You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2008.

The Nemo-deer figurehead had led us to midpoint in the KVK before the fuel soured in the engine, and


Kristy Ann Reinauer (shown here with Stephen last summer over by the AK Bridge) offered a tow to a quicker safer anchorage over


where futile calls for assistance led nowhere when the dispatcher for a certain unnamed membership-based rescue service wanted to know where between Lake Erie and Erie Canal  one might find the location of Erie Basin (!?@!?)


and USCG patrol/headquarters sorted out their protocols and


graciously towed us to Red Hook.  For a a photo of your truly doing his own fotos, check this link, with many thanks to Tom Turner.

Meanwhile, I’m still gallivanting in the Coosa, Tennessee,  and  Chattahoochee watersheds.  Fotos soon, but I’m striking out with much traffic of the rivers.


About Kristy Ann, I’m wondering if she’s a twin of Juliet?

Photos, WVD.

Getting Geraldina ready for Operation CC this year meant doing the checklist:  engine–fluids fine and warmed up, safety equipment–aboard and accessible, VHF–triple redundancy, tides & weather–OK …


bow pudding installed by elves Gary and Brian,


checked and approved by Portside‘s founder Carolina Salguero aka Nemodeer,


who explained the mission to Brittany Oat,’s intrepid reporter, who


then came along to observe how


40+ packages of cookies and bags of latest newspapers get delivered to


tugboat and barge crews whose work


keeps them far from home when Christmas falls during their hitch.


All packages got delivered,  but Geraldina‘s engine, maybe soured by ethanol fuel additives, stalled,  and


-and the Coast Guard,


also working on Christmas Day, helped us home.  Final tally:  cheer delivered to equipment of McAllister, K-Sea, Reinauer, Moran, and independent tug Harbor II


and attempted on a Dann Towing vessel and Scotty Sky.  And sense of humor maintained by all the elves.

Many thanks from the elves to the fine folks, working in the sixth boro, for all they do, today and everyday.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who starts driving tomorrow for the Apalachicola watershed.

The down side if your occupation relates to transportation, medical, law enforcement, military, infrastructure, hospitality, agriculture . . .  might be that you work on holidays.  I say might because as a farm kid,  I enjoyed having to work those days;  in fact, I believed my father many years ago when I asked why I had to work on Labor Day and he responded . . . “Labor is what you do on Labor Day.  Everybody else has it wrong.”

The up side if you work in some of these fields is to see wonders like those below.  What’s it?


I’m deeply thankful to Joel Milton for sending these pictures.  I’ll let Joel’s own words explain:  “These were taken in the Atlantic Ocean off the Jersey shore, about 50 miles south of NYC, near Barnegat while we were towing an empty oil barge back to Philadelphia about a week ago. The icy-blue light in the sea foam is a type of bioluminescence that isn’t all that common here. Usually it’s the green sparky kind. It completely surrounded the hull below the waterline, and was most pronounced in the bow wave and the wake behind us. When I turned off all the deck lights we were positively glowing and these shots don’t even come close to seeing the real thing for yourself. (Above) see the lights of the City and the navigation lights of the barge behind us, and the brighter stars in the sky. A beautiful night.”


Joel continues: “I’ve been working and playing on, in and under the water since I was a little kid, and I still never get tired of this stuff…”  Neither do I.  Nor do some kids who saw these pics.  And I hope neither do you.


Although I’m not inclined to dogmas, my religious upbringing leads me to respond to these pics by dredging up the words of the ancient poet in Psalm 107: “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;  they see the works of the Lord and his wonders of the deep. . . .”    Best wishes for the holidays, and may all our eyes be open to all the wonders.

Thanks to Joel and all my other friends who have sent fotos, comments, explanations, encouragement, corrections, etc    this past year. Thanks for reading the blog.  Feed your wonder and be safe.

Two “unrelateds:”   Check out the new blog on the left . . . Underthenorthernstar. And I caught and channeled in another transmission from crazy Henry you might want to check out; thanks from Bowsprite and me for reading that.

I’ve been searching for an alternative title to “random” because I never imagined this series would top #30, and because the vessels chosen are not necessarily random. Since the search hasn’t turned up anything better, let me randomly continue. What better place to continue than with Meagan Ann, since 1975 carrying a long list of random former names: Scorpius, Joseph T, Olympic, and GeorgeAnn. Meagan Ann, previously of Constellation Maritime, heads south into the Buttermilk.


Maryland . . .has always had Maryland in its name since 1962, even if a certain oil company’s name was also once there.  Here Maryland cruises past Howland Hook.


Buchanan 1, I think.  Buchanan boats carry names just like this blog series:  1, 3, 10, … except less linear or predictable.


Here comes a pair of pups:  Ross Sea and Labrador Sea, each less than 10 years old.


And then there’s Solomon Sea, renamed in 2008 from Brandon C. Roehrig.


All images posted randomly by Will Van Dorp.

In August 2007, while reading about K-Sea history, I wrote a post called “… Ancestry” that featured Davis, Falcon, Taurus, and Lincoln.  In response to an email a few days ago, here are some recent shots of three of the four.  Here’s Davis Sea with barge Oyster Bay on the AK as the setting sun illuminates the cranes in Bayonne.


Different shot, different November day with Davis light.


Here’s Falcon one early morning in late September.


And this of Falcon frothing past Lee T. Moran and


from July when


Falcon squeaked past a 6400-car carrier with a great name (speaks German).


Taurus I’ve seen but not foto’d since the June solstice.  You may recall Taurus dancing with Mary A. Whalen.  Here are two fotos not previously used.


You might recall how it pirouetted into a narrow space with the Portside ambassador on its hip.  If not, check out “A Local Shift,” exactly a half year ago.


Lincoln?  Must be off on deepwater or stealth assignment, as  I haven’t spotted it in a long time.  Anyone tell of Lincoln‘s range these days?

Photos, WVD.

Of course, many bright happy spots and fine people surround me this dark solstice.  Yet, I have to consciously remind myself of this brightness sometimes, given how bleak this time of year can seem, and especially this December.  So . . . an especially cheery thought is that, given the best scientific knowledge on merfolk migration, the next parade mermaids and consorting sirens is only six months away now.  So how’s about some aides-memoires from summer 08 . . . music for the season . . . like the  East Village Sea Monster Marching Band, or


Santa of the sands, his chariot guided thru the seas back to the boro by a purple-eyed pooch and rearview red-tailed African gray, and


some of his helpers.


With such thoughts floating through my head, I think I’ll survive the darkness, the monochromatic city, where sometimes


spirits just don’t sparkle or fizz and


even some favorites look black & white.

Buoyed by the impending mer-migration back north, I feel better.  Happy “getting past winter solstice,” be jolly, thanks for reading the blog, and huzzah that the next mer-parade in the boro is only a mere 4300+ hours away!

All fotos always unless otherwise attributed by Will Van Dorp.

Tis the season for giving, and what might be best to cool the friction, soothe the raw, heal the wounds, and soften the chapped?


If you need it, it’s time for Sunny, launched in May ’08 from C & G.


Or Rolf, the slightly older (identical?)  sibling.


Lube, balm, antifricative . . .


delivered by double- or single-hulled vessel, we all need it sometimes.  Even Galahad, and


this has been a set-up for this song I hadn’t heard in a looong time.  Enjoy the soothe.

Unrelated:  Click here to see what pirates look like and what their repellers aboard the Chinese crane ship look like.

Last time I used “specialized ” as title happened almost a year and a half ago.  But this short post on SPT Guardian seems to beg for that.  Recently I’ve seen Guardian move around the boro


showing its unusual profile.


I’ve read the site maintained by Skaugen PetroTrans (hence, SPT), but I’d love to hear from a reader about Guardian’s actual range of late.  Usually I’ve seen in docked near Caddell’s.


Here’s a foto of their first ship and some more history.


Guardian, sounds vaguely mythical, or legal.  I need a guardian now and then.  Seriously, why does it carry these fenders on the afterdeck?  Summer looks vaguely familiar here, too.  I miss that.


Anyone fill me in on Guardian’s routines?

Photos, WVD.

Mood at the boat show in general you ask . . . my gut says . . . gloomy, depressed, funereal.  Bonus prospects have fizzled months ago, and Santa and his storm-tossed proxies need to deliver a lot of coal.

However, in my humble opinion, one exhibit effervesces, though, overflowing with excitement, restless to see completion, launch, and return in less than a year.

Water spray on the left and a flame on the right?  So what’s this?


Try seventeenth-century fire bending of planks for the ship’s boat


before assembly.  What’s done small scale here was done larger scale on the Onrust.


Ashwood sawdust gets created here


in quest of the hundred or so blocks of various sizes.  Linger too long at this table and you could just fizz with excitement to be an apprentice, or


you might be impressed into spritsail work.


The figurehead is gradually being liberated from this piece of cottonwood, which will


blend hindways onto


this massive piece of oak that has assumed this shape already at the Boat Show.


But don’t take my word for any of this.  If you can, treat yourself and come down to the Show.  Your enthusiasm might spill over as you sniff the pine tar in the morning, listen for carver’s mallets, buoy the spirits of the merchants.  You might even catch the waterskiing squirrel show.

Unrelated . . .  Zhenhua 4, one of the crane ships, was unsuccessfully attacked in Gulf of Aden by pirates today.

Photos, WVD.

Necessities, sometimes they go lacking.   What if you need something, a necessity?   Say . . .  it’s your turn in the galley and you want to bake  bread and discover the yeast’s gone bad . .  . or you’ve scrambled eggs and discover you’re out  of salt . . .  If you’re on land—easy.  If you’re in mid-ocean–impossible.  If you’re on the sixth boro, it’s a challenge, but


places exist


to come ashore to grab those


quick provisions so that


the next task gets done with renewed energy.  Here’s such a place, and there should be many more such places and next to big supermarkets.  Necessity, the mother of … intervention.

Related only through the authors, check out Henry’s channeled solstice thoughts here.

Tomorrow, more on the boat show.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,578 other subscribers
If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Documentary "Graves of Arthur Kill" is AVAILABLE again here.Click here to buy now!

Recent Comments

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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


December 2008