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It’s appropriate that this was Salt 6. You’ll understand as you go through this post and the next one.
Just like it’s appropriate that this Cat is prowling.
Wonder what’s the relationship between this dark shape arriving and safe driving and even on safe walking on streets in the lit-up Manhattan in the distance?
Balder is in port with almost 50,000 tons of crystals from the deserts of Chile aka road . . .
. . . salt.
She drifts in silently and crews make her fast.
Can you imagine doing this in a February or any other cold month sixth boro?
Well . . . it happens
again and again, ship after ship, with utmost concern for safety.
Balder (2002) features a self-unloading system.
Once all lines are secured along with customs check and other paperwork, partial crew change . . .
While some of the city sleeps, Balder’s arm stretches forth and the Cats get to work.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is very appreciative for Atlantic Salt terminal manager Brian DeForest’s permission to be in the yard.
Two words juxtaposed in this headline from May 1914 NYTimes are not ones I expect to see . .. ”Roosevelt” and “tug.” Click on the image and (I hope) you’ll get the rest of the article.
Below is Aidan, the Booth Line steamer which returned the former President from Belem, near the mouth of the Amazon.
On October 4, 1913, Roosevelt boarded the vessel below–S. S. Van Dyck--for Brazil. Departure was from Brooklyn
Pier 8, to the left below. Click the foto to see the source.
What’s driving this post is Candice Millard’s 2005 The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, which I just finished reading. Learning about the namesake–Candido Rondon– for the vessel in foto 8 here while in Brazil last summer prompted me to finally read this book. Ever know that the ex-US President was stalked by invisible cannibals as he and Rondon led a joint Brazilian/American group down a 400-mile uncharted tributary of the Amazon, now referred to as Rio Roosevelt (pronounced Hio Hosevelt).
Well-worth the read!
Here was 9 in this series, mostly taken by my daughter last summer near the mouth of the Amazon. And since the holidays allow me to finally get the narrated version from her, I’m adding a set. She took all of these in Brasil, most in the Amapá state, with a trip over to the Pará state. . Yes, bowsprite . . . there’s a meia here too.
Note the river tugs Merlim and Excalibur, and the small boat moving in
Passenger vessels come in all shapes.
Passengers find a place where they can hang on, or
Cargo transfers happen under way.
Sleeping quarters are air conditioned.
Tug and barge transport is common.
Thanks Myriam. Maybe I’ll be your assistant next summer.
Here are segments 1–5.
New York City is one of those places where tens of thousands of restaurants serve food from every imaginable region on earth. Scroll through the NYTimes restaurant list for a small sampling. Ditto music venues with sounds of the world.
The vessel below caries a mundane product that also travels from an obscure region. Guess?
It’s not oil, like the product Scotty Sky delivers. Oil itself is quite exotic in that it arrives from geological eras in our planet’s unimaginable past.
er . . . make that Patrick Sky. Sorry.
And Patrick Sky delivered nothng to our mystery vessel, named for a Norse god, Balder. Either that, or the name derives from a landscape that more denuded now that before . . . balder? Actually the cargo comes from a place that nearly a century and a half ago saw a mineral-motivated War of the Pacific. And the product is . . .
salt. New yorkers can pride themselves that their roads, come ice and snow, sport Peruvian salt.
So in a few weeks–maybe–when this salt ends up on streets and sidewalks, pick some unmelted granules up and smell it.
You may catch hints of kiwicha and quinoa, and hearing strains of charanga, you might find your feet moving to the beat of a diablada.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Dawn yesterday Rowan approaches the McAllister dock after a + 1500-mile tow of Patrice from Lake Ontario. I suspect that even if you didn’t know Patrice‘ story, you’d feel the pain. In many places and times, white is/has been the color of mourning and
Meanwhile, the foto from yesterday shows unnamed vessels lying in the port of Ushuaia (end of the world, beginning of everything), over 6500 miles south of the sixth boro. Latitude number for Ushuaia is 54 degrees south; Copenhagen is 55 degrees north.
Using what’s stowed in this vessel and the one from two days back–Black Seal–you’d have “fixins” for lots of
What impressed me, though, since I could observe it, was the quick tie up and turn around: Albermarle Islandapproaches the dock at 8 a.m. with assistance from Brendan Turecamo and Margaret Moran, who
I’m left wondering about the story of these bananas in both the weeks before and after this docking. Here’s a start. Bowsprite drew a sister of Albermarle here, and I wrote about the previous generation of reefer vessels in the sixth boro over three years ago here. Anyone know what happened to the smaller “Ocean” class, and why the “Island” class calls at Red Hook rather than Howland Hook?
All fotos here by Will Van Dorp, who wrote about shipment of another commodity here.
I guess I’ll have to make my way up to the East (non) River
to find a real ship. And what a ship she is: when Karl Kortum located her on the River Platte, 80 years old and converted into a scow for transporting dredge spoils, the locals refered to her as “el gran velero,” i.e., the great sailboat. As a sailing ship, she once called in the New York harbor . . . Erie Basin, to be exact . . . in January 14 1895, arriving in exactly three months from Taltal, Chile. Yup, that was pre-Panamax of any sort. She stayed in the sixth boro, albeit the Bayonne side of it, until March 21, 1895, when she sailed for Calcutta . . . making a passage of just over four months. As to cargo, I’d wager nitrates to New York, and petroleum product (kerosene) to Calcutta.
All fotos here by Will Van Dorp. The info on the ship Wavertree aka el gran velero comes from the fine book called The Wavertree, published by South Street Seaport in 1969, the year she arrived in NYC.
No, here Peking gets escorted up the East River a mere 14 months ago, almost like a human nonagenarian, for a 97-year-old she was when my partner Elizabeth caught this portentous shot. Portentious, maybe? Even the tug name–McAllister Responder–sounds like an anonymous institutional care-giver, as in “Hi Peking. I’m on-call as your responder today. I hope you’re having a lovely day.” No offense meant to Responder (ex-Empire State, ex-Exxon Empire State); it’s just that here the name adds to the pathos of this scene. But despite the leaden water, the monochromatic palette imposed by the threatening, dark sky, a few spears of hope zapped through, for at this point, some thought she might receive more than a make-over; she might be fully rebuilt with new structure as well as cosmetics, we hoped.
Alas, 14 months later, to this passerby, Peking still languishes in a form of ship purgatory.
Recently Joe sent me these fotos, taken at sea by his uncle Frank sometime in 1929-30. It’s Peking mid-Atlantic: a vital cog in an economic machine, working sail that sprinted the seas less-trafficked today between Northern Europe and Southwestern South America, a “fast” one-way passage taking over two months. Northbound to European industries, she carried nitrates, a vital raw material in producing fertilizer and explosives.
A few years after these fotos, Peking came off the high seas into the confines of the River Medway to Shaftesbury Homes–aka the National Refuges for Destitute Children– and re-named Arethusa, appropriate maybe, since the original Arethusa was a shape-shifting nereid who transformed herself into a stream to avoid the advances of a suitor more powerful than she. By the way, Shaftesbury Homes still exists, still performs a variation on its function to provide a practical education for young people otherwise destined to a purgatorial life of poverty.
Here, 80 years ago, she still breathed vigor, flexed steel sinews, a titan of merchant sail as expeditious as steam power. On that day 14 months ago, I put my ear to her deck, and for a few seconds I thought I heard raspy breaths, felt a flutter that could have become a pulse, but
I now suspect I was mistaken. Can I, might the armies of willing hands perform CPR on Peking and coax some vitality back? Might transfusions help?
A hero of mine, Joseph Conrad wrote these lines in “The End of the Tether,” Chapter 6: “A laid-up steamer was a dead thing and no mistake; a sailing ship seems always ready to spring to life with the breath of the incorruptible heaven; but a steamer, thought Captain W, with her fires out, without the warm whiffs from below meeting you on her decks, without the hiss of steam, the clangs of iron in her breast–lies there as cold and still and pulseless as a corpse.”
Conrad might just have been wrong about sailing ships: the last lines on Peking need still be written, and I cringe to think what these words may tell. For now, we keep watch.
The artistic Bowsprite infuses the lines and colors of Peking with new energy here, as she starts a series on the moribund barque.
And if you try some Spanish, here’s naveganteglenan‘s post from Spain on Peking.
Many thanks to Joe for sharing these black-white family fotos.
Thanks to Joel Milton for this foto. Romer Shoal Light dwarfed by the sky? If so, here’s some info on origin of name, which I wanted to spell “roamer,” which would make it an especially treacherous shoal and ingenuous light. Zeebart recently sent this lighthouse link.
This foto illustrates the profound attraction big water exerts: openness, uncluttered vistas, an antidote to hustlebustle. Melville nails it in Moby Dick Chapter 1 paragraph 3 especially with the lines starting . .
” What do you see?- Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster- tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone?”
Other sights to behold may be haunting, like this one from Punta Arenas, shared by Jesse, who took the foto as he neared the southern end of his many-thousand-mile motorcycle journey from New York to Tierra del Fuego and as documented in this compelling blog southbound650.
Above unidentified square-rigger may have launched from the same yard, same year–124 years ago– as Wavertree, below, benefiting from several decades of volunteer work in lower Manhattan. Notice the location of the two hawses on both vessels. Two guys on the bowsprit on next two fotos below are jerseycity frankie and … tugster, taken by Maggie.
Bowsprit painters show scale and size of the headrig.
See Tierra del Fuego on the distant horizon. In foreground, the decrepit handiwork of the industrial past gets re-purposed as docking
extraordinary, profoundly unique.
Might she of the intriguing name Wye River (unless you know the Chesapeake watershed) be afloat 124 years hence (2133 AD or CE)? Re-purposed?
There’s something about spring’s unstoppable approach out of the frozen grasp of winter that raises questions about past and future.
Good time for me to write and read blogs, devour good books, and seek out the challenging in other print. Make lists. Listen to haunting music. Gather with kindred spirits.
Good book: The River Why. Here’s a summary.
Challenging article: Harley enthusiasts in Havana, Cuba, transcending politics. I’ve tried to weave this into the blog almost two months now. It’s the transcending ideology that appeals to me.
Gathering: I added some links since posting this yesterday. Eager for the next waterbloggergathering.
I have to confess . . . come clean . . . I have a drinking habit, and the vessel below contributes to it.
Vessel name is Orange Star, ex-Fife and originally Andalucia Star when launched in 1975 on the River Tees as a Blue Star reefer. Maybe my habit predisposes me to think her lines beautiful, colors perfect, sheer excitingly dramatic, appearing smaller than her 580′ LOA. Laura K. Moran escorts her out to sea lest her elegance overcome imbibing shorefolk like myself.
Further self-disclosure … my beverage of choice is orange juice, and . . .
at least twice a month, Orange Star sails into Port Newark to pipe off her delectable liquid. For more on the intriguing history of this tanker–spanning apartheid boycotts and the Falklands War–see links here and here.
Here’s a description of cargo handling in a similar vessel, Orange Blossom. Next time you indulge in this drink, check the provenance info on back of the carton. And threats to Florida’s oranges, here. And where 48% of the world’s OJ comes from?