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If you live near NYC , a great way to mark Memorial Day aka Decoration Day, visit any of the open piers.  Check out the “early history” in this wikipedia link.  I seized the morning out here, on DDG 57 USS Mitscher.

Here’s the view forward from the starboard bridge wing,

to port were CG-56 USS San Jacinto and DDG-56 USS Donald Cook.

and starboard aft toward DDG-66 USS Gonzalez.   On the tour I saw a wide range of specialists.

I had been assigned to Dewaruci, and went incognito, wanting to check some rumors . . .  like  . . as the US Navy has SEALS, but the Indonesians have

walruses!!  And it turns out they do!  Although, seriously, masks of different sorts are worn in traditional dances–reorgs–and the walrus represents strength.

Although Dewaruci was built at Stulken Sohn in Hamburg, begun in 1932 (pre-WW2 and therefore commssioned by the Dutch??) , it was completed in 1953, year four of Indonesian independence from the Dutch.  The design, then, dates from a time that commercial sail still existed.  But the detail on this vessel, currently on its last voyage, is phenomenal.  I haven’t seen so much wood carving on a vessel since I visited the schooner Anne.

Here’s the namesake hero aft

and forward.  The rest of the weekend I will be figurehead comparing, but this is hard to top.

Three main islands of Indonesia west to east are Sumatra, Java, and Irian Jaya;  so the three masts–fore to mizzen–of the vessel are decorated in those styles.  Here’s Sumatran.

and Javanese

with Garuda and

Irian Jayan, actually the western end of the island of New Guinea.

Here’s the wheel and

and the engine order telegraph.

A poster onboard shows the itinerary for this last voyage.  A replacement vessel is on order;  I’m curious whether it will

carry the same figurehead and wood carving.

An intriguing poster on deck also shows all the commanding officers from 1953 to present, from Majoor A. F. H. Rosenow to Haris Bima B. Letkol Laut.

Meanwhile, I have confirmed that the Indonsian Navy has walruses, which I was unable to interview, and

flies the jolly roger.

Tomorrow I head over to Brooklyn.

All fotos and story by Will Van Dorp.

This isn’t the first tugster post with a single foto . . .  and I’m not going to research among the 1762 previous posts how many more there’ve been.

Here and here are two previous figureheads posts,  and come later this month, I expect another such post.  Here’s a first image that would NEVER pass muster as a figurehead concept.

And here’s a question . . . can you identify the vessel that follows wherever this sea bull leads?

That’s it.  Answer identifying the figurehead may be tomorrow.

Don’t forget to make your daily “partners in preservation” vote.  Click on the image of the “rapid-aging-software-altered foto of tugster 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.

And this software says this is what I’ll look like in 10 years!!!!  yikes.

Guess what this is?  And check out this link to a related site from Baltimore, from the same marina Le Papillon departed on its fateful trajectory.  Maggie of sailingmevoy blog and vessels  Me Voy and Tara sent the next two fotos along, courtesy of Art and Linda Benson, who were there

from the beginning.  Foto below shows THE launch.  The top foto shows an instant in the construction of Le Papillon.  I’d love to learn more about the day, the event.  Note the absence of a prop.  This foto especially makes clear the relationship between Le Papillon and Rosemary Ruth, still for sale;  follow the links here for  lots of Rosemary Ruth fotos.

Following a northward trajectory similar to Le Papillon was this vessel.  The figurehead appeared on this blog over four years ago.

The next two fotos, compliments of Dan Blumenthal, suggest spars of gold and

stripes and sails of ivory, magic I couldn’t

when I stood up close in the dissipating

fog Monday.  The construction of Stadt Amsterdam served as on-the-job training for young and unemployed Amsterdammers between December of 1997 and 1998, and

I wonder what jobs these Damen Oranjewerf workers moved into after Stadt was launched.  And I wonder who carved the catheads.  At some point tomorrow, Stadt Amesterdam sails for Boston and an endless number of points beyond.  Keep an eye open and a camera charged?

Thanks to Maggie, the Bensons, and Dan for these fotos.

Unrelated thoughts about this foto from gCaptain . . . (click on the “capture” to read the story.)  My thoughts . . . I have no sympathy whatsoever for the pirates; however, that dhow

may once have been a beautiful handcrafted vessel.  Seeing it explode and burn here makes me wince.  Click here and here for youtubes of dhow construction.

If you’re not familiar with gCaptain, it’s a fantastic site for all things maritime.

In less than half day from this writing, March will arrive.  Since I hope for t-shirt mildness by end of March, I’m counting on the month to arrive  . . . like a large feline:  lion plus whatever synergy comes from compounding with year of the Tiger.  (For the record, the tiger portion of that synergy frightens me most.)  As peace offering then, I dedicate this post to the large felines.  The foto of Sea Lion below comes from 2006;  I haven’t seen this 1980 tug in a while.  Anyone explain?

Feline connection with Half Moon?  Some of the hawses, like these two, are

framed by red felines . ..  line lions, I suppose?

Atlantic Leo

Onrust has as figurehead a growling lion today, but this foto from a year ago shows the about-to-hatch beast pre-blond, actually natural wood tones.  More Onrust soon.

Growler . ..  that could be a lion reference.

Eagle Boston, escorted by McAllister Responder, shows registry as Singapore, from the Malay Singapura meaning “Lion City,”   although the namesake was probably a tiger, not a lion at all.  So we should call that nation Tigrapura?

From the platbodem armada headed north on the Hudson last summer, farther is Danish Naval Frigate Thetis, but nearer sailing vessel is Pieternel, registered in the Dutch town of Beneden-Leeuwen (Lower Lion).

Notice the claws hanging from the bow of tanker Puma.

And thanks to my poor eyesight, it’s easy to see the lettering on the Evergreen vessel forward here of Tasman Sea as Ever Feline.  Can’t you make it out?  Squint a bit and it’s skewed as daylight . ..  Ever Feline, also registered in Tigrapura.

All fotos by will Van Dorp, who’s hoping for t-shirt weather and a dip off Coney Island in exactly 31 days.  Anyone care to join in . . .  a Patty Nolan bikini?

Join me on a walk . ..  maybe a row or swim would be more accurate although the row and swim have already been done.  What is this? Answer follows . . .  remember that double-clicking on an image enlarges it.

The wood body . . . vessel or sounding board?

Okay . . . vessel.  By a view from stem and

stern you might wonder more about it.

In this same “boathouse” are large drawings and on the far wall a video is projected.  Turn the video screen 90 degrees counterclockwise (cock your head that way) and you’ll see water, horizon, and sky.

Here’s a whirlpool detail from one of the drawings and

near the center of the foto below you see it transferred onto the hull.  Boat hull as sketchbook, I like it.

Drawings and boat are the work of Marie Lorenz, whose show “Shipwrecks” (lots of links in the story) can be seen at the Jack Hanley Gallery in Tribeca until January 31.    I highly recommend seeing it.

By the way, Marie’s website has been on my blogroll for over two years under the category “recreation.”

By the way, some personal disclosure . . . seeing boats indoors is not unusual for me:  I have two kayaks hanging from my living room ceiling.  One can be seen on the  “about tugster” page.  The other is a 1935 Folbot, all wood and brass, skinless at the moment.

Don’t you have one?  Shouldn’t everyone?   And yes, those are Christmas lights.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  if I don’t post tomorrow, indulge me.  I’m working on a special project for a special event.

Almost two years ago I posted this.  Here’s a new installment.  Truth be told, though, a better title for this set of fotos would be head ornamentation.

Pioneer here shows a novel approach to jibboom installation:  grow one.  If this tree were alive and rooted somewhere in the chain locker, maybe in spring . . . you think?

Moshulu sports complex painted  scrollwork.

Most of Unicorn hid beneath blue tarp when I saw her in Gloucester, but the figurehead gave it all away.  What I did not realize at the time was that Unicorn began her life as a Dutch motor trawler.

Barkentine Gazela Primeiro began her life in Portugal and carried dory fishermen to the Grand Banks.

Lettie G. Howard has a modest eagle’s head and gilded sinuous incisions.

Flying Jib has even more modest and

functional incisions.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, now in search of new head ornamentation.  Not for myself of course.

By the way, the Christmas morning activity that occupied me the last two years . . . it won’t be happening this year.  Merry Christmas anyhow, or –as my mother would say–prettige kerstfeest.

Which reminds me . . . if this were a warm holiday, I’d love to see a repeat of the muziekbootje, on their youtube here and in my fotos here.

Two figurehead posts from Rick at old salt blog:  an “indecent” figurehead story from Libya and a greeting.

After bidding farewell to the fine folks and selkie of Gloucester, Bowsprite and Tugster left the site of the famed Sean Dive and headed around the corner to Essex to visit the historic Burnham yard, place of a recently started blog Boatbuilding with Burnham and

birthplace of 4000 schooners, including the current resident of the sixth boro known as Lettie G. Howard .

Our mission was to investigate the prolific sawdust output in Essex, daunting research requiring breaks between work.

After seeking high and

and low, we found it.  I felt silly not knowing how a riverbank  winding through the Essex marsh can produce thousands of finely-crafted wooden ships without generating heaps of sawdust!  After all, long ago I’d read and reread Gordon Thomas’ Fast and Able.

With this task completed, another identical twin of Bowsprite appeared, astride the tiller and protected by the pinked stern, offering to whisk us away to the next aspect of our mission.

Many thanks to the Burnham family.  Bowsprite’ and Tugster’s saga continues;  after all, some things Tugster can just NOT find by or for himself, ya know.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  something’s in the “whaata” (as Bowsprite’s identical twin would say)  here and here.

Bowsprite satified my hungry eyes with her epic vistas of the diverse craft in the Upper Bay Sunday.  Let me complement by directing the eyes to equally satisfying detail.  Like flags defying uniformity of color and shape flying from

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mastheads of divers tips.  Actually, the tell-tale is called a wimpel.  On the top foto, notice the Flinter house flag.

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Fugelfrij, built in 2000, already striking with its flat-black hull, enhances that with   . . . black fenders.

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Vrouwe Cornelia, 1888, has lovely carved signs.  Whoever Lady Cornelia was, she

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left her shoes on deck.  Was she the beloved, or

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despite the wooden shoes . . . the mermaid muse of the first skipper?  Either way, this reminder rides Cornelia‘s tiller through every turn.

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These three boats (far to near . . . Pieternel, Sterre, and Vrouwe Cornelia ) alone have the combined age of 362 years!

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And each tiller carries a different beast, land spirit or

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water.  This fish rides Sterre‘s rudderhead.

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Like grapes are these parrel beads, and like a fine basket the fenders on Windroos.

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And after night fell, there was the utterly delightful music man of the waters, Reinier Sijpkens, turning as many circles as

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designs on his vessel or notes in his music.  See him here on Youtube.

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More soon.  All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Remember, fotos of the trip upriver can be seen at Arjen’s  site here.  It’s also an opportunity to struggle with Dutch text.  Still more fotos are here.

And a request:  if you happen to cross paths with this flotilla the next few weeks, I’d love to see and maybe post your fotos.  Email me.

I’m praying for perfect light on Sunday afternoon when a public viewing of the barges is scheduled on Governors Island.  PortSide NewYork offers this downloadable guide to the barges, Red Hook, and its Dutch history here.  If you have a chance to get there, the details of these vessels will reward you.  For this month from an on-barge perspective, check out the blog maintained by Arjen Wapenaar, captain of Sterre, the 1887 tjalk;  although the text is in Dutch, the pics are great.

I’ve always been taken by leeboards (aka zwaarden), but I’ve developed a new interest in the rudders:  large and exuberant.  And it seems the Dutch themselves love the rudders, transforming a component that could be just functional to  Rudders with a passion for  . . . being rudders.  Notice the size the rudder (aka roer) on the 1888 tjalk Vrouwe Cornelia (Lady Cornelia).

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And the decoration, which I offer to the readers over at Neversealand.

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The rudder on Lemsteraak Sydsulver includes a boarding ladder and a flag bracket.

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The rudder on Groene Vecht dwarfs the tillerman.

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And all that beautiful wood begs for paint and carving tools.

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I’d like to know the various types of wood used in these rudders, like this dark wood on Groenling (green finch).

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I’m looking forward to the viewing on Sunday not only for more rudders but also other details:  mast, rigging, houses, blocks, bowsprits, etc.  Check out the boom (giek) support on Windroos, the hoogaars.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Off to Waterford now.

If you’re a new reader, I use “sixth boro” as a way to recognize the city space that IMHO deserves recognition as its own unitary name;  without the water, justification for the concentrations in the other five boroughs of New York City would disappear.  Hence, all the city water and  . . . extensions thereof in all navigable directions I call the sixth boro.  Want to go to Fiji or  Philly or Fundy . . . follow the sixth boro.  I need someone to write a wikipedia entry for the sixth boro.

More Flinterduin offloading fotos here;  I’ve got many more if you’re interested.  Let’s follow Sydsulver, a steel Lemsteraak built in 2004.  Lemster is a location name, so this is an aak from Lemster, like a Brooklynaak.  For the record, most of the barges are either aaks or tjalks (pronounced “chaw lick”) .  Tjalks were originally used for cargo on inland waterways, and aaks  . . . for fishing on the Zuiderzee, now called the  IJsselmeer.  Double click on fotos to enlarge them.

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Note the helmets all around.

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I would not have predicted the number of traditional Dutch design “airships” appearing in this blog this year.  Captions follow.

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How to lead a barge to water.

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How to inculcate an interest in sailing among the next generation.

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How smooth and polished to get a painted surface.  And how to maneuver in tight basins.

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Splash.  That’s  Groenevecht lying to the right.

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Carving detail and

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closer up.

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The most beautiful tiller ornament in the sixth boro and far beyond.

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Held in the basin.  Brown sail is HZ108 Janus Kok, a wooden botter from 1934!  Botters are traditional fishing vessels also.  Design on the sail is the sponsor’s logo, “old amsterdam cheese.”  To the right along the wall is Windroos, a hoogaars built in 1925.  Now if you know that “hoog” means high . . . as in “up high,” then you can figure out the “ars.”  “Hoogars” vessels have a more upswept stern than aaks, botters, or tjalks.  More Windroos to come.

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Painted ships in a painted basin.

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Flinterduin shifted forward so that the offloaded barges could leave to make space for the rest.  Sydsulver leaves first.  Notice the decoration around the hawse.

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Escape into the boro.  You can’t keep the Dutch pinned up long.  Everydayeastriver foto’d one of the explorers/escapees.

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and posing.  That’s the Williamsburg Bridge and –of course–Empire State Building in the background.  By the way, on the bowsprit flies the Friesland provincial flag.

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Again, many thanks to the fine folks at GMD and to Carter Craft for access.  The barges will cavort in the sixth boro and surroundings waters for the next month.  Some foto ops may happen at North Cove soon, home of Atlantic Yachting, new on my blogroll.

Another newcomer  on my blogroll is NY400.blogspot.com, an account of the barges’ month here by Arjen Wapenaar, captain of the Sterre, a tjalk built in 1887!!!  English site about Sterre here.  Amazingly, Sterre has been in New York harbor before:  some 20 plus years ago for the Statue of Liberty celebrations.  Scroll through that English-language link and you’ll see Sterre in the harbor with the Twin Towers in the background.  Does anyone have pictures to share of that event?  I hope Arjen posts lots of fotos so that non-Dutch readers can enjoy his sailing barge tales.

More Flinterduin AND the tug races this weekend.  Haven’t they cancelled the US Open because the sixth boro activities draw greater crowds?

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

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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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