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Dredging the bay–or any moving water–is futile.  It’s like mowing the lawn or shaving:   grass, hair, silt … each just comes back.  Comparisons could also be made to the efforts of Sisyphus, except money changes hands and deeper and deeper draft vessels venture into otherwise shallower waters.

I’ve fixated on this foto since taking it.  This close up, it’s clear the white helmeted crewman is welding, doing the equivalent of dental work on this toothy tip.  Seeing the dental comparison differently, the tool itself is a drill into the “mouth” of the Hudson.


I can’t look at the dredge head, though, and not think of a sea monster decorating maps produced by the Dutch Golden Age cartographer Abraham OrteliusBrangus stands off as the fearsome auger plumbs the depths




and deeper until


the cutter suction head burrows into the bottom, intruding into mire and eons-old rock.


Verifying that the dredge has transformed the bottom satisfactorily requires more than some long-handled mirror.   Sonic sensing and hydrosurvey, not my expertise, I’ll leave for someone else to describe.


I’ve not a clue of the function the smaller barge moved here by Brangus . . . . plays in the whole process.


Meanwhile, a half mile or so farther north, bucket dredge New York sculpts the bottom using different tools.  Since these activities transpire in, arguably, the “mouth” of the Hudson,  another dental allusion could be made . . . excavator:  both dredgers and dentists  use this.


How quickly I wonder would berths and channels become unusable to current harbor traffic if dredging activities ceased?  How come the mainstream media pays no attention to these activities?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  bidding has ended for the dinner with Bowsprite and tugster, but I don’t know the identity of the winning bidder.  Also, tomorrow, rain or shine . . . . mermaids invade Coney Island for a few hours before returning to the deep.  With all this dredging, do you suppose some could be miffed?

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

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Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.


June 2009
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