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Anyone not familiar with the waterways (or their names) around Staten Island might cringe upon seeing the name in the title. My students, newcomers to the United States as many of them are . . . see “Arthur Kill” on signs in the area and, besides wondering what the object of the sentence ( Arthur kill who or what?) must be, suppose the parties responsible for the name on the sign have some thuggish perversity, some macabre sense of humor they want no part of. But Arthur Kill it is . . .


A K-Sea, a McAllister, a Reinauer, and a Maria J.   Bayonne, NJ barely shows through the drizzle in the distance, and . . .


a social unit of buffleheads swimming in the borderwaters between NYC and Elizabeth, NJ, already come south, while


another K-Sea approaches and a Vane Brothers (Wicomico) heads south. That’s Linden, NJ in the background.

More Arthur Kill soon. All fotos, Will Van Dorp

as promised . . . Allie B, eastbound on the East River, out of Tampa and ex-Express Explorer, Janet Graham.


Below it’s Lucky D, out of Chesapeake, VA, southbound in Arthur Kill.


Pushing lots of foam is Miss Yvette, westbound on the East River and out of Bourne, MA.


Captain Zeke, ex-Island Eagle and Lady Ora, out of landlocked Syosset, NY.


And finally, in familiar green-white-black colors, the unfamiliar Kimberly Poling.


At this link, check out this closeup of Kimberly Poling showing the back of a nameboard that reveals her previous identity, Jaguar. See the portside nameboard. As you might suspect from the color scheme, Kimberly is the niece of the generation that includes John Caddell, Coral Queen, and Kristin Poling, all featured previously. Use the search window.

Posting for the 300th time entitles me to some ecstatic indulgence, doesn’t it?


‘Nets gets my attention anytime…


Any color or design . . .


On or off the dragger . . .


Even lacey gillnets and float flags inspired by Christo. Lucky for me I’m not a fish. I’d rush in, and . . .


I’d become someone’s omega-3. Where has she been netting?

All kidding aside: this news and this about the offensive against humpbacks really disturbs me.  And–as conflicted as we are all sometimes–how do you call this scientific?

This series — 5, 4, 3, 2, and the original— has looked at vessels whose function has changed significantly enough to say it has a second life. Here’s a slight twist on that . . . this one went from work boat to work boat in its 127-year life. Look closely at the fotos and see if you can detect the change before I reveal it.










Shout it out, Charlotte!

“I began my life as a sandbagger sloop, maybe a cat.” Read her bio here.

Ruby M, towing a cement barge (cropped out) here, seems from out-of-town. I’ve seen her and sister Allie B only once each. Help me identify the fleet and I’ll post a foto of Allie B.


Niz Gisclair hails from Louisiana. Fred aka “tug44” has good pix here.


Quenames, pushing oil eastbound on KVK here, is another I’ve seen only once and have no info on. Anyone help identify?


And here’s another Millers Launch pushtug, Shawn Miller. More info here.


In the distance off the stern, that’s Hoffman Island, an artificial island named for a former governor.  Suppose in 2107 there’ll be new artificial islands out here?

Names are hopes, prayers, magic … sometimes. The human and environmental toll of recent storms in southwestern Europe lends understanding of a name like that carried on the ship below: Swift Secure. (ex- Anna L. K., Ana L. K., Frotauraguay)  Swift is good, but please let me be secure.


Seems like the peeling paint at the beginning of the name of this 1981 bulker sabotages the incantation here. Thanks to and Aleksi, see outstanding series of 3 fotos here of the May 2007 (and 1 of 2004) repainting job at this link; open the Anna L. K. fotos. For 1981 vintage, see the pickup truck analogue here.


There’s also hope… et. al. in the painting on the rocks just south of the Narrows at Swift Secure arrived. What’s obscured by the nearer boulder below “think” is “green,” like Kermit. Do kids/parents still watch Kermit? Seriously, I don’t know.

For a San Francisco water consumer POV on the accident, see EVK Superblog fotos and comments/followup here.

Harmen . . waited just north of the Narrows for her to offload in Brooklyn. He’s five years younger and carries 15,000 dwt more.  If you don’t know the “her” here, type Alice into the search window on left.


What’s intriguing is his mixed Ukraine/Romania heritage. Read about it here. See info on Mangalia, oldest town in Romania, twin of Greenport NY, and home of the shipyard, here. Btw, that self-unloader was added in China, in Jiangyin, home of the world’s fifth largest-span suspension bridge; Verrazano is . . . seventh!


This one offloads 5000 tons/hour. Alice, you might have at least introduced me.  Check the “Oldendorff fleet” link on left to get “real-time” info on all Harmen and Alice’s siblings.

I’ve written about “second lives” and renaming. Among those are vessels or parts (like engines) that steam on after decommissioning. Patricia Ann fits that. So does the vessel below.


Built for the Navy at Jakobsen‘s in Oyster Bay and launched in November 1943, it took part in the D-Day invasion in Normandy, served in the Pacific, and then it retired to the Great Lakes. I bore the name Major Elisha K. Henson and John F. Nash (or Nash) before reverting to LT-5. See vintage fotos. Now it lives in Oswego on Lake Ontario, repainted its original gray.


LT-5 docks in front of the museum at the port of Oswego.  It took part in the shooting down of a Nazi Focke Wulfe fighter over Omaha Beach. See a link here, thanks to Bill K.


11/11/1918 at 11 am: Armistice Day aka Veteran’s Day. Float on, veteran.

Fotos here, Will Van Dorp

Time to catch up on odds ‘n ends. Thanks to Jeff S for identifying the tug run aground near Perth Amboy in January 06 as Hudson, ex-Margaret Matton, Ft Lauderdale, Evening Light, Cheyenne Rose. Here’s another shot I took back then.


Thanks to Jim for telling me of Specialist II, sibling of another Specialist and Realist, depicted here recently. (Find them with the search box.)


Here’s a more atmospheric foto of Specialist II that just happened into the Narrows today while I took a break on my way to work. I love how they managed to make that island they transported just hover above the gravel barges. Turn your lights on, and don’t hit the bridge!


Another mystery solved: I finally just figured out this vessel headed up the North River last summer (scroll thru). I shot this from my sister’s 35th-floor hotel room. It’s AV Kastner, transporting gypsum out of Minas Basin Nova Scotia, the bay with the greatest tidal fluctuations on earth. The unusual afterdeck structure is a self-unloader.


Some interesting pix here of the gypsum vessels outa there, and brush up on reading en francais. Check out this US Gypsum link to learn what goes into wallboard in their Stony Point plant.

All fotos Will Van Dorp. Thanks for reading and commenting.

PS:  Check out these Dutch bananas.

Short post here inspired by Amy. Thanks, Amy!! Question: Does anyone know a source of fotos taken from Erie Basin or the harbor dating from the 1970s and before and showing the sugar plant in operation?


I took the foto above in summer 2005 from Erie Basin, as I first saw it. Intrigued, I then did some research and learned about a fire and a Ferdinand Marcos connection and an impending sale of the space. We need more non-linear structures on the waterfront, arcs rather than all linear horizontals, diagonals, and verticals.


Gone! It’s not that I “fetishize” the post-industrial, but public art with curves on the waterfront and intended to be enjoyed from both land and water . . . it’s great. Long ago, I lived near Jeddah, and their Corniche (coastal avenue) had old fishing boats propped up on plinths as public art. My Jeddah fotos (prints) are deep in a trunk of random snapshots. See a link here here for Jeddah waterfront art. Scroll through: I especially like the Mustafa Senbel piece. Some of these pieces are enormous, consumable from a boat 1000 feet off, just as the sugar dome used to be.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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Seth Tane American Painting

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My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.


November 2007
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