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Summer gallivants, mine and those of others, have lots of pleasures, but one of them has to be to see the old trucks gathering more rust than dust.  Attempts might be made to stave off the effects, but they are enough of a joy to look at, even if they don’t run, that I’m willing to go off script. 

Here in the rainy almost northwesternmost part of the lower 48, a 1950s Chevy guards a corner of the The Bike Ranch.

I stepped out on a rainy morning to get a photo of waterfalls on one side of the road, and as I ran back to the shelter of the car, on the opposite side of the road were these two classics.

I can’t quite make out the logo on the radiator.   Had it not been raining so hard, I might have zoomed in with another photo.

In a different part of the southern tier of NYS, this Chevy panel from the same era as the two Chevys above waited for repairs that might never happen.  If it got moved out of the rain and weeds and beaucoup $$ were spent, it might look like this.

Not old, but as a testimony to this time period, I needed to preserve this vehicle for posterity, this near the southern tip of a large island in the NYC archipelago.

Along the access road to a parkway and waiting at a light, these two trucks frame a delightful old Pontiac car,  likely from the early 1950, 1955 probably with a few frills like the roof racks.

While waiting for some work at a Toyota dealer in eastern Long Island, I happened upon this beauty, a 1980 Toyota Land Cruiser diesel pickup from the Australian desert. The restoration was so good it did not look out of place in the showroom.

And as promised, a few more from Lewis Cobb, Jr.  . . .

a 1940s (1946?) housed out of the rain in a garage that looks like it’s as much a survivor as the truck is.

Maybe I should do an apprenticeship in body work . . .

From Fred Wehner in the North Country of NYS, it’s a 1950s (split screen windshield) Willys pickup with an alternative power plant . . .

like I said . . . power plant.  Just add water . . .  maybe some manure?

Some photos of mine from July 2011 . . . from the southernmost corner of a state in the lower 48, a disintegrating old GMC, mid-1940s (maybe 1946) model. 

And since this is mostly a water (including water of oxidation) blog, the long-unseen-in-sixth-boro Grey Shark with a load of trucks and whatever else leaving the KVK for points south.  Anyone know if this Grey Shark still plies the oceans?

Thanks to Lucy, Lewis, and Fred for these photos; all others mine.

For a classier version of cars and trucks on a ship, click here to see civilian vehicles of USS Theodore Roosevelt!

Grey Shark assisted out of the Kills by Catherine C.  MillerCatherine is still working, but Grey Shark has not moved from its berth in Las Caleras DR in almost three and a half years, so it’s safe to assume she won’t be calling in NYC’s sixth boro any more. By the way, July 2011 had some HAZY summer days.

The former Kristin Poling (1934 as Poughkeepsie Socony) had a few months to work, here alongside the almost new Crystal Cutler.

The mighty Viking was still working.  See the Celebrity ship in the haze.

along with even more powerful fleetmate Irish Sea, still intact and tied up at Vinik Marine.

Glen Cove was still working;  she was sold south.

Then the gallivanting started, here with a stop under the Route 213 bridge alongside the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal to watch the almost-new Mako go by. 

Down to Key West and USCGC Mohawk WPG-78, now a fish condo.  She was reefed almost exactly a year later.

Florida is unusual in that few Kirby tugboats, to my knowledge, work as assist boat.  She’s currently operated as a Seabulk tug.

C-Tractor 5 and its fleetmate

the slightly more powerful lucky 13 set the bar for unusual design and color scheme.

All photos, WVD, who’s making arrangements for more gallivanting soon, although it looks to be in the interior on the continent rather than along the edges.

If you’ve not seen a ULCV, CMA CGM A. Lincoln is coming in this afternoon/evening.


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.


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.


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


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


taken on February 28.


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


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


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


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


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

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

This is the series with tugs from all over.  So let’s start in Miami last month with photos by John “Jed” Jedrlinic.  Miss Niz was in the sixth boro some time back.


Also from Jed . . .it’s Akashi Maru in Yokohama, 2008. He has more photos of Japanese tugboats.


Darrin Rice sent along this photo of the classic Hercules, built at the John H. Dialogue yard in Camden NJ but having worked its entire career on the West Coast, which it arrived at by circumnavigating the southern tip of South America.   The Camden yard of John H. Dialogue also built these classics.

Previously, Darrin sent along some photos of decaying classics here.


From Jan Oosterboer via Fred Trooster . . . what appears to be a just delivered (March 2015 just!) German-flagged tug FairPlay IX operating in the Netherlands.

0aarrt3FAIRPLAY IX, Beerkanaal-0650

Brake is also an almost new boat.

0aaaarrt4BRAKE, Nieuwe Waterweg-0590

And  . .  yes, I do get out and take photos myself . . . here is Robert E. McAllister passing RORO Grey Shark . . . which it towed in from sea half a month ago after the RORO experienced mechanical difficulties. Beyond the dry dock buildings is Quantum of the Seas.


Here Freddie K. Miller passes Robbins Light.  This vessel first appeared on this blog going on nine years ago here!


And last for today but certainly not least, from Rich Taylor, it’s Chale, a classic tug at the half-century mark.

0aaaarrt8CHALE St Lucia 020715 - sc-2

Rich also sends along Istria, Italian-built . . . almost the same vintage.  Istria has been featured on this blog about two years ago here.

0aaaarrt9ISTRIA St Maartens 020615 - sc-2

Thanks to Rich, Jan, Fred, Darrin, and Jed for this look at a diverse set of vessels all referred to as tugboats.


How many more folks in the cold first months of 2015 would have slipped on walkways or skidded off roadways had it not been for our annual salt infusion?  Spar Spica is the most recent vessel emptied here.


How many old trucks and cars have a second life in the Caribbean islands because of this trade conducted by Grey Shark?



What kind of petroproducts does Pula transport?


The classic Ellen McAllister escorts her in. . .



as another tanker . . . Arionas heads for sea


guided by Elizabeth McAllister.


Deep Blue–named for this??– lingered in port a few days as


did NS Lotus, here a few weeks ago when this ice drifted beyond the Narrows.  And what did the crews think of the ice drift?



I really have lost track of the number of salt ships that have delivered anti-ice properties to the land sides of the sixth boro. There was at least one between United Prestige–shown here in mid-February–and Spar Spica.


All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is ecstatic to be in a warmer sixth boro this morning.

For a Caribbean take on a salt pile–production and ship-loading side, see here, here, and here.


. .. that gray vessel on the Jersey side just north of the Outerbridge, we know what it is, and


that’s Vulcan III at its stern, but what is it doing in the Arthur Kill portion of the sixth boro?  Just curious if anyone out there knows . . .  Here and here are more sites on IX 514.


And this from l’amiga . . . Frances pushing north and Captain D pushing south . . .


kind of a reminder me of a Dr. Doolittle character . . .  pushmi-pullyu . .


I hope a reader can clarify above vessel and procedure.

The first two fotos come compliments of Tony Acabono, and the last two by l’amiga, both of whom I’m grateful to for passing them along.

And to paraphrase the former vizier of defense, there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns . . .  as in these two additional fotos from l’amiga.


I know this is Grey Shark, but will the trucks onboard come back?   What if anything is in them?  If they return, will they be empty?


Any answers to any questions would be quite satisfactory.

After a low of nearly single digits a few days ago . . . today temperatures came close to 50, and I felt invited to ride across the harbor.


New to me . . . landing craft Jennifer Miller.



Grey Shark, loaded and waiting clearance to leave the harbor?  Here and here are previous fotos of Grey Shark.



Lined up like chorus girls in a Radio City Music Hall revue, it’s Freja Dania, Miss Lucy, and Sti Ruby.


How can I fail to mention Megan McAllister . . . .


All fotos taken this foggy afternoon by Will Van Dorp.

But first, some odds ‘n ends.  It looks like this is the same inflatable that appeared in the squall fotos here a few days back . . .    Also, it appears that the destination for the cattle transported by Shorthorn Express is Bandirma, Turkey, a hundred of so miles southwest of Istanbul.  Further, in the wee hours into this Sunday, Angus Express may arrive in the sixth boro, although I’m not sure sunrise will still find her here.  Can a Jersey Express be far behind,  not that Jersey would suggest similar bovinity.  And given this list, over 900 cattle variety names are waiting for adoption by this fleet.

VHF mention of Grey Shark “bound for sea”  thrilled me yesterday;  I’d caught glimpses of her several times, the earliest about four years ago here.  And I’d seen vehicles lined up on various quais waiting to load her, but I’d never seen her loaded before.

She’s (ex-Fast Navigator) not that old, but

she certainly needs some paint, especially


Her visible cargo is

an assortment of cars and trucks all bound–I believe–for Saint-Marc,


All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who found these stories interesting in the NYTimes this morning:  Hudson River sewage, Bronx River baptism, and Herkimer “dig-yer-own” diamonds.

See new search feature on upper left. Type in a vessel name there to see if I’ve included it in a post already. I’ve added this in response to my own fallible memory and a recent email suggesting I do a post of a specific boat he works on, and I already had months ago. Enjoy searching.

Also, enjoy the fotos from gcaptain, new on the blogroll to the left.

A friend asked why I write this obsessive blog. Well, it serves me as a writing starter sometimes: if I’m blocked on some non-blog writing, I look through my fotos, fingering them like oracle bones, allowing an idea to surface, coaxing it into shape, writing the post, and using the resulting momentum to dislodge the block.

With the blog I’ve met so many people. Thanks for the generosity of taking time to read, comment, question, inform, etc. For example, Fred helped me solve the Grey Shark puzzle,



of a few days ago. She was named Fast Navigator until less than a month ago. So in Grey… I located so little info because Grey Shark has been the name of this vessel only the past few week of her 27-year history. Egyptian livestock hauler was a previous application.



The above picture is especially for “she who was concerned about my relationship with all the Alices in my life.” Sister, there’s even more to tell. The blue beauty above is Mary Alice, dancing a gangly partner toward the Kills.



Finally, this tug is named Calusa Coast. I’d no association with that word until I found the Calusa are a native people of Florida.



Notice the protective grillwork covering the aft-facing window on the after pilothouse. Imagine what ripped-out blocks, cables, and other gear that safety feature is intended to protect someone sitting there from.

Photos by Will Van Dorp.

or “grey” ships have been ignored on this blog, til now. I’ve done orange, yellow, blue, green, etc. Grey, though, strikes this blogger as often offensive; it is camouflage after all, haze or fog grey rather than wet mortar grey. Yesterday I saw two vessels around the harbor, frustrating since I have found little on each.



Landing craft aka amphibious assault vessel? vintage?



This RORO seems to be called Grey Shark, but all I could find was that it seems to have traversed the Straits of Gibraltar around 1 August from Marseille for New York.



Unlike the landing craft , the big door opens aft. See a similar vessel called Norsky.



Any help in ID, please send it along.

Photos by Will Van Dorp.

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June 2022