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See the exciting announcement at the end of this post.

Sunday I got word thanks to Shipshooter–Jonathan Atkin–that the pilot boat-to-be would be moving from Caddell’s back to the Sandy Hook Pilots (SHP) base on Monday morning right around sunrise.  Pilot boat-to-be?  There’s still much work to do before she enters service.  And at 0626, I saw the shift begin, as Dorothy J pulled her away from the floating drydock that has been her home the past few months. I visited her here back in December 2019 after she’d appeared at the SHP base about a year ago.  The current SHP No. 1 New York is at sea at the sea buoy end of the Ambrose Channel.

Once clear of the dry docks, the several-mile tow got underway.

Dorothy J kept the bow pointed while Robert IV had the stern.

Just east of the salt pile, the tow was reconfigured so that Robert IV got the Pilot No. 1 on the nose.

Robert IV continued the push toward the Narrows, after Dorothy J had gone ahead.

Just off the pilot station, Dorothy J came back alongside . . .

and Pilot No. 1 slides in opposite side of the dock from Pilot No. 2 New Jersey.

 

All photos, WVD, who will update the continuing transformation as available.

Here‘s a NY Media Boat report on a day at sea on the current Pilot Boat No. 1.

The big announcement, click on the image below.  A week from today you can join me for a different type of virtual canal tour.

Polling has not yet ended, the clock goes on for two more days now, since I got a bunch of votes last night. With all certainty, though, polls will close on December 21 . . .  earlier if two days elapse without a single new vote.  Your votes and suggestions –in comments and in emails–have already influenced the design of the calendar.

Many thanks to David Silver for this photo . . .  can you guess where it was taken?

You might want to see where previous photos shared by David Silver were taken here.   You can find the answer at the end of this post.

While you’re trying to figure out the answer using the title and the night pics, have a look at the project of converting a Responder class OSRV into a new Sandy Hook Pilots “mothership”.

For a complete Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) equipment list, click here.

As I understand it, Maine Responder was sold out of MSRC because it was considered excess.   Maybe someone can confirm that.

Here’s the wheels.

Have you guessed where David took the top picture?  The answer is .  . . Elizabethport, NJ.  In the darkness are three exquisite exotics:   Regulus, Kelly Ann Candies, and Highland Eagle.  Kelly Ann came into the sixth boro yesterday just before dark, but it was so foggy in the Narrows that in the 500′ or so visibility she was as invisible to someone there as she’d be 500 miles at sea.  And then, she left before good light this morning.  I caught Kelly Ann entering Guanabara Bay almost six years ago.  Regulus I caught in Bayonne earlier this fall, and Highland Eagle I caught in northern Lake Huron this summer, where she was doing some sounding work.

Many thanks to David for this photo.  The others by Will Van Dorp, who is eager to see how the ex-Maine Responder evolves.

 

By this point, I’d ceased thinking this was a fast-moving fishing boat.

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Here’s a dawn photo I took from the Staten Island side of the Narrows six months back.

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But this shot, like the top one above, I took at dawn two weeks ago while waiting for the big crane to lift itself above the horizon.

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It must be me . . . but are there many things prettier to look at than this pilot vessel coming in to replenish and arriving with the dawn?

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Click here and here more photos of their vessels since 1837.  Click here to see this vessel during Sandy’s blow.

Here was 20.  And this first foto is in fact mine:  16 m pilot boat America eastbound in the KVK last week.  But the rest of these fotos come thanks to G. Justin Zizes Jr, who earlier this weekend

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had a berth on Norwegian Jewel on a “cruise to nowhere,” aka a large ship gallivant on the high seas.  Justin caught these fotos from a balcony at an hour that I’m guessing most on board were asleep.   Arrival,

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beginning the climb,

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and departure of the pilot boat, soon just a few lights

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in the wee hours of this morning.

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Connect the dots . . . er . . .. lights and what do you get?

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Two more fotos from Justin:  Friday night departure, and

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Sunday morning return.

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Many thanks to Justin for these fotos.

 

Fotos from Barbara at Rockaway Beach around 100th Street here.  Emergency message to folks on the boardwalk:  “Go inside, and no surfing.”

From Gary, East River looking toward the mouth of Newtown Creek and

toward the 59th Street Bridge.    No movement.

And finally, from L’amica dalla torre di orologio . . .  Hudson River . . . looking toward  the Statue of Liberty, who probably wishes she could hunker down behind her pedestal.   Geometrical structure to the left is the floating Battery Park City Ferry Terminal.   I’m not sure what contingencies exist for it during a surge, since it’s basically a hull.

Currently Captain of the Port has order vessels of a certain tonnage to leave the docks, as it’s safer for them to hang in the stream than stay affixed to a rigid structure.   So cruising in the North river now as sightseeing vessels,

Meagan Ann,

and the Sandy Hook pilot boats!

That’s the Erie Lackawanna Terminal Tower/Hoboken Terminal in the background.

USCG . . . off to respond to a recreational vessel that’s dragged its mooring?

And finally, back to Rockaway . .  as nightfalls.

Many thanks to Barbara, Gary, and L’amica for these fotos.  The worst is yet to come, I fear.  Stay inside and away from the tongues and talons of water that surge in.

And this just in . . . video from helicopter of USCG rescue of folks from HMS Bounty.

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