You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2012.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 300,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 5 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

The Amazon is a huge treasure.  Whatever H G Buelow was loading this day, its current position is the Mediterranean, having departed Istanbul in the direction of the Suez.

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Mining and forestry send resources worldwide.  Zhong Xiang is northwest bound off Kuala Lumpur today.

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Sergi0 Buarque de Holandia is a new Brazil-built oil products tanker.   Although I know nothing about the tug, the rebocador, it led me to this video showing a method of making a tow.

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But as I go through my daughter’s fotos, I find myself more interested in the smaller local vessels, what occupies shallower waters.

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Let’s go all the way back to these.

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I’m curious what the white boxes here are used for.

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Small scale fuel stop, designed for a sector of commercial transportation mostly gone from US waters.

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The range is tremendous from one-passenger vessels and

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docks/playgrounds on the waterfront stilt buildings and

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very small versatile ferries to

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livestock carriers.

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This is waterfront/supra-water housing with water parks and

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markets.  What comes via small vessel from the “hinterwaters” includes lots of açaí and other products.

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I love the lines of these boats.

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Happy new year.  Thoughtful old year’s day today.  Peace!!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand health and smooth travels!

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Many thanks to my daughter for taking these fotos.

Here was 9 in this series, mostly taken by my daughter last summer near the mouth of the Amazon.  And since the holidays allow me to finally get the narrated version from her, I’m adding a set.  She took all of these in Brasil, most in the Amapá state, with a trip over to the Pará state.  .  Yes, bowsprite . . . there’s a meia here too.

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Note the river tugs Merlim and Excalibur, and the small boat moving in

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Passenger vessels come in all shapes.

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Passengers find a place where they can hang on, or

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not.

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Cargo transfers happen under way.

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Sleeping quarters are air conditioned.

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International commerce

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is nearby.

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Tug and barge transport is common.

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More soon.

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Thanks Myriam.  Maybe I’ll be your assistant next summer.

For more workboats from this area, click here.  For a tug aka rebocador on a Brazilian beach, click here.

This book makes very clear what the heart of a ship is.  And it’s not the electrical or mechanical systems.  It’s not even the galley, although I can attest to the revival I felt after consuming the goods from this vessel’s galley at sea.  By the language on the engine order telegraph, can you tell the vessel?

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It’s Gazela, possibly the oldest square-rigger in the US still sailing, rebuilt in 1901 from timbers of an 1883 vessel, a Portuguese barkentine  retired from dory-fishing on the Grand Banks the year Apollo 11 shuttled peripatetic passengers to the moon.    As Eric Lorgus says in one of over 50 personal stories in the book, “she the ultimate anachronism, having been built before man’s first flight, and still sailing [commerically] the summer of the first moon landing.”   But history by itself is NOT the heart of a ship either.

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The heart of a ship is the stories told by her crew, by those who love her.  A vessel underway is like an elixir;  as she makes voyage after voyage through the decades, sea and weather and crew different each time, her pulse is the magic recounted differently by each person on board.  Heart of a Ship breathes.

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Here’s an excerpt from John Brady’s story:  “We have sailed with master mariners and people who seemed just north of homeless.  We have stood watches with carpenters, physicists, bank officers, and doctors.  We have seen those just starting out in life and those salvaging what they could from mid-life crises.   . . . We have sailed with strippers and masons, machinists and software writers, nurses and riggers, professional mariners and grandmothers….”    For more samples, click here.

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But don’t take my word for the life that pulsates in this collection.  Buy your own copy, and support Gazela’s continuing preservation.  Every historic vessel project should be so lucky as to have a collection like this.

For some of the posts I’ve done about Gazela, click here, here, here, and here.

I have to disclose that I know Rick Spilman and consider him a friend.  His status as a waterblogger he has already established.   He has been–as evidenced by second foto second from right)–an active participant in Ear Inn waterblogger gatherings.  When I learned Rick had published a novel, I wanted to find some uninterrupted time to read it.  I found it today:  a cold gray day with a soft couch and a warm but grouchy cat [which you can see if you click on the foto below].

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In about three hours, I raced through this very satisfying book.    Chapter 1 begins in 1928 in Montevideo and returns there in Chapter 17 . . . a framing device that pays tribute to the best of all tellers of salty tales, Joseph Conrad.  In between Spilman the novelist tells a compelling tale of the 1905 voyage of Lady Rebecca from Cardiff to Chile, a five-month journey for the 309′ x 44′ windjammer carrying 4000 tons of coal.  Reminiscent of my favorite sea story Moby Dick, the 1905 account begins with the arrival the youngest and greenest crew member, Apprentice Will Jones, age 14.  Spilman details the characters carefully as they sign on, jump ship, get replaced by crimps; deftly setting up conflicts.  A third person omniscient narrator captures the fine points of the crew and vessel.  And excerpts from letters written by Mary Barker, wife of the Captain, recount other aspects of the voyage related to her family and nature on the high seas.  In fact, the title of the novel comes from one of her letters:  Once I return to England, it is my intention to never again go to sea.  …  I have truly seen hell around the Horn, and if it is within my power, I shall stay happily ashore henceforth.”

Half the pages of the novel recount the tale of that hell, taking on the Westerlies of 1905  as they threatened to defeat Lady Rebecca and crew.  The American crew member–Fred Smythe, who’d arrived in Cardiff via a Kennebec barque sailing out of the sixth boro’s own South Street–repeats a line he’d once heard at a Liverpool pub:  “There ain’t no law below 40 south latitude.  Below 50 south, there’s no God.”

Hell Around the Horn . . .  read it for yourself the next time you have a few hours free and need a great sea story.  A bonus is the author’s notes in the back pages, one of which reveals the single degree of separation between Rick Spilman himself and the captain of the vessel upon which Lady Rebecca is based.  Bravo, Rick.  It’s high time we conduct some more business at Ear Inn.

Click here for a previous book review from about three years ago.

According to the calculations on my rusty cruncher . . .

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this number has passed in the wee and dark and windy hours of Boxing Day.

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A million . . .  graphic ways of representing this would be . . . it would take 158 trips of Queen Sapphire, currently in the sixth boro, to deliver that many BMWs.  Or the hold of a half-filled Bebedouro would contain enough Brazilian pulp for that much orange juice.

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Wikipedia offers some other ways to represent a million.

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Meanwhile, this is my next goal.

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Here’s the proof.

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I’m humbled and grateful.  Thanks for reading, sharing, and commenting.  And thanks for the emails and private messages.  The green coming out of the rusty cruncher above is getting to know so many of you.  Thanks and more thanks.  I never dreamed this was possible when I started the blog just after Thanksgiving 2006.

Meanwhile, I’ll be in the wooded upland between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico til after New Years’ begin.

Peace!

Foto from Birk.  I never noticed before how much the colors of a McAllister tug and Santa Claus are alike.  Now all Alex needs is to sport white fabric bow pudding, you to squint, and  . . . et voila!  To the right . . . I think that’s she who did a last waltz this past July.

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Christmas decorations on USS New Jersey?  Except this foto was taken in October.

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Tugboat Lizzie with reflections  . . . and made by a frustrated retired jeweler friend of John Ericsson.

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a gold- and silver-plated copper tug!  Trophy material.  See more at the Independence Seaport Museum, not where the road has taken me but well worth a visit.

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Top foto by Birk Thomas.  All others by Will Van Dorp, who’s quite inland and equidistant from the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

“The road” begins with the first step out of the house, and here . . . before leaving Brooklyn . . . I saw it and knew exactly what it was  . . . Michael J McAllister towing a hefty load of containers between the sixth boro and Norfolk.

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And I knew the tug because Birk Thomas had just sent me this one–taken Saturday?–of Michael J.  Thanks much, Birk.

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Farther down the road but still in NYC, I followed this truck, which introduced me to these metal sculptures of Fritz Cass.

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A few hours out . . . I had a glimpse of this truck . . . clearly delivering catfish, although . . . Great Dane!

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Great Dane FISH.  Maybe they deliver  dogfish as well.

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And before we got to Harrisburg, this beautiful (late 40s??) Plymouth suggests we’ve  . . . turned a corner in time maybe.

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And now . . . from Tennessee, where it might the 30s . . .

My library for the time period  January 1, 2012 until today contains 11,244 fotos.  Starting from tomorrow, any 2012 fotos will be taken along the road.  So I decided to choose ONE foto per month, quite subjectively and without regard for this foto having previously been featured here.  I don’t claim these are the best of the month. Only 12 fotos, one per month.

January, Sandmaster . . .  waiting to refuel.  Today, Dec 22 . . .  Sandmaster was out there doing what it usually does, mining sand.

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February . . . Eagle Beaumont escorted in the Arthur Kill by Charles D. McAllister.

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March . . . side by side, CSAV Suape and bulker Honesty, Pacific bound through the Miraflores locks, demonstrating graphically what panamax means.

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April . . . red-trimmed Taurus west bound on the KVK, cutting past Advance Victoria.  And just today, I saw Taurus, now blue-trimmed, heading north between Manhattan and Jersey City.

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Choosing just one foto per month is tough, but for May, here’s Swan packed and almost ready to go hulldown toward Africa with these specimens of the Crowley, Reinauer, and Allied fleets.

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June . . . Weeks Shelby tows shuttle Enterprise from JFK toward Manhattan.

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July and an unforgettable 4th using Pegasus as subject under the rocket’s glare

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August . . . and coal-fired Badger heads into the sunset . . . and Wisconsin.

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September, and a parade of vessels including Urger and Buffalo leave the Federal Lock bound for Waterford.   My inimitable platform here is Fred’s Tug44.

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At the start of the Great Chesapeake Schooner race, crew is setting sail on the unique tugantine Norfolk Rebel.  In the distance, it’s Pride of Baltimore 2.

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Coming into the home stretch from Montreal, it’s Atlantic Salvor delivering segments of the WTC1 antenna.

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And December . . .  it’s Stena Primorsk looming over the USCG vessels.   At this time, Stena Primorsk was impatient to load that first hold with “north dakota crude,” only to experience the malfunction that has left her temporarily disabled upriver, its outer hull gashed open.

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Tomorrow I hit the road . . . gallivanting and visiting season.  I thank all of you for reading, many of you for helping me get these fotos, lots of you for correcting my errors and supplying missing info. Happy New Year and let’s pray for much-needed Peace on Earth . . . .

All hype . . . like Camping and others . . . just to mention recent hoaxes.

Nevertheless, I made my rounds.  High winds chill to the bone but no doomsday out here . . . Brian Nicholas pushed recycling into the Kills,

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Catherine Miller moved semis beyond the end of the bridge,

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Nomad and Alpine Alaska waited inside the Narrows,

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as did Mount Karavawhich first appeared here almost brand-new over five years ago.

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Padre Island anchored off the BAT, taking time off from vacuuming the channels south of the Narrows.

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Michigan Service headed for the Kills.

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OOCL Kuala Lumpur shifted  containers.

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Given the hype about the apocalypse, I kept eyes wide open for debris and found some, although this is long-planned and controlled demolition.

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USCG made their own rounds.

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Six years ago, I put up this winter solstice post, led off by this fine foto  . . . compliments of Richard Wonder . . .  of an elegant John B. Caddell, recently lifted off a place where floating things should never go.  And speaking of vessels finding themselves in places that should remain off limits, check out this and this article about a tanker bottomed out on the upper Hudson.   “Bakken crude”    . . . that’s a term I’ve not heard before.    If anyone upriver has fotos to share, please get in touch.

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