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See the note at the end of this post.

Traffic in the harbor of NYC, aka the sixth boro, has a lot of unpredictability.  I tend to do a fair amount of categorizing in this blog. 

For example, this was a surprise.  Usually this vessel–Admiral Richard E. Bennis–shuttles the river between Haverstraw and Ossining,

but here it must have had business in the Upper NY Bay. Bennis had a distinguished but tragically short USCG career.

A more typical sixth boro scene is this:  Jonathan C assisting an 8200 teu Maersk ship out to sea.

The only markings on this ferry is the name, Schuyler Meyer.  Its namesake had a storied life, but my favorite stories relate to his 1991 saving and reimagining tugboat Urger.  That story is mentioned in this article from a few years ago.  It’s expanded upon in Riverhorse by William Least-Heat Moon.

In the warm months, lots of small boats take fisherfolk out to hook what’s schooling.

More containers come into the port escorted by James D., a Moran 6000.

Joyce  D. moves a small deck barge to a shoreside project somewhere.

Andrea takes bunker fuel to a recently arrived ship.

Explorer-class CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci comes in at dawn . . . hazy dawn, with at least four tugboats getting it around Bergen Point.

A warm morning brings an NYPD launch out about

the same time as this small dragger (?) explores the outside of the channel as CSCL Brisbane comes in.

All photos, WVD, of this place that always has a rich variety of traffic…

Now if you have a few free hours, go sit somewhere near the bay, dangle your toes in the water if you like.  Or, read tugster.  Or, a new option has presented itself:  watch this new high-res harbor cam sited near Lehigh Valley Barge 79 aka the Waterfront Museum.  Or  . . . do all three at times you can.  Waterfront Museum does their cam through “stream time live”, where you can also pay attention to shipping at points in the Great Lakes, the Mississippi, and Alaska.

And if you can and if you feel like, send some $$ in the direction of the Waterfront Museum.

I’m preparing a “road fotos” post from last week’s gallivant, but along the way, I walked along a portion of the Lehigh Canal.

 

Happy August 2021.  And “Wow!”  That is almost always my reaction when I jump back a decade into the archives.  This riveted tug  was 83 years old when I took this photo, and I looked at that deep rounded icebreaker hull and imagined it would go on working forever.  Now it’s 93 years old, and mortality is nipping at the heels of this Canal tug and all the Canal tugs.  It and they may not be around 10 years from now.  Of course, neither might I.  She was built by Buffalo Marine Shipbuilding in 1927-28, and originally equipped with a John W. Sullivan steam engine.  Her stack was hinged so that it could be lowered for bridges. She’s 77′ by 19.5′.  If I read the archives right, Governor Cleveland is three feet shorter;  I’d always assumed they were twins.

The 1958 Blount-built green tug in the foreground has changed hands several times in the past decade;  it may be Bay Star of Port Washington now, but I’ve not seen it in more than half a decade.

The 1998 container ship was last recorded as in Aliaga Turkey in 2017, which leads me to suppose this 3802 teu has been scrapped. 

I’ve seen these East River based float planes several times recently, but I’ve not been back to their “field” in the East River in a while.   It is pricey but no doubt memorable . . . fun to travel somewhere in one of these. Anyone report having done it?  I don’t know which company then flew the red planes.

NYK Constellation, a 2007 4900 teu vessel, is currently at anchor off Vancouver, but has been renamed Tell T (Erase some of the letters of “constellation”).  That “erasure renaming” suggests it’s bound for the scrappers.

Here’s Chandra Bs predecessor, doing then what Chandra B does now.  It even has the same crew.

I’ve heard that Ace was being converted into something . . . . what it a floating cocktail dispenser?  Seriously . . . I have some such recollection due to a query I got a few years back.  Well . . . there are orange juice tankers, so why not a floating frozen margarita or daiquiri truck boat? Can anyone provide an update on this project?  What paint scheme/name would immediately scream out “slushy float”.

 

I’ve not seen Iron Wolf out in the harbor, although I might have seen it tied up over at Claremont.

Pegasus then had no upper wheelhouse, and here it was pushing the elusive Michael Cosgrove, a 1960 Blount vessel that Charon drives for some on a one-way trip to a Potter’s Field.  

The 2000 4500 hp Vernon C has recently gotten new life as Mackenzie Rose

And finally . . . 2011 saw this combo do quite the tour . . . the 1907 Pegasus with the 1914 Lehigh Valley 79 alongside.  If you’ve never visited the 79, make an effort to get to it and be prepared for a treat.  Pegasus met the scrapper this past spring.

All photos, first half of August 2011, WVD.

I hope you enjoy these monthly journeys to the past as much as I do.   And to satisfy my own curiosity, I looked up the first post in the Retro Sixth Boro series. . . .

Let’s go back to September 2009.  CMA CGM Marlin, launched 2007,  was the standard size back then . . .  The 5092-teu vessel has since been scrapped, after only nine years of service!!

Over a dozen sailing barges came to NYC to sail in New York waters in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Half Moon arriving here all those years ago.  Here are more posts from back then. Groenevecht, below, is a 2000-built replica of a lemsteraak.

Also in town to celebrate were Onrust and HNLMS Tromp. Here’s more on Tromp.

Old and new came.  On one end of the spectrum was Day Peck, 

her great hold still waiting to be transformed into museum.

Urger still operated, here sidling up to Lehigh Valley 79.

A different Rosemary McAllister worked here.

Irish Sea (1969) was still at work.

Yessir, stuff changes.  All photos in September 2009 by Will Van Dorp.

 

Here was the first in the series from late in August this year.  Of course this tug with its earlier, longer name has been here many times before.

The point of this post is to profile the mobility of the world afloat . . . people, cargoes, movers . . .  Here was Frances in Waterford early morning Saturday, September 12.  Note Lehigh Valley 79 down the way.

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The next two photos come thanks to Glenn Raymo, who lives and takes some great photos up by Poughkeepsie.  Late Monday afternoon–September 14– he caught not only Frances but also the hitchhiking barge Lehigh Valley 79 southbound, along with several scows of crushed stone.  I guess all barges hike hitches, technically.

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Here the “tow” passes Mariner’s on the Hudson, in Highland, NY, where Jeff Anzevino keeps his photo platform.

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The following morning I caught this photo of Frances over in front of Bayonne.  By now, Lehigh Valley 79 had been returned to its place over in Red Hook Brooklyn.

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From the Erie Canal, where some of the Frances crew may have taken part in the line toss,  to New York City’s sixth boro in a couple days .  . this is a water world.  And what makes it even more remarkable,

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a versatile tug like Frances could–if there was a compelling reason to do so, traverse the Erie Canal and head into the huge north coast area we call the Great Lakes Basin.

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Thanks to Glenn Raymo for the two photos above;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

It’s been a few years since Lehigh Valley 79 was there, but David Sharps added a new feature to the parade–a

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brassy salute

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to each vessel that passed for review.

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And what a potpourri of vessels that was!

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Folks who from Monday to Friday work on precision instruments indoors . . . on weekends go to the physics lab on the river and experiment with vectors.

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Others compete shoreside commanding line to fly.

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If you missed this one, make plans now for 2016.

Lehigh Valley #79 was last at the Roundup in 2010.  See it here and here.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

Click here for posts from lots of other years.  In today’s post, you’ll see almost all blue-and-gold before the parade, i.e., heading for the muster

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entering the top of lock 2

It was great to have two covered barges for events.

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Lehigh Valley 79, dry dock repairs complete, heads for the sixth boro this week. 

Urger exits the low side of lock 2 and  . . .

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enters the Hudson.

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Note the Waterford wall with the covered barges in the distance.

The federal lock at Troy leads into the rest of the Hudson . . .

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After the dignitaries are picked up,

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the flotilla heads back north into the Troy lock,

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and

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the parade has begun.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Many thanks to tug44 as host and photo boat.

For more photos, check these from the Daily Gazette.

 

While I was out documenting the excitement of the annual merfolk migration, there was an equal amount of excitement on all the waters that comprise the sixth boro.  Of course, your focus is your choice.  All photos here were taken by David Grill and used with permission.

Pegasus

Pegasus’ last run for now.  See the note on the left sidebar.

The Liberty Challenge brought in racers from all over the watery parts of the globe.

Outrigger Canoe Race

Outrigger Canoe Race

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Vintage and contemporary petroleum vessels populated the KVK.

S/V Wavertree

S/V Wavertree and Evening Star

Another historic vessel off for a re-fit

Lehigh Valley 79 moved by Freddie K Miller.

Hats off to the passengers and crew of Pegasus and all the others out enjoying what makes NYC special .

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It’s Gerry Weinstein, showing evidence of being in the engine room and

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and Pamela Hepburn.

Captain at the helm

Captain at the helm

 

By the way, if you haven’t read–and don’t own– Ben Gibberd’s book of profiles, I highly recommend it. It has great photos by Randy Duchaine.

For the photos in this post, hats off for David Grill.

This NYPD officer of the peace got tugged right into a recent parade.  When that happens, you know all things could get downright disorderly.

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This last June post is a melange of Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 in a setting rays irritating my camera,

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Patuxent in the Philly dawn,

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Sea Hawk approaching the St. John’s Bridge,

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Patuxent redux,

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Natoma docked in the Columbia,

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Caspian Sea in the Delaware,

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Surrie Moran in the same waters,

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Aries in Portland,

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Madeline,

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Black Hawk,

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more Black Hawk, 

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Cape Henry,

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again Madeline,

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and finally Lewiston.

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Rounding things out, it’s Siberian Sea in palm trees country aka the sixth boro, taken about a year ago.  I will resume the blog as soon as I can in a land with more palm trees

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Thanks for reading the blog and sending comments either here or via email.  Sorry if I haven’t acknowledged everyone who’s sent along a tidbit or nice word.

If you’ve never taken a Working Harbor tour in NYC’s sixth boro, here’s info.  If you  know the sixth boro pretty well–especially the contemporary commercial aspects of it, you might even propose to them to narrate a tour.  That’s just me suggesting that, but there are folks who want to better understand the role of shipping and its interaction between the sixth boro and the five terrestrial ones.

Thanks to Seth Tane for the fotos of Aries, Black Hawk, Lewiston, Nahoma, and Sea Hawk.  All others by Will Van Dorp who hopes to next post from the obscure January River.

Once these were wooden barges, which

were towed around the harbor with a wide range of cargoes.  In the foreground … disintegrating … is one a tug that once could have done the towing, now unidentifiable and impotent.

The sixth boro has many such tugs and barges, although given the efficient advance of decrepitude, fewer each season.

Once there was even a sixth boro barge called Periwinkle, no doubt painted in that color, a popular nightspot.

Here’s another barge called Driftwood, whose paint scheme and additional storage transformed a coffee (or whatever else commodity)  transporter into an off-off-Broadway-even-off-the-island entertainment palace.  Only stories remain and can be told by David Sharps, who

created the Waterfront Museum out of a wooden barge he literally dug and pumped out of the Hudson River mud, saving it from the fate of those barges above.    The two fotos above come courtesy of David Sharps.   Now the barge, the 1914 Lehigh Valley 79 tours with 1907 tug Pegasus, and other

vessels like the 1901 Urger, featured in many posts on this blog, help us visualize what those ruins in the top fotos once looked like and serve as places of entertainment even today.   Here’s one set of fotos of Urger high, dry, but cold.

Anyhow, with five minutes of your time, you can help  LV-79 and Pegasus collect a $250,000 grant for ongoing repairs.  Just click here–AND each day until May 21 on the icon upper left side of this blog to vote.  Partners in Preservation has chosen to award $$ by grant applicants demonstrated ability to use social media.  So please vote . . . and ask a handful of your friends to do so as well . . . .

Unless otherwise attributed, all fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Since I woke up this May morning from a dream about attending a meditation session, the logical choice is to start my day writing a post that reflects upon–well–preservation.  Two weeks ago I wrote about the Alwyn Vincent project.  To quote the site, “she’s finally out,” and on the steel wheels ‘n rails of a synchrolift.

She was getting her “haircut and a shave” even before she stopped moving.  When all logistical arrangements converge, the late 1950s tug will travel over-the-road 60 or so miles to its new life, as a functioning steam tug on a freshwater reservoir.

To support the self-described  ‘Bunch of Crazy Farmers’ (personified by Andy, in orange below) who now own the tug, the Alwyn website says they “selling space for banners of about 1 metre square, at R5 000 ($US 639.30). The advertisements are mostly in connection with agricultural products and services, partly because everybody knows who are responsible for saving this historic vessel! Partly also, it’s because those are the firms we know, support and can ask!”

I suppose they’d accept US sponsors as well;  book your space on the hull! Contact Elma on dvijoeningwerke@telkomsa.net

Which brings me to South Street Seaport, and this sight that greeted me two days ago.   After at least 20 years of deterioration, work is happening.

Spongy wood was being removed, and

I got my first ever look inside, after 10 years of wondering . . . .

Jim and Glen peeled away tired materials from the 1980s.

Installed inside the windows years ago was this captioning that

told some of the story.  A sister vessel–New York Central #16–was saved only to end tragically at the Bourne Bridge rotary in Massachusetts, just six years ago.

The late Don Sutherland told of spending the last night aboard #16 . . .  I wish I’d recorded his telling that story. I have recorded Norman Brouwer telling the story of buying this pierside house from #16 from the late John J. Witte, and I hope to share details of that project soon.

Not everything can be preserved . . .  On Friday I caught Cheyenne –a current Witte (officially DonJon Marine) tug–heading from the East River into the Upper Bay pushing a load of (I believe) fine scrap, chopped up pieces bound for recycling.  Just a week ago, Cheyenne was pushing some  preserved vintage jets.

Some valuable artifacts might not be saved much longer unless dreams convert into reality and $$;  others like Liemba and Yavari seem to live way beyond their expected lifespans in spite of their being out of the spotlight.

Which brings up this part of a dream:  Partners in Preservation is dangling cash  $US 3 million, and  . . .<<<Tug Pegasus (1907) and Waterfront Museum Barge aka Lehigh Valley 79 (1914)  have teamed up in a grant application for $$ for preservation work each vessel needs.  As a component of the decision-making about who gets the $$, Partners in Preservation have a “socialmedia-meter” running from now until May 21.  To help Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 register high on this “meter,” you can do two things from wherever on the planet you may be:  1)  befriend them on Facebook and get dozens of your friends to befriend them as well, and 2)   vote DAILY here.    DAILY!  Seems like a crazy way to run an election, but  . . . that’s social media and in this case, the cause is worthy.>>>

And later this afternoon–1300–1700h  I’ll be down on Pier 25 minding the plank between 79 and Pegasus, as part of Partners in Preservation “open house” weekend.

Thanks to Colin Syndercombe for the Cape Town fotos;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Sort of related, here’s a “tale of two projects” post from about a year ago.

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