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When I saw the profile, I imagined GSL Tripoli to be a vessel I’d not seen since 2012.  It turns out I was wrong.  I was thinking of a sister vessel.  Both have changed hands since 2012.  I’ll get the info in a moment, but for now, make an estimate about the capacity?

She dates from 2009, as does her sister.  GSL expands to Global Ship Lease, and they lease container ships from 1100 teu to 11,000 teu.



Jumping back to February 2012, here’s the sister, known as CSAV Rio de Janiero back when the vessel above was known as CSAV Suape, named for another Brazilian port. CSAV (Compania Sud Americana de Vapores) is a Chilean company that goes back to 1872;  see more here.   CSAV still operates vessels of the same class as the ones depicted in this post. Have you prepared a guess for the number of teu capacity?

Here’s a John Watson photo back from that same time period almost a decade ago.

Credit to John for his photo;  the other, WVD taken this past weekend.

Teu?  Around 5300, i.e., for her appearance, she’s relatively small and as of this posting, she’s slicing the waves eastbound toward Suez.  Her sister, now no longer CSAV Rio de Janiero but rather GSL Kithira, is caught in the holding pattern off the ports of LA and Long Beach.   GSL seems to have replaced Brazilian port names with Med port names, Kithira being that.


In May six years ago, I posted these fotos of a relatively new NCL vessel called Norwegian Spirit.  Yesterday morning at 0615 . . . l’amiga caught this view of sunrise looking over toward Jersey City.


It’s Breakaway‘s inaugural entry into the city . . .  Here’s an article about some of the related welcoming events.


Here’s the full monty, and about twelve hours later, here she


exits as captured by John Watson from his cliff over on Staten Island.


Thanks to l’amiga and John Watson for these fotos.  Here’s an article about building this vessel;  this series on building her goes all the way back to 2011.  Anyone explain why it’s called Breakaway?

I’ll try to catch her entering the Narrows one of these days.

A month ago I caught this small drydock floating in.    Today at noon Doris Moran with James Turecamo assisting dragged


this huge newbuild under the Brooklyn Bridge, the very same


day this tip was added to the WTC1 spire.  Also, it was about 175 days ago that some parts for the spire came barging in like this.


Those are South Street Seaport Museum’s vessels over beyond the drydock.



Someone can refresh my memory of the dimensions this drydock will accommodate, but I can see the Staten Island ferry eyeing it already.


The tow headed through the Buttermilk Channel before


John Watson picked up these shots as they headed across the Upper Bay, passed Robbins Reef Light, and the


KVK, where she will operate.


The last two fotos here come from John Watson;  all others by Will Van Dorp, who got these fotos inside another Caddell drydock three years ago.

No orange is more brilliant on the Upper Bay than that of the Staten Island ferries.   Of course, no creature of the water–live or mechanical–sports the same colors ventral as dorsal.  And thanks to the following fotos from John Watson, let’s go below.

Here’s a thing of beauty as visible from the inside of a floating drydock at Caddell– one end of the double-ender Samuel I. Newhouse.

Note the worker for scale.

What might surprise many people is the absence of props/shafts and the existence of this disc-like recess.

Disassembled, here’s the drive unit that fits into the recess

Each of the circular spaces in this subassembly houses a vertical blade.  For an animation showing movement, click here.

Note the same transition from orange to blue to red and vertical blades here on Noble.

If you’ve wondered how these ferries negotiate into the ferry racks in adverse tidal flow, traveling sideways . . . now you know.

All fotos above except the first one come compliments of John Watson.  Newhouse fotos date from summer ’94;  Noble . . . from summer 2000.

Here’s a parting shot of one of my favorite moments of orange from earlier in 2012.

A line locker, in my experience, is the place on a boat where all manner of miscellaneous line and rope is kept.  It’s like the “junk drawer” in your house.  I haven’t used this title in over three years, but when I get behind and have a set of unrelated fotos, it seems a needed catergory.

So . . .  since yesterday’s post had a foto of  Indy 7, which Harold Tartell’s wonderfully detailed in a comment, I went back to fotos from two years ago that I’ve never posted.  Behold the stern of Indy 7’s mother ship, Brooklyn Navy Yard’s own CV-62, USS Independence, which as of two years ago still

languished in Bremerton, WA, next to another Brooklyn vessel, USS Constellation, the last carrier built anywhere other than Norfolk.    Indy 7 . . . behold your mother.

The next three fotos come from John Watson.  Here’s another shot of the Chinese-built Algerian corvette Soummam 937.  Here–scroll through interesting fotos of other “small navies” –are some fotos of Soummam at the shipyard in Shanghai.

Also from John, recently the Massachusetts Maritime Academy T/S Kennedy left the sixth boro after work at GMD Brooklyn.

Here’s John’s Friday morning foto of Horizon Producer, in service since 1974;  by Saturday, she was outbound for San Juan.

I took this foto Friday morning, mostly curious about the two tanks on the afterdeck.

A few weeks ago here I ran the “fish flag.”  In response, Capt. Mark Helmkamp, manager of Ocean Tug and Salvage Ship class for the Military Sealift Command wrote the following:  “I had APACHE paint the “Fish Flag” on her bridge wing in reference to the Navy ASR’s – particularly the CHANTICLEER Class that I rode as a young officer – as the T-ATFs picked up that Navy mission along with the T-ARSs when the ASRs (CHANTICLEERs and PIGEONs) were decom’d.  The Fish Flag was flown during Submarine Rescue Chamber ops – the McCann chamber – designed by Swede Momsen, [my note:  who grew up in Queens].  The ASRs used to exercise the SRC to a ‘false seat” a few times a year after laying a four-point moor using the “cloverleaf method” that preceded GPS. . .

 We also had the Fish Flag painted on the bows of the ASRs…this goes back to the SQUALUS rescue. . .

Currently, SALVOR [T-ARS-52] is eligible to paint the Fish Flag too as she has worked the SRC for training.”

The MSC poster below shows sibling vessels of Salvor.

When I visited Apache in Little Creek, I also saw Grapple ARS-53.

Grapple was involved in the recovery efforts for Egypt Air Flight 990 off Nantucket in 1999.   Click here for a complete set of missions performed by T-ARS Grasp, including the recovery of JFK Jr.’s Piper 32 and remains.

Thanks to all who contributed.

Unrelated:  Thanks to Walter Scott for sending along this obit.

Here was 15 in the series.  And actually this post could be called “Thanks to John Watson” or Some sights never to float sixth boro.”  At the head of this tow is Dutch tug Typhoon (1976) departing Portsmouth for a four-day trip up to Rosyth.   Assist tugs are Serco Denholm, although I can’t make out the names.  And the unit on the barge will one day be a portion of HMS Queen Elizabeth.  The carrier, though huge at 930′ loa, will be shorter than Panamax vessels serving the sixth boro.

If you want to talk huge, this new UASC container vessel (I can’t make out the name) is one of nine planned, each 1200′ x 157′ x 46′ draft.

John took all these fotos along the waters between the English Channel and the Baltic.  He passed Sun Bird (relatively small at less than 300′ x 50′ x 20′ rounded . . . all smaller than sixth boro regular Oleander) near the Kiel Canal.   Note all the wind turbines in the background;  the KVK turbine has been in place since March and has NOT yet begun to spin.  Maybe it IS sculpture?

Finally, John’s conveyance . . . MV Minerva.  I’ve no idea whether Minerva has ever sailed into the sixth boro.

Thanks much for these fotos, John.

Foto and alert thanks to John Watson, as are the first three fotos of this post.  Genuine Ace arrived here this weekend after having been launched just six weeks ago.  Given that it’s a PCTC, I’ll bet it really has that “new car” smell.  To see where this design is headed, click here .  . lower right.

I’d seen QM2 bunkering a few hours before, but John caught it headed out . . . currently on a flat Atlantic for Hamburg.

Short sea shipping continues in the sixth boro, here with Doris Moran barging containers.  To see where this might be headed . .  now that American Feeder Lines is changing their game, click here . . .   Unrelated, look into the mid-distance and the long-necked tug at the end of the GMD Bayonne pier . . . a K-Sea tug repainted?

Well, here’s how I caught Taurus Friday afternoon!!!

It’ll take some getting used to, but that’s life . . . all getting used to . . .

which is precisely my challenge here . . .   although if you go back to the link just above Doris Moran, the sketch of the tug looks just like Discovery Coast.  By the way, anyone upriver know where Discovery is hauling the dredge spoils from?

Thanks much to John Watson for the top three fotos.  All others by Will Van Dorp, who is on the cusp of having more free time.  That’s the Newport lighthouse in Jersey City creating an additional “jar” to an already “jarristic” set of patterns.

Back in December, Ambrose went to the yard for a makeover, and John Watson took these shots.

Today, John got these, mere minutes ago, as they tangoed

Charles D. McAllister and Ambrose,

chico y chica


como amantes en la primavera.

Big party is NEXT Monday evening.  RSVP!

Many thanks, John.

Between 0800 and 0900 this morning, sunshine poured down onto the KVK, and deepened all the colors.  Sand Master (more of these fotos tomorrow) was positively radiant while waiting–it seemed– for something to happen before it can get into the fuel dock.

Then I saw the “something” as Mount Hope began to inch stern first into the stream.   Laura K. Moran surged from port

to starboard to assist in the rotation, her power and precision captivating me.  But then, way atop the superstructure, movement

caught my attention, a bit of ceremony I’ve never noticed before.  A crewman made the flag fast to the halyard and

ran it up, as if to say . . .  we

are now open for business.  Here  is some of the traffic:  Mount Hope outbound passes APL Japan inbound.

OOCL Nagoya seemed to try to get up on plane, and

in doing so . . .  tailed by Barbara McAllister, deftly carved an arc between the bank and an incoming Affinity on the hip of  Marion Moran.

I then went to my appointment on the land side of Richmond Terrace, noticing from indoors two Ital container vessels (Moderna and another) passed.   Before noon, as I headed back home, I noticed that Oyster Creek with the bunker barge was refueling  Shorthorn Express  north of the VZ Bridge as

(this foto thanks to John Watson) Queen Elizabeth headed into port.  Draw what conclusion you will from the juxtaposition of these last two vessels.

Thanks to John for the foto.  All others by Will Van Dorp, who imagines that without that flag-raising, none of this traffic would have happened.

By noon, bright sunshine had turned to overcast gray and then drizzle.  No snow, though.

Just in case you’ve forgotten how Ambrose looked last week, here’s then . . . and

here’s today.  These fotos come from John Watson, who has been photographing the sixth boro for almost 40 years!  Here are his fotos of Ambrose from late December.

According to John, this bottom is not only more attractive but also less porous.   By the way, for whom is the Ambrose Channel named?  Also follows.

To my untrained eyes, the prop seems predictably small, given that lightships generally stayed in a single location most of their lives.

If you’re unfamiliar with floating drydocks . . . they are sunk to allow the vessel to enter and position itself inside; then, the dock is deballasted and raised, lifting that vessel high and dry.  Check the wiki explanation.   Click here to see a submarine launched via a floating drydock.   Here’s a video I made about two years back of Pegasus being refloated at the very same facility, Caddell Dry Dock and Repair.

Ambrose may float again later this week.

And the answer to the Ambrose Channel question is  . . . John Wolfe Ambrose.

Many thanks to John Watson for these fotos.

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March 2023