• Mid-March Nor’easter

    Mid-March Nor’easter

    Storms have rolled through the New York area as we reach the middle of March, with a wintery mix on Friday followed by a nor’easter arriving Monday evening. By Tuesday afternoon, winds had shifted around to the northwest and were gusting above 40 knots, with gale warnings going into effect. Heavy snow accumulated on the northern end of the Hudson, but in New York City there was no accumulation, just occasional white-out conditions. River traffic has been relatively light and anchorages crowded during periods of heavy weather.

    Gracie M. Reinauer, Dean Reinauer, and Genesis Glory road out the nor’easter south of the Bridge
    Denali, a Kirby tug not seen before on the River, arrived from Boston with a light barge Sunday and remained anchored off 72nd through Tuesday
    CMT’s Mackenzie Rose came south with hoppers during a break in the weather over the weekend
    And a Dann tug brought a light cement barge north
    The Army Corps Driftmaster was filling in for Hayward on North River patrol over the weekend
    Hayward appears to be on the hard, hauled out at Bayonne Dry Dock for service
    American Petroleum’s Stephen B came south in Tuesday’s storm, returning a light barge from Albany and heading for Tottenville
    USCG icebreaker Penobscot Bay left Poughkeepsie at midday Tuesday and returned to their Bayonne base, joining Sturgeon Bay there

  • Double arrival

    Double arrival

    Friday kicked off with dual cruise ship arrivals, with Norwegian Getaway and Gem pulling into the North River terminal within minutes of each other. Otherwise traffic was unremarkable, with familiar tugs pushing tanker barges in either direction. Bad weather was on the way, with a mix of rain and snow expected Friday evening.

    Norwegian Getaway arriving at Pier 88
    With Norwegian Gem close on their heals
    Vane Brothers scrambled a bunkering barge…
    As did Centerline Logistics
    By evening, both ships were on their way back to the Caribbean
    This privately owned RIB boat was making its near-daily run down the river
    The tiny Kenny G and Sound Marine’s small work boat were bringing a deck barge north towards the Nyack North River shipyard. They passed the Haggerty Girls, anchored with a light barge after returning from New Haven.

  • Signs of spring?

    Signs of spring?

    Thursday again saw typical River traffic and improving weather conditions, with winds abating and temperatures warming. Days start off frigid but struggle to stay cold this time of year as the sun gets closer to the northern hemisphere. Coast Guard Sector New York’s ice season has officially concluded as of Tuesday this week.

    Coast Guard icebreaker Sturgeon Bay was heading back to its Bayonne base after spending some time upriver.
    An open fishing boat was on the River early, perhaps another sign of impending spring.
    CMT’s Mackenzie Rose moved a high sided upper north as the sun set on Wednesday
    Reinauer’s Josephine opened Wednesday still anchored near the Bridge
    …but headed for the Harbor and Erie Basin later in the morning
    Kristin Poling returned from Albany in the afternoon with a light barge and headed for the Arthur Kill
    Colleagues on Marilyn George were heading the other way with a cargo
    Late in the day, DonJon work barges were assembling near the passenger terminal, perhaps getting ready to dredge or otherwise prepare the terminal for summer cruising season

  • Windy Wednesday with a visitor from afar

    Windy Wednesday with a visitor from afar

    Mid-week traffic on the River seemed light and entirely unremarkable after a more interesting start to the week, with the exception of a visiting fast ferry heading to Nyack for service. However, whipping northwest winds limited NRN observation opportunities. A bald eagle was sighted off 73rd Street but, sadly, not photographed.

    Stephen Reinauer came through with their light barge in the early morning light, returning to the Harbor after a run up to Albany
    Marilyn George was similarly lightly encumbered and also returning from Albany
    The low-slung Arnold Witte, designed with the canals of Brooklyn and upstate in mind, was working the Pier 99 DSNY detail Wednesday. In the background, North Hudson Fire Rescue’s marine unit can be seen exiting their Weehawken Terminal base.
    North Hudson Fire’s boat made a loop up the River
    …and then returned to base
    One of the NYPD’s 31’ RIBs was also on the River in the afternoon
    This ferry was far from home. Normally it plies the waters between Quonset, RI and Martha’s Vinyard or Block Island, but on Wednesday they were on the North River, heading for the North River Shipyard in Nyack. This seems like a long way to go for service, so North River Shipyard must do good work.

  • You don’t need a weather vane…

    You don’t need a weather vane…

    A whipping northwest wind made it feel like winter again on Tuesday. Robbins Reef recorded gusts over 40 knots and a small craft warning was in effect for the harbor. River traffic slowed a bit after a frenetic start to the week but tanker barges began to accumulate at the anchorages again. Activity this week has been dominated by the Vane Brothers for whatever reason, with two more tug/barges seen Tuesday after Wye River and Pocomoke briefly anchored Monday.

    Vane’s Philadelphia brought what looked like a loaded barge up the River and anchored north of the Bridge.
    Later Vane’s Charleston arrived with a light looking barge and anchored off the Boat Basin
    Saint Emilion left their usual Yonkers anchorage just after sunrise and headed to the Buckeye terminal in Newark.
    Centerline’s Adeline Marie was back on the River, heading for anchorage just north of the Charleston.
    Reinauer’s Josephine spent Tuesday anchored near the Bridge
    CMT’s Helen was heading back to base with a hopper.

  • Philadelphia Story and the voyage of the Baylander

    Philadelphia Story and the voyage of the Baylander

    Wye River arrived on the North River Monday with a loaded looking tank barge on the wire. This towing configuration is not usually seen on the River other than for tugs coming from or heading directly to sea, and, indeed, in this case, Wye River’s AIS showed it arriving from Philadelphia. This is another pattern we have been seeing in recent weeks: tugs with tank barges coming up from and returning to the Delaware River (or South River to stick with Dutch labels), and there may be some pipeline capacity explanation for why there seems to be more traffic than usual between these two big hubs for petroleum products. Once Wye reached the Boat Basin, they reconfigured to a more conventional North River setup, with the tug dropping back into the notch and then anchoring.

    Vane’s Wye River arrived on the North River from Philadelphia with a loaded looking tank barge on the wire.
    Once in the anchorage area, they dropped the tow…
    Circled around to the stern of the barge
    And dropped into the notch where crew were waiting to make a new connection before anchoring in the River.

    Another interesting move on Monday involved a ship that normally does not move at all. The Baylander is a retired Vietnam era US Navy utility boat that at one time was used to practice helicopter landings. In recent years, she has been permanently docked at the West Harlem Piers at the end of 125th Street. But on Monday, Stasinos’s Meaghan Marie came up the River and towed Baylander down to the May Ship Repair boatyard on the Kill van Kull, where they are presumably having some work done before reopening for the summer in April.

    Stasinos headed north on the River in the morning…
    And returned with the USS Baylander under tow, heading for a boat yard on the north shore of Staten Island.

    Other moves on the River Monday were more typical.

    Dann Marine’s Ruby Coast was heading for Yonkers with a cargo of sugar aboard the large barge Knot Refined, whose maiden voyage NRN covered last year.
    Diamond Coast followed close behind to help with docking up there.
    DonJon’s Thomas D Witte had a load of automotive scrap metal coming down from the Sims Metal dock in Albany to the Sims Metal dock in Jersey City
    The Beatrice had a cargo heading north for Albany
    B Franklin Reinauer remained anchored off 72nd Street with their 347’ barge after returning overnight from a run up to New Haven
    B. Franklin was joined at midday by Josephine with a similarly sized barge, heading to anchorage south of the Bridge.
    And then passed by Stephen Reinauer, a much older tug with a smaller loaded barge heading upriver
    Don Jon’s Meagan Ann maneuvered a recyclable paper scow outside the DSNY Pier 99 facility
    Coast Guard icebreaker Sturgeon Bay was heading upriver
    A ring-billed gull surveyed the fish situation Monday morning.

  • Working weekend

    Working weekend

    Saturday evening brought another bulker bringing Spanish gypsum up to the Buchanan wallboard plant, and Sunday saw the tanker Hanfia Lise heading back to sea after delivering a cargo of what was probably Canadian-refined oil products in Albany. Otherwise, traffic seemed light after the flurry of recent days. By the end of the weekend, all the tug/barge combinations at the North River anchorages had cleared out, leaving the River empty all the way up to Yonkers where Saint Emilion occupied its usual parking spot.

    The Norwegian-flagged bulk ship Spar Taurus passed the Lady in the background and FDNY’s Three Forty Three boat at the MC1 base in Chelsea at sunset on Saturday. Spar was heading for Buchanan with a load of Spanish gypsum for the wallboard plant up there.
    Spar was preceded by Moran’s Kimberly Turecamo, which headed up to Buchanan to assist with docking the big bulker.
    The products tanker Hanfia Lise was heading out to sea after discharging cargo in Albany, likely products refined in Montreal.
    Mount St. Elias headed for Port Reading Sunday afternoon after spending most of the weekend anchored north of the Bridge
    Centerline’s Adeline Marie was the last boat to leave the North River Sunday, but she pulled up her hook and headed south well before sundown.
    The ranks of the morning paddlers seem to be growing as spring approaches
    This privately-owned Cessna was flying up the Hudson VFR corridor below the 1,000 foot ceiling, heading to Poughkeepsie from Republic Airport on Long Island.

  • Return to work

    Return to work

    The sun rose Saturday morning on a crowded North River anchorage, as tug and barge combinations took shelter from the overnight gale conditions. Robbins Reef recorded a gust over 40 knots Friday night, but conditions improved Saturday with clearing skies and reducing winds even as temperatures dropped a bit. Tugs in the River headed out for new cargos, with only Adeline Marie and Kristy Ann remaining south of the Bridge and Mt. Saint Elias just to the north.

    Genesis Vigilant at anchor at high tide in the morning fog
    She later dropped out of the notch…
    And maneuvered alongside…
    …as the crew made up the tow on the hip. She was later headed through Hell Gate and out along the Sound for Riverhead terminal, suggesting the barge was not quite empty while it anchored here.
    Patrice McCalister remained anchored with her own barge on the hip, with Dean Reinauer further to the north and Kristy Ann invisible beyond Dean. CMT’s Daisy Mae appeared from the south to be between Patrice and Dean, heading for Coeymans with stone hoppers. Patrice later headed for the Upper Bay…
    As did Dean
    Daisy Mae on her way north
    …was followed a short while later by Marilyn George, in contention for the most frequently seen tug on the North River this year. After leaving Yonkers anchorage Friday afternoon, Marilyn spent the evening loading new cargo in Carteret. Her colleague Evelyn Cutler also seems to be back in action on the Arthur Kill after a period off AIS.
    Marilyn passed the anchored Adeline Marie on her way north.
    And Buchanan12 is also black in action after a period off line while the Clinton Point quarry run was being covered by George Holland.

  • Weather coming

    Weather coming

    Tanker barges and tugs seem to be accumulating in the North River anchorages ahead of weather coming in Friday night. By sundown, Genesis Vigilant, Adeline Marie, Patrice McCallister, and Dean Reinauer were all anchored south of the Bridge, and Mount St Elias and Kimberly Poling were to the north. Gale warnings and coastal flood warnings were in effect for Friday evening after a pleasantly warm day, with gusts up to 40 knots expected.

    Morning sun glinted off a load of automotive scrap as Meagan Marie came down from Albany heading for Newark
    Mount St Elias was anchored with a light barge off Dyckman Street, with Palisades Park and the road up the cliff from the Englewood Marina in the background.
    Kimberly Poling was anchored off Alpine, with the massive Alpine Tower, which dates back to 1937, looming above
    Marilyn George, a Poling-Cutler tug new to the River this year, has become a frequent flyer. She left anchorage off Yonkers Friday afternoon and was heading for the KvK
    Passing the Coast Guard small harbor tug Wire as she cleared the Bridge on her way south
    Wire was on their way north, perhaps to be in position for wintery conditions up there this weekend.
    The Chicago-bound Lake Shore Limited crossed the Dyckman Street bridge, with the Cloisters visible overhead.
    Ring-billed gulls were enjoying some down time Friday afternoon
    The kayak/paddle board crew continue to get on the River almost every morning.

  • Tanker time

    Tanker time

    A foreign-flagged tanker moved up the River Thursday morning, arriving from Montreal and likely bringing a cargo of refined products from the refinery there. Most oil products move north on US flagged tanker barges pushed by tugs or articulated tug/barge combinations (ATBs), coming from the refineries and pipeline terminals in North Jersey or, sometimes, from the Delaware River or the Gulf of Mexico. But occasionally a medium range tanker like this one brings a cargo from Europe, the Caribbean or Canada. Traffic remained fairly heavy throughout the day, as early fogged cleared and temperatures climbed.

    The Hafnia Lise, a 50,000 deadweight ton products tanker cut through the morning fog, arriving from Canada after a stop in Boston, and en route to Albany.
    A much smaller tanker, the Chandra B, was also on the River in the morning (though seen here a bit later off Jersey City). Chandra B is a bunkering tanker which refuels mid-sized boats around the harbor such as dinner cruisers. Photo by D. Ackman
    Pinuccia also had a products cargo moving north coming from Sewaren
    Cape Fear was on their heals, also heading north with oil products cargo as well
    Also cutting through the fog Thursday morning was the Coral Coast, pushing a light cement barge back towards Lafarge’s Ravenna plant from the terminal in College Point, Queens.
    Genesis Glory arrived on the River with a light barge and anchored near the Boat Basin.
    Dean Reinauer came up from the Upper Bay around midday and dropped anchor further north
    This little “rule beater” tug passed the hospital in North Bergen with construction equipment on a deck barge
    MHT’s Nathan G headed for Albany with a couple of hoppers
    An NYPD airship made a run up the River in the afternoon