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March 2020 has arrived, and when I brushed the cobwebs away from the March 2010 archives, I discovered I took a lot of interesting photos that month, enough to do two posts from the 2010 March set.

Let’s start with the quirky Capt. Log, captained by the friendliest person I know in the sixth boro.  I rode along on the 63′ tanker for this story.

A fleetmate of Stena Perros , Stena Primorsk, is currently anchored off Long Beach NY.  Perros is off Santos Brasil today, 2020.  Ships are designed to travel the largest part of the planet.

Firefighter was still in service 10 years ago;  now it’s a museum in Greenport NY.  After the hauling out in this post, she was repainted in her original white/black colors.

MOL Innovation is escorted in by the indefatigable Ellen McAllister.  At 961′ loa, Innovation is more than 300′ shorter than the largest container ships calling in the sixth boro these days, and I suspect the 1996 build has been scrapped.

Back in 2010, I was not using AIS, but as I drove my car over the VZ Bridge on my way to work one morning, I noticed it entering the boro;  I was very happy that I was driving to work early that day;  I got the photos and still made it to work on time.  THAT is the logic of going to work earlier than necessary, and (almost) always carrying a camera.   Now I’m sorry to report the 1995 Jumbo Spirit is aground in a scrapping yard in Aliağa.

Maersk Wisconsin, a 2000 build, has also been scrapped.   Note the Humvees being transported.

McAllister Brothers is a 1958 Jakobson product;  I believe she’s laid up in the McAllister Staten Island yard.

Eagle Service is now Genesis EagleHorizon Discovery … in the distance, she’s also been scrapped in Texas. Note the different Manhattan skyline, only a decade ago.

More soon.  All photos in March 2010 by WVD, who now needs to wash the cobwebs off.  And since learning that Jumbo Spirit has been scrapped, I decided I need one more glance.

November 2009 saw the USS New York (LPD-21) arrive in her namesake city for christening commissioning. Just faintly, the name is visible on the stern.

I also went up to the Lyons NY dry dock in November 2009 and caught Urger, then in seasonal layup. Five years were to go by before I did my season on this Barge Canal tugboat.  May she return!

Firefighter was still working in the sixth boro.

Stephen was working then too, and she’s still working today.

Cape Ann’s Essex Creek is hardly the sixth boro, but you can get there from here . . . . and Essex MA is one of my favorite places, although –truth be told–I’ve been there only once since 2009.

Some miles north of Essex Creek is the Piscataqua River, and back then these were the horses in Moran’s stable on Ceres Street:  Carly A. Turecamo, Mary M. Coppedge, and Eugenia Moran.  Carly‘s now in Maine with Winslow, Eugenia is maybe laid up, and Mary M. is still working there . . . but again I’ve not been there in almost two years.

And finally . . .  she who need not be named alongside a dock in Philly.

Any since we’re on the retired undefeated speed champion, let’s zoom in on the “crow’s nest” in these next two photos . . .

Not my photo although I felt like talent that day . . .   Here and here are more photos from that day, in 2014.

This last photo is by Chris Ware.  All others by Will Van Dorp.


I took the photo below in spring 2012 on the event of 343‘s arrival in the sixth boro.  It shows (from far to near) FDNY’s John D. McKean, Kevin C. Kane, and Firefighter.  None of these vessels is currently owned by FDNY.  McKean has gone upriver to be converted into a museum, Kane has gone to Wisconsin to become a workboat, and  so far as I know, our whole upriver alliance of traffic watchers–myself included– missed her passage to Troy and then the Erie Canal, even though I traveled on the Erie twice this past November. Did anyone catch photos of Kane and not post them, I wonder?

Firefighter has gone to Greenport on the North Fork to live on as a museum.


The next four photos were taken by Fireboat Firefighter Museum volunteers.

I saw Firefighter in Greenport on December 31, 2016, but as of today, she’s at Goodison’s Shipyard in Rhode Island,


where haul out and


hull inspection and repair and


 repainting. This work was made possible by grants from the National Parks Service National Maritime Heritage program, as well as the NY State Office of Historic Preservation, and our supporters and benefactors who provided matching donations to allow us to access the grant funds. We’re still taking donations for shipyard work through our donation page on our website, and presently have a benefactor willing to provide a 100% match on any donations up to $50K received for additional yard work.
According to Mike Hibbard, VP and vessel historian at Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum, Firefighter will emerge from the shipyard “no longer be sporting the red coat of paint applied to the FDNY fleet in the 1960’s. We’re taking her back to her 1938 appearance – which means she’ll have a black hull, white topside house, black decks and a buff stack. All the monitors, bitts and nameboards will also be returned to their original polished brass appearance.”


Click here for photos I took of Firefighter in the KVK, when she still worked for FDNY.  The next three photos come from the Goodison Shipyard FB page.






Many thanks to Mike Hibbard for contacting me about this story.

For one of many posts featuring another retired FDNY vessel, John J. Harvey, click here.

Just the facts:  Firefighter entered service in 1938 designed by Gibbs and Cox (who also designed the SS United States and the LCS)  . . . to last and last and last.  And she has.  Firefighter is not only the oldest active-duty FDNY vessel but also

she who can deliver the highest gpm (20,000) through her pumps.  One of Firefighter‘s finest moments occured in 1973 . . . after the collision of Sea Witch and Esso Brussels. just north of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.   See great text and  fotos of that accident here.   Salvaged portions of Sea Witch live on in Chemical Pioneer, still a regular in the sixth boro.  See her (Witch Pioneer) stern in this tugster post from a year ago.

Dimensions:  Built in Staten Island.  134′ x 32′ x 9′ with twin 16-cylinder 1500 hp engines.  gCaptain wrote about it here.  Watch a very informative 18-minute video here.

The Rolls-Royce of fireboats . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp in early March 2010.

If you’re still in the mood for video, you might check out this new site for cruiser USS  Olympia (C-6), featuring new reels of the battleship parading up the Hudson with Dewey on board in 1899, post-Battle of Manila Bay and Spanish-American War.  The second newsreel has the best video, 1899 technology.    Olympia today is is ship in trouble.

No matter what the posts are this week, the backdrop is that around this time  three years ago I started this blog.  Now nine hundred fiftysomething (!)  posts later, the greatest gratification for me is the  sense of community I’ve gotten from my work.  I feel it!  Thanks to all who’ve read, commented, contributed info and/or fotos, and lurked.  If you’ve only read and lurked, great although I’d love to hear from you too.

Recent traffic has been heavy on Grouper, a 1914 tug that languishes upstate along the part of the Erie Canal where I grew up.  Click here for the details.  Anyone need a project for a mere $26,000?  I took the pic of Grouper in early November 2009, less than three weeks ago.

Fire Fighter, to date FDNY’s unit with the greatest gpm output,  cuts an impressive profile as she cruises Gravesend Bay.

LORO Baltic Mercur has an intriguing silhouette.

An unidentified tanker disappears out the Ambrose, way beyond the bow of barge Charleston.

Uh . .  Brendan (3900 hp), who are you trying to kid?  You’re no stand-in for Pati R, (5100 hp), at least from a “see-over” perspective even with your telescoping house.

And what you do NOT see in the offing of the sixth boro, large fishing vessels like this one, a midwater trawler like Challenger.  This foto was taken off the east end of Cape Ann.

A front page story in today’s NYTimes links Challenger and Brendan Turecamo, in a manner of speaking:  a guy catching a 157-pound bluefin from a kayak that weighs less than 30 pounds,  human-powered although it had to be registered as a motor vessel for him to get a tuna license,  Check it out; tuna have impressive bollard pull.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s a herring song to hold you over til my fishing post:   version a and version b.  I prefer b.

Note:  Although I like assembling/looking at a random set of fotos, I’m aware that each one tells at least one good story . . .  only problem is that I don’t know the story, the very one that in fact I should.  These common unknowns overlay the pictures with a sense of mystery.  Maybe seeking the mysterious and exotic is why I keep doing this blog.  Of course I also do it because it completes me.

First, a really impressive new blog I’ve become a fan of is Kennebec Captain. And from it, here‘s an intriguing story on thousands of longshoremen shutting down over two dozen West Coast ports on May Day.

Now. . . more of these color coded vessels. I think my recent tax payment subsidized fuel costs on this one. Any guesses when the Coast Guard started the red and blue stripes on its hulls? Why is black used for that fishing pole mounted on the port rail near the stern? uh . . . you mean that’s not trolling gear?

Here’s the year for the addition of the stripe.

How long have Harbor Unit NYPD boats been blue? I don’t know.

Given the color scheme above, what agency is this vessel from? Answer here.

What will become of the venerable red FireFighter when the new Robert Allen vessel arrives? When is it expected?

Why are USCG tugs like Line black rather than white? And why doesn’t it have trolling gear? Maybe in keeping with the color of the Defender class boats, might future USCG tugs might be some shade of orange–pumpkin, Florida, Brazilian?

Photos, WVD.

Thanks to Mar, here’s a pilot boat near Vigo in Galicia. I like it when the water’s so clear you can see the keel.  OK, a pilot boat’s not strictly a government boat.



See FireFighter’s keel?



Now you can, although this is not FireFighter. Anyone identify this FDNY vessel at Caddell’s recently?



Ever wonder how the keel and prop of a Staten Island ferry look high and dry?


Photos, WVD.

So when water sprays and tug horns start to blow, throngs leave the Noble Maritime “Tugboats Night & Day” exhibit at Snug Harbor, and–let me to trifle with the first page of Melville’s Moby Dick a bit –“crowds, pacing straight for the water . . . nothing will content them but the extremest limit of land . . . fixed in ocean reveries . . . some seated on the pierheads . . . does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither?” Do they await a ferry to get back home?



No, it’s a parade led by Turecamo Boys, looking back here at Miriam Moran, Thornton Bros, and two Reinauer boats;



Jean Turecamo and Gramma Lee T Moran circle in from the east while


Curtis Reinauer flanking South Street Seaport’s W. O. Decker (ex-Russell No. 1) take the south side of the channel and



Lee T turns inside FireFighter 1 as the water in the KVK starts to swirl and



Curtis and Franklin Reinauer follow two Moran boats around and



then Ellen McAllister, hoses able to douse any remnants of winter, comes in along the south side of the channel.




What was the show at Noble Maritime? Here’s an update showing the Decker as depicted above.  Was this parade really a get-ready-for-spring festival?

All fotos Will Van Dorp; thanks to Capt Andy and crew of Moran’s Turecamo Boys.

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