The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘McAllister Girls

swinging and plunging

with one comment

It’s all so depressing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Not too long ago, a humble narrator left HQ and soon found himself at Hells Gate. One always finds it amazing how alone you can feel when surrounded by literally thousands of people, but there you go. Melancholy and regret notwithstanding, it was decided to sit down and watch the surrounding city for a spell from a stationary vantage point.

“Winter is coming” is what was on my mind.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Off in the distance – a tugboat was towing a barge down the East River from the direction of Flushing Bay, and since there was literally nowhere else for me to go, I sat and waited for it to transit.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The tug was the McAllister Girls. The fuel barge it was towing was clearly empty, given how high it was riding in the swirling maelstroms of the Hells Gate section of the estuarine East River.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The background was provided by the DEP’s Wards Island plant, where centrifugal machinery separates a pestilence of filth out of a watery solution which the sewer people refer to as “honey” but the rest of just call “sludge.” In NY Harbor, it is difficult to avoid fecal matter, as the harbor is full of it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The currents in this section of the river, spanned by both Triborough and Hell Gate bridges, are notorious and powerful. Once, Hells Gate was a breaker of ships and consumer of lives, before the Army Corps of Engineers exploded the underwater geology which promulgated the formation of whirlpools and ripping tides.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Even today, it takes a bit of skill – and a powerful set of engines – for Mariners to conquer the cross currents and tidal action of Hells Gate. It’s nowhere close to the historical force of water, spoken about with awe and respect by sailors in the historical record, but this stretch of the river is still fairly treacherous.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

McAllister Girls, of course, managed Hells Gate with little trouble. The tug and barge continued along, entering the east channel of the river and continuing along to the south. Likely, she was headed for Kill Van Kull or Arthur Kill to drop off the empty barge and begin the process of moving another full one to some farm of coastal fuel tanks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was all pretty depressing though. Winter is coming.

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Upcoming Tours –

October 10th, 2015
Calvary Cemetery Walking Tour
with Atlas Obscura, click here for details and tickets

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 1, 2015 at 2:30 pm

inaccessible places

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Tugboats, three different ways.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maritime Sunday once more crashes into port, and this week, its just a few photos and not a lot of talk. Witness the Miriam Moran on the Kill Van Kull.

from tugboatinformation.com

Built in 1979, by McDermott Shipyard of Morgan City, Louisiana (hull #253) as the Miriam Moran for the Moran Towing Company of New York, New York.

She is a twin screw tug rated at 3,000 horsepower.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

McAllister Girls passing by the Staten Island Yankees stadium, heading out into the larger harbor from the KVK.

from mcallistertowing.com

McALLISTER TOWING is one of the oldest and largest family-owned marine towing and transportation companies in the United States. Founded by Captain James McAllister in 1864 with a single sail lighter, the company has served the maritime community continuously, earning a reputation for unsurpassed excellence. Today, the company operates a balanced and extensive fleet of tugs, barges, and ferries in the major ports on the U.S. East Coast and in Puerto Rico. Captain Brian A. McAllister is the President and a great-grandson of the founder, representing the fourth generation of McAllisters at the helm. Five McAllisters of the fifth generation are also employed by the company.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This tug, named Bear, is a bit of a mystery. It was tiny, by tug standards, not much bigger than a workboat. The usual sources turned up nothing on it, and I don’t recognize the colorway or logo. Oddly, there was no radio call sign number on it that I could see. Anybody know anything about the tug Bear?

from thefreedictionary.com

mys·ter·y 1 (mst-r)

n. pl. mys·ter·ies

  1. One that is not fully understood or that baffles or eludes the understanding; an enigma: How he got in is a mystery.
  2. One whose identity is unknown and who arouses curiosity: The woman in the photograph is a mystery.
  3. A mysterious character or quality: a landscape with mystery and charm.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

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

August 11, 2013 at 7:30 am

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