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As I write, I’ve already solved the mystery; find the answer at the bottom of post, but speculate a little first. It has military lines and color that are faux and a space connection that is real, as real as

Martha Stewart and Bill Gates links. When it nosed its way past Howland Hook as I headed for work yesterday, I had to look. That red flag of convenience offers no ID help: it just shows Cayman Islands registration.

The name on the stern is Skat. As it it were a lurking barracuda, no other traffic moved as it lingered. Tug Yemitzis hugged the Jersey shore as it approached above. In the background below is the Staten Island side on-ramp for the Goethals Bridge. This isn’t typical traffic here.

Although it coasted alongside the container port bulkhead,

no discarded tire fenders hung over the side.

Skat, along with other meanings, refers here the private yacht of Charles Simonyi, spaceman and more.

More pix of Skat here. Might they have been hoping to load a container, locate a good fishing spot, recruit disgruntled crew, create a fog bank, fotograf tugster? I wonder.

Photos, VD.

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May 2008