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OK, so I’m a curious blogger who  looks in on a world I don’t really inhabit, a set of professions I wish to know more about than I do, a realm where I might re-engage.  If I’d made different decisions years ago, I could have been this crewman, almost lost among the steel members of bow and crane at the dock where President Polk will discharge and accept containers with goods worth millions.  I’m guessing he’s a docking pilot, sixth boro crew as opposed to Polk crew.  Might some of Polk crew be asleep as their vessel docks, here at Howland Hook?


I might have come to work the clamshell dredge this morning on this crew boat.  Or I could have been boat crew bringing these dredgers to their job site.  English is strange sometimes:  crew boat just isn’t the same as boat crew.  The tug there is Miss Gill.  More Gill and dredge fotos soon.  Is Gill a day crew only boat?


When Grimaldi Lines Repubblica di Amalfi came through the Narrows the other morning, I first saw a RORO container ship painted the same bright yellow as  . . . a Ferrari or a Fiat.  Well, maybe less glossy.  But I didn’t think of the crew:  how many, what life stories and dramas and talents, what nationalities.  But as the vessel came closer, I noticed the bow


had five guys visible.  They were taking in the sunrise as I was.  (I’m trying to figure out how to upload fotos such that when you click on them, they enlarge, but I don’t have it yet.)  The closest guy wearing a chartreuse life vest had a phone to his ear.  Talking to whom and where, I wondered.  I’d certainly call friends and special friends all over the city just to say I was back in the sixth boro, but could he even get off the ship?


About the same time into the harbor came this beautiful tanker, Orange Wave, carrying my favorite drink fresh from groves in Brazil.  And the Orange Wave crew, what color uniforms do you suppose they wear?


But who is he?  How many trips between Santos and Newark has he made?


Robbins Reef . . . I could be wrong, but I’m guessing what we see here is the entire crew, one man sitting at the wheel.  Correct me if I’m wrong.


And the crewman of Falcon standing beside the railing near the stern of the barge, how many fellow crewmen are on the tug?


As Miriam Moran with white protective sheet over the rubber pudding  trailed a cruise ship into port last weekend, a crewman looked upriver maybe at the stern of the cruise ship, resting on the warm H-bitt.


This is one of my favorites and I posted a different shot in the series a few days ago:  one crewman of Gramma Lee T Moran working out on a rowing machine while hundreds of people on the cruise ship look on.  Does he realize he appears to be such a spectacle.  Of course, you say, those folks were looking at Manhattan, not the crewman, and I know that.


My point:  crew is crew.  They’re not passengers, family, friends, staff, associates, castmates, colleagues, teammates, partners . . . I could go on.  Crew.  They’re crew.

If I were crew, there’d be gains and losses.  I’d know some of the answers to questions like those raised, but I wouldn’t see myself or my vessel in its entirety the way I can now.  On the other hand, I’d see the world from it, see the insides.  Gain some, lose some.  Makes it hard.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp since July 1, 2009.

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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

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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

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.


July 2009
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