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Given the glorious sunshine, the transition from summer to fall begs another series.  Let’s start with Maule, 

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2/3s of her escort, and

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a fraction of her crew.

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Following in Maule‘s wake, Helsinki Bridge arrives, here with half its escort.

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McKinley Sea traverses the Upper Bay and passes

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UBC Mobile.

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In the harbor was Cordula Jacob and Seastar, as seen from two angles.

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with some ferries and a Miller’s Launch crew boat.

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Caitlin Ann and

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Miss Lizzy work the AK and in the

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KVK, for the last day, there are two glorious ships with bright futures . . .

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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Today’s a good day to return to this series I had going for a few years and now return to.  More Chrononauts in the next few days…

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But first, this vessel bringing in my favorite celebratory drink.

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The fabulous September weather has allowed this project to rush to completion.  Remember, tomorrow

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in early afternoon she goes on a towline back to South Street Seaport through a portion of the sixth boro of this city made great thanks to shipping work and capital.  You can watch from along the KVK, from the Battery, or from South Street Seaport Museum.

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The name paint is on the list of about a thousand “last” things to do before departure.

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Also, enjoying the spectacular equinox weather, the crewman who becomes almost invisible in the bow

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of this 1100′ box ship,  

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tethered to James D. Moran.

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More on Peking as she gets prepared for her home-going.  Doesn’t this look like a shipyard for the ages?

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All photos taken yesterday by Will Van Dorp.

If there’s a shortage of any kind of stuff these days, there seems to be a dire scarcity of compassion, tolerance,  . . .  So it doesn’t matter what you believe or don’t believe, I’m sure we have common ground in thinking we need

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peace on Earth and goodwill towards everyone, especially this year.  That’s what I see in these decorations and hear in the music.

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From here in NY’s sixth boro on bows and

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sterns.

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From the south,

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the middle,

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and the north . . .

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and from this card someone sent me . . . have a happy day.  And a calm and boring day;  let

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me explain.  Click on the image below to hear a song by Capt. Josh Horton that probably captures the sentiments of crews at sea today.

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Here was 2014, and here was 2013.  Also, two years ago it thrilled me to share photos I received from the good folks at Hughes Marine to get photos from 1997 —here –of the year the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree came downriver by tug and barge.  And more good folks at Cross Sound Ferry sent along photos from 2003, here, when their ferry North Star delivered the tree that year . . . crewed in part by Rockettes!

If you’ve got time today for the background on how NORAD started reporting on Santa movements back at the height (or depth) of the Cold War in 1955, click here.  Here’s another version of the same Cold War story.

Thanks to Brendan Matton for the photo of Paul Andrew, Tali Padilla for the photo of Z-One lit up at the San Juan dock, Lisa Kolibabek of Cape Cod and Bonnie Halda for Jupiter both on the Delaware River, and Mike Magnant for the be-snowmanned Toot Toot.  Barrel sent me the photo of the red clad beard guy on the green 29. I took the photos at South Street Seaport Museum.

Finally, if you want to squelch the “red elf” mythology, check out the name of this 1963-built bulker AND its status.

 

Here are some previous “fifth dimension” posts in which I attempt to time travel to the harbor past.  Sunday morning I strolled down to Pier 16 on the East River .  . . and felt like Alice–the one that falls into rabbit holes.  Peking . . . and very old advertisements.

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And there’s a new immigration office there?  No hours of service were listed anywhere.

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The health inspection station was unstaffed as well.

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I thought all these ferries departed from the Battery.

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Steerage on Peking . . . might kill you.

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Why another war!?

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The mass transit prices are good, somewhere.

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And then a passenger vessel appears . . . Zephyr??!  And I have to pass the Potemkin facades . . . .

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I’d seen enough . .  or too much, so I headed for the Battery on foot, where . . . I saw

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a landing craft marked 502.  And all I’d had to drink was coffee, along with a wholesome breakfast.

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The real story of Pier 16 . . . it’s a film shoot.  It’s New York after all.  you might recall my stumbling upon a set for Boardwalk Empire down in the Rockaways almost two years ago;  click here and scroll.

All photos were taken Sunday by Will Van Dorp.

 

Exactly six years ago I heard a reawakening Peking . .  as I wrote here, I felt a pulse, heard a breath.  A warm flow began to within that shell too cold and too long. . .  Peking in the Upper Bay was calling on buoyancy it once had here south of South America.  I allowed myself to feel a little hope. Possibly this trip to the dry dock would be a preliminary to a miraculous rebirth.

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But too much time has passed again . . . momentum has dissipated.  Undercurrents in this article suggest the end is starting to be acknowledged.

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but IMHO, this is alright.  Mortality stalks all of us.  So here’s my proposal:  let those who hold her destiny organize a decommissioning, a wake.  She arrived–I imagine–with some fanfare if not an official commissioning for her imagined new role in 1975 . . . first at the Narrows here and then–in November 1975, according to A Dream of Tall Ships–from the shipyard up to the East River.  How about a party now . . . as then.  And then . .  reef her, ceremoniously.

Opinions are entirely my own.

 

First, if you’re free today and within travel distance of Lower Manhattan, do yourself a favor and attend this event, 4 p. m., a book signing by Dr. James M. Lindgren.  His new book is a much needed complement to Peter Stanford’s A Dream of Tall Ships, reviewed here a few months ago.   Details in Preserving South Street Seaport cover almost a half century and will enthrall anyone who’s ever volunteered at, donated to, been employed by, or attended any events of South Street Seaport Museum.  Lindgren laments SSSM’s absence of institutional memory saying, “Discontinuity instead defined the Seaport’s administration.”  Amen . .  as a volunteer I wanted to know the historical context for what seemed to me to be museum administrations’ repeated squandering of  hope despite herculean efforts on the part of volunteers and staff I knew.

As my contribution to creation of memory, I offer these photos and I’d ask again for some pooling of photos about the myriad efforts of this museum over the years.

Pier 17.  April 17, 2014.  According to Lindgren, this mall opened on Sept 11, 1985 with a fireworks show.  Its demise may by this week’s end be complete.

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April 12, 2014.  Photo by Justin Zizes.

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Feb 23, 2014.

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Jan 21, 2014 . . . Lettie G. Howard returns.

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Sept 20, 2013.  This is the last photo I ever took FROM the upper balcony of Pier 17.

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Sept 12, 2013.

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July 2012.  A fire had broken out on the pier, and Shark was the first on scene responder.   Damage was minimal, despite appearances here.

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Now for some photos of vessels that have docked in the South Street area in the past half century.

July 2012 . . . Helen McAllister departs, assisted by W. O. Decker and McAllister Responder.

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June 2012.  Departure of Marion M as seen from house of W. O. Decker.  Photo by Jonathan Boulware.  The last I knew, Marion M is being restored on the Chesapeake by a former SSSM volunteer.

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Lettie G. Howard hauled out in 2009.

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2009. The Floating Hospital . .  . was never part of the SSSM collection.

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2009.  Maj. Gen. Hart aka John A. Lynch aka Harlem.

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Helen McAllister with Peking and Wavertree.   Portion of bow of Marion M along Helen‘s starboard.

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Mathilda posing with W. O. Decker in Kingston.  2009.

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Moshulu now in Philadelphia.

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2005, I believe.  Spuyten Duyvil (not a SSSM vessel) and Pioneer.

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Thanks to Justin and Jonathan for use of their photos.  All others by Will Van Dorp.  For many stories on these vessels, that mall, and so much more, pick up or download these books and read them asap.

 

 

Here’s a range of photos from the present to the unknowable past.  Gage Paul Thornton . . . 1944 equipment working well in adverse 2014 conditions.   Photo by Bjoern Kils of New York Media Boat.

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In 2007, McAllister Responder (1967) moved Peking (1911) across the sixth boro for hull inspection.  Photo by Elizabeth Wood.  That’s me standing on port side Peking adjacent to Responder house.

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1953 Hobo races in Greenport Harbor in 2007.

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A glazed over Gulf Dawn (1966)  inbound from sea passes BlueFin (2010).

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Deborah Quinn (1957) awaits in Oyster Bay in 2010.

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HP-Otter and HR-Beaver . . .  said to be in C-6 Lock in Fort Edward yesterday.  Photo by tug44 Fred.   New equipment chokes on ancient foe but no doubt will be dried off to run again.  Compare this photo with the fourth one here.

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Unidentified tug on Newburgh land’s edge back in 2009.  I’ve been told it’s no longer there.

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Unidentified wooden tug possibly succumbing to time in August  2011.

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Ditto.  Wish there was a connection with a past here.

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Thanks to Bjoern, Elizabeth, and Fred for their photos.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

 

Between spring 2004 and summer 2007, I volunteered about 1000 hours at South Street Seaport Museum, or SSSM, mostly on Pioneer but also on W. O. Decker and Lettie G. Howard.  The experience was exhilarating—learning the lingo of schooner sailing and the lines and procedures, rustbusting and painting,  all good for maintaining youthfulness and  toning up aging muscle.  Without my time at SSSM, there might never have been this blog called tugster about a place I imagine as the sixth (and primary) boro.

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What pulled me away from volunteering was my sprouting curiosity about all the other vessels and projects and careers in the harbor with more tugboats than I could recall without the assistance of my camera.  Downloading my photos after a day’s sail would lead to a night’s worth of googling, to learn what I could about the boats, companies, cargoes, and ultimately the crews.  Volunteering there felt focused too exclusively on SSSM and their vessels’ tracks from Pier 16 back to Pier 16.   This frustration should not have surprised me, given my lifelong wanderlust and curiosity.

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SSSM has stayed with me though. One sweet memory I carry of SSSM is of the stories I heard as a volunteer about the time of creation, creation of the museum, that is.   But these stories came in fragments, and the gaps between have triggered lots more questions.  The more I heard, the less I felt I knew.   A Dream of Tall Ships, covering the time period from 1967 until 1974 in 500 pages, is like a vessel loaded deep with memories filtered through the recollections of Peter and Norma Stanford, founders of  SSSM.  The account is detailed and peopled with legends from a half century ago, a time when nautical giants were feeling the urge to preserve what remained of commercial sail, both coastwise and global.  People like Alan Villiers and Karl Kortum, “ship savers” who inhabit this book, strike me as optimists who could imagine second (or “new”) lives for these old vessels built a century or more before. The Stanfords recall their travels to places like Punta Arenas and the old port of Buenos Aires to purchase Wavertree, one of the tall ships that seem in hibernation down at SSSM today.  The photo below–taken from among the over 60 images in the the book, shows Wavertree in the condition SSSM acquired her.

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The book describes a time in the history of SSSM and New York City when it seemed that only the brightest future could lie ahead.  When SSSM sponsored an event, the most powerful, brightest, wealthiest, and most generous of the city rolled up their sleeves and weighed in.  In a timeline of SSSM events in the postscript pages of the book, names appearing include Jack Kaplan, Brooke Astor, as well as Laurance and David Rockefeller.  Then there are giants like Pete Seeger and Burl Ives.  At a January 5, 1968 meeting at the Whitehall Club to launch SSSM’s James Monroe Luncheons, the pantheon of New York’s maritime industry showed up to listen to ocean historian Robert G. Albion speak. NY political elite like Mayor Lindsay were there, as was the famed naval architect Howard Chapelle.

Real estate struggles existed already back at the creation, but it seemed manifest that SSSM would grow into a premier maritime institution, center of the New York State Maritime Museum, and more.  Stanford documents the growing membership.  New York was heady with the growing fleet of tall ships and other interesting vessels.  Exciting happenings like Sea Day seemed to spread a love of the city’s connection with the sea, an event that predates “City of Water” day.

But don’t take my word for all the memories in this book.  I hope enough of you read this book—skim quickly through the too-long segments about martinis and such– and maybe if enough of us start to glow again with embers long ignored, maybe new energies will again start up the dream to make SSSM a street of tall ships that will inspire seafarers of the future.

As I stated earlier, the book has over 60 photos, like the one below showing Wavertree first arriving at the museum, and

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this one, showing ARA Libertad docked at the SSSM in July 1969 after delivering a portion of the Wavertree‘s topmast, shattered off in 1910 while rounding Cape Horn.  Two other interesting notes about the photo below.  First, when the Commissioner of Ports and Terminals tried to block Libertad from docking at the SSSM pier, Libertad‘s Captain Vazquez Maiztegui responded, “Libertad will berth in New York at South Street Seaport, no other place.”  Second, at around the same time, Pete Seeger and Clearwater put in there to celebrate her first arrival in New york.

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I immensely enjoyed this book.  My only regret is that it didn’t contain 160 photos or 1600 photos.  For example, on September 20, 1968, a Bronx River Towing tug delivered the vessel today known as Lettie G. Howard to Pier 16;  I’d love to know more and see a photo.  Square Rigger Bar & Grille is repeatedly mentioned;  let’s see at least the facade.  I’d be thrilled if an electronic addendum of photos from these early years could remedy this.

Here, here  and here are two posts I’ve previously done using photos showing history of vessels in  SSSM’s collection.

Again, get the book and read it soon.

Click here for some previous reviews I’ve posted.

Three kings parades happened today in some parts of the world . . . including East Harlem, where camels walk through Manhattan streets.    This blog has had a fair number of posts about queens, so here are some kings, though not Gaspar, Melchior or Belthasar.

But here’s Ocean King, a foto I took back in June 2010.  I believe she’s built in 1950, and this was the only time I saw her in the sixth boro.

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I caught this shot of King Douglas in the KVK in spring 2009;  tonight she’s crossing the Andaman Sea.

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And finally . . . a stretch, I got this “below the keel” shot of Pe king back in January 2007, a whole seven years ago.  Click here to see fotos of Peking‘s first ever arrival in the sixth boro, almost 40 years ago, when there was great optimism about her future.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

See it there, the modest red covered barge between Wavertree and Peking?  The steel covered barge is called Progress today.   Once it transported coffee from ship to shore.   I’m making a note to myself:  learn more about these.

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And right across the East River to the right of the firehouse at Fulton Landing, that modified but still modest white barge used to be Erie Lackawanna 375.  It too transported coffee.  More on this later.   I took this foto 6/16/2009.

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Here’s another modified coffee barge, this one just south of Camden, NJ, now the floating office of McAllister in that waterway.

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It’s a counterpart to this McAllister office on the KVK.   So given all these repurposed coffee barges I knew about, why

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did it take me a day short of seven years doing this blog to go to Bargemusic, the EL 375 barge in the foto above?   Shame on me, posing in the “shadow selfie” below, for waiting so long to check out this extraordinary barge.

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I trekked out there yesterday in spite of the gusty sub-freezing weather to hear some music and have a look.

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It was warm inside and the smell of old wood  . . . I felt immediately welcomed.  Note the brick fireplace to the left.  Some wood from American Legion lives on here.

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Jung Lin was warming up on the Steinway, as

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was Andy Simionescu.

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I didn’t–and one shouldn’t–take fotos during the performance, but during intermission, I went out onto the pier to see the view from the “back” of the stage.

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Here’s  the obit of founder Olga Bloom–with more info on her barge project– from the NYTimes almost exactly two years ago.  From this article, I learn this was her third barge, that it was built around 1900, and that Peter Stamford was instrumental in getting it permission to dock at Fulton Landing.   Here’s a spring 1978 article on what may have been Bargemusic’s first season.  Here’s a link that gets you an interview with the current president and calendar of upcoming events.  By the way, at 2:48 in that interview, a Bouchard tug passes eastbound on the East River.

Credits to those who offered marine trade skills and others can be found here.

Request:  the bargemusic site credits a Captain Hearnley as the one to tow the barge to this location.  Can anyone say anything about him?  Does anyone know the name of the tug or . . . have a foto of that tow?  When was the former EL 375 last  hauled?

Final shot for today, a foto from 8/27/2010 of Volunteer passing bargemusic.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  If you have never been to bargemusic, you’ll thank youself if you go there SOON.

For two more repurposed barges serving as cultural centers, click here and here.  Pennsy 399 will deliver sinterklaas to Kingston this coming week.

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