Digging requires claws.  Claws inspire primal dread.  Dredge machines seem beclawed in groteque ways.  And they’re huge, like the ape that scrambled up the Empire State building.  I waited long but in vain to line up these talons and the tower in the distance, but I’m sure you can visualize the effect.  Imagine the headline:  dredge machine grapples its way as the large ape did first in 1933.  Please keep those climbing beasts sequested in the southern Upper Bay of the sixth boro … or farther.

Call it ooze, mud, or fluff … no matter.  Ick!  Dispose of it please,  Captain D.

It spatters when it ends its route from bottom of the harbor to bottom of the scow.

I’d be very nervous walking there.  I know it’s safe, but irrational fears–like ones that make you run in the dark or for me swim quick in dark, deep water–would surface with me cause me to look up.

How many cubic miles of bottom  have been removed in the

past century of pantagruelish bottom removal?

Some years back I wrote about a dredger off Jones Beach here, which I was reminded of when I heard the dredger Vespucci was troubled by pirates off Cameroon (my home from 1975–7, last of my Peace Corps years). See another article here.   How dare these pirates . . . I guess they don’t have my dredgerphobias.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who understands the efficacy, sometimes,  of  claws and other grotesqueries.

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