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Until recently, I’d noticed divers only near bulkheads and in graving docks.  But then in Howland Hook one afternoon I noticed Samantha Miller moored beside the enormous 903′ hull of APL President Jackson.


A set of hoses running underwater suggested that someone accompanied whatever happened at their end.


Then a blue machine emerged and


so did a man in black.  I couldn’t say exactly the name of the machine or the nature of the job until Les commented:  “it’s a Phosmarine BrushKart. It has rotating brushes for cleaning the underwater hull. The machine is powered by hydraulics from the service vessel, and the diver rides it and steers it along the hull. This may have a routine cleaning, or there may have been a section of hull that needed cleaning before inspection for damage.”  Thank, Les . . . I couldn’t imagine they were  looking at coral or tropical fish.


Samantha turned, exposing the contents of her after deck.


Randive’s truck parked dockside provides some clues. Check out their interesting website with great stories and pictures of recent jobs.


All fotos by will Van Dorp.  More divers soon.

A fortnight PLUS 400 years ago, Half Moon lay in what we now call the Upper Bay;  a momentous encounter of civilizations soon drew blood, and  would draw more.   Today is more or less the anniversary of the northernmost point reached by Half Moon.  What little we know of the actual trip comes from the pen of someone lacking much fondness for Henry Hudson, who was quite the mystery man.  No, I’m not going to say Henry was actually Henriette.


Prolific author Joseph Bruchac has written River of Tides, a play telling of this encounter from the perspective of the people native to the river valley 400 years ago.    Photos below were taken by Bowsprite at the premier last week.  Below, the author introduces the story.


Other times and places to see the pay include the following:

  • Thursday, September 24, Troy, NY, 10:30 AM, Bush Memorial Hall, Russell Sage College, 45 Ferry St.
  • Saturday, September 26, New York, NY, 5 pm, Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University downtown Manhattan campus, 3 Spruce Street (East of Park Row, near the corner of Gold Street). Reservations suggested at or 212-868-4444.
  • Sunday, September 27, Poughkeepsie, NY, 2 pm, Marist College Nelly Goletti Theatre, Student Center. Contact Hudson River Valley Institute, 845-575-3052,
  • Tuesday-Friday, October 6-9, New York, NY, adaptation for elementary schools, National Museum of the American Indian in New York. To register for school performances educators should contact Ada Torres at 212-514-3705.


Enjoy.  I will be at the Saturday Pace performance.

Meanwhile, stay tuned here for the last several installments of Henrysobsession, the version produced by Bowsprite and me.

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September 2009