The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for January 22nd, 2012

curious and cyclopean

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s Tugboat Sunday at the Newtown Pentacle, so let’s shine a little light on K-Sea’s Ross Sea. Named for the infamous Antarctic waters explored by Roald Amundsen, the ship is one of the newer tugs plying the waters of NY Harbor.


K-Sea Transportation Partners L.P., headquartered in East Brunswick, New Jersey, is a leading provider of marine transportation, distribution and logistics services in the U.S. From locations in New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Seattle and Honolulu, K-Sea operates a large fleet of tugs and tank barges that serves a wide range of customers, including major oil companies, oil traders and refiners.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Ross Sea, or specifically the Penguin infested Ross Island, is home to two volcanos which bear the dearest nomenclature of all geologic forms upon the earth- the polygenetic stratovolcano Mount Erebus, and the shield volcano Mount Terror.

The latter infernal mountain is mentioned in both the Poe Novella “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” and H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness” as well (although Lovecraft’s Mountains are in Western Antarctica, and assumed to be at least 1,000 KM from the Ross Sea).

for all the technical data, manufacturing history, and more photos of K-Sea’s Ross Sea- check out

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Ross Sea, as in the Antarctic, is named for explorer Sir James Clark Ross. An Englishman, Ross led an expedition to the frozen south in two wooden ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror- for which the volcanoes were named. The astounding Ross Ice Shelf is named for him, although he christened the formation as “The Victoria Barrier”.

It must be mentioned that Ross Sea, as in the Tugboat, was the winner of the 2011 Great North River Tugboat Race,


The Great North River Race Results

  1. Ross Sea – Class A 1st place – Time: 4:44 

  2. Quantico Creek – Class A 2nd Place – Time: 4:55
  3. Maurania III – Class A 3rd Place – Time: 4:55.5
  4. Catherine Miller – Class C 1st Place – Time: 5:54
  5. Pegasus – Class B 1st Place – Time: 5:56
  6. Susan Miller – Class C 2nd Place – Time: 6:09.
  7. Growler – Class C 3rd Place – Time: 6:13
  8. Freddie K. Miller – Class B 2nd Place – Time: 6:29
  9. Sea Wolf – Class B 3rd Place – Time: 6:48 Best Tatoo (Wayne)

  10. The Bronx – Did Not Race Little Toot Award & best mascot

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A question I’ve often heard asked often about Tugs with the sort of configuration that Ross Sea exhibits, a second wheel house atop the mast, is “why it is thus”?

Short answer is that it enables the pilot and or Captain the ability to see over a barge whose own height occludes the way forward.

from wikipedia

The Ross Sea was discovered by James Ross in 1841. In the west of the Ross Sea is Ross Island with the Mt. Erebus volcano, in the east Roosevelt Island. The southern part is covered by the Ross Ice Shelf. Roald Amundsen started his South Pole expedition in 1911 from the Bay of Whales, which was located at the shelf. In the west of the Ross sea, McMurdo Sound is a port which is usually free of ice during the summer. The southernmost part of the Ross Sea is Gould Coast, which is approximately two hundred miles from the Geographic South Pole.

All land masses in the Ross Sea are claimed by New Zealand to fall under the jurisdiction of the Ross Dependency, but few non-Commonwealth nations recognise this claim.

A 10 metre (32.8 feet) long colossal squid weighing 495 kilograms (1,091 lb) was captured in the Ross Sea on February 22, 2007.

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 22, 2012 at 12:15 am

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