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I’m looking south toward the Narrows from a 23rd floor in Battery Park City while fog tries to squeeze under the VZ Bridge.  One day last year down by the Narrows without my camera, I watched a container ship disappear into a fog bank like this.  If I’d had the camera, I could have posted the foto that got away, the one of just the stern of a 50,000 dwt vessel.

Here’s how Carl Sandburg described it almost 100 years ago:              the fog comes           on little cat feet.     It sits looking          over harbor and city            on silent haunches           and then moves on.

Apologies to Carl for layout changes.  With the Wall Street mess, skies just look  gloomy these days.  Maybe substitute the word recession or __pression for fog in the poem.  With a sky looking so foreboding, I wouldn’t take that cruise if it were free.

These ships lie on the hook  along the Ambrose anchorage heedless of the breakers onshore.

Now I understand why I saw so many guys carrying surfboards through Penn Station: they were cutting work to head out and take a plunge while surfing the fog.

Top two fotos by Will Van Dorp;  next two, compliments of Brian Luster.

On sunny days, crew spend some time between

jobs out on deck, prepping or

conferring or

repairing and more prepping or

maybe singing or

thinking and reflecting or

plotting tactics and strategy but

whatever the goal, it’s just better out on deck this time of year.

Photos, WVD.

I love the promise of dawn.  Daybreak shows a lot of traffic:  tugs, barge, ship . . .

survey vessels,

Ship Sanuki wiggles into the dock while Reinauers Kristy Ann and Stephen get RTC 80 to the filling station

and then I gotta get to work.

Photos, WVD.

Just over 30 days left.  When it gets too foggy,

it helps top use a tool like

or distortion, illusion, misrepresentation, and immovable danger awaits ahead.

 All fotos, Will Van Dorp


or a few hours on the KVK. First . . . she almost wouldn’t be here, Linda Moran delivered August 2008 after the W&D fire, towed from the flames by a lobster boat.  Is Linda currently the newest vessel on the sixth boro?

Ocean Tower ex-Gulf Falcon.  1978.  Does it “tower” rhyme with “power” or “lower”?

Sea Raven ex-Dixie Commander and Star Providence.  1980.  Why does it have such long stacks?

Thomas D. Witte ex-Kendall P. Brake, Reliance, Tammy, Matty J, June C  1961. Is scrap metal the boro’s greatest real export?

Megan McAllister ex-Arthur Zeman Jr.  1985.

George Burrows. 1981.

Escort.  1983.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, late September 2008.

I know these USCG boats carry M60s and the crew packs pistols, but I’m guessing that below the serious veneer and sense of mission when all manner of people need protecting and sometimes saving, these crews must just enjoy the fun, the thrill of crashing through formidable wakes, wave-testing their equipment.  Splash!

Running around the harbor assessing the liumits of the machinery.  Sploosh!

Drilling xyz maneuvers.  Spray and more splash! I’d love to be a fly inside the cabin of one of these, listening to the conversation.  Might it have more in common with surfing than military?

Are they called Defender class even with the three-engine power?

Photos, WVD.

as in “stocking up,” this sampling records some of the ships headed for sea or a short stay in port during the first half of September.

same with Golden Venus . . . what a name!!

Opal Express

Ever Diamond

Ever Racer and Navig8 Stealth

of course, while we stock up on stuff including home appliances, don’t forget the juice . . .  or juice fuel, the coal for the power plants, here blocking the helmsman’s window as it travels between bridge supports.

oh yeah . . . coal seems abundant enough (9000 tons per barge) here to suggest lots of those stockings will get stuffed with coal.  Coal foto compliments of Jed;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Long Island Boathouse was not the only kayak group cleaning up islands in the boro.  Check frogma’s J-Bay TrashBash for 9/23 here.

The East River is a helluva strait, literally, if you head east through Hell Gate and between South and North Brother Islands.  The Brothers were not only the site of infectious diseases hospitals (ruins of which are visible on the SoBro pix here and more on this in a later post)  but also of the 1904 maritime tragedy that cost over a thousand lives, i.e., the burning of the General Slocum.

Continuing east of the Brothers, Rikers lies south of the channel and beyond the DEP facility and north of the channel, “rikers annex,” prison barge Vernon C. Bain provides a model for the ultimate in waterfront living?  The mystery lies below:  what is the name/story of the wreck in the cove leading to Westchester Creek?

That’s the Whitestone in the background.

My estimate is  . . . at least 125′ loa.

That’s Ferry Point Park in the background.

Again looking toward Ferry Point Park.

Maybe it’s an old ferry?  Maybe it’s a cheap but dramatic way to mark shoals?  Maybe it’s art?

Unrelated:  see Sea Fever’s 9/22 post featuring a crew riding Hurricane Ike out off Galveston.  Lord have mercy!!!!!

Upstream and

downstream.  Two questions:  How old is Odin, and where built?  Clue . .   it shares geography with an appropriately unusual cartoonist.  Answer at end of post.

East and west in this case.  Is this how low can Odin go?

As low as Odin wants.  Draft is 7.5.

Other dimensions are 72′ x 27′ and 1860 hp.  Keep on lowerin’ and higherin’Odin dates from 1982, built in Milford, Delaware, once home to Robert Crumb.  I will never see Odin the same again.

Photos, WVD.

Of course, I prefer the spring equinox, but whatever other associations you have with the transition from summer to autumn, you can’t deny the twilights have special color.  Bernie of Working Harbor Committee took this one of Maryland at sunset last week.

I took this dawn foto of Morgan Reinauer last week, and

this one of Stephen-Scott Reinauer a few minutes later.

Although it’s the beginning of the darkcold and colddark season, good things happen in the fall like Wine Moon and Thanksgiving.  You might witness the transition if you study the twilights.

All fotos, unless otherwise attributed, by Will Van Dorp.

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September 2008