The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for the ‘Marie J. Turecamo’ Category

caravan route

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

From the 2010 archives emerge these shots, depicting employees of the estimable Moran company displaying their knowledge of applied physics.

The two tugs, Turecamo Girls and Marie J. Turecamo, work in concert against the tidal forces of the East River and the inertia of a loaded cargo ship. The mathematics of what is going on in these photos would be staggering to work out, but the Tug crews prefer not to over think things and “just get it done”.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maritime professionals live in a somewhat four dimensional world. It’s not necessarily about the “X, Y, and Z” axes of your current position, rather its how those three factors will contribute to your situation as you move through space over time. Where you’re headed and how fast you are moving is rather more important than where you are now. As mentioned above- applied physics.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Imagine it, coordinating the position of hundreds of tons of steel blindly, as it is simultaneously affected by tide and wind. Your goal is to move the thing into a precise position with a tolerance of less than a foot or two of the dock, and the effort needs to be seamlessly performed not just by you but by a partner vessel working in concert. This maritime sunday, your humble narrator is overwhelmed just thinking about the calculations of the forces at work.


raised place

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Marie J. Turecamo, a Moran tug, getting all iconic on the East River. This tug has been discussed in earlier posts at this, your Newtown Pentacle, specifically the posting “Circumnavigation 1” from which the following is quoted:

…along came the Marie J. Turecamo tugboat- a 2,250 HP twin screw tug operated by Moran Towing. It was originally built as the Traveller in 1968, by Tangier Marine Transport which operated out of the Main Iron Works facility in Houma, LA.


Moran is a leading provider of marine towing and transportation services, a 150-year-old corporation that was founded as a small towing company in New York Harbor and grew to preeminence in the industry. The cornerstone of our success has been a long-standing reputation for safe, efficient service, achieved through a combination of first-rate people and outstanding vessels and equipment.

Over the course of its history Moran has steadily expanded and diversified, and today offers a versatile range of services stemming from its core capabilities in ship docking, contract towing, LNG activities and marine transportation. Our tug fleet serves the most ports of any operator in the eastern United States, and services LNG terminals along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts and the West Coast of Mexico. The Moran barge fleet serves the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, the Great Lakes, the inland waters of the U.S. eastern seaboard, and the Gulf of Mexico. We also provide worldwide marine transportation services, including operations in the Caribbean and periodic voyages to South America and overseas waters.

Another appearance of the tug, wherein it played a similar iconic role and chewed a different bit of harbor scenery was in the posting “curious customs“.

Also- Upcoming tours…

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

for more information on the October 27th Newtown Creek Boat Tour, click here

for more information on the November 9th Newtown Creek Magic Lantern Show, click here

for an expanded description of the November 11th Newtown Creek tour, please click here

frequent references

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maritime Sunday rolls around once more at this, your Newtown Pentacle, and a humble narrator will remain uncharacteristically terse for a change. All week have I tormented you, lords and ladies, with electioneering and political intrigues and I do believe that we’ve arrived at a juncture where a few simple photographs should be called upon to do the talking. A few tugboats should do the trick.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It has been a busy week- meetings at and about sewer plants, conversations and presentations about titanic bridges being deconstructed and the community amenities which will accompany their replacements, just yesterday I found myself at no less than three distinct events at and upon the Newtown Creek itself, and on top of all this a social event in Manhattan which I was called on to photograph. I actually cannot remember all which was witnessed, said, and done at this moment- and will have to rely upon the hundreds of photos recently deposited on my hard drive to reconstruct my activities.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As you read this, I’m likely on my way to a certain destination, well outside of my normal “beat”. An attempt to have a little fun on one of the few weekend days not occupied with the tours and other obligations which have otherwise consumed much of my attention over the last few months. Exploring the unknown, or at least the barely known, has not been a luxury enjoyed since the early spring. One desperately craves wholesome excitement and ribald adventure.

Written by Mitch Waxman

September 16, 2012 at 2:50 am

curious customs

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Marie J. Turecamo tug presented itself to a humble narrator recently, framing iconic views of the harbor for your perusal on this week’s “Maritime Sunday”. Periodically, when some magazine art buyer or advertising stalwart is looking for a harbor shot, my phone will ring and someone will ask for “a tugboat moving past the Statue of Liberty” or something similar. Invariably, the caller is seeking out free usage of the shot.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Other photographers get angry with me when I allow free usage of this shot or that to various personages or groups, accusing me of devaluing the craft. “Information wants to be free” is my normal reply, and “an image too dearly held has no intrinsic valuation” is the follow up. This is when I’m called a schmuck, and informed that I’m being “taken advantage of”. Allow me to set the record straight on this subject, lords and ladies.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A regular beneficiary of my largesse, whether it be the estimable Working Harbor Committee or the Newtown Creek Alliance or any of the other “worthy” harbor groups whom I regularly supply images to, receives a limited license to the photo. They cannot, for instance, use my shots in a manner which I haven’t specified or agreed to- web usage versus printed material. A byline is required, and if at any time I decide to ask them to pull the shot, this is my right as I’m retaining the image copyright and full usage rights. In advertising lingo, the shots are offered and licensed as “stock”, and the compensation asked for use of them is somewhat asymmetrical and seldom monetary.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What I’m ultimately after is photographic access to people, places, and situations which are normally unattainable. I’ve been inside the Manhattan Bridge, walked on a Queensboro bridge completely devoid of traffic, been privy to dozens of situations that “press” photographers would have killed to get near. I’ve been to off limits spots all around the harbor, delved into the deepest recesses of the City, ascended to unattainable and high vantages, and seen things that most living New Yorkers barely suspect. If a group is doing something worth doing, as in the case of WHC with its education programs and senior citizen programming, or NCA’s quest to save the Newtown Creek from sophistry- I’m happy to donate the usage of a few images. On the other hand, if you see something you’d like a print of, or would like to license an image or two for commercial usage- contact me here.

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