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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.
These ships were called sand droghers there, although that usage doesn’t seem very widespread. But I digress.
Let’s return to Port Newark, United Challenger, and salt.
61,000 tons of salt arrived on this ship.
Two men in cranes emptied the ship in about five days.
That involved an additional eight men driving trucks to the mountain.
Time lapse photography might be fun.
Notice the spiral staircase into the hold. Also, this hatch is midships; the bridge is quite a distance away.
Double click to enlarge (most fotos) this foto and just to the left of the Newark Bay Bridge, you’ll see WTC1.
This is taken from just forward of the first hatch, counting from the bow.
This is the bridge view.
This parting shot is from the starboard bridge wing.
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.
A buried ship?
Nah . . . See the Newark Bay Bridge in the background and if you look carefully just under the open clamshell in the center of the foto, you might spot WTC1 in Manhattan.
Here’s a closer up of United Challenger–now back at sea and bound for Norfolk, actually Newport News, I think, to load coal. See the WTC1 between the crane cab and the bridge?
The workday is getting under way.
Clamshells drop the salt into the loader.
Huge trucks loaded with relatively small increments of the 61,000 ton cargo transport the road salt to
the top of the mountain.
Here you’re looking from the ship at–I’d guess–at least a million tons of road salt.
And these are one of two sets of hands that unload the ship by controlling
clamshell buckets this size. Think of these places, ships, and crews when next you’re driving on icy roads.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp. More soon. Many thanks to Brian DeForest of Atlantic Salt for permission to get these fotos.
Tangentially related: Check out this article in the NYTimes about my friend John Skelson.
FedEx in the sky, container barge at the ASI yard on this side, Donjon Marine yard on the other side, and off the end of the channel, highways and railways. By the way, Fred Smith has long been one of my heros.
EWR is one of three very busy airports in greater New York.
Note the control tower at the airport. Check that link for a view of the whole complex from the air.
And the ship . . . since 1 September, here’s a list of ports it has called in: Balikpapan, Yeosu, Huanghua, Aviles (maybe) , Red Dog Mine, and who knows where else. And some of the crew . . . are dreaming of visiting Times Square and Rockefeller tonight.
And if this is Port Newark, then next it’s Norfolk.
I’d planned something else for today, but when Brian DeForest, terminal manager of Atlantic Salt, sent along these fotos –taken Sunday from a unique perspective, I scrapped my erstwhile plan. See the orange details in the foreground?
These are fotos from the ship, which is currently moving at 10 to 11 knots southbound off Cape May. That’s the Bayonne Bridge and
here’s the arm conveying salt onto the pile.
I’m sure this has a technical term, but I’ll call it the bracket that supports the arm when not in use.
And here’s a view into the traveling wheelhouse and
Here is engine room info.
Finally, here’s Quantico Creek as seen from the bridge wing.
Here’s a foto I took nearly six years ago on the KVK looking off the starboard bow of a large vessel of another time–a century ago–that used to engage in a salt trade out of Chile. Know the vessel?
Answer: Peking. Here’s one of six posts I did about that transit of Peking from Caddell’s back to South Street Seaport Museum waters.
Many thanks to Brian DeForest for all these fotos, except the last one.
A thought just occurs to me: Chile’s main salt port today is Patache. Could that word be a Spanish spelling/pronunciation of the word “potash”?
Here was part a of this series. Twelve hours after arrival, Balder could already be 25,000 tons lighter, although I’m not sure at this writing at what hour of darkness the discharge began.
But in daylight as by night, the Cats labor to keep the salt piled for maximum space efficiency. Since I’ve not done it, I can only imagine what a time lapse of the unloading process–in say 60 seconds–would look like as the great orange hull rises in the water as a mountain–with Cats scrambling laboriously– grows on shore.
Periodically the flow of salt stops along this nearly 300′ long arm, and
the traveling deckhouse, covering the unloading machinery and keeping the process virtually dustless, trundles over a still loaded portion of the hold. The fotos below come from the MacGregor site.
Notice the Empire State Building–almost 10 miles distant– in the foto below, just down and to the left from the starboard side lifeboat.
Here’s another shot showing Balder‘s traveling deckhouse.
Salt goes off the portside while fuel enters to starboard from
Doubleskin 33 squired by –here–Quantico Creek.
All fotos–and narrative–by Will Van Dorp, who is solely responsible for any factual errors and who is grateful to Brian DeForest for permission to observe and take fotos of this process. I’d also LOVE to accompany Balder for the six-week 6000-mile voyage to the Chilean desert for more seasonings to tame your wintry commute.
Returning to the foto above, notice the creamy colored hull intruding from the right . . . well, more on that tomorrow.
Postscript: Balder might have loaded this salt in Patache, in northern Chile. Click here for a CSL article on Balder’s South American bulk trades.
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.
Here was 13 . . . from what seems ages ago.
And the next few? A freak snowfall in the sixth boro?
And might these be protest signs?
. . . out of the mouths [and from the brushes and paintpots] of babes . . . and young’uns come some impressive sentiments.
Fotos 4 through 7 were taken by Brian DeForest, Terminal Manager, who also took the first six fotos here. The others . . Will Van Dorp.
First . . . around the boro, the light is beauteous enough to suspend a sense of time and obligation and stress and disappointment. This side of the boro, though on duty, works the milder solstice.
Lynx (1967, ex-Catherine Foss, Kainani) probably working with a dredging project, I’ve never seen here before.
a different season, as seen here.
In this heat and light, Kimberly looks positively artdeco: her aqua would blend in on South Beach and way beyond.
Miriam Moran cruises past Sailors’ Snug Harbor, as purposefully as always.
Jane A. Bouchard races deep into right field, showing what waters can be divided by more than 6000 hp on the wheels, while her older sister
the venerable Patty Nolan dons her midsummer’s bikini, freshens up her dancing paint . . . the mayor’s drum is soon to call to disorder the 2012 parade . . . the sixth boro’s shoreline version of Mardi Gras.
Unrelated: If you happen to “see things” when you pass the KVK salt pile on Saturday night, you’re not hallucinating. Lumen will happen.
For an auspicious virtual gallivant as they sally forth through the Rideau Canal from Lake Ontario to Ottawa and beyond, follow Sally W . . .
The salt trade is ancient. Since I’m thinking about gallivants a lot these days, I recall hearing about salt caravans out of the Sahara to ports in North Africa for trans-shipment to Europe. Even if I didn’t travel on a camel, seeing salt slabs in traditional boats on the Niger River . . . would suffice. Back in 1977 I was finished with a job in Cameroon and had the option of adventuring across the Sahara (hitchhiking) through another desert city called Agadez, and opted out. I still regret that choice sometimes. Two friends did it. I thought of this again recently while reading Vuvuzela Diaries.
What traveled north for centuries was salt as well as gold; what traveled south to Timbuktu were European “luxury” goods, including books. Here’s another BBC video on the scholarly libraries of Timbuktu.
So here she came into the sixth boro yesterday . . . and after getting a foto–albeit rainy– of Shorthorn Express a few weeks back, I
Carrickfergus, Ireland, which seemed strange given New York state’s salt mines. But then again, maybe not all salt is the same. Certainly, I learned that a mare transporter doesn’t transport mares or anything remotely equine.
All fotos by will Van Dorp.