Farewell, USS New York!
0740h, ch13: “Warship 21, Warship 21, changing speed to 10 knots, over.”
background: USCGC Sailfish (WPB 87356), 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat (WPB) – Marine Protector Class
foreground: Coast Guard Auxiliary boat Lady B, the former 82-foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Point Brown (WPB-82362)
The USS New York makes calls after the Statue to tugs outside the KV, to the Staten Island Ferry, negotiating through another busy day :
(definitely NOT to be used for navigation! this AIS program is off by many minutes and does not read the signal from some ships. Notice: none of the official vessels are showing. Then, you have captains at anchor who don’t turn to ‘at anchor’ mode but drift in ‘underway’ mode, which is nice, because you can see them draw circles as the tides go in and out:)
before 0800h: “CG Sailfish, this is Warship 21: speed change to two-one, two-one, over.” And they go…out to sea.
On VHF 13: “Look at at that moon!” At 0604h in Bayonne, the moon was a half hidden, huge, beautiful orange glowing ball. Onboard the Sturgeon Bay, we sailed past Penobscot Bay and Katherine Walker, and south towards the Narrows to greet the PCU (pre-commissioning unit) New York. See Tugster for amazing photos and writings from the day; be sure to read the very good comments that Jed sends! & look at ShipShooter‘s breathtaking aerial photos!
USS New York, LPD-21 will be commissioned tomorrow, Saturday November 7th at pier 88.
The harbor never really sleeps. I love the amber glow of the deck lights of the tugs.
At Global Marine Terminal (above), Cap Breton & OOCL Malaysia were being pushed into place. Below: Pearl Ace.
As we neared the Verrazano Narrows bridge, we sailed in the midst of another working day on the harbor: a cruise ship, ferries, more tugs & barges, a CircleLine all moved along, doing their business. The battleship was in view, far away. Once we were in Lower Bay, the spray came flying in through here:
At 0621h, Zachary Reinauer calls out and asks the Sturgeon Bay to switch to its working channel where it asks what its position in the parade is to be.
“Do you have the list of vessels and their orders?”
“We woke up to orders to be in the parade, so here we are. We do not know the order.” They fell in behind us. Pilot No. 1–the OTHER vessel named New York!–seemed to lead, followed closely by the pilot book Sandy Hook.
This is how I love the harbor: a big fuzzy flotilla of parading vessels, working vessels, fireboats spraying red, white and blue jets of water. Pleasure boats would get too close and get chased away by the swooping Defender class boats. A PT boat, a schooner, a sloop, even a duck boat made little appearances in the parade. Only missing the tallships.
Southbound barges seemed to collect as we neared the George Washington bridge. A couple of tugs and barges were anchored in the anchorage channel, but seemed to be VERY much too close. We were a fat parade, especially when the ships turned and we doubled in girth.
Rosemary McAllister and Ellen McAllister were there to assist when the PCU New York made her turns and docked at pier 88.
0929h Sturgeon Bay to another CG vessel: “…pier sweep has been conducted…switching duties now, you may RTB (return to base) now.” We docked behind the Intrepid, and lunched and watched the boom go out as Houma delivered fuel.
Meatball subs were served, and in the galley was a zipper sign that flashed: “Welcome to the Sturgeon Bay… I LUV BAYONNE”…Have a great Coast Guard day.”
As we returned to Bayonne and watched the skyline pass, a woman next to me said, “I used to work in the Chrysler building.” Her husband, a member of the Central Jersey Council of the Navy League, had fought in the Korean War. “He was on the LST 495. The men would joke it stood for ‘Long Slow Target.’”
This design became the roll-on, roll-offs in use today. How do they hold up? see the discussions on Kennebec Captain, see the pretty pictures on UglyShips part one & part two, and on Tugster (when I ask him where he’s hidden them).
(post in progress! colors and names of ships to come!)
Does the bow of Tromp look like a smiling shark?
I am not making it up:
NYHarbor was busy this week, and here are some of the highlights where partyers, stately visitors, and working mariners made it work, swimmingly:
12sept09 Saturday, 1411h – “Requesting slow bell in the Buttermilk Channel for a flotilla of historic Dutch vessels visiting, requesting slow bell in the Buttermilk until 1500.”
Then, the navy vessels go by:
WaterTaxi to the Coast Guard Cutter (paraphrased): “Oh, please, please, may I go inbetween the navy ships? i’m just crossing the river.”
Coast Guard Cutter (verbatim): No. Denied. Forbidden. “You can stay where you are or you can go to the end and take the stern of the last vessel, but you may not cut through the parade.” The ships went by slowly, and the taxi was like a little boy who has to go the bathroom very, very badly, but could not.
Little Flying Dutchmen joined the parade:
Cargo ship Ocean Atlas steamed south alongside the Sloop Clearwater, calling out 5 bells to warn sailing vessels ahead:
Ocean Atlas (120m x 20m; draught 7.7m, destination Houston)
What ship is this?
Then, a call on VHF 13: “A flotilla in the mooring!”
The working harbor draws comparisons of the regatta to Nature: “Yeah, watch out, I got a lot of fleas here on my right.”
“Uh, Heyward, I’m going to go south of these mosquitos, see you on the 2.”
(The views expressed here are not the opinions of the blogger, who rather saves the discourtesy for the cigarette boats.)
This view is looking south, where the regatta is at the Battery. The hexagonal stupa is the Holocaust Museum, the patina’d copper green topped roof and tower is Pier A, the old fireboat station. The strip of land midground is Governor’s Island. The waters are the deep water range (fore), and Buttermilk Channel (behind). The background land is Brooklyn. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge straddles Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to the left and Staten Island to the right.
Sunday: Harbor Day. The morning started calmly with Half Moon and Tromp riding between Penobscot Bay and Thunder Bay. Hawser 65610 was also in service.
Sorensen Miller brought a large number of passengers onto the Warship Tromp.
The USCG Cutter Penobscot Bay began to announce on ch13 that a security zone would be in effect from 1100 until 1600: no traffic allowed on north river during that time, from the Battery to Berth 64 (about 24th street.) The announcement was made at intervals.
KP: “Kimberly Poling is in the ConHook Range, splitting the 29 and the KV buoy, headed up the north river.”
CGPB: “Kimberly Poling, this is CG Cutter Penobscot Bay, you going all the way through?”
KP: “Oh, yes, sir, I’m going to Albany, to Rensselaer.”
CGPB: “OK, well, please hug the Manhattan side.”
KP: “Very good.”
CGPB: “Thank you, have a good day.”
KP: “You too.”
KP (to buddy on radio): “Yeah, I just made it before they closed.” “You’re lucky.”
Another vessel is not as content: a series of insistent 5 blasts were made as boats were right in front of its path (photo is taken when they just cleared away.)
Arcadia, faltering: “I..I can’t believe you just crossed my bow like that…”
1003h “Don, what are you doing, cooking everybody’s pop tarts with that radar?”
“Oh, you like that screen, huh?”
“Minerva Zoe, in the ConHook Range, headed out to sea.”
1045h “Jervis Bay (cargo) is at the KV buoy, inbound for Port Elizabeth.”
1109h Half Moon and Onrust announce they are about to fire guns. I never did hear them.
McKean: “Yeah, you can pump 25.”
Marjorie McAllister uncomplainingly steers with a partially loaded barge and heads south.
Unknown: “Can you go 1 whistle? we’re going to raise an RHA on the starboard side.” (–what is an RHA?)
Containership Bauci: “We’re coming on the 28 here, see you on the one.”
Which tallship is motoring without sails set? yes, Clipper City.
1100h - Penobscot Bay declares on ch13 the security zone is in effect, “closing North River from the Battery across to Morris Canal, Jersey City. The south marker is this unit, Penobscot Bay. The north marker is Thunder Bay, a straight line across berth 64.”
Despite the warnings all morning, boats call out.
“Penobscot Bay, we need to refuel at Morris Canal…”
“…requesting to transit north to North Cove…”
“Penobscot Bay, we need to get across the river to the Battery…”
“…do you have a radio on there?” (If this does not elicit a response, try to talk louder.)
Penobscot Bay responds to almost all of them, and repeats: “… you will have to wait until the end of the race, at 1600.” “If you do not have a flag, you may not enter the security zone…” “Negative, you may not enter the security zone…”
sundry tugmen: “How about some working channels here?” “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a race channel on the working harbor?”
The DEP’s North River, going on North River after the security zone is in effect.
to be continued…
To find the street that corresponds with a pier along the west side of Manhattan, subtract 40. So:
pier 66 is on 26th street,
pier 89 is on 49th street,
pier 90 is on 50th street.
pier 40 is on Houston Street, or ‘zero street’.
Pier 89 and 90, Passenger Ship Terminal, is where the Iwo Jima and the USS Roosevelt were docked for Fleet Week.
unfinished drawing of the Iwo Jima
What a crowd to see the Iwo Jima! How patiently people–children!–stood on interminably long lines to wait to enter the ship.
I set up in a quiet spot at the end of the pier 89, just past the throng, the booths with advertising, brochures, and paraphernalia, and past the navy ride simulator machine, but still within the boundary set up to pen visitors in from the end of the dock.
The ship is daunting. She’s BIG, long, complicated, and I contemplated how to squeeze her bulk onto my sketch pad.
The smell of low tide was lovely (yes briny Gloucester and pristine CascoBay! NYC’s lowtide smells good!) After drawing for 20 minutes, a marine with a big gun came by and apologetically asked me to move. “I’m really sorry. My OIC asked me to tell you, uh, but you have to go somewhere else. ” (oh? why? I’m not sure. Et cetera.)
Ok. How about here? I moved next to the ride simulator booth. I got a friendly nod, and continued to draw. But after 10 minutes, another marine came by to tell me I could not stand there. No, I could not!–the exhaust from the ride was choking me.
I moved into the line of folks waiting for the ride, and my fellow citizens patiently accommodated by filing around me while I drew. Surely I can stand here? everyone’s standing here! More armed marines appeared. I continued to sketch, chatted with children.
Apparently, standing is not the issue. One OIC came to tell me that anyone standing in a place photographing–or drawing–for a long time was going to cause a bit of concern. He was very nice about it. I had my TWIC card suspended around my neck on a 1-800-USA-NAVY ribbon I got from FleetWeek last year, and mentioned that I had worked on these piers, but he smiled apologetically and said, “You’re probably innocent, but, sorry…” With the TWIC, I got the same reaction I get at airports–blank glance.
They who fight for liberty and freedom were good enough to grant me the liberty to finish my drawing, sort of.
I do understand their reaction, though. I think it was when I peered through the binoculars to see how the light fixture was attached on the stern of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship that I raised a red flag. I’m glad I left the VHF at home.
Perhaps it was the detailed drawings that they objected to. I turned the page, switched to a cut reed pen and loose-&-groovy mode. The kids liked this much better:
What are your rights, should you find yourself in a similar situation? US military personnel (including military police) have no authority over non-military property or people. I was not on the ship nor standing on a tank, but on the pier which is is owned by the City of New York, though was probably also a USCG regulated facility for the visiting ships and various cruise ship companies. On non-military installations, they have no jurisdiction. If it was a security concern, the police might have been called. No one ever told me not to draw, but I was not able to stand around to draw. Well. I chose not to make it an issue. There’s plenty to draw, it was a beautiful day, people were happy.
USS ROOSEVELT (DDG80), LOA-509′
For good photos and a literary stroll through the interior showing machinery, marines, where barnacles reside and the NAVY’s tweeting address, look here at Tugster.
I watched the marines in their various uniforms debark from the ship, pausing at the head of the gangway to turn to the river to salute the flag on the stern of the ship which was not visible. They would then come off the gangway and joyfully go off into the city with their comrades. I wish for them safe journeys, I wish for them to be able to return home, mentally and physically healthy.
I have the same wish, though, for those with whom they might cross paths, or swords.