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After a four-day festival of introducing New York folk to historic vessels and (more) . . . Pegasus escorts Lehigh Valley 79 back to Red Hook.
So if I had to list the “more” in question, I’d say . . . history and stories of the port and days gone by and “fire mops” and leaky pipes with names like “old Faithful” , glimpses of present but ever-changing skylines, demonstrations of docking and departures, churning up mud bottoms and making white frothy spray, lurching and rolling and pitching on the Hudson, and
now it’s homewater bound, heading for Red Hook;
but first, a quick stop in Erie Basin for
Question: any guesses what/where this structure is? Answer follows.
Dry Tortugas Light on Loggerhead Key–three miles from Fort Jefferson– first illuminated navigators in 1858, this month 143 years ago.
The first light in the Dry Tortugas-a place to stock up on turtle meat-was first lit in 1826, but according to the tour guide, that brick light tower was razed in 1877 because its location too often directed approaching vessels over reefs to their doom.
Fort Jefferson-the unfinished coastal fortress also known as the second largest masonry structure on Earth (after the Great Wall of China)–would never have been started if the US government had heeded the 1825 recommendation of US Navy Commodore David Porter (adoptive father of the future Admiral David G. Farragut!!) because of its lack of fresh water and stable bedrock for foundations. Four years later, the US government accepted the recommendation of the next Commodore–John Rodgers–and began construction of the structure that failed in the ways Porter predicted and was obsolete before it approached completion.
By the way, Porter had an intriguing career, including being prisoner of both the Barbary pirates (1803-5) and the British Navy (1814) but also Captain of US naval vessels, court-martialee after his unauthorized invasion of Fajardo, commander-in-chief of the Mexican Navy (1826-29), and US ambassador to the Barbary States and Turkey. Imagine someone trying to do those things in that order today.
In the foto below, notice the different colored bricks.
The bricks of different colors reflect the origin of the brick: again . . . according to the tour guide, bricks produced in the South before the Civil War have resisted time well. After 1861, bricks came here from Maine (!) and have fared less well in this climate.
If you imagine you see window air conditioners where guns should be, you are NOT imagining that. National Park Service employees live inside the Fort and have added contemporary creature comforts.
Key West Light–through various remodelings– has stood here since 1847.
Less than a block away is the house where Hemingway lived in the 1930s.
You might call it a “cat house” today, where the dozens of poly-toed cats have names like Picasso and Dickinson and Truman . . .
Time for a few Hemingway quotes? “There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” And “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
But check out this title! I’d imagined he’d say something like “There is no way to make good pictures . . . the best way to make them is . . . to make them.”
At least Hemingway had taste in naming his boat . . . which I hope to see some day, not easy to do because Pilar is at Finca Vigia in Cuba. More fotos here. Pilar was once in Brooklyn! Brooklyn’s Wheeler Shipyard (I believe it was in or near the Navy Yard) made out a bill of sale to the writer on April 18, 1934 for a “38-foot twin cabin Playmate cruiser” with “one [75 hp] Chrysler Crown reduction gear engine” and “4-cylinder Lycoming straight drive engine” for trolling for a grand total of $7455. For a thread on a discussion board related to Pilar, click here. Pilar was Hemingway’s q-boat.
My question is this: How did Pilar get from Brooklyn to Key West? Did someone make a delivery by water? Ship? Train? And does anyone know if Valhalla, Pilar’s sistership, has been restored after its accidental sinking in 2007?
So that first building . . . here’s the rest of it as seen from Jacksonville Beach. It’s the 1946-built Art Deco life saving station, not a lighthouse at all. A beauty though.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Really random . . . starts with this foto thanks to Maureen Cassidy-Geiger. More of hers to come, fotos of other waters directly accessible FROM the sixth boro of NY and NJ. This foto of unidentified cruiser and tug was off Livorno, Italia. Hmmmm . . . maybe we need a new government agency with initials SBNYNJ . . . another place to get permits from and provide studies for . . . hmmm NAH!!
Next two fotos from Bill Whateley showing a tug delivering a crane barge off the island of
Spinalonga east of Iraklion, Crete. Bill usually blogs about the South Devon coast.
Moving into the waters that ARE the sixth boro . . . Elk River and Peter F Gellatly cater to the needs of Carnival Glory at the Manhattan passenger terminal.
Thanks to Maureen, Bill, and Justin for some of these fotos. All others by Will Van Dorp. If you wish to share what you spot in exotic places–all accessible from the sixth boro because of the miracle of water–I’m happy to post.
Off topic: last night northbound near Haverstraw Bay, I crossed path with –I believe–southbound steam yacht Cangarda. Meeting this vessel around midnight in a wide, dark, calm part of the river almost seemed like an encounter in a dream, a pleasant hallucination. Has anyone spotted her southbound on the Hudson this week? If so, I’d love to put up your fotos; grainy fotos I don’t like to use. . . . sorry. Here’s a TV news report from last week about Cangarda.
Horns aplenty (more than in Pamplona Seattle) feted the solstice, as did
and here . . . beyond the cowboy in blue toga, library maids and masters with a classic edition of Jules Verne . . . .
By the next day, revelry had migrated to Red Hook, where theatrical scenes of fund-raising on behalf of PortSide NewYork took place, involving officers of
someone’s flotilla bearing keys to the city. By the way, if you can make it to the Community Board 1 meeting TONIGHT by 6 pm, I’ll see you there. Important!
And someone commented . . asking what this mermaidographer looked like, click here and go to #9; thanks for these to Claudia Hehr.
Cheers. Summer is here . . . and I may tomorrow be agallivantin . . .
Meanwhile, if anyone got good pics of the librarian mermaid/mermen contingent . . . please share?
to ship cocoa by commercial sail. And as a TWIC-carrying PortSide volunteer, I was invited into Red Hook Marine Terminal to blog for the unloading of cocoa from the schooner. Black Seal, a 70-foot Colvin “Sea Gypsy” design with the biggest cargo hold and steel pilothouse, has been the 25-year building project of Capt Eric Loftfield. Tugster has featured many fotos of two other Colvin boats: samples at Rosemary Ruthand the misguided Papillon. On her maiden voyage, Black Seal traveled from Falmouth, Massachusetts to Puerto Plata, DR . . . to Red Hook, New York. With cargo. Twenty tons of organic cocoa beans,
The cocoa represents about a year’s worth of Dominican beans used by Mast Brothers Chocolate. Click on the 8.5 minute clip for some background.
According to Capt. Loftfield, a Cook Inlet pilot in Alaska, the total amount of fuel used, including motoring out of and into port as well as running the generator and galley was
Some inspiration for using commercial sail to move cocoa from the Caribbean can be traced back to Ross Gannon and Nat Benjamin of Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway. Ross Gannon is the uncle of PortSide New York‘s founder and director Carolina Salguero. Gannon & Benjamin has received their own cargo (wood) by sail. Some other examples of current commercial sail projects include Beth Alison, Tres Hombres, Kwai, and Albatros. I’d love to hear about others.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is ecstatic to witness extraordinarily-prepared people learning how to do extraordinary things by . . . jumping in–when the time is ripe– and doing them.
Challenges abound; the story of schooner John F. Leavitt illustrates the risk of jumping in prematurely, of not being extraordinarily prepared.
For the Wall Street Journal version of the story, click here.
(Doubleclick enlarges most fotos.) When I visited Village Community Boathouse (VCB) late last winter, we discussed a “photographic rowfari” to the Gowanus, come spring. Spring has arrived, and so . .. yesterday, John Magnus and JML
making a stop to greet the folks at Red Hook Boaters near Valentino Pier before
past the experiment vessel Jerko
huge bubbles? Reverse maelstrom? Vortex reversus? Belch of sludge lusus naturae? Maybe it’s just evidence that the flushing canal actually functions in spite of its sisyphean task of cleaning what has been rendered most foul?
In spite of Gowanus‘ uberpolluted condition, an ecosystem exists, with feral cats,
an intrepid canoe club,
Is the intention of this sign (above a novel use of tires) to invite us back? See the VCB version of events here.
Questions I have are . . . how soon might the Canal’s Superfund status show results?
Related and very important . . . if you’re in a human-powered and relatively small vessel, be aware that you are difficult to spot for huge cargo vessels of all kinds that travel fast and have limited maneuverability. Read Towmasters post here
Julia approaches Nanticoke from the stern and
Not so able to squeeze into places or remain incognito, it ‘s Eos!!!
And Eos shared the Sunday morning harbor with this vessel, Aviva. Foto by Birk Thomas. Identification by Vladimir Brezina.
Meanwhile, some odds and ends. Amazon, depicted here last fall, has mere days left at Mystic Seaport. See her while you can.
Finally, here’s info on the “Save our Seaport“meeting tomorrow night in near South Street.
All fotos except Birk’s by Will Van Dorp.
Scroll to the end of this post to see references to previous works by Duke Riley. Below is Acorn, a replica submarine (not in the current exhibit) involved in a 2007 “unauthorized” re-enactment of Bushnell’s Turtle attack on British vessels in the harbor in 1776.
To quote Eleanor Heartney in the introduction to the book accompanying the Magnan Metz show, “As American cities vie to transform their waterfronts into tourist attractions and high-end residential communities, it becomes difficult to remember that historically, the place where the city meets the sea has been the haven of society’s discards and degenerates… long … fertile ground for tall tales and urban legends. Duke Riley’s Imagined Histories, illegal performances and dioramic installations tap into that fast disappearing world, blending fact and fancy in a way that reminds us that history is anything but an objective science.”
The huge (say 10′ x 10′) drawing below–a centerpiece for one of the riparian tales–depicts the battle for what’s today called Petty Island (Citgo) Terminal in the Delaware River between Camden and Philadelphia. Once it was a farm and a “kingdom” of the Laird family. Now it’s home to a tank farm and container port. Play this video for a clue to where I’m off to. A foto of King Ralston Laird’s mural appears in the last foto of the last link in this post.
Riley’s huge works allude to his tattooing work. They also suggest scrimshaw of another age. Pynchonian in scope and beautifully Boschian in complexity and grotesqueness. in I spent at least 15 minutes zeroing in on details in this huge tableau.
The other river tale relates to the Cuyahoga.
Submarine foto above comes compliments of Kitty Joe Sainte-Marie, Duke Riley’s project manager. Many thanks.
Here’s an article on Duke Riley’s letter to Hugo Chavez, relative to Petty Island. And scroll all the way through this article for a foto of King Ralston Laird atop one of the Petty Island storage tanks.
Red Hook Grain Terminal in the background, Christine M. McAllister pushes Reinauer RTC 502.
Elk River exits the east end of the KVK, with white cranes in the background at Global Terminal.
Ross Sea pushes a deep-loaded barge. In the distance, a small portion of the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
in the brackish water over in Newark Bay would not form. That’s Port Elizabeth to the northeast.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp, except of course the one by Vladimir.