You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Pioneer’ tag.

Lord Byron’s poem “She walks in Beauty” might eventually be parodied  rather updated in this post.  If you’ll click on this link, you’ll get the entire poem AND a Botticelli Venus.  I admit I had a long discussion with Botticelli about this work while he was creating it:  have her turn around, I pleaded.  Oh well.  I long ago gave up trying to argue with Sandro’s about anything.   Meanwhile, seeing how bows got us to Dolly Parton, who knows how an examination of sterns might lead, how it could descend . . . or rise.


The name’s the thing sometimes like here or


here:  behold ex-Jaguar.


Sure, it’s  fuel barge bow but a survey stern.


Look upon ex-Exxon Empire State.  Why is Responder on recycling duty so much?


uh . . . ?  Anyone help?  [Thanks to Jeff and James:  Psara meaning “of fish.”]


Check out Doris Moran and Cable Queen.  Anyone know the Cable Queen story?


Catch a glimpse of Ruth M. Reinauer, class of 2009.


Drool over John J. Harvey.  By the way, to learn more about this legendary fireboat, come hear author Jessica DuLong read at Atlantic Gallery on October 21, or read her book My River Chronicles.  I immensely enjoyed it.

aaaafs10Relish the lines on what for 40ish years has been the sixth boro’s very own mostly stay-at-home some of the time flat-bottom, Pioneer.

aaaafs11Marvel at Maryland, as she wonders about this island.  Yeah, and wanders about it, too.


Oh . . . posteriors.  Send in your favorite.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, Patricia Ann bounced me around quite a bit, I hung on, but I haven’t seen her since.

traveler, first time in the sixth boro, and espying this ship asail


tacking from the East River and into


the Upper Bay, I


would want to board her, imagining


she was headed upriver to pick up pallet boxes of apples and skids of cheeses, maybe even barrels of Hudson River  beer,


casks of upstate wines, and anything else from the cornucopia called the Hudson watershed.  I’d be first one then to pay for passage as this grand vessel that transported produce to Phildelphia before my grandparents were born rejuvenates as flagship of getting these local fruits off the highways and downriver


mostly by sail.   It might mean only one trip up or down river per day, maybe with wind in the rigging, music on deck, and harvest treats from the hold for the sampling.  But wouldn’t it be nice . . . for Pioneer to occupy this niche of New Amsterdam Market river tourism, especially in this season when the upstate regions are pregnant with harvest, and the valleys turn their most beautiful colors.

Want to positively identify the schooner, check this guide.  Want some music . . . where this post came from?  Try then Cash and Carter.  No surreptitious messages are intended by the language along the bulkhead behind various shots of Pioneer.

Fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Can we possibly be passed the equinox yet again?  And we’ll have to see flurries fly and flows freeze before summer returns to bless us?  Autumn 2 was almost a year ago?  The two fotos that follow come thanks to Dock Shuter, up near Catskill.  Look carefully at the sail arrangement on . .  what I believe is Ommeswaay below, and


Tijd zal t Leeren (aka Time Will Tell) .  Thanks to Uglyships Bart, each of these water-scooping sails is appropriately called a waterzeil.


Yesterday this sloop explored the east end of KVK, racing Hamburg Goal.  Anyone know this sloop?  Tug on Hamburg Goal‘s bow is James Turecamo.


Here it is again, upriver of Comet.


Catherine Turecamo passes in the foreground, and I can’t positively identify the schooner on the far side of the barges with blue houses and out close to the Battery.


Kimberley Turecamo near, Margaret Moran farther, and it looks like schooner  Pioneer off the Battery.


Judging by mast height relative to top of sail, schooner near the Battery here is Clipper City.

aaas7And as WTGB 107 Penobscot Bay, one of eight such tugs in service.  And . . . yes . . . that’s Pioneer under bare poles, disappearing behind 107’s stern.


Finally, I anticipate that in less than a week, another 15-masted motor vessel will traverse the sixth boro;  in this case, it’ll be Flinterborg, currently approaching the mouth of Delaware Bay from northern Europe bound for Philadelphia.  I believe from Phillie, Flinterborg will make for Albany to load barges and “intall” her 15 or so masts.  So, fellow-shipspotters in the area . . . please inform me of a spotting.  Next weekend, I will wait at some opportune location once I have ETAs.  [Update:  as of 0830 this morning, Flinterborg passes through Wilmington bound for Philadelphia.]

Photos, WVD.

First of all, for the 17th annual tug race tomorrow, here’s a schedule.

9:30 AM – Tugs gather near Pier 84
10:00 AM – Parade of tugs from Pier 84 to the start line near 79th Street Boat Basin.
10:30 AM – Race starts – From 79th Street Boat Basin to Pier 84 – one nautical mile.
11 AM – Nose to nose pushing contests and line toss competition.
Noon – Tugs tie up to Pier 84 for lunch and awards ceremony.
1 PM – Awards ceremony. Tugs depart at about 2 PM.

Below, built in Duluth in 1921, canal freighter Day Peckinpaugh.


originally a fish tug, Urger, Michigan 1901 and Lehigh Valley Barge #79, 1914.


wooden botter Janus Kok, 1934.


iron/steel centerboard schooner Pioneer, Pennsylvania 1885, oldest in this post.


tug Cornell, Oyster Bay, 1949.


If my math is right (it’s late on a long day), these vessels total 550 years!

All fotos taken today in the sixth boro by Will Van Dorp.

W . . . worry.  No way!  work?  nah.  Wonderment and wanderlust resonate much more profoundly, leaving me hungering for new vistas and thirsting for novel experience.  Sometimes this may be slaked by a two-hour sail on the incomparable Pioneer, a vessel with a century and a quarter’s life.


Or a sprint aboard the harbor’s greyhound . . . Adirondack.


According to IBI (International Boating Industry) statistics, 1 in 23 Americans owns a boat, whereas in Sweden that number is 1 in 7 and in China virtually no one does.  See statistics here.  Some quench their thirst for wandering then aboard their own boat, like this sloop from Rhode Island, headed up past Pier 66 or


or this mini-trawler  from Texas up by Poughkeepsie or


of this larger trawler from




Wanderlust for a vacation is real though compartmentalized into a small percentage of the year.  What would it be like to choose an occupation that would


take you all around the world (the 70.8 percent of the planet’s surface that’s navigable) all the time, as on this container vessel Zim Shenzhen.  Would it always soothe the spirit  or would it make one


wary . . . and weary.  Can feelings like weariness co-exist with wanderlust?


Where does wanderlust with all its curiosity come from?  Is it innate or learned at home?


I don’t know.  But I do know I’m grateful for my wanderlusty nature, wherever it may lead.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  I highly highly recommend you wander up to SUNY New Paltz to see Greg Miller‘s “Panorama of the Hudson River.”  Traveling in various boats including Adirondack this spring, Miller took about 3000 fotos  documenting every single section of the Hudson–west AND east bank–between the Statue of Liberty and Albany.  The results are assembled in a sinuous print in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.  Tugs by Vane Brothers, Moran, and McAllister randomly show up.  As if Miller”s accomplishment were not wondrous enough, what makes it even more remarkable is that Miller’s panorama is juxtaposed with G. Willard Shear’s 1910 panorama of all that same geography.  In other words, 2009 shot of the Statue of Liberty is directly above the 1910 one.  Ditto the Palisades, Dunderberg Mountain, Storm King, etc.  You ask about the George Washington Bridge . . .  oops . . . in 1910 the GW was not even planned for.      And the coup de grace . . . in the adjoining gallery is displayed an 1844 sketchbook designed  to help steamer passengers identify riverbank features . . . like the ones I mentioned above.  Along with towns and ridgelines, quaint drawing of steamers appear.  Like a steamer named River Witch. (Now that’s a name begging to be recycled!)  Another, a steam tug pulling a separate passenger barge, designed to keep passengers far away from the boiler.

Also, unrelated,  check out this great blog created by the crew of a tanker called Palva, which sometimes calls in the sixth boro.  Tugster examined Palva here, back in April 2007.  Greetings Palva!  When are you back in New York?

Finally related by topic:  Fielding, whom I know from sailing on Pioneer, is following his wanderlust in South America.  His blog–Under the Northern Star–is listed on my blogroll.

M . . . mast.  I love the wikipedia disambiguation pages, where a range of contexts for words like mast or masthead defies expectation.

Cornell sports its mast toward the stern; running lights there convey information about vessel size, type, and activity.


Clearwater, a sloop, has a one mast topping out at about 110 feet.


On City of Water Day, USACE Drift Collection vessel Hayward sports code flags on its mast and a sampling of collected debris on its foredeck.


Pioneer, a schooner, has two masts, the mainmast topped out at just under 77 feet.


Sandy Hook Pilots vessel Yankee has units (besides the radar and GPS) on its mast I can’t identify.


Bunkering tanker Capt Log‘s foremast carries a red flag, signaling fuel.


So does barge DBL 76.  Mast height on Adriatic Sea is 85 feet, if airdraft equals height of the highest mast or antenna.  I fear I might be blurring a definition here.

Volunteer, air draft of 114 feet and pushing DBL 105, meets Turecamo Boys assisting Seven Express out to to sea.


USCG WPB67356 Sailfish, not surprisingly, carries mast gear not readily identified by a civilian like me.


Miriam Moran, assisting with docking, keeps the upper portion of its mast safely lowered where flaring bows cannot damage it.


Masts can signal information but of course sometimes signaling is optional or even undesired.  Masts allow things to be seen, but one has to know what should remain unseen.  An effective mast needs strength, and sometimes that means it is flexible.

Both submarines and whaling ships have masts.  For some good fun, check out this six-minute video of  a struggle between Captain Ahab and Moby Das Boot.

Also, just for fun:  How might you complete this sentence:


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Send me your original sentence completions.

<<Only 17 hours left as of now to bid the PortSide fundraiser…. catered dinner with Bowsprite and Tugster.  Bid now here.>>

More on what defeated the “gloomy Junie” bugs in my head  . . . . and I know the fotos lack winter-sharp clarity, but if I attempted to shoot these today, quality would be even less sharp, given the intermittent rain.

The three men below focus on the business-end of the cutter suction dredge Illinois.  That cutter-head begs to serve as inspiration for a horror movie.  Brangus is one of two associated tugs, the other being Jack Newman, shown yesterday.


Here’s the rest of Brangus and more of Illinois.  When the toothy end of the dredge burrows into the bottom of the Bay, the large rectangular object (motor and gears?) submerges as well, like a woodchuck’s tail following the digging claws.  More dredge fotos soon.  Can anyone educate me on what I’m looking at in these fotos?  In the background is the bow of Horizon Challenger, an old container ship built in 1968!  I could do more on Horizon Challenger.


The sixth boro’s oldest (and possibly most active) schooner Pioneer scuds into the choppy East River lowering the foresail.  It does look like it’d be fun to sail on a day like this.


The pennant snaps in exhilaration, but is that the desired angle for the descending gaff?  Don’t misunderstand my intent:  bravo to the jaunty crew.


DonJon’s Mary Alice tows the massive Chesapeake 1000 as Megan Ann provides assist at the stern.  Chesapeake 1000, the largest floating heavy-lift crane on the East Coast, has participated in efforts ranging from post-Katrina clean-up, salvage of Stellamare, and demolitions/construction more than I know.  Anyone have Chesapeake 1000 stories to share?


James Turecamo quickly passes products tanker with a top-of-the-hierarchy name:  Archangelos Gabriel.  I harbor affection for this 1969 Matton Shipyard built tug.  By the way, Matton Shipyard, walking distance from Waterford,  this August will launch the WOW fleet tour.


It always makes my soul jolly to spot Odin, especially after what seems like a too-long hiatus.  Have I been away, or has Odin cleft (cloved cloven?)  other waters on assignment?


Paul T. Moran waits on the hook, as does Socrates in the background, a 2008 Panamax tanker of the TEN group.


So here’s a mystery.  As was the case a few years ago, a vessel of the Japan Coast Guard docks over in Brooklyn near the Heights/Red Hook line.   Provisioning, I assume.    Anyone help?  Yeah . . . I’m not proud of the quality of photography here;  some days I can only privilege content.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp on June 17, 2009.

Getting all this torrential rain bodes well for a bright Saturday Mermaid Parade, or at least that “wishful thinking” part of me says.  If you can’t make it, at least wish someone a sparkling summer solstice . . . in however they choose to celebrate it.  I do the same to you right now with this foto from last year’s parade.


I can’t resist . . . but Mary aka QM2 lingered in Red Hook a bit yesterday, conjuring up this 1960s song (great Smothers Brothers show version), these lyrics, and it seemed


Schooner Pioneer drew near, maybe to seek the oracle or exchange sweet nothings or somethings, prompting


a mad dash from the other coast of Manhattan, other


schooners like Adirondack, who wanted some of the action, the attention,


or not;


likewise, Imagine may have felt the compulsion


and might have drawn closer, but my own attention


by then was directed elsewhere.  More tomorrow.

If you’re not familiar with sixth boro schooners, check out Bowsprite’s guide to them here.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Summer begins on Memorial Day, and the summer solstice does in some instances go by the term “midsummer’s day and night,”  calendars begone.   I spent a delightful and long day yesterday working at Portside in Red Hook and watching, among other things, the traffic in the sixth boro.  Like two schooners–Clipper City scantily besailed and Pioneer wearing its four-piece suit–plying their trade.  That’s Jersey City in the distance.


Here Clipper City motors out of the East River.  That’s the Wall Street area of Manhattan in the background.  Off Clipper City‘s stern is Buchanan 10, and passing far starboard is the powerboat High Tea.  More fotos of High Tea in a later post.  Does anyone know more about her?


A crew on Ellen S. Bouchard worked yesterday, as did a crew on Pioneer, in the distance.


Here’s a close-up of Buchanan 10.


And it made my day to see she-who-does-not-requite Alice come back into town.  I don’t know if the aggregates she carries come–as they used to–from the St. Croix River area, but what endeared her to me to begin with is the sheer tirelessness of this vessel.  That’s what started it all, and–so much for what I said about being resoluteAlice . . . I still have a place for you.

aamem4Summer 2009 . . . yesterday started you well.

All photos, WVD.

Lettie first touched water in the Essex River of Essex, Massachusetts in 1893.  Her  hull  (125′ loa x 21′ x almost 11′ draft)  evolved through scores of  schooners pre-dating her to operate in the Atlantic fishery.


In 1885 Pioneer (102′ x 22 x 4.5′) launched into the Delaware River, shoal-draft to allow hauling sand off beaches to greater Philadelphia’s foundries.  A large centerboard can drop to 12′.


Today wood-hulled Lettie carries two


engines, whereas


the iron (now mostly steel) hull of Pioneer carries only one.


The hull lines reflect the difference in habitat:  Lettie has cleaved many sea miles of rough blue water, slicing through waves and rollers, whereas


Pioneer has slid onto and then back off sandy beaches, gliding there almost as on water.


I love looking at hulls on the high and dry.  If you have kids, see if they like Wreck of the Zephyr.  I like reading it to grandkid since it gives me an excuse to look at the art.

All fotos here by will Van Dorp.  Lettie fotos from March 2009; Pioneer fotos from over a year ago.

Unrelated:  Check out the youtube here that Harry sent along of Allie B & Goliath headed for sea at the start of its 6000-mile journey.  Great speeded-up video and haunting music.    ETA in Gibraltar:  before April 1.

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June 2021