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See the guy in orange, lost in the piping of Pacific Pearl, invisible really in the port, certainly not getting home very often unless he considers “the watery part of the world” his home . . .

The deckhand on Amy C., standing beside the hieroglyphics on the ship’s hull, possibly gets home half a month each month.

The tankerman might be on the same schedule.

After winter and between rains, crew becomes less invisible and enjoy warm sunny days that might seem timeless

and detached from land although cell phones can be blessing and curse here as anywhere.

I’m guessing this crewman on tower of Java Sea has a fotografy habit like me.

Learn a new word “forehanded” here from Kennebeccaptain. The word is new to me although the concept I get.

Interesting logo . . . must mean this is Leopard 3. Could her determined crew keep her heeled over enough that the 154‘ mast could squeeze under the 127’ Brooklyn Bridge clearance?

Interesting crew . . . must mean Pioneer. Could their efforts and enthusiasm be harnessed to catch the 35-knot Leopard?

Under gray skies that match her colors, Leopard sprinted around the harbor yesterday even before

Pioneer raised her main . . . and they all

headed for a rendezvous over by Ellis Island.

My conveyance and camera platform . . . thanks to the fabulous tours of Working Harbor Committee.  Sign on for a tour soon.

Unrelated:  Check out ketch Angelique.

By the way, the BBridge turns 125 this week. Don’t miss the party.

Sirens are not just for Sundays. Coney Island features not only a mermaid parade but also a Siren Festival.

Stealth while out canoeing in the north woods might reveal just about any type of siren above or . . .


At a party recently, someone who knows about the blog asked me, “What is it with you and boats, ships, water?” I just said, “What do you mean?” since I suspect I had no answer that could have satisfied him. It reminded me of . . . “If you gotta ask, you won’t understand . . . .” But I did appreciate being asked a question that’s essential to try to answer. I could try the facile responses like “the sirens, mystery, the economy, adventure, the different perspective. . .” in one direction or “I don’t know . . . .” Or other paths like asking such counter-questions as “What is it with traveling, enjoying good company, or seeing a beloved one naked? What is it about hearing your favorite music, watching the sunrise, savoring your preferred soup, or seeing your child smile?” All unanswerable, none discernible by logic.

And maybe it’s not about the the boats anyhow, but rather about the water and the interaction when we or others we see move in it or upon it by whatever contrivance. What is it about WATER itself, that stuff we can live only a short time without, that almost drowned me once, that makes up at least half of my body weight, and that’s used in ceremonies of different religions? Why is it that when I’m trying to figure something out, I either go swimming or–more often–take a shower–and the answer emerges. What is it with water, which, like sirens, can inspire daily?

That’s what it is about the boats. Too bad I couldn’t come up with all that when he asked me. Where was Kenneth Grahame when I needed him to jump off the shelf and holler “There is nothing— absolutely nothing— half so much worth doing as simply messing about in ‘wessels’.”

I mean the title here as “I’d love to see more Bloxom.” John Dupee took this shot of Bloxom from the waterside,

Franz Von Riedel took the one at this link from another water angle, and standing on the bank, I took the one below. Doesn’t smoke appear to be leaving the stack?

Bloxom (aka LT-653) was built in Point Pleasant, WV, for the US Army in 1944. Can anyone point to a foto of Bloxom in service either for the Army or later? Now, it disintegrates in Rossville in the Arthur Kill.

Unrelated odds & ends: Check out the comments by “rice hauler” to the left above. It identifies the cargo on MSC Alexa.

Also, more pirate action along the Somali coast.

Thanks to Bernard Ente, photographic evidence of Sea Bull, just in time to honor the wonderful Taurus folks in my life. Happy b’day . . . you may agree with positives and negatives . . . like prudence but self-consciousness. Btw, anyone identify the location?

Location is Hell Gate, up where the sixth boro touches three others: Manhattan, Bronx, & Queens.

Taurus flows into Gemini, and to honor all of you–including my son and my mother–some pairs follow. Like June K. sidling up to Juliet Reinauer pushing barge Hartford . . .

and Sea Wolf overtaking James Turecamo while Patrick Sky disappears over on the Staten Island side.

Geminis are articulate and adaptable, adjectives that could surely describe Odin, to me, the most unusual tug in the sixth boro… See link here for wheelhouse down.  Actually, Norse god Odin had shape-shifting abilities.

In honor of Gemini inquisitiveness, here’s a Q: I took the foto about three years ago on Long Island Sound. Anyone identify? The stack design seems it could be a giveaway, but I don’t know it.

I’ve written a half dozen cargo posts, but what I saw today forces me to do another. See it up there? It’s visible already, but I hadn’t “seen” it when I took this foto. Look at the top row of containers forward and between the green and red . . .

MSC Alexa, Mediterranean bound although slightly behind schedule, with either a new variation on lifeboats or someone’s new speedtoy . . .

Or maybe it’s up there til the vessel reaches a test area in mid-Atantic, when the red toy will be lowered into the waves . . .

zoom zoom. It always makes me wonder what those other containers conceal. Maybe the supplies to get the offshore racer across on some sort of record run. Tell me if you can identify the brand.

Now if I wanted to buy a large Venetian gondola or Indonesian jukung or Egyptian aiyassa, do you suppose I could arrange for MSC to strap it atop a load like this so that I could document it coming under the Verazzano? Check out Puget Sound’s kayak on a cutter. Seen anything strange riding atop a container vessel?

Another close-up of the mystery tug . . .

Thanks to Harold E. Turtell, who suggests it might be a transformed Miss Yvette (his foto) with “after house” removed and some adjustments of paint . . .

Here’s the entire tow . . .

and sure enough, as some of you suggested, the name of this construction company, Kiewit, appears at the tip of the crane . . .

[Short note: Check updates on the “about” page; I’m always interested in collaborators. If you see something . . . (i.e., interesting vessel), take a picture and say something (Email me). To me, the interactivity of non-commercial blogs distinguishes them from many other media.]

St. Pauli . . . made me think of a wild night in Hamburg,

although her bow pushed past the pristine blooming desert of Staten Island’s northwest coast, or

so it appears. Anyone know the name Rudolf A. Oetker? Why… you ask?

I admit I didn’t either til I looked up some info on this vessel. It turns out this product carrier (how’s that for a bland euphemism) is in the Oetker group and

cohabits a fleet of product carriers with many saints . . . like St Georg, below, as well as Lepta Mermaid

Name associations vary dramatically with single-letter additions or omissions. St Paul and St Pauli are a world of difference, kind of like friend and fiend, in no particular order. Or Lepta Mermaid v. “leapt a memaid” as in . . . “as I lifted the empty conch from the surf before me, out “leapt a mermaid,” the size of a dragonfly and threatening to ___ ” or something. Care to finish the thought for me?

As I worked along the Red Hook shore yesterday, my eyes did espy a bright red ship with tall masts and large white letters . . . a large trawler, a research vessel? I thought.

As it rounded the Battery, its identity became clear . . . a lightship!! And moving under its own power! It could only mean . . .

Nantucket, the restored vessel out of Boston.

Although I was too far south to get a close-up and lacked a chase boat, I did feel my day brightened after this. Here’s more on the lightships.

Credit for this fabulous Long Island Sound shot goes to John Dupee. So what part of the day is it?

And how about this one? Oh, answers below.

And this . . .

and this? Some shots have definite geographical and other clues.

And finally this one off southern Massachusetts?

Answer is (dawn first two; dusk the rest).

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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My Babylonian Captivity

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


May 2008
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