You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘New York harbor’ tag.

Those look like icicles, and beyond the icicled railing, that’s certainly a wreath decorated with CFR § 83.33 signalling device . . . aka bell.  And are those partial candy canes way in the distance?

And a Christmas . .  as well as all-year round star!

Seen from a different perspective, I think this is classy.

Thanks, Pegasus crew.  This is my first sighting of a sixth boro Christmas. 

All photos, WVD.

Last year, part 1 M was here. Since I’m early, there’s still time for more 2020 merry posts.  And of course, I welcome any photos sent in, with other people’s Christmas photos like these.  I shouldn’t have favorite tugster posts, but this 1,    2,    and   rank pretty high, especially because of the folks I met in the research process.

If you want to send paper merriment, there’s always bowsprite’s shop.

It seems most appropriate to juxtapose that building with an ocean-going ship.  The physical aspect of world trade happens thanks to ships.

And the names allude to this, like Mediterranean Shipping Company (aka MSC) Lucy and Mustafa Dayi.

Or Zim Yokohama and Lian Yang Hu.

Atlantic Journey, 

Ever Linking, and

Ocean Pearl:  they almost make a declarative sentence. And Ocean Pearl‘s cargo comes from North Africa.

RHL Agilitas . . .  Her name is Spanish, she’s recently been in ports in Columbia, Guatemala, and Mexico, but the “H” in RHL is Hamburg.

High Tide seems as English as the 4th of July (:)) but the company D’Amico began in Italy. 

I mentioned to someone recently that the harbor is full of secrets hidden in plain sight, and that’s why I keep coming back.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


I feel like a box jellyfish today;  they have more than a dozen eyes.  Now imagine they all focus on something different and the box jellyfish brain can’t resolve the sensory data, and you’ll appreciate my failure to gel a story here.

Egret follows Hayward.

Hornblower Hybrid adds a stabilizer sail?

Like me?  Like you?

Prep for the next leg/

last leg of the race, which

looked more like a parade in the Upper Bay?

Bonnie Sue makes a splash.

And is this the current newest vessel in the sixth boro?  It’s the last one on this list.

And thanks again to Kaya’s iPhone . . .  it’s Enterprise’s last “in air” for a while.


Any guesses on the location?  Answer soon.   It’s NOT in the sixth boro.

All but the last and third from last fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to Kaya for the Enterprise foto and my daughter for the last foto.

Thursday morning after I’d caught the fotos of Patrice McAllister arriving, I headed for work, stopping at the Arthur Kill for a few moments to ingest the morning beauty.  Meanwhile,

in another part of the sixth boro, bowsprite and her assistants caught the re-enacter vessel Balmoral arriving in the North River.  Here’s Huffington Post text/fotos from the Balmoral point of view, with a few details on ticket prices.  That’s the Holland Tunnel vent on the Jersey side extreme right.  Here’s a tribute to the designers and builders, and here’s a great archival shot of the ventilator construction during the decade and a little following the 1912 Titanic trauma.

Justin Zizes caught this foto of Balmoral departing yesterday.  Had Titanic not had its iceberg encounter, its departure would have occurred with very little fanfare.

From Staten Island, John Watson caught this shot of Balmoral‘s departure.   As of this writing, she’s already passing between Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod.  John pointed out Balmoral was previously Norwegian Crown, launched 1988.   It received a significant implant in 2008.   The vessel’s namesake is in Scotland.

The other Titanic cruiser in the harbor this week was Azamara Journey.  And as of this morning Azamara Journey is SE of Cape Cod due south of Greenland.

Thanks to bowsprite, John Watson, and Justin Zizes for these fotos.

To turn from lost vessels celebrated to existing historic ones ignored, here’s an article from the NYTimes about last pleas for a home for Mary Whalen.

I zoomed in on details in some Panama posts here and here, so how about closer to home . . . .  All of the following fotos were taken in New York harbor, except one.  But that one could just have well been taken here.  Can you identify it?

Otherwise, just enjoy the fotos.  Doubleclick almost always enlarges.  For me, pleasure maintaining this blog comes from the locale and endeavor. I respect the livelihoods.  But things the camera helps me see I admire also for the sculptural beauty,

the play of light and shadow over diverse surfaces,

qualities of suntime and angle,

texture and weathering . . . aging,

universality and timelessness,

employ of color and volume,

imagined or real vignettes,

power and evocation of sound and temperature,

coexistence of natural and industrial,

labor’s wear and erosion,


elegant design . . . .

Since I deliberately wrote these captions quickly, spontaneously recording what I associated with each foto,  I could have captured something different no doubt upon examining each,  . . . but then again . . . I’m interested in what they evoke in you.  And here I invite your response.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp . .  . in the past month.

The bottom foto was taken in Panama of a container ship I’d seen in the KVK earlier in March.

Check out the light exactly two years ago . . .  here.   And my first greetings this morning came from the Easter ducks, who’d heard about an egg hunt, I believe.   Mergansers passed too, but dove each time to hide bright colored bills.

Norwegian Gem, her bow painted like a post-modern Easter ovoid,  sailed into a harbor entirely tinted with the rosy fingers of dawn, ending a passage from Cape Canaveral.

Bavaria made an attempt to get out to sea.

Nor Gem shrinks the closer she gets to Manhattan’s passenger terminal.

Sea Lion (1980) heads Jamaica Bay bound to deliver a crane.

Buchanan 12, (1972) herself made over and painted anew for an Easter parade, enters the east end of the KVK.

Pathfinder charges forward between MOL Express and Overseas Atalmar.  Express left the Panama Canal 12 days ago, and will spend next Sunday in Europe.

A mariner stands watch.  What I’d give to be able to tell you his name, history, and his thoughts as he heads for sea on a Sunday morning . . .

And two last beasts  . . . unicorn and Oliphant . . .  round out our marvelous menagerie

I hope you enjoy this day . . . All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

OOoops . .  there was a “seven seas 2” already here.  Here was the first in this series.  Today’s post stems from my inability to identify a very distant K-Sea tug in the second foto here; thanks to Jed and Harold for setting me straight.  K-Sea units that used to be commonplace in the sixth boro are in fact scattered to the seven “seas”:  Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Alaska, Gulf of Guinea.   So I decided to post today all the white K-Sea tugs I’ve foto’d in the past half month.  There is the new infusion of green K-Sea units, too. Of course, other units have passed through the harbor;  these are just the ones I’ve seen.  After all, I do have other claims on my time.  For the K-Sea story and ALL their units, past and present, check out Birk and Harold’s fantastic site here.

Solomon Sea, passing Barbara McAllister,

Davis Sea, on our only snow storm to date,

Greenland Sea,

Beaufort Sea, 

and Bering Sea. 

Some units are parked at Mariner’s Harbor, and the profitable ones that I didn’t see during this period must be where they should be:  at sea!

If your reading this post from WAY outside the sixth boro and sight a K-Sea vessel and you COULD snap a foto to send along, I’ll post it in a “far-flung” post.

It’s been some time since I did a post on names, and must confess I’ve neglected to write down some intriguing ones of late.  Here’s Names 13.  But before looking at this batch, I have to call out a disturbing article from today’s NYTimes about closing a customs inspection station in Red Hook, not only raising prices on commodities like bananas and beer but also adding to bridge and road congestion.  I hope this doesn’t transpire.  It sems pennywise poundfoolish to me . . . unless there’s another darker explanation?

I’m happy shipping companies use nomenclature, real names, rather than numbers or alphanumerics.  Actually, vessels do have IMO identification in numeric form, but they also have names, naming conventions that evoke other times.  I love the classical names.  IMO 9324215 is also Golden Venus.

9289518  ?  . . . Ajax sounds better to me.

I don’t even care about the number:  NYK Daedalus suits me.

CSL Atlas . . . fine.

And I love this classic . .  a foto of a banana boat offloading in the sixth boro and taken in 1960 by William Rau and passed along by Thomas Flagg . . . Eros!  I love it.

Here’s an enlarged portion of the shot.  Notice the wooden covered barge in the foreground.  The harbor 52 years ago looked quite different.

Now . .  the same name on a fiberglass motorboat . . .  nah!  Here it seems tacky.  Pop culture references might be better for pleasure boats, like

this . . . I love it!

Except the classic from William Rau, all fotos by Will Van Dorp.

So here’s a question prompted by the Chinese new year:  I cannot recall seeing a large vessel passing through the sixth boro bearing a name with the word dragon in it.  I can’t.  Maybe you can.  A case in point is this foto taken yesterday:  a Chinese-operated container vessel although built in Japan, named for a major Chinese city.  As it passed, I was moved . . . a formidable vessel, a huge water-snake, a contemporary dragon.

 If you’ve taken a foto of a modern vessel with “dragon” in the name, I’d like to hear of it.  Upon more reflection here, I realize that over four years ago in Greenport, NY, I saw a green tug called Dragon.  The registry shows the Gladding-Hearn vessel still operates by that name.   Can anyone pass along a recent foto?

Some folks do spring cleaning;  I do winter culling.  And have been doing a lot of it, including in my foto library.  Considering the library as a whole, it’s constantly in flux . . . stuff out; better stuff-I hope–in.  Many quotes say this;  my favorite version is “you cannot step into the same river twice.”

Same is true of a harbor; what vessels inhabited it when I first paid attention are no longer here, at least not in the same way.  Take Odin, about which I’ve heard a lot of chatter this week.  Great name.  Perfect candidate for an award for eccentricity, but I smiled every time I saw Odin.   I never saw the closest vessel to her in DNA, the ill-fated Red Wing.  You can tell this is the older Odin because the house rests on a hydraulic ram.

 Here her house has front legs.

Here’s Odin, house down, bunkering a Princess vessel.

Dean Reinauer has also left the sixth boro; she traveled out on the back of Blue Marlin last summer.  Where she is today, I’m SURE she’ll see no snowfall like this, taken a few years back over by Howland Hook.

Ditto Great Gull . . . down in Venezuela . . . no snow.  I recall fondly how excited I was when I first saw Great Gull, turns out built by the same folks who built barges for Europe as part of the Marshall Plan.

And the ORANGE June K.  I know she’s still around as Sarah Ann.  But that original color was almost institutional, almost spring time.

And then there’s Rosemary McAllister, now working on lease down south without her last name and with an all-white stack.    Her christening was a seminal bowsprite/tugster collaboration.

She worked in the harbor for too short a spell, from my POV, before migrating to Houston, but what do I know about the economics.

Scott C is now Weddell Sea.  Dorothy Elizabeth (star  . . . well, an extra . . .  of Carlito’s Way) has now been scrapped.

Finally, there’s Kristin . . . , once with a telescoping house like Odin, now scrapped.

I have others, but it’s amazing how much changes in five years of  observing the harbor.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Given my vintage, the sound that personifies change for me is this song by Jefferson Airplane.  

Between 0800 and 0900 this morning, sunshine poured down onto the KVK, and deepened all the colors.  Sand Master (more of these fotos tomorrow) was positively radiant while waiting–it seemed– for something to happen before it can get into the fuel dock.

Then I saw the “something” as Mount Hope began to inch stern first into the stream.   Laura K. Moran surged from port

to starboard to assist in the rotation, her power and precision captivating me.  But then, way atop the superstructure, movement

caught my attention, a bit of ceremony I’ve never noticed before.  A crewman made the flag fast to the halyard and

ran it up, as if to say . . .  we

are now open for business.  Here  is some of the traffic:  Mount Hope outbound passes APL Japan inbound.

OOCL Nagoya seemed to try to get up on plane, and

in doing so . . .  tailed by Barbara McAllister, deftly carved an arc between the bank and an incoming Affinity on the hip of  Marion Moran.

I then went to my appointment on the land side of Richmond Terrace, noticing from indoors two Ital container vessels (Moderna and another) passed.   Before noon, as I headed back home, I noticed that Oyster Creek with the bunker barge was refueling  Shorthorn Express  north of the VZ Bridge as

(this foto thanks to John Watson) Queen Elizabeth headed into port.  Draw what conclusion you will from the juxtaposition of these last two vessels.

Thanks to John for the foto.  All others by Will Van Dorp, who imagines that without that flag-raising, none of this traffic would have happened.

By noon, bright sunshine had turned to overcast gray and then drizzle.  No snow, though.

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

Join 1,581 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!

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