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On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote this to his wife Abigail:  “The day will be most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival…It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade…bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”

I wonder if Abigail believed him.

Last night around 1900 hr, Brendan Turecamo (above) and Catherine Turecamo pushed their Macy’s loads upriver.  I think two other Macy’s barges  were pushed by Kimberly Turecamo and Jennifer Turecamo.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that the Macy’s 34th Street megastore had embarked on short sea shipping of goods.   Do you know that as a teenager, R. H. Macy  worked on a Nantucket whaling ship, Emily Morgan, during which time he got a tattoo, which is the star that still today in the company logo.

A motley crew of spectators ventured into the river for the show,

a very motley crew indeed.

Other tugs took some time off as well . . . Maurania III here, and Quantico Creek and the other Pegasus over on the other side of the river.  Maybe others too.

The two Harley tugsHMS Liberty and St Andrews–hung out with 1907-built Pegasus at the sanitation pier.

It appears here that a contingent of the  NYC Air Force is escorting in Hornblower Infinity.  As it said, it APPEARS that way.    Anyone I know working there?

343 summons the safety spirits.

Lots of spectators wait on a contingent of NYC’s passenger/dinnerboat fleet.

Darkness falls. Tension builds as thunderstorms do their own illumination to the north and the south.

Around 2130 h . . . opening salvo.

These fotos do not capture that percussive blasts and echoes off the sanitation pier . . . so use your imagination.

Too bad John and Abigail and all the other signers weren’t here.

Well, maybe they were.

I did hear some creaking and squeaking on the pier.

Happy

Independence

all the time.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

AND Pegasus and you have something else to celebrate.  Remember the Partners in Preservation voting lots of you all did back in May?  Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 ended in 14th place, and I thought that meant they got no money.  Au contraire, they DID get a hefty sum . ..  $140,000 to split!   . . .to be used for preservation, and on a 1907-built vessel, there’s a lot of preservation to be done.  So thanks much for voting.  If you want to see Pegasus close-up, come down to Pier 25 west side of Manhattan . . .

I watched from the southwesternmost corner of Manhattan, near Pier A.

The sky made drama and Statue was nearly obscured.

Incoming container vessel MSC Charleston had to briefly delay its cargo delivery to allow this entourage to pass.

On the shore, loud and excited schoolkids–hundreds it seemed –got to watch the procession.  Who knows what impact it will make on them . . .  more on this at the end of the post.

I’ve never seen so many helmets on  a tug as were on Shelby today.

Time to get Enterprise up river, and

time for Little Lady to get passengers back to New Jersey.

The crane on Weeks 533 looks like it could lift the Statue

if need be.

Kathleen

and Elizabeth have fewer crew.  I wonder how much I’d have to donate to be a sponsor.

It’s time for Miriam Moran to get

a non-helmeted crew up there too.

All fotos of the starship and the star ships by Will Van Dorp.

Ray Bradbury, age 91, died today.  He had a profound impact on me.  And on why he started writing, here’s what’s reported:

“Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, Live forever! Bradbury later said, I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped.”

I’m grateful he got to meet Mr. Electrico.

The first 11 fotos here come compliments of bowsprite, who was so eager to get fotos of Ambrose‘ return that she admits to running out to the East River to get these shots  …  in her pyjamas …!   Now THAT would have been a sight to see.  As evidenced by her posts here and here, she IS a devotee of lightships.

I leave most of the narrative here to her fotos, which begin here are a parade processed past the heliport along the East River.

Keep in mind that Ambrose in not moving under its own power, but

traveling on the hip of Charles D. McAllister, whom I foto’d from seagull perspective recently.

Ambrose clearly demonstrates some power here versus this hecilopter.

That’s Brooklyn Heights in

the distance.

Now pay a modicum of attention to the vessel way out beyond the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

For a resplendent Ambrose, it’s homecoming!  I hope you can come to the welcome back ceremony on the pier next Monday evening, March 12.

Again, note the ship in the way background.

A radiant Ambrose gives new meaning to the term “lightship.”

Docklines are tossed . . . she’s home!

Et voila!  Guess who’s back in town . . . Ms. O, Alice . . . my first love!

More seriously, I’ve written about a crypto-lightship in town here and here after being tipped off by Jeff S.

The final foto above comes thanks to Mike Cohen . . . who snapped it from Brooklyn Heights.

So here’s a matter to speculate about:  Ambrose‘ return attracted some of the mainstream media.  Is it possible that these media are starting to pay more attention to folks’ attention paid to water and harbor and sixth boro events?

This just in:  an exemplar of French femininity is occupying Bedloe’s Island, and has done so for  . . . 125 years!!  And today . . . something just had to be done about it.  Rubber bullets?  No.  Tear gas canisters?  Nah.  Ghostbusters?  Daryl Hannah?

Bring in Aphrodite, former motor yacht of a Wall Street financier.    And as a testament to the tension between Liberte and Aphrodite, keep a fireboat near by.

Bring in bright lights to shine in the occupier’s eyes.

And when things begin to smolder, Hornblower Hybrid notwithstanding,

turn on the pumps, all

the pumps, and

intimidate with the largest vessel in that part of the harbor following an erratic course.

Cool it down with tens of thousands of gallons per minute.

Well . . . actually . . . let me join . . . bonne anniversaire, Mademoiselle Liberte, she who never sits down at her job.   I’m glad you’ve faithfully occupied that island, once used otherwise, all those years and spawned replicas all over the world.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Notice who is and is not represented in the parade.

Ooops!  I forgot, click here for “torchcam” and see things from the enlightener’s point of view.

From John Watson:  When I saw Explorer of the Seas (EOS) leave the dock, I turned on the NY Harbor webcam to be able to watch it leave port after it exited my window view.  Carnival Glory had not yet left, so I kept the webcam  feed up.  Thirty minutes later I checked on Glory’s progress only to find EOS  on her way back in.  No cruise is THAT short , I thought, so I turned on the marine radio.  The pilot said, “…there were waiting on the pier.”  Late passengers getting VIP treatment?  It turned out to be medics for a sick passenger.  EOS went nose in instead of stern first, as it usually does. 

Meanwhile Carnival Glory was outbound.  Waiting for Glory south of the Statue was Firefighter II  spraying water . . . I heard …

…for a couple on Glory. The couple must be special in order to get a water display.

Thanks, John.  My addition . . . passengers on Explorer of the Seas got a special treat:  three times exploring the underside of the Verrazano Bridge on one leg bound for sea.  Also, in the first foto, notice  Meagan Ann pushing a scow?  Time elapse from the first to the fourth foto was less than an hour.

Here’s 2010, 2009, and 2008.  And here’s 2007, when I got the best race start foto but with a less good camera.  September 2006 predated the blog although I posted 2006 race fotos here, my third EVER post.

Many thanks to Working Harbor Committee and all their volunteers and sponsors as well as to the towing companies and their crews for making this event possible, even a week after Irene whirled through here.  Here’s my favorite action shot from today, Quantico Creek neck and neck with Maurania III as FDNY Three Forty Three misted them.   I’m not sure what the results of the race were, but my bias says everyone who participated or spectated–even before hurrying to baseball, tennis, picnicking, or what have you– won.

By 9:15 the table had been set;  bowls at the ready for the gourmet spinach tasting ritual, which I will spare you out of concerns for propriety and delicate palates.

The most prestigious cup in water sport waits.

By 10 am, 0n the safety boat, Capt. John Doswell, calls the parade to order.

The race committee checks radios, stopwatches and imaging devices.   Capt. Jerry Roberts stands on the bench.

NY-1 is there with camera;  here’s their reportage.

Crews waved as they passed the dais;  my special “enthusiastic wave” awards go to the crews of Ross Sea and

Susan Miller.

Nine tugs in all this year paraded

up to the start line,

just south of 79 Street.

Sea Wolf, tug nine this year, enthusiastically raced up to the start line.

From Pier 84 at precisely 10:33:56, I witnessed those puffs of smoke, evidence that the great race had begun.

Here a half minute later,  frothy “bones in the teeth” demonstrate that RPM as well as SOG and probably adrenaline levels have risen.

Vessels left to right are Ross Sea, Quantico Creek, Maurania III, and Pegasus.  As evidence of investment in the sixth boro towing industry, these boats were launched 2003, 2010, 2004, and 2006, respectively.

Top horsepower boats were (l. to r. ) Ross Sea (3400), Quantico Creek (3000), and Maurania III (4000).  As to design and function, the two tugs on the left push oil barges, and Maurania III does mostly ship assists.

Here are the smaller boats, l. to r. Pegasus, Growler, Sea Wolf, Catherine C. Miller, and Freddy K. Miller.  Type any of these names in the search window upper left and you’ll see what I’ve written about them before.

For Quantico Creek  and Maurania III  it was indeed

a foto finish.  This is NOT an official foto-finish foto.  Check back here for official “processed” results.

Vessel on the extreme right is Susan Miller.

Pegasus passes, and

as does the

rest of the field.

Check back here for results.

Tomorrow more reportage of the rest of the competitions.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who reminds you that unlike the farm tugs I put last month, these boats might already be back on the job this evening, Labor Day weekend notwithstanding.

Aqua diamonds here means anchored tugs;  only  Miriam Moran is moving.    It’s Sunday morning around 0900.

Now . .  48 hours later the harbor escapes dormancy:  blue is passenger vessels, green is cargo vessels, and red is tankers.

Monday by 1100 APL Sardonyx re-enters a fairly deserted port to complete her transactions;  she had left port Saturday evening before dark . . . as seen in third map here.

Ditto MV Azuma Phoenix;  she was here at GMD Bayonne Friday, went to sea, and returned Monday afternoon.  Foto thanks to John Watson.

Celebrity Summit also entered port on Monday morning . . .  one or two days later than usual.  Did her passengers enjoy a day or two extra as they rode out the storm?  I’d love to hear their stories.  Will the passengers that loaded on Monday lose time on their cruise?

Tuesday morning Maria J pushes a work barge out the east end of the KVK. Is this the crew repainting the VZ Bridge?   That project also needed to be dismantled in the uncertain face of Irene.

All manner of tankers got moved into the docks this morning, like Stealth Haralambos, unusual here that assist is provided by two different companies:  Miriam Moran and McAllister’s Resolute.

One blimp (heading for the US Open Tennis?) moves in from an unusual direction overtop Evening Mist, Barney Turecamo, Austin Reinauer and Stephen-Scott Reinauer.

Box ships come and go, like Zim Shanghai and Camellia as well as tugs Maurania III,  Elk River, and the ones already named.

And all the Tuesday fotos were taken in about a half hour!

Has anyone seen a description of the rebooting of NYC’s transit system in the other five boros?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp except the one credited to John Watson.  and did I miss these, pointed out by Rick Old Salt?

the serene before Irene.  As of Friday, the USCG Captain of the Port announced the following: “Commercial deep draft vessels greater than 300 gross tons are not authorized to remain in port alongside a pier after 1800 on Saturday, August 27, 2011.   All vessels must be out of Bay Ridge, Stapleton, and Gravesend Bay Anchorage Grounds by 1800 on Saturday, August 27, 2011.  Only one barge per commercial mooring buoy, with a tug in the vicinity, is authorized after 1800 on Saturday, August 27, 2011…”

NYC officials dictated that 300,000 residents of certain low- lying zones evacuate.   Public transportation will cease at noon today, Saturday.  From the morning NYTimes, find these other announcements.  Doubleclick enlarges most.

Lots of folks I spoke with yesterday remembered Gloria’s visit in 1985.  If Irene heads in, our wake could be breadcrumbs for Irene to find the Battery.

Structures that could move yesterday were doing that, like Fox Boys and this construction barge.

Sailboats played nervously in front of the Statue, where hundreds waiting in line . . . but

lots of smaller vessels moved upriver, like Kimberly Poling here pushing barge Edwin A. Poling as

well as Austin Reinauer and RTC 100.

A friend from upriver called last night to say he’d seen at least $300 million worth of luxury yachts heading north, like

the 1958 Black Knight, the Goudy & Stevens yacht featured here three years ago . . . then also running from a storm albeit a thunderstorm that time.

However, some, infirm and not easily moveable,

their lines reinforced,

… is that a terrified face appearing like stigmata on the second porthole from the right, and a grinch-like demon on the one to its left? … will ride it out at the dock.  I hope the “custodians” in the SSSM offices know our eyes are on them as those same eyes are on the vessels left at the dock.

And who will be in the harbor . . . I’m guessing these folks and ones like them–police, Coast Guard, mariners working on the big ferries and certain private commercial vessels …  For frequent updates, read Hawsepiper, Paul the pirate, a scholar who works on an oil barge.  Paul . . . if you could get me keys, I’d move your truck outa Zone A.

Be safe.  I’m staying on high ground inland.

Since I posted here a half month ago about WIX-327 USCG cutter barque Eagle, visiting the sixth boro, I’ve read Capt. Gordon McGowan’s The Skipper & the Eagle, which details the months he spent in 1946, post-war Hamburg, refitting Eagle (his orders were that appropriating Eagle and getting her safely to the US should happen at NO EXPENSE to taxpayers in this country).  If you need a good read, to end the summer, this is it.  McGowan’s success depended on many things, maybe the foremost of which were Eagle‘s seaworthiness and the brotherhood of the sea that bridged the divide between Capt. McGowan of now-christened Eagle and Kapitanleutnant Barthold Schnibbe of ex-Horst Wessel.

A hurricane struck Eagle on the final leg of the journey–between Bermuda and New York.  As Irene approaches, consider these excerpts from McGowan’s book, written about the experience of being in an open bridge, exposed to wind, rain, and wash.

“In the rising seas the swells were beginning to overtake us, each crest coming in from a slightly different angle, and delivering a wallop to the underside of our old-fashioned overhanging counter”  (195). [McGowan added six additional helmsman to the two then on the three linked wheels.]

“Whitecaps had long disappeared nd been replaced by angry streaks gouged on the breast of the waves by the claws of the wind.  Puffs became roaring blasts of wind.  The average velocity rose above fifty knots.  This brought another change.  The streaks on the surface vanished, giving way to clouds of spray as wavetops were sheared off by the wind … The stinging pellets of water fly horizontally downwind” (196).

“The early skirling and piping of the fresh gale through the rigging had risen in volume  and in tone to belowing and shreiking.  The vast sound seemed to fill the world.  Voices of men died away and became inaudible.  Lips moving, neck cords and veins standing out recalled the silent movie days.  Here were faces transmitting thoughts by expression alone.  Here was sound without sound.  It pressed upon eardrums and bodies as a solid thing.  The singleness of this mighty roar brought about a solitude …  The voice of the storm was more than a roar.  There was a sharp tearing sound–the ripping of the fabric of the gates of hell …  The    fore upper and lower tops’ls were the first to go.  One moment they were there; a second later they had vanished.  It seemed incredible that all that remained of the broad spread of sail were these ragged little ribbons” (200).

“I turned to the idea of heaving to.  The ship had begun to dive and wallow like a wounded wild thing.  Each time a wave overtook us I looked apprehensively astern.  As the stern began to lift on the face of a wave, the bowsprit dipped deeper and deeper until it disappeared from sight.  When each crest swept from aft forward, the stern settled deeply upon the back on the wave, and the bowsprit pointed toward the sky” (202).

Sorry . . . you’ll have to read the rest.  Then there’s also Drumm’s book, which I haven’t read.

All fotos taken Friday by Will Van Dorp, who might not post tomorrow.

A South Street Seaport update:  Pioneer and Lettie G. Howard have departed for Kingston.

Janis Joplin did my all-time favorite rendition of Summertime.  I like how she takes it furiously into flight, almost like these boats, her sibilants and band’s cymbals in places like electric cicadas.

Boats are jumping . . . er getting on plane . . .

If your daddy’s rich . . . or at least willing to put some money into a boat . . . that is if he can after the S & P downgrade .  ..

One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing…

Then you’ll spread your wings and take to the sky . . .  or not.  This one seems more like it’ll head for the submarine races or something . . . .

But hush little baby . . . one of these will

take to the sky . . .  one of these mornings . .  or afternoons.

If your daddy’s rich and your moma’s good looking

Or if you’re lucky when you play the flight board . . .  with StndAIR…

Then you really might finally spread your wings and  (leaping over the East River Ferry) . . . .

take the sky…   topping the crown of Queens.

That’s Will Van Dorp’s version, who took these fotos.  Here’s Janis Joplin’s, once when she kept it together and did nothing to harm herself.  A seaplane on the East River appeared here quite long ago.  Still, these booted seaplanettes pale in comparison with the old Aeromarine airships that used to link the North and Raritan Bay with Florida.

Some interesting postscripts:

1) BRBRbrooklyn caught FDNY’s greeting SUNY Maritime’s Empire State return this morning . . . while I was still drinking my coffee!!

2)  Hats off to Stephen Askew, superintendent of North River Waste Treatment Plant, for his recent heroic captaining of a raft, a true friend of all denizens of the sixth boro.

3) News about the “troop carrier” found buried deep in the foundation of the World Trade Center . . . .   Revolutionary War troop carrier that is.

A WTF!@#@! postscript too”

Lady Liberty appears in many fotos on this blog, including one above.  Do you know what Rev. John Benefiel thinks about Bartholdi’s lady?    Fie!!!

Today marks the end of the four-day historic ship festival and the official opening of Pier 25.  Friday and Saturday I worked on Pegasus.  Click on that link and you can find details of her history, starting from her inception as Standard Oil No. 16, including a time when she sported the flying horse on her stack.  1907 was a recurring number in the history-oriented tour:  the date of Pegasus launch in Baltimore and the date of the opening of the Kenneth M. Murchison-designed Hoboken terminal of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.

Drydock tug Hoboken dates from 1963, but

Yankee ferry, the only surviving Ellis Island ferry, entered service in 1907.  Click here for much more about the Philadelphia-built Yankee.

Here’s a view of Union Dry Dock & Repair company . . . from Pegasus.

Also giving tours on the water was the historic John J. Harvey.   Type Harvey into the search window on this blog and you’ll see more fotos I’ve taken over the past five years.

Folks including me took fotos of Harvey from Pegasus, just as folks on Harvey zoomed in on us.  In the cowboy hat, it’s Mitch . . . of Newtown Pentacle.

Over 150 folks enjoyed a FREE!@#@!  Hudson River ride on Pegasus Saturday.  Lucky them!!  I’m just saying . . .  this is a rare treat, and you could make it less rare by joining in this way or that.  FYI . . . the engine burns about 35 gallons per hour, if I recall correctly.

If you’re in or around the sixth boro tomorrow, you may see this scene above.  I took that foto about a month ago.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who yesterday befriended MV Algolake. a bonafide facebooking, literate ore carrier!   Be the first among your FB friends to befriend an ore carrier;  for me it’s therapeutic, helping me forget the bulk carrier Alice that has made distance between us!!

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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

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Seth Tane American Painting

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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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