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I’ve compartmentalized my photos from the Pioneer sail the other night, in part because in a short two-hour sail there was so much to see.  For starters, Stephanie Dann had earlier just rushed eastward and came back with Cornucopia Destiny, a dance partner on her starboard side.  I can speculate about this, but I don’t know the details.

As we headed into the Buttermilk, we met Susan Rose AND

Jordan Rose, ex- Evening Breeze and Evening Star, respectively.

This sweet downeaster passed.

I suspect Jordan came along to assist 

Susan into the notch.

Meanwhile, a ways down the piers, Stasinos Jimmy and currently still Evening Tide were rafted up for the moment.

Whatever brought Jordan to the Red Hook piers, by the time we had sailed passed the gantries, she was overtaking us.

On the return, as night began to fall, we met Thomas D. Witte and

then her fleetmate Douglas J.

At this point, my photos were pixelating, but I still managed to get Eastern Dawn, heading back to the “barn” at dusk.

All photos, WVD, who has handed the keys to the tower over to the robots again for a while.

 

Here are previous iterations of this title.   Of course, many options exist for getting onto sixth boro waters.  One delightful way I’m most familiar with is aboard schooner Pioneer;  get tickets here.  Enjoy these photos, mostly taken from the cabin top starboard side and outboard the foremast earlier this week.

Soon after leaving the pier, we passed a 1920s schooner Pilot repurposed as an eatery/drinkery on the Brooklyn side, Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  More on Pilot and its owners here.  Click for more on the rest of the fleet and their restaurants.   Pilot came into the sixth boro as Highlander Sea, towed by Jaguar.

Within minutes of leaving the pier, four sails were set and we made our way south;  the engine was shut off as soon as it was no longer needed.

Looking astern toward Red Hook container terminal, I noticed a tugboat following us.

You would not expect an 1885 schooner to have anything other than traditional sails.

Without engine against a flood tide, we rounded Governors Island and got as far south as we could before entering the shallows off Bayonne, and we tacked and started out return to Manhattan.   With the engine silent, it was a magical sail.

 

Although other schooners like Clipper City take passengers to sail the harbor, Pioneer is by far, by very far, the oldest . . .

As we made our way back to the pier, night was falling, and we dropped sail and motored back under the Brooklyn Bridge.

 

All photos, WVD, who invites you to come sailing while the summer is here.

An invitation:  Any group of friends want to all sign up for an evening sail, say in early August while the days are still longer than later?  Either Pioneer grads or tugster folks or Pegasus alums or any other bond?

 

Let’s jump back to May 2012.  Over along the Manhattan side of the East River then, I caught this scene.  Since then, there’s been some movement:   Peking to Germany,  Marion M to the Chesapeake,  Helen McAllister to  . . . rebirth as new steel.

Cheyenne has migrated to the Lake Michigan for now.

Twin Tube is still around but sans the boom.

Ellen McAllister is also still hard at work in the sixth boro, but I don’t see her doing much indirect towing as here.

Mark Moran was just passing through from the shipyard to Charleston.

Swan, built in 1981 and showing as her last movement three and a half years ago in China, has likely gone to rebirth as new steel.

But a decade ago in May 2012, she was here to move some used tugboats over to West Africa. Here she’s already down and BFT No. 38 with a crew boat strapped on has already been loaded, while

McAllister Sisters and McAllister Girls wait with three Crowley tugs, 

Cavalier, Pioneer, and Mars

After they are floated aboard, the tide turns the anchored Swan.

Socrates and Heron also float aboard, and

overnight, Swan gets deballasted and raises the hull, so that we can see their five-bladed wheels.   More of the story here.

Also in the boro those days was Picton Castle, showing the flag and more, maybe recruiting some hands

before sailing away.  Does anyone have news about her?  Has she really stayed in Lunenburg since late 2020?

All photos, WVD, exactly 120 months ago.

Unrelated to any of this, read this May 2004 article by the late great Don Sutherland and reflect on how much change has occurred.

Does equipment ever change in the sixth boro?  Of course.

Thornton Bros, the 1958 Matton Shipyard product, was scrapped in 2014.

The 1971 Maria J is now Nicholas Vinik.

USACE Hudson, the sweetest Corps boat I’ve ever seen, got transformed into a fish house in 2019.   Advance Victoria, 2006, is now Kition M, anchored in the Persian/Arabian Gulf.

The 2002 Labrador Sea is now Vane’s Brooklyn.

The 1944 Gage Paul inadvertently became a very deep fish house in 2015.

The 2002 Gramma Lee T is now in Norfolk.

Does the US Navy still have airships?  If ever I have the chance to ride in one of these, I’ll take it in a heartbeat!

Bruce A brought in the 1970 Crowley Mars and

Michael J brought in the 1975 Crowley Pioneer;  both Crowley’s were shipped off to Africa later in 2012.  The 1971 Michael J. was scrapped late in 2021. Christine was working for Reinauer.

The massive 1970 Penn No. 6 is now the massive Vinik No. 6.

The 1972 Catherine Turecamo is now on the Great Lakes as John Marshall. 

Do you still want to tell me nothing ever changes in the sixth boro?

All photos taken by WVD during the first SIX days of 2012.

 

The “4” here refers to the dry dock, not the fourth post in this series.  The last post on Caddell  was Something Different 57.  And in the “high and dry” series, this would be number 11.  I’m just trying to anchor this post in the previous body of work. Also, I believe this dry dock was originally built as an auxilliary floating dry dock (ARD) by the USN to lift submarines out of their watery habitat, but I can’t corroborate that.

In Dry Dock 4 a half dozen years ago was the pilot boat New York.  I put this first so that the vessels in the rest of the photos can be compared against a standard, the dimensions of the same dry dock.

See above for scale.  On this date, winter 2014, Dry Dock 4 was shared by W. O. Decker and schooner Pioneer, currently both in Albany getting refurbished and improved. 

This boat’s a mystery to me;  the livery on upper pilothouse says it’s a Reinauer boat, but I took this photo over 10 years ago and have lost track of its identity.  You may know?

McAllisters Brothers was originally called Dalzelleagle.  I believe it’s currently in the sixth boro but mothballed.

The Fireboat John J. Harvey had some work done in Dry Dock 4 .  She has a long and storied career.

Doris Moran is a 4610 hp tugboat that does some sixth boro work, although she’s currently in Louisiana.

East Coast has not appeared on this blog very often.  She used to tow the sugar barge, and she may well still do so.

Let’s get to the end of this post with Clipper City, having some bottom work done on a cold winter’s day eight years ago already. 

All photos, WVD, who’d love to know more about the history of Dry Dock 4.

 

 

You’ll excuse this poor quality lede photo once you realize who/what took it:  the Statue of Liberty has functioning eyes and watches everything that passes through this sector of the sixth boro.  Think about that:  she’s big and she witnesses!  And yesterday it was raining here, so those are water droplets on the lens.

But the point of this post is the tug with an unusual tow just entering from the right.  I know it’s not very clear, but bear with me . .  or us.  It gets better.

A bit later, Phil Little was at the ready from the cliff across from the Manhattan passenger terminal, but who knew which side of the tow to watch until this point.

A bit later, Luis Melendez, NYC Parks dock master at Dyckman Marina,  was on the optimal albeit rainy side of the tow to see schooner Pioneer well defined against the scow.

Here’s a little bit of history if you’re not familiar with Pioneer:  she was built in Marcus Hook PA in 1885 as a sand sloop, operating between Delaware Bay and the Delaware River. So think of the photo this way, and I’m paraphrasing someone else here: she was a sand sloop converted to a sand schooner (and other configurations) now made to a sand or aggregate scow and headed upriver pushed by the mighty 1957 Frances.   Pioneer was hitching a ride to Albany for engine work.

A few dozen miles later, Kevin Oldenburg was ready to get even clearer pics.  It was still rainy but not yet dark.

 

After she rounded Jones Point,

she was soon visible from the Bear Mountain Overlook along Hwy 202.

That’s Iona Island off the port side and

sand sloop/schooner that Pioneer was, she had clearly a small fraction of capacity when compared to her 21st century scow descendants.

Many thanks to Justin Zizes, Jonathan Boulware, Phil Little, Luis Melendez, Kevin Oldenburg, and the Lady of the Harbor for their contributions–made in rainy December conditions–to this post.  By the way, did anyone get photos from W. O. Decker?  Anyone else from any other vantage point?

A previous time we had this many collaborators watching traffic was just over a decade ago and involved sailing barges and a mothership named Flinterborg.

Getting back to the Statue of Liberty cam, “girl with no eyes” made a great song, but it could certainly not be said to refer to our Lady of the sixth boro.

Since I mentioned Dyckman Marina, whatever became of Mon Lei, the Chinese junk formerly owned by Robert “believe it or not” Ripley and recently docked up there at the now defunct-La Marina for a few years?

Lady Liberty called me up last night to apologize for the poor quality of photo she delivered and asked why Pioneer had not hitched a ride on a nicer day.  I was speechless, because what does one say when the Lady calls you up on your personal number??!@#?

 

 

Schooner Ambergris came in from sea in mid-April, but I still don’t know anything more about her.  Anyone help?

Dolphin is truly a yacht;  it’s also likely a winter yacht down south.  Up north, we see vessels like this seasonally.  I can’t identify the burgee on the bow.

Schooner Pioneer, launched 1885!!, has never been a yacht, but in its current much-loved state, it operates only in the warmer half of the year and it’s an excursion vessel.

Passing the Hoboken/NJ Transit terminal, that unnamed trawler is truly a yacht coming north for the summer.

Care for a summer evening on a Chicago Grebe-built yacht?  Here’s the info on yacht Full Moon departures out of North Cove. If you want a full day’s amusement online, you could investigate these other Grebe-built yachts . . . .    Or you could read about this Chicago shipyard and many other topics in this great blog called Industrial History, which I’ve just added to my blogroll.

Sometimes the Erie Canal seems devoid of vessel traffic, but on this day at Lock 17, there were plenty of takers.  As I recall, these cruisers were from Texas, Michigan, Florida, and California!

By the boat name and the VHF manner as I overheard it, I can guess the previous employment of this vessel operator.

Yesterday I went to this location to meet a friend over beer and crab cakes, my first there in quite a while . . .  .  But if you’ve never hung out at Pier 66, you owe to yourself.  Advice . . . if you want a seat, go on the off hours!  It’s been way too long ago that this gathering happened there.

And although I took this photo in the fall, the reminder is clear:  be safe.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp.

 

Here was Summer Sail 1; and since that dates from almost two years ago.

Clipper City looks great juxtaposed against the skyline, but

ketch Catriona . . . she has Herreshoff pedigree.

No matter . . . larger schooner or smaller and more intimate ketch,

one is pampered moving by sail in the sixth boro. And that includes the option of sailing aboard the oldest harbor schooner of all . . . Pioneer.

 

Above and below, it’s Pioneer, and below the other schooner is one you won’t see in the sixth boro for a few years . . . Lettie G. Howard.  Of course, if you head over to Lake Erie–where I’ll be n a few weeks–you may catch a glimpse, even catch a ride.

And finishing it off, it’s America 2.0.

All photos taken by Will Van Dorp in the past 365 days.

 

Lest you think Combi-Dock III and Peking–I will get back to them– are the only thing happening in the watery parts of NYC, here’s just a sampling . . . in a series I started last summer.

SBI Macarena –a fairly new bulk carrier– came in past the Brooklynside ramps for the VZ Bridge,

passing Jo Provel on the way out . . .

looking quite large relative to the new NYC ferry.

Tanker New Confidence tested its systems–water and sonic–as Doris Moran arrived.

Where the Wind Blows sails south toward the Narrows, so fast that

I lost track of her, although I admit to being distracted by this squadron passing overhead Elizabeth Anne.

Pioneer–one of South Street Seaport Museum’s schooners–also sailed past and ever went outside

the Narrows, where I’ll pick this up another day.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, waiting for Combi-Dock III action.

 

Who else greeted Wavertree on the rest of the way home?  John J. Harvey is always in on celebrations.

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Lettie G. Howard was there,

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as was the helicopter.  Feehan presented herself on the far side of Rae.

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Pioneer accounted for

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herself with crew in the crosstrees.

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Pioneer and Lettie teamed up at times.

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Wire showed up.

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New York Harbor School had two boats there, including Privateer and their

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newest vessel Virginia Maitland Sachs, about which I’ll post soon.

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Melvillian throngs came down to the “extremest limit of land” on Pier 15 and 16, for one reason or another, but who were about to be treated to some excellent ship handling.

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Rae took the lead, showing the need for tugboats of all sizes.

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The larger tugs pushed and pulled as needed to ease into the slip

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until all lines were fast and

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and the shoreside work needed doing.

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Bravo to all involved.  If you want to take part in a toast to Wavertree, you can buy tickets here for the September 29 evening.

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If you haven’t read the NYTimes article by James Barron yet, click here.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes I left no one out and who as before is grateful to the South Street Seaport Museum and the photographers’ boat provided by US Merchant Marine Academy and crewed by a set of dedicated cadets.

Often folks ask how one can learn about the harbor or is there a book about the sixth boro.  Volunteering at South Street Seaport Museum is a great way available to all to get access to the water, to learn from like-minded folks, and to start on a journey of reading the harbor and its traffic for yourself.  Each volunteer’s journey will be unique, and willing hands make institutions like this museum survive and thrive.

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