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So I enjoyed writing about Margaret Moran pinning Sex (ok, aka Seoul Express) to the bulkhead this weekend, and it led me here . . . to the pins that are invisible while in use . . . (hmmm this too could lead into risque territory… oh I love spring time.)  Anyhow, Davis Sea (launched 1982) has


pins although I don’t know how long back she was pinned.


So does Norwegian Sea (launched 1976)


although Maryland just beyond her does not, as evidenced by the push cables.


Scott Turecamo‘s (launched 1998) come from a different manufacturer, the same one that Craig Eric Reinauer‘s come


from although Craig Eric (launched 1979) has a service ladder


I wonder when someone would use that fixed ladder.


Of course, other pin designs exist also such as this


on Penn Maritime’s Julie (launched 1998).


All these pins have nothing, though, to do with how Margaret was pinning Sex to the bulkhead.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Some folks have started imagining what “big boys” might face off in the upcoming sixth boro tugboat race. Although size certainly isn’t everything, it is something. From my archives, I’m including “local” tugboats rated over 6000 horsepower. Nicole Leigh generates 7200 horses.

The man near the stern reveals the size of Nicole Leigh.

Penn Maritime’s Julie churns with 7010 hp,

Vane Brothers’ Brandywine produces about 6000,

and 6480 horsepower for K-Sea’s Barents Sea. Notice the red pickup forward of the bow on the dock.

More to come, including the biggest I’ve seen in the harbor. Know some candidates?

So I have a question about units for quantifying “power.” Engine power on larger ships seems expressed in kilowatts, but in tugboats, the more common unit is horsepower. Is there a coming trend to rate the engines of tugboats and smaller vessels in kilowatts?

Unrelated: See a slideshow of the spill near New Orleans. Besides all river life, see who’s in trouble here.

Photos, WVD.

Another three-letter abbreviation serving as title? It must indicate how I think this time of year: short words, like elementary school, like basic things.

In slightly warmer weather, she asked me how Morton did it. Morton being Morton S. Bouchard Jr. here the “T”, nose tucked into a shallow notch on this fuel B. Being in a smart-aleck mood, I said, “Just as we do.” Her harumph signaled that my attempt at wit had failed. “It,” she clarified, meant “push the barge upstream without it snapping the cables and yawing off in its own direction.”



So, putting aside my attitude, I enlist Penn Maritime tug Julie, southbound here in Arthur Kill under goose escort, to help me demonstrate how Mort might do it.



One of a pair, this starboard hardware inside a “ring” plate is not a vestigial wheel. Neither decorative nor defensive, it’s a coupler. This link shows how it works.



Davis Sea has a similar coupler,



as do Nicole Leigh Reinauer



and Jane A. Bouchard. And as they do it, so might Morton.



All photos, WVD.

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My Babylonian Captivity

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


August 2022