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I have been truly privileged to watch Onrust grow:  the ship as well as the community and maybe the community more than the ship even.  Sure, it’s a replica of the first decked vessel in the “new world,” the first American yacht.  Onrust the original was a response to adversity:  Block’s Tyger burnt (sounds like William Blake) on the Manhattan shore, and Onrust was the response of crew who would otherwise have been stranded in . . . boring Manhattan… yeah and with nothing familiar around them.

Below are the lead bricks now ballasting the vessel, bearing names of folks who have ballasted the project.  By the way, each “brick,” which accurately describes the size, weighs about 60 pounds!  I know of what I speak, since i helped transfer them from one crushed pallet to a new strong one.  I’ve never handled gold bricks, but I’m guessing these are denser, heavier.

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Onrust‘s passage into “shiphood” was marked by cheers and this lone bagpiper.

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The sisters of St. Joseph came by to add their blessing.  Some timbers on the vessel come from an oak, estimated to be 400 years old, miraculously felled on convent property by lightning around the time the project was seeking lumber.  400 years, 400 years, eh?

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This has to be the only crane in the Hudson watershed marked with a 400 banner.  Speaking of 400, here’s their schedule of events.

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I won’t begin to list all the fabulous volunteers i met on this project, but they were literally drilling, hammering, painting . . . until Onrust began her unstoppable passage into shiphood, a transformation only possible when it floated.

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It took the powerful trained eye of Bowsprite (see her own blog and our collaborative one) to notice the rudder straps–here being attached in the last half hour before SPLASH by the blacksmith–endow the restless one with a smile.

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I can’t NOT see the smile now.  I won’t identify folks here, but blue shirts equal volunteers in this foto that also show some people who imbued the project with the vision needed to see it through this phrase.  First building . . .

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and then it creeps through . . . penetrates the tree wall, negotiating its way into another medium . .. water and then a whole new phase begins, a phase called

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SHIPHOOD!  Bravo Onrust project, clap for yourselves volunteers, Godspeed Onrust.  This blogger is humbled.  If this is possible, then what else is?

Some stats as I know them.  Weight lifted by crane:  about 20 tons.  Passenger capacity:  about 20.  LOA:  about 55 feet.  Please correct any errors.

By the way, here is an article from the Daily Gazette.  Since I had positioned myself down-the-bank to catch the vessel coming through the trees, I missed Greta smashing the champagne bottle on the bow . . .  and cutting her finger.  Sweat PLUS champagne PLUS blood . . . good omen!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

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