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Ten years ago . . .  it seems like a lifetime sometimes.  Minerva Joanna is still afloat, albeit at anchor along with dozens of other tankers off Lomie, Togo.  Laura K Moran, currently working in Savannah.

Mel E. Lemmerhirt is now Evelyn Cutler, currently anchored off the Palisades.

Cosco Panama is now called Minerva and working among the islands of Indonesia. She was a 2005 Blohm & Voss build, with capacity of 2702 teu.  She’s NOT to be confused with Cosco Shipping Panama, at 9443 teu.

Escort was still calling in the sixth boro. Now I understand she’s working in southern NJ, but I’ve not seen her in much at all since 2010.

Sassafras has left the Vane fleet; now she’s George Holland of Norfolk tugs, and again, not around here.

Colleen McAllister . . . she’s in the Great Lakes, although I’m not sure she’s working.

Maurania III is busy, now in Wilmington  NC.

I never did learn the name of this boat, not the manufacturer, but it has simple beautiful lines in wood.  Is it still around?  For sale?

And sailing . . .  I don’t think this’ll be happening this month in the sixth boro, given the number of passengers.

We’ll hold it up here.

All photos, WVD, who has begun going out by private transportation.   It really is somewhat odd to walk around this way, but it makes sense to me.

April 2009 . . . a decade ago but it’s still palpable and present.

How could I not remember the morning before work I stood on the Elizabethport dock wishing the punch-in clock mechanism would slow to a pace slower than McAllister Responder and McAllister Sisters helping Eagle Boston ooze toward her Linden berth . . .   Some who don’t take many photos might not be able to fathom how those moments stick to the memory.

Or the unmistakeable Norwegian Sea light and going for fuel near IMTT .  . at dawn;  it’s unforgettable.   I was hoping there’d no delays on the rest of my way to work that morning.

Another day, I took lunch break in Elizabethport, thrilled that Laura K and Margaret were escorting Seoul Express away from Howland Hook . . ..  backing her down.

And here’s one . . . I recall my pain this morning as I walked north along HRP, conflicted between the hurt of betrayal and the chill of being under-dressed, since I’d crept out early on a Saturday morning thinking that sun in April translated into warmth ..  . and the throaty sound of Melvin E. Lemmerhirt distracted me from all those things.

Also from that dock in Elizabethport, I watched Rosemary McAllister and Responder ease Hyundai Voyager boat toward the dock in Howland Hook . . .

The scene here is harder to recall, but from l to r, it’s Nathan E. Stewart, New River, and –the uniquely named– Gramma Lee T Moran . . .!

In April 2009, I commuted into work early a lot,so that I could catch the likes of this . . . John Reinauer moving a barge southbound on the Arthur Kill… not knowing that a few years later, that equipment would travel across to the South Atlantic.

Scott Turecamo . . .  this is the only photo in this “oldies” set that could have been taken in 2019 as easily as in 2009, except I’d have to photoshop in the current Manhattan skyline in the distance . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes he’s still fit to add to the archives in 2029 . . .

I’m working on some tougher posts, but here’s an easy one.  Let’s flip the calendar back approximately 10 years, give or take a month.  Then it was Barents Sea, not Atlantic Enterprise.  Rowan M. McAllister is still around, although in Charleston SC.  And the container ship under the “un-raised” Bayonne Bridge is Zim Qingdao, currently eastbound across the Atlantic.  The other McAllister tug I don’t know.

Melvin E. Lemmerhirt, now Evelyn Cutler, eastbound toward the Brooklyn Bridge  . . . well, all’s quite changed about all this.

Maryland –I’ve yet to see her as  Liz Vinik–was bunkering the brand new Queen Victoria.

Peking was then–as now–out of the water, although currently her dry dock is in Germany.

Penn No. 4 still goes by the same name, but it’s now a Kirby boat.

George Burrows was never a regular here, and I’ve no idea of her current disposition.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes you enjoyed this backward glance.


This hull was called Melvin E. Lemmerhirt for almost 40 years.  I took the photo below in 2007, as she passed in front of a then very different piece of Brooklyn land’s edge.


Here’s how the vessel looks now, known as Evelyn Cutler, maybe good for another 40 years?


Evelyn‘s fleet mate looked like this in 2007 and today Kimberly Poling


looks a lot better.


Also in 2007, I caught a Barker Boys looking like this . . .


and here’s a closer up a month later . . .


Well . . . very recently, just after northern Mardi Gras and St Patrick’s, here


is the same


vessel now known as Foxy 3.  I love the colors. I took the photo last week when it still looked like winter.


Since 2007 seems to be serving as baseline for this post . . . here was a tug known as Dory Barker then and


just plain Dory now.



All photos by Will Van Dorp . . . in the sixth boro.  Here’s an index to previous “second lives” posts.  Honestly, my favorite–for now at least–is Second Lives 10.  I’d love to find an answer to this . . . the truth is out there.


Happy . . . .  first sunny Sunday in April.  With balmy weather and a full spectrum of light conditions this first weekend of April, just call it the weekend right before summer although it may snow yet this spring  . . .  Whatzit below?  I’ll do a post on Gabby soon; for now that’s all I’ll say.

Adriatic Sea–the most powerful sounding vessel in the boro–and Lincoln Sea, off in the distance lower left both recall for me summers past.

Oleander heads off to Bermuda while Baltic Sea enters the east end of KVK.

Kuroshio Express flushes water through its dolly partons while arriving for its boro-6  appointment, escorted by

Brendan Turecamo.

Patapsco prepares for an assist.

Ellen McAllister escorts in Zim Virginia.

As I watched from pier 66, Melvin E. Lemmerhirt passes between me and the setting sun, which

also burnished the dull gray surfaces of Intrepid.

All fotos taken on good Friday afternoon by Will Van Dorp.

U . . . “you”  as in thank you for bearing with me.  Truth be told . . . my first thought was of Bart’s beautiful site uglyships, but he does that so well, I fear to cross or even approach his wake, and judging by his enthusiastic fan hatemail, he has quite the following.  So I’m using a series of unrelated U’s.

I can tease and start with underwear, as in the bottom paint on scow 65, here moved on the hip by Melvin E. Lemmerhirt.  Wear and chemistry might be beckoning new bottom paint here.  Watch the foreshadowing in this post.


Unchanged landscape.  This is the Henry Hudson year, and Bowsprite and I are not the only ones somewhat obsessed by that Henry.  In spite of the dramatic transformation of Manhattan and environs, islands like this in Jamaica Bay might give a sense of what Henry saw when he sailed into the sixth boro.  Now if this were Bowsprite’s post, she’d inform you by block letters that clash with her charming calligraphy that the foto below is “not to be used for navigation.”


Under-reported.  That’s a series on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate show.  I love it.  John P. Brown (2002)  and Bohemia (2009) are two under-reported boats on this blog.


Unidentifiable . . . some language on the stern of this trawler.  What make of trawler?  I really don’t know.

aaau4Road Harbour is on a British island in the Caribbean, but the script looks somewhat yet not quite like Inuktitut.  What it is?


“Up” position . . . where the wheelhouse currently set.  Designed for the canal system, Cheyenne can lower the wheelhouse, if needed.


Unbounded . . . came to mind as I watched this trimaran sail towards the sixth boro, here past Hook Mountain.  Unbounded like summer when you have no ties holding you back.  Trimaran name is Friends;  on a journey with that, you’d soon make them.


Unbelievable . . .  that the mermaid parade took place a month ago already.  Tell me it’s not true.  I’ve read that Andy Golub does beautiful painting event around the boros but I’ve yet to catch one.  Remember my earlier comment about bottom paint?


Unidentified . . . this vessel moving up the Rondout more than a month ago.  I remain with two questions:  what’s its name and are there spars that make this a schooner?


U . . . actually if I might indulge in “textingspeak,”  I happy w U read my blog.  At least that’s how I do texting, lazy yet impatient as I am.  On a whim I started this meditations series, because I wanted to get out of a rut that convenience had pushed me into, but I feel the encouragement you send along, and that has given me a stretch.  Thank you for helping a community germinate and grow.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Remember, click on the fotos to enlarge them.  Do one twice, and you might be surprised.

Meditations U . . .  just realize it sounds like higher ed.   Get a pennant on your wall to show support for  . . .  Med U.

F . . . fantastic or fabulous . . . as in it might exist but if I hadn’t seen it or read it in a reliable source, I’d think it of the realm of fantasies  and fantasms, i.e., incredible stuff.

Take Fractor, maybe aka GLDD’s Drill Boat No. 8, which has hidden on my header “logo” from Day 1 of this blog. Tug beside it is Melvin E. Lemmerhirt.  I admit  this is a poor quality foto, but what’s interesting is that “drill” here means creating a hole into which dynamite charges are set and then detonated for gross overburden removal, said charges having previously resided on the boat.   Safety redundancy has undoubtedly been built into drill boats, but 80 years ago  drill boat J. B. King exploded in the St. Lawrence with deadly effect.   More great GLDD vessel fotos here, including how cutter suction dredge vessels manage to move across oceans to new jobs.  If you know how to arrange a visit to the GLDD yard, please email me.


While on topic of fantastic dredge vessels, I caught this approaching the Narrows yesterday.  And what is it?  Mining equipment, I learned;  sand mining happens in various channels leading into the sixth boro.  Sand mining, as I understand it, entails keeping channels clear as well as collecting a resource to sell to the construction trade, i.e., sand.  I have more fotos of this unit including the tug, appropriately named  Sandmaster, but I haven’t found much info about it.  In the foto, notice the outline of the West Bank Lighthouse off Sandmaster‘s port, and a ghostly shape of tanker Altius, off starboard, or maybe it is.  Sand mining . . . the term reminds me of that scene in the first Star Wars movie, surface on the planet Tatooine, which was and then was no more.


More dredging fantasms  . . . I believe these disassembled parts once made up the cutter head featured here and then rendered in Bowsprite’s water color here.


Just as the cutter head looks as toothy as the toothiest of lophiiforms, so the roofless walls of Bannerman’s Castle with masonry-studded crenelation appear as fantastically hyper-architecture expected only  in video games.


Thanks to Jed for the foto below.  Suppose you spotted a house traveling upriver, like here off Croton Point.  I’d study it through the binoculars, then probably rub my eyes, check that I count exactly 10 fingers on my hands, then look back in the direction of the house to see if it was still there.  By the way, anyone know the tug?  Jed got no VHF response or identification.


Now suppose your first-ever view of a tanker were from this angle.  Then someone asked you to draw Eagle Baltimore.  Wouldn’t you draw it as a roundish tub with very little freeboard?  I’d never imagine it to be over 800 feet long.


And finally, this foto comes thanks to Bowsprite also . . . if you saw a sky like this in a movie, wouldn’t you just assume the color and texture fake, special effects?  But fantastic as  it may appear, what you see here is what we sixth boro denizens saw just a few weeks ago.

aaafcloudThe worst fantasms, though, are ones where you think someone exists, some feelings are felt, some history has happened . . . and no one, none, nothing is, and maybe never did.  I can’t even show a foto of those, the ones that rattle me most.

All fotos unless otherwise attributed by Will Van Dorp.  Cameras provide evidence  that eyes did or didn’t see; remember to double-click on a foto to double its size.

Easter Sunday morning, do I need better fuel to sort out a rough night than a stroll along the chilly North River with no company except voices in my head and a sunrise-drenched-red Melvin E. Lemmerhirt alongside?  But aside from my stuff, I wonder who’s Melvin’s namesake  and what preoccupations fill the  wheelhouse besides concerns about paycheck and health?


Tax Day 2009, I feel drained as a cold wind whips out of the east and spray atomizes over Megan‘s bow  as she drag races a small boat.


And wintry gusts nearly strip the flag off Maryland, pushing against tide and spray and past jade-green Sea Raven with its unique high stacks.


They shuttle the KVK


while I postpone getting to work.

Photos:  WVD.

Away from the busier route, a fleet of construction vessels heads away from the likes of Don Pasquale car carrier and  up the North River


led by Melvin E. Lemmerhirt and scow,


John P. Brown with one crane,


Vera K (ex-Goose Creek) with another,


and Charles D. McAllister (ex-Exxon Bayou State) with Dredge 51


that rides quite low in the water


Now what’s the project?

Images:  WVD.

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