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Well, it’s not chaos when so many vessels move purposefully in such close proximity. Between a passing John P. Brown and a moored Stena Antarctica, Scott C and Dorothy Elizabeth finesse a fuel barge into a tight spot.

Cooperating here are Scott C — less than 2 years old, 4500 hp, and 105 loa — and Dorothy Elizabeth — 57 years afloat, 1800 hp, and 100 loa.

Matthew Tibbetts and an unidentified McAllister do the same,

as do June K and Bouchard Girls, and

then Matthew Tibbetts moves in to assist Juliet Reinauer.

Herding barges: chaos it’s not, nor is it loco motion. It’s commotion.

Photos, WVD.

Channeling Galahad, Tennyson wrote: “My good blade carves the casques of men,/My tough lance thrusteth sure,/My strength is as the strength of ten,/Because my heart is pure.”

Mostank delivers the lubrication.

Diana plays lead romantic interest in my own personal mythology. In foreground, the tug Lee T. Moran walks her Norwegian tanker like a dog on a leash, or vice versa.

Daedalus, who built some really imprudent toys for his son, otherwise plays hero in my imagination. The tiny workboat Becky Ann zooms chooses not to linger nearby like a tool.

Hero was the ancient engine guy whose work we’ve mostly all seen.

We all know about Poseidon, although it might seem arrogant of titanic proportions to name a ship so. But where’s the Kafka?

Recently a good friend inspired me to pick up a Franz Kafka anthology, and I saw a short piece called “Poseidon.” Dedicating this to kennebec captain, whose blog about a recent voyage I’m really enjoying, I quote the first and then the best lines from Kafka.

“Poseidon sat at his desk doing figures. The administration of all the waters gave him endless work. He could have had assistants, as many as he wanted–and he did have very many–but since he took his job very seriously, he would in the end go over all the figures and calculations himself . . . ”

For all the hilarious set-up, the ending disappoints me: “Poseidon became bored with the sea. He let fall his trident. Silently he sat on the rocky coast and a gull, dazed by his presence, described wavering circles around his head.” Only Kafka would imagine the seagod as a frustrated pencil pusher.

Click here to read the short Kafka but complete text.

After 2 days at plus 90 degrees in the sixth boro, I’m recalling January on the Mohawk with fondness.

The coolest place I experienced today was NOT air-conditioned . Floating on the sixth boro, it had this interior space toward the southwest

and that to the northeast. Cooled by cross ventilation, I sat there and took in all there was to see from an Adirondack guideboat to ships’ bells and stevedores’ handtools . . . Where is this?

it’s the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook, a mere hundred yards from Ingvar Kamprad’s new store, which should never have been built where it stands, IMHO.

Cross the threshold into this 1914 barge and these bells and others welcome you.

Photos, WVD.

You’ve seen this scene before: two people standing about 10 feet apart. In this case, the guy in the orange jumpsuit holds a box pointed at him in the white, who hopes he’s radiating clear body language for folks not depicted, not present here. Where is the “here” here though?

More guys in orange . . . detainees?

If so, the wall or bulwarks supporting them extends high enough that a jump to safety does not seem a prudent course.

Maybe some details seem familiar, but what is the whole? Who couldn’t look at that wall and imagine a design to break it up? Why not use it for product placement?

Maybe you figured it out right away. So can you guess how many automobiles this “pure” car carrier contains?

Last chance to guess . . .

Try 6,400. See more here. While you’re there, check out the remolcadore named reinod 9 too.

Back to the 6,400 cars. If each car runs $50k, that’s more zeros than I want to compute.

And back to the orange jumpsuits, that’s not what sailors used to wear. Since when has this orange color invaded ships? Is there a hidden message here?

Photos, WVD.

Meet  Marina Star,

and despite the people above and below, this is not a story but rather a scene whose principal character

might be this small container ship that appears empty and headed

for sea

through the Upper New York Bay

and past various vessels

anchored in the sixth boro, either dormant or taking on cargo or

discharging. Scene’s over.

The real story of Marina Star may take place elsewhere, and I just don’t know it although I wonder why Marina leaves us apparently empty. I wish she’d taken me into her confidence and told me what the story was. Marina, why the silence?

Photos, WVD.

I recently discovered the blog “blue water: news of my escape.”

Paul the pirate writes it, and it seems he’s recently been working in the sixth boro.

Paul’s boat right now happens to be . . . Kathleen Turecamo.

Give Paul a read and take a ride. Check out GeneC55’s great Kathleen foto here from Flickr.

Photos, WVD.

Cheyenne, Odin, and Janice Ann Reinauer each have unique ways of raising/lowering the helm, i.e., changing the air draft. Type those names into the search box at left if you missed the posts. Just the other day I (finally) noticed yet a different mechanism on Taurus. See the orange just forward the stacks?

Here’s a closer up.

So, I’m guessing you loosen the stays and push a lever to make the upper wheelhouse pivot backward, out of the way. Leave nothing inside.

I checked a foto from about a year ago, and –sure enough–now I notice the orange ram that previously escaped my notice.

Finding something “hidden in plain sight” makes me wonder what else I’ve missed and where. Falcon has the same system, just differently painted.

I think I’ve got hydraulics on the brain since seeing those St Lawrence self-unloaders. I’m hoping to go back up there soon.

Tugboat racing . . . coming to the sixth boro on August 31. Read about it here. And someone I know in Detroit never told me about the international race there. Or the one in Seattle.

Photos, WVD.

If you go up to the Winooski area, check out the ferries. They’re not free like the ones down in the sixth boro, but

the view is . . . worth a million somethings, views of the banks as well as the lake bed.

The northern ferry runs 365/24. I crossed along with six other cars around 3 am, and if someone had arrived seconds after the chain shut, they’d have less than half an hour to wait the next. That’s 3 am on a Saturday morning.

Evans-Wadhams-Wolcott, a mouthful of founders’ names for a vessel, measures 196′ x 43′. Notice the log truck. EWW, built in Louisiana, has twin Cats, but the crew could tell me neither the horsepower nor prop diameter. See more historical shots here.

In the surrounding, if not on the lake, you see the unexpected wildlife.

The “sixth great lake” beckons.

Photos, WVD.

Characters: Evening Light

followed by Brian McAllister. The story?

Evening Tide (hereinafter Eve) gets clearance to shift this fuel barge and hand it over to another unit outside the Narrows. Notice Brian McAllister, h.i.a. Brian, on the far side of the barge. To simplify the description, I’ll say the barge points north before any shifting begins. Notice that Eve has the barge on the hip.

Current is moving to the right side of the fotos. Tugs have now rotated the barge to point west.

Brian now completely in view, provides steering. The barge now faces almost south.

Eve has rotated 180 degrees on its axis.

Brian pushes barge toward the east, now slowing momentum of the turn.

From the lattice structure in the background, notice the tow has started to move eastward, or seaward,  with the current.

No bubbles coming from stern of Brian. Eve‘s in charge.

Brian is ready for the next job, assist or otherwise. Yes, that’s the Empire State Building in the distance beyond this portion of Bayonne.

Next scene in the lives of Eve and Brian?

Photos, WVD.

Note: Part of the surprise lies in a link between the last ship foto and the farm foto.

A thin strip of ocean access flows across the rural areas of uppest-state New York at the Eisenhower Lock, and I wonder how bluewater mariners see this region.

The two crewmen on postside bow of Marlene Green take radically opposing approaches to the bright sunlight.

Tension on docklines holds the vessel in place as it lowers to exit downriver.

Marlene Green up . . .

down, and out, bound for the Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne and then Cornwall and beyond.

Check out this link to the cargo a salty like Marlene Green might have delivered way into the American heartland? Sections of towers like the ones below. Wind farms like the one below (I took the foto from Rte 11) up in the north country intrigued me. I count 15 on this shot alone, although in this low-res format you might not see that many. The future is now up here.

Photos, WVD.

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July 2008