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Quick . ..  name the oldest (or first) verifiable European settlement in current US territory?  Answer follows. Giovanni da Verrazzano visited the bay that became the sixth boro in 1524 but he didn’t settle.

This is the port of Guaymas, visited and claimed for Spain in 1539 by Francisco de Ulloa.  I can’t tell you anything about the tug here, Tolteca-1.  She looks like she could have been designed up north.  Anyone guess the La Paz BSC port of registry?

Click here for info on this port, and  connections between this port, 200 miles south of the Arizona border, and the US.  Here is an article on hopes for the port from the perspective of a few years back.

Rio Balsas is a crude oil tanker.

I’d love to learn more about Tolteca-1.  BCS is an abbreviation for Baja California Sur. 

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Guaymas and the following:

-the first* ever aerial bombardment of a naval target,


Rey Feo

and NASA . . .


click here.

And the answer to the question on the oldest settled current US city . . . . is St. Augustine, 1565!!

Many thanks to the Maraki crew for these photos.  More Maraki here.


Here was the first installment of this, and who knows where this will go.

Congratulations to Mage and Linda and anon who recognized the location almost as soon as I put up yesterday’s post.  Les, I don’t have a calendar yet, but I’ve already re-read the Steinbeck and Ricketts log. I don’t know how the restoration of their 1937 boat Western Flyer is going, but here’s a link to follow for updates.    If you have nine and a half minutes, watch this video account of the whats and whys of one of the most influential “science boats” in 20th century western North America.

Let’s kick up from where installment 1 ends . . .  and in Manzanillo, and the 1998 tug Manzanillo.

VB Yucatan is the forward tug here;  maybe someone can identify the others. Boluda has recently begun to provide towing services in the port.

Crossing over into the western inside of Baja, a parade in LaPaz featured very familiar KW trucks like this.

There is fishing, but some fisherman have re-invented themselves in the tourism industry.


There are charters and small cruise ships. 

But here’s a gem,

even older than Western Flyer, Ted Geary’s 1924 creation MV Westward and still at work.

Meanwhile, to paraphrase the bards, I’m stuck here in early northern spring with the baja blues again.

Thanks to the mystery mariners for these glimpses of western Mexico.


Quick question:  What is Mexico’s leading port?  How about, several western Mexico ports?  Given all the TV coverage of Mexico, you’d think we would all know these things.  I don’t have a TV and read, but I did not know the name of this port.

Here’s a photo of Mexico’s largest port as seen from sea last week by the Maraki crew.

Mexico’s largest port has an advantage in that ships serving the US heartland from Asia needn’t pass through the Panama Canal.

So here it is, by some accounts . . . Lázaro Cárdenas.  As shipping into the US increases, the major ports become congested, and new routes are sought.  From Lázaro Cárdenas (LC)  to Laredo is about 850 miles.  And you bypass Long Beach, LA, and the Panama Canal.  Since it’s a new port, there’s room to grow.


Here’s a closer up of the port layout. Here’s more on LC with a great aerial photo.

By other account, Manzanillo is the largest port.   Maraki tied up there recently and sent these photos along.


The skipper poses in front of public art in the port.

So here’s why I brought up TV, and I remember the Lewis, Jhally, and Morgan study from back in 1991.  The conclusion was . . . the more folks watched TV coverage of the Gulf War, the less they knew about causes and potential consequences.

I fear TV still has this type of deficiency.

Thanks to the Maraki crew for these photos.   Previously they sent along Colombian tugs and more.

Back three years ago, I did a whole month of posts on ports. 

To close out April, here (and at the end of this post) a photo of Grouper in Lyons a few weeks ago before the Canal was brought up to level and opened for traffic.  Thanks to Bob Stopper.


How lucky can some people get!?@#!  Bowsprite caught this photo last fall as she was leaving New London harbor.  The tugboat is John P. Wronowski.


From Maraki, it’s Heidi eastbound past cow pastures and


fleetmate Rikki S westbound.


How’s this for an unnamed push boat . . . the one that moves


Martha Lewis when needed, and when no longer needed because the skipjack is under sail, just gets hauled up on davits.    I guess technically this prime mover is not a tugboat, she is a push boat.   Here’s a youtube of Martha Lewis getting trucked away, sans push boat, for repairs.  Anyone have updates on her getting into the water this season?  Click here (and scroll) for a photo of Silk, the push boat dedicated to skipjack Stanley Norman.


And from my visit to Chelsea Creek last week, here’s another shot of (for me) the unidentified small tug, and


in gloucester, it’s  Mikey D with Horizon looking over the stern.


Closing this post out, it’s looking eastbound across Grouper‘s bow.  I’ve said it for years and will say it again, I hope some one takes this project on.



Thanks to Bob, bowsprite, and Maraki for these photos of really random aka sundry set of tugboats.

Santa Marta harbor .  .  . sees HR Recommendation arriving in port, from Houston, methinks.


Ditto Thor Energy.


And Baldock, here being bunkered by Intergod VII.


Dole Chile is likely there to pick up tropical fruit to ship north, to our ports.


Stern to stern here, Dodo with a stern bridge, and the other with a less common bow bridge.


Industrial Faith . . .  quite the winner as a name.


At sea . . . it’s a hull down Houston.


Alessandro DP . . . at sea.


And in Curacao, facing Caracas Bay, it’s Stena Discovery . . . for a spell now under port arrest.


At sea . . . Hafnia Taurus.   Maraki also . . . is back at sea.


And finally . . . in the Rotterdam area, the 2014 Vietnam-built Lewek Constellation, deep sea pipe layer.


Many thanks to Maraki and to Fred Trooster for these photos.


Two years ago, I wrote about Columbian tugs here, and alluded to reading of some new ones in Colombia here.   Here and here –one more here–are some others from the great river in the Northwest.   Thanks to the Maraki crew, here is some activity from along the northwest corner of South America.  Click here to read Maraki‘s account of conditions in this corner of the Caribbean

The big tug Atlas, built in Japan in 1991, seems to have trolling rods deployed, or am I seeing that wrong.


Tayrona is from 2014 and Peru built.  Click here for more of the fleet.



GPC Tesoro is China built in 2013.



Here they escort Baltic Pride out to sea on a run to the  . . . Baltic.



Pino, China built 2007.



And Tortugas, RORO heads for the Canal, where I saw her about three years ago.  I have lots more photos of her there I’ve never used.  I wonder how long before Atlas‘ lines go tight with something huge.


Colombian Coast Guard interceptor boat?


All photos compliments of my sister.

A few more Colombian tugs can be seen here.

Technically, I’ve never finished my posts on watersheds 12 and 13 . . .  the troves of photos from those places have simply been preserved by photos that followed and those stories remain to be finished . . . like most things in life.

The photos here, all from Maraki . . .  , offer a focus other than how much ice chills the sixth boro, an interesting enough topic but one that I need to get away from periodically.  Come inside, sip some chocolate, and contemplate the equatorial zones.  Like Rio Magdalena.

I’d seen the Magdalena on maps . . .



but never imagined what floated there. . . until then photo below led to Impala, an entity I’d never heard of before.


And that summoned info on where the tugs there come from, a question easily answered  . . . thanks to this internet thing.  Behold Impala  Zambrano and Impala Puerto Wilches.


Traffic like this coexists with the global economy.


East of the mouth of the Magdalena a dozen and some miles lies Santa Marta, where Atlantico awaits . . .


as does Chinook and


and RM Boreas.


Atlantico and Chinook are built in China.  I’m not sure about RM Boreas.

Two more from these waters from now . . .. Intergod VII.  Any guesses on place of construction?



I’m not sure where the Bauprespilotos get their boats like Voyager, but Intergod VII


was built in Collingwood, Ontario in 1967.

Many thanks to Maraki for creating the desire to explore yet another watershed.  For the latest dispatches from Maraki–above and below the water and during Curaçao’s carnival . . . click here.


I believe I took this in summer 2005, my first view of Lincoln Sea from W. O. Decker.  Lincoln Sea is now making its way northward probably along Baja California, if not already along alta California.


A few days ago and from the crew of Maraki–aka my sister and brother-in-law–it’s Salvatore in Santa Marta, Colombia.


And in the same port . . . Atlantico assisting Mosel Ace into the dock.


From Seth Tane . . . Alaska Mariner in Portland on the Columbia . . . river, that is.


And the next few from Fred Trooster and Jan Oosterboer and taken in Amazonehaven section of the port of Rotterdam less than a week ago . . . the giant Thalassa Elpida assisted into the dock by FairPlay 21.  The two smaller boats are the line handlers.


Click here for a post I did four years ago showing FairPlay 21 nearly capsizing.


Tailing the giant is Smit Ebro.



Rounding today out . . . it’s W. O. Decker, Viking, and Cheyenne . . . before the tugboat race in September 2010.


Thanks to Fred, Seth, and Maraki for these photos.

Here was 23.  In today’s post, there are boats from the just north of South America, at the south edge of the Chesapeake, and in the busiest part of the KVK.   Mero is from 2008,


Captain Willie Landers from 2001,


Chesapeake Coast 2012,


Eric McAllister 2014,


B. Franklin Reinauer 2012,


and Marjorie B. McAllister . . . the dean today, from 1974.


Wait . . . there’s one more, Lincoln Sea, shot in NYC’s sixth boro in September 2012 and built in Tacoma in 2000.  She’s just traversed the Panama and is now back in her home Pacific waters.


Thanks to the Maraki crew for the first photo and to John Jedrlinic for the second.  All the other by Will Van Dorp.


Here were the wild colors that started this series two years ago .. .

and Alice . . . always the trend setter and wanderer . . . seems headed out of the gray days in old New Amsterdam for the tropical colors of new New Amsterdam.  Notice the destination?  That’s the one in Guyana.


But I digress.  Tropical colors are a treat after some days in the cold achromatic north.  These photos come compliments of the winter refugees aboard Maraki . . . currently in the environs of Curaçao. For more colorful pics of this town, click here.


Here at the ready are Lima II and a pilot boat, and


newer sister Damen-built tug Mero.


Also in port was this International Telecom vessel . . .


IT Intrepid formerly known as Sir Eric Sharp.


Given the dominant language of this port, you’d think this local boat would be called “werken meisje ook,”  but surprises never cease.


or this be called “port service 1.”


The subject of Dutch-built tugboats in Curaçao resurrects the unsolved mystery of Wamandai, a tug that left Curaçao under some clouds and was possibly sunk by the US Coast Guard.  My letters of inquiry to various Coast Guard offices relevant to this case have turned up not a single answer, not even a word that Wamandai‘s fate is classified.  Should I say it turned up an arrogant silence?    Can anyone weigh in or help out?  Some Dutch navy vets and I would like to know.

Thanks to Maraki for these photos.

For a world of cable layers, click here.


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