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I got there JUST in time.  A few minutes after I arrived, lines were cast off, and the yard tug moved the bow into the stream.  What’s to comment . . . I’ll just put the times, to the nearest minute.

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Here the yard tug–L W Caddell is moving lines from the dry dock to Wavertree.

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And then it was lunch time.

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Here you see the dry dock “ballasting”  . . . or sinking.

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Note the “wet” portion of the dry dock as it rises, or “deballasts.”

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Note the size of the workers relative to the hull.

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The next step is pressure washing the communities that traveled on the hull from the East River to the KVK.

Here Wavertree will stay through the winter as she goes through a thorough and exciting transformation.  Become a member and send your own “bravo” to all the folks at South Street Seaport for all the strides in the right direction.  See here and here.

Tomorrow I hit the road for New England for a while. I will try to post, but my laptop has become quite uncooperative.

First, notice the Tugboat Roundup logo upper left?  Click on it for the schedule;  I’ll be giving an illustrated talk “1500 Miles on the Erie Canal”  Saturday and Sunday.

Also, if you are in Boston this Sunday, Maine Sail Freight will be at Long Wharf in Boston with pallets of products from farm and sea.  Click here for a link to other sail freight initiatives around the world.  Here’s more on that project;  a change is that schooner Adventure rather than Harvey Gamage will be transporting.

Here are posts about Wavertree’s trip to the dry dock and before.  And below are two photos I hadn’t used in those posts.

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May 21, 2015

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May 21, 2015

In the past 10 weeks, prep for the actual dry docking has resulted in loss of at least a foot and a half of draft.  Mussels once submerged have lost their habitat.

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July 30, 2015

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July 30, 2015

Let’s descend into through the forward cargo hatch to see where a cavernous hold is getting even more cavernous.

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from the ‘tween decks looking up and …

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… down …

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and all the way down

Note the ladder beyond the foremast, as seen from standing to starboard of the keelson.

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Looking to the stern from the ‘tween decks.  As Mike Weiss said, “a cathedral of cargo.”

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For scale, note the worker wearing a white hard hat on the keelson beyond the mast

Looking astern from atop a makeshift block of ballast on the port side of vessel.  That’s the main cargo hatch prominent in the center of the photo.   My response to Mike’s quote is “an ark of angled wrought iron.”

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This is how the skeleton of a 130-year-old vessel looks.

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Looking toward the rudder post from the ‘tween decks.

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Returned to the main deck looking forward at the cargo hatches.

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Removal of extraneous and/or non-original weight has included belgian block and large concrete block ballast.  This water tank may be original

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And here are the credits.

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Many thanks to Mike Weiss and  South Street Seaport Museum for the tour; click on that link for membership info.  August promises to be more prep work for dry docking.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Click here for CSM article about the 1983 initial and partial restoration of Wavertree.

First, for a focused statement on the importance of this vessel and Lafayette on US independence, click here  . . . from a Portland Maine publication.   More on Lafayette, click here, but skip the partisan dribble in paragraphs 3–6.  Also, here.

Most of the photos in this post I took on July 1, by which time the French shore contingent had done a great job setting up a pier display, and here’s my favorite poster.  Doubleclick on the photo to enlarge it and read the numbers.

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Soon after all lines were made fast, the ceremony started:  music, uniforms, flags, and the CASK!  It’s to be auctioned off.  I’d love to know the price.

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Thanks to Linda Roorda, Peter Boucher, and Xtian Herrou for answers about the flags and uniforms.  The uniforms here and in Wednesday’s post of the Breton bagpipers and the two matelots are French Naval summer uniforms. The flag flown below the US flag on L’Hermione is the Serapis flag–or a variation thereof– flown by John Paul Jones.

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Yesterday I stopped by and was fortunate to here speeches under the FDR.  Here, with microphone, South Street Seaport Museum Executive Director Jonathan Boulware talks about the ships, the museum, and all six boros of NYC.

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Then a parade set out from the pier and headed via Wall Street to Bowling Green, stopping

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briefly at Federal Hall.

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Happy Independence Day.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

If you have time for a little history of LaFayette, click here.  If you want more complicated history, sorting out fact and fiction about the signers of the Declaration, click here.

 

 

Bravo to South Street Seaport Museum and all its supporters.  From their press release:  “A celebratory send-off on May 21, 2015 at 12:30pm on Pier 15, with  Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer; City Council Member Margaret Chin; Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction; Captain Jonathan Boulware, South Street Seaport Museum Executive Director; and other City Officials.”

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Wavertree, built 1885 in Southampton, England.  Dismasted off Cape Horn 1910.  Former floating warehouse in Chile and  sand barge in Argentina.  Arrived in NYC’s sixth boro 1970.

“This $10.6 million stabilization and restoration project is funded by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Council Office, and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. The project will be undertaken at Caddell Drydock and Repair in Staten Island and will address critical long-term preservation of the ship.”

This will be a long visit to the yard.

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Departs for major shipyard work May 21, 2015 at 1230

If you want to see her at the East River dock, you’ve got only about 48 more hours.

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For photos of Wavertree arriving in NYC in 1970 and in Argentina before that, click here and scroll.

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The black-hulled tall ship along Wavertree is Peking.  For some photos from her last trip to the yard click here and here.

Wavertree, steady as she goes.

Tangentially related:  given that Wavertree–like Peking–is a “wind ship” without auxiliary power, here’s some exciting news from New England Waterman blog

 

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.

 

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.

Here was 9.

It seems that sailing just gets better as summer turns into fall.  Like Pioneer.   Click here for bookings via Water Taxi.

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America 2.0

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Shearwater

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Adirondack

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There are also those sailing vessels I’d like to see under sail.  Like Angel’s Share with its twin helms, here

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a close-up of the port helm.

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Slim Gunboat 6606

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with its Marshall Islands flag

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Heron . . . which I’ve seen as far south as Puerto Rico.

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Clipper City

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I’d love to find the time and invitations to sail on all those wind vessels.  But I actually did sail on Pioneer the other day.  Come with the vessel and crew as we leave the pier,

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ride the wind in a busy harbor for a few hours, and

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then lower sail before returning to the pier.

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All fotos taken this week by Will Van Dorp.  Time’s now for me to head out and enjoy more of this autumn air.

Here was the first post.  Today spring has sprung and may Lettie,

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with such graceful toughness

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delicate efficiency,

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like a crocus,  burst forth.  Support the fundraiser.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

For updates on Marion M. and if you do FB, click here.   It updates this article:  Marion M. has been purchased and is undergoing restoration in the Chesapeake.

Here and here are some older Lettie posts.

Is Marion M (Greenport, NY 1932) on her own power projecting that potentially gorgeous deck before her?  Might she be?

I’ll be straightforward for once:  Marion M has been moved away from South Street because the museum needs space.  She is for sale. You/your organization can get information on purchasing her by contacting Captain Jonathan Boulware, Waterfront Director, South Street Seaport Museum.  His tele and email are:  212.748.8772      jboulware@seany.org.

Some specifics on her history accompany bowsprite’s rendering here.  Wooden tugboat W. O. Decker (1930) demonstrates that she has the stuff  still in her.  Decker stays at South Street Seaport Museum.   Here and here are two of my many favorite bowsprite illustrations of Decker.

All these fotos come compliments of Jonathan Boulware, who took them in late June, as

Decker towed Marion M out to

her holding area on the KVK . . . where you can pick her up.

I wanted to add a few more fotos of Helen McAllister . . .

who also has at least one

more life ahead of her.   Here’s how she might look under her own power headed your way.

And with all this movement, what might Peking be thinking, saying . ..  .?

Uh . . . she can’t talk, can she?

Again, Marion M can be yours.  Contact Jonathan Boulware, Waterfront Director, South Street Seaport Museum     212.748.8772      jboulware@seany.org      I’m told she’s listed in WoodenBoat‘s “Save a Classic” section, but I haven’t seen that yet.

I’d love to see her gussied up to 1932 standards.  I’d even put greenbacks and sweat equity in the project.  I’m reminded of what the “crazy farmers of Villiersdorp” managed to do . . . or the Onrust project in Rotterdam Junction.

Unrelated but NYTimes article about resurgence:  Cross-harbor rail about to expand exponentially on the sixth boro!!

… of course with boats, the number of “second lives” can astonish you, and (as for “last,”) see the note at the end of the post.  Helen’s tenure as “tryin ta be” museum artifact at South Street was more like a fourth life* already!

Anyhow, we knew departure would happen, just not when the day was.  But when I happened by minutes after nine this morning and I saw this . . .  my plans for the next few hours vanished . . . .

Helen sliding into the stream at the end of Deckers towline . . . meant only one thing.

0923 hr . . . Decker heads out to confer with Responder, who has often moved South Street vessels, including Peking four + years ago.

Responder asks Decker to go into the confined space to bring Helen to the dance floor.

Decker (and crew, of course) were thrilled to do this escort.

Long-timers at the Museum–Carlos, Victor, and Sal–get in last moments.

0953 . . . the tow gets made with Responder, and

the lines to Decker get

loosened.  Hand-over has happened.

For a short tense interval, the boats exchange sweet somethings, maybe some tears, and then

they waltz away . . . toward a future.

The Statue waves in recognition.

And Decker, as escort, has finished her duties by 1024 hr.

Such beautiful curves, such proud rake!    Surely there is another life

for Helen somewhere.  John Watson waits high on his cliff to get fotos of the tow heading into the KVK.

Thanks to John Watson for this foto and to Jonathan Boulware for assisting with my fotos.

And I’d really enjoy hearing your comments on any experiences you’ve had in the long life of the beautiful Helen (ex-Georgetown, ex-Admiral Dewey).  Does anyone have fotos to share of Helen docking vessels during 1992 OpSail?

“Last” . . . well, many boats have second, third, etc lives.  Helen is headed back to the McAllister yard;  SSS Museum needs to focus on fewer vessels.  What comes next is as unknown as . . . tomorrow.

Related:  Here was a previous significant day in SSSM involving major passages with the McAllisters.

* As to Helen’s previous lives, she was built in Port Richmond, Staten Island as Admiral Dewey for Berwind-White Coal;  see p. 8 of Erin Urban’s Caddell Dry Dock: 100 Years Harborside for a foto of Admiral Dewey.

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