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Have you read Rick Spilman’s novel Hell Around The Horn?
It’s a thriller that tells of the captivating story about a young ship’s captain and his family who sets sail on Lady Rebecca – a 1905 windjammer, from Wales bound for Chile, by way of Cape Horn in the Age of Sail. Based on an actual voyage, and written with historical accuracy, Rick draws you into the world of whipping westerly winds, mutiny and survival on the high seas. Read tugster’s review here.
Hell Around the Horn is a nautical thriller set in the last days of the great age of sail. In 1905, a young ship’s captain and his family set sail on the windjammer, Lady Rebecca, from Cardiff, Wales with a cargo of coal bound for Chile, by way of Cape Horn. Before they reach the Southern Ocean, the cargo catches fire, the mate threatens mutiny and one of the crew may be going mad, yet the greatest challenge will prove to be surviving the vicious westerly winds and mountainous seas of the worst Cape Horn winter in memory. Based on an actual voyage, Hell Around the Horn is a story of survival and the human spirit against overwhelming odds.
Rick Spilman is an acclaimed maritime author and Old Salt Blogger. If you haven’t picked up this book yet, I suggest you click-through to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It’s available as an ebook for Kindle, and in paperback.
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee, hat tip Robert Weisbrod Chair, Working Harbor Committee
It won’t be long before the warmer weather and Working Harbor Committee boat tours will be here, so as a reminder of things to come, this week I am posting photos from past Hidden Harbor® tours.
Tugboats, Container ships, Newark Bay, Erie Basin, KVK, sunsets near the Statue…
YES!… it will not be long now.
Hopefully the ice will be gone from my regular shooting spot by next week, until then…
My KVK spot is still iced over, so this week I traveled around for some shooting. Fort Wadsworth and the SI Ferry were my platforms for most of this week’s shots.
Oil-Petroleum tankers were on the move delivering the “Black Gold” to the area. Container ships and fishing boats rounded out the day’s photography.
Have a good week ship spotting…
What a beautiful weekend we are having! I hope you are all enjoying this little reprieve from the incessant ice and snow. I’m headed outdoors myself to soak up as much sunshine and blue skies as humanly possible.
Enjoy your sunny Sunday! -Mai
- photo by Mitch Waxman
Gaze in terror at the ice breaking tug Morro Bay, stalwart arm of the United States Coast Guard, as it maneuvers about the Hudson River. In terror that is, if you mean harm to the mariners or coastlines of the United States. It is maritime Sunday at the Newtown Pentacle once more, and this time around it’s a Coast Guard vessel in the spotlight.
USCGC MORRO BAY (WTGB-106)
The USCGC MORRO BAY was commissioned 28 March 1981 at the Reserve Training Center in Yorktown, VA and served here until 1998. The MORRO BAY was the sixth of her kind in the Coast Guard. While stationed at Training Center, the MORRO BAY was involved in training and operations on the Chesapeake Bay. The MORRO BAY is currently home ported in New London, CT.
The 140-foot Bay-class Cutters are state of the art icebreakers used primarily for domestic ice breaking duties. They are named after American Bays and are stationed mainly in Northeast U.S. and Great Lakes. Although specifically desinged for ice breaking duties, they also perform law enforcement, environmental protection, search & rescue operations and support for aids to navigation activities.
WTGBs use a low-pressure-air hull lubrication or bubbler system that forces air and water between the hull and ice. This system improves icebreaking capabilities by reducing resistance against the hull, reducing horsepower requirements.
- photo by Mitch Waxman
While researching this post, an interesting factoid about the Coast Guard emerged: the hull colors of Coast Guard vessels indicate their missions. Black hull- aids to navigation, White hull- maritime law enforcement and other safety-at-sea missions, Red hull- icebreaking.
The 140-foot Bay-class Cutters are state of the art icebreakers used primarily for domestic ice breaking duties. They are named after American Bays and are stationed mainly in Northeast U.S. and Great Lakes.
140-foot WTGBs in Service:
- BISCAYNE BAY (WTGB 104) St. Ignace, MI
- BRISTOL BAY* (WTGB 102) Detroit, MI
- KATMAI BAY (WTGB 101) Sault Ste. Marie, MI
- MOBILE BAY* (WTGB 103) Sturgeon Bay, WI
- NEAH BAY (WTGB 105) Cleveland, OH
- MORRO BAY (WTGB 106) New London, CT
- PENOBSCOT BAY (WTGB 107) Bayonne, NJ
- STURGEON BAY (WTGB 109) Bayonne, NJ
- THUNDER BAY (WTGB 108) Rockland, ME
- photo by Mitch Waxman
The Morro Bay, like all members of its class, looks smart and sound. An attractive boat, it nevertheless looks pretty fast and capable. These shots were taken at the Metropolitan Water Alliance’s “Heroes of the Harbor” gala last fall, where Morro Bay was performing the sort of political or parade duty which occupies its time during warm weather. During the cold months, it’s tasked with weightier matters, as a front line warrior battling the winter, and as a life line for stranded mariners.
Greetings to the crew, a hearty thanks is offered for their service, sacrifice, and skill. Stay safe, and hopefully we’ll see you in the City again when it warms up.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the US military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President at any time, or by Congress during time of war.
Founded by Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790, it is the United States’ oldest continuous seagoing service. As of August 2009 the Coast Guard had approximately 42,000 men and women on active duty, 7,500 reservists, 30,000 auxiliarists, and 7,700 full-time civilian employees.
Ice everywhere today made for slippery conditions on the waterfront. Only the geese were enjoying the weather, not disturbed by my presence.
Also, I would like to thank everyone who showed up at B&H Photo for my presentation on Monday.
A thank you to David Brommer and Deb Gilbert at B&H Photo for having me at the Event Space.
Until next time…
Horrible news heard today, I am still in shock.
Our beloved Meade’s Restaurant and Bar in South Street Seaport will shutter this Sunday, February 23, 2014.
Why? Word on their facebook page is that their landlord has doubled their rent and has even already found a new tenant for the Peck Slip space.
Meade’s made it through hurricane Sandy, and were the first to reopen their water-logged doors to the neighborhood – one of the few shining lights in the storm-surge devastated area for months after.
But now, it’s goodbye tater-tots, goodbye awesome guacamole, goodbye friends and compadres …
Meade’s will serve their last drink this Sunday, Feb 23rd.
Please stop by Meade’s this week and give Lee, Kathleen, Chano, Israel, Izzy and all Meade’s peeps we know and love a proper send-off.
Read more about this sad news at DNAinfo…
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee
Please join us for our 9th annual benefit
Gala Award Reception
We are delighted to honor Captain Andrew McGovern,
President of the Sandy Hook Pilots Association,
who will be presented with the
Distinguished Service Award
for the Harbor of New York-New Jersey.
Tuesday 25 February 2014
60 Pine Street,
New York, NY 10005
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Click here for tickets
Proceeds benefit the Working Harbor Committee and its mission to educate people about the history and value of our working harbor.
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee
Although my shooting spot was inaccessible due to snow and ice, I was able to catch a few shots yesterday from a nearby location.
KVK, February 12, 2014, 14°F, nice light and a lot of traffic. Tugboats with new or updated paint schemes, Peter F Gellatly now sports the Vane “V” on the stack. She previously had a green stripe and “GC” on the stack, and “GC” with a yellow stripe.
Past photos have been posted today. Huron Service, now operated by Genesis Energy, has a new paint job. New to me, although it has been around, was the tug Iron Eagle operated by Conti. And the “Old Friends” McAllister, Moran, and Reinauer made appearances, along with a RoRo and Container Ship. (Click images to enlarge.)
Next Monday, February 17, I will be showing some of my photos at B&H Photo “Event Space” hope to see you there.!
John Skelson’s NY Harbor photos at B&H Photo’s Photographers Showcase Series, Monday, February 17th from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. – FREE! – Register here.
Sorry for my lateness! I’m dealing with intermittent loss of internet connection this morning, so I have a reblog for you from Mitch Waxman, WHC’s official photographer, from his blog The Newtown Pentacle.
A look back at a much warmer day, coasting along the Newtown Creek.
Historic Tug at Newtown Creek
Vintage Tugboat at Newtown Creek – photo by Mitch Waxman
A rare opportunity to ride up the Newtown Creek was recently enjoyed by your humble narrator, and on my journey up that maligned cataract I spotted an artifact of New York Harbor’s glorious past sneaking past Hunters Point.
Blue-claw crabs, bluefish, weakfish, striped bass, and other species inhabit the creek, and fishing and crabbing for human consumption occurs [Ref. 7, pp. 2, 5; 8, p. 11; 21, p. 13; 22, pp. 1-2; 24, p. 143; 52, p. 93; 68, p. 3; 69, p. 1]. Subsistence fishing has been observed in Newtown Creek at Dutch Kills, and crabbing for consumption has been observed at the end of Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn [Ref. 7, p. 5; 21, p. 13; 22, pp. 1-2; 68, p. 3; 69, p. 1]. These locations are both within the zone of contamination for the Newtown Creek site [Figure 2 of this HRS documentation record]. Therefore, Actual Contamination is documented, and the target fishery is evaluated for Actual Human Food Chain Contamination.
the W O Decker at Newtown Creek - photo by Mitch Waxman
Wooden hulled, its spitting steam boilers have long been replaced by modern diesel engines, this little (52 feet long) tugboat is the W O Decker.
also from epa.gov
Beginning in the late 1800s and continuing into the 1930s, Newtown Creek was widened, deepened, and lined with bulkheads to accommodate the growing traffic, leading to the destruction of all its freshwater sources [Ref. 8, p. 10; 12,
p. 52]. During World War II, the government commandeered factories along the creek to make military equipment, such as a factory that made aluminum for fighter planes [Ref. 11, p. 14]. At that time, Newtown Creek was the busiest industrial port in the Northeast, with tanker traffic lining its length [Ref. 7, p. 1; 11, p. 13]. The national highway system built after the war took business away from the nation’s waterways, leading to a rapid decline in the level of industry along Newtown Creek [Ref. 7, pp. 1-2].
the W O Decker passing by the “Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center” - photo by Mitch Waxman
A “historic place” the Decker was originally called the Russell 1 when it was built in 1930 for the Newtown Creek Towing Company, who were specialists in berthing and towing heavy cargo along the crowded and narrow waterway.
The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) started in the late 1980s as an innovative intersection of two interests: reclaiming derelict factories in North Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood and sustaining industry and manufacturing in New York City. The organization formally incorporated in 1992.
From its initial purchase and redevelopment of a large facility at 1155 Manhattan Avenue for use by light manufacturers and artisans, GMDC has since expanded and today is the only nonprofit industrial developer in New York City. The organization acquires, develops, and manages industrial real estate that provides small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises with affordable, flexible production space.
In the shot above, The Decker is passing the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn - photo by Mitch Waxman
The Decker is currently a high end tour vessel, operated by and out of the South Street Seaport in Manhattan.
The wooden tugboat W.O. Decker was built in Long Island City, Queens in 1930 for the Newtown Creek Towing Company, a firm specializing in berthing ships and barges in the creek that separates Brooklyn and Queens. Originally called the Russell I for the towing company’s owners, she was renamed the W.O. Decker in 1946 after being sold to the Decker family’s Staten Island tugboat firm.
The shield wall of the Shining City, framed by Long Island City on the right and industrial Brooklyn on the left with the Pulaski Bridge just at Horizon - photo by Mitch Waxman
The vessel I was aboard continued on toward the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, but the Decker turned in the narrow part of the Newtown Creek near the confluence of its tributaries Whale Creek and Dutch Kills.
Check out this 1896 article at the NYTimes, which actually interviews the manager of Newtown Creek Towing Company, John Russell, for whom the Decker was originally named.
Want to be the proud owner of an original painting by noted waterfront artist Naima Rauam? Now’s your chance!
The Working Harbor Committee will be raffling off an original Naima Rauam painting worth $1,400 at our annual fundraiser for our maritime educational programs. Naima has generously donated this wonderful painting “Tug Between Two Freighters” for our causes.
New York City’s harbor is a busy waterway, with vessels large and small making their way to myriad destinations.
The light source is behind the vessel on the left, and flows toward the tug and large ship on the right. Air seems to flow with it, for there is a sense of movement. – Naima Rauam
Raffle tickets are only $25 each, 5 for $100. Click here to pick up yours! 100% of proceeds benefit the Working Harbor Committee and its mission to educate people about the history and value of our working harbor.
The raffle drawing will take place Tuesday, 25 February 2014, at the annual WHC Gala Reception honoring Capt. Andrew McGovern, President of the Sandy Hook Pilots. You need not be present to win.
You are also invited to join us for the party! For more details and tickets to our annual Gala Reception, please visit workingharbor.org
Artist Naima Rauam lives in New York City and specializes in scenes of the Fulton Fish Market, South Street Seaport and the New York waterfront, including tugboats and bridges.
Naima works in watercolor, charcoal, oil and pastel. Visit artpm.com to learn more about Naima and her extraordinary art.
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee