You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Sugar Express’ tag.

Here are previous iterations of this title.  Sometimes it’s energizing to return to places you’ve not visited in a while. We followed North River for a bit and then turned into

the Brooklyn Navy yard, a quite busy place.  Sugar Express was there along with Carolina Coast.  The barge shuttles less-refined sugar from Florida to Yonkers, where the sugar is further refined at a riverside facility.


Atlantic Salvor was in one of the graving docks.

Once under way again, we followed Genesis Eagle heading for the Sound.

North River was docked at DEP Ward’s Island Central (actually WPCP) by the time we passed by.

NYC Department of Correction Vernon C. Bain Maritime Facility was still where I last saw it, the only traffic being who goes in and out. 

Ditto this wreck, which deserves a name or a series of ex-names, where the only traffic is the ingress and egress of tidal current water.

All photos this week, WVD.

I didn’t plan it, but this past week, I’ve seen a lot of Dann Marine boats, so that’s why this post.

Running against a NW wind, Pearl Coast handles some spray quite handily as she tows Cement Transporter 1801. She’s a big boat:  127′ x 40′ with 5600 hp.  Click here for previous appearances of her on this blog.

Into that same wind, here’s Ivory Coast heading light along the Delaware shore.  Click here for previous posts with Ivory Coast.


I believe this is my first time to add East Coast to this blog, although she’s been in the Dann Marine fleet for several decades.

Welcome then.  She’s on the Sugar Express run between Florida and Yonkers. See previous Sugar Express posts here.

And another Dann Marine boat I suspect I’ve not seen before . . . Sun Coast,

inbound at the Narrows.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


Here was a precedent.

Sugar Express .  . . I’ve seen and posted about you before here, here, and in other places.

Arabian Sea–where’s Sea Robin, previously on this route?– stood by with the barge while

another–Jonathan–was offloaded over at the ASR Group facility in Yonkers.  ASR Group is the contemporary name for a series of companies and mergers going back to the 18th century.

As crew on the barge watch, clamshells of sugar  lift from the hold.  See the crane operator in the blue t-shirt?

My guess . . .  10 tons per scoop?

Click here for more info on dry barge barge Jonathan, identical dimensions to Sugar Express.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

My conjecture is that some of this sugar comes from operations owned by the Fanjul family.  


Technically the first vessel I saw–before dawn– in 2016 was Hudson River-built Jean Turecamo and then Surrie Moran, as they headed south to assist this outbound tanker, Kingcraft, which seems to be barely off the ways.

And once I spotted such a bright clean LNG vessel headed my way, my noirish self dissipates;  call me Marinus de Blauw.     Tugboat Jean Turecamo is off the starboard bow, whereas Surrie is invisible at the stern.   Parading behind are USCGC WPB 87361 Sea Horse and Vane’s Chatham.






As it turned out, Kingcraft still had its USCG escort as it continued out the Thimble Shoals Channel of the CBBT, Morocco bound.


From Island 1, to the north I could see a tug and barge headed southbound through the Chesapeake Channel between Island 3 and 4.


It turned out to be Sea Robin towing  . . .


Sugar Express . . . Florida bound, I presume.   Here’s more info on Sea Robin.


And I include this next set as a jog-memory for myself:  at the Route 13 scenic area pull-off  in southern Kiptopeke, a look past the weirs I got a glimpse of a future destination . . .


the concrete ships of the breakwater.


I have to allow enough time to see them closer next time.


More on the first twelve hours of 2016 tomorrow.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Marginally related . . . concrete barges also languish on the Erie Canal.

Directly related . . . some previous posts featuring the Hampton Roads area are here, herehere, and here.

Differently marginally related:  Kingcraft–whatta name!!–is a new vessel;  Horizon Trader, seen in this sixth boro post from less than two years ago, is about to beach for the scrappers in India.

I’m not going to count, but there must be dozens of posts here with photos from or some mention of Paul Strubeck.  Here I’m pleased to dedicate a whole post to him in part because these photos make me see the sixth boro with new eyes.  Enjoy.  Cornell . . . by foggy night and compare to my photo from about the same day but at dawn here and scroll to the third photo.  The location is the soon-to-open Brooklyn Barge Bar, where I’m eager to imbibe a sunset beer. Also in Paul’s “roll” of film are


Pinuccia and Specialist mostly obscured,


Captain D ,


Nanticoke passing the East River Seaplane base,


an unobscured photo of Specialist,


Sea Robin secured to Sugar Express at the sugar plant in Yonkers,


James William,


and Foxy 3 pushing a Thornton barge, which


brings us back to a great photo of Cornell, which Paul used his special lens for.


All photos here are used with permission from Paul Strubeck.  Thanks much, Paul.

Unrelated:  Here’s an East River seaplane photo I posted here many years ago. And a photo of Sugar Express towed south by a former fleet mate of Sea Robin.

S . . . singing, songs.  Cognoscenti–of whom I do not consider myself a part–will recognize the set of five black horns below as a Nathan K5HL.  It produces what I’ll describe as a chord, as distinguished from my car’s horn, which produces only one puny tone.  Imagine the sound for now, and at the end of the post you will hear its voice, relish its sound, savor the tones.


The Nathan, about 10 other chimes, and this tiny whistle all reside atop tugboat Cornell, the workhorse of Captain Matt Perricone.  You heard a little of Cornell‘s song here a week or so ago. To show size, I put my phone next to the “peanut whistle.” The peanut whistle is the first you’ll hear; then the Nathan.  If you want to hear a Nathan on a Chevy pickup, click here.


I was unprepared for the song of Kristin Poling the other day;  please get in touch if you can help with logistics to record it.  Kristin’s song reminded me of a night heron, a most noteworthy sixth boro critter.


The GW Bridge is most commonly understood as the boundary of the North River and the Hudson;  to me, it’s all the sixth boro and surroundings.  My Flip camera missed the song Cornell sang under the GW.


After NYC, the next city on the Hudson is Yonkers, and excuse my digression here.  Yonkers, to me, is synonymous with this industrial site.  The blue crane is about to pull a clamshell bucket out of that barge.  Any guesses what industrial substance it will contain?


Sweeeeeet!  Raw cane sugar, I suppose, either to be further processed OR to add to a megalopolis-size vat of coffee needing some sweetener?  One or two tons of sugar with your coffee, m’am?  Enjoy a crumpet with your coffee, or let me offer the sweetest music of the Hudson . . .  a little later.


I missed songs Cornell bounced off the underside of the Tappan Zee and the Bear Mountain Bridges, but  sweet, even mellifluous they were.


But then I got my act together . . .  In three and a half minutes of video, you’ll hear seven or  so songs:  first the peanut whistle near West Point, then the rest “Nathan events” and their echoes bouncing off the cliffs near West Point and then the undersides of the bridges in Newburgh-Beacon and Highland-Poughkeepsie.  In the third Nathan event, look in the window near the spotlight;  you’ll see Matt’s hands playing the Nathan cord like a harp player.  And the songs, all woven around the steady percussion of the 16-cylinder diesel.

Songs from machines . . . they make the world a jollier place;  like

songs of humans, whales, birds . . . they can communicate, memorialize, or just express feeling.  Well . . . in the case of machines with wonderful voices like Cornell or less wonderful . . . like the Staten Island ferries AND every other vessel in the harbor, they really do communicate.    Here’s a whole page of links to ships’ horns.  Enjoy!!

Can you hear bird songs or gong/bell buoys while aboard Cornell?  Nah . . . but  if  I’m at a concert with my favorite sweetie, neither can I hear what she whispers in my ear.  Everything . . . in its time.

All fotos and video . . . Will Van Dorp.

Remember to click on a foto to enlarge it.

I’ve seen this sign hundreds of times as I drive off the Verrazano Bridge, and I know the reference, but now I see it with opened eyes, thanks to this morning’s context:

nothing unusual at first, an inbound tug pushing a barge. But when the name became visible, it made my day . . .

although I then wondered if the speck on the southern horizon might be chocolate express or maybe creamer express. Hey, “milk train” used to be a common term. Other questions emerged, too, like where in Brooklyn will this sweetness be delivered . . . or maybe this barge carries goodies from southern Brooklyn to be shared with less-sweet places to the north.

Notice how the superstructure of the barge migrates? And pushed by Heron? We have to rename this tug.

By the way, I waited in vain for the Chocolate Express. I know a children’s book writer who could use this name.

Foto note: The top shot could have included the incoming tug & barge if I had stood on the Belt Parkway, but given the amount of traffic, I might not have returned with said trophy foto.

Photos, WVD.

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