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).
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…
Voilà, the gem of Liberty State Park!
The Central New Jersey Rail Road terminal (1889), also known as Communipaw Terminal is one of the most beautiful buildings of New York Harbor. Twenty tracks and four ferry slips provided the terminal with streams of cargo, supplies, passengers, workers. The palatial waiting room has a gabled ceiling three stories high and the most grand view of Upper Bay and the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines; it now houses Liberty State Park’s Visitor Center. Statue of Liberty ferries leave from the slips.
However, the treasure lies behind this elegantly proportioned and well-maintained edifice:
the old tracks are overrun by a jungle of native flora, Nature come to reclaim her domain. Twenty tracks of young trees, tall grasses and weeds flourish, the dark old steel structures are lost amid the riotous green, the sidewalk cracks are colored in by little grasses and sprouts. A beautiful light filters evenly through the open trestles. It is dramatic in full sun, and magical on grey days:
(if it weren’t foggy, you’d have seen lower manhattan when the camera turned west at 0:25, looking out the building)
Nature’s indefatigable force is inspiring. Nothing we make–with all our might!–is going to last. No better proof exists than in the photographs of shipbreaking captured by Edward Burtynsky and Andrew Bell. Or, in the quieter photographs our own Tugster, closer to home, in the Kill van Kull.
What will last? Nature. Of which we can still claim to be a part, despite all our efforts.
“Nature is not a place to visit, it is home…” Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild
2232h, June 18, 2009 On VHF channel 13:
A man called out to the cargo ship, and was answered back: “Djibouti.”
“Yeah, Djibouti, I’m coming over, they dropped me off on the wrong ship, or I got on the wrong bus, they’re going to bring me over now.”
Good Heavens! where is the man?
2355h: Ships called out to each other, warning them of a Yokohama in the water. “We see it, thank you.”
I had heard whales were used as fenders, but I had thought this meant the way camels coddle the cruise ships, and dolphins stand at the mercy of the Staten Island ferries…but, indeed, in Japan, they used once-live, real whales–until the town of Yokohama came up with these BIG black, heavy industrial strength rubber fenders.
One small working boat captain found a new Yokohama floating in the water. It measured 6′ in diameter and 8′ long. He got a line on it, towed it home, and very quickly found someone who offered to buy it from him, but upon examining it, he noticed it was property of the USNavy. The Yokohama was valued at the time at $17,500 (probably now, about $20,000). The prospective buyer had offered $10,000, but as it was government property, our gallant captain filed a salvage claim, which entitled him to 10% of its value. He towed it to the Navy Yard, who seemed reluctant to take it back, but 6 weeks later, he got his govt check for $1,750 and this good story.