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The 1968-built  Chemical Pioneer is a long- and multiple-lived vessel.  Here‘s a photo of her, then known as C. V. Sea Witch, in 1970.  She entered history books in the sixth boro on the night of June 1 into 2, 1973, most of you likely know the story of her tragic encounter, fatal for 16 mariners, collision and subsequent fire with SS Esso Brussels, loaded with Nigerian crude. Fire engulfed both ships and as they dragged anchor under the VZ Bridge, threatened the integrity of the bridge.

Thanks to Steve Munoz, here are photos of Esso Brussels taken several months later

at the Todd Shipyard in Hoboken, which closed two years later, part of a cascade of lost shipyards in the sixth boro.

Later that year she was towed to Greece, where she was rebuilt and emerged from the shipyard in 1974 as Petrola XVII.  She carried the name Petrola--with various number suffixes–until she was scrapped in 1985.

 

Here’s the rebuilt C. V. Sea Witch, now called Chemical Pioneer.

 

Many thanks for these photos to Steve Munoz, who had been aboard McAllister Bros. with his uncle Capt. Bob Munoz.  I could have called this “Thanks to Steve Munoz 20.”

Unfortunately, the disaster of early June 1973 has not been the only one in sixth boro history.  NY Tugmaster’s Weblog devotes a post to some of these, with three most horrific ones occurring in the month of June.  Many thanks to Capt. Brucato for compiling these with links to the final reports.

Interestingly, the hull of PS General Slocum was converted to a coal barge, and it sank in December 1911.  Texaco Massachusetts was towed to a shipyard,  repaired,  and returned to service, as were two attending tugboats, Latin American and Esso Vermont.  Dramatic photos of the Texaco Massachetts/Alva Cape post-collision fire and rescue efforts can be seen here. Alva Cape was eventually towed 150 miles SE of the Narrows and sunk.

From August 20, 1973 . . . it’s another narrated job from Steve. This time, MS Olympia is getting sailed.   Launched in 1953 in Glasgow, she was a long-lived vessel.  Any guesses when she went out of service?

“MS Olympia at 57th St Pier North R.  Eugene F Moran and  Maureen Moran wait on the river side of the pier.”

I gather Eugene was the 1951 Jakobson-build, the ninth and final tug by that name.  Maureen worked under that name from 1971 until 2010.

“Our vantage point was “McA Bros.”

McAllister Bros.  pushing the bow of MS Olympia.  ”

 

“MS Olympia heading for sea.”  Off her port bow, you can see the tall building at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Lower Manhattan on the North River side was truly a different place in 1973.    Have you guessed when this vessel went out of service?  You can read her service history and see lots of photos, some even in the sixth boro, here.

One job done, on to the next for McAllister Bros.  By the way, anyone know why the flag is at half mast?  My search came up empty handed.

And the answer is . . . 2009.  She was beached in Alang on 24 July 2009 and nothing was left a year later.  Her last visit in NYC had been in 2001.

 

This batch of photos is from 1958 from Steve, who has shared photos for at least 17 posts, and maybe more. I’m grateful Steve provides the captioning, because I was in second grade at the time.  Steve explains:  “I was just over 10 years old, and although being brought up on the water on my grandfather’s old 40’ cabin cruiser, I had never been on a tugboat—yet. When I came home from school at lunchtime, my mother told me to come home from school quickly at the end of the day so that I could get my homework done . . . because my aunt was picking me and my father up  to meet my uncle, Capt. Bob Munoz, on his tugboat to do a special job.”  More of that narrative follows at the end of this post.

Below, from that day, with Steve’s comments in quotes: “Diana L Moran alongside USS Franklin D. Roosevelt …”

I gather from records that the 1945-launched carrier had just completed a refit and overhaul at the time.   Diane L was Jakobson built and two years old at this time. If you’re not familiar with the sixth boro, that’s the Williamsburg Bridge and in the distance to the north, the Empire State Building.

Dalzellera pulling USS FDR-CV42-with assistance from Catherine Moran and Dalzellaird.”

This Catherine Moran, built in 1939, was mentioned in relation to Erie Canal work here, and may still be working as Sherry D in Napa CA.

Dalzellera pulling with assistance from Catherine Moran, Dalzellaird, and Fred B Dalzell.”

“Taken from the stern of Dalzellera alongside USS FDR.”

“USS Enterprise  (CV-6) at  Brooklyn Navy Yard.”

She participated in more major battles in WW2 than any other USN vessel.    Efforts by NYS to purchase and turn her into a memorial were unsuccessful.  Soon after Steve took these photos, she was sold for scrap, done subsequently at Kearny NJ.

“USS Independence (CV-62) at Brooklyn under construction.”

For this carrier as I saw her in 2010 in Bremerton WA, go to the end of this post.  In March 2017, she was towed out of Bremerton, 16000 miles around Cape Horn to be scrapped in Texas, which was completed in early 2019.  Anyone know who did this tow?

Barbara Moran in East River, heading east.”

This was the 1949, not the 1948, boat by that name.

Steve gave me a long version of his account of the day, but I’ve taken liberty to abridge it.  “Uncle Bob greeted us as we boarded the Dalzell Towing Company’s Dalzellera, flagship of the Dalzell fleet and converted from steam to diesel only 5 years earlier, was previously the Jersey Central RR steam tug Bethlehem. Dalzellera had a 1750hp diesel engine, a surplus WW II submarine engine coupled to a new unique drive system for NY harbor–a controllable pitch propeller.   When Dalzell was purchased by McAllister in 1965, she was renamed D. E. McAllister.

But that day our special job happened to be at the New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn Navy Yard, helping move the aircraft carrier USS FDR from its slip into the East River,  downriver,  and then  into the graving dock. It was a dead ship,  968’ long, 45,000 tons, in port for overhaul and repairs. The time for this move was selected to take advantage of the slack water in the early evening.  Dalzell had the contract with the US Navy to move the ship, but did not have enough of its own tugs available to do the job alone. Hence,  tugs from McAllister, Bronx Towing, Red Star, and Moran were also involved, for a total of 13 tugs.

Uncle Bob was the mate on the Dalzellera, but for this job he was one of several pilots assigned to control and monitor the movement of the ship and the tugs assisting the carrier. He was stationed up on the port bow on the flight deck.

Having the ship on a hawser allowed a unique vantage point as seen in the pictures.  And, it was uneventful. I was on the port side of the main deck with everyone else away from the after deck, just in case the line snapped. Then it happened. BANG!  I watched the line part and jump up toward the carrier’s bow. No one was on the after deck, so no one was hurt, no damage done.  Another line was lowered and the towing continued like nothing ever happened. As we got closer to the dock, Carol Moran got too close to one of FDR‘s overhangs on the port side and destroyed her mast, which fell onto her deck. Shortly afterwards the tug was relieved to allow it to head back to the yard before dark, since her mast lights were out.

Dalzellera was relieved of hawser duty just before the ship’s bow entered the graving dock and helped continue the push into the dock while the yard personnel started getting lines up to the ship to guide it into position. It was dusk when the task was finished. We picked up Bob at the end of the pier and headed back to our base.  After this day I was hooked on tugs.”

Thanks much, Steve.  As with the Enterprise, efforts by NYS to purchase USS FDR and turn her into a memorial were unsuccessful, and she was scrapped in Kearny NJ in 1978. Some photos of that last trip to the scrapyard can be found here.

For more tugboats of this decade, click here.

Finally, here’s USS Independence as I saw her in 2010 in Bremerton WA.

 

But first, can you guess the date?  Answer follows.

Mackenzie Rose is the newest name for this 2000-built boat, after Vernon C and then Mary Gellatly.

Ellen, ex-YTB-793 Piqua, here assists a box boat with a boat on top.   Ex-YTBs can be found in some unusual places.

Capt. Brian A. approaches the pilot’s door of this ULCV.

Jay Michael is painted a flat red, or maybe that’s a faded bright red.

Mount St Elias heads east with a loaded DBL 82.

Robert IV is off to a job.

Anacostia goes out the Ambrose with Double Skin 509A on wire.

Sea Lion returns, as does

Lincoln Sea and DBL 140 arrive from the south.

And finally, James D and Miriam meet a box ship to escort her into port.

Did you guess the date of the McAllister Bros. photo?  It comes thanks to Steve Munoz, who sent more along as well.  The answer is 1973, and the photo is taken from the Hoboken side.

All photos, except Steve’s, by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated but interesting:  How one small town grocery store in Alaska keeps the shelves stocked here.   More southern Alaska boat infrastructure here.

Tech astounds me . . . yesterday morning I got an email from a New Yorker in the UK telling about this event;  tugs are already under way, he said.

I missed the first tug but arrived in time for Liz Vinik, shown here in classic NY context as well as state-of-the-art architecture.

Following Liz was Vinik No. 6., another classic, one I’d not seen in a while.

Both veteran tugs were on the move.

 

Five hours later, and after both my VHF and cell phone had died, leaving me to wait on sheer faith that this was going to happen, the tow appeared into my field of view, westbound at Hell Gate.

TS Empire State IV VI was headed for the yard in dead ship mode.

 

With Liz on the bow and No. 6 alongside, they made their way to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, to GMD, where she would make her way into the graving dock after dark yesterday.

Nicholas tended the stern. Previously she was Maria J. 

 

Had she come around the bend by Hell Gate 15 minutes later, i would have missed this, since I had late afternoon chores waiting.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to Steve Munoz for that early morning email from the UK.

 

1959  Dalzellera (launched in Staten Island in 1915 as CRRJJ Bethlehem) at the Bush terminal.

SS United States at its North River Pier.  Thanks to my “group-sourcing” friends on FB, I’ve learned that tank was part of “the gas regulator at West 45th Street, part of a manufactured gas plant at that site, likely operated by Consolidated Edison. Erected late 1800’s and demolished in 1965. Some “good” stuff in that ground, part of the reason it’s still a parking lot.”  Also, the sign says “gas heats best”,  and after WW2, a large banner hung there proclaiming “welcome home.”

1957 East River looking toward Manhattan, and

farther south and west, showing the McAllister yard.  Interestingly, the Singer Building, the world’s tallest building from 1908 to 1909,  still appears in the photo above, just to the right of the Brooklyn Bridge Towers.

Many thanks to Steve munoz for these photos.  You can see more of Steve’s vintage NYC and sixth boro photos here.

 

Compare the verticality of Evelyn Mae’s “windshield” in the photo below with the rake in the next photos.  The photo was taken in April 1946.

The interior photo below shows the helm and the modified “raked” windshield.

Here Evelyn Mae gets some emergency work done at the floating dry dock at Matton’s in Cohoes in July 1947.

In 1959 Evelyn Mae made a trip to the Champlain Canal.

 

Here’s a closeup of the whole crew.

During that trip, she went up on the marine railway at Velez Marina in Port Henry.

Steve continues with his narrative:  “Circe was a sister boat to Evelyn Mae. She is up on beach in Mill Basin Brooklyn after hurricane of Sept 1944. I was told by my uncle that these pics were taken after hurricane of 1946 or 1947, but apparently no hurricane hit NY in those years as per internet.”

 

“[This was] the last year the yacht club was at Mill Basin because the City of NY condemned the property so a builder could build lots of houses. So the vacant land in background of pic is now all houses. In 1955 the yacht club moved to Paerdegat Basin. My grandfather, Frank, was instrumental in obtaining a 99 year lease from the city as he was working at the NY Dock Company in Brooklyn and “knew” NY City Marine and Aviation people to help with obtaining the land. Midget Squadron Yacht Club is still there today (internet) as well as the Hudson River Yacht Club on the other side of Paerdegat Basin, which was there in the 1950s also.”
Many thanks to Steve for this look to the past, when summer boats” were just gorgeous wood.
More decades-old sixth born photos to come.

There are summer yachts, and then there are summer yachts of yore,  those ones magnificent back then  and then magnified by time.  Evelyn Mae, platform for these posts from last month, is of this second and extraordinary sort.  Photos and reminiscence come from Steve Munoz.

Enjoy the photos and I’ll tell you more later in this post and in subsequent ones.

 

These photos were taken at the Midget Squadron Yacht Club in Canarsie, Brooklyn. 

 

When I asked Steve if he knew the manufacturer, here’s what he said:  “The builder’s plaque at the steering stand said built by Fleetwing, Greenport, LI, NY, built 1928, 5 of them built as sisters. My grandfather bought it (used) after hurricane of 1947 when it was up on the beach.”
I search for “Fleetwing Greenport”  brought up this Motorboating article from November 1928, p. 154.
A few pages farther on 159, I found this unrelated but stunning image for a GarWood advertisement.

Anyhow, a bit of farther searching tells me I’ve been inside the old Fleetwing Shipyard building in Greenport.

More Evelyn Mae to come.  Many thanks to Steve for sharing these stories and images.

 

This next batch were all taken from the deck of tug Dalzellaird. Steve writes:  “Captain Bob Munoz helped us aboard the tug Dalzellaird at 0800 hours. His tug was normally the Dalzellera, but it was out of service for many months because of damage to the variable pitch propeller and awaiting replacement parts from Holland. Looking out across the East River toward Brooklyn, Brooklyn was not to be seen because of the fog. It looked as if the parade wasn’t going to happen. However at about 0900 hours we pulled away from the pier with our portion of the press corps. The Dalzellaird headed down the East River, swung around Governors Island where we should have been able to see the Verrazano Bridge. It was not there.”

Vessels included Bluenose II, currently doing the Great Lakes Challenge 2019.   She recently appeared on tugster here.

Gorch Fock II at anchor.

Sagres musters the crew forward to ready sail,

With crew high in the rigging, USCG Eagle passes USS Randolph-CV15 . . .

. . . with lots of small boats being reviewed as well.

Marie J Turecamo and Mobil 12 make an appearance,

Libertad unfurls sails

Bluenose II moves through the Upper Bay,

Esmeralda gets underway,

 

tug Esso Massachusetts sails with ceremonial flags,

St Lawrence II and Esmeralda and a brace of USCG 40-footers , and we’ll end this series with

Esmeralda passing the NY skyline, such as it was in 1964.

Let’s close the narrative getting back to Steve’s words:  “Toward mid-afternoon it was time to return to pier 8 and let the press return to their offices to make the deadline for their stories in the newspapers. As we were about to come alongside the dock and all of the press were anxious to get off the boat, Capt. Munoz stopped and went full astern with the engine and stopped again. He leaned out the pilothouse window and looked down at the press as they looked up at him. He asked them if they got good pictures, got good stories, had a good lunch and had a good day. They all answered with a resounding yes. He said that he was busy all day making sure that they got their good pictures and he didn’t have time to take one picture. Because the Dalzellaird was a bell boat, he told them his arm was about to fall off from the constant bell ringing to allow them to maneuver in and around the ships-all for them. He asked if any one of them could possibly send him a few photos of the day’s activities.

The overwhelming response was, of course, ‘Cap, give us your address.’ He pulled the Dalzellaird up against the dock and they all rushed off. All these years later, he is still waiting for a few photos.”     Maybe they got his email address wrong?

Thanks much, Steve, for sharing this.

Any errors here are entirely mine.

 

 

In continuing reportage from Steve Munoz:  “On Sunday, July 12th, 1964, my family sailed out of Paerdegat Basin in Jamaica Bay on the Evelyn Mae (below)

and arrived at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, still under construction and not to be opened until late November [1964].

Throughout that afternoon we drifted and steadily rolled in a southeast wind as sailing ships from around the world came up Ambrose Channel.”

Below, behold an anchored Statsraad Lehmkuhl, currently [shifting to 2019] at a dock in Fredrikstad, Norway.

Gorch Fock II was nearby.

Anyone have ideas on what that small boat off GF’s starboard bow might be?

Esmeralda . . . is as of July 2019 sailing off New Zealand.  I love the crew hanging off the vessel, including the bowsprit, sprucing up her appearance before the parade.

Black Pearl passes Gorch Fock II.  I’m told Black Pearl is currently in the Great Lakes, but I’ve never seen  or heard of her there.

Juan Sebastian de Elcano .  .  .  is a Spanish training ship launched in 1927 and whose namesake assumed leadership of Magellan’s journey from the Moluccas back to Spain.  She appeared on this blog here in 2012.

Libertad fired their saluting cannons off Ft Hamilton.”   Libertad has a special relationship with Wavertree, the South Street Seaport Museum ship.

“A return salute was provided by the USS Willis (DE-1027) at anchor in Gravesend Bay.

My father positioned himself with his Kodak camera, with slide film in it, against the lifeboat and mentally calculated the timing of the saluting cannon of the Argentine full rigged sailing ship Libertad and caught the flash of the cannon seen in the picture in this article. We didn’t see all of the ships enter the harbor that day, but they arrived under full sail, saluted the USS Willis and settled in at their assigned anchorage position in Gravesend Bay. There weren’t many other boats or harbor craft around that day, but in those days we were able to get up close and circle the ships after anchoring and watch the cadets secure the ship from sea.”

USCG Eagle was there, as was

SS Rotterdam entering NY harbor before parade.  SS Rotterdam is currently docked near the Hotel New York in  . ..  Rotterdam.

Note the cranes atop to western tower of the VZ Bridge;  it wouldn’t open for a few more months.

Would that helicopter be an HH-62A?

“Darkness was approaching and we set course back to Paerdegat Basin.”  This is reprinted from NY TUGS magazine, vol2, no2 in 2009.

Many thanks, Steve.  More to come.

By the way, one upcoming post features Evelyn Mae.  Until then, are there any guesses on her date and place of build?

 

 

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