The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

average specimens

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Captain Zeke is an 88 ton tug owned and operated by the White Near Coastal Towing Corp. of Syosset, and was built as the Lady Ora for Falgout Marine at Houma Shipbuilding in Louisiana back in 1980. Unfortunately, neither the company nor the tug have much information available about them, so there’s little more that can be said beyond its size- which is 30 m x 8 m, and its maximum recorded speed of 6.4 knots versus its average of 5.5 knots.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Captain Zeke ran into a bit of trouble just a few years ago, on the Hudson River.

from professionalmariner.com

Spontaneous combustion involving paint rags in a fidley opening may have been the origin of the Aug. 31, 2008, fire aboard the Capt. Zeke, a Coast Guard investigator said. When their fire extinguishers proved inadequate, the tug crew fled to one of the barges.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking from a position of strictly deductive reasoning at this point, due to a lack of available information about this tug and its owners- Captain Zeke has been personally observed about the harbor moving small loads of a decidedly non volatile nature, as in the previous shot wherein the cargo seems to be sand.

It would be logical to assume that this role is well suited to the relatively small tug, which can most likely get into narrower spaces than the mated tug and barge gargantua which are employed by large players like Reinauer, Moran, or K-Sea (whose vessels specialize in the handling of volatiles) for the transport of various fuels and the handling of cargo vessels.

This theory is contradicted though, by this posting at the blog tuglife, which shows Captain Zeke tethered “on the hip” to a fuel barge.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

In the shots above and below, which were captured on the Kill Van Kull, Captain Zeke is tied to the sort of barge one regularly observes at Newtown Creek handling the SimsMetal trade in bulk metal. It is damnably odd, in the opinion of this humble narrator, that so little information is available online about this vessel. Normally, commercial maritime activity is copiously documented by a variety of private and government entities.

Regardless of this information vacuum, Newtown Pentacle’s “Maritime Sunday” nevertheless recognizes and sends a hearty greeting to Captain Zeke and its crew.

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  1. [...] Zeke has been discussed before, in the posting “average specimens” from February of 2012. The barges Captain Zeke was handling seemed to be headed for the [...]


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