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I thought all the vessels had left under cover of night.  Unceremoniously.  It turned out that the Japanese and Colombians had, but lots remained.  So the best place to go was near the exit . . . everyone would depart through the Narrows.  The forecast was 50 percent chance of rain all day, but I’d shoot from under an umbrella if necessary.    At 10, tugs were ready for USS Gonzalez to cast off.  Doubleclick enlarges fotos.

10:14 . . . she was under weigh.

10:23 . . . Responder returns for the next departee and Miller Girls (?) shuttles yokohamas back to Miller’s home base.

USS Mitscher at 10:33,

10:36, and

10:38, posing for Black Hawk photogs with a better perch than mine.

10:55 . . . Cuauhtemoc is next.

11:15 . . . USS Donald Cook moves away.

11:25 . . . San Jac next?

Nope. 11:34 . . . Argus heads for the Narrows

leaving Brooklyn’s “gold coast” (as on lots of these fotos) to port.

USS San Jac proceeds at 11:53 with escorts and fans aplenty.

11:56 . . . it’s “local-build” USCGC Seneca.

12:26 . . . Elcano departs under  11 sails . . . and screw  turned by ” motor diesel sobrealimentado de 2.000 caballos de potencia.”

Scotty Sky passes. . . WW2 vet and still at work, as is

Julia Miller.

12:50 . . . and I’d thought all vessels had exited, but here comes USS  . . .

Roosevelt, 

followed by LHD-1 USS Wasp with all her

like this Sea Stallion.

It’s 13:38:  Wasp has left the Narrows and Scotty Sky is topping off the tanks of Dewaruci.

Tankers wait in the anchorage, and

 . . .oh wait . . . for today, the end of the parade is provided by Guayas.

Some of these vessels will reconvenrge in Norfolk.  By 1400 yesterday, I know the French schooners, the Brazilians,

and the Indonesians were still in the sixth boro.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is looking to score two XL OpSail shirts.    Barters . ..  anyone?

Here’s the engine order telegraph and a bit of uniform.  Guess the vessel?  Doubleclick enlarges fotos.

Here’s more signage.  Identification later in the post.

And a closeup of the topsail furling system of Etoile, one of the French schooners.

More brass and brightwork on Etoile.

And the guard of the passerelle.

Not far away, crew on this vessel looked less inviting.  Guess the nationality?

Canadian.  She’s guarding HMCS Iroquoisbuilt in the same Quebec town as Mathilda!

Here was Iroquois last Wednesday converging with other vessels in the sixth boro, and

here she is nose to nose with USCGC (WLB 202) Willow, alternatively captured by bowsprite.

From the bridge deck of Argus, looking over the stern and toward the west . . . Governors Island and New Jersey beyond.   Along the horizon near the south tip of Governors Island . . . those are the cranes of Bayonne and even fainter beyond that Port Elizabeth.

Here’s the view from the forward positioned bridge.  Back in 2007 I caught these fotos of Oslo Express, the only bridge-forward container vessel I can recall seeing in the sixth boro.

Here’s a bit more info on Argus.  My tour guide and globalsecurity.org describe Argus as the only vessel in the world to have a CT scanner.    As it turns out, she also has a cat.  This is Simon, and yes . . . Simon went off duty decades ago, but his healing presence in the hospital lives on.  More sobering, Argus has patient monitors that allow patients to have a chance to survive IED-caused triple amputations.

Nearing dusk, yesterday afternoon . . . the Brooklyn vessels as seen from the water:  stern of Seneca, Shirane, the French Belle Poule and Etoile, and Cuauhtemoc.

Which brings me back to the Mexican ship.  Some of the cadets I spoke with finally explained this flag . . . it’s the captain’s personal flag . . . personal pirate flag, actually is what the cadet said.

Aboard were over 250 crew, who started their morning yesterday polishing brass before they let any visitors up the pasillo.

And the vessel was immaculate.

Below the stack here, I’m told, is a 1250 hp Cat.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who needs to get to another job now.

Here’s  some of my May 2010 coverage of Fleet Week’s arrival.  So Fleet Week and OpSail 2012 have converged, commingling state-of-the-art with traditional vessels.   Now add  into the mix F/A-18s and Hudson river water pumped through the system of  1931 John J. Harvey.  Doubleclick enlarges fotos.

Leading the fleet is Eagle.

And leading the tall ships is J. S. de Elcano (1927).

The day was blessed with atmospheric light

…and acrobatic and disciplined sailors.

Not as common a name to our ears as Magellan, Elcano was Magellan’s second-in-command and the one who completed “Magellan’s circumnavigation” more than a year after Magellan was killed in 1521.

Vessels included destroyer USS Roosevelt (commissioned 2000),

Gazela (1901), (Get tickets to this weekend’s Gazela theater here.)

USS San Jacinto (commissioned 1988),

and Dewaruci (launched 1953, keel laid 1932).

I wondered what these crew would do if the ominous sky sent thunder and lightning.

Etoile, I believe, was there as were

La Belle Poule (1932),

and Cisne Branco  (2000) and   HCMS Iroquois (1970, 1992).

Crew rode high in the rigging of Cisne Branco.

Cuauhtemoc (commissioned 1982) passed in review with

more crew in the rigging.

Emily Miller made the parade and in the distance, it’s  USS Gonzalez (commissioned 1996).

Click here for info on the namesake for DDG-66.

Appledore 5 crosses JS Shirane (commissioned 1980).

The sailing vessel heeled over is Summerwind (1929) and approaching is James Turecamo  (1969), prepared to handle white hulls.

Pride of Baltimore II is especially significant, given that the rationale for an OpSail event this year is the bicentennial of the war of 1812.   This fact also makes significant the participation by a Canadian and a British vessel in Fleet Week.

And huge flag . . . says it’s Gloria  (commissioned 1968), passing

RFA Argus, container ship turned floating hospital.

Colombian crew –men and women–in the rigging

and on the jibbom put on a colorful show.

Guayas (commissioned 1976)

had skyscraper crew at the very top of the mast.

And finally . .  a return for USS Wasp.   Notice the tug midships port side.  Know it?

I was surprised to learned it was neither Charles D. nor Responder but Roderick (1967) !  Generally, Roderick is not a sixth boro tug.

And here’s another unusual sight, commingling the power of a McAllister and a Moran  assisting Wasp into the berth.

Parade over, Catherine heads back to the dock, as does Pioneer (commissioned 1885!!)

And a final shot for today, TWO French handiworks, Belle Poule and the Statue of Liberty.

All fotos by will Van Dorp.

Doubleclick enlarges most fotos.  Few words here, but lots of fotos of the cast that has now converged.  Count them . . . five here and

one more here, along with OOCL Kuala Lumpur in the distance, a lube tanker servicing an oil tanker closeup, and a dredger  in the distance to the right.

From Colombia, it’s Gloria, with Buchanan 1 towing two stone scows in the distance.

From Ecuador, it’s Guayas, with a

condor as a figurehead.

From Indonesia, it’s Dewaruci, with

a regal figurehead and

exuberant crew.

From Mexico, it’s Cuauhtemoc, which is also

the name of the figurehead.

From Brazil, it’s Cisne Branco.

And finally, of the vessels already in Gravesend Bay, it’s the schooner Juan Sebastian De Elcano.

All at anchor, awaiting the parade tomorrow.

Mare Atlantic also awaits orders or appointments within

view of the cliffs of Manhatan.

Thanks to Working Harbor Committee for organizing and executing this sneak preview boat tour tonight.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  See who I missed at South Street Seaport!@#@!!

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