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Click here for my serendipitous fotos of WLV-612 under way a few months back.  I traded those fotos for a tour.  But  the vessel immediately below is not 612 . . . it’s LV-87, 43 years older than the 612.  Check out the riveted hull.    Here and here are some previous posts on that Ambrose showing vintage in situ views and high and dry ones at Caddell’s last spring.

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In comparison, here’s the bow of the 1950 Nantucket aka WLV-612.

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The C covers a hatch which when swung outward is marked with a U so that from a distance, one would still read the name on side as Nantucket.  I’m not kidding.

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This is what a welded lightship stern looks like.  But where is Nan, with whom I had the appointment to view the vessel?

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A cellphone call brings movement to a forward portlight, and with the right password,

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this hatch swung open.  “No, I’m not selling anything or giving away religion . . . I just being tugster.  A tour maybe?”

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Spirals still lead between decks, although I’m guessing that everything about this vessel has been redone to yacht standards.  For the official site fotos of what’s below decks, click here. There are many more fotos on this listing . .  for less than $7 m it can be yours.  It will probably leave the sixth boro before the end of this month.

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Prominently framed below, the builder’s plate. But how did WAL become WLV?  Addendum #2  Here’s the answer.

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This vessel was the USCG last working lightship until 1983, and it did “other tasks” until being decommissioned in March 1985.

For a PDF on many US lightships, click here.  Two of them are abandoned on a riverbank in Suriname.  For some haunting fotos of a similar 1910 Dutch lightship (Lichtschip Suriname-Rivier) along that same river, click here.   It seems there is a restoration project underway, as filmed here in the past month . . . but in Dutch.  Basically, the narrator says “don’t fall through the deck, vessel came here in 1911, here’s the washroom, the kitchen, the anchor machinery, the light tower . . . here’s the companionway heading below, yes . . . there’s water down there but we’re hoping to get her dry.”  Come back when the job is done;  meanwhile I am NOT going down below where some nasty critters might have settled in.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Sometimes serendipity smiles on me.  Like yesterday.  I’d left quite early for an event and saw this red dot on the horizon.  If I hadn’t seen the vessel before, I might have thought it a phantasm.  But four-plus years ago, I’d even gotten a tour of WLV-612 . . . a vessel so exquisite inside now you have to take your shoes off, not for security but just because the floors  . . . are gorgeous.

 

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This is the Norton Point Light . . . technically the Coney Island Light at Norton Point.  Vessel in the distance is Rotterdam Express.

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Not a rock and a hard place . . . but a bridge and a parachute jump . . . .

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As if on someone’s invisible cue, the sun broke through overcast sky for about 30 seconds just

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before she passed under the VZ Bridge and

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crossed paths with Mediterranean Sea heading out to pick up a barge.

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To repeat myself . . . if I hadn’t known Nantucket was spending winter in the sixth boro doing events, I might have questioned my perception or sanity, but

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knowing that she’s around still did not diminish

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the sheer joy I felt seeing her.  My afternoon definitely picked up after this.   Is that Pati R. Moran?

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  And truth be told, seeing this reminded me of a song I loved as a youth growing up in what today would be called an fundamentalist immigrant place.  Tennesee Ernie Ford version and church version.

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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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