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Many thanks to my friend Lew who caught this even without a functioning AIS… on the Connecticut River, coming from Windsor Locks CT and heading for the Intrepid Museum . . .

it’s an Douglas F4D Skyray aircraft, not to be confused with an F-4 Phantom.  Here I quote from officials “The Skyray, named for the unique shape of its wing (which resembles a manta ray), went into operation with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in 1956. It was designed to be a high-altitude fleet protection interceptor, fast enough to catch and neutralize an approaching enemy bomber flying at 500 knots. Skyrays set many speed and time-to-climb records in their day as they were able to reach supersonic speeds. The specific Skyray acquired by the Intrepid Museum from the New England Air Museum … served in VF-162 and deployed on Intrepid between June 1961 and March 1962 with Carrier Air Wing Six.”  Ah!  So there’s a connection between this plane and the carrier.

Shawn Miller is doing the job with deck barge Weeks 47.

 

I’ll post this early so that folks might be able to catch it on either side of Manhattan Monday morning.  As of 0600 now, she is anchored just east and north of Throgs Neck Bridge.  Once she gets underway, she could be passing lower Manhattan in a half an hour.

Many thanks, Lew.

 

Summer gallivants, mine and those of others, have lots of pleasures, but one of them has to be to see the old trucks gathering more rust than dust.  Attempts might be made to stave off the effects, but they are enough of a joy to look at, even if they don’t run, that I’m willing to go off script. 

Here in the rainy almost northwesternmost part of the lower 48, a 1950s Chevy guards a corner of the The Bike Ranch.

I stepped out on a rainy morning to get a photo of waterfalls on one side of the road, and as I ran back to the shelter of the car, on the opposite side of the road were these two classics.

I can’t quite make out the logo on the radiator.   Had it not been raining so hard, I might have zoomed in with another photo.

In a different part of the southern tier of NYS, this Chevy panel from the same era as the two Chevys above waited for repairs that might never happen.  If it got moved out of the rain and weeds and beaucoup $$ were spent, it might look like this.

Not old, but as a testimony to this time period, I needed to preserve this vehicle for posterity, this near the southern tip of a large island in the NYC archipelago.

Along the access road to a parkway and waiting at a light, these two trucks frame a delightful old Pontiac car,  likely from the early 1950, 1955 probably with a few frills like the roof racks.

While waiting for some work at a Toyota dealer in eastern Long Island, I happened upon this beauty, a 1980 Toyota Land Cruiser diesel pickup from the Australian desert. The restoration was so good it did not look out of place in the showroom.

And as promised, a few more from Lewis Cobb, Jr.  . . .

a 1940s (1946?) housed out of the rain in a garage that looks like it’s as much a survivor as the truck is.

Maybe I should do an apprenticeship in body work . . .

From the North Country of NYS, it’s a 1950s (split screen windshield) Willys pickup with an alternative power plant . . .

like I said . . . power plant.  Just add water . . .  maybe some manure?

Some photos of mine from July 2011 . . . from the southernmost corner of a state in the lower 48, a disintegrating old GMC, mid-1940s (maybe 1946) model. 

And since this is mostly a water (including water of oxidation) blog, the long-unseen-in-sixth-boro Grey Shark with a load of trucks and whatever else leaving the KVK for points south.  Anyone know if this Grey Shark still plies the oceans?

Thanks to Lucy, Lewis, and Fred for these photos; all others mine.

For a classier version of cars and trucks on a ship, click here to see civilian vehicles of USS Theodore Roosevelt!

I just love driving the backroads, keeping two eyes on the roads, and my third eye or two scanning for the unusual and interesting.

It seems that I’m not the only one, Lewis Cobb Jr. spotted this starved figurehead on a late model Freightliner Cascadia?

Early 1950s Studebaker towtruck?

1953 Chevrolet Suburban?

 

This one was so nice I did a walk around.  Also, it was parked along a public street.

How about this 16-passenger monster truck?  Help me out here with the year and manufacturer?

And this made me think of the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but

when I passed, it was only cabbages towed behind an empty pickup, heading for the kraut plant. Phelps even has a Sauerkraut Festival coming up in a few weeks.

I guess if I had a box truck in the five boros, I’d paint it up also.  Would this be fusion MesoAmerican East Asian?

Top photo thanks to Lewis, with more of his to come.  All others by WVD, as I gallivanted the countryside.  Here’s a truckadvertising a brew pub I saw but had no camera or designated driver!!

 

 

Many thanks to Trucker Tim Powell for sending along these photos taken in Superior WI back in May 2008.  She was launched in 1944 as ST 7067, later transferred to the USACE.  Given the timing, Forney had already changed owners and would soon be painted in Heritage Marine’s gold livery, and renamed Edward H.

She looked quite good in USACE livery.

 

 

She’s still ST 707 gray inside.

I believe Forney, now Edward H, has been repowered, so this Enterprise DMG-38 engine is likely no longer in the boat.   Does anyone know what she currently has for power, and what became of the Enterprise engine?

It turns out I saw Edward H from the air back in June 2017, although I was unable to identify her (I believe from bottom to top here we have Edward, Helen, and Nels.) 

Here’s a similar shot from the other direction.  More of this flight I posted here. The pilot had all the skills.

From Ingrid Staats . . . the most famous tugboat, Theodore Two, at least the most famous tugboat that isn’t really a tug boat.  Bowsprite caught this famous non-tug here in the sixth boro, a decade ago. Ingrid took these photos in Toronto very recently. 

Theodore Two has made quite a few meet-greet stops along its month-long journey from Halifax to Hamilton, salt to fresh water.  Notice the bark canoe as tender?

Photos I saw from various Canadian stops (The pandemic prevented her from calling at US stops along the way.) show as many folks coming to meet-greet as used to appear whenever Urger stopped at towns along the Erie Canal.

From eastriver,  enter the The Black Belt along the lower Mississippi.

And finally . . . a research question from Eric Wiberg:  where is 1945 Bushey tug Chaplain?  See text below for more info.  Eric has even more info.

Many thanks to Tim, Ingrid, eastriver, and Eric for these photos. 

From Eric:  “This tug was at the last U-boat attack ever and is believed afloat in US or Bahamas. In May of 1945 a tug named CHAPLAIN crewed by Louis Alfred Coley, Jr. and others was used by U-853 under Oberleutnant zur See Helmut Frömsdorf of Germany as a disguise to hide under and sink the US merchant ship BLACK POINT, off Point Judith, RI, with the loss of 12 US sailors and naval gunners. Because the tug crew carried on towards New York with a light scow, history missed her, until 2018 and Capt. Colley described the events days before his death. Now, a Bahamian / US maritime historian is seeking anyone has any information on this tugboat, completed in Brooklyn NY in early 1945 by Ira S. Bushey & Sons, steam-powered with a Fairbanks-Morse engine of 1,000 horsepower.

Owned by Red Star Companies and Spentonbush Fuel Transport Service; Bushey affiliates. Sold to Farrell Ocean Services, then McKie Marine Co., and Russell Tripp (Bay State Towing Co.), retaining name CHAPLAIN in all three sales. Russell Tripp sold her to Constellation Tug Co. of Beverly and Boston, MA, who renamed her CARINA. She was sold to a company in the Bahamas in 2005 as CARINA. Names: CARINA believed to be in Bahamas 2009-present, owned by Kermitt Waters, Liberty Oil & Gas exploration, Las Vegas, NV and West Palm Beach, FL, aggregate trades Arawak Cay Nassau. Ex-OCEAN KING, Jeffries Point East Boston, Jan. 1951 to July 2004, ex-MARGARET SHERIDAN (New York), Jan. 1946 to  Jan. 1951, ex-CHAPLAIN (New York) early 1945- Jan. 1946. Specs: IMO: 5260382, GRT: 179, LOA: 95’ X beam of 25.25’. The author is from Bahamas and has been scouring the waterfronts there since c.2015 to no avail and have contacted Liberty Oil & aggregate traders there to no avail. It is possible she has changed names again. Believed to still be US-flagged, she is probably in northern Bahamas or Caribbean, east Florida or US Gulf.” 

She may have been renamed.

 

 

Thanks to Tony A, let’s play “name that ship.”

Photos were taken near the “banana pier” yesterday, and as of this writing this morning, the vessel is still there, but here’s your chance to use your search skills to identify it:  there’s a number, a flag, and of course a color.

 

Many thanks to Tony A for these shots.

And the answer is ORP Wodnick, currently a Polish training ship.  In the past, this 1975 training ship has served, among other missions, as a hospital ship.

I don’t know Polish, but it appears that “wodn” is the root word for “water”, and “wodnick” might mean “waterline.”  ORP expands to Okręt Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej  and translates as “Polish warship.”

 

See the caption on the photo from 1963.  Eugenia Moran is in the foreground.  Off its stern is a tugboat that looks a lot like Urger, but has the name Seneca on it.  Which Seneca was that?

Eugenia herself is quite interesting.  She would be wearing Moran colors for only a year here.  She’s from 1938, Jakobson, Brooklyn.

Many thanks to Jason LaDue for the photo.

Here’s the Seneca I know . . .

And talking about the Erie Canal, central NYS has seen a lot of rain the past few days, draining it all through the Mohawk Valley, making some current (understatement) and resulting in string of locks being closed. Check the notices and alerts.  Cohoes Falls might be looking mighty these days. 

Sleepboot . . .?  it’s Dutch for tugboat.  It’s pronounced more like “slape boat”

See the tricolor courtesy flag between the lower and upper wheelhouse?  The photos were taken Monday (July 5)  by Jan Oosterboer, in Het Scheur, aka “the rip”, a section of the Rhine-Maas-Scheldt delta near Rotterdam.

And those certainly are not buoys you’d see in the US.

Weeks tug Thomas recently arrived in Rotterdam area.

It’s just off the Nieuwe Maas in the Delfshaven section of Waalhaven.  The Plymouth pilgrims ended their Dutch sojourn by departing from the port of Delfshaven.  It’s not too far from all these kinds of sights.

Thomas towed barge Oslo and had an assist from Dutch telescoping-house tug Walvis

Thomas may be doing crew change in Rotterdam;  a few months back they were working off Ascension Island!

Many thanks to Jan and Jan for sending along these photos.  Evidently, a US tugboat in the Netherlands draws attention!  I’d love to hear more of the story.

 

 

First,  the numbers, as Kai Ryssdal would say on NPR’s Marketplace show.  The numbers I’m referring to are the bids on Grouper yesterday. 

At 0600 yesterday, high bid was $150. That lasted until just after noon. By 1300, high bid was $420. More than 60 bids (out of a total of 104) were tendered in the last hour, some fractions of a second apart. Winning bid was $3100. At this point, I know nothing about the winning bidder or that person’s intention.

This will be a summer of many days away from the sixth boro, so I’m very happy when you send in photos. Great Lakes mariner retired (GLMR) sent in a few. Below is a cool pic, in the snow, of John B, for sale for some time now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a skeletal and unidentified fish tug.

Truckertim has sent a few along;  Little Toot has got to be one of the more common names for a small tugboat.  And it fits.

I like the color scheme.

I’d love to know the breadth here.

From Lewis Cobb, here’s one I’ve not seen in the sixth boro . . . Sea Coast, 60′ x 24′ and it has spent 41 years in Dann Marine colors.

 

Miss Judy, 59′ x 23′, works for a dredging company south of Norfolk, I believe.

A fantastic shot of Joker, here with her colors mimicked in the sunset, but who wore those colors better . . . why, Joker, of course. The 79′ x 25′ Joker used to work in the sixth boro–and out of it–as Taurus.

From Jake Van Reenen, up on the New York portion of the Saint Lawrence River, it’s Ruth Lucille, who’s gone into fresh water of the Great Lakes out of Milwaukee after working in salt water as Ocean Endeavor.

If you’ve never visited Clayton, you’re missing something.  It’s a place I could move to.

And let’s end here with tugboat Hudson.  I took this photo on July 3, 2017.  I’m not answering the following question today. Where is Vane’s Hudson today?

Many thanks to all of you who’ve sent photos in.

Let’s end this post with a number Kai Ryssdal might be interested in :  $11,200.

That’s today’s cost of moving a 40-foot shipping container from Shanghai to New York.

 

I’ll return to the Erie Canal tomorrow, but for now . . . the clock is ticking louder.

In exactly 24 hours, Grouper will thaw out;  a new owner, the person with the highest bid, will be acclaimed.  I’ve been following the fate of this boat in Wayne County for so many years that I can’t look away as we get to this milestone.  So have a lot of people who live nearby, or live farther away and have been intrigued about it since it arrived.  Many others know it from its various places of work in the Upper Great Lakes, having some family connection going back many decades.

The big question is . . . Will it be scrapped or reimagined as a vessel of some sort.  Reimagining has been a theme of NYS canal efforts in recent years, right?

Here’s one of my first photos of the boat, literally frozen in place, a great metaphor for its years of being frozen in time, showing remarkable resilience to the ravages of rust.  In all this time of neglect and in the absence of bilge pumps, it has not sunk, has not gone down to a muddy grave where the catfish and gobies lurk.

Friends have devoted countless hours reimagining Grouper.

Lee Rust sent along these diagrams highlighting the hull similarities, the 1912 tugboat and

a late 19th century sail/steam half model.

Lee writes:  “Maybe we’ve been misunderstanding the possibilities of Grouper by getting [ourselves] stuck on the old tug story. Here’s what she really is. Subtract Kahlenberg, add ballast, masts & sails. Maybe an auxiliary electric motor to turn the propeller. Voila! Clean and green and good for another 100 years. Piece of cake! Only [a day] left to decide to take that plunge. Here’s [an aerial] view of the hull model revealing the significant difference in beam [and bow design] from Grouper, but the profiles are almost identical. This even shows where the masts would go.

 

A simpler approach might be to remove 15 tons of Kahlenberg and replace with 7 tons of batteries and an electric propulsion system. This might be enough to decrease draft by the 3 feet needed to maneuver in the current Canal. Compare the waterline on the model to that of Grouper.  Image below shows ship model by my friend Rob Napier.

Looking back at this hypothetical lift diagram I made [above],  aside from the difference in beam, the antique hull model could be that of any ‘City’ class Great Lakes tug. (You can pick out the ‘City’ class tugs here.]  The ‘lifted’ waterline on Grouper is awfully close to that of the model. I suppose this hull form was pretty normal back at the end of the 19th century and the tugboat designers of the time just went with what they knew and hoped the vessels wouldn’t sink when they threw in all that coal and machinery.

OK, I know… daydreaming again. Must be time for my nap.”

Thanks,  Lee.  As I said before, lots of people have been looking at these “excessed canal vessels” for a long time now, and tomorrow, in the heat of summer, Grouper will thaw out.  May the highest bidder win and show exuberance in reimagining canal technology.

 

Related:  This NYTimes article from this past week which examines sail designs on cargo vessels is worth a look.

 

 

Excuse the duplication here, but since this was a long voyage, I’ll repeat some of the early shots and add new ones farther down the page.  A Great Lakes mariner took this is Manitowoc on May 29. 

Jeremy Whitman got these as the tow left Manitowoc on May 30.

 

Jake Van Reenen got this in Clayton NY.  Note that the tail boat above, Candace Elise, has been switched out.  Now below it’s Molly M I.

René Beauchamp got this in the South Shore Canal, near Montreal.

A week later almost, Jack Ronalds got the next three shots at the Strait of Canso and its lock, separating Cape Breton from the mainland of Nova Scotia.

Many more of Jack’s photos can be seen here.

The tail boat here is Svitzer Montreal.

And finally, posted yesterday on St. Lawrence Seaway Ship Watchers FB by Stephen Graves, who stated the photo was not his, the tow arrives in Kittery ME, home of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. 

Bravo to all the crews and pilots and photographers!

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