The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Statue of Liberty’ Category

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Liberté.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just a short one today depicting the giant pile of copper and copper and steel which has been arranged, in NY Harbor, into a 111 feet and six inches tall simulacra of a french woman. Her nose is 4.5 feet long, and she has a 35 foot waistline, just in case you were wondering.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 31, 2014 at 11:27 am

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From the Kill Van Kull.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A singlet today, lords and ladies, acting as a placeholder in lieu of a real posting. Your humble narrator is behind on several schedules, not the least of which is the one guiding this- your Newtown Pentacle. Nixon said it best with “never complain, never explain” so I’ll leave it at that.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Kill Van Kull- Saturday, August 10, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills- Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 24, 2013 at 10:03 am

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…stand beside her, and guide her…

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A joke those of involved with New York Harbor throw readily around is that there is a coast guard regulation which states that every harbor tour has to stop at the Statue of Liberty. Its become such a ubiquitous part of the “experience” that I barely shoot the thing anymore, which is a huge mistake.

Never, never, ignore an icon. That is, unless you are jaded idiot like me.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Many of the tourists on the Staten Island Ferry- did you know that the Staten Island Ferry is NYC’s #1 tourist destination- come out just for their statue shot. At the mid point of the 30 minute trip, port or starboard (depending) gets mobbed with visitors taking “selfies” and family shots. When your humble narrator is onboard the big orange boat, I’m usually looking for unusual harbor traffic and treat the statue as little more than background.

Liberty is not just part of the landscape, nor should it ever be taken for granted.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Given the events of the last decade or so, with the beating of war drums and other dire portents omnipresent, even one such as myself has begun to look toward this ubiquitous icon with new eyes. She was the product of a brutal era, the symbol of a comparatively innocent time, and meant to serve as a beacon. According to Teddy Roosevelt, she was useless as a light house.

Its a complicated concept- this “liberty,” as embodied by a 111 and a half foot tall French chick with a four and half foot long nose and a thirty five foot waistband who is well over a hundred years old.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Modern Corridor- Saturday, July 13, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Kill Van Kull- Saturday, August 10, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills- Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 12, 2013 at 10:38 am

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In today’s Memorial Day post- The United States Coast Guard.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s Memorial Day, once again, as the wheel of the year continues to spin. Everybody will be talking about Marines and Ocean going Sailors and Soldiers and Pilots today, but as usual- few will mention the United States Coast Guard. Accordingly, a few shots I’ve picked up of operations around New York Harbor. Pictured above is the USCG WTGB 107 Penobscot Bay.

From wikipedia

The USCG Bay-class icebreaking tug is a class of 140-foot (43 m) icebreaking tugs of the United States Coast Guard, with hull numbers WTGB 101 through to WTGB 109.

They can proceed through fresh water ice up to 20 inches (51 cm) thick, and break ice up to 3 feet (0.91 m) thick, through ramming. These vessels are equipped with a system to lubricate their progress through the ice, by bubbling air through the hull.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The USCG maintains a small fleet of vessels with differing capability to fulfill their mission to protect and patrol the Harbor of New York and New Jersey. Pictured above is a “Response Boat Small” SAFE boat crew, carrying what would seem to be a 50mm machine gun and a variety of small arms, while on Staten Island Ferry escort duty.

from uscg.mil

Developed in a direct response to the need for additional Homeland Security assets in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Defender Class boats were procured under an emergency acquisition authority. With a contract for up to 700 standard response boats, the Defender Class acquisition is one of the largest boat buys of its type in the world. The 100 boat Defender A Class (RB-HS) fleet began arriving at units in MAY 2002 and continued through AUG 2003. After several configuration changes, most notably a longer cabin and shock mitigating rear seats, the Defender B Class (RB-S) boats were born. This fleet was first delivered to the field in OCT 2003, and there are currently 357 RB-S boats in operation.

The 457 Defender Class boats currently in operation are assigned to the Coast Guards Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSST), Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT), Marine Safety Units (MSU), and Small Boat Stations throughout the Coast Guard. With an overall length of 25 feet, two 225 horsepower outboard engines, unique turning radius, and gun mounts boat forward and aft, the Defender Class boats are the ultimate waterborne assets for conducting fast and high speed maneuvering tactics in a small deployable package. This is evidenced in the fact that several Defender Class boats are already in operation by other Homeland Security Department agencies as well as foreign military services for their homeland security missions.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

USCG WTGB 106 Morro Bay is pictured above, at night on the Hudson River, picking up crew members and dropping off dignitaries at a political event sponsored by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. There are always Coast Guard personnel at work somewhere on the harbor, 24 hours a day, protecting our well cushioned posterior from whatever trouble might float in on the tide.

from uscg.mil

USCGC MORRO BAY (WTGB-106)

Abstract

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.

Ship’s History

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.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A “response boat medium” crashing through the waves with the coast of Brooklyn behind it. The smaller USCG vessels like this medium sized SAFE boat. They too are outfitted with a high caliber machine gun mounted on a deck stand, and you can be certain that they have other toys onboard which we civilians don’t need to know about. These vessels are said to carry a compliment of sensors and communications equipment designed to monitor and intercept illicit activity.

from wikipedia

The response boat-medium (RBM) is a 45-foot (13.7m) utility boat used by the United States Coast Guard. It is intended as a replacement for the Coast Guard’s fleet of 41′ utility boats (UTB), which have been in use by the Coast Guard since the 1970s. The Coast Guard plans to acquire 180 of these RB-Ms over a 6–10 year period. The boats will be built by Kvichak Marine Industries of Kent, Washington and Marinette Marine of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One often observes these medium sized boats patrolling the industrial edges of New York Harbor, in the case of the shot above, its on the Kill Van Kull separating New Jersey and Staten Island. Incidentally, this is the same vessel seen in the former photo, although I didn’t realize it at the time.

from wikipedia

Founded by Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue Marine first, and later as the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790, it is the United States’ oldest continuous seagoing service. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton headed the USRCS, and the branch was involved in every war from 1790 to World War I. 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.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

USCG WTGB 109 Sturgeon Bay‘s Captain had to know that the ship was going to be photographed when posed so provocatively in front of the Statue of Liberty. The United States Coast Guard is nearly forgotten on this holiday signifying the sacrifice and service of United States military service men and women, the glory going to its larger and farther reaching colleagues.

from wikipedia

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? June 2013 Walking Tours-

The Poison Cauldron- Saturday, June 15, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Kill Van Kull- Saturday, June 22, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley- Saturday, June 29, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Recently, one found himself onboard the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s floating harbor conference, and the USCG 109 Sturgeon Bay was spotted on duty in NY Harbor.

Maritime Sunday is a harsh task master, and such fortuitous occurrence of vessel and location offers naught but serendipitous opportunity for accomplishing the job.

from uscg.mil

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. 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

  • Length: 140 feet
  • Beam: 37.5 feet
  • Displacement: 662 tons
  • Power plant: Two diesel engines
  • Builder: Bay City Marine, Inc.
  • Launched: 1987
  • Commissioned: 1988

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Quoting from a posting on one of Sturgeon Bay’s sister ships, the Morro Bay (featured in the posting chill currents), you can determine the mission of USCG ships just by looking at them.

“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”

from wikipedia

The USCG Bay-class icebreaking tug is a class of 140-foot (43 m) icebreaking tugs of the United States Coast Guard, with hull numbers WTGB 101 through to WTGB 109.

They can proceed through fresh water ice up to 20 inches (51 cm) thick, and break ice up to 3 feet (0.91 m) thick, through ramming. These vessels are equipped with a system to lubricate their progress through the ice, by bubbling air through the hull.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The Coast Guard is one of those somewhat invisible arms of the Homeland Security team which never gets enough credit for their role in protecting New York. It’s a pleasure to highlight them whenever they appear, in yet another Maritime Sunday post at this, your Newtown Pentacle.

from wikipedia

USCGC Sturgeon Bay (WTGB-109) is an active Icebreaking Tug under the direction of the United States Coast Guard.[1] Her homeport is located in Bayonne, New Jersey. She is the last vessel in her class, being built in 1987. The ship is known for having a major caretaking role in the New York Harbor. The vessel is meant for use in domestic ice breaking as well as homeland security. The Sturgeon Bay is also very active with the Coast Guard’s Partner Ship in Education, hosting various groups aboard the cutter and has received the Partner-Ship with Education award, for outstanding work with school and maritime kid’s groups. The Sturgeon Bay is currently under the command of LCDR Daniel J. Everette.

Also: Upcoming Tours!

Parks and Petroleum- Sunday, May 12, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

The Insalubrious Valley- Saturday, May 25, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Hidden Harbor: Newtown Creek tour with Mitch Waxman – Sunday, May 26,2013
Boat tour presented by the Working Harbor Committee,
Limited seating available, order advance tickets now. Group rates available.

The Poison Cauldron- Saturday, June 15, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets on sale soon.

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