mary whalen

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/08/23

Girlfriend with the Oil Tanker is having a fundraising sale today!
Thurs 8/23/12, 6-9pm
PortSide NewYork Pop-Up Gallery
145 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

The oil tanker Mary Whalen is currently inside the Red Hook Container Terminal, and looking for a home that is more accessible to the public. Her history is august, and her future, as for all historic vessels, depends on us. The proceeds of this sale will go to the ship and her PortSide programs, and to help buoy the work of the tireless shipowner and her indefatigable crew. And cat, Chiclet.
Sail on, Mary Whalen. Sale On!

happy 70th birthday, Mary Whalen!

Posted in new york harbor, portside newyork, tankers by bowsprite on 2008/12/07


Built in 1938, this lovely 172′ tanker once delivered fuel products up and down the Atlantic Coast. She’s in good condition, and there are some serious plans for her. Look here for more info:

And what does the Mary Whalen, the Lilac:

lilacland the Nantucket all have in common?

nantucketlAnswer: they have all been given homes at one point by the very generous CEO of American Stevedoring, the company that operates the Red Hook containerport. Paraphrased from Carolina Salguero of the Whalen: Few people know how much Sal Catucci has done to help historic vessels…he has provided free berth, electricity, loan of tools, a lot of free labor. The first vessel Sal generously provided a home for was the lightship Nantucket (now, a lighthouse museum) in about 2000. Next was the Steamship Lilac, before she moved to her present home on Pier 40. Whalen is the 3rd historic vessel to which he has given a free home. Thank you, Sal!


Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2013/09/11

lightbuttermilk2From the Red Hook Container Terminal, site of the tanker Mary Whalen and Portside.


The Brooklyn Bridge, covered and being worked upon. Hot, humid and crowded night.


EMT on watch at the park.

Tribute in Light at night. Today at 10h30, the waterway ferries all paid tribute in sound:


sandy, the horrendous force of nature

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/10/29

At 10h38, the CG reported on VHF16 two refrigerators floating at Edgewater. May it not get any worse than that.

Sandy Hook Pilot Boats 1 and 2 were on North River all day, starting at the vents, were pushed sideways downriver by the wind to Colgate Clock (day off for the Clock), and would go back north to the vents and start over, accompanied by PB America and PB Phantom. CG Sailfish was upriver, and Penobscot Bay was heard on VHF, but was going stealth.

The bottom of the low was at the top of the high:

To see conditions at the Battery, click here; Station ID: 8518750.

Pier 25: Pegasus is riding out the storm with her captain onboard. Fireboat John J. Harvey joined the party this afternoon. Buy tickets for Sunday, 4 november’s Federal Save America’s Treasures Grant celebration!

Lightship Tender Lilac is secured, and the amazing WWII photo exhibit of the U.S. Army Air Corps has been safely stowed away.

Lightship Nantucket left yesterday afternoon to ride the storm upriver.

Pier 17: Wavertree and company secured by the stalwart volunteers and museum crew yesterday. Pioneer is up in Verplank with tug Patty Nolan, and Pioneer captain reports all is well.

Red Hook is underwater! but coastal tanker Mary Whalen is riding out the briny surge with her shipkeeper and mate Chiclet onboard.

Seeking safety midstream were passenger vessels Miss New York, Miss New Jersey, Lady Liberty, Circleline Queens.

For a mariner’s perspective on Sandy, click hawsepiper.

Leave note of how you are weathering the storm if you’d like! Bianka is fine, hope the cars in the lot next to her are tied down.

Keeping watch? peek at Wunderground. See photos at Tugster.
Light a candle in vigil, condolences to crew and family: we are sorry. Bravo USCG

Signing off at 19h40: Tide is over the Battery seawall: a new record high. It’s washing over the seawall and onto the grass. Grateful to still have power; prepared for days without. Be safe everyone!

20h19 VHF 16: Fireboat Bravest responding to shipping containers afloat in Buttermilk Channel.

21h04 VHF 16: “Pan pan, pan pan, eight to ten people in the water at Gravesend Bay. Requesting all to be on the sharp lookout.”

21h09 VHF 16: HMS Liberty reported a yellow (diesel) fuel tank banging against the bulkhead of the water treatment facility by the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Harbor Ferry Service

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/10/12

Today is the last day of Harbor Ferry Service in New York Harbor.

The stewardship of the Governor Island boats was left to this small company eight years ago. They have cared for these vessels, bringing one, the Lt. Samuel Coursen back from the nearly dead.

Her sister ship, Minue, caught here by Tugster just below the west side of the Bayonne Bridge, shows you the fate that Coursen narrowly escaped.

The other vessel on Governor’s Island, Swivel, a 65-foot Harbor tug, is in beautiful condition; the stewards were there working on her engine even yesterday afternoon, the day before the handover:

Repairs, maintenance, upkeep: all that was possible, was done on Coursen and Swivel in-house on the island.

In Fall 2010, the New York Harbor School hoisted their school flag on Governors Island. The Coursen takes teachers, students, and visitors during the day; the Swivel ferries at night.

USCGC Swivel (WYTL-65603)
built: 1961, Gibbs Gas Engine Co., Jacksonville, FL

Sounds of the harbor! helicopters galore. Mary Whalen in the background. And it’s yellowjacks season!

“Bell Commands: 1 ahead, 2 stop, 3 back, 4 full.”
“Do not operate this vessel over 800 rpm.”

Yankee pier, Govenor’s Island

As the Harbor School Captain told his class of high school juniors yesterday (above): “Tomorrow, as you ride home, as you get off the boat: thank them. They have been good to us, they have been generous to the school, they have always been accommodating to us, for whenever we needed them. You are boat handlers, now. You know what it is like to take care of a boat. So you know a little bit of how they feel. Please thank them tomorrow.”

Thank you, Capt. Greg and Benny. Good luck to you and Harbor Ferry Service.

Both vessels will continue to run ferry services under the new management of Hornblower Marine Service starting next week.

Happy Birthday, Steamship Lilac!

lilacLHappy 76th Birthday, to the beautiful Steamship Lilac, a former USCG Lighthouse Tender! There will be a celebration on the Lilac on Sunday, May 24 from 5pm – 10pm. She is at the north side of Pier 40, the very west end of Houston Street. The ship is open Saturday for visitors. Here can be found more details. For beautiful photos, look here and here at Tugster’s catches. Gerry loves engines, and the love shows.

Happy birthday, Gerry Weinstein! other than pouring love, dough, sweat et cetera into the Lilac 1931, what other ships has he had a hand in rescuing or helping? Here is the list:

USS Olympia 1888, flagship of the Asiatic Squadron, at Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum
1918, South Street Seaport, –scrapped
Catawissa, a steam tug, –scrapped
Tug Pegasus 1907, Jersey City,–in operation

Mary Whalen 1938, coastal oil tanker, –dynamic in Brooklyn
Hestia, 34′ wooden steam boat
Elizabeth, steam ferry — wrecked, of which the engine Gerry helped salvage

John W. Brown Liberty Ship 1942, Baltimore — still steaming! her sailing season begins on sunday.

There may very well be more ships. Thank you, Gerry, Thank you, Mary! and to all those who support beautiful historic vessels!

Tugboat Pegasus was seen towing the Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79, 1914 after the wakes of the warships dissipated. Together, they make the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, and now at pier 84 with readings, circus acts, shanties. More information at Going Coastal’s writeup of watery events.

Also seen floating about the harbor: the new schooner in town, Clipper City, docked at Pier 17. Much ado on the waterfront…

What would Henry Hudson blog?

Safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all on land and at sea!

happy july! happy city of water day!

Posted in 6th boro, brooklyn, Queen Mary 2 by bowsprite on 2010/07/08

Happy summer everyone! this blog will be taking July off, back in August. Events abound on the 6th boro! MWA’s City of Water Day is July 24. Portside and many other organizations, along with our working flotilla of schooners, sloops, cruising vessels, ferries and water taxis will be out in force. If you have a happening on the water or waterfront this month, feel free to add it on…

Coastal Tanker Mary A. Whalen, 1938

Length: 172ft


Ocean Liner RMS Queen Mary 2 , 2003

Length: 1,132 ft (345 m)
Beam: 135 ft (41 m) waterline,
 147.5 ft (45.0 m) extreme (bridge wings)
Height: 236.2 ft (72.0 m) keel to funnel 
Draught: 33 ft (10.1 m)
Propulsion: Four 21.5 MW Rolls-Royce/Alstom “Mermaid” electric propulsion pods:
2 fixed and 2 azimuthing
Speed: 29.62 knots (54.86 km/h; 34.09 mph)[6]
Capacity: 3,056 passengers
Crew: 1,253 officers and crew


do you like your TWIC card?

Posted in Fleet Week, hydrosurveying, twic, vhf by bowsprite on 2010/06/03

Evaluation time! How are you liking it?

good things about having a TWIC:

• you feel like VIP breezing past long lines to get into Fleet Week at PST pier 90. You get to keep your metal water canteen and knife.
(if you do not have a TWIC, please do not bring nice water bottles or knives to see warships. The trash cans outside were full of caught contraband and it was a sad sight.)

• finally have something to hang on the Fleet Week swag ribbon.

• theoretically can attend barbecue on girlfriend’s tanker at Atlantic Basin (sorry I missed it, Carolina.)

bad things about the TWIC:

• though issued by Lockheed Martin, no airport security personnel will recognize what it is. (It has been pointed out that because of errant airplane activity, all working mariners are required to have TWICs, but not airport personnel nor pilots.)

• actually, no one who has requested ID from me knows what it is. Or worse, they got the nerve not to card me anymore.

• it does not grant you access to public restrooms or the concession stands on Liberty Island, even though you are on a survey boat that had a full security sweep with two policemen and a police dog before you began the job, and you were surveying their piers all morning for 4 hours, expertly dodging (boss did) the ferries laden with tourists going to the Statue of Liberty. The officer saw us making our long, slow runs all morning. When we docked to let me off (no head on the boat), he barred my way, saying I could not disembark because I did not pass through a metal detector.

• it does not grant you permission to go where commercial vessels with non-TWIC’d folks get to go. During the Fleet Week 2010 parade of ships, ferries and taxis were permitted to cross the line. One hard working harbor tug requested permission of the USCG patrol boat to transit alongside the parade on the east side to watch. Permission was denied, and the tug had to take the stern of the last coast guard boat in the procession, thereby missing the whole show.

Aren’t you glad you have a TWIC?

Before I sound like a total ingrate, many thanks, Hydrographic Surveys, for paying the $132.50 fee for my TWIC.