You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘virtual gallivant’ category.

This looks like but is not a “scull-vaults-palms” foto.  guess the location?

Here’s a bit more context.  Answer follows.

Different context . . . know this vessel and location?  Given the five boros’ idea these days for a BIG WHEEL on the waterfront, these things are recyclable!!  You can buy a preowned wheel or even rent one.    Who knew!?@!!  Also, note the stealthy one hoping to catch a ride on the floating pier?

Vessel is Geo Caspian, and AIS says therefore this must be Cape Town.

Here’s Colin from Cape Town on what she does:  “Geo Caspian finds out what rock is on the bottom of the sea in order to have a better idea if the rock is likely to be oil bearing or not.  She tows up to 16 wires and microphones and compressed air guns behind the ship and banging off with the guns a bit underwater and collecting the echo reflected from the bottom of the sea. The whole spread of cables astern can be up to 8,000 metres long and to get it to be wide as well they have foils in the water to spread the wires apart.  There are also “birds” connected along the tubes which carry all this stuff.The birds are able to move their wings so as to guide the instruments up or down deeper and are controlled from the ship.  A lot of this stuff is in plastic flexible tubes which contain light oil of the correct specific gravity to neither sink or pop out on the surface.   All this stuff is controlled with large winches in the stern and there are compressors there as well that produce compressed air at a very high pressure which is fed to the compressed air guns to make the noise under water.  The ship is guided by satnav as to where they want to survey and the information gathered goes to head office by satellite as well as being stored on tapes to be flown back when the ship enters port.”

Also in Cape Town at the moment is CS Leon Thevenin.  She replaces CS Chamarel, which was lost off Namibia in August 2012.

The four Cape Town fotos all come from Colin in Cape Town.  Colin and Pamela Syndercombe sent along info and fotos of the move overland of the South African steam tug Alwyn Vintcent;  click here for the latest newsletter on this project. The top two I’m using thanks to Maureen, who got the fotos on the scull on the Tiber in Rome.  Last spring Maureen sent these intriguing fotos from Venice.

For  info on a manufacturer of big wheels . . . a la Staten Island, click here.  Click here and scroll all the way down for pics of big wheels in different cities.

I have always loved maps, as far back as elementary school.  The internet and satellites have changed maps;  sometimes I still prefer old-fashioned paper ones.  This post shows five “grabs” from on-line maps.  What they have in common is that in each an inch is equivalent to about two miles and that all show places in the Americas.  This is my last regular post for about two weeks because it is time to hit the airport, then the road.  This road will take me through three of the five grabs here.  I’ll identify the places along the way.

1.

At this link there are 24 quotes about maps . ..  like this one by Abulrazak Gurnah: “I speak to maps. And sometimes they something back to me. This is not as strange as it sounds, nor is it an unheard of thing. Before maps, the world was limitless. It was maps that gave it shape and made it seem like territory, like something that could be possessed, not just laid waste and plundered. Maps made places on the edges of the imagination seem graspable and placable.”

2.

Herman Melville said that true places are not found on maps.  Here’s an interesting article that quotes him and talk about a place (not in the Americas)  I’ll likely never visit, never have to navigate myself around with or without a map or chart.

3.

On travel . . . aka gallivanting, Robert Louis Stevenson said, “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

4.

I airbrushed some names out of this map grab . . . lest you figure the location out too easily.   And if you don’t figure it out, no matter . . .   see this LandSat fotos or play with google for a while if you think these satellite images are beautiful, as I do.  I didn’t change any of the colors, but some satellites use filters to capture invisible but significant detail.

5.

But as much as I enjoy looking at maps and charts, there is a time to get out, feel the wind on your face, and let yourself be surprised.  Doubleclick this one;  these two watchstanders on MSC Federica last weekend seem the ultimate gallivanters.  They could even be time travelers.

I’ll try to write from the road, something I last did just a month ago here.  Any guesses about the geography captured by those fotos?

Related:  Here and here are some airplane seat art sites.   Here are more examples of “land art” visible from google earth.

. . . astrotisements for everything imaginable.

They say we never had a winter in 2011 into 2012, but on this first full day of summer, a hot season has begun.  What better day to look at Cook Inlet.  I’m using these fotos with expressed permission from Seth Tane, who took them four years and a month ago;  see his painting here.

Seth’s platform here is Polar Adventure.  Click here and scroll to see her shuttle route between Alaska and the West Coast during the past 30 days alone.

And the “tailgating” tug is Tan’erliq, a Crowley ship assist and tanker escort, training.

Click here for a commendation Tan’erliq shared with an even more powerful Crowley tug for rapid response to a tanker power loss.

Line is made and pullback begins.  This process makes me think of calf roping or kayak hunting.

Just as I can imagine the sound of the tug’s engine pulling back with 105 tons of force, I can

look at this water and cool off,

I hope.  Click here and here for Crowley vessels previously on this blog.

Many thanks to Seth Tane for these cool fotos.

Unrelated:  Bravo to community Board 1 for passing a resolution supporting wood carver Sal Polisi’s right to stay put.  Shame on EDC for their broad-broom sweeping all that impedes their planning.

Here was 15 in the series.  And actually this post could be called “Thanks to John Watson” or Some sights never to float sixth boro.”  At the head of this tow is Dutch tug Typhoon (1976) departing Portsmouth for a four-day trip up to Rosyth.   Assist tugs are Serco Denholm, although I can’t make out the names.  And the unit on the barge will one day be a portion of HMS Queen Elizabeth.  The carrier, though huge at 930′ loa, will be shorter than Panamax vessels serving the sixth boro.

If you want to talk huge, this new UASC container vessel (I can’t make out the name) is one of nine planned, each 1200′ x 157′ x 46′ draft.

John took all these fotos along the waters between the English Channel and the Baltic.  He passed Sun Bird (relatively small at less than 300′ x 50′ x 20′ rounded . . . all smaller than sixth boro regular Oleander) near the Kiel Canal.   Note all the wind turbines in the background;  the KVK turbine has been in place since March and has NOT yet begun to spin.  Maybe it IS sculpture?

Finally, John’s conveyance . . . MV Minerva.  I’ve no idea whether Minerva has ever sailed into the sixth boro.

Thanks much for these fotos, John.

Any guesses what’s driving the tempest here?

gCaptain posted a great story about a pizza delivery . . . and a bone for the the ship’s dog Alley.  What’s this then?  What resolve will Alley summon among its crew?

The crowd awaits, as

Smit Amandla stretches the line nearly to the breaking point for two straight hours.  Imagine the fuel bill for 16,000 hp chrning at load for 120 minutes!  More on Smit Amandla here.   And here.  Her sister ship, Wolraad Woltemade was broken up at Alang just two years ago.  See a foto of her awaiting her fate here.

But inch by inch, and without incident,

the trawler makes for deeper water.

Might the hero here really be Alley?

Once roused from its slumber on Clifton Beach and safely afloat, Eihatsu Maru takes a stroll into the harbor with Ocean Pride.

And as a treat, let’s have a look to see who else is in port today?

Over there, anchored beside  Smit Amandla  . . . this orange vessel . . . no it just can’t be . . . Super Servant 3?!@#@!??    Dockwise is everywhere these days, it seems.

Many many thanks to Colin, who put all his more productive impulses on hold in order to snap these shots and share the story.    Bravo to the towing team, the pizza delivery guys, the crew, and  . . . of course . . . Alley, ship’s mutt.

Time for some of that pizza and tea, Colin?

And two posts in one day . . . I’m not going to make that a rule, but this news couldn’t wait.

All fotos and info comes with many thanks to Colin.  This is Table Mountain, and the white pall emanating from the upper right in this foto might just be due to the pipe smoking contest between the Devil and a local pirate named Van Hunks.   Just might be.  What’s certain is that in the fog yesterday, Eihatsu Maru came ashore.

Clifton Beach is a few miles east and south of the port of Cape Town.  Standing off and maintaining pressure on the wires off Eihatsu Maru‘s stern is supply vessel Ocean Pride, Texas-launched 1954.  Here’s Colin’s description, ” There were two wires coming out of her stern and at quite a distance like half a kilometer  Ocean Pride was keeping the tension on the cables.  . . .”

There were spectators all through Saturday as the tide rose and fell and the

sun began to set.

Part of the crew stays on board;  to leave now would be to sacrifice the vessel to salvors.

Here’s more of Colin’s words, ” Hawser [went from Ocean Pride]  all the way to the tug SMIT AMANDLA (300′  loa x 50′ and 16,000 hp, built Durban 1975) another half K away.   Ocean Pride stood therewith not any strain on the wire for a long time and we all waited for the tide to rise, which it did right on schedule.  Ocean Pride moved out of the way and the tug put a bit of strain on the wire like playing a fish.  Perhaps even for an hour and you could see the wire rising out of the sea and I doubt they used all 16,000 Horse power but kept the strain and in the lights of the tug you could see the turbulence of the prop wash.   It was actually quite exciting. The captain of the Japanese fishing vessel has a nice border collie with him aboard.”

” Then there was an almighty bang followed by the sound of steel wire rope rushing out over steel and then a long splash as the end hit the water.  So that is that till next high tide tomorrow morning.  When I left they were starting to rig another cable and the tug was out of the bay reeling in the towing warp.”

Sunday morning finds the fishing vessel still on the beach;  partial crew still aboard.

Eihatsu is part of a trawler fleet operating off southern Africa.  Here’s a sister vessel, Sumiyoshi Maru No. 10.

Tug is Blue Jay.

Many thanks to Colin for this story and fotos.  More when available.

Unrelated to Clifton Beach . . .  I will be at Pier 25 this afternoon minding the gangplank to Pegasus.   Have you voted today?

In May 1962 John Kennedy had a party upon turning 45, and most people remember one person who attended.  But there were other entertainers who sang too like this native New Yorker (yes, he is.) and another singer, now largely unknown, whose name appears on that blue banner center below.   If you don’t remember the name, here’s (IMHO) her best song.  She also performed with this neighbor of mine from Queens, NY.   But this vessel?

She might be called Agulhas II, arriving yesterday in her homeport, having come from winter half a world away to the north just in time for winter way down south.  Here’s  her predecessor, once involved in an Oldendorff vessel (no, not this one) in the far far south.

Here she arrives after a month-long journey.   For the complete press release announcing her mission, click here.

Whether Miriam Makeba becomes her unofficial or official name, Agulhas (needles) refers to the true southernmost cape aka point of Africa.

Enseleni is one of the assist tugs. Click here to see her launched  . . .  in a manner I’ve never seen.  Click here to see a wide array of South African tugs.

Here’s a closeup of pilot boat Gannet (1977).

And the answer (correctly supplied in the comment by anonymous [Ann O'Nimes??])  to the figurehead question .  . . Europa it is!    And in a graphic demonstration of the interconnection of the sixth boro to almost everywhere watery, click here and here for fotos of Europa on a recent visit to the US “north coast.”  Has Europa ever been to New York?

Europa, 1911 launched!!  and beautifully preserved.  A reminder to, please, vote for Tug Pegasus and Waterfront Barge, today and every day until May 21.

All fotos here come compliments of Colin Syndercombe, who’s generously serving up the shipping news from the Cape Town waterfront.  Thanks much, Colin.

A final treat from Miriam Makeba . . .  Pata pata.  Fifty years ago she was a popular enough in the US to get major play on top-40 radio

When I was in high school upstate, I had to read this novel about drums . .  and history.

Now imagine this interior monologue . . . our speaker doesn’t read much . . . he works and then goes to the river to fish with his best friend the bottle . . . a riverine Rip van Winkle.  He slings in some bait, he dozes, he hears an approaching engine . . . and he sees this!

He shuts and reopens his eyes . . . and it’s closer.  He rubs his eyes .  .  .  and it’s still there.  He flings the cursed bottle into  . . . nearest recycling bin (of course), swears to mend his dissolute ways, and runs along the bank yelling  “OMG!!  It’s a Douglas F3D Skynight!!”   He just happens to “favorite” that aircraft of all the ones ever developed . . .  because of having built a model of one as a boy.

Our Rip has found new purpose.  The 2012 Erie Canal season has delivered the vehicle to turn his life around!

He vows to walk or run or bicycle along the Erie Canal as far as he needs to in order to see where this jet will land.

Then he hears another noise … another DonJon blue tugboat pushing a scow laden with

OMFG!!  He has no idea, and all the life-remedying he’d promised minutes ago . . . is in danger.    He turns and walks back to where moments before he had enjoyed the bliss of fishing along the Mohawk.  He stopped once and

looked back at Cheyenne and the scow.  “Nah . . . that never happened,” he decided.  Never.

Downriver some 100 plus miles, the day before, another blue DonJon tug had been pushing this dredge spoils scow toward the Bayonne Bridge when the 747/Shuttle flew past.

To be serious, the wonderful fotos above come compliments of Don Rittner, of the Onrust project, about which I did many posts a few years back.  Here are a few representative Onrust links:  2010September 2009 (see the last foto), May 2009, and 2008.    Use the search window to find many more.  Last foto is by Will Van Dorp.

The aircraft –a Skynight, a Mig-15, and a Supermarine Scimitar–have migrated from Intrepid Museum, which needs to make room for the Shuttle display, to ESAM, an upstate aerosciences museum.   The blue tugboats have all appeared here before; in order they are Empire, Cheyenne, and Caitlin Ann.

I’m elated when folks tell me they’ve enjoyed visiting tugster over the years.  Well, I’m as thrilled when you send in fotos other places beyond the sixth boro, all accessible ultimately from the the sixth boro.  In fact, the whole world awaits once you’ve gone out the Narrows or through Hall Gate.

’twas a great pleasure to get these fotos from Maureen yesterday, taken yesterday.  I’ll identify the port a bit farther.  Any guesses?  A clue might be the name of the tug:  Emilio Panfido (1969),  and

Carlo (1980).  As to the four dozen classic racers . . . you’ll have to help me identify those.

The port is Venezia aka Venice.  And I’ll need help identifying the tow of the tug as well.  And if you click on not a single link in this post, then at least spend six minutes on this one . .  the veritable painted ship on a painted ocean where work seems like the pleasantest dance to the best music on the planet.  This one’s got an intriguing ambient sound as sound track too.   All Venezia and as they are called in Italian . . . rimorchiatori aka tugs.

And it’s a joy to post Colin Syndercombe’s tugster debut here . . . MV  Kovambo.  It’s a dredge vessel that brings up — are you ready for this –

diamonds!  As in the many carated type.  Click here for info on the vessel and here for info on the enterprise.  Here’s more on marine mining and subsea crawlers.  I have to admit I’ve never understood the appeal of diamonds, but my interest ratchets up a bit learning with this.

Colin’s second ever foto shows New Spirit foreground with a befogged Table Mountain behind.  Look for a detail on the mountain upper right side.

It’s the cable car peering from behind a rip in the “table cloth.”

And thanks to Isaac, does this look long?  How long?

It’s a 1000′ ITB aka integrated tug and barge.”  One thousand!  Here’s a foto of the tug out of the notch.  Technically the barge is 947′ and the tug is 153,’  and  in ITB math, that totals up to an even 1000.’  The gray vessel in the background is Tecumseh, 1973, ex-Sugar Islander, which appeared here in March.

xAnd finally . . . it’s always a delight to share fotos John Watson takes from his perch high above the east end of the KVK.   First, it’s a shockingly container-light Iwaki . . .

and a thought-provoking CSAV Suape.  Just five weeks ago, I got fotos of this vessel Pacific-bound about to exit the Panama Canal.  So what are the ports of call NOT listed here . . .?

Many thanks Maureen, Colin, Isaac, and John.  Info on Emilio Panfido, Netherlands-built can be found here; Carlo, Italian-built here.

Partners in Preservation is a New York program, but there’s no need to live in NY or even North America to vote.  Click on the logo below, register, scroll thru to find “Tug Pegasus and Waterfront Museum Barge,”  and vote once a day through May 21.  Ask your friends to vote too.

I used this title over four years ago here, although in that case, I wrote about a South African vessel in the sixth boro.

I offer this post partly as a study of how ship preservation is happening in another port city on the Atlantic, almost 8000 miles away.  South African Railway and Harbours (SAR & H) had Alwyn Vintcent built in Italy in the late 1950s as part of an order of five.  Find a brief  history here, but basically, she retired in 1983;  from 1991 until 2001 she operated as a steam excursion tug in Cape Town.   Her future then became uncertain.   A farmers group (most of the site is in Afrikaans ) (this one is in English) purchased her in 2010 or 2011 and is now preparing to move her 60+ miles inland for restoration and eventual use on a freshwater reservoir.

To make the trek inland, the superstructure must be cut down to a maximum of 14′ .  Stack goes first.  See more fotos and English text of this prep-to-trek here.

Vessel also needs to be lightened.

Although the road trip is schedule for May 2012, all’s not well until it’s well.  In the mid-1980s, another group attempt to preserve Alwyn’s sister ship J. E. Eaglesham by moving her inland.

The trip was sucessful, but later she was scrapped.   More fotos of that trek are here.

Part of what sent me on this virtual South African foray was learning yesterday from a reader there named Colin that bark Europa was currently in Cape Town preparing to voyage up to St Malo, and berths were still available.   The St. Malo voyage will make stops in Ascension and Azores.   More info on 1911 bark Europa here.

For other historical South African vessels, click here.  A mix of current and historical can be found here.

May is National Preservation Month.

All fotos used with permission.

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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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More Photos

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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