You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Grouper’ tag.

This is the series for photos from all over.

First, from Bob Stopper, who makes it his business to –among other things–document Erie Canal life up in the  county where I grew up, it’s  . . . can you guess what’s under all that snow?

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It’s a hibernating Grouper.  I’ve done more than two dozen posts on this boat, which I keep hoping comes back to life.   Here’s a post that shows her working on the big lakes, the northern coast of the USA.

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And from the Maraki crew currently getting their passports stamped in the Conch Republic . . .  some Stock Island residents . . . like Robert W. Tomlinson (ex-YT-399 Numa) and

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Dutch tug turned yacht Itinerante (ex-Havendienst 1, Vulcanus).

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Here’s one of my photos:  that’s Iver Foss tailing the big ZPMC Shanghai-built crane as RORO Hoegh Shanghai follows them in through the Narrows last week.

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Some photos from Brian DeForest . . . Joyce D. Brown delivering a crane barge as

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RORO Don Juan rolls some vehicles off and some others on over in Port Newark.

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Here’s are two photos lacking a photographer both showing Tradewind Towing Rachel powering USS SS Mount Washington AOT-5076 on its final voyage.  The photo below I screen-grabbed from the Crystal Serenity, which is now off Japan.   Mount Washington is at the scrapyard and Rachel is preparing for the next job.

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This photo comes from the Gatun Locks webcam.

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Bowsprite caught these three last week:  apparent L to R, Arabian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Patricia in Red Hook.

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Thanks to Bob, Lucy my sister, Franco for standing in the cold with me at the Narrows, Brian, bowsprite, and the remote cameras for these photos.

I like collaboration.  Number nine was a week and a half ago, but I do appreciate fotos like the ones here.

Ken of Michigan Exposures took this one up in Bay City, MI, a hundred plus miles northwest of Detroit.  Any guesses on the vintage of this attractive tug . . .55′ loa x 12′ ?  Answer follows.

Staying with vintage Great Lakes tugs, this foto comes from Jason LaDue, who recently sent these fotos from upstate.  The foto below was taken in Oswego, NY, in late 1998.  Three tugs had been sold south by Great Lakes Towing.  The tugs below are from RIGHT to left, Gull (1952 ex-Jennifer George, Galway Bay, Oregon), Sea Tractor (1951 ex-Messenger, Patricia Hoey, New Hampshire) and the one I’ve called Grouper, whose entire saga you can find by using the blog search window to the left.  Gull and Sea Tractor were both built in Louisiana at Alexander Shipyards.

At this point these fotos were taken in December 1998, all three tugs were headed south, but Grouper has never left the Erie Canal yet . . . in the past 13 years.  Did anyone catch Gull and Sea Tractor coming through the sixth boro in early 1999?

Here’s Gull working the icy Great Lakes as Gaelic’Galway Bay, and

Sea Tractor in the same green as Patricia Hoey. Note the wheelhouse design of Patricia.

When these tugs had first come to the Great Lakes, via the Mississippi/Chicago River, they looked different.  Tug on the far right is Messenger, before becoming Patricia.

Which brings us to the present.  I’m told that Gull was scrapped last year in Virginia/Philly (?) as American Pride.  Anyone have other fotos?  Here are two by shipjohn.  Thanks, shipjohn.

And Sea Tractor (then called Shark) was reefed a year and a half ago near Miami’s Haulover Artificial Reef site in September 2010.  I’d LOVE to see fotos of her in her last years, maybe even of the scuttling.  Anyone help?    Here’s a poor quality foto of  Shark being hauled out to be reefed in 255′ of water.

No news currently on Grouper in Lyons, NY, but I wish the restoration of the 100-year old tug success.

Thanks much to Jason and Ken for these fotos.

Jill Marie, 121 years old!!  Built 1891.

Thanks to Jason . . . first two fotos by Franz Von Riedel.  During the early 1980s, the North American Towing Company bought the Green Bay, renamed her the Oneida and moved her to Duluth, Minnesota.  This foto comes from her time working the Twin Ports (smoking away) until roughly 1987, when

Wellington Towing purchased her for work around Sault Ste Marie.  Great Lakes Towing bought out Wellington Towing about 1990 with the tug going to Cleveland as the Alaska.  This is a 1998 Alaska foto by Franz.

Here she was in Lyons in 2000, foto by Jason LaRue.

At this moment , November 2011 she awaits her one-century mark in Lyons, NY.   As the crow flies, she’s only a dozen miles from Lake Ontario.

I’m hoping the Kahlenberg fires up soon.  I’m routing for you.

Bottom two fotos taken yesterday, November 28.

More Detroit fotos soon.

Next week I might pass through the Erie Canal town of Lyons, NY, where Grouper again appears forgotten, bereft of a future.  Last spring had brought some hope, but  . . .

These fotos come from Jason LaDue, who knew her while he was growing up in the vicinity of the Soo.  Foto below by Troy Wilke.  Jason writes, “That rare (and large) Kahlenberg smoked like no other but always delivered the power.  I was onboard her several times when moving saltwater vessels to and from the Algoma Steel facility in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.”

Next year 2012, Grouper has a one CENTURY anniversary, 100 years of life, the last decade and a half of which she seems in a coma.   Here was my original Grouper post, followed by 67 comments!

These fotos by R LaDue show what spirit this vessel had as Iroquois

in the Soo Tug Race, 1989. 

Many thanks, Jason.  I plan to use more of your fotos soon.

Transitioning from the “farm tugs” post, enjoy Governor Roosevelt, sister of Governor Cleveland,  both came to the canal to  break ice and do other tasks in 1927 as steam tugs.   If you add the ages of Governor Roosevelt, Governor Cleveland, and Urger . . . you have almost three hundred years of boat work.   I found Roosevelt hauled out last weekend along the Erie Canal in Lyons.

Edna (1997) was hauled out for some work recently along

the KVK.

Here’s a first sighting:  Coney Island, built by

Blount in 1958.  Here’s George (a 2009 vessel with a simple name)  taken recently in Lake Charles, LA.

And (once again . . . might she be languishing?) Grouper, a year away from a century old.  This is how she looked last weekend, and I’d love to hear an update on efforts to bring her back to life, lest she become HMS (heavy melt steel).

George foto comes thanks to eastriver;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

A quick and dirty post on the 1912 tug formerly known as Grouper.  New name will be forthcoming.  The following four fotos show the removal of the DRXC Hercules diesel, which runs the generator and would, among other things, run the compressor to fill the air tanks.  Note the electrical board to the left.  This foto looks forward on the starboard side.

Tough work . . .  looking aft.

The owner Marc is looking for a parts engine.

This engine is headed for a shop.

Electrical board . . .

Quadrant

More updates to follow.

Completely unrelated but some fotos of a vessel that newly acquired a whole new legacy:  CVN-70 appeared on tugster here in December 2010.

The two boats here–Grouper (1912) and Elisabeth (1925) –have nothing to do with each other, but they clearly illustrate two extremes of restoration.    Elisabeth lies starboardside to in Schiedam, whereas

same is true of Grouper in Lyons, New York.

Here’s another shot of

both.

Work on Elisabeth these days entails polishing and wiping down, but on

Grouper it means studying diagrams and

tracing lines and piping and

referring to typewritten instructions from

–who knows–a half century back.

But Grouper will get there.  I invite you to weigh in on the project.  Meanwhile . . .  from the many mouths of the Rhine, Fred sends his greetings and salutes the American readers.

A final two words about Elisabeth here:  first, she’s vying for Dutch tug/pushboat (opduwer) of the year . .  . to be named during the Netherlands National Tug Day, June 2, 2011.  I’m trying to learn how/if at all non-local readers might participate.  Second, here’s Elisabeth, foto taken yesterday, National Windmill (molen) Day. to mark the completion of reconstruction of the Camel, a malt/gin mill in  Schiedam originally built in 1715.

Unrelated:  Happy Seattle Maritime Festival this weekend.  Wish I were there.  I’d be happy to post any fotos from there.

More on all these projects and events soon.  Thanks to Alen and Angela Baker for the Grouper documents and to Fred Trooster for the Elisabeth fotos.

Just north of Union Street in Newark, NY, the Canal narrows.  And given the foliage on either side, the engine approaching echoed as in a tunnel.

Tender #1 headed east toward Lock 28B right past the still-waiting Grouper and

into the gate, which closed

once the tow was inside

guided by a steady hand on wheel, not joystick.

Once the westside lock door shut, water spilled out

lowering 12′ in less than 5 minutes.

The Lyons-side door opened and

the tow pushed through

towards Lyons.

So here’s my agenda.  Click here and you’ll see that voting has already started for the favorite tug at the 2010 Tug Roundup in Waterford.  What if I’d like to vote for Tender #1?  There’s no place for “write-in” candidates.  I’d like to vote for this Canal Corporation tug as my favorite because it just appeared when I needed to hear and see something like Tender #1.

And what a great name!

If you enjoy research, here’s one that stumped me:  Tender #1 is reportedly listed as built in 1928.  Where?

On my way to searching for this info, I located this image site and this timeline site with lots of follow-through links.  Of course, Fred Tug44 has fotos of other tenders, but not Tender #1.

All fotos taken this week by Will Van Dorp.

Oh, and be sure to vote ASAP. And tell your friends and friends’ friends to vote.  Use Facebook and the telephone book, but within your network, you really can make ANY boat win if you try.

Allen Baker  has worked on four of the five Great Lakes in recent weeks and shares the next four fotos.  Massachusetts has that low, upswept “laker look” that reminds me of Grouper, which I’ve not received updates on.  Any guesses on location of the shot and launch date of Massachusetts?

For launch date, you were right if you said . . . 1928!  She’s 79′ x 20′ x 12′ and operates with Great Lakes Towing.  And then there’s Manistee, delivered in May 1943 to Reiss Steamship Company.  Since then, her original triple expansion

steam power plant  was replaced by a slightly-more powerful 2950 hp diesel engine and equipped with a 250′ self-unloader.  By the way, Reiss once owned Grouper, also.

Like most lakers, Manistee is long and narrow (621′ x 60′ x 35′), with a bluff bow, maximizing cargo space, and a wheel house forward with a stern “island” over the power plant.   The oldest laker operating on the “big lakes” is St. Marys Challenger, still hauling bulker cargo since its launch in February 1906!!  It still uses a Skinner Uniflow 3500 hp steam engine.

I took the next two fotos in Muskegon, MI, in June 2008, where Paul H. Townsend has been idled since 2005.  A fascinating detail about Townsend is its conversion:  built in Wilmington, CA in 1945, it was lengthened from 339′ x 50′  to 447′ x 50′ in 1952 . . . in Hoboken, NJ.   The wheelhouse was moved forward in a separate modification in 1958 on Lake Erie.  If you click on the link above, you’ll find before/after fotos.

When last sailing, she hauled gypsum or cement, now more frequently carried on barges pushed by the likes of  Samuel de Champlain.  Notice the same fleet colors.  In this 2008 post, notice the second vessel (in a Lake Ontario port)  down in the same colors as Townsend.

A “laker” moved into the sixth boro in the summer of 2005.  Ocean and Coastal Consultants and Bayshore Recycling use Valgocen (ex-Algocen) in the dredged materials decontamination process (See p. 2 in this newsletter.).  Valgocen currently lives along the Raritan River,

startling me every time I notice it.  A laker . . . in an estuary.  But there it is was, repurposed.  The foto below–as the one above– shows it in the St. Lawrence on its way to the sixth boro towed by tugs from Atlantic Towing Limited.  See important update at the end of this post.

Thanks to Allen Baker for the first four fotos, and to Kent Malo for the last two.

And if you hadn’t felt totally confident, Allen’s fotos were taken in the Calumet River, Chicago, an ocean port.

Unrelated . ..  I’ve been reading DieselDuck’s archives, not homing in on any particular post, just enjoying the sweep of their focus.  Check them out here.

UPDATE:  Jeff’s comment got me looking and –sure enough–Valgocen is no more, having reborn as  J W Shelley, back at work on the Great Lakes, as of this writing between Montreal and Lake Erie. Thanks, Jeff.

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