lover number one being a victim of 2020?  If not, we’ve lost a great one.]  If you’ve a chance to read his obit in the NYTimes, it’s a great obit.  Here are two excerpts:  “Reginald Foster, a former plumber’s apprentice from Wisconsin who, in four decades as an official Latinist of the Vatican, dreamed in Latin, cursed in Latin, banked in Latin and ultimately tweeted in Latin, died on Christmas Day at a nursing home in Milwaukee. He was LXXXI. ”  and   “Father Foster was indeed a monk — a member of the Discalced Carmelite order — but he was a monk who looked like a stevedore, dressed like a janitor, swore like a sailor (usually in Latin) and spoke Latin with the riverine fluency of a Roman orator.”  THAT is an obit!!

But I digress, or in Latin my machine translator tells me it might be paenitet, magnum excessu.  

Getting back to the next photo . . . what is that cargo top center of the load?  If you’ve forgotten what those odd pieces of cargo were, check here. More diligenter inspicere in 2021!

Where is the mast of Pilot Boat No. 1 taller than the mast of WTC1 or any other building in the five boros?  It’s interesting to put oneself in the place of a mariner coming into our fair port for the first time.  Thanks for this excursion out to the end of Ambrose Channel to my friend Bjoern and the New York Media Boat.

Prototypes like here, here, and here, regularly take to NYC;  this is a working prototype that left the sixth boro about a few days ago bound for the DR.  I’m just wondering . . . has anyone seen a USV, aka autonomous vessel,  in the sixth boro yet?  And yes, there are many others I could mention, many that I missed.

And finally, a photo I took the other day . . .  a light container vessel in the background . . .  EMPTY . . .  that’s a metaphor for this past year.   Some diligent crabbers clammers are busy in the foreground, bouncing on the Upper Bay on a lumpy day.

 

If you’re interested in context, here’s the info on those first few photos.

1. This was taken in Barra de Navidad, in Jalisco, Mexico, and Belen is operated by a transplanted Quebecois baker serving anyone in Barra de Navidad interested in French pastry and bread. By the way, Barra de Navidad was the Spanish jumping off point for the colonization and “settlement” of the Philippines, which of course was already settled.

2. Thanks to Isaac Pennock, who tracked down a photo taken in Oswego by Jon Vermilye back in 2008.  The barge is the hull to become SSV Oliver Hazard Perry.

 

Other years’ retrospectives aka old years can be seen at those links.

One outcome of the covid-modifications for me was that I spent April doing a virtual boat tour guide of the Erie Canal, and in October, I did a bike ride and put together a record at least of that.  You can see both here.  Looking forward to 2021, I may repeat the bike ride.  If you’re interested in joining me, let me know.  Absolutely no plans have been made, and I know a good source for appropriate bikes if you, like me, don’t own one.

 

 I took these photos back in early August 2019 in the village where I learned to swim . . . Sodus Point.   When I asked a few people about it, I heard that it was a wreck, it was done  . . .  etc. 

The small schooner clearly had been loved at one time.

Last week I learned the good news that the lift had loaded it onto a trailer to take it to a yard for  . . .

restoration!  So I finally googled it, which I’d not thought to do before, and lo and behold . . . it has pedigree!  It was designed by William H. Hand, and launched in Rocky River OH in 1918.  The S. S. S. means “Sea Scout Ship.”  Thirty years ago, it had been trucked to Rivendell Marine, in Monument Beach MA in 1991. 

All photos, WVD, and story to be continued.

Photo and discussion below can be found on FB, John Kucko Digital . . .  December 21, 2020.  By the way, John Kucko is a legend up in western and central NYS. Tugboat in the background is Donald Sea.

Since this post features a sailing post, let me share what I’ve been watching, based on a suggestion of a reader from South Africa.

First a trip from the Falklands to Capetown on an impressive boat this past summer.

Then I learned the name of the boat and the concept developer, Skip NovakHere‘s more Skip Novak.

Then I learned of his latest project . . . 2020 into 2021, appropriate for these days.

Thx, Colin.  This is good winter fare.

A new tug in town . . .  Osprey?  Built in 1961, she’s a sibling of Kodi.  Photo thanks to Tony A.

B & B . . .  it’s Brendan Turecamo in the distance and Bruce A McAllister.  It turns out they are not clones:  Brendan is a year newer, and Bruce A. is few feet longer and packs a few more horses.

Curis Reinauer is the third tug to carry that name.  This Curtis dates from 2013.  The previous one was sold to Nigeria, and the one before that has been reefed.

Emily Ann dates from 1964;  she appeared on this blog just a few weeks ago but out of the water then.

Mister Jim, 1982,  has been in the sixth boro for about eight years. 

Doris Moran, also 1982, is a powerhouse.

Navigator, 1981, is the only boat currently operated by Balico Marine Services.

Gulf Coast, 1982, got her upper wheelhouse up at Feeney‘s on the Rondout.

Patrice, 1999, has so far spent half its life working on the Great Lakes.

Shannon McAllister is a rare one in the sixth boro, but she passes through here once in a while. like this week. She dates from 1991.

Thx to Tony for that first photo;  all others, WVD.

Thanks to Skip Mildrum, here are some photos most appropriate for this day. 

It’s dark and overcast, but lights in the port and on the boats brighten up the night.  Winter began, I’m told, at 0502 this morning.

Early sunset or late sunrise, it doesn’t really matter . . . since the daylight will be getting longer again after today.

Many thanks to Skip for use of these photos.

Last year’s winter solstice post was here. Before that several years I did lighthouses  and before that . . . here.  See how other places do it here.

 

 

Ontario here means the province and the lake.  In the NE corner of the lake lies Picton and Picton Terminals, homeport of a tug called Sheri Lynn S.  Well, Sheri Lynn S just got a big sister, and one place to start the story is in UAE, Sharjah a few months back . . . in August.

Captain Tjalling van der Zee, of van der Zee Marine Services was engaged to deliver the new tug Amy Lynn D or ALD, a Damen 3209 Shoalbuster, the 9414 nm from UAE to Lake Ontario.  Capt. van der Zee shared most of these photos.  Here is more Damen Shoalbuster info. The first part of the voyage mostly circumnavigated the Arabian peninsula.  Having lived there for three years, I can imagine the heat topping at least 100 F.

Part of the voyage transited areas of “unrest” and armed guards were on board for any annoyances, but these folks were just fishing.  Jeddah was passed on October 17.

This is a view from the wheelhouse northbound in the Suez Canal around October 20.   Pilots were required.  Any guesses on the total number of pilots taken on this 9400+ nm trip?  Answer follows.

ALD passed Sicily on October 26 . . . .  it had traveled light until Algeciras SP, where a barge Jacob Joseph C carrying three Damen tugs was met.  The small tugs were to be delivered to Halifax and Montreal.

This is the view of the barge from ALD after traveling offshore following the Great Circle.

Azores Ponta Delgada was seen on November 14. By the way, any idea of crew number?  How about daily fuel consumption?  All answers to follow.

An ingenious “selfie” was managed, albeit with an unsatisfactory camera, when instruments showed ALD and tow crossing fairly near an eastbound ship.

Big seas were part of the experience.

The tow arrived in Halifax on December 6.  Mac Mackay documented the safe arrival here.  Thx, Mac.

Two of the small tugs, both Damen Stan 1205 class, were offloaded in Halifax.

The remaining tug arrived in Montreal, where

it was discharged. 

 

To enter the Saint Lawrence Seaway, Jacob George C was put on the nose and

I’m not sure who took this photo, but I borrowed it from the Picton Terminals FB page.  It shows the tug and barge easing into a SLSW lock.

On the last morning, Nathan Jarvis, working on Robinson Bay, took this of the homestretch as ALD and JJC passed Clayton NY. 

And finally . . .  ALD and Jacob Joseph C tie up at Picton Terminals. 

Many thanks to Picton Terminals and Capt. van der Zee for use of photos and time.  Any errors are mine.

Some answers, 25 pilots, 6 crew (1 Dutch/South African and 5 Filipino), and approximately 1200 gallons of fuel daily. Last but not least . . . 82 nights on the boat.


Arthur Tickle Engineering Works (ATEW) is now gone, but other marine service businesses (MSBs) remain.  I’ve long thought to do a series of posts about the MSBs like Caddells, GMD, Bayonne Drydock, Hughes Marine . . . and many others. 

A while back, Steve Munoz sent these along, and it’s taken me a bit to figure out how to place these photos, but that’s it . . . MSBs, a series I’d love to do, and I can start it here.  Steve’s father worked at ATEW for many years and until it closed in 1987. 

I’ll use Steve’s captions with my annotations in [  ].  Below   … “is a picture of the ATEW, established in 1904. Photo shows the delivery wagon and probably Arthur Tickle himself at the front door.  He died in 1945.”  [I wonder what the letters on the side of the horse wagon says, some precursor to FedEx?]

“This is the ATEW building housing the machine shop probably in the 1920s.”  [Is that a Ford?]

“Ship’s rudder being repaired in one of the shops.”

“This poster was published in the Maritime Activity Reports on November 15, 1945 showing the number and types of ships converted, repaired and altered, including some specific names, during the war. All of these repairs were completed along the Brooklyn waterfront. One of the conversions was the former MV Carnarvon Castle, a Union-Castle Line ocean liner before the war, requisitioned by the Royal Navy for conversion to an armed merchant cruiser and then converted to a troopship by ATEW in 1944.” 

[I looked up USAHS Aleda E. Lutz, USS Pontiac, USAT Colombie, USAT Kota Inten, USAT Cape Canso, MV Marechal Joffre, USADS Blemheim, and USADS Lock Knot. Some of those links have photos.]

“The steel yawl named Steel Sylph was built by the various shops at ATEW for Arthur Tickle, Jr. in the 1940-50s. I assume that it was launched in Brooklyn as the bow of a ship can be seen in the picture at the launching, but does not appear to be at Pier 4 as the BQE is not seen in the background.”  [Steel Sylph is listed as placing in the Newport to Annapolis race in 1947.]

[This is a very formal looking photo of an unidentified gent.  That would be a fun one to colorize.]

Steel Sylph was designed by Philip Rhodes.

“During WWII, ATEW leased a number of piers from the New York Dock (NYD) Company in Brooklyn south of the Brooklyn Bridge to repair military and commercial ships supporting the war. After the war, the ship repair business slowed down, but ATEW continued to repair ships into the 1960s at pier 4 such as the SS Comet Victory seen in this photo. Pier 4 was demolished sometime after the year 2000.”  [I presume this photo was taken from the promenade.  It might be fun to go there today and reframe/redo the shot of the skyline from 120 Wall to just south of the Staten Island ferry terminal.  Can anyone identify the tall rectangular building directly behind 120 Wall and obscuring most of 70 Pine?  In the foreground, that space is now Brooklyn Bridge Park, as seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.]

“A bronze propeller was cleaned and repaired in the foundry shop and

returned to the SS American Aquarius, probably as a spare.”  [On the frame of the flatbed I read W. J. Casey, a trucking firm that still exists, although they’ve moved from Brooklyn Bergen Street to New Jersey.  Here‘s their site, which has some antique trucks from their past fleet. ]

“The SS Cape Catoche in the Hudson River on a hawser behind the tug Dalzelloch and the tug Fred B Dalzell alongside. The ship was going to/from the Jones Point reserve fleet in the 1950s. In the 1960s many ships were taken from the reserve fleet to Brooklyn where ATEW had the contract to prepare the ships for the Vietnam sealift. For one ship the capstans and winches were opened in the machine shop for USCG inspection and because the components were in such bad shape the whole ship failed inspection and was subsequently sold for scrap. This occurred with a number of the ships. ”  [Looking at the dates here, there may have been more than one SS Cape Catouche, although I’m not certain.  Clearly, this move was made in winter.]

“ATEW repaired the ship’s turbine and reinstalled it in the engine room on the SS Pomona Victory. My guess is that the ship was docked at Pier 4 Brooklyn as ATEW leased this pier for years from the NYDock Company. Note at least one Liberty ship docked in Manhattan across the East River having gun tubs and the ship having the turbine installed had a gun tub and life rafts indicating that this picture was taken during WW II or very shortly after since I do not see any guns.”  [This view of the Manhattan side south of the Brooklyn Bridge shows a very different place than is located there today.  Someone more familiar with that stretch of riverfront might enjoy identifying which buildings are still there;  I recognize the Woolworth Building directly below the suspended turbine, and 120 Wall and 70 Pine buildings to the left.  That opposite shore would be the area of South Street Seaport today;  I’d love to find a photo of that same area from the Manhattan side, maybe looking down Fulton Street.]

Many thanks to Steve Munoz for his comments and use of his photos. 

I look forward to seeing this wine transporter up close in a few days.  Meanwhile, hat tip to Bjoern Kils of NY Media Boat for getting this one.  Cargo . .  includes 18,000 bottles of French wine, many varieties.

Many thanks, Bjoern.  See his blog here.  See Grain de Sail website in English here.

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