A semi-regular presence dredging in Ambrose Channel, the main gateway to New York Harbor and the combined Port of New York & New Jersey, is the tug Sand Master with their suction dredge barge Sandy Hook…..
…..seen here unloading the fruits of their labor at the Amboy Aggregates dock on Raritan Bay, their home base in South Amboy, NJ. Rarely observed outside of the notch, even the Sand Master has to get fuel sometimes, which is why they were also observed stemming off the fuel dock at IMTT-Bayonne on the KVK, waiting their turn in line.
Sand Master has the very distinctive look (North Sea bow, extra-heavy-duty ribbing, between-the-stacks doghouse on the back of the main wheelhouse, angled upper windows) of an old Candies anchor-handling tug (not to be confused with an AHTS, which shares some similar functions and features but is not the same) from the Gulf of Mexico which, in fact, it is: formerly known as the Ben Candies and built at Swiftships in 1983. That upper house is definitely an add-on feature for its present job of pushing the suction dredge around, keeping the shipping channels at their proper depth and supplying sand for construction purposes. Tugs do it all…..and this is definitely a real tug.
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