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In fall 2010, deepening dredging was happening in the sixth boro to prepare for the ULCVs now so commonplace here,  after Panama Canal enlargement and Bayonne Bridge raising. These operations afforded me the chance to see a cutterhead close up.  The crewman wielding the hammer was trying to loosen a worn tooth.   By the way, those teeth weigh 35 pounds each.  Teeth . . .  dentist?

Then as now, Layla Renee was in the dredge support trade.  Right now she’s in Charleston.  She was only two years old at the time of the photo.

It looks that way, but W. O. Decker is NOT a dredge tender in this photo.  Here five people on Decker are catching the stare of the one dredge worker in work vest.

The entire K-Sea fleet has disappeared.  As of 2020, Falcon has become Carol and I’ve not yet seen her latest livery.  Houma was scrapped in 2017 in Baltimore.

Here are two of the McAllister tugs involved in easing MSC’s USNS Sisler (T-AKR 311)into Bayonne drydock as then-John P. Brown manages the door.  For many more photos of the event, check out “floating the door,” where you also see Allied’s Sea Raven, unlabelled.

I caught Growler at Mystic Seaport that fall.  Rumor has it that Growler has returned to the sixth boro under a new name and sans teeth, but is under wraps.

Also in Mystic at that time, 1885 steam/sail vessel Amazon (has nothing to do with Bezos), the 2000 Amistad, and the 1908 steamer Sabino.  Does anyone know the whereabouts of Amazon today?

My reason to be in Mystic that October was to work on Pegasus, seen here with Araminta and Cangarda.  What works of beauty all three are!

Deborah Quinn here is docked near where Jakobson Shipyard used to be located.  I believe that’s her location as of this writing.

Under the old Bayonne bridge, Maurania III assumes position to ease the 1997 Maersk Kokura around Bergen Point.  Maurania III is currently in Wilmington NC.

Back a decade ago, Day Peckinpaugh had some good paint on her, and Frances was like a cocoon in Turecamo livery.  There’s scuttlebutt of a new lease on life for Day Peckinpaugh.

Let’s end with dredging, as we began.  Terrapin Island was one of the regulars in the navigation dredging effort.  Terrapin Island is currently in Norfolk.

All photos, October 2010, by WVD.

Big announcement soon.


Actually, this is a reprise of a post I did earlier this week . . .  Ferry Coursen carried trucks.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Mary H pushed a creek-size barge.


Winter fishing continued apace aboard Eastern Welder.



I got a close-up of Mary H.


Brendan Turecamo headed out for an assist.



A slightly different angle on Sorensen Miller shows the yellow as strapping.


More shots of John P. Brown moving railcars over to New Jersey.



A Moose boat on patrol barreled right at me.


Hunting Creek got light at the mooring.



And a USACE boat practiced bathymetry.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  For fotos of Hamilton (ON) harbor delights, click here.  Here’s more info on the 1935 tug he shows.  It’s for sale for less than a loaded Escalade.  Unrelated . . . another blog I read these days is Ohio River blog with good inland rivers fotos here.   And since I’m all over the place today . . .check out this Flickr page by Guillermo Barrios of southern South American tugs and towboats.  And finally  check out these fotos of the old bridge in Bucksport, ME.  I haven’t crossed that bridge–about to be demolished– in over two decades . . . .

Forecast for the morning after the Oscars was for some sun, which I sorely needed.  And who’s out . . . William Oscar aka W. O. Decker, for starters.


CCNI Aquiles and Dallas Express at Global . . . and a Moose boat racing toward us.


I couldn’t quite figure out what Sorensen Miller‘s load was.   In the background, that’s the Newark Bay Bridge, which doesn’t make it on my fotos much.


Virginia Sue was fishing off Clermont.


John P. Brown moved nine (?) railcars from Brooklyn to Jersey.


Clipper Legacy arrived here yesterday.


Shawn Miller‘s pushing trucks around again, this one  all ready for the mid-March holiday.


Taurus light moves past Christine McAllister.


And . . . let’s conclude with another shot of William Oscar, wherever it may be heading.


All fotos this morning before the clouds moved in . . . by Will Van Dorp.

As I write this post, Lincoln Sea is southbound on the Hudson, just south of where Stena Primorsk ran out of the channel a month or so ago.  Weddell Sea/Lincoln Sea foto was taken back in earlier September 2012.



This closeup of the Lincoln Sea-DBL 140 embrace seems small and intimate until you read the gradations on the the barge .  . . those numbers mark feet.



Length and breath of the tug-barge unit


is 597′ x 79.’


Ocean Leader, here coming into the Narrows four days ago and currently in Port of Albany,  is also 597′ loa but a little beamier:  105′ . . .  panamax wide.


I don’t have the tug/barge dimensions of B. Franklin Reinauer/RTC 82, here paralleling Ocean Leader.


Behind tugboat John P. Brown (75′ x 26′) lies Stena Primorsk, in the “hole” undergoing repairs at Bayonne Dry Dock & Repair, and shown


here about a week pre-accident.  Dimensions of Stena Primorsk:  597′ x 131′ . . . . 280,000 barrel capacity.  Lincoln Sea‘s DBL 140 capacity is 140,000 barrels.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

All manner of small vessels traverse the waters of the sixth boro.  Twin Tube is truly one ageless fixture of the harbor.   If I did photoshopping, I’d have the boom dangle something tantalizing over the Statue’s upstretched hand.

Annie G II . . .  makes me wonder about Annie G I.  Here she

stands by as crew perform some truck task over on the west side of Governor’s Island.  I’ve enjoyed watching the derelict buildings on the Island disappear.   A largely unseen harbor project farther south (sorry no pics from UNDER the sixth boro) has been the tunneling of a new deeper “water main” (p. 7 ff) between Brooklyn and Staten Island.

A small USCG boat stops for maintenance on the red 32.  Unfortunately, I was on a vessel headed away from the buoy, and a few seconds after I took this, one crewman stepped aboard the buoy, on the other side.

A small USACE vessel speeds to the southeast past Robins Reef Light.

John P Brown pushes fewer than a dozen of the mere 1500 cars per year across the harbor, the miniscule fraction of merchandise that travels between NJ and parts of NYC on non-rubber wheels.

A small fishing boat crosses the bay under the cranes on hovering over Bayonne.

St Andrews runs light past some unidentified tugs obscured in the fog.  I spent July 4 docked near St Andrews.

New England style fishing boat heads out of the Bronx while Fox Boys (I think) pushes some scrap probably toward Jersey City.

In fading light, HMS Liberty heads for the Kills.   I’ve often wonder what the HMS stood for in this case. . . .   Is the H his, her, or something else . . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who wonders whether Sandy will be sandy or just windy, snowy, rainy,  . . . tricky . .  . .

This is the 98th installment of this title.  If you’ve any ideas about what I might do with the 100th, let me know.  Of course, I could just let it pass by . . . randomly.

All these boats have some things in common, like  . ..  they passed through the sixth boro although in all types of weather/light in the past week or so.  I’l let you know what I’m thinking at the end of the post.

Miss Yvette, 1975 built in Houma, Louisiana (LA), here attending to Kraken.

Freddie K Miller, 1966 . . . Madisonville LA.

John P Brown 2002 Morgan City LA

Atlantic Salvor 1976  New Orleans.

James Turecamo 1969, Waterford NY.

Pegasus 2006  Tres Palacios TX

Pathfinder  1972 Houma LA

C. Angelo 1999 Lockport LA

Margaret Moran December 1979 Morgan City LA

Miriam Moran November 1979 Morgan City LA

And another thing they all have in common right now is that

they all work in trades other than directly pushing oil.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’d love to hear ideas about the “Random Tugs 100” post.

Unrelated:  I read this line yesterday about a withdrawn lawsuit between the NY Port Authority and a Canadian steel company:  “The deal means the lawsuit will be dropped and the steel for the [World Trade Center] tower antenna can set sail before Canadian shipping channels freeze over in winter.”  Here’s the rest of the article.  But it made me wonder . . .  by what vessel . . . barge or ship . . . will this steel arrive in the Upper Bay.  Anyone know?  Here’s info on the fabricator of the antenna.

And a Q . . . has anyone seen evidence of construction of the crane(s) to be involved in the Bayonne Bridge raising?  I’ve heard rumors, but not read or heard anything authoritative.

Wow!  It’s been over three years since I last used this title.  Here’s S 15.

A few hours this morning evoked the sense of the sixth boro as a place for the likes of  Harbour First and Charles D. McAllister, larger vessels from larger organizations,

as well as

others . .  like Thornton Bros.  Guess which of the five smaller tugs here is the oldest?

Or Maria J,

John P. Brown,

Gage Paul Thornton, here beside the resplendent Maria T barge,

0r Iron Mike?

How about another look at each . . . .  Thornton Bros,

Maria J, 

John P. Brown, 

Gage Paul Thornton, with the beautiful stained wood door,

Iron Mike, 

or . . . to throw in another,

Durham?  That’s John P. once again in the distance passing the globe-trotting, Suez-transiting Advance Victoria . . . .

And you were right if you guessed Gage Paul Thornton, ex-Coastline Girls, launched 1943.  Launch dates for the others, to the best of my info, are as follows:  John P Brown 2002, Iron Mike 1977, Maria J 1971, Durham 1964, and Thornton Bros 1958.

On the southern end of Arthur Kill lie in barely perceptible disintegration two tugboats launched one year later than Gage Paul Thornton . . . namely ATR-89 and LT-653.

Unrelated:  It looks like I’ll not be able to salvage Ryou-Un Maru . . . .

Unofficially I’m calling this Relief Crew 11 because the idea, info, and most of the fotos come thanks to Paul Strubeck, hearty crewman of Cornell.  And before looking any farther through this post, quick–tell me the name of a freight rail line that operates in New York harbor, aka the sixth boro.  Answer follows.

But first, yes, once again here is a foto of Florida, the Crescent tug I misidentified a few days back as Orida.  Ok, I’ve said my mea culpas and berated my abilities to look but not see.  However, little did I realize that this tug was built in Oyster Bay in 1960 and spent almost 20 years operating in the sixth boro before being sold south.  And in what trade did in work in New York, you ask?

It was carfloating, an enterprise that has shrunk from the days when all the  great railroads had their own fleets of tugboats, carfloats, lighters, and barges.  Below, John P. Brown moves a carfloat into position with a float bridge, which “bridges” the rails on the carfloat and those on land.

Paul writes, “a floatbridge is a bridge with one end hinged at shore, and the other supported by either a pontoon or an overhead gantry to allow tidal movement and load differences.  With containerization coming into play around 1960, this operation as well as lighterage began to decrease.  In 1976, Conrail was formed, which consolidated most of the failing Northeastern railroads.  Conrail killed off every last bit of marine traffic left in NY once owned by those railroads.  However, two remained.  The NY Dock Railroad and the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal RR, which in 1978 merged operations.  Let’s compare some statistics:  currently carfloat volume about 1500-2000 cars per year.  In 1937 5300 railcars a DAY were floated around NY harbor.  Thats 1,934,500 cars per year!!”

In the past quarter century, carfloating operations in the harbor have been organized as New York New Jersey Railroad (1983–2006) and then New York New Jersey Rail, LLC (since 2006) although since late 2008 this organization has been owned by the Port Authority of NY NJ.

And why is carfloating important, you wonder?  Because without it, freight cars traveling between New Jersey (coming from anywhere else to the west and south) and the eastern boros or Long Island have to travel 140 miles to the north (Selkirk, NY) to cross the Hudson.  Or the less desirable alternative, which we have opted for, trucks and the congestion they bring, hundreds of thousands of them per year that used to travel across the sixth boro.  Might a rail tunnel exist in the future?

1993 foto below is from Paul’s collection but credited to Carl Perelman.  It shows New York Cross Harbor (NYCH)  locomotive 59 loading a carfloat in Greenville as Hepburn Marine’s James M. Witte stands by.  Paul’s site here contains a wealth of info on NYCH.

Here NYNJ Rail’s former Union Pacific locomotive operates down 1st Avenue in Brooklyn with a load of cars for the floatbridge.

By now you know the name of the freight line that operates in the sixth boro:  it’s NYNJR, whose official site can be found here.  And why would Crescent choose to rebuild a railroad tug:  because they were especially rugged and over-built, mayhaps?

Top foto is mine.  All others are credited to Paul F. Strubeck unless otherwise stated.  Many thanks, Paul.

Any errors . . . call them mine.

See some great fotos of west coast carfloating here on this blog I just discovered:  Oil-Electric.

U . . . “you”  as in thank you for bearing with me.  Truth be told . . . my first thought was of Bart’s beautiful site uglyships, but he does that so well, I fear to cross or even approach his wake, and judging by his enthusiastic fan hatemail, he has quite the following.  So I’m using a series of unrelated U’s.

I can tease and start with underwear, as in the bottom paint on scow 65, here moved on the hip by Melvin E. Lemmerhirt.  Wear and chemistry might be beckoning new bottom paint here.  Watch the foreshadowing in this post.


Unchanged landscape.  This is the Henry Hudson year, and Bowsprite and I are not the only ones somewhat obsessed by that Henry.  In spite of the dramatic transformation of Manhattan and environs, islands like this in Jamaica Bay might give a sense of what Henry saw when he sailed into the sixth boro.  Now if this were Bowsprite’s post, she’d inform you by block letters that clash with her charming calligraphy that the foto below is “not to be used for navigation.”


Under-reported.  That’s a series on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate show.  I love it.  John P. Brown (2002)  and Bohemia (2009) are two under-reported boats on this blog.


Unidentifiable . . . some language on the stern of this trawler.  What make of trawler?  I really don’t know.

aaau4Road Harbour is on a British island in the Caribbean, but the script looks somewhat yet not quite like Inuktitut.  What it is?


“Up” position . . . where the wheelhouse currently set.  Designed for the canal system, Cheyenne can lower the wheelhouse, if needed.


Unbounded . . . came to mind as I watched this trimaran sail towards the sixth boro, here past Hook Mountain.  Unbounded like summer when you have no ties holding you back.  Trimaran name is Friends;  on a journey with that, you’d soon make them.


Unbelievable . . .  that the mermaid parade took place a month ago already.  Tell me it’s not true.  I’ve read that Andy Golub does beautiful painting event around the boros but I’ve yet to catch one.  Remember my earlier comment about bottom paint?


Unidentified . . . this vessel moving up the Rondout more than a month ago.  I remain with two questions:  what’s its name and are there spars that make this a schooner?


U . . . actually if I might indulge in “textingspeak,”  I happy w U read my blog.  At least that’s how I do texting, lazy yet impatient as I am.  On a whim I started this meditations series, because I wanted to get out of a rut that convenience had pushed me into, but I feel the encouragement you send along, and that has given me a stretch.  Thank you for helping a community germinate and grow.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Remember, click on the fotos to enlarge them.  Do one twice, and you might be surprised.

Meditations U . . .  just realize it sounds like higher ed.   Get a pennant on your wall to show support for  . . .  Med U.

Away from the busier route, a fleet of construction vessels heads away from the likes of Don Pasquale car carrier and  up the North River


led by Melvin E. Lemmerhirt and scow,


John P. Brown with one crane,


Vera K (ex-Goose Creek) with another,


and Charles D. McAllister (ex-Exxon Bayou State) with Dredge 51


that rides quite low in the water


Now what’s the project?

Images:  WVD.

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