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The nice weather days we had last week were really welcome, but that blast of April snow was NOT. Still, I’ve had some quiet days shooting this week, with lots of activity to shoot.

Penn No. 4 sporting her new “Kirby” paint job. Photo: ©John Skelson

MSC Marta…Out to Sea. Photo: ©John Skelson

McAllister Sisters with one “On the Hip”. Photo:©John Skelson

Mary Gellatly. Photo: ©John Skelson

Kimberly Poling. Photo: ©John Skelson

Launch ABC 1 delivering supplies to a ship. Photo: ©John Skelson

Tanker SFC Pechoria in Stapleton Anchorage, Robert E McAllister ducking out behind. Photo: ©John Skelson

4 Days later at IMTT Bayonne. Photo: ©John Skelson

Sea Tow to the Rescue. Photo: ©John Skelson

St Andrew with some new paint. Photo: ©John Skelson

Weddell Sea “On the Wire” out to sea. Photo: ©John Skelson

Ruth M Reinauer. Photo: ©John Skelson

Gramma Lee T Moran meets Dace at the fuel dock. Photo: ©John Skelson

All photos taken the week of 4/13/14. Until next week… John Skelson.

All photos by John Skelson for the Working Harbor Committee

Big News!

Graves of Arthur Kill”  will make its World Premiere on Wednesday, May 7 at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival. The 32 minute documentary – directed by Will Van Dorp, aka Tugster – will be one of 5 short films shown on Opening Night.

There will be a prescreening reception which starts at 7 p.m. and the films begin at 8 p.m. Click here for tickets.

Brooklyn Heights Cinema
70 Henry Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Subway: A/C to High Street or 2/3 to Clark Street


World Premiere

Documentary, 32 min. USA
Directed by Will Van Dorp

Though it’s been described as an “accidental museum,” the graveyard of ships at New York City’s southernmost point isn’t on any tourism maps. The site is owned by a metal recycling company and visitors are turned away. But this bone yard begs for attention. Rusty tugboats sit lopsided in its muddy waters. Rotting wooden skeletons of old barges dot the shoreline. Collectively, these crumbling vessels seem like haunting maritime sculptures in a massive art installation.

Will Van Dorp is a photographer, author and English professor at Union County College in Elizabeth, N.J. He is also a knowledgeable observer of what he calls New York City’s “sixth borough,” the waters in and around the Port of New York. He chronicles much that happens in these waters in his “Tugster” blog, which was featured in a 2011 New York Times profile.


Just a quick post today of a very cool photo-series by Mitch Waxman – who went down to Newtown Creek over the weekend to get a look at the dredging that is going on. The clam-shell “scooper” that was spit-shiny clean a couple of weeks ago has now been well worked, and is smeared with the black, oily sediments of the federal superfund site.

Check out how DonJon’s rig and tugs seem to match the brilliant blue sky as they work on clearing the bed of the creek. The dredging operation is now running 24/7 and if all goes as planned, should be completed in the next month or so.

DonJon’s dredging rig and tugs on Newtown Creek. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

DonJon’s work boat keeps the barge nice and stable. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

Industry-geeks will like this one. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

Toxic ‘black mayonnaise’ sediment dribbles from the clam-shell. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

The dredging is now in operation 24 hours-a-day. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

Thomas D. Witte. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

The dredging operation is slated to take 6 weeks. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

The watery mix is barged out to DonJon’s dewatering station near the Statue of Liberty for processing. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee, all photos by Mitch Waxman


Ship spotters, there’s a new tug on the harbor!

Welcome Harley Marine NY‘s new tug HMS Justice. She joins HMS Liberty and HMS St. Andrews, providing petroleum transport services in NY Harbor.

Tug HMS Justice. Photo via

Marine Log: The 2,000 hp HMS Justice is the fifth vessel in this class and joins the New York fleet of two tugboats—HMS LIberty and  St. Andrews—and four 29,396 bbl double-hull petroleum barges. HMS Justice will provide petroleum barge transportation services in New York Harbor.

HMS Liberty. Photo by ©Will Van Dorp / tugster

Four of the vessels in this class—the Alamo, Fury, Silver and Stardust—are employed in the Harley Marine Gulf fleet. The vessels are each 75 feet in length, have a 29 foot 9 inch beam and a depth of 9 feet and 11 inches.

The vessel is equipped with two Tier II-compliant K38M Cummins engines producing 2,000 horsepower, two Cummins auxiliaries and Nabrico Hydro Electric DF-156-40-116-HEBK winches. Her design is well suited for the demands of harbor service with its “flanking rudder” technology.

HMS St. Andrews. Photo via Harley Marine.

Jonathan Mendes, interim General Manager of Harley Marine NY says, “The HMS Justice is a welcome addition to our growing New York operation. She will enhance our local business while servicing customers safely, reliably, efficiently and responsibly.”

Read more at Marine Log or download the full press release (PDF) here.

Anyone have photos of her yet? Post your shots in the WHC flickr Photo Pool!

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee,

Historic schooner Sherman Zwicker will be spending some time here in NY harbor over the summer as reported by Tribeca Citizen. The historic fishing vessel turned floating museum was once part of a fleet of hundreds of large wooden schooners that fished the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

Historic schooner Sherman Zwicker. Photo courtesy Grand Banks Schooner Museum.

Grand Banks Schooner Foundation is bringing the last original saltbank fishing vessel to Tribeca’s Pier 25 for a summer of exhibitions, lectures and … libations alfesco on the Hudson River.

The 142 foot long schooner will host a raw bar on deck called Grand Banks run by Mark Firth of Brooklyn’s Diner and Marlow & Sons, that will serve local oysters and other small delectables.

Image via Tribeca Citizen

Community Board 1 has given their liquor license application the nod and the Hudson River Park Trust is finalizing the details. If all goes according to schedule, the wooden schooner will be open June 1st for cocktails and bluepoints on the Hudson. Read more at Tribeca Citizen here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee, hat tip to Bonnie Frogma for the intel


Well, as luck would have it, NO photos of the USS Slater arriving at Caddell’s Staten Island.

She departed Albany, Sunday morning at about 8:45 AM; and arrived and turned into the Kill van Kull at 3:30AM Monday. Not a good time for photography! I hope to be able to get some photos of her soon, and so here are this week’s photos.

Reinauer was the big mover on Wednesday morning, 5 of them. Also, US Army Corps of Engineers boats were on the job in the KVK. Strangely though, while I was there, NO Moran, McAllister or Vane tugs passed by.

Stephen Scott Reinauer at IMTT Bayonne. Photo: ©John Skelson

Zachery Reinauer in Push Gear, Stephen Scott in the background. Photo: ©John Skelson

Ruby M, dropping a barge in Bayonne. Photo: ©John Skelson

Reinauer Twins outbound in the KVK. Photo: ©John Skelson.

Meredith C Reinauer west in the KVK. Photo: ©John Skelson

Maersk Kentucky. Photo: ©John Skelson

USACE Hudson. Photo: ©John Skelson

USACE Hocking. Photo: ©John Skelson

USACE Hayward. Photo: ©John Skelson

Haggerty Girls. Photo: ©John Skelson

Emily Ann, ex Brandon C Roehrig. Photo: ©John Skelson

Until next week… John Skelson.

All photos by John Skelson for the Working Harbor Committee

The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that captain error caused the Seastreak ferry accident in lower Manhattan last year. The investigation found the vessel was being operated improperly at the time of the accident.

A hole is torn near the bow of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry after it crashed into the pier on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. photo: Larry Neumeister/AP via NY Daily News


The Seastreak Wall Street ferry captain had switched the vessel’s propulsion systems into backup mode earlier in the journey and had forgotten to switch them back. While in backup mode, the propellers remain in a forward pitch position which caused the vessel to accelerate forward rather than slow down while attempting to dock.

NTSB Investigator examines starboard engine room of the Seastreak Wall Street. Photo: NTSB

NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman also called out the US Coast Guard for not requiring marine safety management systems – recommended by the NTSB almost a decade ago.

 NTSB: Seastreak LLC had no safety management system (SMS) in place to identify risks and take corrective actions. Although the NTSB recommended that SMS be required in 2005 and the Coast Guard was provided the authority to require them by Congress in 2010, SMSs are still not required for domestic passenger vessels. It is time to require that every passenger vessel implement an SMS.”

Deborah Hersman, NTSB Chairman. Photo: NTSB via wikipedia

A safety management system would have required the company to maintain current documents, to train employees to integrate safe practices into both routine vessel operations and emergency preparations and to clearly define the roles of the crew members, ensuring the captain had assistance during the emergency.

Photo via Maritime Executive

The report goes on to contribute the severity of injuries to the lack of procedures restricting passengers from stairwells and other high-risk areas. There was also no alarm sounded or announcements from the captain to inform the passengers of an emergency.

Read the NTSB Press Release here… or download the PDF summary – including findings, probable cause and recommendations here.

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

You may have noticed that Fireboat John J. Harvey has been missing from her home dock at Pier 66 Maritime for the past month or so. She’s been in dry-dock at Caddell’s Shipyard getting much-needed work done – from hull-to-stacks.

Photo via Fireboat John J. Harvey facebook page

Last Sunday, under bright, blue skies and sunshine, Harvey made her triumphant journey home – all spiffied up and gorgeous! Will Van Dorp captured her trip through the harbor and had graciously permitted this reblog of his tugster post.

Thanks Will for the brilliant shots!

April 6, 2014

Click here to see why John J. Harvey made this trip to Caddells. These photos were taken around midday today, as the .org retired fireboat made its way to its home dock.  With new metal covered with absolutely brightest red, nothing but the most brilliant April sunlight would do. Enjoy these photos!



The trim is not yet finished but there’s some time before her first trip upriver to kick off the season.   Note the sternway wake.



I thought I could jump in my land conveyance and beat them to one of my “offices” along the Kill, but I had to race . . .


to catch them here.




Yup . . . pass the plate.


Here’s a photo I took September 1, 2013 as Harvey knifed its way between fast-moving boats in last year’s tugboat race.


All photos except the first photo in the post, by Will Van Dorp.

Reblogged from tugster, forward by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries Shipbuilding the contract to produce a seventh National Security Cutter.

USCG National Security Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) Photo: United States Department of Homeland Security via wikipedia

National Security Cutter (NSC), also known as the Legend-class cutter, is the largest of several new cutter designs developed as part of the Integrated Deepwater System Program.

The USCG’s Hamilton-class cutters are being replaced with Legend-class National Security Cutters (NSC). Photo: USCG via wikipedia

MarineLog: Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. Designed to replace the 378‐foot Hamilton-class cutters that entered service during the 1960s, they are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, and the endurance to perform 60- to 90-day patrols with 110 crew.

USCGC Waesche (WMSL-751) is USCG’s second Legend-class cutter -here she is en route to her Alameda, California homeport. Photo: USCG Petty Officer 3rd Class, Kevin Metcalf via wikipedia

Three NSCs are currently in production at Ingalls shipyards. The fourth NSC, Hamilton (WMSL 753), is scheduled for delivery later this year and will mark the first of two NSCs planned to be homeported in Charleston, S.C.

The fifth NSC, James (WMSL 754), is scheduled for delivery in 2015. The sixth – Munro (WMSL 755) is scheduled for delivery in 2016.

USCGC Stratton is the third of eight planned Legend-class ships in the Coast Guard’s new line of technologically-advanced cutters. Photo: D. Myles Cullen, United States Department of Defense via wikipedia

NSC 7, to be named the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756), will be built at HHI’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division shipyard in Pascagoula, MS. Production of NSC 7 will begin early next year and is scheduled for delivery in 2018. Read more at Marine Log here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

Photo via USS Slater facebook page

Many of us have been waiting for the arrival of the USS Slater for many months. Captain Maggie Flanagan, marine educator and WHC steering committee member, first told me about her impending visit to Caddell’s at WHC’s end-of-the-year meeting, back in December.

Ice and snow bound. Photo via USS Slater facebook page

The WWII destroyer escort was supposed to make the trip in January, but the frozen grip of one of the coldest winters in recent years pushed that back to February… and then March… [Slater Signals]

This dry-dock project is being completely funded by private donations – There is no government or public money involved. You can help! Go to and hit the “Donate” button! Photo vis USS Slater fb page.

Now with the ice safely melted, the USS Slater will be making her way down the Hudson River from Albany to Staten Island today!

The grand, grey lady will be escorted by two tugboats and the journey downriver is expected to take 12+ hours all told.

Tug Margot. Photo via

Ed Zajkowski posted this tip for tracking the warships journey online on USS Slater’s facebook page. Slater has no transponder, so to follow her progress down the Hudson River, go to – filter out all vessels except TUGS, and type in the name “MARGOT”. Her transponder should be active Sunday AM.

I just got word from John Skelson that the transport is underway! Hopefully she reaches the KVK before darkness falls! It’s a gorgeous day, perfect ship spotting weather! I hope you all share your photos with us in WHC’s flickr photo pool – I can’t wait to see them!

Underway! Photo via USS Slater facebook page

Did you know? The USS Slater’s dry-dock repair project is being completely funded by donations from folks like you! You can help by donating here.

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee, hat tips to Capt. Maggie Flanagan, John Skelson, John McCluskey and Will Van Dorp for all their help with research and intel.


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