Then and now

Watching Margaret Moran assist the small Polar cruise ship Silver Cloud leave Pier 88 Tuesday evening reminded me of a photo I took in the mid-1980s of that same tug assisting the old QE2 leaving the same pier. I have posted this picture before in Back to the 80s but this is a good excuse to once again share what is most certainly the first photo I ever took of North River shipping.

Modern cruise ships use rotating propulsion pods and do not need tug assistance leaving the pier, so Margaret spends most of her time in the approaches and docks of Elizabeth, Newark and Bayonne, assisting container ships and bulkers, and rarely coming up the North River. Silver Cloud is an older ship, built in 1994, and, though upgraded to face Antarctic conditions, she requires assistance entering and leaving the pier.

This version of the QE2, meanwhile, has retired and is currently a floating hotel in Dubai. Cunard has a new ship known as Queen Elizabeth (no number), who serves alongside Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Anne.

Margaret Moran helps the QE2 leave Pier 88 in the mid-1980s
Margaret Moran helping Silver Cloud depart Pier 88 on Tuesday night

While we are on the theme of “then and now”, I can add a photo that I wanted to include in my Back to the 1960s—fireboat special post but could not because I hadn’t taken it until today. Below is one of the photos of the barge fire from the family collection taken in 1965 by my mother, and next to it is the same view taken Wednesday. How many differences can you find? I will also update the original post with this photo.

Meanwhile, Wednesday brought beautiful conditions and some interesting river traffic.

Treasure Coast brought an empty cement barge from Lafarge’s New Haven terminal heading for the Lafarge plant in Ravenna, NY for more cargo
Crystal Cutler anchored in the river overnight with a loaded barge (unusual) and then headed for the Motiva terminal on Jamaica Bay near JFK
Bulker Ereclea arrived from Gdańsk, Poland, heading north for either Coeymans or Albany most likely and looking empty or lightly loaded
The New Jersey Responder, a pollution control vessel, made a run up the North River and then returned to its base in Pert Amboy
Both the North River and the Port Richmond were servicing the North River plant, making sludge runs to Hunts Point
The Nicole Reinauer and the Quenames push loaded barges up the river. Not sure why this photo from the GWB looks like an impressionist painting
An NYPD airship made a circuit low over the river in the morning
A cormorant fished near the shoreline at 100th Street and played hide and seek with a photographer
A groundhog was operating in Riverside Park north of the North River sewage plant

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