A very Reinauer saturday

It was a beautiful afternoon in Bayridge yesterday with warm sun and just the right light for getting some photos of a boat that has been far afoot from New York for some time. The Timothy Reinauer and her barge the RTC 84 have been anchored to the south of us with the Verrazano bridge as a perfect “New York” backdrop. I also caught an oldy but a goodie the Franklin Reinauer, as well as the Curtis with her barge RTC 82, and the Morgan Reinauer sitting pretty with the RTC 101 in front of the Battery.

From outside of the Peanut Butter and Jelly fleet I managed a few frames of the passing Pinnucia of Boston Marine Transport with her barge the New York 30. She was throttled up against the ebb and headed for the East River and the Gate.

 

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A little something extra

Here I sit a day into my third week of the hitch, at anchor in Bayridge waiting on orders. Yesterday morning at the end of watch and after my normal crew change, I caught a ride on another of our companies vessels out to the anchorage to relieve someone who like myself, was filling in. She’s one of our larger class of tugs that does mostly coastal work, in fact she had just returned from a trip to Boston and back. During my last watch on my normal boat I assisted her alongside a ship in the anchorage for lightering, and then boarded her in the same spot six hours later.

So its another week before the mast until I get to make that freedom drive to the waiting arms and paws at home. Luckily I get to come home to our lacrosse coaching season in full swing and a packed schedule of games and practices with Therapist Wife and Head Coach in charge. I’ve been helping out by coaching the goalies, as I was one myself a long time ago, and running some of the offensive drills from time to time. It’s been a blast watching the Mrs. do her thing and really bring a fantastic group of young ladies together as a team. It also helps having an shared passion, well obsession really, that doesn’t float and eat up large quantities of time and money.

It’s been a productive hitch thus far photography wise as well, with a couple afternoons of being tied up in a primo location with primo lighting. Some of you New York harbor rats mights be able to guess where from some of the photos.

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Busy Bees

I’m about half way through what will be a three-week hitch, and we’ve burned some diesel fuel and moved a hell of a lot more of it. Well not just diesel, more than few different types of product that helps make the world go around. A big difference from my last job is the variety that each day brings. A variety of different berths, of different ships we are brining barges too, of different people to work with. The last variable not always bringing joy to the day, though it certainly keeps things interesting.

Though we’ve been constantly on the move, and often at a near hectic pace due to the fluid nature of scheduling, my stress level has been incredibly low. In fact even though the back watch is as usual turning me into a zombie, I’m generally happy to get up for watch and go to work. We have a fantastic crew on here from top to bottom, starting with a Captain who has more sea miles going astern than I do ahead and is one of the two friends that got me the job here. Our regular deck hands are both skilled hard-working folks, who happen to also be great people to hang out with around the galley table. The chief has a varied maritime background and a million sea stories to go with them; he also knows the boat like the back of his hand. This hitch we even have had a deck hand trainee who has caught on quickly and we will be sad to loose him to a permanent home.

The boat itself is a real step up from what I’ve been used to working with. Built in 2008, a baby by industry standards, she is actually the first of this vessel class that the company owns. She is fairly quiet inside with comfortable rooms and a well laid out interior. Best of all she handles like a complete sports car, and makes maneuvering most of our 30k barrel bunkering barges quite easy. Part of the reason this class of boat handles so well are its inboard turning wheels, large rudders, and fairly short skeg. Before now I wasn’t a big fan of boats with inboard turning wheels, my primary experience with them was a boat that couldn’t twist to save her life. This boat walks a barge fairly well, twists fairly well, and has hydraulic clutches with electronic controls that provide quick consistent shifts. All in all it’s a great boat to run with a great crew to work with.

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Making Moves

For anyone that has been reading my blog for a few years, you’ll know I’ve had a few jobs since I started writing and taking pictures. Some steps out of necessity, and some out of the lack of a better option. Last week however, I made a made a move both out necessity and out of choice. I was laid off for the second time in roughly a year due to lack of work, which comes with the territory at some companies, and seeing as I knew it was coming it kick started some ideas rolling around in my head. A few phone calls and physical later I was on my way to a new employee orientation and straight to a boat captained by a friend from home.

So far I’ve been more than happy with the experience and the new work. My new employer deals strictly with petroleum transport, and does so with a fleet of tugs with an average age that is for once not only younger than my father but also far younger than myself. They have an easy to use electronic log and ships business system, and I’ve enjoyed getting into the swing of things.

All in all I am very happy to have taken the plunge yet again, and have gotten lucky to land with a great crew right off the bat. Combine that with a couple friends in the fleet and it really feels like we’re getting the band back together.

I don’t regret working for my previous employer; I learned a diverse skill set that has given me the foundation to succeed in a lot of places. I was exposed to two different ports and a variety of equipment and crews. However it was definitely time for some stability, something that has been sorely lacking in my professional life for a long time. That professional stability as anyone in this industry can tell you, also means stability at home. Which at the end of the day is most important thing in life.

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Some favorite Photos

Just thought I’d share some of my favorite photos of the last few months. I haven’t gotten much writing done successfully so this will have to do.

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Photo of the Week 2-3-16

12,000 HP looking for someone to push around. Moran’s two newest tractor tugs in New York, the James D. Moran and J.R.T. Moran.

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Just in case anyone is wondering, I am still alive, its just been a busy fall and winter. I’m hoping to be on here a bit more and am working on a post looking back at my first year of full time tug boating.

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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