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If anyone out there needs to be convinced of the beauty of the Hudson Valley less than 100 miles north of the big city, take a glance at this foto by Tim Hetrick showing tanker Icdas 11 escorted by a paparazzi savvy eagle.
The foto below shows sloop Clearwater in mid-June arriving at the music festival that shares the same name.
A minute or so earlier . . . Clearwater rounded the bend following Woody Guthrie toward the shallows.
But if anyone has notions of operating a wooden vessel, it’s important to consider the regular maintenance. Here was a post from about three years ago about work on Clearwater. Currently way upriver this
is happening again. All the following fotos now come thanks to Paul Strubeck. In mid-December, Clearwater was downrigged and hauled out near Albany at Scarano Boat Building and
gently placed onto Black Diamond, with tug Cornell nearby.
Securing the big sloop for travel takes care and time, more time than there is light at the winter solstice end of the year.
But when all’s fast, the trip to where the winter maintenance crew can begin.
Click here for an article about Clearwater‘s winter home in the shadow of the Hudson River Maritime Museum.
Many thanks to Paul for sending these along. It looks like I need to find time to get up to the Rondout. The first two fotos in the post are mine.
Update: May Day no more at South Street Seaport Museum, and I have sent my benjamins as promised. As I understand it, the Museum has been “taken over” in some fashion by the Museum of the City of New York. Below, Peter Stanford addressed a group of “save our seaport” supporters back in May.
Bravo to Save our Seaport for their efforts to pull together support.
This is related. The Great Lakes are mostly devoid of commercial passenger traffic today, but a century ago, had my great-great grandparents lived and prospered along the “northern coast” of the US, deluxe cruise itineraries might include stops at Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit.
SS Aquarama exudes that age of optimism. Too bad I hadn’t started this blog and contracted my obsession a decade or more earlier . . . I would have been able to photograph her in mothballs in Buffalo. Although it’s better late than never, when “stuff gets gone, it’s gone.”
So here’s the answer to my “whatzit” question . . . that place of carved oak above is the lounge on one of those Great Lakes passenger vessels: City of Detroit III. Who knows what honetmooners, retirees, or other celebrants smoked cigarettes (back when that was thought sophisticated) and sipped drinks here.
Among the many great people I met this past year was Peter Boucher of Nautical Log. Peter sent me this foto in response to a foto of Cove Isle, here. Peter’s explanation of the foto below is as follows: ”When we were on the 1967 Western Arctic Patrol in CCGS Camsell at one of the river stops this CCG river vessel came out to visit us. Our Captain renamed it “Dimwit”, as it looked like it was going to turn over at any moment.” Here’s another shot of Dumit.
I had to include this foto here: this endless coal train travels along the bottom of the Great Lake called “Lake Maumee.” Never heard of it? It was there, though. The day before Thanksgiving I waited a long time as this slow train moved prehistoric plant material along the bed of this prehistoric lake.
Blue Marlin captivated me this year, to put it mildly. Here Clearwater, another worthy project if you’re still toying with year-end donations, checks it out.
Thoughts of anything but summer . . . with its adventures and gallivants . .. are elusive, for me. Dana Spiotta writes of that in tomorrow’s NYTimes magazine, recounting a voyage on the Erie Canal by rowboat with Tide and Current Taxi‘s very own Marie Lorenz. You could go fishing: both Marlin and Minnow are currently in the sixth boro.
A week from now you could swim around Manhattan . . . or volunteer to keep swimmers safe by emailing email@example.com
In a week you could go to the Clearwater Festival.
Next Saturday . . . the sea will again boil with hot blood and creatures rarely seen will emerge and parade. It’s the 29th
annual Mermaid Parade and Ball!!!
Thanks, Yen, for that foto.
No . . . this site is NOT transforming into a book emporium. But I can make some recommendations, good reading whether you’re on the water, at the beach, or in a house . . . The last time I revealed this much about my bookshelf was in 2007 here and here.
Numero uno: A “must read” We the Drowned . . . I guarantee it’ll be the most enthralling and fastest 675-page novel you’ve ever read. Read a review here. I’ll even send my copy once a few more friends have read it; my copy was sent to me by Les Sonnenmark, a frequent commenter here. It’s a saga of 100 years of lives of folks whose starting point is a Danish Baltic Sea island town called Marstal featuring naval prisoners of war, St. Peter’s triage style, mariners by sail and steam and diesel, Samoa, Greenland, Captain Cook’s shrunken head, haunting red lights (and more) for a character who survives World War II aboard convoy after convoy in and out of Murmansk, and some poignant stories of loves lost and long deferred. This is a story of resurrections. Hear an interview with the author, Casten Jensen, here. Read an interview focusing on storytelling craft here.
Unrelated: can you identify the sailing and diesel vessels here? Identification to all will be at the end of the post.
Second suggestion: Fire on the Horizon (267 pages) by gCaptain‘s very own John Konrad, with Tom Shroder. This book walks you minute by minute through the last days of Deepwater Horizon, with compassion for the crew and their families. You will learn much about a drillship, of which many exist today. Konrad and Shroder tease out responsibilities of BP, TransOcean, and Halliburton. I hadn’t known until reading this book of John Konrad’s unique qualifications to write this book: he learned of the blowout while in the Southern Ocean, delivering a similar Korean rig called Deepwater Ascension from Korea to the Gulf of Mexico; moreover, he knew some crew aboard Deepwater Horizon. Konrad shows his knack for telling a tragic story quite well, throwing in compelling backstory along the way. In the first 50 pages alone, you’ll learn something about offshore drilling in 1896, SUNY Maritime, and the Hyundai shipyard in Ulsan, Korea. In our age of petroleum and time of peak oil, this book will leave you with greater understanding.
Third suggestion: Also related to the blow-out of last summer, A Sea in Flames, (352 pages) by Carl Safina. In the preface, Carl Safina calls this “a record of a technological event . . . a chronicle of a season of anguish . . .” It’s an informal book in which Safina records his observations and vents. He, like Konrad and Shroder, makes the arcane world of deepwater drilling understandable and interesting to the layperson; in the first 50 pages, you learn about the decisions made throughout the six months of drilling at Macondo, which he compares to a “high risk pregnancy.” Safina’s voice evidences his ecology background (Ph. D. from Rutgers and President of the Blue Ocean Institute), and he’s clearly fuming, incensed; he reports statements from officials from BP and government agencies and then (as if we were watching or listening to some broadcast news with him) we hear his reactions . . . be they sarcasm or refutation. He acknowledges his anger, though: e.g., “I am not impressed with the Coast Guard so far. Admiral Thad Allen becomes to me a one-dimensional talking head: the Thadmiral. Does he deserve to be a caricature? Of course not; does anyone? But in my anger, that’s what happens” (96). And he’s particularly angry about private security guards interdicting the public from . . . public parks . . . when they are officially open (207-10). Ultimately, near the end of the book, Safina reports on having coffee with Allen and another of the caricature’s in the book, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator; here . . Safina listens and in his reportage, transforms what had been one-dimensional into nuanced people. And I admire that. Read the book.
I’d love to hear your reading suggestions . . . in part because I’m fishing for my next book. I always can fall back on rereading the standards by Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Farley Mowat, or Jan deHartog . . . but would rather have my horizons expanded.
Otherwise, in summer the temperature makes it a whole lot more comfortable than winter to just while away some hours doing the Otis Redding thing . . .
All fotos by Will Van Dorp in the past two weeks.
Oh . . . right . . . here’s another review.
Today’s update on the loading of Blue Marlin–rumored to happen today–is that there’s no update, other than more prep work. Maybe tomorrow? Clearwater passed to check progress. Technical question: does Blue Marlin have dynamic positioning system to keep it stable while loading happens?
So, let me catch you up on Saturday’s water portion of the Hudson River pageant: Village Community Boathouse sent three rowing gigs, decorated as if for the mermaid parade. Whatever happened on land, I’ve no clue, because we stayed out of sight of the landcrew, stemming the tide and waiting our cue.
For some closeups of the other boats, click here.
Unrelated to this but apropos of yesterday’s Save Our Seaport post, come if you can to Community Board 1 meeting tomorrow: South Street Seaport Museum is on the agenda. Here are details: CB1 Meeting will happen at Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St., Richard Harris Terrace. Tuesday May 24th 2011, 6:00 PM.
All fotos and information here comes from John Sperr, last referred to here in relation to ice yacht Galatea, as its pilot.
Today’s post comes from the same area of the Hudson where iceboating was happening a mere two months ago. Ice has now given way to the fine color heralding leaves. Clearwater has wintered on a mobile shipyard, a barge. The “whiskey plank” aka the last part of the hull to be closed up post-repair was recently steamed, jacked into place, and fastened.
Libation followed and then
parade, as the shipyard itself danced upriver clutched tight by Cornell to be offloaded in anticipation of rigging, which
would happen at
Scarano Boat. The barge was slid into the travel-lift dock, slings
moved like fingers under the hull, and
Clearwater, cradled in these sturdy arms, was
This left the barge Black Diamond to assume other duties, become other things.
All fotos by John Sperr. Thanks, John.
By the way, start imagining the weekend of June 19 and 20. Mermaids on Saturday (with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed !@#@! as Queen Mermaid and King Neptune) and music on Sunday (with Pete Seeger and Lucy Kaplansky and many more!@#@##@!!) ? How can one make a choice like that?
Also, a tall ship and volunteer opportunity in Brooklyn: PortSide NewYork FreeSail Clipper City 4-12-2010
It’s been a year and a half since I’ve used this title, but how could I not jump at the chance to post Dock’s fotos here of Clearwater on its “portable shipyard,” in this case barge Black Diamond, here mated to Cornell. Clearwater sometimes exits its element for maintenance.
Come spring, Clearwater will again cleave the Hudson. I wonder when Bowsprite will generate Clearwater magic in her sketchbook . . .? She has fotos, and I know a sloop’s not a schooner, mais . . .
Some continue to sail, like this sloop in Gravesend Bay Sunday, taking Maersk Michigan‘s stern.
And here are two sailing hulls undergoing major work in Gloucester: left to right, they would be Eleanor and Beaver, “replicas” of two of four Tea Party ships. Can you name the other tea ships and the year of said party?
Eleanor (ex-Vincie N), a Gloucester fishing vessel built in 1936, seems to have undergone a major face-lift and . . . er . . butt-lift. Click here for a shot of Vincie N pre-conversion, and here for the story of the dragger’s fishing history.
Click here for info on that tea party. The other two vessels were Dartmouth and William.
Top two fotos by Dock Shuter; others by Will Van Dorp.
All week this week Tugster mentions the blog started three years ago! Three candlepower!
is actually a euphemism for “catching up,” which is all that’s on my plate today. Like a month ago, I intended to put up a link to a west coast tugboat blog. So here it is: fremonttugboat.
Otherwise, this post comes from scrolling back through fotos I’ve taken (and not used, I think) since late spring 2009. Try it yourself: Put up your number of images (your fotos, else’s, your drawings, else’s) and comment on their place in your life. Go back your chosen length of time, et voila, you have your very own retrospective!
Communication: nothing fancy here as the deck keeps eye on work and skipper while the skipper pokes head out the window to see and hear. Makes for clear communication, without which we in any endeavor face peril.
Community: it takes a strong bond between several rivertowns and watersheds to build a boat. If I squint, I see this motely corps of volunteers literally carrying Onrust to the water on their shoulders. Ok, I squint hard.
Contentment: or “peace” if you will. What matters it that this man is sitting where he finds it; it matters not that he’s across from a huge oil depot and a dredged waterway allowing ingress and egress for dozens of billions of dollars or ducats of goods each year. Here he is content. Like someone I know who spent weeks living beside refinery and tolerating it by imagining the hiss and roar emanated from a pristine jungle waterfall.
Charm: the Hudson River Valley happens to be a place of profound beauty and it mesmerizes me. But the eye of the beholder generates a portion of that charm. Open eyes will find it anywhere and in everything. A resident of this Valley published THAT BOOK on this date in 1851 . Know which one? Answer at end.
Curiosity: the sixth boro is a complex place geographically, historically, … you or I could continue this list. Here, like anywhere, it seems the more you notice, the less time remains to wonder about all the new things. What is this cove called over just north of Fresh Kills? Writing on vessels from foreground to back say RTC1, Crow, Relentless, and Cedar Marina. Does a road lead here?
More curiosity: What is this vessel that traversed to the north in front of Bowsprite’s cliff this summer? What cargo did it transport? What time warp did it emerge from?
Craziness: since writing about faces as prompted by the Robert brothers tome, I’ve had a blast with this. This one . . . an orange boar (not bore) with tusks in place of dolly partons. May some craziness–and a sense of humor about it– be evident everywhere.
Constancy: 1965 Near the St. Lawrence Seaway my father took this foto of a 13-year-old who became tugster. I was already out tracking down info for the yet-to-be blog back then, way before blogs, digital cameras, computers of the ilk we know. Some stuff doesn’t change. Shouldn’t disappear.
It’s unrealistic to stop after a half dozen fotos, but . . . discipline is imposed.
My last post fer a while . . .gone fishing for something. See you in a few with new tales. Sindbad calls us to muster. I tried unsuccessfully to find a Gordon Bok video-version of this, but this and this . . . a nice innocent feel too.
All fotos, except the ones by bowsprite and my father, by Will Van Dorp.
Literally it means “equal night.” NOX has lots of associations. More Hestia soon, I promise.
Half-half symmetricality, or almost so;
dark and light . . . river and land . . . fog and clarity;
summer cedes the stage to fall.
Time to think of harvests, baskets, thanksgiving; Sam Plimsoll marked just how full these floating cornucopias should ever get. The viscous wine of our civilization can submerge the vessel carrying it.
Brightness and shadow envelope Elise Anne Conners, who has spent most of its almost 13 decades above the surface.
Night and light make
Happy hot equinox in the sixth boro.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Cornell sports its mast toward the stern; running lights there convey information about vessel size, type, and activity.
Clearwater, a sloop, has a one mast topping out at about 110 feet.
On City of Water Day, USACE Drift Collection vessel Hayward sports code flags on its mast and a sampling of collected debris on its foredeck.
Pioneer, a schooner, has two masts, the mainmast topped out at just under 77 feet.
Sandy Hook Pilots vessel Yankee has units (besides the radar and GPS) on its mast I can’t identify.
Bunkering tanker Capt Blog‘s foremast carries a red flag, signaling fuel.
So does barge DBL 76. Mast height on Adriatic Sea is 85 feet, if airdraft equals height of the highest mast or antenna. I fear I might be blurring a definition here.
USCG WPB67356 Sailfish, not surprisingly, carries mast gear not readily identified by a civilian like me.
Miriam Moran, assisting with docking, keeps the upper portion of its mast safely lowered where flaring bows cannot damage it.
Masts can signal information but of course sometimes signaling is optional or even undesired. Masts allow things to be seen, but one has to know what should remain unseen. An effective mast needs strength, and sometimes that means it is flexible.
Both submarines and whaling ships have masts. For some good fun, check out this six-minute video of a struggle between Captain Ahab and Moby Das Boot.
Also, just for fun: How might you complete this sentence:
All fotos by Will Van Dorp. Send me your original sentence completions.