You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Mary A. Whalen’ tag.

Some things like winter fishing in the harbor appear not to change in a decade, but

Houma will never again move Mary A. WhalenHouma, built at Jakobson in 1970, was scrapped in 2017.  PortSide NewYork currently has a berth for the tanker and many other activities in Atlantic Basin, Red Hook.

B. E. Lindholm, built in St.Paul MN in 1985,  is alive and well, currently dredging off Fire Island.

This Kristin Poling was still working 10 years ago, definitely a survivor from before WW2 and also definitely then in her home stretch.  Byearly 2012 she was scrapped.

In March 2010 I also had a chance to gallivant off to Baltimore, home of NS Savannah.  If my calculations are correct, she was in service for 10 years total, and now in mothballs for 48!! Truth be told, she was a prototype, a demo ship with limited cargo capacity but also passengers.  Her beautiful lines were designed by George S. Sharp.  Recently she was at the end of a towline,  a sight I’m sorry I missed.  A wealth of info and video as well as smart comments can be found on this demo vessel here in a publication called Atomic Insights.  Let me quote a small section to tease you into reading the article:  “By technical measures, the ship was a success. She performed well at sea, her safety record was impressive, her fuel economy was unsurpassed and her gleaming white paint was never smudged by exhaust smoke.”

Cajun stood by Chios Voyager near the Inner Harbor Domino Sugars plant.   Cajun still works along the east coast US.  Chios Voyager, built 1984, has been scrapped.

And a somber last photo . . . I caught El Faro in Baltimore 10 years ago.  Little did I expect then what we all know now.

All photos, WVD, in March 2010.


I should rename this post “Time Warp.”  I started it in May 2008 and this morning–in response to some Facebook exchanges–resurrected it.  Maybe I will begin a series called “Time Warp,” though, and any photos no more than 20 years old–to pick an arbitrary boundary and to keep the series from becoming ancient time warp which could be its own thing– . . . any photos you wish to contribute no more than two decades old would be welcome.   Maybe I gave up on this post six years back because I had too many unanswered questions.

Anyhow, to plunge back in . . . Robert Silva and Harold Tartell provided foto of Manhasset from way back, when it sported a flying horse on its stack . . . .  I assumed this vessel was long ago scrapped.  I’m also assuming the location of this shot can be pegged by the two LNG tanks in the background.


Here’s another shot of the vessel (1958) (or 1952) in transition, I presume, sent along by Robert Silva.


Here’s a photo I took in 2008:  a different small tankship Mostank (1950) maneuvers close to a tanker.  I don’t know if Galahad is still in service, and


Here in Arthur Kill to resupply, I suppose,  Mostank . . . M O S being Marine Oil Service.  Mostank shows up as registered until at least a year ago.  Emma Miller now serves the sixth boro.

Here’s where the time warp impinges on this post.  Great Gull was around still six or seven or eight years ago.  Time flies.  The Gull has flown south.




Back then, John B. Caddell was still working.  Is she still intact?


Nathan E. Stewart was still in town and here moving Mary A. Whalen to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.


The unique Odin still worked here, and


Weddell Sea was still known as Scott C.


All photos here by will Van Dorp unless otherwise attributed.



Here was ASB 2.  There might be eight million stories in the naked city, but in its primary boro aka the sixth boro at least half again that number of other stories could be told  . .  by the collective whoever knows them.

Captain Zeke moves with the diverse stone trade past folks waiting below our very own waving girl and


all those folks waving and taking fotos from the ferry and every other water conveyance.



The 1950 Nantucket‘s back in town . .  for the winter.



Yup . . . no one could have predicted these . . .


back when Shearwater was launched in 1929.


A cruise ship shuffles passengers as Peter F. Gellatly bunkers.


Kristy Ann Reinauer stands by a construction barge.


Mary A. Whalen . . . is a survivor from another time.


A barge named Progress has returned to South Street Seaport Museum, here between Wavertree and Peking.


Emerald Coast is eastbound on the East River.


Two views of Adirondack, one with WTC1 –or is it 1 WTC or something else–and


another with the Arabian Sea unit.


And Sea Wolf heads north . . . .


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Sandy pushed this 1941 vessel ashore on Staten Island late last October.  The registered owner was from another continent and possibly no longer alive due to unrelated circumstances.  The city took charge and the sheriff’s auction happened today.


Viewing and inspection happened from this vantage point.  Sheriffs offered binoculars, though none with x-ray capability.


Before the auction began, a tanker at least four times greater in length passed northbound in the Arthur Kill.


Auctioneer Dennis Alestra welcomed the crowd to the auction, indicating where the bidding would take place.


Members of the sheriff’s department outnumbered all other attendees combined. Carolina Salguero, director of PortSide NewYork, has a similar tanker, Mary A. Whalen, now possibly the last of this class of coastal tanker in the United States and certainly the only tanker serving as a center for cultural and educational events.


One bidder and one bid . . . and the tanker is SOLD for $25,000  to Donjon Marine.  Total elapsed time of the bidding:  about one minute.  Here shipshooter Jonathan Atkin witnesses the signing of papers.


I’ve always enjoyed seeing her.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

I hope you’re enjoying this time warp as much as I am.

Foto #1.  Princess Bay northbound through the Old Bay Draw.


Foto #2.  When I first met this vessel, she was known as Kristin Poling.  Click here and here for fotos including some of her last month before scrapping.


Fotos #3 and 4.  Reliable II northbound and  . . .


showing the sculptural beauty of her house.


Foto #5.  Here’s another YO turned tanker turned reef, A. H. Dumont.  I’d love to hear about the condition of these reefed vessels from anyone who’s dived the Jersey offshore.


Foto #6.  John J. Tabeling doing what tug/barge units do today . . . . bunkering.  Tabeling was scrapped in 2005;  Statendam was scrapped in 2004.


Foto #7. Another shot of Tabeling, here exiting the east end of the KVK.  Foto is taken looking toward Richmond Terrace, current location of the salt pile.


Foto #8.  Question . . . is this Mary A. Whalen?  Here and here are fotos of the ambassador vessel of PortSide NewYork.  Many more can be found by adding the vessel name in the search window upper left.


All fotos taken by Seth Tane around 30 years ago.

home of the two Marys.  The farther Mary comes and goes, but the nearer one–Mary A. Whalen, hub of the Basin–will

serve as locus for (literally) tons of visiting historical vessels (See Atlantic Basin 1)  this summer as well as intangible amounts

of fun.  See the full calendar of music, movies, lectures, and visiting vessels on the calendar here.  Or just come by to hang . . . during TankerTime.  When I tried to interview Mary A. Whalen about the summer, her only response was the smile created by red-white-blue bunting hanging between the portholes on the house.

As to the other Mary, the distant one with a tiara suggested by her name, she’s itinerant.  She left yesterday (7/19) and will return

in early August . . . if the schedule is to be believed.

Hail!   Marys of the Atlantic Basin.  See bowsprite’s adorable rendering here.

This coming Saturday–July 24–is City of Water Day in NYC.  Some of the events at Atlantic Basin include a marine security display with a VACIS container scanner, a sniffer dog from US Customs and Border Protection, Urban Divers mobile marine museum, a container mover from American Stevedoring, tours of visiting steam lighthouse tender Lilac, live music, food from local Brooklyn vendors including Kevin’s Restaurant and  Kustard King.  And more!

See more City of Water Day info here.

Middle three fotos by Will Van Dorp;  all other fotos and mosaic here by Carolina Salguero.

Unrelated:  Earlier today I asked the following question:  Can anyone help identify this large floating object on the Hudson here?  Foto was taken by the Mighty Quinn five days after the Willis Avenue Bridge floated by, and a few weeks after the house barge sauntered through.       And the answer . . . just in from Richard Canty, captain of Glen Cove:  The object in question is a set of “cooling towers for the new power plant being built in Astoria at Steinway Street.  They were  built at P&M Marine’s dock in Coeymans, NY. That dock may be remembered by some as the old Brickyard.  The towers are giant sails. Very exciting driving in a wind….. any wind.”

Thanks, Richard.

And this will be my last post for July.  Lake Opeongo has called.  It seems some mysteries there need my immediate attention–or I need theirs . . .  stuff like deciphering the code of crickets, the flickering of fireflies, the meandering of muskellunge, the wiles of wintergreen, the secrets of snipe, the contours of congress (lower case), the rituals of relating, the protocol of pursuit, the finesse of friendship   (oh.. this could be endless)  . . . .  Ah, the glories of gallivanting.

Til August . . . cheers from tugster.

Oops!  Here’s some merry music from Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, and Tom Petty.

Mary Whalen‘s moved several times that I missed, but today was my third, or so.  Click here for one of her previous moves, and here for an orange tug moving her.  In small, quick patches of sunlight between the raindrops, she has a new dance partner–K-Sea Houma– while off to the west, storm clouds churn chaos.  By the way, Houma, despite the name, is Long Island built, 1970, ex-Texaco Houma II.

Once the plan is devised,

the tow gets made up and

Mary Whalen shows she still has what it takes to do a molinete to the tango music emanating from her bilge, stretch and spin before

making fast to the south side of Dock 9.  Meanwhile, from her vantage, it appears a deluge soaks the southwest side of Staten Island.  Houma crew debark from Mary Whalen,

say their partings, and then

Houma heads off to the next job, as the Lady from beyond Governor’s Island waves through the trees.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Red Alert for the SS United States.  See info on the grandest dame of passenger liners here.

In August 2007, while reading about K-Sea history, I wrote a post called “… Ancestry” that featured Davis, Falcon, Taurus, and Lincoln.  In response to an email a few days ago, here are some recent shots of three of the four.  Here’s Davis Sea with barge Oyster Bay on the AK as the setting sun illuminates the cranes in Bayonne.


Different shot, different November day with Davis light.


Here’s Falcon one early morning in late September.


And this of Falcon frothing past Lee T. Moran and


from July when


Falcon squeaked past a 6400-car carrier with a great name (speaks German).


Taurus I’ve seen but not foto’d since the June solstice.  You may recall Taurus dancing with Mary A. Whalen.  Here are two fotos not previously used.


You might recall how it pirouetted into a narrow space with the Portside ambassador on its hip.  If not, check out “A Local Shift,” exactly a half year ago.


Lincoln?  Must be off on deepwater or stealth assignment, as  I haven’t spotted it in a long time.  Anyone tell of Lincoln‘s range these days?

Photos, WVD.

In Moby Dick, Chapter 36  aka “The Quarter Deck” depicts a muster aboard Pequod in which the captain calls the crew to dedicate themselves to a project.  If it were possible to factor the melodrama out of Ahab, you’d have a lesser novel but a better leader, one who creates a shared vision.  Mary Whalen‘s  70th party helped forge a clear vision.

The  foto below shows a serene tanker reflecting on her past and future and the communities peopling both.  Communities already lived within her and those yet to come converge in what becomes more than cold steel.


By land,  people came, as well as


by muscle-powered craft, and


by diesel.  Shown below are Pegasus (1907)  and Janice Ann Reinauer (1967).


Just as the muster aboard Pequod pulled together a global array of mariners, so the Whalen party brought together young and old folk, students, retirees, artists, seafarers and their families, business people, politicians and policy makers,  as well as fans from all walks of life.  That’s what moved me:  Mary A. Whalen on her birthday party got attention and gave the gift of community to all who came.

And to all the readers of this blog who I met either for the first time or for the n’th time yesterday, it was a great place to see each other.

Speaking of blogs, bowsprite is now ready top share her blog with the known universe:  check it here.  Her most recent post shows the poster she created on the event of the Whalen birthday.  Help me welcome bowsprite–with her own take on the sixth boro–to the BlogSea.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Here are the basics:  come by land or water to a party for Mary Whalen‘s 70th year next Saturday December 6 from 11 til 5.  You can RSVP here.  I’ll be there.  Two of these three fotos are recycled from earlier Whalen posts this year.  Whalen came off the ways in 1938 at the Mathis yard in Camden, New Jersey.   What do you know about 1938?  Here Whalen dances up the East River with Taurus.


In 1938, a 450-ton meteorite landed in Chicora, PA, and Butler, PA began manufacture of several models of the American Bantam, whose models promised 60 mph at 60 miles per gallon!  Roosevelt was still struggling to make the New Deal work; LaGuardia was mayor of the six boros of NYC.  King Ghazi reigned over Iraq and Chevron discovered commercially-viable oil deposits in King Abdul Aziz’s Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, petroleum Whalen might later transport.  Below, Whalen dances with June K.


Prohibition had ended only five years before.  US population was 130 million.  Pete Seeger dropped out of Harvard to begin his folk singing career.  Unemployment rate was a staggering 19%, and the Fair Labor Standards Act established a first minimum wage . . . a quarter an hour.  Orson Welles terrified folks in the area with the fictitious “War of the Worlds,” and really terrifying and portentious events called Kristallnacht happened in Germany.  Also, more than 10 years before hurricanes had names, the “great hurricane” of 1938 dragged its eye ashore on Long Island with wind speeds above 100 mph, killing 688 people.  Speeds  atop the Empire State Building registered 120 mph.


Inventions of 1938 included Biro’s ballpoint, Carlson’s xerox machine, Nescafe’s freeze-dried coffee (my favorite), DuPont’s Teflon, Sandoz’ LSD, and strobe lighting.  Sikorsky was a year away from his first helicopter.  Betty Davis won an Oscar for Jezebel, Pearl Buck won the Nobel for Literature.  Judy Garland was cast as Dorothy. Howard Hughes flew a Lockheed 14 “around” the world in three days and nineteen hours using Brooklyn’s Bennett Field as start/finish point and making three stops in the USSR, one in Fairbanks, and one in Minneapolis.  Babe Ruth worked his last season for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Yankees won their 10th World Series.  Queen Mary and Normandie exchanged the trans-Atlantic crossing speed record at approximately 30 knots average.  The foto of John B. Caddell below, taken earlier this week, shows a 67- year-old handsome vessel  still at work.


Jakobson’s Shipyard relocated to Oyster Bay in 1938, leaving Brooklyn.  So what was happening in Red Hook?  What other notable sixth boro events were happening?  I’d love to hear.

More Caddell tomorrow.

Photos, WVD.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,579 other subscribers
If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Documentary "Graves of Arthur Kill" is AVAILABLE again here.Click here to buy now!

Recent Comments

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.


June 2023