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That stretch of waterway can be pretty busy, though not nearly as busy as the automotive traffic arteries of the five boros.  Count them below . . . seven tugboats contained in a single photo frame!!   You can try to name them.  Let me know if you need help. 

One by one, though, they are more interesting to look at.  Can you arrange these by size, power, and age? 

Barney Turecamo.

Allie B.


Mount St Elias.


Discovery Coast. 


Mary Emma. 


All photos, WVD.

Largest is Barney Turecamo at 116′ x 36′.  Shortest by a foot Mount St Elias at 95′ x 34′, and Discovery Coast is 96′; least beamy is Mary Emma at 31′. 

Most horsepower is Barney Turecamo at 5100.  Least is a tie between Discovery Coast and Allie B. at 3000 each.

Newest launch is Discovery Coast at 2012.  Oldest by two years is Mary Emma at 1975, and Allie B. at 1977 1976.  I only recently learned Allie B used to do the sugar run into Dominos on the East River. 

For scale, the “small” tugboat on the near side of the tanker here is over 100′ loa.  

That means … there’s a lot of crude oil capacity in the vessel she’s  assisting.  however, to complete the scale comparison, this tanker is 816′ loa.  The largest tanker currently operating–Euronav Oceania–is 1246′ loa, and the largest ever–Knock Nevis et al.–was 1504′ and that’s just looking at the length.  Imagine how these tugboats would look alongside either of these tugboats!

The tug on the far side is 100′ x 40′.   Also, keep in mind that when zoomed in on a subject several miles away, distortion happens, refracted light.

The line connecting tugboat and ship is incredibly strong.

To this photographer’s delight, the KVK twists and turns, complicating navigation but allowing photography of first one side and then the other side of whatever traffic there. 


In low angle light of dawn, the shadow image replicates whatever creates it without distortion. 

All photos, WVD. 

As for the vessel SFL Trinity, you can learn more here. And why “S F L,” here is the expansion of that abbreviation. 


This title goes back more than 10 years.  But I got some congested photos recently, so I dredge up an old title.  Count the boats of all sizes here.  Of course, foreshortening makes them seem much closer to each other than they really are.  I count at least 12 vessels on the photo below, including some I had not noticed when I took it.

There are five here, and maybe two miles of separation between the two container ships.

Three operations were happening simultaneously in this stretch of the channel, and all were either stemming or moving very slowly.

Again, there’s lots of foreshortening here.

It may be exhilarating to get this close to a large ship, but if your engine stalls . . .  stuff’ll happen really fast.

Here’s a different sort of “traffic” photo from august 31, 2008 . . . exactly 12 years ago.  And it gives me an idea for a post.  By the way, left to right, can you name at least half of the 12 boats at least partly visible here?

All photos, WVD.


As we leave the cold of the past months, we see more crew of all vessels out on deck just to enjoy the balmy weather and sun, like these crew taking photos of the northern side of Staten Island.  I’ve often wondered what they say about this port of the US;  of course they see the skyline of Manhattan as they enter and depart the port, but I wonder what they say about the borders of the KVK.

I’m not “developing” it, however, maybe just taking advantage the “educational” opportunity it offers, to create a space as they have designated in Port Huron as the Great Lakes Maritime Center.  The assemblage of containers there is attractive and functional. Click here and scroll for a post I did back in 2012 about this Center on a brownfield.  NYC is failing to recognize the KVK for the tourist destination it could be.

Pilots boarding in windy frigid months must find this part of spring part of the joy of the profession.

Crew heading back out to sea . . . do they compare ports?

The deckhand needs to stay on station, a much easier task from temperature perspective.

Another crewman headed for sea . . . is this the last port departure of his hitch or his first?

Ditto the crew indicted by the red arrow, what do they talk about?


These boom boats, they work all year round on these utilitarian vessels.

This was a coup, I thought.  The USCG had come aboard during cargo transfer to take the crew through a life boat drill.

Again . . . crew entering the port from sea . . .


And finally, nobody has time to enjoy these seats right now, but when work is done, I’m guessing they are enjoyed.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is currently headed west again.


Not surprisingly, a lot of people were out on the boro the other morning:  speeding out to fish,

descending from Vukovar–a name slipped out of the news–into the crew boat Emily Miller,

sitting watch past BW Shinano,

ditto . . . aboard CMA CGM Tancredi,

and preparing the heaving line . . . .


Is that c-ship so long that the curvature of the earth can be seen along its waterline?  Actually that’s Brendan Turecamo moving SSS barge New Jersey over to Red Hook, I believe.

And a little earlier, although I place it last here, Shawn Miller pushed a trickster barge past ConHook Range.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


As a review, here and here were the posts I did on Wavertree going TO Caddell 11 months ago, and here is the series 1 through 4 focusing on Wavertree AT Caddell’s.

Below was she on March 10.  While I was away, she was refloated.


Below is March 19.  To my surprise, the masts had been unstepped.


And below was yesterday, April 17, the day when Executive Director of South Street Seaport Museum, Jonathan Boulware,  conducted a tour of the work in progress.  Any errors in this reportage are due to my having forgotten my pen and pad.


Since the masts–at up to 20 tons each, if I heard that right–were unstepped, their cleanup and refurbishment has begun.


A house has been built over the whaleback stern to protect the interior spaces.  There is some beautiful birdseye maple panelling in there.





The underside of the whaleback shows the details of work already completed.




This is the interior of the upper stern, looking to starboard.


Access to the cargo areas during the tour was forward.


I’m eager to see what work gets done to the bowsprit. Check out this post (and scroll) from many years ago when Frank Hanavan and I put fresh paint on that bowsprit.


This is a new deck . . . the tweendeck.  If you’ve ever eaten on Moshulu in Philadelphia, the restaurant is in this space.


Wavertree had a tweendeck back in 1895, when she called briefly in the sixth boro, which you can read about here (scroll).  In the photo below, you are looking through a hatch in the tweendeck down into the main cargo hold.


And here is the main payload space, the cathedral of cargo, looking toward the stern.  On a modern vessel, this would be divided into watertight compartments.


I can’t say this is the manufacturer, but this is the concept–as I understand it–for this ballast.


Mainmast will be restepped here.


Here Jonathan explains the spar work.






When the project is completed, all these spars will be aloft and potentially functional.




This cross section of a spar shows the lamination of the wood.  Some of these products are provided–I believe–by Unalam.




Here are some of the finer spars, along


with the directions for re-assembly.


Work going on in the rigging shed included stripping  off the old coatings and recovering the high quality old wire of the standing rigging.


Worming, parcelling, and serving protects the wire and produces such sweet smells of pine tar.


Many thanks to South Street Seaport Museum for offering this work progress tour.   Any errors here are unintentional and mine.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who thinks anyone who hasn’t read A Dream of Tall Ships by the late great Peter Stanford would really enjoy the saga of Wavertree‘s arrival in the sixth boro as told in that book.

Maersk Wisconsin headed out,  . . .  my attention is on the figure between the tugboat and the ship.


You know the unseen players on two vessels in this maneuver must be 100% focused here.



The way is prepared and the pilot begins the final steps of egress as all eyes remain on him.



Once he steps back onto Catherine Turecamo, the tug breaks to starboard, and


the Maersk crew begin to retract the passageways as




vessel heads to the next port and the next pilots.


I took these fotos and assembled this draft on a cold morning back in March 2013.  Pilots must have one of the more potentially life-threatening jobs in the harbor.

If you read Latin, you get it, this statement of Snug Harbor’s motto.  Otherwise, I’ll translate a bit farther down.  If you’ve never been, it’s worth a visit.

Here’s what KVK traffic looks like from the Minard Lafever-designed buildings of Snug Harbor, and

here’s what the waterside entrance to Snug Harbor looks like from the KVK . . . just between IMTT Bayonne and the “salt pile.”

The current feature exhibit is called “Treasures of Sailors’ Snug Harbor.”   The bust here is Robert Richard Randall, the sea captain whose charity established what became a home for thousands of aging seafarers.

The will establishing the institution was drawn up by Alexander Hamilton.

The Latin in this John LaFarge stained glass window translates as “We who are exhausted seek a harbor.”

If you’ve never been to SSH, you’ll enjoy three floors of exhibits, which include ship models like Massapequa and

Benjamin Brewster and

and Japan Ambrose.    And of course much much more,  such as

the entire John Noble collection, which I just scratched the surface on earlier this year here.  There’s even a Herman Melville connection here.

For directions to SSH, click here.

Value is a creation from 2011

in the Samsung Heavy Industry yards in Goeje.  Currently the yard is working on–among other things–Utopia.

Value docked for a few days in Bayonne, but now

passing container ships and all the other traffic

will see . . . Ice Blade.  And Value, as of this morning,

has anchored somewhere off Rockaway, Queens.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, from various spots along the KVK.

Here and here are some other vessels delivered by Samsung in Goeje.

Unrelated:  Do you suppose Costa Concordia will really float away?

The thermometer read 23 degrees F, winds gusted between 20-27 mph, and my blood has stayed thin in this mild winter.

Crew on Brendan does exactly what they’d do if it were midsummer, anchor hawse rinse notwithstanding.

For this or any job, each person has private mix of motivation, some set of reasons for tolerating the discomfort . . .

This blogger/fotographer comes out here for the big bucks, of course.  That and the ability to  see great names like this Silver Lining.

This 3-plus-mile ditch is a microcosm of places like the Panama Canal, the Shanghai offing, the English Channel/La Manche.

There’s something to be said for being inside, but at the same time . . .

it’s exhilarating out here.

By now Brendan and Kimberly have their tanker secured at the dock, and have no doubt moved on to the next assist.

All fotos this morning by Will Van Dorp.  For a scientist’s tracking of sixth boro weather this season, check out seaAndsky.

If you’re in NYC, this movie comes out this week at  Anthology Film Archives and  it’s about this world and called The Forgotten Space.   I plan to see it next weekend.

By the way, according to the site Shipspotting, here’s Silver Lining‘s itinerary for the past three months:

2012 February 10th, 13:00:18 UTC New York
2012 January 26th, 23:30:17 UTC Milford Haven
2012 January 22nd, 22:30:40 UTC Amsterdam
2012 January 8th, 19:00:25 UTC Freeport
2011 December 22nd, 22:00:37 UTC New York
2011 December 4th, 14:01:32 UTC Brofjorden
2011 November 28th, 19:00:54 UTC Skagen
2011 November 28th, 09:00:54 UTC Brofjorden
2011 November 28th, 00:01:18 UTC Rotterdam
2011 November 12th, 14:30:24 UTC Montreal

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