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My sincere Merry Christmas/Happy 2014 wishes to all of you.  Actually, I hit the road Monday morning for the now-annual road trip to see family in greater Atlanta.

Consider this my Christmas card.  Any ideas what this is?  These three fotos come courtesy of Nancy Donskoj.


It’s the tugboat Gowanus Bay delivering Sinterklaas and his entourage up the rondout to Kingston, NY’s annual Sinterklaas festival.   Sinterklaas is the red-clad legend I was first made aware of, and he would supposedly arrive on December 5.   Click here for more pics.    Kingston was the third oldest settlement in New Netherland.


Believe it or not, Sinterklaas stories are clouded in some controversy because of the guy standing to his left.  Actually not this guy per se at all.  In the Dutch tradition, this man is Zwarte Piet . .  or Black Pete.  The Americanization in the foto below is interesting.

As the Dutch say, prettige kerstfest.


The next two pics come thanks to Jen Muma currently of New Orleans, and it’s fuel for the


Christmas bonfire.


Here are two East Coast traditions, but I’m thinking the sixth boro really doesn’t have much PUBLIC Christmas tradition spectacle related to the water at all.  Four years ago, I floated an idea about a harbor tree inspired by what folks do in New England, but I’ve moved on.  For myself, I like the idea below, the nautical clutter tree in my friend Ed Fanuzzi’s backyard.


Have a festive day with your loved ones.  I will repost again in a few days.

Thanks again to Nancy and Jen for use of their photos.

Quick and succinct:  the way to enter Nola from the east and north is Rte 90.  About 30 miles east of Nola I passed this mystery vessel Poseidon, which looked like a house-forward bulk carrier with a quonset hut over the hold now blown away by a storm.  Anyone know the history?


As sun rose somewhere in a cloudy drizzly day, the first vessel to pass–upbound–was BBC Brazil.


Then a steady stream of traffic moved on the great river . . .  some of them included Amalienborg,


B. John Yeager (?) with at least 13 barges, which round Algiers Point in the most


curious way, which involved backing down, sliding over to the Nola side, and what must have been lots of nail-biting.


Big Sam and a small tow.


From the Algiers side, I checked out Barbara E. Bouchard‘s new pins.


Also on the drydocks at Bollinger’s was Mully and Admiral Jackson.


Alice‘s sister Caroline Oldendorff passed . . . upriver.


And Alley Cat headed downstream herding more barges than would seem possible.


Nola is so much more than all that, and Checkpoint Charlie is a start of that other so-long list, but do check in at Charlie’s when next you’re here.


More soon.  All foto by Will Van Dorp.


From the air you can see the traffic . . . the sinuous lines it scribes into the legendary river.

From the bank, you can see sometimes three tugs abreast (l. to r. Bobby Jones-1966, David G. Sehrt-1965, and Born Again-1974) pushing more than a dozen barges slipping around the turn between Algiers and the 9th Ward.  And when I say slipping, I mean even big vessels seem to slide through this crescent. That erosion in the foreground bespeaks higher water.

Uh . . . a variation on seasnake?

Crescent’s J. K. McLean (2010 at C & G Boatworks of Mobile, AL) and New Orleans (1998 at ThomaSea) maneuver in front of 1995 American Queen.

Close-up of McLean.

Empty Barge Lines’ Grosbec (1980).

Olga G. Stone (1981) pushing oil downbound.

Miss Abby (1960 ?) upbound.

Slatten’s Allison S (1994) light and headed upstream past Bollinger’s.

Ingram Barge Company’s Mark C.  A few years back, I saw Ingram boats all the up in Cincinnati, OH and Pittsburgh, PA.

Another Ingram vessel featured a few days ago . .  . David G. Sehrt.

Vickie (1975) pushing  . . . crushed concrete maybe . . .

Port Allen (1945?!!)

Chelsea (1989)

I’m back at work in environs of the sixth boro, and this is the last set about Nola strictly defined.  Tomorrow I hope to put up some fotos from a jaunt-within-a-gallivant southwest from the Crescent City, a truly magical place to which I really must return soon because there’s much I’ve yet to understand . . . like why

the nola hula only appears to salute certain vessels.

And is it true there’s a nun driving a tugboat somewhere on the Lower Mississippi?  Here’s a ghost story, and if you have a chance to find it, listen to Austin Lounge Lizard’s  “Boudreaux was a Nutcase.”

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who also has tons of fotos from Panama to put up.

This foto in no way conveys the intensity of this moment:  that car crept down Iberville Street at dusk blasting out a shock wave of engine roar that rivaled the scream of  747 engines.

Here too the noise of beaded necklace flinging Shiners on Tchoupitoulas Street.

The shadow of Christ emerges on this end of St. Louis Cathedral as night falls.

Tugster dips his toe in the Mississippi near where Capt. John hugs the wharf just northeast of JacksonSquare.

This statue is called Old Man River, and I’m intrigued though

these words (by Robert Schoen?) leave me as mystified as the sculpture.

Traffic at the intersection of St. Ann’s and Chartres includes this mule (?)  and a texting swamp man.

Down by the river, bowsprite begins to weigh her appreciation for 1937 ferry Louis B. Porterie, one of the free ferries operated by

LA DOTD, the second “D” being development.  Here’s a better foto of the ferry, which whirls and spins between the French Quarter and the neighborhood intriguingly-named Algiers.

I looked in vain for formerly-sixth boro Glen Cove but did find a Kirby tug,  Miss Susan.

More of this type of traffic tomorrow.   All fotos by either bowsprite or tugster.

I’m deep in the “fog of travel,” a phrase I learned from David Hindin.  So only the facts, here:

Crescent’s Alabama.

Marquette’s Blake Denton and Ingram Barge’s David G. Sehrt, sporting her triple stacks.

Silver Fox motivated (I think) by Todd G.

BW Havis, as seen from Algiers.

Bisso’s Capt. Bud Bisso.

Greg Turecamo.

Ralph E. Bouchard.

Anna Victoria pushing heavy against the current painted with silt from a dozen of so Midwest farm states extending all the way to Montana,.

Traffic moves all day and night, just like the bon temps in Nola.

Coral Mermaid.

Chandlery boat Brandi.

And . . . just the facts . . . some legendary aquatic creature doing the nola hula for a sea-bound MSC Nederland.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  More soon.

If you didn’t see it yesterday, check out bowsprite’s nola.

Muddy water fast and wide separates St. Louis Cathedral from

boats bringing fresh air seekers like this waterblogger on the Algiers ferry named Louis Porteriere.

In mid-bend, the Creole Ferry and Natchez (the 9th) dance in the current.  And  . . . yes, they did dance although this foto makes them look like blind jousters.

Tugboat New Orleans assists Power Steel make

a rotation in the current while

Blessed Trinity fights her way up river.

Capt. Jimmy T. Moran, developed for the Panama Canal but never used there,  heads downriver for an assist while

while the master plays the calliope.

It would be easy to stay here longer, but . . .

Many more Louisiana fotos to come though.

If that wheel is working, then it can’t be anything in the sixth boro.  These fotos of the steamer Natchez come from Capt. Justin Zizes.

who took them here in the proximity of the Greater New Orleans Bridge.  Natchez the hull is a half century newer than her engine and machinery.

Tug in the foreground is Angus R. Cooper.  I’m not sure what the pusher tug with barge is.

Pauline M . . .  resembles at least a half dozen knees-prominent sixth boro tugs.

And a thousand miles to the northeast and fully accessible by water . . . a foto from Detroit,  thanks to Ken of MichiganExposures, showing  Wisconsin-built, New Jersey-powered Canadian-flagged bulk carrier Saginaw.  Meeting Saginaw is mailboat J. W. Westcott.

And finally, back in the sixth boro, some fotos from John Watson . . .  ATB Brownsville spinning with barge Petrochem Trader, East Coast, First Coast, Sarah Ann,  and Nahoku.

Navigator?  Sea Shuttle?   Anyhow, bound from Rhode Island to Virginia.

Again, thanks to Justin, Ken, and John for sending these along.

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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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