The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘DonJon towing

second to nothing

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Dredging operations on the Newtown Creek are underway.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

After a couple of false starts and delayed beginnings, DonJon Towing is finally getting busy over on my beloved Creek. The dredging project is designed to provide a maritime channel for a new class of DEP Sludge Boats (see this Newtown Pentacle post from back in January of this year for details on the new boats) which will use a dock on Whale Creek, rather than the current East river facility, to accept the processed material produced by the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant in Greenpoint.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

These shots were gathered yesterday, at Whale Creek – a Brooklyn side tributary of Newtown Creek which the sewer plant wraps around.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Unfortunately, due to a busy work schedule and weather issues, I only managed to get there late in the afternoon and missed the action. This little push boat was busily managing the barges into a docking position, however.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The dredging rig was the Delaware Bay, which is a 225 foot long monster commissioned in 2008, and outfitted with a 123 foot long boom and crane.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the actual dredging bucket, which is outfitted with some sort of esoteric gasket system. I’ve never felt pity for a big steel machine before, but… Yuck… this is Newtown Creek.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The whole operation is meant to continue on for about six weeks. The initial phase of it, here on Whale Creek, will only be operating 12 hours a day, but once they work their way out onto the main body of the Creek – probably Tuesday of next week, they will go 24/7.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

This little Survey boat was buzzing about, and I’m told it carried a battery of sonar equipment which allowed visualization of the dredging work in real time. There’s a lot of stuff down there, pipelines and cables and such, for the DonJon crews to watch out for.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A DEP contractor was on hand performing air quality tests and odor control functions. This was his little weather station.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Also part of this contractors kit was a Hydrogen Sulfide monitor, which measures concentrations of the compound released from the underwater sediments during the dredge process.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s critical, once the operation moves out of Whale Creek and heads west towards the more populated sections of the Creek in Greenpoint and Hunters Point, that you call 311 if you’re being affected by smells or noise. Also, I’ve been told that the NCWWTP Nature Walk will be closed for the weekend, in the name of safety.

If you smell something, say something, and call 311.

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something coming

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Maritime Sunday returns.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Given that its Thanksgiving weekend, Maritime Sunday must have some other corporate sponsored name. Black Friday was a day or two ago, Cyber Monday is tomorrow. If the Sunday after Thanksgiving doesn’t have some officially sanctioned nomenclature, I suggest “Cannibal Holocaust Sunday.”

Today’s shot is another from the archives, depicting DonJon’s Meaghan Ann tug maneuvering into the towing position indicated for a fuel tanker, and was captured along the reliable Kill Van Kull. A happy and a healthy Cannibal Holocaust Sunday is offered accordingly.

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shared obeisances

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

On this Maritime Sunday, witness the struggles of the Thomas D. Witte tug as it manages a barge into place on the lamentable Newtown Creek. That’s the City’s “Newtown Creek Dock”, tenanted by the mill of the titanic SimsMetal operation.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

In a distant era, this locale was the home of the LIRR’s infamous Manure Dock, where a 30 foot high pile of the stuff would have awaited disposition to agricultural clients further east. Recycling, it seems, has a centuried history along the Newtown Creek.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The narrowness of the great canal creates a series of issues for tug and barge combinations along the Newtown Creek and always has. There used to be a specialist company, Newtown Creek Towing, which was located nearby the Vernon Avenue Bridge.

A hearty Maritime Sunday shout out to DonJon towing and the crew of the Thomas D. Witte is offered.


Remember that event in the fall which got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy?

The “Up the Creek” Magic Lantern Show presented by the Obscura Society NYC is back on at Observatory.

Click here or the image below for more information and tickets.


heavy articles

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just a short one today, the tug Mary Alice rolling along at twilight. Back tomorrow with something a bit more substantial, but today must be spent with loved ones as the world soon ends.

Only 12 days left until the 13th b’ak’tun ends, initiating the Mayan Apocalypse on December 21st, after all.

spaces and travelers

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Lonely and alienated, your humble narrator nevertheless enjoys several safe harbors where pitying hosts allow me a chance to sit and recover from my endless marching across the great human hive. One of these spots is the North Brooklyn Boat Club in DUPBO, where the tug Cheyenne recently revealed itself to me. Cheyenne is employed by DonJon Marine, and on this day was hitched up to two recycling barges- likely coming from the SimsMetal dock adjoining the Dutch Kills tributary of the loquacious and far larger Newtown Creek. Welcome to yet another Maritime Sunday, at this, your Newtown Pentacle.


Built in 1965, by Ira S. Bushey and Sons of Brooklyn, New York (hull #628) as the tug Glenwood for Red Star Towing.

In 1970, she was acquired by Spentonbush Towing where she was renamed as the Cheyenne

The tug was later acquired by Amerada Hess where she retained her name.

She was then acquired by Empire Harbor Marine where the tug retained her name. The company would later be renamed as Port Albany Ventures.

In 2009, Port Albany Ventures was acquired by the DonJon Marine Company of Hillside, New Jersey.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The mast on Cheyenne was rigged backward, no doubt to allow passage under the Pulaski Bridge without having to waste time waiting for the bridge operators to open the span. The captain is quite visible in the wheel house, and he sounded a couple of toots to the crew at North Brooklyn Boat Club. He did seem aghast when I came into view, but who could blame anyone for reacting in shock to the sort of shambling mess and crude imposture which stares back at me from the mirror.


Founded in 1964 by Mr. J. Arnold Witte, Donjon’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Donjon Marine’s principal business activities were marine salvage, marine transportation, and related services. Today Donjon Marine is a true provider of multifaceted marine services. Donjon’s controlled expansion into related businesses such as dredging, ferrous and non-ferrous recycling and heavy lift services are a natural progression, paralleling our record of solid technical and cost-effective performance.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Cheyenne fled the scene, no doubt alerting the authorities to the weird habitation witnessed in DUPBO. Regardless of the thunder struck expression on the Captain’s face, another of the dread realizations that a sailor’s life holds, a hearty Maritime Sunday shout out is nevertheless offered.


DIMENSIONS: Length Overall: 83.0 ft./ 25.30 m


PROPULSION & STEERING: Main Engines: Single Screw Fairbanks Morse Diesel 1,800 bhp

Also- Upcoming tours…

for an expanded description of the October 13th Kill Van Kull tour, please click here

for an expanded description of the October 20th Newtown Creek tour, please click here


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