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Winter solstice is one date I pay attention to, and yesterday demanded an undivided portion of it.  I was out on the sixth and primordial boro at sunrise, although when it rose, a gauzy film of stratus filtered the light.  I tinkered with the image a bit to enhance the cosmic eeriness.

Along the Brooklyn shore a classic barque and one of the latest of a classic line awaited.

Notice two tugboats and a lighthouse below?  One tug is shifting a fuel barge, and the other is shifting refuse boxes.

Start of winter or start of summer, the sixth boro is always a busy place.  Notice the fishing boat in this image, along with all the rest?

For some reason, these E-2C aircraft flew the North River up and then down and out over the Lower Bay.

Dutch Girl, a winter regular along with Eastern Welder, was hard at work.

Ava M. crossed the Bay from one job to the next.  Things are always happening on the water.

And all that’s glorious, but less than a quarter mile from the North River, not all seems to be happening well, and that needs to be acknowledged.

All photos, WVD.

 

The sixth boro, i.e., the watery part that holds the other boros together, is the one that never sleeps, with current, tides, mechanical denizens and their operators, their flora and fauna,  . . .  I’ll leave the list there for now.

You can read the season changing in the fact that Eastern Welder has reappeared for sixth boro clams.

Morning Claire is a regular in the boro, but last time I saw her was several thousand miles to the south.

Stolt Larix is one of the world’s largest parcel tanker fleets, but

what really caught my attention was its PBA backboard, where crew might play watch against watch. I’m always checking for hoops on ships that pass.  I wonder how good the crew teams are.

Gregg is off to assist a tanker in.

Names intrigue me, and I find bulk carriers have the best of the best, like Mega Maggie here.

Century Royal headed into the North River, prompting me to double check her provenance, and her voyage from Progresso MX to Yonkers USA tells me she’s loaded deep with raw Mexican sugar, not road salt as I’d originally assumed.

Here’s an obvious clue to season.

And finally, I’ve not yet seen the newest ferry carry any passengers, but she is training for the shuttle.  For one of my most recent articles, click here for my review of SSG Michael H. Ollis.

All photos, WVD, who’s out to see what and who he might next see.

Fishing grounds . . . the NJ Upper Bay portion of the sixth boro. Quick question to be answered at the end of the post:  how many commercial fishing ports does NJ have and can you name them?  Eastern Welder is a perennial boat here;  Hyundai Victory is one of the ULCVs newly recent here.

I can’t tell you the name of the nearer boat,

but it certainly shows the influence of the deadrise boat from farther south. Click here for a technical definition of deadrise.

Fishing from pedal kayak has surged in popularity, and

can be fishing where they’re not expected.

Bjoern Kils and I on the New York Media Boat Defender visited the nearest NJ commercial fishing port, Belford NJ, the other day.

Although Belford has a lot of boats, it is NOT NJ’s largest fishing port. More on that assignment in an upcoming post.

Belford Creek is home to a diverse set of fish boats.

Given the trail of gulls following Trisha Marie, fish are being cleaned during the ride back to port.

Note the VZ Bridge and the Manhattan skyline visible from the Belford Channel.

Meanwhile dozens of small boats fish the Lower Bay this time of year, while whales gorge themselves on all the bunker in the Bay.

So . . . besides Belford, the other NJ commercial fishing ports are Point Pleasant, Viking Village in Barnegat Light, Atlantic City, Cape May/Wildwood, and Port Norris.  Viking Village is the largest at this time.  Belford is the newest.   More here. Looks like I need to do some more gallivanting . . .

If you’re looking for a non-traditional food for T’day in this non-traditional year, get fish.  It may not be all that non-traditional. Here‘s info on the Belford Seafood Co Op.

All photos and sentiments, WVD.

This series goes way back . . . in fact, the first installment was in 2006 using some photos I took in 2003, on my first trip up the Hudson.

What struck me yesterday as Nord Gainer headed out . . . was how much business was being taken care of on the fly . . .

As she headed out on the ConHook Range–I believe–opposing traffic is winter dragger Eastern Welder.

The docking pilot departs, via James D Moran, and after I’d gotten out ahead, it seemed odd to see the crane pitched over to port until

I caught sight on the vessel alongside her port . . .

the venerable Twin Tube!

Whatever needed to be transferred . . .  Twin Tube was there.

Photos by WVD, who’s always surprised by sights in the sixth boro.

Nord Gainer is part of a huge fleet of tankers, some of which I’ve seen in the boro previously.

 

It’s the sheer diversity of traffic on the sixth boro that keeps me coming back, although diverse does not mean unpredictable.  In summer, mermaids gather, specifically around the very day of the solstice.  In winter, fishing boats come .    In fall, the fishing boats are of a different sort.

Chele-C was fishing on the west side, and

 

Phyllis Ann over on the east

with Dutch Girl and

 

 

this boat I could not identify.

Eastern Welder has been a fixture in winter fishing as far back as I can remember.

 

Osprey are well known for their fishing ability, so I should not

have been surprised to also have seen HSV Osprey out extracting from the depths.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Hats off to the small boats that work all year round . . . crew boats,

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patrol boats,

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fishing boats,

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line boats,

pilot boats,

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dive boats,

more fishing boats,

more crew boats,

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government boats,

more —soon to face major cuts--government boats

more line and boom boats,

and here’s a special . . . a historic life boat, long atop Binghamton, which is still intact as far as I know, and a bit longer ago had

guys in hazmat suits doing the last ever lifeboat drill aboard the 112-year-old condemned ferry.

And finally, of course there’s the New York Media Boat. 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who gives a hat tip to all the crews in small boats on the big waters.

 

I’ve done lots of fishing posts, mostly about this unlikely estuary, where I’ve never fished.

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Here’s Virginia Sue heading past Sakizaya Champion and out

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the Narrows.  By the way, I’m planning a post on that fort in the distance some day soon.

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Dutch Girl is a regular here,

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as is the unlikely named but frequently seen Eastern Welder

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Speaking of fishing, here’s my most recent Professional Mariner story on a group of guys who catch-and-release great big white fish.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here and here are some related posts from six years ago. And why not another about a boat I’ve not noticed yet this year, Miss Callie;  keep in mind, I’ve not been out that much myself.

 

If you squint, you can almost imagine Ellen McAllister is out at sea, with a big blue sky beyond her.  But that blue is

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also Maersk blue;  to know how to create that blue, read through this thread and you’ll get the mix.  And this name . . . I couldn’t get the echo “sheer maerskness” out of my brain.  There’s also this port town by that name.

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It’s fishing season in the sixth boro again, and here Eastern Welder is at work as Kimberly (oops!) JenniferTurecamo tows Portland out toward the Lower Bay.  It looks like Timothy Reinauer farther off.

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Also, in the anchorage at that moment, were Weddell Sea with DBL 83,

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launch Grace D, Mediterranean Sea with DBL 84,

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Dylan Cooper, Joanne III, and Matthews Tibbetts.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

I don’t actually go looking for parallel posts;  maybe it’s just that my brain thinks and eyes see in similar ways from one year to the next in March, but here and here are posts from exactly four years ago.

Although this blog focuses on work boats, I’ll comment on backgrounds today.  What’s on the water is fluid, but all the constant transformations on the landsides here are more permanent and yet constantly evolving.  Baseline might have been 500 years ago, but even by then it had evolved.  The cruise ship here is docked at what today is called Cape Liberty Cruise Port;  thirty years ago it was MOTBY.

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Frances waits at a barge anchorage near Anthem of the Seas

Over on the nearest shore, left half of the photo is evidence of work where next year an attraction called New York Wheel will spin.  I know we’re way past name discussions now, but I’m still for alternatives like Ferries Wheel or NY Wheeler Dealer . . . .  And with the reference to “pods,” I’m thinking of a series of sci-fi movies . . .

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Eastern Welder fishes as New Jersey Responder exits the KVK.

The uneven, brown land just off the starboard bow of USNS Red Cloud is part of the Bayonne Golf Club, below the surface of which is a capped landfill.

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Discovery Coast passes in front of Red Cloud.

Off to the left, you see current status of the Bayonne side of the bridge named for the same town.

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From l. to r., there’s Chandra B, Celsius Manila, New Jersey Responder, and (I think) Robert E. McAllister.

Looking from behind the construction site for the Wheel, some miles to NE are part of the Statue of Liberty and  the iconic 1931 Empire State Building.

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Anacostia (2009)  and Tangier Island (2014)  look a lot alike, but the older boat has 1200 more horsepower.

Note the double deck traffic on the VZ Bridge.

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l. to r. it’s Caroline Oldendorff and Australian Spirit.

This is looking from the middle of Upper Bay across Red Hook to downtown Brooklyn.

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In front of the busy background, it’s Alice Oldendorff, Rossini, and Robert E. McAllister.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s what I did two years ago.  And here’s what I did last year.

This time I’ll do it differently, as post –more or less but close–the first and last photo I took each month, starting below with Buchanan I entering the Narrows on January 1 not long after sunrise.

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And I won’t mention each date, but this was January 28 just before midday, Durance entering the KVK with Laura K Moran taking the stern.

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Winter sees fishing boats like Eastern Welder in the Upper Bay, adding to the regulars in the anchorages like Asphalt Star and Emma Miller.

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If you’ve forgotten how cold it stayed throughout the month of February, here are two photos from just off the Battery

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taken on February 28.

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James Turecamo ushers in March, actually that was March 6, and there’s still snow on the ground.

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At the end of the month, Grey Shark was in town for repairs, an extended stay.

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April 1 saw Margot continuing to extend NYS Marine Highway right through the sixth boro . . . the same day that

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Kismet enters the cold waters after leaving its lair in the Caribbean.

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April 29 . . . I finally caught Simone in the harbor . . . here tailed by MSC Monica.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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