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No phantasmagoria today, just the cold hard facts, or in this case . . . the wet, crumbling ones:  exploring Binghamton felt like visiting a hospice.   Hopes to see what remained in the engine room were dashed halfway down the companionway below the main deck.  Nasty cafe au lait post-Irene river water, at least five feet of it at this point, barred the way.  It didn’t seem a heathy or productive place to snorkel.

The southernmost wheelhouse–here with a view of a southbound Vane unit in front of Manhattan–is stripped and relegated to attic status.

In this section of the menu, I love the last sentence of the fifth paragraph:  “She took the population of the eastern United States eight times around the world,” and she did so without leaving that section of the river between Barclay Street pier (now no more) and Hoboken.  Fotos of Binghamton at work can be found in Railroad Ferries of the Hudson: and stories of a deckhand by Baxter and Adams, which I highly recommend.

The craziness of the internet where nothing dies is illustrated by this restaurant review of Binghamton.  Wonder what would happen if you called that number to make a reservation.

I tried to take this foto so as to give the illusion of being on a vessel about to depart for Manhattan.

The wheelhouse at the north end is equally stripped although

the joinery–alluding to wooden wheel spoke days– dazzles.  Imagine looking up at this in your workspace, sans paint chips of course.  Let your fancy add braided cords leading to steam whistles.

Atop the wheelhouses are these lanterns, and

a running light system.

From the wheelhouses, here is the view of passenger and vehicle ingress and egress.  I love the folding gates, and although I know they have a technical

name I’ve heard, I can’t recall it.  (Note:  thanks to Les, pantograph gates, they are.)

Shoreside south end of the the ferry shows greatest recent damage to the deck;  in fact, as tide flooded, the river poured in here.

Like all crumblings and ruins, here is a depressing metaphor of mortality and transience.  Oh to have a jolly drink here, a meal with trimmings and revelry, a time spent

in good company, a celebration that takes you to the heights.

On the floor of the main deck . . . lay this 3′ x 4′ foto of an unidentified happy couple from maybe not even that long ago who chose this vehicle to take them to “that other side . . ,”   a foto soon to be obliterated by . . . the river and time.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who needs to get to work now to hold back melancholy.

First, to get back to the mystery tug . . . It was taken in Dordrecht,  a city of about 120,000 whose history goes back 1000 years.  In this area about 20 miles southeast of Rotterdam, the rivers Noord, Oude Maas, Dordtse Kil and Beneden Merwede meet.  That foto–as well as all the others in this post– comes via Jan van der Doe, frequent commenter on this blog.  According to Jan, Dordrecht is the busiest shipping intersection in Europe.  It has been and still is very important for the inland shipping.

Tug below is Rotterdam, 22,000 hp, formerly owned by Smit, then Smitwijs, and now Switzer.  A foto of a Smit tug (or related subsequent) company towing bark Peking into the sixth boro appeared here.  Rotterdam towed SS France on its long journey to Alang here (scroll about halfway through).

Study this foto Jan took on the waterfront in Rotterdam;  look for odd features.

Info follows.

Dockyard IX is a 500 hp steam tug, currently owned by The Maritime Museum. It was built in 1940 for dockyard work and owned by the Rotterdamse Droogdok Maatschappij (literally, “Rotterdam Drydock Company”).  The stack location allows the skipper unobstructed view while towing and assisting during docking and un-docking.

Enclosing the stack in the house also solved the heating problem during the winter months, although I’m not sure what that means for summer.

Variable height houses are used in the Netherlands, like on Maasstroom 9 (1957), here near Vlaardingen (my father’s birthplace!!), and

Matricaria.  (Note:  in this link, check out all the wind turbines in the background;  the Dutch seem to have traded old model windmills for new.)

Left to right, MTS Vengeance (1988) and Koral (1976).

I love the colors.  Vengeance is UK-registered and Koral Maltese.

These last two foto make me wonder when last a foreign-flagged tug traversed the sixth boro.

All fotos by Jan van der Doe.  Jan, hartelijk dank.

Unrelated:  I’ve NOT seen Rosemary McAllister for some time now.  Anyone know where she is?

Updates on Mon Lei, see Matt at Soundbounder.

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My job . . . Summer 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

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