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I took this photo in Waterford eastern terminus of the Erie Canal on November 1, 2010, and the canal had not yet closed.  I had just returned from part of a transit, and we had met lots of boats.  Although we had been bound for the Great Lakes, most, like the intriguing Baidarka, was bound for sea.  As of this writing, Baidarka is back on the Canadian Pacific coast.

A week later, in the sixth boro, docked in front of USNS Sisler, it’s the “love it or hate it” Sea Raven, now turned into new steel.

Sea Bear was engaged in the deepening of the sixth boro, and here a crew on the sheerleg was repositioning the anchor.

Lots of dredges including GLDD New York were involved.  More later.  Captain D, currently in the sixth boro on other duties, was dredge tender.

Then, as now Atlantic Salvor, was active.   I particularly like this shot with the 0730 “golden hour” light.  A very different set of buildings then largely defined the Manhattan skyline.

Wanderbird swooped through the harbor on their way south.

Padre Island and Terrapin Island were regulars recontouring the sixth boro bed.

Beaufort Sea, 1971, is no more. 

The brilliant colored Little Bear, built 1952, became a DonJon vessel, but I’ve not seen her since the Disch auction.

Susan Witte . . . I can’t tell you anything about her either.

Back then I would spend my Thanksgivings in Philly, and the high point of that holiday was not the excellent food and drink and company, but rather seeing the big barge for the first time.

Pilot towed in La Princesa, here assisted up the Delaware by Grace and Valentine Moran.   Pilot has been sold Panamanian, and La Princesa–577′ x 105′–I’ve neither seen nor heard from.  I believe Valentine is still active, but I don’t know about Grace.

All photos, WVD, who looks at these and wonders how a decade has so quickly passed.


As tugster continues its CYPHER series,  this is the 3633nd post, and almost 2.1 million hits.  Thanks for staying with me.

On the other hand, if I were selling calendars, the number 12 would be significant.    So for the next few days, let me offer some diverse dozens chosen quite subjectively, although what the photos have in common–besides subject–is that I like them.

Here’s a November 2016 photo along the Gowanus under the BQE.  This tug looks good in blue, but I’ll never forget her in orange.

Here’s a November 2015 when the upper deck of Bayonne had yet to be assembled, and the lower disassembled.  Amy C last appeared here as she nudged Empire State into her Fort Schuyler dock.

Here’s 2014.  She’s recently worked in the Keys.

Here’s ’13.  Where is Houma today?

’12.  Ellen‘s a regular on this blog.

’11.  Tasman has been doing this work since 1976!

’10.  Is ex-Little Bear in Erie along with Bear?

’09.  She now makes her way around the lower Caribbean .  . . and currently anchored in Trinidad.

’08.  And I’m adding another photo right after Linda (launched in ’08) of

Scott Turecamo (below) launched in 1998 but radically retrofitted in 2005, originally quite similar to Greenland Sea, here see the photos by Robert J. Smith.  How many of these ATBs does Moran now operate?  .

’07.  This was the only time I ever saw Penobscot.  Anyone know where foreign she went?

’06.  Note the size of the yard workers around the wheels on Ralph E. Bouchard.

Again, some of these photos show what has changed in the sixth boro, spawning ground for this blog.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


Here was 4.  Pairings suggest to me springtime, and I certainly am ready for that to happen.


Here a blindingly cold blue Meagan Ann departs the Kills with a team of scows


Cape Sally and Cape Heane.  Are there really capes by these names?



From back in January . . . it’s Chesapeake 1000 towed into the Kills by


Mary Alice and tailed by


Emily Ann.


Non-matching but a pair nonetheless here is Paul Andrew and Liberty V.


And since this post seems to be sticking to the color blue, here’s a pair I took a photo of midMay last year… Emily Ann driving Crow‘s last ride.


And although red . . . Little Bear and bigger sister Bear . . . has anyone recently gotten a photo of them you could share here?


To end on a blue note . . . does anyone ave photos of Atlantic Salvor in its current Caribbean context?


All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

Answer to yesterday’s TugsterTeaser:  that BIG tall ship is NOT Peking, which didn’t arrive in the sixth boro until late 1975. Answer is Moshulu, mentioned in the wikipedia site, although if you look at the Moshulu site, it appears she went directly from Finland to Philadelphia.  Does anyone remember how long she stayed at South Street Seaport?

Background below: Outerbridge, named for Eugenius H. Outerbridge, first chairman of the Port Authority of New York.  Foreground:  That’s for you to ponder a bit.  Info later.

What unifies the fotos in this post is the background . ..  all show a hint of Outerbridge.   Inspiration here comes from Hokusai and his 36 views of Mt Fuji, one print of which–Great Wave–everyone knows, just about.

Foreground:  Cable Queen.  What is her story, anyone?  For as long as I’ve been watching, she’s been moored just north of the Moran yard on KVK.

Twin props, shallow draft.  Did she get to the yard under her own power?

And the floating clubhouse aka the honorable William Wall (rope maker, US Representative, Williamsburg politician mid-nineteeth century, and who knows what else) also no longer floats for the season.

Elka Nikolas, Croatia-built,  heads for sea.

The elegant Little Bear awaits in the bridge’s shadow earlier in the fall.

and a Coast Guard 40′ comes back to life.

ATB Pati R Moran heads north on the Arthur Kill under the bridge.

Foreground:  Rae (ex-Miss Bonnie) waits her turn.  The blue tug is Ron D. Garner, and the bridge, background.

Scrapped vessels, now disintegrated, await a rise in scrap ferrous metal prices.

Which leads back to this foto, showing the Outerbridge in the background.  The year is 1964, and this is one of several thousand Liberty ships, and  she’s waiting here to be

scrapped.  Anyone know the name?  I don’t but I’d love to.  Foto comes from the Bob McClaren collection via Allen Baker.

All other fotos by Will Van Dorp.  If I wanted to mirror Hokusai’s 36 views, I guess I need 26 more shots.  Well, another time, different angles.  Or better yet, if you’re on the Arthur Kill, take some unusual shots with the Outerbridge as background and please send them along.

Anyone recognize the boat in the center of the foto silhouetted against the Brooklyn skyline?    I wrote about it almost two years ago here.


Tug goes by Little Bear, operated by Disch Construction.  Little Bear pushes bucket dredge barge into position, but to orient,  the services of the outboard work boat is required.  Any guesses on the work boat name?


Pooh Bear!   And Dredge No. 200.   Can you imagine other workboats in the fleet . . . with names like Teddy, Smokey, Yogi, Care, Running . . .


Pooh did effective assist work, though.


Little Bear dates from the same year as me, 1952; loa  48′.  Classy paint job.  Little‘s low freeboard . . .  I’m guessing that’s by design.


All fotos today  by Will Van Dorp.

I’ll never forget the disappointment I felt when I first saw the Red Sea. A co-worker drove me to a beach south of Jeddah to snorkel. The “Red Sea” had lived in my brain since hearing the stories of Moses parting it to make a dry bypass, and to my surprise, it had grown to proportions of spectacle it couldn’t match. It dismayed me that the Red Sea at first glance looked no different than the Lake Ontario of my youth. Yet, once I waded in, dove, and looked around, I could have been on a different planet. The mundane was transformed.


Now I don’t mean to say corals and tropical fish flourish at the bottom of the harbor in our sixth boro. Not at all. My point here is that the harbor bottom gets shifted around a lot, as molded and transformed to fit our needs as the dry space in the other five boros.


I am curious about the tug Little Bear shown here. What company does she work for? Is it the tug built in Florida in 1952 by that name? The size and design look right, but where is she based?


Foto quality suffers here because this procession headed eastbound on the East River on a hazy day. It’s the bucket dredge New York belonging to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company.


I’ve no idea what bottom of which harbor they work in now. Actually, GLDD Company has projects worldwide; they may be dredging the Red Sea, bringing up bottom and drying it out.

Thanks Richard for the top two fotos of Little Bear, taken along the Manhattan side of the Hudson.

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