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FedEx in the sky, container barge at the ASI yard on this side, Donjon Marine yard on the other side, and off the end of the channel, highways and railways.  By the way, Fred Smith has long been one of my heros.

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EWR is one of three very busy airports in greater New York.

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Note the control tower at the airport.  Check that link for a view of the whole complex from the air.

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And the ship . . .  since 1 September, here’s a list of ports it has called in:   Balikpapan,   Yeosu,   Huanghua,  Aviles (maybe) , Red Dog Mine, and who knows where else.  And some of the crew . . . are dreaming of visiting Times Square and Rockefeller tonight.

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And if this is Port Newark, then next it’s Norfolk.

I thought all the vessels had left under cover of night.  Unceremoniously.  It turned out that the Japanese and Colombians had, but lots remained.  So the best place to go was near the exit . . . everyone would depart through the Narrows.  The forecast was 50 percent chance of rain all day, but I’d shoot from under an umbrella if necessary.    At 10, tugs were ready for USS Gonzalez to cast off.  Doubleclick enlarges fotos.

10:14 . . . she was under weigh.

10:23 . . . Responder returns for the next departee and Miller Girls (?) shuttles yokohamas back to Miller’s home base.

USS Mitscher at 10:33,

10:36, and

10:38, posing for Black Hawk photogs with a better perch than mine.

10:55 . . . Cuauhtemoc is next.

11:15 . . . USS Donald Cook moves away.

11:25 . . . San Jac next?

Nope. 11:34 . . . Argus heads for the Narrows

leaving Brooklyn’s “gold coast” (as on lots of these fotos) to port.

USS San Jac proceeds at 11:53 with escorts and fans aplenty.

11:56 . . . it’s “local-build” USCGC Seneca.

12:26 . . . Elcano departs under  11 sails . . . and screw  turned by ” motor diesel sobrealimentado de 2.000 caballos de potencia.”

Scotty Sky passes. . . WW2 vet and still at work, as is

Julia Miller.

12:50 . . . and I’d thought all vessels had exited, but here comes USS  . . .

Roosevelt, 

followed by LHD-1 USS Wasp with all her

like this Sea Stallion.

It’s 13:38:  Wasp has left the Narrows and Scotty Sky is topping off the tanks of Dewaruci.

Tankers wait in the anchorage, and

 . . .oh wait . . . for today, the end of the parade is provided by Guayas.

Some of these vessels will reconvenrge in Norfolk.  By 1400 yesterday, I know the French schooners, the Brazilians,

and the Indonesians were still in the sixth boro.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is looking to score two XL OpSail shirts.    Barters . ..  anyone?

If you live near NYC , a great way to mark Memorial Day aka Decoration Day, visit any of the open piers.  Check out the “early history” in this wikipedia link.  I seized the morning out here, on DDG 57 USS Mitscher.

Here’s the view forward from the starboard bridge wing,

to port were CG-56 USS San Jacinto and DDG-56 USS Donald Cook.

and starboard aft toward DDG-66 USS Gonzalez.   On the tour I saw a wide range of specialists.

I had been assigned to Dewaruci, and went incognito, wanting to check some rumors . . .  like  . . as the US Navy has SEALS, but the Indonesians have

walruses!!  And it turns out they do!  Although, seriously, masks of different sorts are worn in traditional dances–reorgs–and the walrus represents strength.

Although Dewaruci was built at Stulken Sohn in Hamburg, begun in 1932 (pre-WW2 and therefore commssioned by the Dutch??) , it was completed in 1953, year four of Indonesian independence from the Dutch.  The design, then, dates from a time that commercial sail still existed.  But the detail on this vessel, currently on its last voyage, is phenomenal.  I haven’t seen so much wood carving on a vessel since I visited the schooner Anne.

Here’s the namesake hero aft

and forward.  The rest of the weekend I will be figurehead comparing, but this is hard to top.

Three main islands of Indonesia west to east are Sumatra, Java, and Irian Jaya;  so the three masts–fore to mizzen–of the vessel are decorated in those styles.  Here’s Sumatran.

and Javanese

with Garuda and

Irian Jayan, actually the western end of the island of New Guinea.

Here’s the wheel and

and the engine order telegraph.

A poster onboard shows the itinerary for this last voyage.  A replacement vessel is on order;  I’m curious whether it will

carry the same figurehead and wood carving.

An intriguing poster on deck also shows all the commanding officers from 1953 to present, from Majoor A. F. H. Rosenow to Haris Bima B. Letkol Laut.

Meanwhile, I have confirmed that the Indonsian Navy has walruses, which I was unable to interview, and

flies the jolly roger.

Tomorrow I head over to Brooklyn.

All fotos and story by Will Van Dorp.

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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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