You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘USCGC Katherine Walker (WLM 552)’ tag.

Ida Lewis, Anthony Petit, Katherine Walker, and Joshua Appleby . . .  what might they all have in common?  Which is the outlier here?  Follow me but first check out this link to a tugster blog post from 2009.

As we head into the dark months, let’s start with some bright photos from Florida in midsummer, photos I took on the jaunt from Port of Iberia LA to Tampa.

WLM 556 was in the process of servicing buoys in the vast expanse of Tampa Bay,


Because the bay is shallow except in the channel, we passed fairly nearby.

I wish now I’d gotten a shot of the text on the crane:  it reads “the wrecking keeper.”  The government had accused Joshua Appleby of being a pirate before changing course after lacking evidence and naming him keeper of a lighthouse west of Key West. It reminds me of the story of Capt. Dan Seavey, who went from being a pirate to a US Marshal.

The sixth boro’s WLM has an inspiring but less roguish namesake . . . Katherine Walker. 

Last week I caught WLM 552 running a load of summer buoys

it had (I believe by the numbers) swapped out from upriver.

USCGC Ida Lewis, the first of the class all built in a Wisconsin Lake Michigan port, bears the text “mother of all keepers,” as she is WLM 551.  If Appleby and Walker had interesting bios, then consider the Lewis story here

All photos of three of 14 WLMs, WVD, who thinks the names of this class of USCGC are all well chosen.  If you need some inspiration, google all the unfamiliar ones here

The outlier fro the list above?  Anthony Petit.  To see that WLM, I’d have to travel to Alaska, which is not such a bad idea now that I think of it. 

My rules for this series:  all photos need to have come from the month in focus but exactly 10 years earlier.  It’s a good way to notice change.

Take Capt. Log.  I used to love seeing that boat, now long scrapped.  I have photos of her as a heap of scrap pieces and have never posted them.  I’m guessing the Chandra B crew are happy to have that new boat, but Capt. Log was such a unique sight.

Baltic Sea . . .   I’d love to see a current photo of her from Nigeria.  See more of her departed K-Sea fleet mates here.  Sunny Express is now Minerva Lydia, and still working, I think.

Taurus has moved to the Delaware River and has some splotches of purple a la Hays.

Volunteer has been scrapped.

The orange June K is now the blue Sarah Ann . . . .   I still miss that color….

Charles Oxman is no longer in service . . .  I last saw her here in 2016.

APL Egypt used to be a regular here, and of course John B. Caddell . . .had only a few years left at this point before getting cut up.  For a “what’s left . . .” of John B., click here and scroll.

I’m not saying everything is gone or has changed.  Walker and Salvor still work here and –to the untrained eye–look exactly as they did a decade ago, even though these days from any distance, I  can’t tell the distance between Atlantic Salvor and Atlantic Enterprise.  And those crewing on these two vessels, I can’t tell if anyone working then on each boat still does. For Walker, it’s very likely it’s an entirely new crew.

I hope you enjoyed this glance back.

All photos in February 2009 by Will Van Dorp.


Here are previous posts in this series, and here’s probably the most dramatic set of photos ever from Paul, taken January seven years ago.

Below, that’s the view of the mouth of the Rondout . . . . and the light at the end of the north breakwater, which looks so beautiful here.

Here’s a view along the deck of Cornell, when

Frances was about to pass, headed north on the Hudson,

which looks like the concrete parking lot of an abandoned shopping mall.



But commerce goes on, Katherine Walker on station

and Haggerty Girls moving heating oil.

Daisy Mae, however, is making her maiden voyage home, up to Coeymans.

Many thanks to Paul Strubeck, who sent me these photos as soon as he thawed out from the trip.

And completely unrelated, I just added a new blog to my blogroll, GirlsAtSea, started this month by a Romanian bridge officer named Diane.  Check it out here or from the blogroll.


This collage of orange and blue indicates that something unusual approaches . . .


0846 hr . . .








Atlantic Salvor might have been headed out on a long range mission, but


at this point, I realized this mission would begin in the Lower Bay of the sixth boro along with


lots of other vessels, although




something new this year was the escort of four commercial tugs:  Sassafras, Miriam Moran, 


Atlantic Salvor, and Normandy.   1150.    I was happy to find someone to talk to.


It’s fleet week NYC.  Welcome all.


It’s USS DDG 96,


HMCS D 282,


WMEC 911,


HMCS MM 700,


HMCS MM 708,


LHD 5,


DDG 99,


and LSD 43.


At 1216, Eric McAllister joins the welcome party . . .






WLM 552.


An E-2 flew by too.




The message on the port wheel well ((?) amused me.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here was last year’s arrival.


Back when Alice Oldendorff occupied a large part of my  . ..  well, nautical heart, I did a post examining her parts, discovering –of course– her magic created a presence much greater than their sum, a fact I cherish in all those I love.

Some recent fotos suggested I revisit this title.  Of course, parts often bear no resemblance to or hint of the whole.  Like the foto below.  Judging by the arc of numbers near the right side of the foto, the left-to-right expanse of the structure might be about 30 feet.  A rocky bank lies not far beyond this curved underside of the hull.  And the rest of the story?  Is the ship aground?

It’s MSC Carla, all nearly 800′ of her.

Half a dozen crew gather around the hook of a crane.  On this foggy day their vessel seems to be in contact with a red #30 buoy.

It’s Katherine Walker doing buoy maintenance.

And . . . yes, I rubbed my eyes too when I saw this, vowing to visit the eye doctor soon.

But when I looked here,

my fear of blindness dissipated.  I could even recognize the unmistakeable profile of Ellen McAllister, winner of the 2009 tugboat race, shown in the video here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Speaking of hulls, phototiura has some of the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen.

Weeks’ Elizabeth has sharp chines.


A hint of Dr Jekyl/Mr Hyde in United Banner.


Susan Miller with spud barge, almost full frontal.  Completely full frontal of anonymous gull.


Oxygen . . .  Don’t those anchor flukes look a bit like . . .  eyelashes?  What was that odd eyelash conversation I had recently?  Kimberly Turecamo to starboard and Laura K Moran to port.


Adriatic Sea emphasizes the vertical; bow wave defines the horizontal.


John B. Caddell with very little freeboard.


Linda Moran: difficult to anthropomorphize once I see the stacks as horns, unless the stalk plus upper wheelhouse plus mast is perceived as unusual headgear.


Newtown Creek moves in with goal posts.

aaff7What would Rosemary McAllister look like with a Cornell-esque pudding?

aaffrmKT Venture is the first bulker I’ve seen offload salt directly at the Atlantic Salt dock, site of the late August Salt Festival.  More KT Venture soon.

aaffssKatherine Walker approaches, with a buoy in each cheek.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

<<Note:  I have to blast “tugster’s” horn.   Check the comments to the left by “john brown” and tugster.  >>

This foto dates from September 2008, filed away but begging for use.  Katherine Walker–the woman–did “lighthouse keeping”  NOT to be confused with “light housekeeping” at the Robbins Reef light for 33 years!   That qualifies her for


the title on the arm above.  And for getting this Coast Guard cutter named in her honor.


Here she heads from the East (so-called) River toward


the Buttermilk Channel.


And Katherine Walker makes me think of other keepers.  Here’s an unsual shot of a lighthouse I took in North Carolina a month ago.  I like the mailbox out front. And sometimes being very lazy,


uh,  effiicient (cough, cough), here’s some info in the pic below.  If anyone has fotos of unusual lighthouses –or unsuusal fotos of lighthouse– and is willing to share, I’d be happy to post with some info . . . as long as there’s water on the shot.

aaalh2The events of a week ago in New York harbor really demonstrate how quickly people switch out of their routines to instantaneously become their brothers’ (and sisters’) keepers.  I love that about the human spirit; it ennobles us.

But in the interest of fun, how about some musing on other keepers:   bar keeper, inn keeper, zoo keepers, bee keeper, goal keeper, record keeper, score keeper, River keeper, Promise keeper, bookkeeper, fish or friends said to be keepers, keepers of grudges, trapper keeper . . .

and to cheat, I googled it then.  But you can do that yourself if you wish.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  I added “old salt” on my blogroll.  And check out 12Bridge’s Flickr photostream here;  it includes hundreds of photos including ones of tug Cornell ice breaking.

More government vessels. Jamaica Bay is an aquatic weed harvester. I’ve seen these on freshwater lakes and rivers, but this was my first sighting transiting the East River. Anyone know where it operates? Jamaica Bay maybe?

S/V Moritz uses Reson Seabat systems to map the harbor bottom.

Hayward is a debris remover and dump truck.


Profile view of Hayward with its 84-foot crane that can lift a whale, a helicopter, a floataway container… you name it. But who was “Hayward” so honored?


Buoy tender Katherine Walker maintains channel markers. Her namesake is shown at this link.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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