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I’m back and just in time for the last day of the year, which –as explained in previous years— in my Dutch tradition is a reflection day, a time to if not assess then at least recall some of the sights of the past 12 months.  A photo-driven blog makes that simultaneously easy and hard;  easy because there’s a photographic record and not easy because there’s such an extensive photographic record to sift though.

A word about this set of photos:  these are some “seconds” that did not make the final cut for my 2023 tugster calendar.  The actual calendars are still available if you’ve not ordered one;  find the order info here. I’m ordering a bunch myself. 

One windy day last January I caught a Pilot No 1–the old New York–doing drills under the VZ Bridge.  Just recently I met one of the engineers on that boat, a person with epic stories about the sixth boro.

A warm day in February, I caught JRT Moran assisting QM2 into her Red Hook berth. 

March I spent a delightful day on Douglas B. Mackie observing the water side of a Jersey shore beach replenishment project, thanks to the hard-working folks at GLDD. 

April . . .  I caught Jane McAllister heading out;  correct if I’m wrong, but my sense is that soon afterward she made her way down to South America to join the expanding ranks of US-built tugs working on various projects on the south side of the Caribbean. 

As a member of the Canal Society of NYS, I had the opportunity to see Urger up close and sun-warmed on the bank of the Oswego in Lysander NY. 

A clutch of Centerline tugboats waited for their next assignment at the base just east of the Bayonne Bridge.   Note the fully foliated trees beyond them along the KVK.

From the humid heat of western Louisiana and onto the Gulf of Mexico, Legs III–shown 

here spudded up just east of SW Pass, afforded a memorable journey on its way up to the sixth boro.  Thx, Seth. 

Back in the boro, later in August, a Space X rocket recovery boat named Bob–for an astronaut– came through the sixth boro.  More on Bob–the astronaut–here

In September, I finally got to my first ever Gloucester schooner race, thanks to Rick Miles of Artemis, the sailboat and not the rocket. 

Icebreaker Polar Circle was in the boro a few days in September as well.  Now it’s up in Canada, one hopes doing what icebreakers are intended to do. US naval logistics vessel Cape Wrath is at the dock in Baltimore ready and waiting a logistics assignment. 

Ticonderoga certainly and Apache possibly are beyond their time working and waiting.  I believe Ticonderoga is at the scrappers in Brownsville. 

Passing the UN building on the East River, veteran Mulberry is currently out of the army and working in the private sector.  I’ve a request:  for some time I’ve seen a tug marked as Scholarie working the waters west of the Cape Cod Canal;  a photo suggested it might be called Schoharie. Anyone help out?

And finally, a photo taken just two days ago while passing through the sixth boro during what can hardly be called “cover of darkness” it’s Capt Joseph E. Pearce on its way to a shipyard on the mighty Rondout to pick up some custom fabrication for a Boston enterprise. Many thanks to the Stasinos brothers for the opportunity.

I’d be remiss in ending this post and this year without mentioning lost friends, preserving a memory of their importance to me personally . . .  Bonnie of frogma–first ever to comment of this blog so many years ago and a companion in many adventures– and Mageb, whose so frequent comments here I already miss. 

I plan to post tomorrow, although I may miss my high noon post time because I hope to post whatever best sunrise 2023 photos I can capture in the morning.  

Happy, safe, and prosperous new year to you all.  I’m posting early today because I want my readers who live much much farther east than the sixth boro to get these wishes before their new trip around the sun begins. Bonne annee!  Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

 

It’s hard to beat morning light for drama, as is the case here with QM2 getting assisted by James D. and

Doris Moran into her berth in Red Hook, as I shoot into that light.

Taken only a few minutes later, this photo of FV Eastern Welder dragging the bottom in front of the Weeks yard had me shooting with the rising sun behind me.

Bayonne dry dock is full of business.  Note the formerly Bouchard tug Jordan Rose and Cape Wraith off its bow.  I’m not sure which Miller’s Launch OSV that is.  To the left, that’s Soderman.

Hyundai Speed and Glovis Sirius shift cargo.

More shooting into the light here toward Bay Ridge, where lots is happening.

Torm Louise‘s color just looks cold.

Afrodite has been around the world several times each year since the hoopla of her moving Bakken crude from Albany has subsided.  Note the unidentified formerly Bouchard tugboat to the extreme left.

 

And with the drama of morning light, wild clouds form the backdrop to three tugboats seeing CMA CGM Pegasus out the door on a windy day.

All photos earlier this week, WVD, who feels fortunate to live in a place like this where my drama exists only in photos.

It’s March in the boro, so Sunday the temperatures surged up to 70, and this morning’s rain turned into snow at 36 degrees;  yesterday was windy, with dramatic clouds scudding across the sky on chilling gusts.  So when Jonathan C. Moran headed back into the KVK after assisting a ship out the door, this was the scene as . . .

she turned into the wind.

Let’s follow her back, seeing her backgrounds:  Doris going for the next assist, QM2 back in Red Hook, a ferry on a Staten island-bound run,

the Manhattan skyline and Robbins Reef Light,

the gray ships along the Bayonne drydock side . . .

and everywhere Jonathan C. getting spindrift blowing back on itself. 

All photos, WVD, yesterday.

I’ve usually used “exotic” for offshore windfarm-related vessels or others that are rarely-seen, because prior to five or so years ago, such vessels never called here.  In this case, cruise ships became quite scarce because of Covid, and so I counted myself fortunate to catch QM2 arriving this morning. 

The fog blocked out the familiar landmarks of the port.

JRT did the honors.  Although I didn’t stick around to see how they spun around using her pods, I suspect the single tug didn’t have a lot to do.  If I’m wrong, someone will correct me.

Way back when I also caught the ship on foggy mornings here and here.

The passengers there stand quite close together, albeit in the fresh February air.

I believe this is her second post-Covid visit.

All photos this morning, WVD.

Winter solstice is one date I pay attention to, and yesterday demanded an undivided portion of it.  I was out on the sixth and primordial boro at sunrise, although when it rose, a gauzy film of stratus filtered the light.  I tinkered with the image a bit to enhance the cosmic eeriness.

Along the Brooklyn shore a classic barque and one of the latest of a classic line awaited.

Notice two tugboats and a lighthouse below?  One tug is shifting a fuel barge, and the other is shifting refuse boxes.

Start of winter or start of summer, the sixth boro is always a busy place.  Notice the fishing boat in this image, along with all the rest?

For some reason, these E-2C aircraft flew the North River up and then down and out over the Lower Bay.

Dutch Girl, a winter regular along with Eastern Welder, was hard at work.

Ava M. crossed the Bay from one job to the next.  Things are always happening on the water.

And all that’s glorious, but less than a quarter mile from the North River, not all seems to be happening well, and that needs to be acknowledged.

All photos, WVD.

 

That vessel in yesterday’s post was the 1983 Curaçao-flagged Mighty Servant 1, a semisubmersible heavy lift ship that hung around the sixth boro for much of December 2011.  As of this posting, Mighty Servant 1 is traveling between Shanghai and Singapore.

“Semisubmersible” in this case means  she can ballast herself so that large and heavy objects can float into place above her “flat bed” deck.  When she deballasts, she lifts those objects out of the water.  To deliver these same objects, the sequence is reversed and whatever heavy floating object floats off.   I recall that while watching this process, which is very slow, uninformed folks near me watching it thought the USCG should be informed of a sinking ship in the boro.

Notice the clear deck area above and then below, large barges–sold to foreign buyers–being loaded over cradles. 

Besides barges, two large tugboats were also floated onto the deck.

Centurion was an Invader-class Crowley tug from 1976 until this sale to Nigerian interests in 2011.  Hercules was YTB-766 from 1961 until 2001, when it was sold to Boston Towing and renamed Hercules, a name it carried over to Nigeria. Charles A. and Gabby still work in the boro.

 

Once loaded, the deballasting begins and the underside of the vessels become visible and dry

How tall are you?  That’s an 11′ diameter prop you’re looking at.

Once loaded correctly, a few days went by to snug all the cargo for the crossing.  For some scale, the barge nearest us, RTC 90, is about 364′ loa.  Also in the photo below, bottom right of the Empire State Building, that’s QM2.

All photos, WVD, who at this point headed south, so I’m not sure which day they departed for Nigeria.

For recent photos of another cargo on Mighty Servant 1, this one for SpaceX, click here.  And a USN job, click here.

 

I had no idea what I was seeing until I zoomed in on it here and recognized it as one of the small Miller tugs with a deck barge.

Linda L Miller heading across the Upper Bay, where

QM2 was in port.

Later, I saw Linda L sans barge, passing two anchored Reinauer units.

x

A couple days earlier I saw this and initially failed to identify what I was looking at.

I took photos anyhow and then realized it was Miller Girls with the northeasterly wind splashing a mess of water over the bow.

Here from earlier this year are photos of Miller Girls in a previous lifetime, 1974.

Earlier this year I’d seen her with skimming outriggers on, working in Poughkeepsie.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Note about ongoing voting below.  Also, previous “cranes” posts can be found here.

I’ve long included photos of Chesapeake 1000 but never devoted a post to it.  These posts here and here from seven years ago are my favorites, largely because my camera and I just happened onto the lift while prowling at night, not a common time for me to be out.  Is it possible that was already seven years that that WTC antenna went up?!!

So yesterday morning, I left home early for a midmorning rendezvous, and this is what I saw.

Mary Alice handed the Chesapeake 1000 off to Thomas,

who took the crane under the VZ Bridge and

toward the cliffs of the Upper Bay, including the WTC with the antenna it assisted the lift for  . . . seven years ago.

 

As is always the case, there’s a lot going on in the sixth boro.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who reminds you that the polling for my 2020 calendar pages is ongoing.  You can see all the choices in these posts;  ultimately you and I will choose one photo for each monthly calendar page.  Polling ends on December 21, when I send the order in.  Again, to vote, just put the letter for each month in the comments or send it in an email to me.  Moreover, for the December page, I’m soliciting photos from you;  rules here.

“Here are guidelines:  a qualified photo for polling must involve a vessel and a non-verbal detail(s) identifying it as having been taken in a December.  I hope that’s ambiguous enough to keep it interesting.  Whoever sends in the chosen photo . . . to be determined no later than December 21, also gets a photo credit and a free calendar.  Another option is for me to choose a December photo from a previous year.  See what I’ve done in the previous 13 Decembers in the archives;  the location near the bottom of the leftside navigation bar allows you to select any month going back to November 2006.”

Thanks to all of you who have already voted.

 

Let’s start with Alice Oldendorff, inbound with a hold full of Nova Scotia stone and about to turn to starboard on her (almost) final approach to Brooklyn.   Alice and I have a long history.

YM Wind makes the final approach her into Global Terminals, her first call at sixth boro docks.  In contrast above, Alice has already made hundreds of calls here, always transporting aggregates. Visible assisting Wind are Alex McAllister and Ava M. McAllister.

E. R. Montecito is a large ship, but containers are stacked 17 across, versus 20 across for Wind above.

Undine here takes on bunkers and other supplies.  The small black/red/white vessel long her stern is Twin Tube, the venerable 1951 harbor supply vessel. In dry dock in the distance it’s USNS Sisler.

MOL Emissary travels the last few miles before Port Elizabeth.

Uniquely named tanker Forties waits in the Stapleton anchorage.

COSCO Vietnam enters the Kills and passes Houston at the dock.

Since Kriti Amber is Greek-flagged, I’m guessing that’s a variation on “Crete,” but that only conjecture.

QM2 takes on fuel while transferring passengers on the port side.

And let’s call it a day with Unique Explorer.

All photos recently by Will Van Dorp, who considers himself fortunate to live in this large port.

 

When I saw Anthem of the Seas departing the Narrows as I waited for “da world” the other day, I was aware of a possible shot . . .  juxtaposing a large cruise ship with an ULCV.  Is there a ULCV/ULCC-type abbreviation for cruise ships . . .  eg, ULPV?  But I digress.  Imagine for now how that juxtaposition would look…

Earlier the same week, I’d seen QM2 at the Brooklyn Passenger vessel . . .  so let’s throw the tapes at that.  I recall reading the QM2 funnel was designed to accommodate the NYC market, more precisely, the fit under the VZ Bridge.

I know it’s a different vantage point again, but here was YM World entering the Narrows.

And here are World and Anthem, and it surprised me how much more air draft on Anthem this shows.

So here are the lengths:  World  1200′  Anthem 1139′ and QM2  1132′

Beams  World  167′  Anthem  162′  and QM2  135′

And for air draft, I know World‘s as it came in, but for the two passenger vessels, I’ll estimate air draft from “height minus deep draft,” using published numbers.  You naval architects may take issue with that, as may others of you with specific expertise I lack.

Anthem  208′  (Is that possible?)   QM2  199′  and World  177′

I’d expected the air draft of YM World to be greater.

So here’s a question I don’t know the answer to:  how many crew work on World?  Total crew on Anthem is listed as 760 and on QM2 is 1253, for 4905 and 2695 passengers, respectively.

Here are more numbers.

 

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