You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’ tag.

Note the Crowley props and the orange-clad crew.  Doubleclick enlarges image.

Note the huge design difference between Socrates (1966, 3200 hp) and

Heron (1968, 3200 hp).  

My question is this:  what is the actual weight added to Swan by these five tugs, one barge, and one crewboat?  Does the load change the draft of Swan at all, given that she like any vessel is ballasted as needed?  And I do not know the answer.

For outatowners, these shots from Bay Ridge show the “west” end of the Verrazano Bridge.  Yesterday’s fotos were taken from the bluff more or less just above the white dome of the lighthouse.

And for this foto, I pivoted slightly toward the south, capturing both towers of the Bridge.  Entering the Narrows is a ferry and dredger

Terrapin Islandwhich as recently as two and a half months ago was sucking up silt from Jed’s coast in southern Georgia.

All fotos this morning by Will Van Dorp, who probably has one more installment on Swan.  For the title, my apologies to Marcel Proust.

More snow aftermath here. . . .but work goes on . . . like Eastern Welder, great name for a fishing boat, pulling

in the harbor’s

bounty so that it could be packed away, snow or no snow.

Caspian Sea pushes a snow-whitened

and perfectly-named  John Blanche.

Torm Carina, resupplying before heading to sea,

now sports a glazed bulb.  Anyone propose a description of that winteryellow sky?

Shovels are out on both tug Penn No. 4 and barge Penn No. 90.

Snow remains where it stuck on Captain D and GL 64.

as well as the assemblage around GL Dredge New York.

Snow highlights recesses in the Global Terminal where London Express and Cap Norte shift containers.

Over toward BAT, from left to right, it’s Beaufort Sea, McKinley Sea, and North Sea.   I was hoping to catch Barents Sea.

Snow paints the stern of Laurie Ann Reinauer, here with RTC 85, orca style.

Finally, the identification of the ferry in yesterday’s post, according to Kyran Clune, is Guy V. Molinari, which along with Senator John J. Marchi and Spirit of America, began their journey in Marinette, Wisconsin.  Molinari, pre-launch, awaits below.

For fotos of snow elsewhere, check out Essex, MA at Burnham’s.  Or Gloucester  snow and so much more with Jay Albert;  I especially liked his report recently on Ocean Alliance moving into the long-empty paint factory.    Issuma feels the cold in Toronto.  George Conk watches the ice from just north of the GW Bridge.   And finally, from Australia, it looks like snow, but it’s spuma!!

It sounds like the green stuff some bunnies and humans like to nibble on.  It can be organic when it relates to crystals, but not much more.  No, EO’s Yeoman Brook is not a snow-making operation at Staten Island’s most frequented ski slope.  And yes, that four-bladed clover is the most organic shape here besides the white dunes.

Here’s a veritable lattice garden.  That’s drill vessel Apache approaching, an unidentified Moran tug over by the bridge.  No, that’s probably not a moveable bridge (Sorry, Brian) or a removable bridge.  In silly conversation recently, a friend and I concluded we preferred removable  britches  to removable bridges.

Railings galore and flat plating.

Racks and railings and vessels and arms . . .  straight lines encasing a very few curves.  What you’re looking at here is a Reinauer barge foreground with a chemical tanker beside the hose rack.

More of same on CSCL Sydney.  Note the focus on the face of the man in the middle window.

Parting shot for now . . . Emily Cheramie, Apache, Yeoman Brook.  Other shapes soon, more organic ones . . .  less lattice and more . . . tomato.

A silly post with fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Click here and scroll through for a several years old article about drillship Apache in New York harbor.

Here’s a game:    I show part of a foto, and you might try to identify the vessel . . .

an answer of Marion C. Bouchard would have been correct.  Doubleclick enlarges most.

Let’s start here.  Although I didn’t take this foto, I did refer to it recently on this blog.  Note the logo.  Any guesses?

Unusual exhaust location . . .

“training wheels”

those can’t be superhigh steamer stacks, can they?

angular hull profile

tiny tires as fenders, or  …

Terrapin Island has a stack forward of the house.

Ellen McAllister, of course.

The unique Odin tailed by Ross Sea over by the Goethals Bridge.  Ross Sea seems to sprout a massive starboard stack here.  Anyone know whose stacks those really  are?

Lois Ann L. Moran

Huge tires, actually, on the gargantuan Atlantic Salvor.

And here’s the final one.  It’s Break of Dawn.  When I read that the tug that had the misfortunate to take the job of towing Mobro 4000, I assumed it was a local independent tug, not a fleet sibling of Dawn Services.    This blog has run fotos of Baltic Dawn and Atlantic Dawn.

For a fuller story of the motivations behind the “garbage job,” read this, starting from p. 243.

For the artistic story behind the children’s book, see this link for the series of decisions and sketches involved in creating the story.  As a disclaimer … I haven’t read the book and realize some controversy surrounds it, but check out the Amazon page video about the author’s process in creating the artwork.  To me, one important story here is an honest ambitious  crew doing a job that captures them, transforming them into pawns of a diverse, far-flung, and powerful interest groups.

The Break of Dawn fotos come thanks to Harold Tartell.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  I just added a blogroll link to Lars Johnson’s site on Swedish tugs and other vessels.    Thanks much to  Björn Wallde for sending these along.  Check out his comment for fotos!

And talking about being pawns . . .  my account of my time as a hostage in Iraq exactly 20 years ago is reaching its climax on the Babylonian Captivity site.  If you’ve not been reading it, my detention lasted from August until December 1990;  to read the account in chronological order, see the note upper right on the homepage.


Beaufort Sea (ex-Corsair, 1971, 105 loa x 32′) with DBL 101.  Can anyone identify the tallest building on the skyline there?  I can’t.

Emily C. Cheramie (2000, 90′ x 28′  ) with Unloader No. 2.

Despite a stiff tailwind, a Buchanan tug (12?) heads southbound toward Yonkers with six or nine stone scows barely making headway against the flood.

Catherine Turecamo (ex-Gulf Tempest, 1972, 99′ x 30′) approaches while Endeavor (2007, 964′ x 91′) and Ellen McAllister (1966, 102′ x 29′)  recede.  Ellen seems shorter than 102′ . . . although I’m not sure why I think so.  Click here and scroll for a foto of the Bayonne Bridge under construction.  See MOL history here.

Amy C. McAllister (ex-Jane A. Bouchard, 1975, 91′ x 30′)  with B. No. 231 approaching the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

Morgan Reinauer (ex-Exxon Garden State, 1981, 119′ x 34′)  passing an outbound Maersk Denpasar (exactly the same dimensions as MOL Endeavor but launched in 2003).  Denpasar is the capital of the Indonesian province of Bali.

Susan E. Witte (a classic looking from  2004, 55′ x 17′)  strides into the Kills.

Maurania III (also 2004, 101′ x 33′) escorts a tanker while Linda Moran (2008, 116′ x 36′) passes on the far side.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated question:  You will no doubt remember the fiasco of Mobro 4000‘s 6000-mile journey towed by Break of Dawn, built 1982.  Does anyone have a recent foto of Break of Dawn?

Note:  doubleclick enlarges almost all fotos for the past year or so.

Cutter head, the helical jaws with scores of teeth that need intensive maintenance,

smoking heat and

light therapy to effect the endless gnawing away of

sixth boro bottom limits.  One team attends to the teeth while another

prepares the rig for chewing

elsewhere in

the Channel. I wonder when any of the Museums in other five boros will mount an exhibit of this effort, as the Boston

Museum of Science did 0f their herculean effort almost two decades ago.  Meanwhile, what has happened to the cutter head, you say?

Or the mighty Brazos and crew?

Why . . . busy, of course.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Vessels besides Florida include Sea Bear, Layla Renee, and Pearl River.

I stopped at the KVK today just in time to watch an anchor move.  Crew on the “bent-leg” barge caught the hook in the eye of the anchor cable, and

then Sea Bear powered away, the barge submerging in the process.

The anchor got winched up and

the barge crew took the applause as the tug moved them

away to the next phase, which looked

a bit like jousting or clam raking with long handled tools.

The eye was caught and the yellow hook dropped

from the sky;  once attached, the anchor got

hauled up, and Florida could move to the next dredge sector.

All fotos this morning by Will Van Dorp.



A year, a month, and three days before I was born, Joseph Mitchell published the essay below in the New Yorker.  I don’t know when the first dredge appeared in the sixth boro, but

in Mitchell’s day, as now, dredging fleets and their crews sculpted the invisible portions of New York harbor.  The above hard-to-read text made its way into the beginning of  the essay “The Bottom of the Harbor” in Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel.  For fotos of the crew of dredge Florida at their various duties, check through several dozen new ones on my Flickr stream to the left.

And it does take a fleet of specialized craft, like Apache, which

drills holes into “hard rock,”  inserts explosive charges, and blows bedrock into fragments.  Here’s a KVK blast video from USACE.  This is how the process looks at a site in Finland.  For images and description of blasting in Hell Gate in the 19th century, click here.

The next three fotos come thanks to Allen Baker.  Loose clay mix slop

looks like this dropping into scows and smelling, by Allen’s description, as

“aroma there’s not enough vocabulary for.”

Drier particles, chewed up by the cutter head, might

get scooped by an excavator like 996 on

dredge New York.    Here is video of a very scary day a few years back aboard New York.

Other areas of the harbor bottom get sculpted by vessels like Padre Island and (below) Terrapin Island.

Padre Island and Terrapin Island suction stuff up with heads like these.

And performing liaison duties among all the ships and machines in the fleet are crew boats like Brazos River

here driven from the exterior control station by Capt. Bill Miller.

Thanks to Bowsprite for taking the fotos above and below.  And thanks to Bill Miller for his hospitality.

And finally . . . back to the teeth:  cost is between $150 and $180 each, depending on size and manufacturer.  And ,

this beaut weighs about 35 pounds.

Also, in case you  wondered about the date of Mitchell’s essay in the New Yorker:  January 6, 1951.

More teeth . . .  price per?  And here’s a puzzle to savor . . . what connection is there between this machine and the 1893 Chicago’s World Fair aka Columbia Exposition?   What connection is there between this machine and the mid-1950s arrival of German sub U-505 at its current location?  Answers follow.

Guess the diameter of this pump housing?

Here’s a side view of the dredge Florida taken a few weeks ago from shore and

another taken while docking there yesterday.  Imagine the innards?   This vessel launched in 1954 from National Steel and Shipbuilding of San Diego.

In this view from the port side of the wheelhouse, the cutter head mission control is the area surrounded by monitors.

Color coding tracks progress.

In the current operation, bedrock dislodged by the 30ish rpm cutter head gets scooped out by an excavator (see a future post).  But in other projects, this pump can draw out loosened materials and blow them onto land.  The diameter of this pump is . . . . pretty big.

Also below deck is power control.

Now those questions at the beginning, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock began as Lydon & Drews, and they provided the “shoreline” for the Columbian Exposition.  Also, GLDD, as it was called in 1954, assisted in moving the U-505 into its current location at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industy.  Cost of teeth . . .sooon.

William A. Lydon (see above) was this owner of steam yacht Lydonia, like Cangarda, built at Pusey and Jones of Wilmington, DE.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Behold, full frontal of the cutter head dredge Florida.

Many thanks to the crew for inviting us to see Florida up close, complete with great BBQ and thorough safety talks.  Here is one of three spare cutter heads, with a total of 52 teeth in each of the helical jaws.  Check out the tooth manufacturer’s site, ESCO.  Here’s another.

On the rig, including the head that’s busy chewing on serpentinite, over 200 teeth are mounted.

200 teeth are mounted.

The used tooth at left weighs 35 pounds.

On the hot seat, the driver studies a battery of split screen monitors and  more controls and indicators than on a space shuttle allow finessing

of this grind process safely anchored in the busy channel of the KVK, business as modeled by Zim Shanghai.

More next time.  Any more guesses on the price of these teeth?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock and the crew of Florida and Brazos River.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,566 other subscribers
If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Documentary "Graves of Arthur Kill" is AVAILABLE again here.Click here to buy now!

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.


February 2023