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Thanks to Justin Zizes for correcting an error about this.  The current claim to the “newest hull” goes to a NYC DEP vessel.

But it’s not Red Hook, which has been in the sixth boro almost exactly 14 years already, as evidenced here.

Nor is it the class of low slung sludge tankers, which have been here almost a decade.

Here was an article I did on these back then.  Nor was it HSV Osprey or Oyster Catcher. . . .

Here it is . . . meet HSV Piping Plover.  The HSV expands to harbor survey vessel, which in this case is a floating lab to test water quality.  

Thanks to Justin for reminding me of this vessel’s recent arrival.  Thanks to Gregory Hanchrow for the photo above.  Gregory writes: “The Harbor Survey Vessel (HSV) PIPING PLOVER just arrived ]mid-January to NYC after delivery on its own bottom by the shipyard who built it (Aluma Marine Corp), eight days portal to portal from Harvey, LA to NYC.  This boat was intended to be a replacement for the current HSV OSPREY, which has been in service since 1993 (Gladding Hearn). But, as fate would have it, we wound up needing to re-power and perform substantial structural work to the hull over the past three years ,resulting in a pretty much renewed boat.  Bottom line is we now have will continue to operate two HSVs so you’ll be seeing them buzzing around for a while!”

Thanks for the updates.

Justin Zizes gets credit for the striking photo below.  He took it the other night from another vessel off Lower Manhattan.  That’s Jersey City forming a wall in front of the sunset sky. 

Erieborg is part of the Wagenborg family-owned fleet of 180+ small general cargo vessels.  They’re a common sight on the Great Lakes.  So on a whim, I checked where Erieborg had begun and where its voyage would take it.  Astonishingly, it’s headed from Albany to Hamilton Ontario.

The road distance between Albany (right) and Hamilton is no more than 350 miles.  By the Erie and Oswego Canals and Lake Ontario, it would be about the same.  Of course, the small cargo ship, exotic as it would look transiting the Erie Canal, is too large in every dimension.   The Erie Canal can handle vessels up to 300′ long, 43.5′ wide,  12′ draft, and 21′ air draft.  Any inklings on the dimensions of Erieborg above?

Erieborg is 452′ x 52.4′ beam, and draws 26.1 . . .  too long, wide, deep, and certainly high.  So what options does Erieborg have for transporting its cargo what would be 350 miles?  Pick a route and number for the distance and voyage time?

Here’s the route . . .  around Nova Scotia and far north between the Gaspe peninsula and Anticosti Island. 

I come up with 1955 nautical miles and a seven or eight day voyage at 10 kts and allowing for transit time in the Saint Lawrence Seaway, burning fuel at the rate of . . .  400 or so gallons an hour (my guess).

Thanks to Justin for use of his photo.  I wish I knew what the cargo was.

Some cruise ships look great after having sailed for many years.  For example, Artania entered the sixth boro a few weeks ago.  She was launched as Royal Princess in 1984 in Finland, 756′ x 97′ and carried around 1200 passengers with 537 crew.

The even older Stockholm still sails as well.  Rich Taylor caught it here three years ago in St Kitts.

The following day, Norwegian Escape arrived.

30 years newer, 1069′ x 136′ and with capacity of 4266 with 1733 crew.

NCL vessels have featured an evolving use of art on their hulls.  The artist for Escape was Guy Harvey.


The quality of the next photos is not great;  it was drizzling, this is not a good camera, and I was not expecting her to depart at 1000.  Bliss‘ tale of the tape comes in a 1082’ x 136 and about 4000 passengers.

The hull art here is from Wyland, Robert Wyland, originally a Michigander.

Bliss was doing 14kts by the time she exited the Narrows, and 24 hours after her departure for Miami, she was doing 23kts and already off Myrtle Beach!

But Justin Zizes caught the real difference between a previous NCL generation  (Gem)  and Bliss;  a tremendous difference in scale.  Gem was was launched about 10 years ago, 965′ x 125′ and 2400 passengers on 15 decks.  For a great photo showing the scale of Gem compared with a NYC Circle Line vessel, click here and scroll.


Many thanks to Justin for use of his photos.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

Two unrelated blog links:

Emita II is a 1953 Blount built excursion vessel long operated by MidLakes Navigation of Skaneateles, NY.  But it has recently been sold to Harbor Country Cruises in New Buffalo MI (outside of Chicago).  The sellers–the Wiles family–are delivering the boat to southern Lake Michigan and doing this blog on her journey.

GirlAtSea is a blog kept by a Romanian environmental officer aboard a cruise ship.  If you click here, you’ll see that she has recently called at the cruise terminal in Bayonne.

Here are previous posts in this series.

Many thanks to Capt. Justin Zizes for these next six photos, all taken on November 6 during the transit of two Scarano schooners from NYC’s sixth boro up to Albany.

I would have joined as crew, but had obligations down river.  Here they glide under the TZ,


and northward . . . .

The highlands look positively fjord-like, because of course that is what that stretch of river is.

Here the boat approaches the bridges in Poughkeepsie.

Not quite a month ago–October 19–I caught another Scarano schooner up

by the Bear Mountain Brdge.

Unrelated:  Here’s an article on damage to insured recreational vessels from the hurricanes of 2017.

This follows the post where I got to spend four times as long on Long Island Sound, a truly remarkable place.  The trip last week brought sights and surprises enough to warrant a repeat trip soon.  Here, a bait boat (?) passes a renowned Plum Island facility.  Back to this later in the post.


We’re headed to New London, the name of this RORO/WOWO.


Here Marjorie McAllister tows RTC 60 past Little Gull Light.


The only house on Hobbs Island in Groton needed to have a story, and I found one when I learned it was built by the Hays family, who wrote this book a friend gave me for my 45th birthday.


Here Mary Ellen departs New London for Orient Point, passing New London Light.


Amistad awaits, for sale at the dock.


Sea Jet  . . . takes on passengers for Block Island, a place I need to visit soon.


Since our destination was Blount for the wind farm vessel ribbon cutting, I wanted to get a photo of the newly launched replacement for Capt. Log.   Click here to see the plans and specs.


Chandra B, coming to the sixth boro soon.

At the dock just south of the I-95 bridge, it’s 100′ scalloper Chief, also for sale.


Electric Boat 2 does patrols around the pens,


which enclose a submarine.  Now look closely at the tail vertical stabilizer.  Now look at the one in this “news” story about a submarine getting stuck in Shinnecock Canal.  If not the same sub, then it’s at least the same type.


But if you start thinking about it, Dan’s is having way too much fun.  This story and this one are clearly boaxes, spoofs about boats.  When I heard the story about Shinecock, I thought maybe the Hamptons PD had gotten ahold of this one, which I spotted on the North fork just a few summer months ago.


Heading back across to Orient Point, you can line up New London Ledge Light with Race Rock Light, in the distance.   Tours for Ledge are available in the summer, when the ghost is around.


On a leg between Newport and Oyster Bay, it’s KnickerbockerWisconsin-built by a shipyard that started out doing fish tugs!  If you’re not familiar with fish tugs–of which Urger was one–go to Harvey Hadland‘s site.


Now here, back near Plum Island, is a surprise.  I figured it was a fishing party boat, but Justin suggested otherwise, and indeed he was right.  M. S. Shahan II IS a government boat, owned by Department of Homeland Security!!


And a final shot of Plum Island just before we return to the Orient Point dock, of course, it’s Cape Henlopen, former USS LST 510



By the way, I am still looking for folks with connection to this vessel as LST-510.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.


I’ve never been to St. John, but Justin Zizes has recently on a voyage from the sixth boro, and he sent along these photos, ones that give a snapshot of one moment on a track into port.  The pilot boat meeting the ship was Capt. A. G. Soppitt



Atlantic Spruce is Canadian built.


Some other Atlantic Towing Limited (hardly limited!!) vessels at the base:  From right to left:  Atlantic Bear, Spitfire III, Atlantic Beaver, and Atlantic Hemlock.


Again, thanks to Justin for these photos.  And let me reiterate that I’m really happy about the collaboration on tugster these days, especially these days that I’m busy like crazy with an endeavor I don’t want to talk about yet.  It’s good.  I’d be interested in a series of ports to which vessels sail from the sixth boro, as is the case with St. John.


Here’s an index of the previous “locker” posts.

Let’s start with a photo from a secret salt seeking an identification.  All I know is that this photo of an “old army tug” was taken in 1982 and that the building in the background is the Brooklyn Army Terminal, a frequent background in sixth boro photos even today.   Anyone supply an identification of the vessel?


Here’s a photo I took about two weeks ago  . . . sand that looks almost like sawdust.  The nearer scow is marked Lexa Gellatly.  My question is . . .  is that the same hull but transformed as this one, once used to transport oil?  Do oil barges sometimes get transformed into scows?  And where is this sand coming from/going to?


scows at the mooring off Robbins Reef Light

The next photo comes from Justin Zizes and an event I missed last week because I got triple-booked;  what’s happening is the unveiling ceremony for the USS Monitor Trail Marker to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the US Civil War.  FDNY’s 343 adds solemnity to the event.  The water here, Bushwick Inlet, once received new builds from the slipways of Continental Iron Works.


Next . . . a number of you have written this week about the fabulous new photo archives assembled by the New York Public Library.  I’ve already spent lots of hours meandering there.  What makes the archive so remarkable is the interface:  you click on dots on a street map of NYC, and each dot reveals archival photos of that site.  Let me share a few here:  as seen from South Beach Staten Island, Hoffman Island in the distance as it existed in 1925.  I’d love to see post-WW2 but pre demolition of the island buildings.


Hoffman Island closer up with SS Perugia in quarantine.  I won’t guarantee the veracity of the captions on all the photos.  After all, GIGO.


1923 ferry approaching the Hell Gate Bridge,


1935 “stick lighter” approaching the Goethals Bridge.


There are literally thousands of photos in the archive.  Have fun.  I’d love to hear from you with any news.

I’m currently gallivanting and will be back–I hope–by the end of the week.


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