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Click here for my serendipitous fotos of WLV-612 under way a few months back.  I traded those fotos for a tour.  But  the vessel immediately below is not 612 . . . it’s LV-87, 43 years older than the 612.  Check out the riveted hull.    Here and here are some previous posts on that Ambrose showing vintage in situ views and high and dry ones at Caddell’s last spring.


In comparison, here’s the bow of the 1950 Nantucket aka WLV-612.



The C covers a hatch which when swung outward is marked with a U so that from a distance, one would still read the name on side as Nantucket.  I’m not kidding.


This is what a welded lightship stern looks like.  But where is Nan, with whom I had the appointment to view the vessel?


A cellphone call brings movement to a forward portlight, and with the right password,


this hatch swung open.  “No, I’m not selling anything or giving away religion . . . I just being tugster.  A tour maybe?”


Spirals still lead between decks, although I’m guessing that everything about this vessel has been redone to yacht standards.  For the official site fotos of what’s below decks, click here. There are many more fotos on this listing . .  for less than $7 m it can be yours.  It will probably leave the sixth boro before the end of this month.


Prominently framed below, the builder’s plate. But how did WAL become WLV?  Addendum #2  Here’s the answer.


This vessel was the USCG last working lightship until 1983, and it did “other tasks” until being decommissioned in March 1985.

For a PDF on many US lightships, click here.  Two of them are abandoned on a riverbank in Suriname.  For some haunting fotos of a similar 1910 Dutch lightship (Lichtschip Suriname-Rivier) along that same river, click here.   It seems there is a restoration project underway, as filmed here in the past month . . . but in Dutch.  Basically, the narrator says “don’t fall through the deck, vessel came here in 1911, here’s the washroom, the kitchen, the anchor machinery, the light tower . . . here’s the companionway heading below, yes . . . there’s water down there but we’re hoping to get her dry.”  Come back when the job is done;  meanwhile I am NOT going down below where some nasty critters might have settled in.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Late tonight I anticipate strolling through Penn Station as part of my transit from work to sleep; usually I run, but on Halloween it means the parade has wound down and that all types of creatures will inhabit that transit ecolabyrinth.  Halloween in New York and most places in the US produces a mix of the grotesque, macabre, sexy, and just plain bizarre.  This post is intended to mirror the spectrum of the menagerie I expect to see tonight.  Meanwhile, to see Halloween aboard MV Algolake, go to their Faceboook site.

Start with the raised Helen Parker, which capsized and sank off Manhattan earlier in the month.  These fotos come thanks to Jerseycity Frankie.   No one was physically hurt, although

feelings certainly suffered.   Here’s more on the story.

Halloween critters in Penn tonight will be diverse, hard to identify.  Any thoughts on this foto I took yesterday?

Seatrout . . . here she be!  I’ll bet they don’t serve smoked salmon on board.

Taken yesterday also . . . right near where some fisherman pulled out a 37″ striper.  Guesses?

Misplaced oculus?

It’s Tsereteli!  Enjoy these other manifestations of the Georgian sculptor.  He might write his name as  ზურაბ წერეთელი  . . .  that kind of Georgian.

In any parade, some costumes are simply unidentifiable by the uninitiated.  Like this, which stands as a piece of post-industrial sculpture just behind the A&P in Bergen Point Bayonne, between Elco Boat Basin and the old Esso yard.  Can anyone identify its former use?  Speaking of the old Esso yard, here’s an old piece of British newsreel showing response and cleanup after a quite tragic June 1966 tanker collision and explosion there.    Here’s the NTSB report.

Here’s a foto I took yesterday, tribute to the surprise pre-Halloween snowfall.  APL Qatar was about to be backed down for departure for sea.   More fotos of Qatar soon.

OK, this was a season and a half ago, harbinger of a pre-Samhain snowfall.  Get ready for indian summer.  Beginning of summer 2011–Coney Island style–was documented here, here, and here.

Finally, here’s another shot from the Lady Liberte parade.  If you haven’t done so already, check out bowsprite’s reaction  . . . at least  . . . to this vessel being in town.  “Lightship” just doesn’t have the energy of the name for this class of vessel in some other languages:  for example in Danish, it’s a fyrskib.  See fyrskibs and much much more here.

Top two fotos come from Jerseycity Frankie . ..  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s last year’s Halloween post about a trip to Issuma.  Issuma today is off Alaska after having sailed east to west across the Northwest Passage!! And I could have taken a leave and gone with . . . ah silly me.

Latest word on MV Algolake and the Great Lakes in general, looks like I’ll spend Thanksgiving with my sister in Michigan, after stopping briefly in Toledo and Detroit.

I could have called this “other peoples fotos,” but these are also quite unusual.  Foto below comes many thanks to John Watson.  According to John, it anchored off Bay Ridge for less than 12 hours yesterday to bunker.   The last time this blog touched on livestock of the bovine sort was the post Cows in CATS.  What I know about the vessel follows at the end of this post.

Foto below comes thanks to Capt. Stig Samuelsson.  Take your guesses and locate the info below.  I cropped Stig’s foto slightly to obscure a giveaway.

Finally, I put in this foto that I took on Sunday:  this is a classy little cabin cruiser out of New Jersey.  I posted a foto of it last year as well . ..   I have no idea about the name or manufacturer, but my guess is that it was built within a 30ish mile radius of the sixth boro.

Answers:  John’s foto shows Shorthorn Express;  as of this writing, it’s headed up Delaware Bay, probably to Wilmington.  And it’ll load cows for Turkey.  Anyone get fotos along the way to Wilmington?  Shipspotting offers a dozen fotos, including several showing the vessel–scrapped 20 years ago–that previously bore this name.  What’s clear on those fotos is the elaborate ventilation system needed to keep the “shorthorns” happy during the passage.

Stig’s foto shows Harry, a tug built in 1887 as steam tug Stora Korsnäs 1.  According to Stig, Stora Korsnäs 1 was typical of tugs used to tow lumber along the coasts of northern Sweden.   She currently runs as a museum with a volunteer crew.  If you can’t read this, you can at least look at fotos.  It’s based halfway between Oslo and Goteborg and right across the water from the northern tip of Denmark.  Click here for a youtube of Harry underway.

Sad news:  Lady Jane MAY be not long for this world.

 Lady Jane is 1963-Belgium built North Sea trawler looking a lot like Wanderbird and Cape Race.  Tim Zim (whom I met when he visited the sixth boro a half year ago … see seventh foto here)  has been restoring her  for seven years, but recently hauled her and learned the hull was more corroded than he had thought.    He wants to give up . . . he says in the post.  But, I’m wondering if you could get a second opinion.   A friend who read Tim’s July 25, 2011 post recalled that LV-118 aka Lightship Overfalls was in worse condition and was brought back.   Details in that link about the “restoration miracle.”  Please drop Tim an email with encouragement and (even better) technical advice.

Many thanks to Matt of Soundbounder for the heads up and to Lori of Jarvis House and Garden for use of these fotos.  As of this post time Wednesday, LV-112 Nantucket has just seen its first sunrise in Boston after languishing for eight years in Oyster Bay, hoping there to become a museum but facing the ever-approaching scrapper.  Leaving the dock, she escapes  the scrapyard fate this past Monday morning,

ready to dance with a tug named

Lynx of Constellation Maritime.  Here’s the specs on Lynx.  I wrote about a nimble Constellation boat sans propellers here.

Arrival in Boston was 3 pm Tuesday.

Here are some fascinating lightship links, starting with this one featuring dramatic art of LV-117 Nantucket rammed by RMS Olympic on May 15, 1934.  Scroll all the way through and you’ll see info on LV-112 including that it spent 1942–1945 painted gray and patrolling off Maine.  Also, an address is given there if you wish to contribute to the preservation effort.   Amesbury, MA . . . my favorite waters, the Pow Wow River flows through Amesbury!

Here’s a story from today’s Boston Globe.

Here are some tugster links:  WLV-612, 18 Lightships, and my own confusion.  And of course . . . winter/summer solstice and  my summer hangout . . . Frying Pan, rendered here in this exquisite drawing by  . . . bowsprite!

Thanks again, Lori and Matt.

Thanks to Matt for correcting a fact in yesterday’s post, in which I reported hearing that 12 lightships remain.  In fact, the number is 18, of which 2 are “endangered.”  Can you find the lightship in the foto below, which I’m re-posting from 11 months ago?  (Click here for the original context.)

Back last February, Jeff S commented as follows:  “vessel [behind small tug Jay Bee V]  is  Lake St. Clair….  Lake St. Clair was built as  LV-75 at Ferrysburg, Mi. in 1902. Converted to a lighter at some point and came to N Y in early 1982.”  More info at link later in post.

I took the foto last January focusing on Jay Bee V and have never gotten back to properly foto Lake St. Clair.

Can you find the lightship below in this foto from less than three years ago?


Here’s another chance to spot it.


Well, those white masts belonged to Lightship #84 aka St. Johns, hidden beneath it at that time.  What ocean depths now entertain Lightship #84 is just as well known as  . . . where Jimmy Hoffa lies.  Did any Red Hook reader see the lightship scooped aboard a barge and taken out to be reefed?  If so, willing to share fotos?

Find the lightship here?  It’s LV-115 aka Frying Pan, of course, just off the stern of art-project tug Hackensack, which I’ll follow up on later this week.


Matt included this link on the eighteen remaining lightships.  To summarize the info on whereabouts, a total of six are in the “sixth boro” (including LV-107 in Jersey City and one in Oyster Bay), two are in New Jersey (I’m counting LV-107 again), two in Massachusetts, and one in each of the following locations:  Alaska, British Columbia, California, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, in 2006 and 2008.  Check out Matt’s blog, soundbounder.

Tangentially related . . . a new travel update from Henry Hudson appears here.  Enjoy and pass it along to friends.

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