• Sleepy Sunday

    Sleepy Sunday

    Weirdly warm temperatures persisted Sunday, and the city looks on track to set a new record of winter days without snow tomorrow. Winds started light but were gusting above 20 knots at Robbins Reef by the end of the day. Commercial traffic seemed very light, and even recreational activity was scarce despite the warm conditions. Kristin Poling remianed anchored off 86th Street for a second day, and Mount Saint Elias remained anchored north of the Bridge for a third day.

    Nicole Leigh Reinauer returned from a delivery of oil products to Newburgh, passing the anchored Kristin Poling. At 460’ long, Nicole’s RTC 135 barge is over 130’ longer than Kristin’s. The tugs are of comparable length though Nicole is more powerful.
    The Normandy headed to Yonkers, very likely to assist Dann’s East Coast with docking a barge at the Domino sugar refinery after East Coast arrived overnight with a sugar cargo from Florida.
    This pusher tug is about as small as a tug can get and was moving south, too small to broadcast a AIS signal
    Corps of Engineer’s Hayward passed the Classic Harbor Line’s Manhattan II excursion boat
    The DEP tanker Rockaway headed for the North River water treatment plant
    …and then, loaded with sludge and lower in the water, headed for the Ward’s Island plant for dewatering in the centrifuges there
    The feral hybrid mallard ducks remained in residence at the emptied out boat basin, consorting with their wild mallard cousins

  • Weird winter

    Weird winter

    The weird winter of 2023 continues, with temperatures climbing into the 50s and only the brisk 15 knot southwest winds providing a reminder of the season. A tanker barge cargo of what was most likely ethanol moved south en route to Boston, and stone hoppers were heading north.

    Janice Ann Reinauer came south with a cargo from Albany, signaling Boston. Most tanker cargos move north on the River but occasionally one moves south heading for New England and most likely this is ethanol brought by train from the Midwest and now on its way to New England.
    Kristin Poling returned from Albany with a light barge and was anchored at slack tide opposite the Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen
    Dann’s Sapphire Coast had a light cement barge heading back to the Lafarge plant in Ravenna
    CMT’s Mister Jim passed the Lincoln Tunnel vents with hoppers with products such as rock, aggregate and recycled asphalt
    MHT’s Nathan G was also bringing hoppers north
    NJ State Police seems to be patrolling the River more actively this year, with a 44’ boat based in Liberty Marina, Jersey City
    A Coast Guard 45’ response boat also made a loop up the River, bigger than the 29 footers we more typically see
    Up above, a trio of Marine V-22 Ospreys came down the East River and up the North River. They had the dark green livery of the HMX-1 presidential helicopter detail, though the President was at Camp David this weekend.
    A red-tailed hawk looked introspective on their perch along Riverside Drive

  • After the wind

    After the wind

    Skies cleared and winds moderated Friday, setting up favorable conditions for the weekend. As conditions improved, the crowd of tug/barge combinations anchored on the River dispersed and went back to work. Haggerty Girls pulled up their hook just after sundown on Thursday and B. Franklin Reinauer was on their way before sunrise on Friday. Stephen L. Reinauer remained in place off 72nd Street though, as did Mount Saint Elias anchored north of the Bridge. Evelyn Cutler left her anchorage off Yonkers Friday afternoon and new cargos were heading north.

    Mount Saint Elias caught the morning sun anchored north of the Bridge in front of the Palisades
    Stephen L Reinauer remained anchored off 72nd Street, visible at slack tide through the underpinnings of the West Side Highway.
    Nicole Leigh Reinauer passed North Bergen with a cargo en route to Newburgh
    Genesis Vigilant headed for the Upper Bay after seemingly delivering a residual fuel cargo to the Roseton power plant north of Newburgh
    Reinauer Twins had a cargo for Albany as the light faded
    Dann’s Discovry coast is only occasionally seen working the North River, but she came through Friday with a Vane Brothers tanker cargo for the second time in three days.
    Vane’s Elk River was heading north light Thursday afternoon but seems to have picked up a barge somewhere upriver and returned Friday.
    Evelyn Cutler left her anchorage off Yonkers Friday afternoon…
    …and headed for the bay as the sun set
    Coast Guard ice breaker Sturgeon Bay returned to its Bayonne base after spending the week stationed up north
    Rockaway, a 2014 vintage DEP tanker, brought a load of sludge from the North River plant to Wards Island for dewatering.
    A paddle boarder headed into the weekend with a late afternoon excursion

  • The West Wind

    The West Wind

    Skies cleared Thursday but gale warnings remained in effect in the Harbor as winds out of the west gusted to over 40 MPH. Some tug/barge combinations rode out the chop on the Upper Bay, but the North River anchorages filled up with ATBs returning from New England ports, with four boats anchored off Manhattan, another north of the bridge and several off Yonkers.

    Josephine was anchored off 72nd Street overnight after returning from New Haven, but then left mid-morning for the Reinauer dock on the Kill van Kull
    Genesis Glory was also anchored south of the bridge overnight after arriving Wednesday afternoon
    The Haggerty Girls arrived from Boston Thursday morning and anchored off 110th Street
    Timothy L. Reinauer returned from New Haven and anchored off 72nd Street, replacing Josephine. Timothy was launched in 1979, though her tower and raised wheelhouse are of more recent vintage and she was retrofitted with ATB fittings in 2009 according to tugboatinformation.com
    B. Franklin Reinauer anchored between the Haggerty Girls and Timothy after returning from Fall River
    Mount St. Elias, a Kirby tug we have not seen on the River since October, brought a light barge back from New Haven and anchored north of the Bridge
    A 575 foot bulker headed north for Albany or Coeymans from Algeria after a stop in Wilmington
    …passing the anchored ATBs
    Vane’s Elk River was running light, heading upriver, seen here passing Timothy Reinauer’s RTC 84 barge
    Metropolitan Marine’s Pegasus was also running light, possibly heading for Yonkers to assist a sugar barge leaving the Domino pier as we have seen Pegasus and her fleet mate Normandy do in the past
    Dann’s Calusa Coast spent the evening with her loaded barge in sheltered waters off Yonkers but by Thursday afternoon she was heading for sea with her barge on the wire and signaling Baltimore, perhaps marking an end to her New York Harbor residence of the past month.

  • Tanker traffic

    Tanker traffic

    Wednesday brought precipitation and even some snow flurries, but we remain without significant accumulation of snow this winter, rapidly closing in on a record. Winds remained brisk, and gale warnings went into effect for the Harbor Wednesday afternoon. Deteriorating conditions saw Norwegian Gem postpone her scheduled 4pm departure from Pier 88 until 3am Thursday, according to Cruisehive. Tanker traffic was heavy on the River for the first time in a while.

    Dann’s uniquely designed Discovery Coast kicked things off, coming through in the morning with a tanker barge loaded at Buckeye Port Reading. Discovery is only occasionally seen pushing tank barges on the River.
    Another Dann tug, Calusa Coast came through at the other end of the day, pushing north with a cargo from Bayway. Calusa arrived from Chesapeake Bay late last year and has been seen working River runs periodically since them.
    Kristin Poling returned from New Haven with an empty barge, killed some time on the River, and then headed for Carteret for new cargo
    Balco’s small tug Navigator had a small loaded barge heading to Albany from Carteret
    Stasinos’s Charles James brought back an empty tank barge on the hip from Newburgh. As noted Tuesday, we more often see Stasinos tugs pushing construction equipment or stone, but Charles seemed to be filling in for Pinuccia of Boston Marine for unknown reasons.
    Reinauer’s Josephine brought a light barge back from New Haven and parked off 72nd Street
    Jordan Rose’s barge was also light. They proceeded up to Yonkers to anchor
    Curtis Reinauer had a loaded barge heading north for Albany
    Janice Ann Reinauer also had a cargo and was heading north to Newburgh
    Hopper activity was much less in evidence Wednesday, but Everly Mist did come through heading for Tomkins Cove
    New Jersey State Police were patrolling the length of the River with their launch based in Jersey City’s Liberty Marina
    A kayaker and paddle boarder got some morning time in on the River before conditions deteriorated

  • Air and Sea

    Air and Sea

    Skies cleared on Tuesday and temperatures dropped into the 30s, with a brisk 15knot wind blowing out of the west. Some interesting traffic passed on the River, but an occasional glance upward was also rewarding. Vessel traffic included a 650 foot bulker headed to Coeymans from Chile and likely carrying road salt, as well as a 530 foot tanker coming from the North Sea and likely carrying oil product refined in Northern Europe. Up above, a pair of F/A-18s flew up the River to West Point and back at about 2,500 feet, while a trio of NYPD helicopters flew in formation up to and Orange County, NY for unknown purposes.

    The tanker R/F Marina was Albany-bound with a likely oil products cargo refined in Northern Europe
    The bulk ship Tai Shine was heading to Coeymans, likely carrying road salt from Chile
    CMT’s Minter Jim was also Coeymans bound, pushing deck barges and hoppers
    CMT colleagues on the larger Mackenzie Rose were coming the other way, pushing hoppers from Coeymans down to the Harbor
    Stasinos tug Charles James is usually seen pushing construction barges or stone hoppers, but Tuesday saw them pushing a tanker barge north. The barge itself belongs to Boston Marine and would normally be seen with one of their two tugs, Quenames or Pinuccia. Pinuccia spent Tuesday tied up at an unused dock in Port Reading, and comparing movements, it seems Charles James picked up the barge there, stopped at the Bayonne IMTT for cargo and headed north.
    DonJon’s Thomas D Witte serviced the DSNY’s Pier 99 and muscled a loaded recycling barge into the current.
    Up above, a pair of F/A-18s flew up to West Point and back at 2500 feet
    An Army Blackhawk also flew north
    And a Coast Guard Dolphin flew south
    A handsome red-breasted merganser, not often seen on the River, fished for a late breakfast in the morning.
    The afternoon tide was extra-low, perhaps in part due to the west wind, exposing more of the old New York Central piers than usual and producing a sulfury odor.

  • Atypical behavior

    Rains continued to soak the New York area as the work week kicked off Monday and River traffic was light, with someCoast Guard icebreaking assets seen heading north. Marilyn George, a tug newly acquired by Poling-Cutler this year according to tugboatinformation.com, was seen heading up river with a cargo for the first time.

    Reinauer’s Kristy Ann remained a puzzler. The company’s articulated tug-barge combinations (ATBs) normally behave in a fairly predictable manner, loading oil product cargos at the refinery and pipeline terminals along the Arthur Kill or in Bayonne and then heading up the Hudson or out along Long Island Sound to make deliveries. Occasionally a loaded barge will come down from Albany, probably carrying ethanol, and head for a fuel depot in New England. They will then sometimes return with their barges empty and wait at anchor on the North River until it is time to load a new cargo.

    Kristy Ann’s movements this past week, however, have been difficult to explain. The ATB arrived Thursday with what appeared to be a loaded barge and proceeded to anchor for several days off 72nd Street, unusual because loaded barges typically head directly to their destinations, and it is typically tugs with unloaded barges which we see anchor. On Saturday, Kristy Ann returned to the Arthur Kill, and then came back to the River Sunday with the barge looking unloaded, presumably having discharged cargo in Linden, again unusual since this is where oil product cargos typically originate. Monday saw her weigh anchor and leave town, heading for the Philadelphia area. There is of course likely a very simple commercial, mechanical, or logistical reason for this atypical movement, but for those of us watching from ashore, it counts as an unsolved mystery.

    Saint Emilion, another tug whose movements have been difficult to interpret lately, was anchored Sunday off Edgewater but was heading for Albany Monday after a visit to Linden, seemingly back at work moving product north.
    Poling-Cutler’s newest acquisition, Marilyn George, headed north Monday with a loaded barge. Marilyn was formerly Norfolk Tug’s Steven Wayne, which did not work the River.
    Coast Guard icebreaker Sturgeon Bay left her Bayonne base and headed north Monday, reaching Kingston by sunset en route to Albany.
    The nearly identical Penobscot Bay followed a few hours later, heading for Poughkeepsie. The smaller Coast Guard tug, Hawser, was also on the move, traveling from Bayonne up to Haverstraw Bay
    NYPD launch 702 was also on the River Monday morning, with no AIS signal for some reason.
    DonJon’s Sarah Ann brought hoppers down from the Sims Metal recycling dock in Albany to the Sims dock in Jersey City.

  • Weekend anchor

    Weekend anchor

    Thursday’s rains abated and temperatures climbed into the 40s by Saturday, warm enough for kayakers and for HRCS’s winter sailing crew. A number of tugs with empty tanker barges accumulated in the River by Friday evening. Reinauer’s Kristy Ann also remained with her apparently loaded barge from Thursday into Saturday morning, and then departed to anchor in the Upper Bay. Loaded barges usually do not idle at anchor, and its unclear what logistical reason might be keeping this one from delivery for so long.

    Kristy Ann at anchor with her seemingly loaded barge Friday before heading for the Upper Bay Saturday
    Saturday morning saw Timothy Reinauer and Kristin Pauling at anchor, with Mister Jim underway and heading south visible between them
    Mister Jim had hoppers, at last some of which were loaded with stone, coming south.
    Kristin Poling had arrived Friday and anchored off the North River DEP Plant after returning from a cargo delivery in Boston
    Timothy Reinauer left his anchorages Saturday midday and headed for Bayonne IMTT and then the Reinauer dock on the Kill van Kull, seen here passing kayakers from perspective of a J24 sailboat passing astern
    The kayakers and SUPers were warmly dressed
    Dace Reinauer, born in 1968, came the other direction and anchored with a light barge off 72nd Street.
    Saint Emilion, who has been anchored up in Yonkers, shifted down to drop anchor off 96th Street with a barge, continuing its pattern of unusual movement. Her colleagues on Copper Mountain have left town with their barge in tow, heading south down the coast.
    The small 85 foot Coast Guard Cutter Beluga tied up at the Coast Guard’s permanent mooring just south of the Bridge on Friday before returning to her Sandy Hook base on Saturday
    The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy training ship Liberator made a loop up the River Saturday before heading back to the academy at Kings Point on Long Island.
    DonJon’s Sarah Ann was servicing the DSNY recycling pier
    The small tug Eastern Dawn brought a deck barge to the DSNY pier Friday
    It remained there Saturday as work continues on the structure
    Corps of Engineers crews captured a piece of driftwood with boat hooks on Friday
    And used the Hayward’s crane to remove it from the River
    A Marine viper attack helicopter made several loops up the River and back
    This camera-equipped helicopter belonging to Hover-Views Unlimited, was also making loops out of Teterboro, presumably filming
    Norwegian Getaway joined the Queen Victoria at the passenger ship terminal Friday and was bunkered with help from Vane Brothers tugs
    By Friday evening, Getaway was heading out on a 12 day Caribbean round trip. Victoria left after sunset, heading for Saint Maarten as she continues her round-the-world cruise

  • Winter weeks

    Winter weeks

    We continue to count off the weeks of winter, with sunset after 5pm finally arriving. Weather has remained unseasonably warm, though Thursday brought more rain limiting scope for recreation on the water. River traffic has been fairly typical, with a few exceptions noted below. Thursday also brought Cunard’s Queen Victoria to Pier 90, a rare visit as Cunard usually uses the Brooklyn cruise terminal these days. Victoria is on the first leg of an around the world cruise, having departed Southampton last week. Tanker traffic was Reinauer-heavy.

    Dace Reinauer, with its retro 60s lines, remained anchored in the River Monday
    Dean Reinauer headed for Newburgh with a cargo on Monday
    And was heading the other way with the barge lighter on Thursday
    Gracie M. Reinauer spent some time anchored off 72nd Street Tuesday
    Curtis Reinauer, not often seen on the River, spent some time anchored with a light barge Wednesday
    And was passed by CMT’s Daisy Mae pushing hoppers loaded with stone
    Reinauer’s Josephine returned from Providence Thursday with a light barge, killed a few hours on the River and then headed for Philly. In the photo, Haugland Group’s Everly Mist overtakes her heading for the quarry dock in Catskill NY with hoppers
    Kristy Ann anchored with a loaded-looking barge on Thursday, unusual because loaded barges are usually hastening to their destinations.
    Outside the Reinauer family, Balco’s Navigator brought a light barge south Tuesday
    Evelyn Cutler had the Noelle Cutler barge also heading south Tuesday
    Copper Mountain had a loaded looking barge on the wire Thursday coming down from Yonkers, heading for sea after starting the day at the Newark Buckeye Terminal. Towing tanker barges on the River is not common, and the routing is also unusual, but Copper Mountain and her fleet-mate Saint Emilion’s moves have been anything but typical in recent months.
    Mister Jim came down from Coeymans with a high sided hopper Wednesday
    Buchanan12 was pushing north with empty hoppers, returning to the quarry for more crushed rock
    Icebreaking tug Penobscot Bay returned from a deployment up to Poughkeepsie.
    Corps of Engineers tug Gelberman has been seen on the River several times this week.
    DonJon Marine’s Sarah Ann worked the Pier 99 DSNY paper facility
    Vane’s Cape Fear bunkered Cunard’s Queen Victoria at Pier 90 Thursday

    ©2022 Daniel Katzive
  • Bulk Sunday

    Bulk Sunday

    Temperatures barely broke 40 on Sunday, and with a stiff wind blowing from the north, it felt much colder on the River. Commercial traffic was heavy, with three large foreign flagged ships moving through. A pair of 600’ long bulkers came through, heading for Albany. One was arriving from Northern Europe and the other from Ivory Coast, with little to go on in terms of what cargo they might be carrying.

    The 500’ long cargo ship Dijksgracht came through, returning from Albany after passing us on the way up Thursday. The yachts lashed to her deck which were observed as she passed heading north, remained in place, so they were not, in fact, delivered in Albany. What was unloaded was the large tank that had been visible forward of the yachts. According to a Facebook post from the Dagen Trucking Company, the tank was delivered to Plug Power, a hydrogen cell manufacturer which is setting up a plant near Albany and has been receiving a lot large deliveries by ship. As for the yachts, the Dijskgracht is signaling West Palm Beach as its next port of call, so this is the likely destination for them. Looking at historical port calls, it seems likely the tank was loaded in Turkey, consistent with the lettering on the tank, and the yachts were added in Genoa.

    The 600’ bulker Felicia K overtakes the Corp of Engineer’s Hayward en route to Albany from Northern Europe
    Followed by the Bunun Wisdom, arriving from Ivory Coast
    Cargo ship Dijksgracht with a deck load of yachts en route to West Palm Beach after delivering a large tank from Turkey to Plug Power in Albany
    The 1968 vintage Dace, oldest in the Reinauer fleet, spent Sunday anchored off 90th Street after returning from Albany.
    Dace was joined by a large Kirby ATB Cape Hatteras which we have not seen before on the River. Hatteras has been working Connecticut ports in recent weeks and was returning most recently from Providence, RI
    Evelyn Cutler had the barge Noelle Cutler heading for the Bayonne IMTT after laying up north of the Bridge overnight.
    The Beatrice came through with a cargo heading north, the first time we have seen her since late November.
    DonJon’s Thomas D Witte brought a load of scrap down from Albany, heading for Newark, perhaps to transfer the metal to a bulker for overseas shipment
    A Coast Guard Dolphin MH-65 helicopter cruised up the River. These smaller Coast Guard choppers patrol the New York Bight from their Atlantic City base. The larger and longer-range MH-60 Jayhawks patrol from Cape Cod and are less frequently seen over the River.