• Arrivals and departures

    Arrivals and departures

    The first day of May brought some notable arrivals and departures from the piers along the west side of Manhattan. Leaving early Monday was the Dutch frigate HNMLS Holland, which spent a few days tied up on the north side of Pier 90. She appeared to be heading for home to Europe after some months on station in the Dutch Caribbean.

    Also having left at some point over the past few days was the GCS230 barge, which spends winters moored at Con Ed’s Pier 98 fuel dock. GCS230 was the last vessel afloat to have been built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and it spends winters tied up at Pier 98 storing back up number 4 oil for the 59th Street Steam Plant, which mainly burns natural gas but occasionally relies on oil during peak winter demand. GCS230’s departure is yet another reminder of the arrival of spring.

    Genesis Energy’s tug Valiant also left town with its tanker barge on the wire, heading for sea and signaling a return to the Paulsboro Refinery on the Delaware. Valiant arrived on the Hudson Friday from Philly with a light barge. Friday night, they were down in the narrows, lightering a cargo from the tanker Pro Onyx, recently arrived from Amsterdam. After anchoring through the stormy weekend off Yonkers with the laden barge, they now appear to be heading home, with a cargo of European refined products heading for the mid-Atlantic market. Meanwhile, Pro Onyx has docked at the Shell terminal in Sewaren, presumably delivering the rest of the cargo to the New York Harbor market.

    In the arrivals column was the brand new US Navy Littoral Combat Ship Cooperstown, docking at the south side of Pier 88 ahead of a commissioning ceremony scheduled for Saturday. A new Coast Guard cutter, the Warren Deyampert, also arrived. Deyampert was commissioned in Boston in March, and may be in town for the Cooperstown ceremony. They docked at the end of Pier 86, the Intrepid Museum pier.

    Meanwhile, skies cleared Monday after two days of drenching rain, but the North River anchorages remained crowded as wind gusts above 40 knots continued to whip up seas on the Harbor.

    The Dutch frigate HNLMS Holland made an early Monday departure from Pier 90. Haugland’s Emma Rose provided assistance, with Stasinos’s Brinn Courtney standing by
    Genesis Valiant had its barge on the wire, loaded with European refined products lightered off a tanker in the Harbor over the weekend. They were heading for Philadelphia with the cargo after anchoring off Yonkers on Sunday.
    The USS Cooperstown, the Navy’s newest Littoral Combat Ship, was tied up at the south side of Pier 88 on Monday. Cooperstown is in town for their commissioning ceremony scheduled for Saturday.
    The Cooperstown was well guarded by armed sailors.
    The USCG’s 154’ Warren Deyampert arrived and tied up at the end of Pier 86, possibly also in town for the Cooperstown ceremony. Deyampert was just commissioned in March and is based in Boston.
    A quartet of Reinauer ATBs were anchored in the North River Monday morning. Gracie, Curtis and Kristy Ann remained through the day but Dean only stayed for a few hours, heading for the Reinauer dock on the KvK and then the Bayonne IMTT.
    Further south, Kirby’s Denali remained anchored off 72nd Street
    Kimberly Poling came through early with a cargo heading for Albany
    Saint Emilion also had a cargo heading north
    After sundown, Vane’s Charleston returned from a New Haven run and headed for anchorage off Yonkers

  • Weekend Washout

    Weekend Washout

    Tug/barge anchorages on the sheltered North River were in high demand Sunday after a weekend of steady drenching rain culminating in thunder storms. Recreational activity was virtually nil and even commercial traffic seemed light. Genesis Energy’s Valiant arrived in New York Harbor Friday from Philadelphia and anchored for a bit with a light barge off 125th Street. Valiant later returned to the Narrows where AIS data showed them doing a do-si-do with the tanker Pro Onyx, recently arrived from Rotterdam. When Valiant returned to the River on Saturday, the barge was clearly lower in the water, suggesting they had lightered an oil products cargo from the Onyx. Valiant went on to anchor off Yonkers for the balance of the weekend, and the ultimate destination for the cargo remains unknown.

    Other arrivals on the River included a Dutch frigate, which spent the weekend tied up at Pier 90. The privately-owned Dutch clipper ship Stad Amsterdam is currently docked at South Street Seaport hosting a trade delegation, and possibly the visits are related.

    Genesis Valiant was anchored off 125th Street Friday after arriving from Philadelphia
    Later, Valiant headed back to the narrows, passing Curtis Reinauer en route to anchor off Grant’s Tomb on one whistle
    Valiant returned the next day in the rain with her barge clearly having been loaded, seemingly having lightered a cargo of European oil products off the tanker Pro Onyx in the Narrows.
    The Dutch frigate HNLMS Holland was tied up on the north side of Pier 90. Holland is currently on a rotating assignment in the Dutch Caribbean islands and her visit to New York coincides with the Dutch clipper ship Stad Amsterdam hosting a trade delegation at South Street Seaport.
    Vane’s Elk River brought a bunkering barge to refuel the frigate
    Saint Emilion passed through Friday with a cargo heading for Albany
    And returned their lighter barge to the Harbor on Sunday
    Vane’s Fells Point had an oil products cargo heading for New Hamburg, keeping pace with Dann’s Treasure Coast with a light cement barge on the hip being returned to Lafarge in Ravenna
    Vane’s Fells Point returned to the Harbor Saturday with the barge light
    Timothy L Reinauer returned from a delivery to Albany Saturday morning
    A trio of Reinauer articulated tug-barge combinations, Gracie, Kristy Ann, and Curtis, were anchored in the North River Sunday morning, with Genesis Glory sitting a bit to their south
    Kimberly Poling anchored off 72nd for a few hours Sunday on the way back from an Albany run
    Janice Ann Reinauer returned from a run up to Providence and anchored off Edgewater for a few hours before heading to Kinder Morgan in Perth Amboy
    Norfolk Towing’s George Holland brought a hopper north to the Tilcon quarry in Clinton Point Saturday, supplementing the usual efforts of Buchanan 12
    MHT’s Nathan G headed north with hoppers on Sunday
    The DEP tanker Red Hook was servicing the North River sewage plant, collecting sludge for dewatering at the Hunts Point centrifuges
    Norwegian’s Prima left Pier 88 Sunday evening unassisted. Next stop: Bermuda.

    ©2023 Daniel Katzive
  • The Usual Suspects

    The final week of April has seen very typical traffic on the North River, with perhaps a heavier than usual parade of military flights passing overhead. Temperatures have been unseasonably cool, with rain coming for the weekend.

    Discovery Coast, seen heading north with cargo on Sunday, was returning with a light barge a little more than 24 hours later after making a delivery in Poughkeepsie.
    The small tanker Chandra B made a loop up the North River Tuesday en route to refueling boats in the Chelsea Piers Marina.
    Susan Rose arrived Tuesday with a light barge and headed for their usual anchorage off Yonkers.
    Kristy Ann returned to the harbor with a light barge Tuesday morning after an run up to Albany
    Another Reinauer ATB passed through at twilight Tuesday night
    Timothy Reinauer, launched in 1979, headed for Albany with cargo Wednesday afternoon
    A Vane Brothers tug had a cargo heading north Wednesday morning
    Vane’s Philadelphia anchored off 72nd Street with a loaded barge. Anchoring with loaded barges used to be rare, but we are seeing it more often this year for unknown reasons.
    Dann’s Diamond Coast returned to the Harbor for service on Tuesday after delivering a sugar barge to the Yonkers refinery
    On Thursday they were heading back their barge up in Yonkers.
    DonJon’s Emily Ann had a waste paper scow heading for Pratt Industries paper mill on the Arthur Kill, passing the Battery Wednesday.
    Emily Ann was ready to make another DSNY run on Thursday morning at Pier 99.
    Stasinos’s Brinn Courtney had a spud barge with a crane leaving the North River and entering the Upper Bay Wednesday morning
    Buchanan12 was making their usual run down from the Clinton Point quarry
    Jersey City’s fireboat ventured on to the River Thursday morning.
    Up above, a pair of C130s flew up the River festooned with what are called “invasion stripes”, a commemoration of the recognition symbol used by allied planes on D-Day in 1944.
    A Marine Viper attack helicopter flying up from Lakeland NJ on Thursday had no stripes.
    A Coast Guard Dolphin made a low altitude patrol up the River flying at the edges of its range from the Atlantic City base
    A cormorant kept watch on the Boat Basin on Monday

    ©2023 Daniel Katzive
  • Friendly competition

    Friendly competition

    Sunday brought typical fare, a collection of tanker barges and hoppers pushed by tugs from various competing towing companies. Norwegian Prima arrived at Pier 88 after Epic left for Europe the evening before. The expedition cruise ship Ocean Explorer docked on the south side of the pier.

    Boston Marine Transportation’s two tugs have been busy on the North River this week. Quenames was hading for Albany with cargo Sunday
    The evening before, BMT’s other tug, Pinuccia, headed for Newburgh
    Pinuccia returned to the Harbor Sunday afternoon with her light barge made up heads-to-tails on the hip.
    Vane’s Schuylkill returned from Albany with a light barge of its own Sunday and headed straight for Tremley Point on the Arthur Kill
    Dann’s Discovery Coast, with their distinctive wedding cake tower, had a cargo heading north Sunday afternoon
    MHT’s Nathan G cam south with hoppers of stone from the quarry in Hudson, NY, heading for the Bay Ridge Flats
    Stephen Reinauer, first launched in 1970 but substantially modified since then, remained anchored off 72nd Street with RTC 61, at 311’ one of the smaller Reinauer barges
    Cape Fear departed Pier 88 after refueling Norwegian Prima
    The small tanker Lesney Byrd handled the bunkering for the smaller Ocean Explorer.
    Ocean Explorer headed out Sunday evening, destination unknown
    Evelyn Cutler, rarely seen on the North River since Poling-Cutler acquired Marilyn George, was running light heading upstate for unknown reasons. Perhaps Kimberly Poling, currently southbound from Albany, needs assistance.
    The Army Corp’s Driftmaster was on the River Sunday. The stalwart Hayward workboat seems to be still out of service.
    An osprey, not very often seen on the North River, was hovering over Pier i on Sunday

  • Ahead of a storm

    Ahead of a storm

    Saturday saw familiar traffic passing on the North River, with oil product cargos moving north and quarry output moving south. Stephen Reinauer and William J. Fallon both arrived on the River ahead of a line of storms expected to pass through in the evening. Norwegian’s Epic arrived in the morning fog at Pier 88, en route from its winter cruising territory in the Caribbean to its summer grounds in the Mediterranean. Winds were brisk, gusting up to 20 knots out of the northeast.

    Vane’s Charleston has been back and forth on the North River all week and was seen Saturday passing the Battery on the way back up to Renssel
    Janice Ann Reinauer was close behind as they passed Battery Park City with a cargo heading for Albany
    Buchanan12 had the usual collection of barges loaded with Clinton Point dolomite heading for the Jersey City flats.
    CMT’s Daisy Mae brought a shipment of sand up from the Delaware River heading for Coeymans
    Cornucopia Majesty seemed to be having some engine issues. She was shadowed closely by a Stanislos tug as she carried passengers on a party run up from Jersey City to around midtown
    William F. Fallon Jr left the Homeport pier in Stapleton and arrived early on the River with the barge Long Island…
    And anchored off 72nd Street
    Stephen Reinauer returned from a Newburgh run and anchored a bit further south.
    Norwegian Epic arrived in the morning fog, transiting from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean for summer
    Vane’s Fort McHenry provided bunkering services

    ©2023 Daniel Katzive
  • Fish on!

    Fish on!

    There is more than striped bass in the North River. On Friday morning, a regular named Louis caught a nice looking catfish with a waited hook and bunker as bate. Later, a trip off the River to the Rockaways via NYC Ferry provided an opportunity to observe activity in the Upper and Lower Bays.

    A catfish emerges
    And is carefully secured
    Cormorants were also busy fishing
    Vane’s Schuylkill was moving north with a cargo early Friday
    Later, Vane colleagues on Charleston, which passed up the North River with a cargo Thursday, was seen in the Lower Bay heading for Perth Amboy after discharging cargo at Buckeye Newburgh
    DonJon’s low slung J. Arnold Witte had a hopper loaded with scrap coming down from Sims Albany to the Sims Jersey City dock
    Another DonJon tug, Meagan Ann, passed Pavonia with a load of waste paper from Pier 99 heading for Staten Island
    Meagan Ann later passed Weehawken light, done for the day perhaps.
    Sound Marine’s diminutive Kenny G towed a deck barge back to the North River Shipyard in Nyack
    Treasure Coast had a light cement barge passing Jersey City en route for Ravenna
    In the Upper Bay, Marjorie B McAllister had the NY Cross Harbor Railroad’s float barge heading back to Jersey City for interchange with CSX or Norfolk Southern. Westbound consists are usually empties and included lumber carriers, covered hoppers for flour and som box cars.
    Norfolk Towing’s Robert Burton was bringing back empty Waste Management municipal waste containers to the Hamilton Avenue Transfer Station on the Gowanus
    Later, Norfolk colleagues on James William were heading for the Southeast Brooklyn transfer station on Gravesend Bay with similar cargo
    In the lower bay, the bulker Thor Mercury was heading for the salt dock in Newark, arriving from Dominican Republic and probably carrying gypsum
    Coast Guard 29 footers guarded the Narrows with machine guns mounted
    Further out, a larger response boat was stationed by the old quarantine grounds.
    MSC’s brand-new 1,000 foot-long Meraviglia is tied up at Red Hook terminal, its new home port.
    Costa Delisioza left the Manhattan terminal heading for Europe just ahead of sundown. Photo credit D. Ackman
    A Sandy Hook Pilot boat was in the Lower Bay
    A Marine Super Stallion helicopter belonging to New Jersey McGuire Air Force Base-based Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772, flew up the River Friday morning

  • Triple arrival

    Triple arrival

    Things got off to a busy start at the Manhattan cruise terminal Thursday morning. After the Viking Octantis departed for the Great Lakes just before midnight, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Dawn, and the Italian ship Costa Deliziosa all arrived in quick succession, stopping in New York in transit to Europe. Vane Brothers and Centerline tugs arrived with bunkering barges, and Moran tugs and Metropolitan Marine’s Pegasus were on hand to assist with docking. By evening, both Breakaway and Dawn had departed, with the former Bermuda and then Southern Europe-bound and the latter turning left for Halifax, then Iceland and the UK. Deliziosa was set to remain until Friday before continuing its transit from Chile to summer cruising grounds in the Mediterranean.

    Meanwhile, tanker barge traffic was light, though a foreign flagged tanker did pass through after sundown, heading for sea after seemingly discharging a cargo of Spanish refined products in Rensselaer. A large posse of small FDNY alpha boats congregated near the GWB in the afternoon, more than would be typically seen at an actual fire, and presumably involved in some spring training exercise. The boats then seemed to be running laps around the circumference of Manhattan.

    Costa Deliziosa was pulling into the south side of Pier 88 as Norwegian Dawn docked at Pier 90
    Vane’s Cape Fear waited with a bunkering barge
    Vane’s Fort Schuyler and Margaret Moran were on hand to help with bunkering and docking respectively.
    Pegasus was also also hand to help with docking
    Cape Fear attended to Dawn
    Centerline’s Lightning looked after the Cost Deliziosa
    Kimberly Poling came south with a light barge in the morning, passing the green Englewood Cliffs
    In the evening, their Poling-Cutler colleagues on Marilyn George came north with a cargo heading for Albany
    Vane’s Charleston was also heading north with an oil products cargo
    The tanker Blacksmith headed for sea after discharging a cargo in Rensselaer.
    FDNY’s small boats were making laps around Manhattan, presumably for some kind of training purpose.
    A pair of Pave Hawk helicopters, the Air Force search and rescue version of the Black Hawk, made a very low loop up the River flying from the Air National Guard base at Grabowski Airport in West Hampton.

  • Need help?

    Need help?

    The wing surfer was back on the North River off Riverside Park South for a second day, despite continued high winds. But this time he must have appeared to be having difficulty, because someone called for help on his behalf. The Harbor Patrol boat came up from the cruise terminal and so did Marine 1’s “alpha” boat. At first he seemed to decline any assistance, and the FDNY radioed back to their dispatcher that he was fine, but then he seemed to change his mind, and clambered aboard the NYPD for transport back to his boat house.

    Aside from that excitement, activity observed on the River was not particularly notable, with the usual mix of tanker barges and hoppers observed. The small (though still 600’s long) cruise ship Viking Octantis was docked at Pier 88, mid-transit from Fort Lauderdale to summer cruising territory on the Great Lakes.

    NYPD and FDNY boats came to check on a wing surfer off Riverside Park South
    After initially declining assistance, he clambered aboard the NYPD boat
    Stephen Reinauer, launched in 1970, came down from Albany with 311’ barge and anchored off 72nd Street for the day
    Genesis Glory anchored for some time off Edgewater with a 367’ barge but then headed for the Upper Bay, passing an NYPD patrol boat
    Buchanan12 made his way north to the Clinton Point quarry with his usual float of light hoppers
    At the end the day, Everly Mist headed north towards the Catskill, NY quarry with hoppers as well
    The pollution response boat New Jersey Responder made a loop up to about Pier 88 and then returned to a dock on the Arthur Kill, going the long way around Staten Island, seemingly just cruising, not responding.
    The Army Corp’s Gelberman made a patrol on the North River. The larger Hayward seems to be back in service after some time on the hard but has not been seen on the River yet.

  • Babysitting


    Mid-April traffic remained fairly light, with cement still factoring heavily in the mix of observed cargos. A foreign flagged oil products tanker came through Tuesday morning, arriving from Hamilton, Ontario and signaling Albany. Hamilton is not a refinery port, but the tanker was riding high in the water and its possible it was heading up to load a Canadian-bound ethanol cargo, though it could also be carrying an agricultural product.

    Saint Emilion anchored off 72nd Street with a light barge after returning from Albany, but then handed the barge off to Evelyn Cutler on Tuesday and headed for Bayonne. Temperatures were pleasant but winds were brisk, with gusts above 20 knots keeping sailboats off the water on Tuesday. The 79th Street Boat Basin has been in the news lately; see my article in the West Side Rag for the latest details.

    The tanker Qikiqtaaluk W arrived from Lake Ontario on Tuesday morning heading for Albany, perhaps to load a cargo there or perhaps carrying an agricultural product
    Coral Coast had another cement cargo coming down from Ravenna NY and heading for Lafarge’s Flushing Bay terminal
    Coral Coast passed Kimberly Poling on two whistles
    Josephine pushed a cargo north in the Monday morning fog
    Kimberly went on to anchor on the River for a few hours before returning to the New Jersey fuel terminals
    By Tuesday evening, Kimberly was heading north again with a cargo bound for Albany
    Saint Emilion also anchored on the North River with a light barge on Monday
    By midday Tuesday, Saint Emilion had headed down to Caddell Dry Dock on the Kill van Kull and Evelyn Cutler had come up to baby sit the barge, making up to it on the hip. Evelyn has not been observed by NRN since February 1.
    The Saint returned before sundown
    And dropped into the notch behind the barge
    Curtis Reinauer came through Tuesday afternoon, returning from Albany and going on to anchor in the Upper Bay
    Norwegian Sun arrived from Portugal, stopping at Pier 88 en route to Florida and from there to her summer sailing grounds off Alaska
    Brant have been in evidence on the River this month
    Keeping the mallards and Canada geese on their toes
    Winds have been brisk out of the the south
    Apparently it was not too windy for one of these things, which may be called a wing ding

  • Cooling down

    Cooling down

    The weekend passed with fairly typical traffic, with cement and possibly ethanol notable cargos as we transition away from heating oil season and head into summer driving. The cruise terminal was also busy, with Norwegian Getaway and Gem in town Saturday and Prima visiting Sunday. After a work week which featured record April temperatures in the 90s, things cooled down for the weekend with storms moving through Saturday night.

    Janice Ann Reinauer came down from Albany with a loaded barge, heading for Boston with a stop in Providence. Loaded oil products barges normally head north on the North River but we occasionally see a cargo coming down from Albany and heading for New England which we assume is ethanol.
    More typically, Marilyn George was light coming back from Albany on Saturday.
    One of American Petroleum’s two small tugs, the Stephen B also came down from Albany with a light barge
    Susan Rose headed upriver Sunday, traveling to her usual anchorage in Yonkers, with Norwegian cruise line’s Prima visible at Pier 88 on the right
    Vane’s Fells Point headed for Albany with a cargo after sundown Sunday
    Dann’s Pearl Coast was returning from a New England run with a light cement barge heading for Ravenna
    Marine Highway Transportation’s Nathan G passed the Frying Pan bar on Pier 66 Sunday evening.
    Vane’s Fort Schuyler bunkered Norwegian’s Prima Sunday afternoon
    And later headed back to the harbor
    The small tanker Lesney Byrd also visited Prima, and was seen at the cruise terminal on Saturday as well. Its not clear what role this small tanker is playing in cruise operations as usually the large barges handle refueling.
    By Sunday evening, Prima was heading for Bermuda
    The FDNY Marine Battalion chiefs boat was on the North River Sunday
    As was a Coast Guard 29’ response boat
    Sunday saw the FDNY’s 343 boat on the River
    The hybrid ducks continue to consort with the mallards at the shuttered Boat Basin Marina.
    Brant were observed north of Pier 66 on Sunday
    Kayakers and paddle boarders are taking to the River in increasing numbers as temperatures warm