Over the rainbow, plus the fireboat mystery solved

Dawn on Monday brought a glorious rainbow to the River, arching from Weehawken up to North Bergen. A last line of rain showers came through at 7:20am, ending the effect, but it was great while it lasted. Activity on the River remained heavy. Adeline Marie remained at anchor on the River as she has been since Thanksgiving Eve. She was joined by Dean Reinauer, dropping their hook off 86th Street after returning from Newburgh, and Kimberly Poling, off 96th Street on return from Albany. Kristy Ann departed her spot by Grants Tomb and headed for the Upper Bay. Pocomoke had also departed early Monday, heading for Philly with her loaded barge—a relatively rare example of refined products heading south. Just before sunset, the Royal Wagenborg Arubaborg came through, heading to Albany from Finland and very likely carrying wood pulp for paper mills up north.

The southern end of the rainbow, over Weekhawken
The northern end landed in North Bergen
Evelyn Cutler returned from Albany with a light barge
Evelyn proceeded to the Bayonne IMTT for new cargo, where two foreign flagged tankers were unloading oil products from Europe. The Coast Guard buoy tender Katherine Walker is in the foreground…
And was later seen servicing buoys in the Upper Bay
Kristy Ann left her anchorage off Edgewater with her 347’ barge and headed for the harbor
Kristy Ann was later seen preparing to anchor in the Upper Bay, with the Verrazzano Bridge and Bay Ridge in the background
Adeline Marie remained at her 72nd Street anchorage at the morning slack tide
Kimberly Poling at anchor off Edgewater Monday morning before heading for Cateret
The Aurubaborg heading for Albany with a load of wood pulp from Finland
Icebreaking cutter Sturgeon Bay was heading from her Bayonne base up to Poughkeepsie, producing a lot of smoke as is usual for these 1980s vintage Bay Class Cutters.
The Beatrice returned from the Buckeye Terminal north of Newburgh with her nearly 400’ long barge empty and headed out through the Narrows, signaling Philadelphia
James William, who is more often seen moving stone and sand around the East River and Upper Bay, was running light on a loop up to Riverdale for unknown reasons before heading back to her usual territory, seen here passing the old Lackawanna Terminal
East Coast was in the Upper Bay, heading back to Yonkers and its sugar barge there after making a drip to the Dann dock on the north shore of Staten Island

The fireboat mystery solved

The retired fireboat at Pier 25 has been a source of curiosity, but no longer. From afar, it appears to have no markings, making it unclear what boat it is or was. But closer inspection of the stern reveals the name Governor Alfred E. Smith. The Smith was in service from 1961 until 1970 and then placed in reserve before being retired in 2015. There was talk of converting her into a restaurant at the time of her retirement, but there is no sign that this happened or what her current ownership status is. When operational, she was first based in Brooklyn but then moved to the historic harbor police headquarters Pier A at the Battery.

There are currently three retired boats on the Hudson River. The Smith at Pier 25, the older and more famous John J. Harvey based at Pier 66, and the 1954 vintage John D. McKean now up in Haverstraw. There remains an active FDNY base at Pier 53 in Chelsea where large Marine 1 fireboat Three Forty Three is based, along with a small Marine 1a boat and the William H. Feehan, a medium-sized boat with shallow draft.

The retired fireboat at Pier 25 has no visible identification
But a close look at the stern reveals the name Governor Alfred E. Smith
The Smith was last based at the historic Pier A near the Battery. Pier A is one of the few structures to bear the name “North River”, along with the North River Water Treatment Plant, and, more recently, the North River Lobster Company dinner boat The Discovery
The John J. Harvey remains tied up at her usual Pier 66 base with the retired light ship Frying Pan on Monday. See Back to the 60s on this blog for photos of Harvey in action
The John McKean tied up in Haverstraw in early November
The FDNY’s active Three Forty Three boat at the Marine 1 base in Chelsea
The other large 140’ FDNY fireboat, Firefighter 2, was at their usual base at the old Homeport pier in Staten Island on Monday, prepared to respond to emergencies on the Upper and Lower Bay.

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