You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2008.

Here’s QV. Guess the location.



Here QV heads into the sunset, blending in as a silhouette between the lighthouse and the island. So, the clue: it’s QV headed into the sunset. Where is the lighthouse?


Was it only two and a half weeks ago she left the sixth boro. Check the webcam to learn her current location. Again, where in the world was QV when this foto was taken? Credit and answer soon.

About a year ago, I used this title in modified form to tell of Alice and the Congo here. I use it again because I received these fotos recently, thanks to Trixi and to Jochen Schultz.




The lines looks familiar, and



this looks amazingly like a certain drydock on Staten Island, but



it’s a Rickmers vessel in Hamburg. Rickmers-Rickmers was a teenager when Peking was built; she ran Germany-Far East for 15 or so years before going on the same line to Chile that Peking ran. Later she sailed as Flores, then Sagres 2, until in 1983–at age 87–she returned to Hamburg, where Jochen took those fotos. Some differences: Rickmers Rickmers has twin diesels, and their relative dimensions in loa, breadth, draft–Peking (377’x45’x26′) and Rickmers Rickmers (318’x40’x20′).



One more foto: Abram Schulte, in NYC last winter, has some relationship with Rickmers, which I haven’t quite teased out. Notice the historic Rickmers Rickmers in the foreground in this link.

Photos, WVD.

By request, more Peking fotos



with a contented crew at the base of the shrouds,



and in them



as a deckhand awaits the order from the pilot to send over a line.



More crew await in the rigging and



in the forepeak resting on a long unmoved anchor windlass. The gear overhead is attached to the capstan. Notice the two dock lines exiting the ship through the hawse (hole). By the way, forward and off to the right of the foto . . . that used to be the area dedicated to pigs. No, really, in the days prior to refrigeration, ships like Peking had an on-board stie from for special dinners. The larder, for now, has no occupants.

Btw, F. Laeisz, former owner of Peking, still exists as a shipping company.
Foto credits here to Elizabeth, Will, and Rich.

When New Amsterdam became New York, it must have been easy: just run up a new flag and defend it with cannon.  RSGuskind documents what happens on buildings in his faded industry post.



This tug used to be known as Exxon Empire State, but all that’s left of the previous identity is raised metal. So grind it off or lavish on the paint?   A friend named Mary had a similar dilemma when she divorced the husband whose name she had had tattooed on her back.


To mask the raised metal that previously announced this vessel as Fidelio (sibling of Faust), more than 10′ of plate was cut and the structure masked by adding a lifeboat assembly to mark its transformation to Patriot.



Sarah Dann‘s renaming is well-executed, but I’m wondering why she’s no longer Stephanie Dann. What sibling rivalry underlies this?


I just finished a book that involves a tugboat Rose renamed as Babe. Check it out here.

Photos, WVD.

FLASH UPDATE: YouTube of USCG video of Orange Sun/dredge collision here. How could this happen??  Nonsequitur:  Don’t ever think anything happening in the harbor goes unseen.

I toyed with putting the term “UFO” in the title, but that would be a red er… herring. UFO expands to “unidentified fishing objective;” as in what could this fleet possibly be netting from the Bay? If I were a fish, that statue with the long arm would spook me.



Here’s a closer-up of the same boat. I can’t quite make out the name.



My guess is bait fishing: mossbunker aka menhaden, or



what some call porgies.



I believe Miss Callie comes out of Belford, or at least once did.

Kurlansky in The Big Oyster cites a 1620 Dutch description of harbor life as including, “bass, cod, weakfish, herring, mackerel . . . whales, porpoises, and seals” (22) Later in the book he describes New York harbor oysters exported around the world.

Joseph Mitchell begins his 1959 essay “The Bottom of the Harbor” with these sentences: “The bulk of the water… is oily, dirty, and germy. Men on the mud suckers, the big harbor dredges, like to say that you could bottle it and sell it for poison.”

Fifty years beyond Mitchell and 30 years beyond the Clean Water Act, I’m happy to see evidence of improved water quality. I might swim here, keeping my head out of the water, but I’m not ready to eat the fish yet.

Photos, WVD.

English, unlike Romance languages, fails to distinguish between–say– siren & sirena. So in the interest of equal opportunity, here goes. I’d say this siren–a peer of Neptune–does not flatter males.



Here’s side view, and



a close up of one of his peers, leaning against a row of frogs and drinking spirits from a conch?



Yet, here’s half the centerpiece of the same fountain, called the Bailey Fountain in Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. I’m not sure how to interpret the assemblage.



So, any ideas on how to “read” the entirety of these figures? Eugene Francis Savage, did you intend this female figure–about to go skinny dipping– as a siren, using her song or silence to drive the water guys, the tritons, crazy?Anyone help me out here with interpretation?

Photos, WVD.

Farley Mowat talks about the “throng” in People of the Deer, a memoir of his time among the Cree, the throng being the brown river of caribou stopping his train as he journeyed toward Hudson Bay. Gravesend Bay has an avian throng I eavesdropped on yesterday. Btw, that’s Coney Island beyond the buffleheads and brent’s geese.


Brent geese (Genus branta and species “gearheadus“) expressed raucous admiration of ATB in background. “Wonder what the ATB is called?” they said before setting out to investigate.


“Oh, it’s Pati Moran, conjoined with barge Charleston,” said the fastest goose.


“I noticed Pati , 5100 hp, in KVK a week or so ago,” said another.


Yeah, and with her twin, Barney Turecamo, nestled up here to Tintomara, a Croatia-built tanker,” said yet another.


See this link for Pati Moran in pristine? Boothbay Harbor.

Odds and ends: Check out this blog I’ve just discovered. It has the perfect title: The cure for anything is salt water. Even without the salt, I’d agree. Also, John Seabrook’s “American Scrap,” in the 1/14/08 New Yorker takes you inside the biggest export moving out of the sixth boro. What happens to that wrecked car or non-functioning air conditioner you put out for trash collection?

Finally, more follow-up to the Newark Bay collision [collusion?:)] of juice tanker and dredge vessel here.

And check out this blog “el mar es el cami” = the sea is the path) from Spain for references to judgments on culpability in the 1999 sinking of Erika and some powerful! French music via YouTube.

Photos, WVD.

Janice Ann Reinauer hurries toward an assist



leaving us in her wake and letting us study the upper wheelhouse. See the rods on either side extending slightly above.



Why the dark gray rod portside just aft the upper house door?



It’s upward mobility. They allow the upper house to ride upward as needed for view over a barge.



A shot of the lower after portion shows the wheelhouse in the lowered position. Push a button and you ride to the top of the rod.



Cheyenne, which once needed variable height to operate on the Erie Canal had a different means of raising the entire wheelhouse; see this post.

By the way, let me go on record saying the crew of Janice Ann have no rivals as hospitable and helpful folks. Thanks for the rescue.

Unrelated update Friday morning: An orange-juice tanker of the sort I wrote about here last May collided with the dredge New York yesterday in Newark Bay. Check out the New Jersey paper story here and others here. In both, you may have to scroll through.

Photos, WVD.

Last week when I transited KVK on Peking, I noticed that crew on other ships take notice when something unusual passes, like a century-old barque. This crewman on Eagle Boston grabbed his camera, and



so did these guys on Kristin Poling.



Crewman aboard New Delhi Express took fotos and waved.



On the other hand, some work needs to get done in port like . . .



these three guys touching up paint on the QV anchor and waterline or



washing the glass around the sky promenade below horns that could swallow this poor guy.  Suppose these same guys put on aprons later and serve drinks?


“So what’d did you do while in the port of New York, pa?” asks young Hassan or Sammy.

Note: Keep up with the QV through the bridgecam, but don’t expect to see any crew doing touchup paint.

Photos, WVD.

Sunday’s NY Times ran an interesting article about offshore cities being planned in Saudi Arabia, i.e., liveaboard islands. See drawings here that look like sci-fi novel covers.



Technically these are mobile liveaboards, both the blue-hulled QV–somewhat sci-fi herself– and the tug Maryland.



These, which I posted about here last year, are mostly immobile.

Craigslist has one for sale here.

Photos, WVD.



The blue Sandy G is a domicile that rocks (on windy days:) , not far from the Big Oyster (a must-read, by the way). I’d love to know something about the history of Sandy G. Read this link about the BQE imminently becoming a waterfront location like the canals of my favorite city, Amsterdam. Then again, if I moved back onto the water, I’d want a location like Bryan and Judy’s in Majuro.



Then there’s this option: take a fiberglass houseboat, attach a wraparound flotation deck not unlike Huck Finn’s raft, then add an expansion supported on the deck. Move in, and wait for strong wind. Eeek!

Much better versions from around the world here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,579 other subscribers
If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Documentary "Graves of Arthur Kill" is AVAILABLE again here.Click here to buy now!

Recent Comments

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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


January 2008