He:  (stretching after much needed nap) Oooo.  Let me quick recall that dream!  The meaning’s in vu.  [See end of post.]

Parrot: (from perch near bed) What?  Atchooo!

Knowing where to start in this story  . . . well, it eludes me.  It’s a story, like so many, of a journey on water, a physical undertaking some do daily in the context of work or play,  but others–wishing they might–do so  as often as possible, either aboard a vessel or  in a daydream.  A ship Flinterduin arrived on September 2.  The next day, after a dozen barges were offloaded, the ship edged forward, and the first gorgeous barges escaped into the sixth boro.  To contain them would have felt like herding cats (in current parlance);  actually a better phrase might be . . . like corralling gamesome goslings.  “Goslings” also works for me:  my mother, despite her frustrated artist’s spirit, used to draw ducks and geese to amuse me as a kid; the wings on her birds–I now understand–looked a lot like the leeboards she saw growing up along the Rhine!  Got it, Ma.


On September 14ish, after a rollicking departure party at Atlantic Basin, the fleet headed upriver.  Note the cutter proposing to serve as escort in the backgound. I had land duties that kept me from following this fleet on its upriver journey, but no easy feat would be escorting a frolicksome fleet of Dutch folk.

As an example of a carefree Dutch attitude:  my brother-in-lawish  Wil at Rockaway Beach last summer to swim.  After swimming, I said, “Wanna change?  Bathrooms are there” and pointed to enclosures 100 feet away.  Let me add that Wil is a responsible man, appropriately . . . a hydrologist.  With him and me were his wife and two teenage sons.  As he turned toward the horizon, dropped his trunks, and pulled on his pants, he said, “Thanks.  I’ll change right here.”  Yeah . . . why not, I thought, listening to him laugh.  As I said, unrestrained.  Free of silly protocols.  In the Netherlands, no one’d be wearing swim suits anyhow.


When the fleet reached Peekskill, Reiner Sjipkens entertained the crowds on shore, as he had previous in Red Hook Brooklyn.  Click on his name to hear the music.


And crowds visited the journeying flotilla.


On October 3, this bulk carrier headed past the Battery.  Interesting color scheme but otherwise non-descript.  Time for something.


By Monday morning, October 5, the ship was docked in Albany and some of the flotilla sidled up;  their blithe journey,


ended.  Time to load.  Time for Ingeladen, which means loaded, and if you want to see into the hold, click here.  And here.


It looks like stepping masts.  See you later . . .  Fugel Frij.


Windroos, leaves next.  Seeing these fotos makes me think of the Paul Simon song:  50 Ways to Leave . . .


Me too, hop on the bus, Gus?


Anyone identify the tug here or in the foto a couple up?  Answer below.


On Oct 7, headed past Hudson Light, Flinterborg of the nine masts passes bulk carrier Atlantic Arrow, close


enough to  . . . to . . . wave, even holler.


Three or so hours later, the Walkway came into view.


200 plus feet above the bow wave of the ship, Harold conversed and Tugster shot a


a video, below.  Hear the ship’s horn at :52, see bow watch wave at 1:15, and see bridge crew wave at 1:28.

Flinterborg, with its load of corralled and eternally youthful goslings, heads south for sea.  Note how many bonds are needed to strap the frolicksome fleet in by the homeward leg.


I have so many people to thank for putting together this post:   fotos in order . . . Will–first one,  Carolina Salguero-next 3, Christina Sun-next 1, Pat Van Alstyne-next 6, Paul Chevalier-next 2, and Dock Shuter-last 3.  Videoo by tugster.  Many others–Elizabeth, Harold, Jeff, Kaya, Chesley, Dan, Joe, Hetteke, Arjen, Jan, Margaret, Laura, Capt. Frank, Alex, Carter, and Bernie–helped out in behind-the-scenes ways.  I am so thankful.  Blame my tired brain if I’ve left you’re name out.

Meaning:  Unlike commutes or tourist trips, journeys sometimes fill the traveller and proxies with insights.  One insight aka “take-away” from the past 6 weeks or so for me is that blogging about the journey of these mariners has fostered the creation of a fantastic ad hoc community.  This isn’t a commercial venture, but as an alliance of folks based both on water and on land we can exert power and influence we don’t have individually.  Why power?  To call attention to what’s ignored, to disseminate info that languishes, to connect with like-minded folks we otherwise could not find common ground with.  To communicate about what mainstream media don’t.

Since the sixth boro (the waters surrounded by New York City and some New Jersey towns, and in turn surrounding all the coastal places on the planet) IS our common ground element, I hereby propose that :  we think of ourselves as–for want of a name “the sixth boro confederation,” a loose and adhoc and non-partisan alliance of people who either work on or identify as invested in the harmonious use of the waters and their margins for the great good of the greatest number of us.  No matter nationality, mariners both on the water and those currently ashore have always journeyed and disseminated goods, people, and ideas.    Viva the sixth boro confederation.  Let’s make things happen. Track Flinterborg here:  Behouden vaart, Flinterborg.

I’d love to hear your ideas.

Answer to question on tugs in Albany:  Kathleen Turecamo upper and Jennifer Turecamo lower.