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Here’s a sampling of boats working I saw in the sixth boro the past week; the variety of boats, though, is greater than these would suggest.

Frances . . . was launched on Long Island in 1957.  Scroll through here and see photos of Frances I took in 2010 when she still had the Turecamo wood-grain paint.

Emily Ann was built in Louisiana in 1964.  She’s been a DonJon boat for eight years;  to see her in K-Sea colors, scroll here. I’ve no photos of her in previous liveries.

Potomac, 2007 in Louisiana, and Fort McHenry, 2016 and Maryland.  They were built as Vane equipment.

Paula Lee is not a tugboat, nor is

Trojan, the anchor tender, but this equipment is currently in the sixth boro, but owned by a company based in California.  I don’t know the history of any of these pieces of Dutra equipment.

Ellen McAllister, Wisconsin in 1967.  Ellen may very well be the most frequently-appearing boat on this blog.  Here she is passing the southern tip of Manhattan just entering the East River.

Meagan Ann, Washington state in 1975.  See Birk’s encyclopedia-like site for photos of Meagan Ann as a Foss boat.  I have more photos of her wrestling in this DonJon crane.

And Joker, 1979, Louisiana.  Eight years ago, I caught these photos of the boat when she was called Taurus, a Kirby boat, and looking rough. Here, from 2007, is Taurus in K-Sea colors.

All photos, WVD.

Friday I hit the road going pretty far west, and maybe even finding a vessel called Far West.

FB won’t display a preview photo because I made them full size.  Oh well.

Picking up from yesterday, Kimberly released her line on the lower recessed bitt of MSC Bilbao and spun around to head back home.  Jonathan C goes to retrieve the docking pilot.

Victoria Highway comes in . . . .

Life saving steel cage?

 

Lines are prepped for the next job.

Brendan Turecamo is on the stern.

Meanwhile, over in Global, there’s a lot of shifting going on.

See the crane operator’s cabin beneath the rail just to the right of the red/white tip of the rail?  An operator sits there the whole shift shuttling backing and forth lifting and lowering containers more than a hundred feet below.

Frances leaves for her next job.

Emily Ann moves a brace scows  . . . likely to Claremont.

And Bruce A. comes over to  hang on the wall between jobs.

Here ends my spring morning series.  On a day like this, I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve posted only ten percent of the photos I took, of course, in the interest of creating some narrative.  Obviously each of these photos could develop into a narrative in itself.  And other photos creating differing narratives remain in my archives . . . for now.

All photos, WVD.

 . . .and barges, of course.  Someone or something has to pay the bills.  This unique bow is the leading edge of RTC 135, 460′ x 72.5′ here building up a lot  of water,

getting moved along

by Nicole Leigh Reinauer.  They both date from 1999.

Crystal Cutler, always a joy to see,

moves a light Patricia E. PolingCrystal is approaching her 10-year mark. 

A surprise tug

moving this past week was Evening Breeze.

although she was light. I first posted photos of this 2019 boat a year and a half ago

McAllister tugs seem to rotate bases.  I hadn’t seen Charles D. for a while, but she’s back.

and working hard.  She dates from 1967, when she was launched as Esso Garden State, part of a large Esso shipping fleet.

Helen Laraway (1957) has been working in a harbor a lot these days. 

Seeley (1981) with a Weeks barge and Frances (1957) heading for fuel were westbound here.

All photos, WVD.

An omen of the future . . . in 2013, Urger was laid up, sans her problematic prop shaft.  Here she’s nez-a-nez with Day Peckinpaugh.

Gowanus Bay was looking good.

NYS Marine Highway was well represented,

as always.  And following two of the four NYS Marine Highway boats there was Cornell, Frances and Margot‘s senior by the better part of a decade.

If you’ve never attended, trust me when I say the fireworks show is extraordinary!  Here from the bulkhead a dozen or so thousand spectators

and a few on solo craft

are captivated by the show.

I can’t tell you much about Iron Chief,  except that it has nice brass, a working steam engine, and was for sale in 2012.   In that link, you hear it run.  Of course, in the distance that’s ex-Atlantic Hunter, now Little Giant.

For me personally, 2013 was my first time to see the Blount Small Ship Adventures vessels head into a lock.

 

Besides tugboats, you never know what or who you might see.

it’s bowsprite of the blog and the etsy shop on an underwater mission.

Here’s the line up.

All photos, WVD.

The 2010 post had a photo from 2009, so let me start this one with one from 2010.  This photo made the cover of a NYS Restoration publication devoted to boats, but I lent my copy to someone and it’s never returned.  If you know the publication, please let me know.

OK, let’s see one more from 2010, taken from the same bridge, but closer to the bank and less zoomed.  Lots of folks come to these Roundups, but the number of working boats that can get there is decreasing because of increasing air draft and the inflexible 112th Street bridge, which also wiped out the viability of Matton shipyard.

The Roundup always begins with a parade, and that used to be always (in my times there) led by Urger.

Cornell and spawn named Augie waited on the wall in Troy.

Buffalo is now in Buffalo, and in less good condition. Here‘s more info on her.  She’s 53′ x 16’ and worked for the Barge Canal from 1916 until 1973.  Originally steam, she was repowered after WW2.  See her engine, a Cooper Bessemer, running here back in 2007.

Wendy B was the show stealer in 2010.  She looked good and no one I spoke with knew where she’d come from.  She’s a 1940-build by Russel Brothers of Owen Sound ON, originally a steam tug called Lynn B. More info is here but you have to scroll.

8th Sea is a staple of the Roundup, probably has been since the beginning. She was built in 1953 at ST 2050 by American Electric Welding. That makes her a sister to ST 2062, now in the sixth boro as Robbins Reef, seen here if you scroll.  Here‘s a tug44 description of tug and captain.

Small can still be salty, especially with this innovative propulsion . . . . Little Toot.

As I said, one of the traditions of the Roundup is that Urger leads the way.  Here, above the federal lock, the boats muster. And traditions are important.

The active commercial boats line up at the wall nearest the Hudson River, but when a job needs doing, they head out.

Since the Roundup happens just below lock E-2 of the Erie Canal, the thoroughfare for the Great Loop,  it’s not uncommon to see some long distance boats pass by.  All I know about Merluza is that it’s the Spanish word for hake.

What happened to 2011 you may ask?  Irene happened and the Roundup was cancelled.   We’re indebted to tug44 for documenting the damage of that hurricane in the Mohawk Valley.

All photos, unless otherwise attributed, WVD.

 

 

This happens to be the 1953 Hobo, but any boat single, twin, triple, or quadruple looks like this when first hauled out.

And here . . . after a shave and haircut,and some good pomade.  She’s 38′ 12′.

The unicorn here is W. O. Decker, 1930, wooden-hulled. She’d been power washed but was waiting for more work.  The 52′ x 15′ tug would be out doing tours had it not been for COVID.

I leave this one as the quiz.  Name that single-screwed tugboat.  I realize there’s really no clues.  you just need to go through your list of single-screwed tugs working in the sixth boro.

The 66′ x 18′ 1940 Ireland is up on Lake Ontario, living under a new name . . . Hoppiness the Tug. The main engine has been pulled, and soon she’ll be high and dry up on the Great Lake.

This was assuredly the 1944 Capt. Mackintire‘s last haul out.  the 1944 tug was 80′ x 23′ hauled out here in Belfast ME.  She sank in 158’ of water three miles off Kennebunkport ME in February 2018.

The 1958 Margot is 85′ x 24′ and has been featured on this blog many times.

And that’s all I got.  Thanks to Donna for sending along the photos of Hobo.  All others, WVD.

And the mystery tug is Frances, a year older than Margot but with otherwise virtually the same dimensions.

 

You won’t see the 80′ Cohoes Falls from the boat heading into the lock E-2, but this is the reason for the flight of five locks you climb right after leaving Waterford bulkhead to starboard.  The falls, shown here in September, is only about a mile, as the crow flies, from the Waterford visitor center.    Imagine the torrent stretching across the entire width of the lower Mohawk during a quick warming and melting spring, looking

like this.

Lock E-2, the entrance to the flight, looked like this about a century ago.  To the right side of the photo, note the Champlain sidecut locks still functional then;  these three locks, of dimensions appropriate to 19th century shipping, allowed access between the Hudson River and the old Champlain Canal. Today they are a spillway past lock E-2.

 

Grande Caribe, an Eriemax passenger vessel, enters lock E-2.  All 34 locks in the Erie Canal can accommodate vessels up to 300′ x 43.5′ x 12′, although the locks in the western half can only be reached if airdraft is less than about 15.’ The past four years I’ve worked as onboard lecturer on this vessel and her twin.  Her superstructure has been lowered to 21′ so that she can fit under the low bridges along the way to Lake Ontario.

The water below lock E-2 is 15.2′ above sea level.

The record year for commercial cargo on the Canal, then referred to as the Barge Canal, was 1951, when records show 5,211,472 tons of cargo was transported, most of it petroleum in units like Carmelite II,  built in Brooklyn in 1941, pushing Hygrade No. 26 into lock E-2.

In May 2018, the Canal opened for the 100th season;  yachts of substantial size enter the lowest lock of the flight vying to be part of the first locking through, and

local school children sing welcome songs as these vessels exit the top of E-2 on opening day, guaranteeing they’ll never forget their Waterford welcome.

On the south side of lock E-3 you can see a Canal maintenance dry dock and to the left, the shops.  When the area is flooded, boats are floated in via the gates at the far (west) end.

Today this slope has extensive tree cover.  Without tree cover, you can clearly see that the flight resembles a staircase, each lock raising vessels just over 30′.  For archival photos , the digital collections of the NYS Archives are a great place to spend many hours as we make our way west.

This photo is taken from lock E-5  eastward down to E-4 and beyond. Note the blue catwalk just beyond the railings atop the lock gates.

This is from that catwalk as tug Frances pushes a barge toward lock E-5, and

the same view in winter.  Click here for archival photos of this area taken in 1911.

The Canal is increasingly a recreational space, and in summer 2019, hundreds of kayaks transited through the lock.  I’ve seen these locks operated for a single racing shell and spotter boat.

Above lock E-6, a series of guard gates protects the flight.  Twenty-some guard gates, like these,  are used in the system.

When the Canal was constructed, places like these–seen above today– needed to be excavated.

At the top of the flight, we are 184′ above sea level.  In less than two miles, we’ve transited five locks, of 57 total in the system, and been raised about 160.’  Since we are heading for Lake Ontario at Oswego in this part of the tour, we’ve got 24 locks and over 185 miles left.

In the next post we head west.

And a postscript . . .  these photos show more boats in the locks and waterway than is typical, but shots with boats in the waterway, which I’ve taken over the many transits I’ve made, are just more interesting.

You’ll excuse this poor quality lede photo once you realize who/what took it:  the Statue of Liberty has functioning eyes and watches everything that passes through this sector of the sixth boro.  Think about that:  she’s big and she witnesses!  And yesterday it was raining here, so those are water droplets on the lens.

But the point of this post is the tug with an unusual tow just entering from the right.  I know it’s not very clear, but bear with me . .  or us.  It gets better.

A bit later, Phil Little was at the ready from the cliff across from the Manhattan passenger terminal, but who knew which side of the tow to watch until this point.

A bit later, Luis Melendez, NYC Parks dock master at Dyckman Marina,  was on the optimal albeit rainy side of the tow to see schooner Pioneer well defined against the scow.

Here’s a little bit of history if you’re not familiar with Pioneer:  she was built in Marcus Hook PA in 1885 as a sand sloop, operating between Delaware Bay and the Delaware River. So think of the photo this way, and I’m paraphrasing someone else here: she was a sand sloop converted to a sand schooner (and other configurations) now made to a sand or aggregate scow and headed upriver pushed by the mighty 1957 Frances.   Pioneer was hitching a ride to Albany for engine work.

A few dozen miles later, Kevin Oldenburg was ready to get even clearer pics.  It was still rainy but not yet dark.

 

After she rounded Jones Point,

she was soon visible from the Bear Mountain Overlook along Hwy 202.

That’s Iona Island off the port side and

sand sloop/schooner that Pioneer was, she had clearly a small fraction of capacity when compared to her 21st century scow descendants.

Many thanks to Justin Zizes, Jonathan Boulware, Phil Little, Luis Melendez, Kevin Oldenburg, and the Lady of the Harbor for their contributions–made in rainy December conditions–to this post.  By the way, did anyone get photos from W. O. Decker?  Anyone else from any other vantage point?

A previous time we had this many collaborators watching traffic was just over a decade ago and involved sailing barges and a mothership named Flinterborg.

Getting back to the Statue of Liberty cam, “girl with no eyes” made a great song, but it could certainly not be said to refer to our Lady of the sixth boro.

Since I mentioned Dyckman Marina, whatever became of Mon Lei, the Chinese junk formerly owned by Robert “believe it or not” Ripley and recently docked up there at the now defunct-La Marina for a few years?

Lady Liberty called me up last night to apologize for the poor quality of photo she delivered and asked why Pioneer had not hitched a ride on a nicer day.  I was speechless, because what does one say when the Lady calls you up on your personal number??!@#?

 

 

Frances heads out to earn some money on a rainy yesterday morning.  I’ve no idea what that red glow behind the Statue is.

Lincoln Sea has worked on both coasts since I’ve been doing this blog, and like Frances, has kept the same name.  Click here to see her in my second ever blog post . . . 2006.

Michael Miller here moves equipment to and from islands in the boro’s archipelago.  I first saw this vessel as Stapleton Service.

Annie G II goes way back on this blog too.  Recently she’s been doing a job over west of the Staten Island Ferry racks, a job she was the perfect size for.   She’s a WGI tug.

Jane A. Bouchard was out along the east side of Staten Island, passing the old US Marine Hospital.  See it here if you scroll way through.

Ellen McAllister was heading out for a call.  I likely first posted a photo of her here.

In that photo earlier, Jane was headed to meet up with Evening Star and her barge.

James E. Brown and Thomas J. Brown tag teamed car float NYNJR 200, the newest and largest car float in the sixth boro.

Ditto, CMT Pike and Helen Laraway meet up on a set of scows.

And to close this out, it’s Austin Reinauer, Boston-bound in the rain.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here are the previous three installments of this title.  After seven straight weeks away, I’m back in the boro for a while, a short while, and it seems the best way to catch up–attempt to–is to work backwards, starting from now.

A welcome sight on the west side of midtown . . . . Chandra B, ensconced here in the marine guard.  A great name for an organization?

Nearby, Miss Circle Line stands at the ready.

Still earlier this morning, I caught St. Andrews, 

and before that Frances.  More of her as I work backwards in time.

Earliest of all today . . .  Helen Laraway.

 

One from our arrival yesterday . . .  it’s Thunder Bay, an icebreaker assigned to summertime and UN Week duties.  As the name of a Lake Superior port, this name goes with lakers as well.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who feels a bit like Rip Van Winkle this morning.   Maybe I should gallivant a bit in the sixth boro . . .

 

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