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Of course, every day is water day in the sixth boro of the city of NY, and it’s great that MWA and other sponsors have chosen for five years now to recognize that fact . . . on a big “get out on the water” day . . . because who OWNS the port . . . ultimately WE do, you and I, as citizens of this country.  Many organizations manage it, enforce regulations in it, and fund educational activities about it . . . but WE own it, the port, the water . . .  and support it with our taxes and our votes.

Enjoy this set of twelve fotos taken over roughly a 12-hour period yesterday.   At daybreak, Pegasus and Urger were still rafted up on Pier 25.  This foto shows two boats whose combined longevity adds up to over 215 years!!

Resolute was northbound over by the Murchison-designed Hoboken terminal . . . which means a larger vessel needing assistance MAY shortly be headed for sea.  Here’s another Murchison-designed mass transit building in what today seems an unlikely location.

North River itself works tirelessly as part of the effort to keep sixth boro waters clean.

Urger poses in front the the Statue.  Lady Liberty was a mere 18-year-old when Urger (then C. J. Doornbos) first splashed into the waters of a Lake Michigan bay.

Launch 5 races downriver.

Indy 7 shuttles folk around as Soummam 937,  the first Algerian warship ever to visit the sixth boro leaves for sea.

Little Lady II and a sailboat negotiate passage.

Laura K and Margaret Moran escort in container vessel Arsos (check its recent itinerary at the bottom of that linked page) and weave their way to the Red Hook container port through a gauntlet of smaller vessels, including Manhattan.

Catherine C. Miller moves a small equipment barge back to base.

Fire Fighter II hurries north on the Buttermilk Channel to respond to an alarm.

A flotilla (or bobbering or paddling or badelynge) of kayaks crosses the Buttermilk.

Pioneer tacks toward the north tip of Governors Island, leaving Castle William to starboard.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp on Bastille-sur-l’eau Day.

Related:  I was overjoyed to read the NYTimes this morning and find this article about a vessel calling at Port Newark!!  Bravo.  Back a little over a week ago I was miffed about this article . . . about the port in Trondheim, which could just as well have been written about skilled workers anywhere in the sixth boro.

Also, I’m passing along a request from the Urger crew:  if anyone sees a foto of Urger crew in any local print publications, please tell me so that I can look for a clipping to pass along to them.  Thanks much . . . .

Unrelated:  From today’s NYTimes Book Review section, an essay by Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp on Woodie Guthrie, who would have turned 100 yesterday.

By the way, from Mitch’s Newtown Pentacle, can anyone identify the tug in this post?  I can’t .

Narrative by Pamela Syndercombe, sent to me as email, abridged by me.  It’s winter in South Africa.

“I set off in my bakkie  (small pickup) to watch the progress up the Rooi Hooghter Pass, which one climbs to enter Villiersdorp.   The vintage tractors trundled slowly along to gather just outside the village to escort Alwyn Vintcent (AV).  They appeared out  of the cold early morning mist like pictures from the past.

By 9 o’clock the sun was starting to  burn through  but it was still cold. Then the ALE truck with the pole for height measuring came past.  Police sirens screamed and blue lights flashed  before the procession appeared around the first bend.  The more intrepid of the vintage cars were there too…shining and more highly polished than the day they came out of the box!  The sun shone as it only can on a winter’s day in the Cape amongst the mountains.   AV soon appeared, one truck in front and one pushing from behind…and of course braking on the down hills. The tug looked simply enormous at this point.  She passed me at the really quite sharp corner where the view was splendid  across the deep donga (cutaway caused by erosion).  I wiped my eyes blew my nose and joined the queue of vehicles  back on the road to Villiersdorp.

All along the road there were little groups of farm workers, their wives and children  waving  and cheering. Pruning work on the orchards and vineyards came to a stop.  The big Dutch Reform Church was ringing its bells and my tears came again.  Andy (Andy Selfe, who wrote the narrative in the link that follows.) balanced precariously on a water tower outside the village gave me a wave and later confessed that he  had been crying so hard he could hardly see to use his camera.  Slowly slowly though the village, the main road lined with watchers….smiles from ear to ear everywhere.   Even those who came  to grumble still came to watch. All the tractors and vintage cars were leading the old lady.  Then home for me  to blow my nose again and reflect on the persistence of a few men….which gave me more understanding of and admiration for the character of the farmers in this area.”

Here are fotos and Andy’s account, with great details like abnormal load exits, hugging speed cops, campfire under the tug at night, getting barked at by baboons, and self-described “bunch of crazy farmers” … with references to laager (circle-the-wagons camp), lay-by (rest area) , and hooters (horns). . .  .  Here’s a glossary.    Click here for the AV main site with lots of links and video.

Congratulations to Andy and the Tractor club and all the crews.  Thanks to Pamela for sharing her reaction.     Here and here are previous posts I’ve done on AV.   Here was “Relief Crew #14.”

Alwyn Vintcent has moved over the mountains from Cape Town.  Credit here goes to Villiersdorp blog, where you can find many many more fotos.  Credit also goes to some amazing farmers with a dream and then grit to make it real.  I’m just putting up three fotos of the arrival, because they move me.

Here’s a post I did six weeks ago about Alwyn Vintcent.

Again, thanks to Villiersdorp Events for these fotos.

First . . . a foto from Cape Town thanks to Colin.  Any idea what purpose the wire coils around the bulwarks of Teliri serve?  Answer at end of post.

Next, from French mariner Herrou Xtian, a LeHavre-based rotor tug RT Claire, now working in Bremerhaven.  For a sense of what she looks like below the waterline, click here.

Also from Xtian, it’s a huge salvage tug Abeille Bourbon.  Xtian’s has a model-building question later in this post.  And I hope to have fotos of a huge tug myself in the next few days.

And from Dave Chappell, Mobro’s Rio Bravo (ex-Gus Candies, 1973)  towing a scow through Jacksonville, FL.

Also from Dave, two old tugs (anyone identify??) travel under the Ben Franklin swing bridge near Charleston, SC.

Teliri has been laying cable in pirate/gangster? infested waters, so it could be construed the coils of barbed wire intends to discourage unwelcomed visits.

And here’s Xtian’s question, stemming from his work on Crowley’s former vessel Centurion.  On his model, the lighter strips represent the keel coolers.  How far do the ones marked A and B extend, and what exactly do they look like.

Here are fotos I took of Centurion high and dry on Mighty Servant 1, about to leave NYC’s sixth boro for Nigeria.  However, the portion Xtian wants to see is obscured in all my fotos.  Anyone help?

Final shot, also from Colin . ..  who’s following the progress of Alwyn Vintcent inland from Cape town on a 90-wheel rig operated by ALE.  Here’s a previous ship-haul job by ALE.

I won’t post tomorrow or friday most likely . .  because I’ll be gallivanting “on assignment.”

Thanks much Colin, Xtian, and Dave.

x

This is the work and play post . . . the real connection is that although we all have to work, an important secret is to enjoy what you do.    Imagine this enthusiasm in a  co-worker or yourself on Monday morning, whether you’re struggling to finish a group report or

like the Villiersdorp farmers and ALE and their associates moving Alwyn Vintcent on 80 functioning wheels–at least– around Table Mountain.

If you don’t enjoy it . ..  or relish the challenge and execution,

you won’t even start the job.

This is the only way to get through obstacles that stop your progress . . .   Revel in the task  . . . like

the folks at NYS Marine Highway, now shipping corn–yes–corn–out of Ontario and into the Erie Canal.    How long has it been that agricultural commodities have been shipped on the Erie Canal . . . how long have people talked about shipping same on that waterway that revolutionized NYC . . .  or international shipping entering the Erie Canal, but Margot (over a half century young) and its crew

is actually-as we speak–

doing it!  Bravo to the folks at NYS Marine Highway.   Click here for lots more fotos of Margot.

Sun dancing is great, but the spirit that drives the dancers also animates folks

who dance with ships and lines and

get one task done safely and then move to the next and the next.

So whatever you do, whatever I do . . .

I know that if I can do it in a way that gets me satifaction and pleasure,

the better.

South African fotos come compliments of Colin Syndercombe;  the Oswego/Erie Canal fotos,   . . . Allan and Sally of  Sally W  and all the others by Will Van Dorp.

Related:  Here’s another ALE job.

Unrelated:  The longest marathon swim starts tomorrow morning over 100 miles up the Hudson.

Here are my posts from June 2 and 3 last year.  It was the day Maltese Falcon stooped across the bay with all sail set, sending the orange boat in the foreground to flee in panic, as if prey.

Crew on the barge pushed by the McAllister tug to the left clock it at nearly 20 knots before

she douses her sails, at the push of a button and cruises past a Blue Marlin in Day 12 of a prolonger loading.

It took ten more days to have the load secure for departure.   A day-by-day report of that loading process is in the “Tale of Two Marlins” link to the left.   Since that trip last June, two more Dockwise vessels have taken US equipment over to West Africa.  Today, Blue Marlin is anchored off Malta, Maltese Falcon at the dock in Genoa, the former Reinauer tugs work off Nigeria.   So far I’ve gotten no response to requests for fotos from Nigeria.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Kirbyfication, which looks

like this on Norwegian Sea, is only one transformation, although if you asked me to personify and interpret, I’d say Norwegian looks positively

mortified in these fotos.  “OMG!!  I can’t bear bare   . . .

myself, can’t bear to see this,” she seems to say.

Here’s the changes from Barbara C (October 2010) to

Arabian Sea sand stack decorations (March 2012) to

this past weekend.

Others, like Miss Yvette take things much more in stride from  here (third foto down) to June 2011

to yesterday.

Heron transforms from this March 2011 foto to

this one last week.  And a year from now, as she plys waters off Equatorial Guinea . . . what will that look like?

Sun Road was clearly not always known that way, although

one of my sources was of no value.

For a thrilling transformation story, check out The Skipper & the Eagle, which relates how Horst Wessel became Eagle back in 1946.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

If you like to hear Jefferson Airplane, click here:  their lyric based on a John Wyndham sci-fi novel goes “Life is change.  How it differs from the rocks . . .”

Any guesses what’s driving the tempest here?

gCaptain posted a great story about a pizza delivery . . . and a bone for the the ship’s dog Alley.  What’s this then?  What resolve will Alley summon among its crew?

The crowd awaits, as

Smit Amandla stretches the line nearly to the breaking point for two straight hours.  Imagine the fuel bill for 16,000 hp chrning at load for 120 minutes!  More on Smit Amandla here.   And here.  Her sister ship, Wolraad Woltemade was broken up at Alang just two years ago.  See a foto of her awaiting her fate here.

But inch by inch, and without incident,

the trawler makes for deeper water.

Might the hero here really be Alley?

Once roused from its slumber on Clifton Beach and safely afloat, Eihatsu Maru takes a stroll into the harbor with Ocean Pride.

And as a treat, let’s have a look to see who else is in port today?

Over there, anchored beside  Smit Amandla  . . . this orange vessel . . . no it just can’t be . . . Super Servant 3?!@#@!??    Dockwise is everywhere these days, it seems.

Many many thanks to Colin, who put all his more productive impulses on hold in order to snap these shots and share the story.    Bravo to the towing team, the pizza delivery guys, the crew, and  . . . of course . . . Alley, ship’s mutt.

Time for some of that pizza and tea, Colin?

And two posts in one day . . . I’m not going to make that a rule, but this news couldn’t wait.

Note the Crowley props and the orange-clad crew.  Doubleclick enlarges image.

Note the huge design difference between Socrates (1966, 3200 hp) and

Heron (1968, 3200 hp).  

My question is this:  what is the actual weight added to Swan by these five tugs, one barge, and one crewboat?  Does the load change the draft of Swan at all, given that she like any vessel is ballasted as needed?  And I do not know the answer.

For outatowners, these shots from Bay Ridge show the “west” end of the Verrazano Bridge.  Yesterday’s fotos were taken from the bluff more or less just above the white dome of the lighthouse.

And for this foto, I pivoted slightly toward the south, capturing both towers of the Bridge.  Entering the Narrows is a ferry and dredger

Terrapin Islandwhich as recently as two and a half months ago was sucking up silt from Jed’s coast in southern Georgia.

All fotos this morning by Will Van Dorp, who probably has one more installment on Swan.  For the title, my apologies to Marcel Proust.

(Note:  Doubleclick enlarges.) The title . . . those were the exact words John Watson emailed me last night.  If the message had been “hawk is down”  . . . or “condor …”  it would have alarmed me, but instead I charged my camera so that right after work I could zoom over to Fort Wadsworth for these shots.  By one, I found Alert loaded onto barge BFT No. 38, which

was already on Swan.  Gabby Miller was present, of course.  Lined up on the Brooklyn side was a cast of characters identified as

Cavalier, Pioneer, and Mars . . . in custody of Charles D. McAllister.

The three Crowley tugs glided onto Swan‘s back, extending beyond the hull on

both sides.

For outatowners, that’s Manhattan in the distance looking across most of what’s called the Upper Bay.  The Lower Bay is behind me, as is the Verrazano Bridge.    On the right is the boro of Brooklyn.  The red tugs are Charles D. McAllister and McAllister Sisters Girls.

If you wonder about my shifting POV, the tide turned from ebb to flood during loading, and with it a bank of fog crept in and out, several times.

Next on board . . . Socrates, who in spite of the fog, found

a place midships, starboard.

This left space for

Heron!  It’s not quite Noah’s ark, but I’m hoping Bowsprite will find a spare moment to drawing this vessel with its cargo almost as diverse as that of Pi Patel.

Loading completed, Susan Miller glides by.  No doubt Swan has already begun to deballast to rise back up, and tomorrow the menagerie onboard Swan will be high and dry.  After that, next stop, Nigeria.

I include this foto for outatowners.  The vessel farthest left and most distant is Swan;  I took it on the ferry about halfway back to Manhattan.   Land to the right of King Emerald is Staten Island.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Some related posts include Mighty Servant loaded last December, Blue Marlin loaded a year ago, and Socrates last summer . .  seventh foto down.

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My job . . . Summer AND Fall 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

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

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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