aboard the Sturgeon Bay for the welcoming parade


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.

amberlightsAt 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.

galleyMeatball 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.'”

The history of the LST is interesting, and here is a memorial museum to one of them.  Below, a schematic drawing from this tribute site:


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).


Many thanks, Lt. Rae and to your hospitable crew of the Sturgeon Bay! Thanks, Pamela, Lee & Will! hi, Jessica & Bob!ussNY21

14 Responses

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  1. Buck said, on 2009/11/06 at 11:29

    Love the photos and commentary. Your image of PCU New York is a great finish.

  2. tugster said, on 2009/11/06 at 14:24

    that WAS an incredible moonset that started the day! and your post–with drawings plus clear fotos plus vhf converse/transcripts DOES capture the mood. bravissimo!

  3. Mage B said, on 2009/11/07 at 11:50

    Oh my. I will wait forever for incredible entries like this. Thank you so very much for this.

  4. Jed said, on 2009/11/08 at 03:11

    ELLEN McALLISTER is a fitting escort as she was formally NAVY Harbor Tug YTB793 PIQUA before McAllister acquired her and gave Z-Drives.

  5. […] NYPD, New York harbor, USCG, USN, blogging, photos, ships, technology See Bowsprite’s POV here.  What’s my version of events?  What’s my […]

  6. Corto said, on 2009/11/09 at 07:54

    I think your artwork is phenomenal. May I ask what types of materials you use? Do you go out to the harbor and paint with a brush? Brush pen? Watercolors? Love your work- it’s very elegant, vibrant and you certainly imbue your subjects with vitality.

    • bowsprite said, on 2009/11/09 at 21:10

      thank you everyone!
      and thank you, Corto of Cold is the Sea!
      I shall respond to you and Mage! with a
      how-to post to come…(it’s very primitive until the computer retouching part)!

  7. co said, on 2009/11/09 at 09:57

    what a spectacular journey! I just swelled with pride of the waters that are like streets to this city.

  8. Kennebec Captain said, on 2009/11/10 at 06:15

    Pearl Ace looking good! – Nice post overall.

  9. Mage B said, on 2009/11/10 at 15:29

    RYN: I’m flat out jazzed that you found my doodles for the month. Before I put all my old journals into storage, I scanned them for the doodles and drawings. When NoJoMo came around, and I usually do take part in it, I thought I might write about journaling. I’m afraid it’s become a bit more than that. Now I will have 30 illustrated entries about journal writing, madness, dancing in the streets at three in the morning, and drinking. LOL If I could still draw, I assure you I would.

    Thank you so much for all your notes. I think I found every one and am much encouraged. 🙂

  10. Ben said, on 2009/11/10 at 18:03

    Is Pearl Ace a relation of Cougar Ace that capsized some years ago carrying 4000 odd Mazda cars?

  11. tugster said, on 2009/11/10 at 18:41

    if i may answer that . . . yes, MOL has a series of PTCCs with the suffix ace. here’s a link to their site. i’m working on getting an exact number. i hope–bowsprite–you look at the postcards/stationery MOL is selling here . . . ’cause they should contract with you for art services. here’s theirs . . .

  12. tugster said, on 2009/11/10 at 18:47

    addendum: according to this link—— MOL had 94 of these “beasts” (sorry, i mean that as a term of endearment)as of end 2007; no doubt the number is over 100 now. given capacity of each, that fleet can have about half a million cars travelling the high seas at once!!!

  13. tugster said, on 2009/11/17 at 22:05

    ben . . . here’s ken e beck’s take on cougar ace:

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