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Part of today’s post follows on yesterday’s, the arrival of NYK Blue Jay.  Although she is no larger than the other ULCVs now serving the sixth boro, the fog obscuring the Staten Island in the background creates an illusion of size. Miniature tugs follow this vessel appearing the largest thing ever to enter the harbor.  If the 1920s launched an era of skyscrapers on boro of Manhattan, then the past year and a half that has ushered in the ULCVs is truly an era of coast scrapers, certainly hoping not bottom scrapers.  Out at the entrance to the Ambrose, pilots climbing from the pilot boat must feel they’re beside a rolling, pitching, yawing skyscraper.

If painted orange, Robbins would look like a traffic cone.

Note the three tugs totaling  combined 18000 hp lined up alongside, and

fog downsizes the heights of the skyscrapers.

Let’s switch gears and embrace the merger of tanker names and popular culture, specifically the villainous organization at the heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Since my son has caught me up on Hydra, this seems one of the strangest vessel names I’ve seen…   If you know the reference, it rivals King Barley and Turmoil.

Siirt I’ve seen before.

Undine heads in with Brazilian oil, I believe.  Un-dine . . . has intriguing semantic possibilities, or well, it’s just the name of a type of water fairy.  Since I mentioned popular culture earlier here, Undine would fit right into the Australian show Tidelanders.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes you understand the educational and therapeutic benefits he gains from haunting the port.

 

I’ve mentioned before about my people the Dutch celebrating “old years day” on December 31.   As the child of immigrants, I’m blessed by this one of many ways they see the world differently, a perspective I’m happy to share.  So here is a retrospective of the year, the result of a process of scanning through photos in the blog library, not overthinking it.

January.  Gunhilde Maersk with James, Kirby, and JRT plus Miriam Moran.  the year of the 1200-footers aka ULCVs becoming commonplace in the sixth boro.

February.  Ocean Henry Bain serves as a safety boat during  the ice canoe race I documented in my Carnavalons posts.

March. Cerro Grande here escorted a Caribbean-bound LNG ship, one of all the Panama Tugs posts

April. When I saw this section of drained canal bed between O-6 to O-7 in Oswego, I thought the work’d never get done before the season began, but I was wrong.  Of all my 2018 NYS Canals posts, this and this posted with the greatest urgency.

May.  Reliable pushed seaward by Lucy H.  As of today, Reliable lies under the sea gathering fishes and entertaining Davy Jones near Shinnecock.

June.  Jay Bee V headed out on a high-profile mission.  Has she returned to the sixth boro yet?

July.  I missed Rosemary‘s christening because that’s what happens when you don’t look at your calendar. First come first serve for a few tugster lighthouse calendars.  Send me an email with your mailing address.   As I said, I ran a few extra when I made up my Christmas gifts.

August.  Kimberly Selvick with AEP barges was one of the treats I saw in Calumet.  This day south of Chicago planted a seed of curiosity about the Lake Michigan/Mississippi River link I hope to be able to explore in 2019.  Many thanks to Christine Douglas.

September.  J. W.  Cooper delivers a pilot in Port Colborne at the Lake Erie end of the Welland Canal.  Because I hadn’t a satisfying enough fix from the canal earlier, I returned there in October.

October.  One Stork, a pink ULCV,  came into town.  It wasn’t her first visit/delivery, but it was the first that I caught.  She’s currently in the sixth boro.

November.  Morton S. Bouchard IV rounds Shooters Island light, Bouchard celebrated a big anniversary this year.

December.  Ruth M. Reinauer heads west into the Kills in December, the start of heating oil season.

And that’s it for the year, time for me to securely lock up Tugster Tower and prepare myself to meet 2019.  The older I get, the more profound is my awareness that although I make many plans for a new year, I might not see the end of it.  It’s just how it is.  Every day is a blessing.  Last year had my own personal ultima thule; I pray that 2019 brings its new ones.

Thanks to everyone who read, commented, and assisted me in 2018.  Happy and constructive new year day by day to you all.

“Leaning out” is the layperson term that comes to mind, but I’m supposing a technical and standardized term exists:  indirect towing.

Let’s watch the evolution with Capt. Brian and OOCL Berlin. At 12:01, the line is slack.

12:02. As the tow approaches Bergen Point, line is tightened and

by 12:04, the line lengthened, and the tug appears to be headed in a diametrically opposite direction, in spite of OOCL Berlin‘s much larger mass.

Capt. Brian is now using the hull as a brake.

 

Three other tugs are working alongside the ship.

A different day, Capt. Brian is working on Gjertrud Maersk using the same technique.

 

 

All photos and conjecture on the language by Will Van Dorp.   Here’s one of my sources.  I hope someone corrects or confirms my understanding here.

 

Did you hear about Peak Pegasus, the vessel racing to get US soybeans into China before retaliatory 25% tariffs are slapped on?  More on Peak Pegasus at the end of this post.

Well, these two container ship had no need to hurry into the sixth boro, yet here’s something I’ve never seen before . . . two container ships entering the Narrows in quite close succession.

Obviously the passage accommodates all, but still . . . a new sight for me, the reason I return here again and again.

See QM2 in the distance to the right?  I caught her first arrival here 11 years ago.  Dawn was too late for me to catch it.  That ominous sky got me thinking . . . storm clouds.  Locally I was just concerned about getting spots on my lens.  But then I thought about the story of Peak Pegasus, the impending trade war.  I could see those as storm clouds, and shipping . . . this is a front line, like every seaport in the US.

Take the value of all the imported cargo on Maersk Buton and

add to it the value of whatever’s on OOCL Berlin . . . and every other ship entering a US port for the foreseeable future and add the product of that and  .25 . . . the sum’s rising.  Ditto  . . . whatever is on Bomar Caen–headed for Colombia–might just be less attractive if .25 gets added to the price of those goods.  Maybe Colombia is not affected.

I’m by no means an expert in much, and please educate me if I’m wrong, but these storm clouds seemed appropriate this morning.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp, who first read the name of the Maersk ship as butoh, which would have been much more interesting.

Peak Pegasus plowed at top speed to make port, but  . . . she failed.  More here.   Here’s a story from the same vessel from a few months back.

CMA CGM T. Roosevelt is not the only 1200′ ship calling here these days.  CMA CGM J. Adams has recently visited the harbor, as has NYK Wren, ninth of the NYK “bird” series, which arrived and departed in the hours too dark for photos.   There are several 1200′ OOCL vessels, including recently OOCL Chongqing.

If you need an image to show why assist tugs look triangular from this angle, this might be it.

 

 

Ten years ago, it would take two ships to move this number of containers.

It’s hard to keep up with new ULCS entering service.  OOCL Chongqing is rated at 13,208 teus; the newest vessels are already up to 21,000!

 

 

She recently departed Charleston and is headed for Suez and back to Asia through the Indian Ocean.

 

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

That’s twelve hundred feet of France heading into Bergen Point.  Note the scale of 108′ McAllister Sisters near the bow.  Of course, this group of ships set a record back last summer and that was then eclipsed by early September with the arrival of CMA CGM T. Roosevelt.  But it is my first time to photograph a ULCV;  previous arrivals and departures were at night, or I was distracted or traveling.  Does ULCV apply to vessels of this size?

And if OOCL France looks a drab shade of grey, well, she left China on Christmas day and this is her first port since then.

Tailing straight back is Capt. Brian A. McAllister . . .  until

she gets the signal to

initiate the rotation, assisting the twin bow thrusters on the ship and

the other tugs:

Sisters, Marjorie B., and

 

and Alex.

That makes over 19,000 hp of ship-assist spinning OOCL France clockwise in front of Shooters Island.  For the record, this is my first time to catch one of the largest box ships in the Kills.  Details:  1200′ x 157′ and 144,044 summer dwt;  launched 2013 as NYK Hercules and 13,208 teu, i.e., over 1000 teu fewer than CMA CGM T. Roosevelt, photos of which I’ll post soon.

 

All photos yesterday by Will Van Dorp, who keeps watching the names and numbers in hopes of catching a larger vessel or an autonomous one.

 

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