Brooklyn Break

A day away from the North River and visiting Brooklyn provided a bit of a different perspective on activity in New York Harbor. While parks and recreation have also come to dominate much of the Brooklyn waterfront, there are still pockets of commercial and industrial activity, much more so than we see along the Hudson now.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard is no longer building boats, but there remains an active boat yard with drydocks which seems to get some significant business.

The front gate of the G.M.D shipyard at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Current customers include the DEP’s Port Richmond tanker
And Kirby’s Cape Canaveral. Note the visible connector bars in the bow for connecting to her barge.
An interesting looking dredging barge was also docked at the shipyard
Outside the shipyard, but still in the Navy Yard, the tug John William delivered a gravel barge to the Vulcan Materials Company dock where the product was placed in the correct pile
Norfolk’s John William headed south after the delivery, under the Manhattan Bridge
Later James was seen exiting Erie Basin and heading into the Upper Bay
Further north in the Navy Yard, Lehigh Cement mixes imported cement powder on a stationary barge
FDNY also has a maintenance facility and the headquarters of the Marine Unit at the Navy Yard

South of the Navy Yard, the waterfront is occupied by Con Ed facilities and then the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Port Authority Docks south of the park look to be mainly used as trucking depots, though some tanker barges and at least one tug are tied up there.

The Vanes’ Brothers Schuylkill and tanker barges with the Battery Tunnel vents in the background

Things get more interesting in Red Hook, where an active container terminal is operating, as well as a cruise ship terminal. The AS Pauline, a Liberian-flagged modest sized 2526 TEU feedermax container ship was unloading Wednesday. She arrived from Costa Rica and Panama this week and was on her way to Philadelphia by evening. We visited the excellent stewards of the historic Mary Whalen tanker based there, a floating museum which serves as a cultural center for the neighborhood and a rallying point for maintaining maritime industrial capacity on the waterfront.

The Mary Whalen at her home in Red Hook
The AS Pauline unloading at Red Hook Terminal, as seen from the deck of the Mary Whalen
Near the Mary Whalen resides another preserved vessel, the ex-Lehigh Railroad tug Cornell

As you move south through the Red Hook area, the true scale of New York Harbor becomes visible in a way we never see from the North River.

ATB’s at anchor in the Upper Bay, with the Celebrity Cruises’ Mein Schiff 1 docked in Bayonne in the background
Timothy L. Reinauer was running light on the way out from Erie Basin, with the Bayonne container port visible in the background and Port Elizabeth in the far distance on the left.

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