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Alice Oldendorff came into town yesterday.  Many thanks for this foto  to a reader and blogger who is anything but self-absorbed.  And seeing Alice from this angle, escorted by the inimitable McAllister Responder . . . Ms. O is the same beauty I fell for long ago, but the Manhattan skyline from this angle has some new detail . . .  right above Alice’s forward boom is the World Trade Center with its twin cranes, and forward of that the Beekman Tower, NYC’s tallest residential building.  I don’t think Beekman is a walk-up.

So, I have clearly self-disclosed myself as a fool for Alice, who may never requite my feelings for her.  Never will I–unless my fortunes change–be invited to commune with Alice in drydock, where I could study her from stem to stern.  Or trace her curves and contours.  Or admire her from every angle with my lenses.  Or massage her aches and smoothen her scars.  Let me demonstrate by . . .

showing what I was able to do recently with Edna, a 35′ loa x 16′ truckable tug launched in 1997.  My dance with Edna started here, and then

I walked around her, admiring her marks of graceful aging … the rust and the growth and dents.  She exposed her vulnerabilities.

She let me appreciate her power and maneuverability both starboard closeup and

from farther back.

I pivoted around to port, and venerated her complex yet classic lines.

Back at the bow, our eyes locked as we  read each other and grokked.

From full frontal to profile to dorsal-to-dorsal dosido, the dance could go on.

OK, Alice, I know you’re 20 times longer and 5 times beamier, but our feelings may some day converge and such exhilarated escape from inhibition we’ll enjoy.  For now,  I withdraw all this self-disclosure.  If working relationship it is, then I will cherish that.  Work calls us in opposite directions:  you to the quarries of Nova Scotia and me . . .  well, no more self-disclosure.

Top foto by Claude Scales;  all others by Will Van Dorp, whose smile stretches from ear to ear right now.

The last milestone was the 1000, but this one, post 1280, goes up exactly four years (well, I’m three days late, actually)  after my first ever post.  Since then, I’ve spent countless hours of free time educating and entertaining myself,   touring other folk through the sixth boro,

interacting with passersby in ports wherever they beckon–ports like the sixth boro,

Philly,

Baltimore (and many other places …)  and more I hope to come.  Thanks to all for your tours and advice and feedback.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying this blog more than ever, learning to see, fishing

(sometimes in extreme conditions) for

flights of fancy and

all manner of lore and historical info about the sixth boro and all the waters connected to it.

Like yesterday, I was reading about Alice L. Moran, her marvelous feats, and wondering if she’s still called Amsterdam and working in Bahraini waters.    And I was reading about PY-16 USS Zircon (later a pilotboat named New York and previously a Pusey & Jones steam yacht Nakhoda), predecessor of pilotboat New York.

I’ve enjoyed these first 1280 and will be continuing.  Meanwhile, here’s another interesting thing I stumbled upon yesterday on page 12 of the Spring 1966 Tow Line magazine.   I hope no one is irked by my printing a screen shot here.  Enjoy.  Letter 1 with request on left and response on right.


Thanks for reading this blog and commenting for four years.  The ride goes on.

Photo credits here to Les, Allen, Carolina, and bowsprite.  Greets to the guys on SKS Tyne.

Meanwhile, a few words about the MWA Waterfront Conference tomorrow:  “

New York, NY: On Tuesday, November 30, senior officials and representatives from over 14 government agencies will join over 500 waterfront advocates, educators, and planning experts for the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s 2010 Waterfront Conference at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center.

Dozens of agency officials, politicians, and other experts will be on hand to offer their perspectives on the future of the NY-NJ Harbor, including: NYC Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, Bob Martin of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Col. John R. Boulé II of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Capt. Linda Fagan of the US Coast Guard, Peter Davidson of the Empire State Development Corporation, David Bragdon of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, Adrian Benepe of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Amanda Burden of the NYC Planning Commission, Cas Holloway of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and Seth Pinsky of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.”

Just in case you haven’t guessed, tugster rides the tour  bus into the outskirts of Talltalesville sometimes . . . and in his offices along the KVK is reputed to converse with historical personages (more on this at end of post) and  . . . birds.  Like earlier this week, I was just comparing Easter dinner notes with Merg, one of my favorite red-breasted mergansers, and the conversation turned toward olives , my favorites, pitted kalamatas.  Did I say this “office” is near Snug Harbor, a place ghosts reputedly inhabit?  In this link see the last one third for ghosts.

When I noticed Merg’s crest was a bit wilder than a few minutes before,  I followed its line of sight and

I understood.  Shape and scale were both formidable.

Our conversation interrupted, Merg veered to starboard

as this leviathan followed.

Enough already, croaked Merg, heading for the east.

And if the immensity of the blue vessel were not enough, from alongbehind appeared . . . is it Laura K?

That was it for Merg, who dove.  Oh, the great blue container ship is Maersk Kalamata, the closest vessel to 1000′ loa I’ve seen in boro 6 in a bit.  Note Robbins Reef light just forward of the bow.

Marginally related:  the foto below dates from March 2, 2010 in the KVK.  I thought it was a seal.  I saw something (dark shape just to the left of bubbles) swim quite fast just below the surface, but now I’m thinking it might be a dolphin.  Anyone weigh in?  I know there’s not much fotografic clue here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Personages:  A few weeks ago, while I was relaxing on the dock aka my “office” in front of Sailor’s Snug Harbor, an older man ambled down the stairs and walked over to me.  I watch my back and front, so paid attention for awhile.  When he avoided eye contact  and seemed harmless and as fixated on the water as I was, I went back to shooting what passed.  After a few minutes, he waved and said, Foto, foto,”  while pointing to himself.  No matter what I said or asked, all he said was “foto foto,” so I figured why not and snapped his picture.  When I asked his name, he handed me a pizza menu.  Strange, given that he was Asian and I would swear he was Ho Chi Minh or at least his body-double recently.  By the way, HCM lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn between 1912 and 1918 after having worked in the galley of a ship a few years.)    I wouldn’t make this up.  So if that was you, get in touch and I’ll send the foto foto.

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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

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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