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Thanks to Jonathan Steinman, here’s another tug–Robert Burton–handling the CVA sealed garbage containers.  Given the direction of the tow and absence of freeboard on the barge, the containers are loaded and heading for Howland Hook to be loaded onto trains southbound.



Here (and scroll) was a post I did almost two years ago when Robert Burton was shifting barges down in the Beaufort Inlet.

Thanks much to Jonathan for sharing his vantage point.

Over six years ago, I did another asphalt post here.  Yesterday I was thrilled to get the following photos below from Jonathan Steinman of this unusual vessel on the middle portion of the East River.


Asphalt Sailor–a great name–turns out to have a set of siblings ranging from a lot more capacious to somewhat less so.  On names alone, I’d love to see Black Shark.   Given the cargo, I wonder if the deck feels warm.

That’s James Turecamo overtaking on the west side.  Here’s a hydrodynamics problem . . . is the greater amount of froth churned up by James due only to its greater speed, or is hull shape a factor?


For outatowners, that’s the 59th Street Bridge, and Asphalt Sailor is headed “south,” actually west.


Unrelated:  Here’s an East River ship photo I posted six years ago.  The conclusion then was that it was “doctored.”  Anyone new thinking on it?

Thanks again to Jonathan for these unusual photos.


I was about to put up a different post–that’ll be for tomorrow–when Jonathan Steinman sent along these photos.  As I post this, tug Challenger is eastbound on the East River, approaching Hell Gate.  The question on Jonathan’s mind, as well as mine and maybe yours . . . what is that assemblage balanced on the barge?

For outatowners, this photo is taken from the east side of Manhattan, looking over Roosevelt Island in the direction of Queens.  The red-white chimneys are part of the Ravenswood #3 Generating Station aka Big Allis.  And against the sky to the far right, you can see the tops of the towers of the Queensboro Bridge, aka the groovy 59th Street Bridge.


It looks somewhat like a floating dry dock door, but I’m inclined to guess that it’s a vessel component.


Here are some previous quite unique photos sent along by Jonathan.   Jonathan . . . thanks much.

And here was Whatzit 24.


Know the location?


I took it from a southernmost point in the Bronx looking eastward toward North Brother Island . . . the brick chimney to the right.  I can’t identify either the Weeks tug or the current usage of the red-and-white striped stack to the left.


What caught my attention was the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on the front of the house of Mediterranean Sea.


By the time I got back to the sixth boro, the pink “M” on Moran tugs was once again white.  The only photo of a Moran tug I managed in the whole month of October was the one below, a photo of a photo of a Catherine Moran in the lobby of a restaurant in Lockport.  Label says . . . as you can read it . . . “Lockport 1939.”  Would this have been the vessel built by Neafie & Levy in 1904?


As to the pink ribbon, I was happy to see it.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


If there are eight million stories in the naked city, then there are at least 80 million perspectives, and what I love about social media is the ability to share many more of these than can otherwise be seen.   Take this one . . . sent along yesterday by Jonathan Steinman.  Big Allis sets the location as about a half mile north of the bridge now named for Ed Koch.  And the vessel . . .  the current and VI version of Empire State on the first day . . . of Summer Sea Term 2014 and not yet out of its East River home waters.  Greets to all the cadets on deck enjoying the mild spring morning.  Click here for the previous versions of Empire State:  I   II    III    IV    V.


And tailing . .  it looks like McAllister Girls.


Around midday yesterday, Empire State was here (the blue icon off St George) and not quite 24 hours later,


she’s off Montauk.


The previous photo from Jonathan–which I never shared–was this, taken in midMarch.  If you’re not from the area, that’s the East River with Roosevelt Island making for a quite narrow channel.  That’s Shelby (of shuttle fame) and Freddy K Miller (ever morphing) team-pushing Weeks 533  (lifter of Sully’s ditched 1549).


And if you’ve forgotten what my –and many others’ focus was in midMarch, it was




Many thanks to Jonathan for sharing these photos.

Here’s a photo I took almost four years ago of the SUNY Maritime training ship returning home from Summer Sea Term.

As I meander through my internal miasma, the blog stays noir–more accurately noir/blanc–with another set of screen shots from the NYC Municipal Archives, this time all 1940s  . . .Department of Sanitation tugs Spring Creek, Fresh Kills, and Ferry Point, docked in the East River.  Fresh Kills aka Miss Laura . ..  is she still operating out of Duluth?


Here’s another shot of Fresh Kills aka DS 43 off the Bellevue Hospital.  Anyone know what became of Spring Creek and Ferry Point?



Can anyone identify this 1941 tug moving coal scows eastbound into the East River off the Battery?


Undated but in Erie Basin, it’s SS Waziristan next to a floating grain elevator.  It turns out that in early January 1942, SS Waziristan–bound from New York to Murmansk– was sunk by Nazi air and submarine attack off Bear Island, Norway, lost with all 47 crew.


Help me out here . . . an unidentified tug docking an unidentified ship in Erie Basin in 1940.


Meanwhile off Tottenville, here’s a fleet of US Army transports . . . mothballed from WW!?


I believe this is a different ghost fleet in roughly the same area.  Notice the Outerbridge in the background.    Is this where all


this debris lies today?  Actually, I took this photo and the next two just “north” of the Outerbridge in August 2010.




All the vintage photos here are from the NYC Municipal Archives, where too many photos have lamentable scarcity of captioning.


It’s the summer station boat and a training platform for pilot apprentices.  Recognize the location?


The station boat is on the East River just east of Hell Gate.   From near to far, the bridges are the Hell Gate and then the RFK.


Here she passes the Astoria Generating Station on its way to the channel



between the Brothers.


Frequent contributor Ashley Hutto caught the No. 2 westbound later in the day, here passing the bridge I’d be happy to sell you.


Click here for a story of a visit to the No. 2 station boat by Kristina Fiore.

Thanks to Ashley for the bottom photo.   All others by Will Van Dorp, who took photos of Peacock–an unusual pilot boat here not quite a year ago.

More Seth Tane fotos.

Foto #1.  It’s 1979, 34 years ago.  What I see is no structure on Pier 17 Manhattan, lots of covered warehouses and a ship on the Brooklyn side.   Extreme lower right of foto . . . is that the floating hospital?  There’s another large white vessel to the left of lightship Ambrose.  There’s a vacant lot just to the south of the Brooklyn side access to the Bridge.  And a large ATB looking tug in the Navy Yard.   What have I missed?


Foto #2.  W. O. Decker–in my posts here and here and many other places–comes to pick up a tow, Poling #16.   Digression:  if you do Facebook, here’s the Marion M (shown in the second Decker link there) updates site with fotos.    Lots of intriguing details in the background of the Navy yard here.



Foto #3  Driving Decker here is most likely Geo Matteson, author of Tugboats of New York.  A 2013 “reshoot” of this cityscape is a “must do.”


Foto #4.  Tied up at Pier 17, Decker remakes the tow to get the tanker alongside.


All fotos by Seth Tane.

If you’re interested in collaborating in a documentation of the changing harbor, particularly the evolving articulation between the sixth boro and the other five, please contact me.  See address upper left side.

Actually that title captures 98% of this blog’s +1800 posts.  And just as elsewhere in Gotham or anywhere else, so on the sixth boro what work you see depends entirely on your station.  And my station this particular day was Tchefuncte River’s  Equitable Equipment‘s hull # 1428, delivered in August 1966 as Red Star Towing‘s New Haven.  Now she’s Freddie K. Miller;  I took the foto below just over five years ago when she was Stapleton Service.    I use this foto here because a downside of being on the tow is my inability to get a foto OF the tow.

At 0520 hrs, dawn was sweetest and coolest, from this point a mile south of Miller’s Launch.  When I reported at 0530, the Miller’s yard was already busy.

The crew of Freddie K Miller’s had a job: pick up Weeks Crane Barge 552 and its crew and proceed to the East River ConEd.  By 0615, crew was making the tow.

0645 we were crossing west to east across the Upper Bay.  Buchanan 1 was towing a scow  and

Douglas B. Gurion headed west for passengers.  The ferry is named for a victim of September 11.

0715 . ..  near Red Hook container port, we passed this ex-MSC vessel Transatlantic.  I will post more MSC soon.

0730 . . . we had passed under the Brooklyn Bridge and now could feast on this potpourri of  Manhattan skyline.  Side by side on the right are Gehry’s flowing-facade 8 Spruce (2011) and Gilbert’s spiky-tower (1913).

0745 . . . we pass GMD Shipyard, where morning shift has already started its work on Massachusetts Maritime’s TS Kennedy  (1967).

0815 . . . the crew have tied to the ConEd dock and Weeks’ crew has begun setting the spuds, for stability as the load is transferred.  My very general understanding of this load is that ConEd purchased equipment from  Manufacturer M.  Company A trucked it to the Weeks yard because installation by land (by Company B) was less feasible than installation from water.  Miller’s job was to move equipment on crane barge to ConEd so that Weeks–with collaboration from Company B–could set equipment exactly where it will be used.

0915 . . . first equipment is lifted and rotated over the East River counterclockwise to avoid obstacles on land, and at

0920 . . .  crew guides unit into exact location.  If half an inch off, then lift and get it right.

1010 . . . next piece of equipment is moved.   While the tug stands by with the crane barge, Miller crew does fine carpentry work in wheelhouse.

Since my self-appointed job is to record details, check out Carolina IV, sailing westbound on the East river . . . hailing from Stockholm,  Yes, sailing!  and  . . . yes . . . that Stockholm while

eastbound are Gage Paul Thornton and a floatplane.

1115 . . . heavy-duty pipe elbow gets lifted into place. Tower protruding from the building just right of MetLife is Chrysler Building.

1215 . . . the spuds are up,  the crane boom lowered and secured, Freddie K Miller has spun off the dock and now heads back westbound for the Weeks yard.  If the grayish vessel in the foreground is locally known as a “honey boat,” then this has to be one of the sweetest scenes possible in these parts.

1300 . . . as we approach the Weeks yard we cross Buchanan 12 towing three stone scows, possibly headed for a quarry up the Hudson.

1330 . . . Freddy K Miller is now “light,” having left the barge at the Weeks yard.  Ever Decent is outbound for sea, and by this writing is southbound off Cape Hatteras.

Meanwhile, close to Manhattan, Asphalt Star takes on bunker fuel from a Vane barge.  That black hose . . . that’s like the hose at the pump where you fill your car tank.

By 1400, I’ve said my thanks to the crew of Freddy K Miller —who await their next job on this or another vessel–and the dispatcher, and take a break to examine a familiar sight:  Alice, she who inspired my first ever blogpost!!

Back on the bank and before heading home, I get another shot;  she’s loaded deep with her Canadian aggregates.

Imagine my delight, then, later that day getting a foto from Mike C. of Alice Oldendorff north of the Navy Yard self-unloading her cargo of crushed stone.

Many thanks to all the folks at Miller’s Launch.  Also, thank you Mike for sending along this last foto.  All other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

AIS is just that . .  a tool to help us see the otherwise unseen, those moving things over the horizon.  And wonderful things there are to be seen with this tool.

Yesterday I was reading Ray Bradbury’s short story “Night Meeting.”  A large part of the story features a conversation between Tomás Gomez (TG) , Earthling, and Muhe Ca (MC), Martian.  I’ll simplify part of it here:

“TG:  The canals are empty right there.

MC:  The canals are full of lavender wine.

TG: It’s dead.

MC:  It’s alive. (protested the Martian, laughing more now.)  Oh, you’re  quite wrong.  See all the carnival lights?  There are beautiful boats as slim as women, beautiful women as slim as boats, women the color of sand, women with fire flowers in their hands.  I can see them, small, running in the streets there.  That’s where I’m going right now, to the festival; we’ll float on the waters all night long;  we’ll sing; we’ll drink; we’ll make love.  Can’t you see it?

TG:  Mister, that city is dead as a dried lizard. . . .   ”

So I was looking at AIS midmorning;  the purplish clutch of “round the world clippers” was about 60 miles south and a tad east of Montauk.  Another player out there -farther southeast of the racing yachts–was the tug Rachel!   The last time she “passed my radar” was last fall when she towed a vessel from the San Francisco area to the scrappers in Texas.   Now it appears she’s homebound after a tow of parts to Bath Iron works, parts for what will become USS Zumwalt.

Also, just off Brick, NJ on the AIS “map” above is Larvik, which was at the dock in Bayonne yesterday.

Ten weeks ago in Nola, I got this quite distant foto of American Queen, which I understood had been at the dock for some time, a few seasons.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I stumbled upon this article about steam travel on the Mississippi having resumed.

A visit to AIS finds her snaky trail leading to this dense cluster of vessels in Baton Rouge.  Here’s a recent NYTimes story on the boat with a great slideshow.

And finally . . .  I caught Wilson Saga escorted by Brendan Turecamo headed under the Brooklyn Bridge the other day.

She’s not a large ship relative to Brendan.

And  until I got my fotos home, I’d never even noticed,  taking Wilson‘s stern,  the refurbished marketboat turned yacht named Peggy ?

So where do you suppose Wilson Saga has been prior to the sixth boro?  Some obscure and magical places, if you like Nordica:

June 6th, New York

May 23rd, Aalborg

May 19th, Moerdijk

May 10th, Riga

May 7th, Jelsa

May 5th, Heroya

April 23rd, Svelgen

April 19th, Leirpollen

April 15th, Glomfjord

What a saga . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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