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Is it a vestige of a past whoseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

artifacts are mostly

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disappearing?  Or

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is it an enterprise of

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what is

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to come?

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Read how the Danes and Dutch already do it.  These Dutch from Tres Hombres wanted to sail into the sixth boro last year but were stymied by red tape.   Then there’s the Vermont working sailcraft project discussed here.  Andrew Wilner has more examples in his blog here.   Here’s a veritable bibliography of hybrid sail ideas.

Working Harbor Committee presents a panel discussion of this topic tonight from 6 pm — 9 pm in Manhattan.    Click here for details.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.  The disintegrating sailboat fotos were taken near Bear Mountain last weekend, and the Black Seal three-masted schooner fotos date from when it delivered 20 tons of cocoa beans to Red Hook in June 2011.   Here and here are related blog posts I did back then.

 

I have always loved maps, as far back as elementary school.  The internet and satellites have changed maps;  sometimes I still prefer old-fashioned paper ones.  This post shows five “grabs” from on-line maps.  What they have in common is that in each an inch is equivalent to about two miles and that all show places in the Americas.  This is my last regular post for about two weeks because it is time to hit the airport, then the road.  This road will take me through three of the five grabs here.  I’ll identify the places along the way.

1.

At this link there are 24 quotes about maps . ..  like this one by Abulrazak Gurnah: “I speak to maps. And sometimes they something back to me. This is not as strange as it sounds, nor is it an unheard of thing. Before maps, the world was limitless. It was maps that gave it shape and made it seem like territory, like something that could be possessed, not just laid waste and plundered. Maps made places on the edges of the imagination seem graspable and placable.”

2.

Herman Melville said that true places are not found on maps.  Here’s an interesting article that quotes him and talk about a place (not in the Americas)  I’ll likely never visit, never have to navigate myself around with or without a map or chart.

3.

On travel . . . aka gallivanting, Robert Louis Stevenson said, “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

4.

I airbrushed some names out of this map grab . . . lest you figure the location out too easily.   And if you don’t figure it out, no matter . . .   see this LandSat fotos or play with google for a while if you think these satellite images are beautiful, as I do.  I didn’t change any of the colors, but some satellites use filters to capture invisible but significant detail.

5.

But as much as I enjoy looking at maps and charts, there is a time to get out, feel the wind on your face, and let yourself be surprised.  Doubleclick this one;  these two watchstanders on MSC Federica last weekend seem the ultimate gallivanters.  They could even be time travelers.

I’ll try to write from the road, something I last did just a month ago here.  Any guesses about the geography captured by those fotos?

Related:  Here and here are some airplane seat art sites.   Here are more examples of “land art” visible from google earth.

. . . astrotisements for everything imaginable.

Labor Day weekend is upon us again, but I can’t remember when it seemed quite this polarized, although if you read the first two sentences in the section here called “history,” maybe the celebration of the day was born in conflict, polarization, and then reaching out for solidarity.  Check out the Post editorials from the  Washington  and the Huffington.  I liked this foto essay in the New York Times Magazine here.

For many of the first 20 years of my life, living on a farm where Labor Day was a holiday in name only since harvest had to be taken then, I heard that on “labor day” one labored.  End of story.   And that was not such a bad way to spend the day.  Work challenges,

ennobles,

unites,

bonds,

accomplishes,

fulfills,

satisfies,

and ultimately feeds us, and others.

Happy Labor Day, whatever you do or don’t do.

Al fotos by Will Van Dorp.

In case you think life has slowed me down in Key West, you’re somewhat right, but it’s been only 97 here, cooler than some places in the US and as cool as it is for my brothers in the snow belt of upstate New York.

A guide here kept referring to this vessel as a “chug” although I thought he said “tug.”  Guess the story?  See end of post.

Chickens roam everywhere and constant need to cross roads here in the Conch Republic, a micronation with its own passport, coin, and more.  For a list of numerous other “micronations,” created as vehicles for agenda self-promotion, click here.    As the so-called mayor of the “sixth boro,”  I find the idea of declaring micronation status for the waters around NYC very exciting.  Feedback?

Foto of Nav/Air 38 for Rod of Narragansett Bay Shipping . . .   here in her usual setting.

Greetings to the crew of Yankee, built 1982 in Atlantic City.  More Key West schooners . . . soon.

Fotos I missed:   sailing on this dreamlike expanse of Gulf of Mexico, we saw scores of flying fish and ballyhoo . . . but nary a one consented to being on a tugster shot.  Imagine that!

Behold Fort Jefferson, 70 miles west of Key West, 900 … east of Brownsville TX, 200 south of Tampa, and less than 100 north of Havana.

Here’s one way to  get there at just under 30 mph.  The Yankee name caught my attention… not because I live in NYC but because I used to live north of Cape Ann, MA, where a whale watching vessel refers to itself as part of the “Yankee fleet.”  Well, same company has operated in both Key West and Gloucester.  Furthermore, this vessel was built by Gladding Hearn of Somerset, MA, and the captain grew up in Hampton Beach, NH . . . where I lived back in the late 80s!!  Gladding Hearn has built numerous ferries, pilot boats, and other vessels for the sixth boro.

Foto for Bonnie of frogma:  you never told me Sebago had boats here!!

And for the unfrazzling bowsprite . . . herself galivanting where time gets forgotten, a foto of  WPG-78 aka USS Mohawk, resplendent in gray and gray and gray, whose story reaffirms the point I tried to make the other day in reference to vessels in Mayport.

So . . . if you are artistically inclined . . . should an eventual “sixth boro” micronation have its own flag?

OK . . . back to the “chug.”   The National Park rangers have decided to house this vessel, which was instrumental in getting Cuban refugees “dry-footed” onto US soil, at Fort Jefferson.  “Chug” derives from the nise the automobile engine makes while the vessel is underway.  chug-chug-chug . . .  Too bad they didn’t keep this 1951 Chevy truckboat.  Maybe Mel Fisher‘s crew will seek it out one of these days.

How’s about this for a once- and future-newspaper ad?  How many years before this service gets re-established?  Here’s a business idea:  trips across the Florida Strait on replicas of Hemingway’s Pilar . . . on converted 1951 Chvy trucks and vintage Buicks?  I bet it’ll happen.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  More from the Conch Republic soon.

Oh, also, I hereby claim rights to any and all sixth-boro micronationalistic paraphernalia.

Unrelated but priority . . . don’t know if this is real:  Colvin schooner on beach for sale for $15000

I quote from gcaptain:  “According to AP Moller, the parent company of Maersk Lines, a single 20-foot vessel container on average can hold about 48,000 bananas. In theory then, Emma Maersk is capable of holding nearly 528 million bananas [aka 11,000 teu] in a single voyage – enough to give every person in Europe or North America a banana for breakfast.”    So I wondered . . . if Emma and sisters carry that number of bananas, then

CMA CGM White Shark = 243 million bananas,

Ital Lirica – 244.3,

Port Said – 82.03 . . . .   and

MSC Linzie – 242.3

There you have it, a new measure for container ships, the banana.  It’s right out there waiting to catch on  . .  like smoots, donkeypower, helens, and  hedons.

All fotos recently by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to gcaptain for bringing up the banana idea.  Now would those be Cavendish bananas, plantains, or something else?

If the repurposed green-painted police launch in the sixth boro can be called Big G, I guess this is gargantuan G, although judging by the weldprints in the portside bow, it has a history; for two decades it was an icebreaker/sealer named Polarbjorn (153′ x 38′ x 17′)  launched  in Norway in 1975.  Then, 15 years ago, it was chartered by

Greenpeace.   I wish I could be around when the history of the 21st century gets written because I’d love to know who the winners will be and (among countless other groups) how Greenpeace will then be viewed.  Even “losers” who fight good fights would be interesting to see through “future history’s long lens.”  They do know they have enemies . . . many of them, but sometimes I’m proud of who considers me to be an enemy.   Compare the bow in the foto below with what you see in this video at 1:30.    The comments in these two videos bespeak the controversies.

Arctic Sunrise has been docked at Chelsea Piers for the past few days, at the same location where Steve Irwin docked almost a year ago.

I didn’t get a tour, but I wondered about the sign “pigmy deck,”   one I’ve never seen before.

For more on criticisms of Greenpeace, click here.  For Arctic Sunrise‘s mission in NYC, click here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Sometimes stories get told wrong, again and again.  Like the one about Thanksgiving.  How many pilgrims can you name?

You know the name of the ship they sailed/chartered, but who was the captain?  Were they headed for Massachusetts?  Can you name one of the “Indians”  or their tribe?  When did it become an official US holiday?

I’ll pick one detail.  Most people know Squanto.  Do you know he spoke English?  Ever wonder how he learned it?  He probably spoke some Spanish too.  Do you know why?

Read at least a few paragraphs here, enough to learn about Capt. John Hunt, Tisquantum’s time in the Mediterranean, his time in Newfoundland, and the fact that his time of slavery (ironically) actually lengthened his life a bit.

I’m not meaning to be preachy.  But it seems that one reason to tell the real story is just that it’s

more interesting.

Just the facts, then?  You can read the links to Thanksgiving yourself here:  passenger list for that voyage of Mayflower, Captain was possibly Christopher Jones, their destination was “North Virginia” aka Hudson River Valley, they first encountered Nausets, later an important  liaison became a Wampanoag named Tisquantum, “thanksgiving” is a fairly universal sentiment that (as a single example) gets mentioned in the Old Testament coming from Jonah (Yonah or Junus), Lincoln (prompted by Sarah J. Hale) set the first US national Thanksgiving Day as November 26, and FDR made it float to the fourth Thursday each November.  And for UAINE, Thursday is the national day of mourning .  .  .

Hey . . . everyday should be Thanksgiving in my estimation, but please tell someone about Tisquantum the (reluctant) sailor today. But avoid calling heron a cormorant.

Related:  on the left side of this blog, an icon for My Babylonian Captivity appears, my account of a time exactly 20 years ago in Iraq as a hostage.  Read this segment for the details of the Iraqis efforts to mount a Thanksgiving meal for us.

… er …short sea shipping  (Shortsie Shipping) should save significant stress and other things.  Read my two previous posts here.  Shortsie is long-sighted:  imagine the foto below as about 100 trucks you don’t have to follow on the roads this morning.  And one tug–Catherine Turecamo–puts much less stuff into the air than 100 trucks.

The two engines here–Catherine Turecamo and Little Bear–move the goods of 100s of trucks, and fire red Little Bear is way cuter than any single truck.   More Little Bear soon.

GencoSuccess spent a week offloading its bulk cargo.  I’m not sure what it was, but let’s assume it was road salt;  too bad more of that salt is not

barged by Shortsie about once it’s local.

More boxes on a barge passed this morning also:  Barge New Jersey moves under the power of Cape Cod, taking another 100 trucks out of your traffic lanes.

Also, recyclables travel on barges, here

this one moved by Thomas D. Witte, dozens fewer trucks in your traffic lanes.   Thanks, Shortsie.   Anyone know of good websites on sixth boro and Hudson River efforts to promote Shortsie?   Bowsprite has been exerting many tons of bollard pull there herself: check it out.

Notice the Empire State Building blimp mooring in the background?

All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.

Here what a quarter day (sunrise until very early afternoon) can look like in November . . . the same weekend the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree came to town.  To digress on this last point just a second, would it not be fantastic to have the 2011 (and all subsequent ones) Rockefeller Center Christmas tree arrive in the city by tug and barge?!??  Let’s make it happen.

So, Homie commuted from Gloucester again yesterday to make the sun rise.  Thanks Capt. Joey!

The early morning survey boat heads out as soon as Homie causes the sunrise.

Norwegian Gem shuttles in its passengers from the “chartless sea”  as a tiny Andrew Barberi shuttles its passengers between Manhattan and Staten Island.

Atlantic Salvor muscles its way around the Upper Bay.

Margaret Moran sees Ever Diamond to the door.

Timthy L. Reinauer cruises past Cape Taft, still bathed in rich morning light.

By late morning, the air is clear, as Freja Selandia emerges from remnants of wooden barges toward the Arthur Kill fuel terminals.

Inimitable Odin returns to Mariner’s Harbor, and

CG 40450 heads in the same direction.  40450 last appeared here.

Some say “ugly” and others say “unique”  but I’ll say Lil Rip should  cruise through the harbor more often, as here with a crane bound for Poughkeepsie.

Snow Goose stopped by the fuel dock to slake its huge thirst from the same source tugboats do.

And last but never least, Kristin Poling, dating from the same half decade as the  Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, hurries along for just another day of work, its engine heat radiation turning the superstructure of Ajax into shimmer.

All fotos taken in one fabulous mid-November weekend by Will Van Dorp.

Call this an op-ed piece, prompted by this article from Crain’s New York and Bowsprite’s angry reaction to it.  To paraphrase Bowsprite’s reaction:  much of the money will go to build railings and other structure to BAR access to the water, and not as Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro wants to, “creat[e] … a beautiful north shore park allowing our citizens access to our waterfront.”  I’m with Bowsprite.  Beautiful parks are fine in some places, but others should be left wild, ruins, driftwood, flotsam, jetsam, and all.

Here’s a quote from a February 2010 tugster post.  “As Rebecca Solnit says, ‘ruins stand as reminders.  Memory is always incomplete … but the ruins themselves … are our links to what came before, our guide to situating ourselves in a landscape of time.  To erase the ruins is to erase the visible public triggers of memory;  a city without ruins and traces of age is like a mind without memories.’”  This structure on the south side of Catskill Creek reminds us that once this creekbank was a bustle of manufacturing;  the ruins trigger a memory;  they serve as an antidote to land-clearing, park creation amnesia.  The past must be remembered.

Ruins stand as context-givers to our current technology:  there was a past, we don’t inhabit an eternal present, and our hands and minds will shape a future either to cherish or fear.

Museums provide some of this context, but can’t be the sole source.  Ollie (built 1911 in Greenport, NY) was 21 years old when Marion M came off the ways.  If anyone is interested in a recent NYTugs article on the Standard Boat fleet of stick lighters, of which Ollie and Marion M were members, email me me for info.

Some ruins have values as cautionary tales.  But others

powerfully catalyze the  imagination and new creation.

And still others are adapted for new uses:  old piers beyond Capt Log here , home to the River Project, serve as habitat for new sea life.

Back to the quote from Councilwoman Debi Rose, quoted in the Crains New York article in the first paragraph,  “overgrown with weeds”  does not mean it has  “[become] inaccessible.”  Please leave some wilderness in the city, even if those parts along the sixth boro are examples of how the wilderness deals–at its own pace–with cast-off handiwork of our technology.  There are valuable lessons to be learned in “under improved” areas as they currently exist along Richmond Terrace AND many other places on earth.

Check out Underwater New York and some of the “objects” and stories we learn from them, objects found in those wild places.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to Jeff Schurr for identification work on Ollie.

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My job . . . Summer 2014

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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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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