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In May six years ago, I posted these fotos of a relatively new NCL vessel called Norwegian Spirit.  Yesterday morning at 0615 . . . l’amiga caught this view of sunrise looking over toward Jersey City.

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It’s Breakaway‘s inaugural entry into the city . . .  Here’s an article about some of the related welcoming events.

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Here’s the full monty, and about twelve hours later, here she

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exits as captured by John Watson from his cliff over on Staten Island.

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Thanks to l’amiga and John Watson for these fotos.  Here’s an article about building this vessel;  this series on building her goes all the way back to 2011.  Anyone explain why it’s called Breakaway?

I’ll try to catch her entering the Narrows one of these days.

No . . . this site is NOT transforming into a book emporium.  But I can make some recommendations, good reading whether you’re on the water, at the beach, or in a house . . .  The last time I revealed this much about my bookshelf was in 2007 here and here.

Numero uno:  A “must read”  We the Drowned . . .  I guarantee it’ll be the most enthralling and fastest 675-page novel you’ve ever read.   Read a review here.  I’ll even send my copy once a few more friends have read it;  my copy was sent to me by Les Sonnenmark, a frequent commenter here.  It’s a saga of 100 years of lives of folks whose starting point is a Danish Baltic Sea island town called Marstal featuring naval prisoners of war, St. Peter’s triage style, mariners by sail and steam and diesel, Samoa, Greenland, Captain Cook’s shrunken head, haunting red lights (and more) for a character who survives World War II aboard convoy after convoy in and out of Murmansk, and some poignant stories of loves lost and long deferred.  This is a story of resurrections. Hear an interview with the author, Casten Jensen, here.   Read an interview focusing on storytelling craft here.

Unrelated:  can you identify the sailing and diesel vessels here?  Identification to all will be at the end of the post.

Second suggestion:  Fire on the Horizon  (267 pages) by gCaptain‘s very own John Konrad, with Tom Shroder.  This book walks you minute by minute through the last days of Deepwater Horizon, with compassion for the crew and their families.  You will learn much about a drillship, of which many exist today.  Konrad and Shroder  tease out responsibilities of BP, TransOcean, and  Halliburton.  I hadn’t known until reading this book of John Konrad’s unique qualifications to write this book:  he learned of the blowout while in the Southern Ocean, delivering a similar Korean rig called Deepwater Ascension from Korea to the Gulf of Mexico;  moreover, he knew some crew aboard Deepwater Horizon. Konrad shows his knack for telling a tragic story quite well, throwing in compelling backstory along the way.  In the first 50 pages alone, you’ll learn something about offshore drilling in 1896, SUNY Maritime, and the Hyundai shipyard in Ulsan, Korea.  In our age of petroleum and time of peak oil,  this book will leave you with greater understanding.

Third suggestion:  Also related to the blow-out of last summer, A Sea in Flames, (352 pages) by Carl Safina.  In the preface, Carl Safina  calls this “a record of a technological event . . . a chronicle of a season of anguish . . .”   It’s an informal book in which Safina records his observations and vents.     He, like Konrad and Shroder, makes the arcane world of deepwater drilling understandable and interesting to the layperson;  in the first 50 pages, you learn about the decisions made throughout the six months of drilling at Macondo, which he compares to a “high risk pregnancy.”  Safina’s voice evidences his ecology background (Ph. D. from Rutgers and President of the Blue Ocean Institute), and he’s clearly fuming, incensed;  he reports statements from officials from BP and government agencies and then (as if we were watching or listening to some broadcast news with him) we hear his reactions . . . be they sarcasm or refutation.  He acknowledges his anger, though:  e.g., “I am not impressed with the Coast Guard so far.  Admiral Thad Allen becomes to me a one-dimensional talking head: the Thadmiral.  Does he deserve to be a caricature?  Of course not; does anyone?  But in my anger, that’s what happens” (96).   And he’s particularly angry about private security guards interdicting the public from  . . . public parks . . . when they are officially open (207-10).   Ultimately, near the end of the book, Safina reports on having coffee with Allen and another of the caricature’s in the book, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator;  here . .  Safina listens and in his reportage, transforms what had been one-dimensional into nuanced people.  And I admire that.    Read the book.

I’d love to hear your reading suggestions . . . in part because I’m fishing for my next book. I always can fall back on rereading  the standards by Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Farley Mowat, or Jan deHartog . . . but would rather have my horizons expanded.

Otherwise, in summer the temperature makes it a whole lot more comfortable than winter to just while away some hours doing the Otis Redding thing . . .

Fotos show: 1)  Clearwater and Atlantic Salvor, 2) Norwegian Gem, 3) Remember When,  4) Susquehanna . .  I believe, and 5) Turecamo Girls.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp in the past two weeks.

Oh  . . . right . . . here’s another review.

First a guessing game:  suppose I need a new tooth, a big cutter head tooth.  How much would one sharp, shiny fang cost me?  Or two . . .?   I might want to dress up like a cutter head vampire for Halloween.  Send you guesses.  Price info soon!

More Mystick fotos coming soon, but I can’t sit on this post any longer.  In fact as I think about my fangs, imagine using them to bite into …wegian Jewel‘s long white neck.  Sorry . . . I can’t go there.

Anyhow, Jewel docked and

assist vessel Maurania III seemed ready to depart as the long-necked

Jewel was secured.   (Note the Little Red Lighthouse at base of the GW Bridge. )  But

enter the fuel load  delivered by Doubleskin 303 and

Severn, which involved more assistance from

Maurania III.

Captain and

crew moved the bunker

into position so that

whenever loads debarked via gangplanks to make way for those who would embark, those

2376 embarkers would arrive at their destination.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Please send in your guesses on the teeth.

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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

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