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Rhine is currently in port offloading salt given the reported shortage of the material.

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Lines were made fast Monday midday, just after Balder had left.

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In the past six days, Balder had come and discharged its dozens of thousands of tons of the stuff and gone.  As Corey Kilgannon reports in the first sentence of his recent NYTimes article, “Pass the salt, please” describes the business plan here.

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This is what international trade looks like, whether it be Islandia heading out under a leaden-gray afternoon or

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these unidentified vessels departing recently at dawn.  In the photo above, the dry-docked vessel in the background is USNS Pomeroy, T-AKR 316.

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The first three photos are used with permission of Brian DeForest.  The others are by Will Van Dorp. And obviously, none of these photos were taken today, as another type of white stuff descends upon the harbor.

Along this stretch of  . . . bird habitat, Meow man has signed in . . .

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and an official boat might just be verifying the authenticity.

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Meanwhile, I’m just over two miles off the center of the VZ Narrows bridge . . . doing some of my own verifying.  Those round objects . . . half a dozen of them  . . . are they . . .

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. . . could they be . .  see that one splash . . .

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harbor seals?    This one seems to negotiate for that rock with . . .  a ruddy turnstone . . . ?

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See the press release here for the NYC Audubon tours here.

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Read here about the seal scientists who were on board yesterday also.

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What is that canoe-shaped object in the upper left side of this photo?

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Anyhow, forget about the cold and book a seal and bird tour  . . . on only a few Sunday trips left.

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Thanks to bowsprite who suggested this as a birthday present.  I may go out and take this trip again to get the photo I missed of a squadron of long-tailed ducks  circling our boat.

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We stayed on the west side of Swinburne Island (it should be renamed Seal Island.) as MOL Endowment arrived with a delivery along the east side.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Nearly three years ago I reported on a seal I interviewed on Fire Island.

Somehow . . . don’t ask me how . ..  meow man seems to have “signed” what used to be a white ceramic mug that usually occupies my desk.  How DID he deliver that?  . . . !@#@!!

This post marking a personal milestone passed already five years ago.  Today’s post marks the fact that now I’m officially old enough to opt for the thin slice of retirement money or a senior price ticket on New Jersey Transit.

The photo below shows one of my high points of my past year.  I’m the more enclosed guy with the black cap.   And you might wonder where this is?

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Here are two clues that’ll help you situate that high point, the aluminum portion and the

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steel.

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And here I’m standing on the edge of a trough.

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Many thanks to Chris Ware for the top photo and to Brian DeForest for the one directly above.

I am deeply grateful for a chance at another year of living  . .  . exuberantly.    Here was seven years ago.

Rumor has it that there’s an event in town this weekend . . . and this is temporary housing that’s been made available . . . .  Pete Genovese of the Star-Ledger got an invite to a racy party, but somehow tugster’s invite got lost in the mail?  Bravo, Pete.

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Oh well . . .  these fotos of the two 146,000 ton identical ships in the same place at the same time are special enough.  Many thanks to Phil Little for these.  And as of this writing, Breakaway

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has already left nearly 24 hours ago.

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Getaway leaves after the weekend.  Click here for some views behind the scenes of this nearly-4000 passenger vessel.

Again . .  thanks much Phil for these views.  Maybe next time there’s a big water-borne bash in town we’ll get invites too.

Darell T. Gilbert took this foto . . .  a hot air balloon over the water in Red Hook around the 5th of January.  WTF?!@#@!!  Anyone know the story?

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Thanks to Sam Zapadinsky . . . can you identify this creature walking on the icy upper Hudson?  Coyote?  Here’s a post from a few years ago of eagles on the mostly frozen river.

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Sam also took this foto from the tug Frances, which

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is the forwardmost tug in this foto by Bob Dahringer.    Frances and Kathleen Turecamo move crude oil tanker Afrodite into the dock in Albany, one of many water tasks that happens whether the temperatures are 0 or 100.

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And finally, Mike Abegg took this foto of Alice Oldendorff in the Brooklyn Navy yard, taking on

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fuel.  Quantico Creek and a Dann Marine boat (either Chesapeake or Discovery Coast) assist with this operation in the ice-choked area around the docks.

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Thanks much to Darell, Sam, Bob, and Mike for these fotos.

Click here for Bob Dahringer’s YouTube videos, recently with a lot of ice.

Check this video report on USCG ice-breaking in the upper Hudson as well as this one of Ellen McAllister shifting ships safely on cold days.

Now here from Harbin, China is a completely other reaction to cold weather.

Here was 2.  Floating ice has started to arrive in the Upper Bay, where I might get to tomorrow, but in the Kills . . . it’s clinging ice.  The vessel beyond the #9 is Asphalt Eagle.

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A Vane unit travels eastbound on the KVK.

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Tankers of sizes from BW Amazon to Capt. Log go about their business.

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Note the ice clinging to the Brooklyn shore and to Ellen’s flanks.

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Beyond Ellen, Topeka, and Ron G, I think I can spy some floating ice just west of the Battery.

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Robert E. McAllister looks to have even more icy cling than Ellen did.

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And . . . with mention of ice floating in its direction, BW Amazon seems to have decided to head out to sea.

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All fotos today by Will Van Dorp, whose fingers are now thawed out.

Here was number 6 in this series.  It occurred to me this afternoon to rename the whole series “weather overwater,” as a tip of the hat to Dr.  Jeff Masters and his site.  His 18-minute TED talk at the link with his name on it is worth the 18 minutes.   And what do you imagine happens on and over sixth boro water on a day like this . . . ?

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The usual.  Diane B pushes a fuel barge, leaving BW Amazon behind,

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Cheyenne consolidates scrap,

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Davis Sea pushes oil somewhere up river as she did here and here,

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Susana S, in the same location here a year ago, takes on bunkers. . .

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. . . along with Stavanger Breeze.

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Fishing goes on, and pilots

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do their thing no matter the weather since 1694.

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More bad weather coming . . . so what.   Not that it’s easy, though.

Dole has a lot of ships.  Capt. Neftali Padilla took these three fotos from his office, evident in foto #3.  Enjoy the fotos and ponder this question:  which fruits does Dole export from Puerto Rico?  Answer later.  Dole Asia meets Dole Europa.

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Here’s the office . . . Z-One.

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Here’s a foto I took of Z-One at the dock last spring while working on an article about its fleet sister, Handy Three.

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Thanks to Capt. Padilla for use of his fotos.

Here’s the first post I did on this vessel more than 5 years ago.

When I saw Twin Tube–a workhorse older than me– northbound yesterday, I’d no idea we’d meet up again later.   What caught my attention right then was

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the lowering boom, something I’d not noticed before.

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Here she is, as Electra rages, westbound in the KVK, boom lowered and supplies-laden.

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And then it was explained to me . . . rather, demonstrated . . . , lower boom to get into work position.

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Note the operator of the ship’s crane upper left.   A week ago this crew basked in sun on tropical seas.

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Now they need groceries, spare parts, stores . . . .

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As a resident of and a familiar with New York’s City’s SIX boros, I feel strongly that this–and not the luxury baubles and almost ancient poets–make us a city of ships.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

I could have called this a “scale” post, but I wanted to keep the thread.  The next two fotos were taken over a hundred years ago;  I used them back in 1989 in a now out-of-print book called Incomplete Journeys.  It was about shipwrecks in or near the mouth of the Merrimack River in Massachusetts.  The fotos show not salt but sand being loaded onto a schooner.  The vessel would be run onto the “sand pile” bank at high tide, loaded, and then floated off the next high tide.

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These ships were called sand droghers there, although that usage doesn’t seem very widespread.   But I digress.

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Let’s return to Port Newark, United Challenger, and salt.

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61,000 tons of salt arrived on this ship.

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Two men in cranes emptied the ship in about five days.

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That involved an additional eight men driving trucks to the mountain.

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Time lapse photography might be fun.

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Notice the spiral staircase into the hold.  Also, this hatch is midships;  the bridge is quite a distance away.

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Double click to enlarge (most fotos) this foto and just to the left of the Newark Bay Bridge, you’ll see WTC1.

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This is taken from just forward of the first hatch, counting from the bow.

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This is the bridge view.

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This parting shot is from the starboard bridge wing.

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Safe driving on icy roads.

All fotos (except the first two, of course)  by Will Van Dorp.   Many thanks to Brian DeForest of Atlantic Salt.

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My job . . . Summer AND Fall 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

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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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