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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?

Here was #1 of this series, started earlier this month, featuring quite random fotos and thoughts.  Here’s a shot looking toward Shooters and Elizabeth, NJ.  In the foreground just off the street and that bell tower and to the left of the cement silo are three . .  actually four identical brown brick structures; the fourth one is mostly obscured by the silo.  I have no clue, although they look like pylons to a structure long gone.  Help?

To give a sense of scale of vessels in the KVK, I’m fairly tall, measuring 1.8796 m by last calculation.  If I could stand on the waterline, the spritz here would come up past my knees.

Standing here, I could barely reach up past the bottompaint green into the MOL blue.

Tides were quite extreme last week, although I haven’t researched beyond that.  The indicator was

stuff like this long submerged engine showing off its transformation.

In a bit, I’m hitting the road . . . gallivant time, so many places to see along so much highway and way too little time.  The blog may vacate for a few days . . .  But on the 26th, whether I post or not, this blog has its fifth anniversary.  This is post #1608 in the past 1825 days.  Post #1 was prompted by my huge stone-bellied muse.  Thanks so much for reading;  I’ve had a blast.  I’m eager to get gone and then get back.

PS:  If you haven’t voted or asked a half dozen friends to vote for this blog as “best neighborhood blog” and “best photo blog” (#5 and 24), please do so now.  A few of you have written to say you like thinking of the sixth boro as one of the overlooked neighborhoods of NYC, the place said to be comprised of five terracentric boros.

 

Some great pics of a self-unloading Oldendorff bulker, Sophie, come our way thanks to John Watson, from his perch high above the sixth boro.  Alice has been around recently as well. 

Sophie delivered salt, since we don’t know how many times winter will resurrect before summer comes.. 

I’m not sure what procedure Siteam Adventurer expected to undergo, but she seems unusually positioned.

Many thanks to John for these fotos.

In the sixth boro Queens come and go, shipping and schlepping all sorts of cargo.

Here Miriam Moran and

Kimberly Turecamo escort

a Queen from Claremont Terminal to Port Newark.

This Queen carries bulk,

probably scrap metal, and hails from Viet Nam.

As she turns into the KVK, Tai Bai Hai, a very rusty bulker from Tianjian, China, escorted by Ron G and Resolute slips astern.

And still farther along, Vinalines Queen streams past GLDD dredge Florida.

The last three fotos comes compliments of John Watson;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, Alice is said to have slipped into Brooklyn last night, Mardi Gras, under cover of darkness, but I have had no visual contact.

Alice Oldendorff came into town yesterday.  Many thanks for this foto  to a reader and blogger who is anything but self-absorbed.  And seeing Alice from this angle, escorted by the inimitable McAllister Responder . . . Ms. O is the same beauty I fell for long ago, but the Manhattan skyline from this angle has some new detail . . .  right above Alice’s forward boom is the World Trade Center with its twin cranes, and forward of that the Beekman Tower, NYC’s tallest residential building.  I don’t think Beekman is a walk-up.

So, I have clearly self-disclosed myself as a fool for Alice, who may never requite my feelings for her.  Never will I–unless my fortunes change–be invited to commune with Alice in drydock, where I could study her from stem to stern.  Or trace her curves and contours.  Or admire her from every angle with my lenses.  Or massage her aches and smoothen her scars.  Let me demonstrate by . . .

showing what I was able to do recently with Edna, a 35′ loa x 16′ truckable tug launched in 1997.  My dance with Edna started here, and then

I walked around her, admiring her marks of graceful aging … the rust and the growth and dents.  She exposed her vulnerabilities.

She let me appreciate her power and maneuverability both starboard closeup and

from farther back.

I pivoted around to port, and venerated her complex yet classic lines.

Back at the bow, our eyes locked as we  read each other and grokked.

From full frontal to profile to dorsal-to-dorsal dosido, the dance could go on.

OK, Alice, I know you’re 20 times longer and 5 times beamier, but our feelings may some day converge and such exhilarated escape from inhibition we’ll enjoy.  For now,  I withdraw all this self-disclosure.  If working relationship it is, then I will cherish that.  Work calls us in opposite directions:  you to the quarries of Nova Scotia and me . . .  well, no more self-disclosure.

Top foto by Claude Scales;  all others by Will Van Dorp, whose smile stretches from ear to ear right now.

Because of last night’s rain, you have one last chance to see “Seven Deadly Seas” TONIGHT at 8 pm.  Go early and catch this hard-to-replicate combination:  left to right Cape Race, Gazela, and Mary A. Whalen … as seen from the entrance to the Brooklyn Passenger Terminal in Red Hook.

Big doings also are happening for Pegasus, here with a happy tour group.  Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 will be docked in Brooklyn Bridge Park starting later this week.

Uh . . . shoes of future mariners?

Contemporary mariners work aboard such vessels as

JoAnne Reinauer III

and (right to left) Twin Tube– a supply boat–and CSL Atlas, cousin of my longlost Alice O.  By the way, Atlas brought in the beginnings of the upcoming winter’s supply of road salt .  . or was that table salt??

Colleen McAllister and other vessels labor away at the sisyphusian task of dredging.

R/V vessels like Blue Sea do their own research/education work.  Here RV Blue Sea is on the high and dry as a preparation for a new season.

Jay Michael frequents the sixth boro, and

in parting, this sloop (Margaret A ?)  passes a fuel barge.

Unfortunately, I missed yesterday’s lobsterboat races up in Portland, Maine, and I have to wait til 2011 to see them.  But you can still get to the 18th Annual Great North River (aka sixth boro) Tugboat Race on September 5.  See you there.

Tomorrow … yes … another few days’ gallivant.  Details later.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Check out this Newtown Creek shipping post by Restless.

I continue my gallivant in Seattle, seeing through eyes conditioned by time in the sixth boro aka harbor New York.  And again, mostly lists, as I’d rather be moving around than writing here.  Ferry Tacoma (of the largest ferry system in the US, third in the world) carries vehicles as well as people as it approaches the Seattle dock.  That’s the Olympic range in the background.

Those are WAGB-10 and 11 (Polar Star and Polar Sea) over in West Seattle.  I plan to get closer fotos soon.

Seattle is its own complex tapestry, but Alaska is a palpable presence here.

Island Packer does short (or not so short) sea shipping from here to the Aleutians, I believe (1943 built).

Cargill operates this grain terminal at Pier 86.  In the foreground are salmon pens.  Vessel is Genco Thunder, loading grain.  In the distance is bulker Sanmar Paragon.  I enjoyed being close enough to this pier that I could smell the grain as it flowed into the hold.

Closer up.  Check Muckleshoot and Suquamish.

Rainier, more than 50 miles away,  dominates Seattle.

At Pier 91, catcher-processor Northern Hawk emerges from transfer

of ownership.

In the Lake Washington Ship Canal, a crewman of crabber Lilli Ann–in response to my question–said they were “headed for Dutch” a bit less than a week away.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is solely responsible for any and all errors in this info.  As a newby gallivanter here, I might conjecture here and there while  trying to get oriented in my limited sojourn.

Unrelated but wonderful, check out Herb Cold is the Sea‘s rendering of a husky-blue-eyed blogger.  Herb . . . wow!  Thank you.  And juxtaposed with Alice–darling Alice–wowwow!!  Alice dear, we are indeed blessed.

Very general backstory:  NYK Rigel (965′ x 105′ and 4800 teu) entered service in Spring 2009.  See fotos of engine. Named for a star in Orion’s foot in Western conceptualization but equally fascinating cultural significance (رجل الجبار,参宿七,Yerrerdet-kurrk)  among star-watchers of other cultures and our own.

I first saw NYK Rigel on my way to work Thursday.  The foto above taken around 7 am;  I then turned around and took the foto below (That’s Irish Sea pushing DBL 103 with Ross Sea as assist;  MSC Carla [I believe] headed for sea in the way background.)  looking in the general direction of the sun.

Two minutes later, Irish Sea passes, disturbing the calm reflections.  NYK Rigel had arrived in port around dusk Wednesday, having left Shanghai about a month earlier.

By the time I return to my vantage point on Howland Hook around 3 pm for break, tons has happened (literally), the chaplain’s red van of the Seafarers & International House has just left, and Gramma Lee T. Moran drops off the pilot.  This can mean only one thing.

Catherine Turecamo is the other half of the backing-down team.

When the “all clear” sounds, Gramma Lee T. muscles the stern away from the dock, azimuth thrusters sending water

racing in the opposite

direction.

I realize how lucky I am to spend my break time here today, seeing this

departure with the cliffs of Manhattan in the way background.  Backing down (or out) is a must here since Rigel is too long to turn around until just off Bergen Point, where she did in fact spin counterclockwise on her way out to sea.

Catherine works the bow as

needed.  It’s just another day’s

work for some;  the best place to take a break for me.

And as I drove along the Belt Parkway headed home five hours later, NYK Rigel was headed outbound (for Norfolk, I think)  just south of the Verrazano Bridge.  I decided not to stop for fotos.  End of my infinitesimally short story.   Some other perspectives I’d love to hear relate to the pilot, the tug crews, the chaplain, NYK Rigel‘s crew,  pilot boat crew, the families of all those folks . . .   along the esplanade.

Hope you enjoy the fotos ( by Will Van Dorp) as much as I enjoyed my two stops yesterday.  Work went well too.

About a year ago, I also documented a “backing down” here.

Oh . . . yes I know Alice was in town, but she’s playing so hard to get that I feel discouraged.

Three years ago I got fotos of M/V Ambassador entering the Narrows.  If this weren’t the sixth boro, I’d have some trepidation about the ladder and lines down her stern and the men in the tender along Ambassador‘s port stern area.  Pirates in the sixth boro?   Notable is that Ambassador was built on the Canadian side of  Lake Ontario.  More important for this post is the structure just forward of the house . . .   Ideas?  Remember, doubleclicking enlarges most tugster fotos.

That structure is a variation of this one.  In fact, it turns out that Ambassador and this vessel–CSL Spirit--unloading at Atlantic Salt on Staten Island both belong to the same fleet, as do–can you guess?

the Oldendorffs.  It seems I just cannot escape Alice and her networks, but I’m fine with that; affection remains.  That structure is a self-unloader, the best and fastest way to

to discharge

tens of thousands of tons of salt out of the holds and onto

the roads and streets (and sidewalks, train platforms, subway stairs . ..  . and penetrating to the inner recesses of your car’s underside and impregnating your shoes and any bags you happen to put onto a walked upon surface with slip-preventing and maybe life-saving but corrosive salt.)  Beautiful salt.

If you are reading this from southern US or from many other countries, you may never have experienced salt this way, but judging from truck traffic yesterday in and out of Atlantic Salt on Richmond Terrace, it’s bustling business.

And CSL?  Canadian Steamship Lines, tracing its history back to 1845 and currently the world’s largest fleet of dry-bulk self-unloading ships.  See wiki link here and CSL’s corporate history site here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, I’m told the salt piled up on Richmond Terrace here comes from northeast Ireland, County Antrim.  See this BBC story/video from the salt mines of Ireland.

Who brings the salt to season the roads and highways and drivers who want to avoid skidding there?  And if you detect some family resemblance to the vessel on my first ever blog post,

a glance at the name and profile will confirm that Johanna is a sibling of Alice.  Yes, that’s Robbins Reef Lighthouse just forward of the bow.  I’ve written about Harmen, so now meet Johanna. I feel quite ignored by Alice these days, so it’s time to ignore her back and move on.  Of the three, Alice is the smallest and Harmen has the greatest tons/hour offloading capacity.

Harmen offloads 5000 tons per hour!  Johanna conveys it out at 2000 tons her hour.

Clamshell cranes reach into the hold and drop the salt

into hoppers that drain into belts that move the salt toward the main offloading arm.  Yes, that’s the Empire State Building in the lower right.

I wonder if the Oldendorff self-unloaders carry

additional crew to operate the cranes while in port. Anyone know?

While Johanna offloaded, Pati R Moran moved an oil barge eastbound.

The salt piles bulge and shrink with weather fluctuations at Atlantic Salt, last summer the home of the Salt Fest.  I hope it happens again this year.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated except by geography, here’s a story I just learned of related to a spill of Congolese uranium on the north shore of Staten Island back more than 50 years ago.  No matter how long ago a half century may seem for us, in uranium half-life terms (millions of years depending on the particular isotope) it’s an instant.     Can anyone help me identify  the name of the ship that delivered the uranium from Matadi to New York.

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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.

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

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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