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All that power . . . it makes foam, like on the mouth of a horse or draft ox overexerting itself, or


like below the mill race, or


a very localized storm


like natural ones that generate sea foam, which supernaturally produced Venus a la Bottecelli. Viva la spuma!


I wonder how much mud moves around when thousands of horsepower spin the wheels in in shallow water.

Now see all mirror & no foam around the tugs over at Biffle’s Pacific northwest site. Wow!

Tugs top to bottom: Juliet Reinauer, McAllister Responder, Patricia Ann, and Nathan E. Steward.

Fotos: Will Van Dorp

Just another ship? Tverskoy Bridge, 2007 vintage, cannot be dismissed so quickly. Launched less than a year ago from the shipyard in St Petersburg originally created by Peter the Great . . . she’s impressive and of superb pedigree. See this link on the Admiralty Shipyard, her launchplace.


And Tverskoy Bridge has something I don’t even have: a godmother! Lyubov Leontyeva, I’d love to meet you. And she delivers


Norwegian oil in her Russian holds


to barges and silos in New York. Check out fotos of Russian tugs here. Check through this wikipedia link on St. Petersburg to see how the city encircles Neva Bay. Peter, an unusual monarch, traveled incognito to Europe to study, among other subjects, shipbuilding. Shipbuilder that he was, check out this weird statue to him erected by the creator of Bayonne’s own statuary, Zurab Tsereteli, profiled here over a year ago.

With this blog I try to look and see new details each day anew. So I need to confess I’ve neglected barge names. The barge below–moving paper to the recycling plant is called Stars & Stripes. I thought that strange until it occurred to me that recycling reflects good citizenship, which is akin to patriotism.


Sea Horse seems apt, although it makes me wonder if there’s ever been a Sea Mule.


I might have overlooked this body of water; I don’t know of it.


And I wonder what the story behind Peter R. Hearne is, given that most of its sister barges bear simply numbers.


Cleopatra had a barge. check out this Cleo figurehead here!! I wonder what name Cleo actually gave to her barge.

And while I’m on barges, can anyone describe the difference between a barge and a scow?

All images by Will Van Dorp.

When I started this series, I imagined alternating fotos of women and men, but siren per se doesn’t seem to include men although there are other winged-creatures that include men. As a digression, check out this mechanical siren with –er– horsepower.

But I’ll persist a little and go inland to a favorite place, Rockefeller Center and Paul Manship‘s Prometheus. Seeing Prometheus from this angle prompts two thoughts:


First, the people below him are not too impressed that he’s just stolen fire from Zeus and quite caught up, instead, in just maintaining their balance. And second, that fire in his raised right hand, if dropped, would quickly melt the ice and send the skaters into the waters below. Well… if waters existed below. By the way, Prometheus’ grandfather was Oceanus. Prometheus isn’t a siren and has no wings, but some flight was involved in his getting away with the fire.


Flight happens here too in this Robert Garrison carving “Morning” facing Sixth Avenue (aka Avenue of the Americas) although the eagle provides the wings. More Garrison later.

Of course Giotto and Bosch show angels exist as a category, one that I’m thinking about today since reading Cees Nooteboom‘s Lost Paradise. See NYC angels here.

Tugs and pirates… what? Thanks to Tim for this link to a hijacked tug story here. Tim does a blog chronicling his efforts to give second life to a North Sea fishing trawler listed in my blogroll as timzim.


Above it’s a Caddell yard tug called Jay Bee V (built 1969) rafted up with an unidentified repurposed vessel, maybe a former small tanker?


James Turecamo (also built 1969) moves a bargeload of waste paper to the Staten Island Visy recycling plant.


Here’s another shot of a small trawler Lobster Boy stalking some harbor life that may find shelter under Dace Reinauer‘s (1968) fuel barge?


And it’s DonJon Marine’s Mary Alice (1974), rafted up with another DonJon unit with the ersatz Bayonne lighthouse in background. Speaking of DonJon, according to the Spanish mariner blog, new to my blogroll, DonJon’s Atlantic Salvor, built 1977 and pictured here last year, was one of four dispatched to assist in the LNG tanker Catalunya Spirit that recently lost power off Cape Cod, a distant peninsula off greater sixth boro out there.

Ranked by the Tugboat Enthusiasts Society database (See blogroll) according to horsepower, the four tugs pictured are rated at 250–1750, 3600, and 3600, respectively. Atlantic Salvor is rated at 6480.

All images by Will Van Dorp.

Here are more of the many various government boats in the harbor. See Fire Fighter in action here. The engine shots at that link are also splendid. If I’m not mistaken, this formidable machine is 70 years old!


Below and racing northbound just inside the Narrows is NYPD police boat Sgt. Keith Levine, named in memory of a slain officer. Mount Karava, palm oil vessel in background, appeared here in October 07 and has returned with more.


Help me out here–Is this US Army Corps of Engineers m/v Hocking headed seaward?


And over on the Manhattan side, I think that’s Jersey City fireboat Joseph Lovero, (?) named for a fallen Jersey City fire fighter. In the background is Hudson River Park’s “Long Time” wheel, a kinetic sculpture–complete with odometer–created by Paul Ramirez Jonas. Read more here.


You may have concluded that I’m obsessed with–among other things–ships and the fact that they move from here to anywhere, as long as it’s coastal. Foreign flags and even non-roman script like that on Dubai below speaks of exotic shores and harbors and the folk inhabiting them. But I’m not naive, and the love affair our society has with cheap goods from afar arriving here on ships has a cost. The Guardian reports on the planetary emissions from shipping–after after cars, housing, agriculture and industry– here.


Greek on the Maersk ship and Sanskrit on the orange New Delhi Express, and all these ships passing through the modest KVK in less than one hour. Talk about international!


and then this empty fuel barge ready to receive liquid mineral from beneath the North Sea or the swamps along Maracaibo or the Niger delta or the empty quarter….


I hate to be pessimistic, but SUV could expand to supremely unclean vessels, from an environmental POV even if they fuel my imagination . . . Some distance downwind . . . it evens smells problematic. Add this into the price of cheap goods from afar.


Don’t get me wrong. I’m fascinated by these vessels, but cobras and sharks and grizzlies might excite my imagination in the same way, yet . . .

What gets dragged up? Herring have schooled in the bay recently. Seals have followed them in.


Dutch Girl, Lobster Boy, and Miss Callie follow whatever harbor fish in from outside the Narrows themselves. Notice the hourglass dayshape in the rigging above denoting that trawling is underway.


What else might come up in the trawl nets? What deep harbor life or trash? What off-limits areas are there? Any submarine habitats of the Captain Nemo luxury condo sort? Have any exclusive underwater hotels  opened their doors–er… hatches–under the bay, as Peter spotlighted recently in his fantastic Sea Fever blog?


FQuestion for longer-term witnesses that I am:  was there a time when NO fishing happened here in –say–the 50s?  For now, there’s some reassurance to see fishing fleets, fuel barges, and our Lady juxtaposed.


All fotos, Will Van Dorp

Winter–it makes me think of other times and places. The fotos below show tugster a decade ago in New Hampshire sailing a Grumman canoe. Spars, sail, leeboards, and rudder now adorn my apartment.


This was a ship of fools; neither helmsman nor crew really knew much about sailing canoes .


The only unpleasant canoe sailing experience I had involved capsizing in the middle of a lake, and having to swim a swamped canoe to shallows.


On canoe sailing, check out here. Also on my blogroll. Tim does nice work with traditional sailing (and other human-powered) craft in waters far from the sixth boro, like Madagascar. Especially enlightening for me are his January 2008 posts on traditional wooden boats from Iraq, a fascinating country where I spent four months before the recent wars. Wasn’t life better for the marsh Arabs back then? Has their water-based existence been wipe away?

Fotos by Allison.

Last spring I posted a foto of a decrepit ACF (American Car Foundry) yacht, possibly beyond restoration. See it second one down here. Thanks to Dave for a foto of a restored 1924 ACF here. See the detail shots too, and the price!  @!@#! Dave’s note prompts me to add a few more shots of the unnamed boat from upstate New York.


Here’s a closeup of that weathered wood. Maybe because it’s winter, traditionally the time to refurbish and restore boats, but the traces of swirl and grain here makes me ache for a project–spending someone else’s $$ of course– to save this beautiful wood.


Anyone else know of shots of restored ACFs or Elcos?

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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.

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

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Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.


February 2008
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