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Below was she on March 10. While I was away, she was refloated.
Below is March 19. To my surprise, the masts had been unstepped.
And below was yesterday, April 17, the day when Executive Director of South Street Seaport Museum, Jonathan Boulware, conducted a tour of the work in progress. Any errors in this reportage are due to my having forgotten my pen and pad.
Since the masts–at up to 20 tons each, if I heard that right–were unstepped, their cleanup and refurbishment has begun.
The underside of the whaleback shows the details of work already completed.
This is the interior of the upper stern, looking to starboard.
Access to the cargo areas during the tour was forward.
I’m eager to see what work gets done to the bowsprit. Check out this post (and scroll) from many years ago when Frank Hanavan and I put fresh paint on that bowsprit.
Wavertree had a tweendeck back in 1895, when she called briefly in the sixth boro, which you can read about here (scroll). In the photo below, you are looking through a hatch in the tweendeck down into the main cargo hold.
And here is the main payload space, the cathedral of cargo, looking toward the stern. On a modern vessel, this would be divided into watertight compartments.
I can’t say this is the manufacturer, but this is the concept–as I understand it–for this ballast.
Mainmast will be restepped here.
Here Jonathan explains the spar work.
When the project is completed, all these spars will be aloft and potentially functional.
This cross section of a spar shows the lamination of the wood. Some of these products are provided–I believe–by Unalam.
Here are some of the finer spars, along
with the directions for re-assembly.
Work going on in the rigging shed included stripping off the old coatings and recovering the high quality old wire of the standing rigging.
Worming, parcelling, and serving protects the wire and produces such sweet smells of pine tar.
Many thanks to South Street Seaport Museum for offering this work progress tour. Any errors here are unintentional and mine.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, who thinks anyone who hasn’t read A Dream of Tall Ships by the late great Peter Stanford would really enjoy the saga of Wavertree‘s arrival in the sixth boro as told in that book.
Know this water, more of a waterway than a harbor? The distant buildings are a clue. See the one just left of the center of bridge center, needle thin?
Here’s another clue . . . the structure near the right side of the photo, like an old time gas station pump?
Or this one left of the crane, looking like the business end of a blue crab whose pincers are down?
Or this wreck? What WAS this boat? I’ve asked a million people who all say they also asked a million people. Anyone know?
And seriously, the first photo showed the Throgs Neck Bridge, the second the LaGuardia airport traffic tower, and the third . . . Arthur Ashe stadium. The photo above with the mystery wreck in the Whitestone Bridge . .. the second one in when you travel from Long Island Sound into . . . the East River
And that needle thin tower in 432 Park, said to be the tallest residential building in the hemisphere. Click here for views from the tallest bathtub in that building. And in the foreground of the photo below, truly a place of superlatives . . . . Rikers Island, i.e., one of the largest incarceration places in the world. No gunk holing is tolerated anywhere near this place.
By now, most of you know this is the East River and we’re traveling west. Here the DEP sludge tanker Red Hook prepares to depart the Hunt’s Point wastewater treatment plant. Click here for some tugster posts on treating waste and keeping sixth boro waters as clean as possible despite the teeming millions that live along the banks of these waters. And if you’ve never read my Professional Mariner story on the latest generation of these tankers, you can do so here.
Between Rikers and Hunts Point, there are the North and South Brother Islands; see my post from South Brother here from a long time ago. The safer channel goes around the north of North Brother, but in daylight, most vessels can shoot between the two.
A “night wharf” on Wards Island for the sludge tankers lies here just east of the Hell Gate and RFK bridges there.
This strait–between Roosevelt Island and the upper east side of Manhattan–in the tidal strait that’s known as the East River can see some fast currents. Somewhere off to the right is the vantage point Jonathan Steinman takes his East river pics from.
This is not a cargo pier. These vessels are repairing the bulk heading.
Anyone know the identity of these two “houses” nestled up there in the eastisde of Manhattan cliffs?
These barges called the Water Club . . . I’ve never been there. Any personal reviews?
Newtown Creek awaits its fate here at a dock in Wallabout Bay right across
from the rock wharf where Alice Oldendorff has discharged millions of tons of crushed rock over the years.
After we duck under the Brooklyn Bridge, we near the end of the East River,
where South Street Seaport Museum has been fighting the noble fight to
preserve ships and the upland including the wharves.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Here are previous posts in this series. All photos below come compliments of Mike Weiss and were taken on September 24, i.e., about a month after Wavertree rose out of the water on Caddell Dry Dock No. 6.
Rather than a very satisfying sifting through the index above, you can read a short history of Wavertree here.
Many thanks, Mike.
Time to renew your South Street Seaport Museum membership?
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.
Here the yard tug–L W Caddell is moving lines from the dry dock to Wavertree.
And then it was lunch time.
Here you see the dry dock “ballasting” . . . or sinking.
Note the “wet” portion of the dry dock as it rises, or “deballasts.”
Note the size of the workers relative to the hull.
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.
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.
Let’s descend into through the forward cargo hatch to see where a cavernous hold is getting even more cavernous.
Note the ladder beyond the foremast, as seen from standing to starboard of the keelson.
Looking to the stern from the ‘tween decks. As Mike Weiss said, “a cathedral of cargo.”
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.”
This is how the skeleton of a 130-year-old vessel looks.
Looking toward the rudder post from the ‘tween decks.
Returned to the main deck looking forward at the cargo hatches.
Removal of extraneous and/or non-original weight has included belgian block and large concrete block ballast. This water tank may be original
And here are the credits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Then a parade set out from the pier and headed via Wall Street to Bowling Green, stopping
briefly at Federal Hall.
Happy Independence Day.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
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.”
“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.
If you want to see her at the East River dock, you’ve got only about 48 more hours.
For photos of Wavertree arriving in NYC in 1970 and in Argentina before that, click here and scroll.
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.
And there’s a new immigration office there? No hours of service were listed anywhere.
The health inspection station was unstaffed as well.
I thought all these ferries departed from the Battery.
Steerage on Peking . . . might kill you.
Why another war!?
The mass transit prices are good, somewhere.
And then a passenger vessel appears . . . Zephyr??! And I have to pass the Potemkin facades . . . .
I’d seen enough . . or too much, so I headed for the Battery on foot, where . . . I saw
a landing craft marked 502. And all I’d had to drink was coffee, along with a wholesome breakfast.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
There are also those sailing vessels I’d like to see under sail. Like Angel’s Share with its twin helms, here
a close-up of the port helm.
with its Marshall Islands flag
Heron . . . which I’ve seen as far south as Puerto Rico.
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,
ride the wind in a busy harbor for a few hours, and
then lower sail before returning to the pier.
All fotos taken this week by Will Van Dorp. Time’s now for me to head out and enjoy more of this autumn air.