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Like me, you probably feel you’re drowning in reminders these days of a certain large vessel that sank exactly a century ago at 41°27’34″N 50°8’22″W. Am I the only one who has never seen the 1997 James Cameron movie? Should I see it? Otherwise, I like Cameron’s work and exploits. The April 16, 2012 issue of The New Yorker has this especially good piece by Daniel Mendelsohn. Click on the foto below to sample the article.
Mendelsohn’s piece ends with a reference to Morgan Robertson’s 1898 novella . . . Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan. That’s uncanny stuff. 1898.
I’m hoping you’re intrigued by the title of this post. If you haven’t seen the video below (click on the image below to play it), you’ll learn how Titanic, Thresher, and Scorpion are connected through Robert Ballard. Sections of the first 10 minutes of the video are “gushy,” but you’ll be glad you stayed with it. An important strand in the second half of the video is Ballard v. RMS Titanic . . . a salvage company. William J. Broad, science writer, picks up on that dispute in a NYTimes article here, embedded online in this cover. Writer me in on the side of Robert Ballard and James P. Delgado.
In searching for ephemera you might not know about this story, I came across Knorr, the Woods Hole vessel Ballard used for his 1985 search for the three vessels in the title. Here’s another link for Knorr. A search turns her up less than a hundred miles SE of Montauk, obviously surveying, below.
An automobile in the ill-fated hold . . . might once have looked like this. A search on e-ships turned up no vessel called Titanic at work today, but then there is this . . . a yacht named Titanic! Click here for the wikipedia entry for the 1971 launched Titanic.
Yesterday’s NYTimes ran this Q & A on various historical connections between Titanic and New York. A future connection lies with a vessel called Balmoral, over the wreck tonight and due in the sixth boro later next week . .. maybe Thursday.
Postscript: Thresher, like Squalus, left from here.
A year, a month, and three days before I was born, Joseph Mitchell published the essay below in the New Yorker. I don’t know when the first dredge appeared in the sixth boro, but
in Mitchell’s day, as now, dredging fleets and their crews sculpted the invisible portions of New York harbor. The above hard-to-read text made its way into the beginning of the essay “The Bottom of the Harbor” in Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel. For fotos of the crew of dredge Florida at their various duties, check through several dozen new ones on my Flickr stream to the left.
And it does take a fleet of specialized craft, like Apache, which
drills holes into “hard rock,” inserts explosive charges, and blows bedrock into fragments. Here’s a KVK blast video from USACE. This is how the process looks at a site in Finland. For images and description of blasting in Hell Gate in the 19th century, click here.
The next three fotos come thanks to Allen Baker. Loose clay mix slop
looks like this dropping into scows and smelling, by Allen’s description, as
“aroma there’s not enough vocabulary for.”
Drier particles, chewed up by the cutter head, might
get scooped by an excavator like 996 on
dredge New York. Here is video of a very scary day a few years back aboard New York.
Other areas of the harbor bottom get sculpted by vessels like Padre Island and (below) Terrapin Island.
And performing liaison duties among all the ships and machines in the fleet are crew boats like Brazos River
here driven from the exterior control station by Capt. Bill Miller.
And finally . . . back to the teeth: cost is between $150 and $180 each, depending on size and manufacturer. And ,
Also, in case you wondered about the date of Mitchell’s essay in the New Yorker: January 6, 1951.
Sirens . . . their brief season arrives Saturday. Check out the cartoon on p. 72 of the June 23 2008 New Yorker. The siren above . . . what do her hands signal the fish? The fish above . . . what might their interaction with the siren here remind me of? Of course, for me . . .
naturally, it’s like the choreography of Laura K Moran and the great Hapag Lloyd Essen Express as . . .
the couple tango away, Essen back stepping with immense momentum, and although Turecamo Boys urges restraint,
no holding back will happen until . . .
Essen Express pirouettes with proper form as
Boys inspects, approves, and then
Laura K backs away also. Essen has found its spin and not even the smoke pouring from a hasty Yemitzis can delay the trip toward the ocean. Meanwhile, Boys has other errands to run, maybe bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Meanwhile, suppose Essen will anchor off Coney Island for the parade?
More fotos of Essen Express here (scroll about half thru this page). Check out the other several thousand thumbnails also.
BTW, Laura K generates 5100 hp and Boys, 3200. See also Jed’s comment to the left.
309 posts ago the debut post introduced you to Alice, a bulker. One of the shots showed her from head on, highlighting the bulbous bow. Here’s another bulker Gypsum Baron, bow thruster just aft the bulbous bow getting service. Without the grate and prop, that launch could navigate right through.
Maybe I should call this requiem for a bulker, as this vessel has delivered its last gypsum up the Hudson to Stony Point and been crewed off to points east, maybe a beach in India, for . . . well, I won’t say it. Foto below shows Gypsum Baron loading on a windy day.
How many homes and businesses have wallboard dividing spaces made from gypsum delivered by this vessel and siblings? One of these siblings, A. V. Kastner, below and currently a regular through New York harbor, appeared in my blog, and
prompted a much appreciated email from coyote des neiges (snow coyote), to whom I owe these spectacular fotos. Merci!
Check out coyote’s site here. Canard a vapeur . . . literally, steam duck. Enjoy the fotos and learn some French. More of coyote’s tales and fotos soon.
This just in: see this link for the Dec, 3 2007 New Yorker magazine’s coverage of Tuesday’s atmospheric and most unusual book launch. See my post “launch site” under recents posts and H2O’s info about this. And come on down to the Navy Yard. Posts from there soon.