The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘K-Sea’ Category

work round

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Kirby Towing’s Siberian Sea tug, along the Kill Van Kull’s Chemical Coast.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, one is taking a short break – hence the singular image which greets you above. Back Monday with new stuff.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

sight within

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maritime Sunday is here once again, and this time around your Newtown Pentacle is focusing in on something most New Yorkers wouldn’t believe exists within the five boroughs- graving or dry docks. These shots are of the Cadell yard, along the Staten Island border formed by the Kill Van Kull.

from wikipedia

A floating drydock is a type of pontoon for dry docking ships, possessing floodable buoyancy chambers and a “U” shaped cross-section. The walls are used to give the drydock stability when the floor or deck is below the surface of the water. When valves are opened, the chambers fill with water, causing the drydock to float lower in the water. The deck becomes submerged and this allows a ship to be moved into position inside. When the water is pumped out of the chambers, the drydock rises and the ship is lifted out of the water on the rising deck, allowing work to proceed on the ship’s hull.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Tugs, in particular, take a lot of abuse. Towing hundreds of millions of tons through choppy waters puts terrific strain on their hull and superstructure. Just like the family car, they occasionally need to head for a garage to be inspected and repaired- or just painted to avoid the corruption of oxidation.

from caddelldrydock.com

CADDELL DRY DOCK AND REPAIR CO., INC (Caddell) accommodates a wide variety of marine vessels on its floating dry docks and piers. The Caddell facility is one of the largest full service shipyards in the New York Metropolitan Area. In addition to our dry docking services, we offer pier side repair work available on our network of eight piers with crane operations able to extend up to 200′ and capable handling loads up to 6500 tons. Caddell has carried on the noble maritime tradition and legacy of a uniquely exceptional shipyard by providing quality and prompt service at competitive prices for the surounding New York City region for more than a century.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Like a lot of heavy industries, the graving docks have largely left New York City. Large facilities at Atlantic Basin in Red Hook and other places have simply been left to rot away. The ones in Staten Island seem to be hanging on, doing essential work that keeps the harbor moving.

from globalsecurity.org

Building and repairing boats and ships was Staten Island’s most important industry before the First World War. One of the Island’s earliest and most important shipyards belonged to William and James M. Rutan. Their shipyard produced about a 100 schooners and sloops per year. There were 17 shipyards on Staten Island by 1880, located on the North Shore, in Stapleton and in Tottenville. Tugs, propeller yachts and coal barges were built there. US Navy and international shipping in the late 1800s produced a need for large shipyards. They could be found along the Kill van Kull near Mariners Harbor and Port Richmond. In 1901-1902, Townsend and Downey Shipyard built the Meteor III, an imperial yacht for Kaiser Wilhelm. By the 1920s, 18 shipyards employed 6,800 people.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and shows the other sort of drydock, a granite pit outfitted with sea walls and gargantuan pumping mechanisms that can accommodate all but the very largest shipping.

from wikipedia

On the eve of World War II, the yard contained more than five miles (8 km) of paved streets, four drydocks ranging in length from 326 to 700 feet (99 to 213 meters), two steel shipways, and six pontoons and cylindrical floats for salvage work, barracks for marines, a power plant, a large radio station, and a railroad spur, as well as the expected foundries, machine shops, and warehouses. In 1937 the battleship North Carolina was laid down. In 1938, the yard employed about ten thousand men, of whom one-third were Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers. The battleship Iowa was completed in 1942 followed by the Missouri which became the site of the Surrender of Japan 2 September 1945. On 12 January 1953, test operations began on Antietam, which emerged in December 1952 from the yard as America’s first angled-deck aircraft carrier.

The US Navy took possession of PT 109 on 10 July 1942, and the boat was delivered to the Brooklyn Navy Yard for fitting.

This boat was sunk in the Pacific in August 1943 and became famous years later when its young commander, Lt. John F. Kennedy, entered politics.

At its peak, during World War II, the yard employed 70,000 people, 24 hours a day.

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.

from k-sea.com

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 tugboatinformation.com

– 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,

from workingharbor.com

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

usual symptoms

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Existential reality and physical weakness govern this day, as your humble narrator is off to the shining city for consultations with the staff of medical specialists and practitioners whose art maintains an acceptable equilibrium between life and death for him. They plan on siphoning off some of my very lifeblood, and subjecting it to alchemical tests, as well as poking and piercing at my increasingly fragile leather with instrumentation whose appearance fills me with a nameless dread. Their prescribed potions will be assessed for effectiveness, and I will face inquisition regarding diet and lifestyle.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Such exposure to the vagaries of science are required by the increasing fragility and easily upset homogeneity of life as one grows older, part of the overdue bill owed to the universe for that lifestyle of youthful vulgarity and distasteful indulgence which I once enjoyed. I prefer to tuck my conscious mind away in a little corner of my head, behind my left ear, and let them do to my body what they will- for that is the whole of their law. The great equalizer in our society is always found in the hospital ward, where commoner and king alike find themselves sitting on a paper covered table while wearing a cheap gown as strangers perform laboratory tests upon them.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The staff of medical professionals which are employed on my behalf are, despite my lowly status and financial devastation, actually quite competent and highly placed- ignoring their vast experience and advice would be (and is) foolish. Weak in mind as well as body, I often dismiss this advice, but that is is part of the strange trade off one often makes in modern life- sacrificing what you know is good for you in favor of the quick fix and a feel good option. Seldom do I leave their offices without dire predictions or warnings having been offered, and today will most likely not be an exception.

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 27, 2011 at 9:50 am

burst open

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent business, if you must ask, is the reason I found myself visiting …Staten Island… Kevin Walsh of forgotten-ny.com wanted, sensibly enough given the sylvan landscaping and thoughtful architecture of the place, to offer a walking tour of St. George as part of his ambitious schedule of “2nd Saturday” walking tours. As an accomplice in his fiendish revelations, I was forced to return to this place by land.

It is one thing to motor past …Staten Island… on a ship or highway, and another thing entirely to touch it with your feet. This is when you are helpless, a pedestrian lost in a land of motor vehicles and steep hills, and movement noticed behind dark curtains might said to be an implied rather than suggested hint of an occluded occupant.

from silive.com

For the past two days, visitors to a park in Staten Island’s Fort Wadsworth section have stumbled upon a gory mystery — a mutilated animal, possibly a dog or a goat, wrapped in a white sheet.

Parkgoers found two such animals in Von Briesen Park yesterday and this morning, city Parks Department officials confirmed.

The discovery has sparked speculation of ritual sacrifice and cult activity, and has led one Port Richmond woman to douse part of the ground where one animal was found with holy water, in an attempt to ward off what she believes is an evil presence.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Overly sensitive to sleights, always ready to interpret malicious intent in an innocent gesture, your humble narrator nevertheless prides himself on what Brooklyn kids might call “spidey sense”. When certain instincts and triggers begin to fire off, the imperative to “get out of dodge” becomes overwhelming and flight ensues, if I am clever enough to acknowledge this “tingle”.

Every time I’m on the island which Richmond County squats upon, I start to tingle.

from silive.com

Staten Island ranks second in the overall suicide rate out of all five boroughs, behind only Manhattan, according to the most recent state Department of Health statistics.

In 2005, the most recent year available, there were 6.9 suicides on the Island per 100,000 people. Manhattan was the only borough that had more, with 7.6 suicides per 100,000; rates for the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens were 4.8, 4.6 and 5.4, respectively.

Sudden changes in behavior or personality; feelings of desperation, helplessness, hopelessness, aloneness, loss and depression; previous suicide attempt; and most importantly, suicide statements expressing a desire or intention to die are all some of the warning signs that sometimes go overlooked, experts say.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Over the years paying attention to this “tingle”, sometimes felt by Our Lady of the Pentacle instead of me, has aided me in avoiding multiple encounters with the Constabulatory, allowed me to escape a burning building twice, and facilitated in sidestepping some of the dire consequences of a degenerate youth. Additionally, I seem to know which days it would be fortuitous to call in sick to work, intuitively avoid traffic jams and transit logjams, and when some baser denizen of the NY streets sets their sights on me- I know it.

It has long been my belief that physical cowardice is a genetic inheritance, a gift from timorousness ancestors who managed to run away before the Vikings or Mongols found them.

from wikipedia

Snug Harbor was founded by the 1801 bequest of New York tycoon Captain Robert Richard Randall for whom the nearby neighborhood of Randall Manor is named. Randall left his country estate, Manhattan property bounded by Fifth Avenue and Broadway and Eighth and 10th Streets, to build an institution to care for “aged, decrepit and worn-out” seamen. The opening of the sailor’s home was delayed by extended contests of the will by Randall’s disappointed heirs. When Sailors’ Snug Harbor opened in 1833, it was the first home for retired merchant seamen in the history of the United States. It began with a single building, now the centerpiece in the row of five Greek Revival temple-like buildings on the New Brighton waterfront.

Captain Thomas Melville, a retired sea captain and brother of Moby-Dick author Herman Melville, was governor of Snug Harbor from 1867 to 1884.

In 1890, Captain Gustavus Trask, the governor of Snug Harbor, built a Renaissance Revival church, the Randall Memorial Chapel and, next to it, a music hall, both designed by Robert W. Gibson.

Approximately 1,000 retired sailors lived at Snug Harbor at its peak in the late 19th century, when it was among the wealthiest charities in New York. Its Washington Square area properties yielded a surplus exceeding the retirement home’s costs by $100,000 a year.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There are places which terrify, and intimidate. …Staten Island… with it’s hoary past and terrifying implications of Old World conspiracy- accomplishes both for me. I prefer to focus on what floats past the place, observing from the safety of running water, rather than delve too deeply into the rumors of those things which have been witnessed in the trees near Willowbrook.

from artsjournal.com

All “aged decrepit and warn-out sailors” were accepted. Even some blacks. Eventually the Harbor also allowed steamboat sailors and inland sailors from lakes and rivers too, but they were no doubt frowned upon as not being adventurous enough. Once, while trying to affix a sculpture to one of the walls, we found a sealed-off compartment containing a book of photographs of hundreds of inmates (as the retired seamen were called). Here and there were some dark faces. All races and nationalities were welcomed. Only “habitual alcoholics and those with contagious disease or immoral character were banned.”

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