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M . . . mast.  I love the wikipedia disambiguation pages, where a range of contexts for words like mast or masthead defies expectation.

Cornell sports its mast toward the stern; running lights there convey information about vessel size, type, and activity.


Clearwater, a sloop, has a one mast topping out at about 110 feet.


On City of Water Day, USACE Drift Collection vessel Hayward sports code flags on its mast and a sampling of collected debris on its foredeck.


Pioneer, a schooner, has two masts, the mainmast topped out at just under 77 feet.


Sandy Hook Pilots vessel Yankee has units (besides the radar and GPS) on its mast I can’t identify.


Bunkering tanker Capt Log‘s foremast carries a red flag, signaling fuel.


So does barge DBL 76.  Mast height on Adriatic Sea is 85 feet, if airdraft equals height of the highest mast or antenna.  I fear I might be blurring a definition here.

Volunteer, air draft of 114 feet and pushing DBL 105, meets Turecamo Boys assisting Seven Express out to to sea.


USCG WPB67356 Sailfish, not surprisingly, carries mast gear not readily identified by a civilian like me.


Miriam Moran, assisting with docking, keeps the upper portion of its mast safely lowered where flaring bows cannot damage it.


Masts can signal information but of course sometimes signaling is optional or even undesired.  Masts allow things to be seen, but one has to know what should remain unseen.  An effective mast needs strength, and sometimes that means it is flexible.

Both submarines and whaling ships have masts.  For some good fun, check out this six-minute video of  a struggle between Captain Ahab and Moby Das Boot.

Also, just for fun:  How might you complete this sentence:


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Send me your original sentence completions.

Leapfrogging from “L” to “P,” ok ok, later I’ll pick up the ones I skipped.  P . . . parks and paddling.  Like National Parks.  Try to guess where these waters flow.


It’s Sunday glorious morning, and


and the water is flat;  the kayakers stay safely out of shipping channels and “go-fast” trajectories.


A ranger stands by.  The trailer transported the kayaks to the beach off to the right.  What’s your best guess about location?

aaaap4A clue:  apartment buildings lie just beyond the beach and trees.


If I turn the other way, this tower projects itself against the sky.  The profile might lead you to wonder if it’s the newest ATB setting the record for the highest air draft (a metal swan, as Bowsprite conceptualizes it) . . . or  an airport?


It’s JFK, in the boro of Queens.  And the kayaks, believe it or not, the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, in conjunction with the  National Park Service, runs a FREE kayaking program just east of Canarsie Pier in Brooklyn.  Yes, it’s Brooklyn, and a calm out of the way portion of the sixth boro.  Friday through Mondays all July from 10 am until 2 pm.  And someone powerful must be happy:  since the program started on July 10, the weather has been fabulous.  Over 200 folks have come out for a paddle, many of those again and again and again.

Harbor Conservancy has also created a trail for experienced kayakers in Jamaica Bay with five put-in points as well as signage for wildlife viewing.  A map will soon be available here.

Click on the map below to make it interactive.  This beach is just south of the intersection of Rockaway Parkway and Belt Parkway.  Jamaica Bay is the “only wildlife refuge in the National Park system.”  Follow some great directions in that link.


I first kayaked over 20 years ago in boats much like these, nervous before I boarded that a kayak would be unstable.  Only weeks later I was surfing down coastal New Hampshire waves that grew from three feet to four feet to . . . well, after that I usually wiped out, but got back in and tried again.  For the kids and adults getting into a kayak the first time here, where might the experience lead?    And since writing that post more than two years ago, I’ve met Rocking the Boat and  Floating the Apple.

Thanks to Rangers Jose A. Ramirez, James Keena, and Pat Given for info used in the story.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  City Parks info here.

Unrelated:  Read frogma and moveable bridge’s reports from “Campground Governor’s Island.”

Also unrelated:  from today’s NY Times, a “secret pool party“!!

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July 2009