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I made my way to the Kills looking for the wayward Ilya, and several times a surfacing cormorant startled me, but alas.  Except for knowing that the origin is Carib, I’d make a lame joke that Ilya should be called a woman-atee rather than a man-atee.  OK, I’m sure it’s been done.  Anyhow, instead, believe it or not, I spotted a motley group of tugs, ships, and boats.  I’ll start with the tugs, both ones I saw and others I remembered.

Bismarck Sea ex-John H. Malik (who was he?) and ex-Gulf Ruler, built 1976.  Notice the oval on the stack awaiting a K-Sea logo.


Remember the color scheme?  It’s John H. Malik, foto taken winter 2007 in the sixth boro.  Malik was a “founding Roehrig employee who helped to guide and grow the company until he passed away in 2001.”


Here’s that Roehrig color scheme on Eileen M Roehrig, now North Sea, built 1982 and pictured a week and a half back here.


Herbert P Brake . . . built 1992 of recycled steel by Bart Brake.  Anyone tell more about the evolution of this tug?


Foto by Jed of Michigan Service, ex-Kevin Candies, 1981. I love those Gowanus Bay gravel piles in the distance.


Frederick E Bouchard, 1975.


Atlantic Coast, 2007!


Adriatic Sea, ex-Diplomat, 1978.


Linda Moran, 2009


All fotos but the two Roehrig boats taken in the past week.

Michigan Service by Jed;  all others by Tugster.  Some info thanks to Harold Tartell.

Besides the “first” last name van, Rip van Winkle and I share some history of profound enough unhappiness to consider disappearance;  I weathered the “storm” in plain sight whereas he went into these rocky banks of the Hudson River and stayed up here for 20 years, returning with some cockamamie story about being kidnapped or befuddled by outlandishly-dressed bowlers plying him with intoxicating drink, a tale I’d respond to with “Sure, Rip.  Ever consider rehab?”

Rip has clung to my back so long I decided to follow his path last weekend to see what he might have seen.  Here’s a vista looking southward toward Esopus and Crum Elbow, I think.  Yes, there’s snow in themthar Catskills, or Cats’ Hills.  You may have looked up at these peaks from the River or the Thruway;  here’s what the wayward Rip saw, what you’d see from up there.


Another overlook in roughly the same direction.


The speck in midstream is the lighthouse that appeared two weeks ago in foto 12 of the Flinterborg post here.


If you know the River between Saugerties and Catskill, you’ll know these silos  in Cementon.


Skeptical or not, I did see enough interesting features in the rocks to


tread with respect.  I even conversed with a few gnome-like rocks (rock-like gnomes??)  to


… or tried to.   No sure what language they spoke or whether they dealt with ol’ Rip.  No eye contact and nothing but silence . . . as if there were all out to sea or across the universe  themselves.


Rip must have seen these critters, right?


For me, it was a weekend reconnoitre.  I’ll head back.  One goal is to fotograf a ship or tow from one of the overlooks, soon.  Thanks to Joel for pointing the way.

All fotos this weekend by Will Van Dorp.

Big event this week:  Wednesday, Oct 21 . . . Rust/River:   Jessica Dulong reads from My River Chronicles amid Pamela Talese’s painting, juxtaposed below with my fotos.  Here’s Pamela’s Matthew Tibbetts and


mine . . . in the 2008 Tugboat Race.


Her Marcus Hanna and my

The Marcus Hannah [30 x 24 inches]

Katherine Walker.  Hmmm . . . wonder if any other blogs have renderings of 175′ buoy tenders . .  or plan to?  Here maybe?


Pamela’s Baltic Sea low and dry  and

The Baltic Sea

and mine high and wet.


The subtitle for Pamela’s show is “Corrosion and Renewal.”  Will the corroded Freddy K

The Freddy K

be renewed . . .  or forbid the thought . . . will Freddy K ride out on


a barge like Crow is pulling here.  I know you can’t save them all, but


but . . . .

I can’t make Wednesday’s event, but Pamela will also be at the gallery all afternoon Friday, Oct 23, which is when I’ll drop by.


Lord Byron’s poem “She walks in Beauty” might eventually be parodied  rather updated in this post.  If you’ll click on this link, you’ll get the entire poem AND a Botticelli Venus.  I admit I had a long discussion with Botticelli about this work while he was creating it:  have her turn around, I pleaded.  Oh well.  I long ago gave up trying to argue with Sandro’s about anything.   Meanwhile, seeing how bows got us to Dolly Parton, who knows how an examination of sterns might lead, how it could descend . . . or rise.


The name’s the thing sometimes like here or


here:  behold ex-Jaguar.


Sure, it’s  fuel barge bow but a survey stern.


Look upon ex-Exxon Empire State.  Why is Responder on recycling duty so much?


uh . . . ?  Anyone help?  [Thanks to Jeff and James:  Psara meaning “of fish.”]


Check out Doris Moran and Cable Queen.  Anyone know the Cable Queen story?


Catch a glimpse of Ruth M. Reinauer, class of 2009.


Drool over John J. Harvey.  By the way, to learn more about this legendary fireboat, come hear author Jessica DuLong read at Atlantic Gallery on October 21, or read her book My River Chronicles.  I immensely enjoyed it.

aaaafs10Relish the lines on what for 40ish years has been the sixth boro’s very own mostly stay-at-home some of the time flat-bottom, Pioneer.

aaaafs11Marvel at Maryland, as she wonders about this island.  Yeah, and wanders about it, too.


Oh . . . posteriors.  Send in your favorite.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, Patricia Ann bounced me around quite a bit, I hung on, but I haven’t seen her since.

A steam engine seems like the perfect antidote to dark dreary mid-October; last night leaving work I scrapped ICE off my back window.  Besides their heat, I love how steamboats look, perform, and sound; the power they generate while panting makes anthropomorphizing easy.  I could fall in love with that sound, a sound after all of love.  Hestia, a liberty launch, on this mid-September morning was stunningly beautiful.


The wood-clad boiler protects a careless finger or hand from  burn.  The starboard-mounted wheel affords the steersman clear view of stand-on traffic.


Hestia‘s engine was built in Portsmouth (NH) Navy Yard in 1898;  that’s on the Piscataqua.  Its oil dripping system


photogenic as vials in a long-gone apothecary.


Tech specs:    18.5 hp.  USN G2 type compound.  Bores are 4″ and 8″; stroke is 6″    and it can dance while turning a 26″ four-bladed prop.


Starboard side of the boiler.


Tools and ancillaries on Hestia themselves please the eye, especially when juxtaposed with the equally-leasing aesthetics of its hull, built in Bass Harbor, Maine in 1972, design by Peter Culler.


Hestia . . . a thing of beauty.  See her play in the Rondout here.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to Gary Matthews for info.

Yup . . . close up of a stack;  nope . . . this isn’t only about stacks although I do think Evening Tide has a classy one.


In the foreground here, barge Evening Breeze rides alongside Morton S Bouchard II.  Serious question:  what does Evening Breeze sometimes referred to a “vacuum vessel” transport, what services does it perform?


Barbara E. Bouchard, long, low, and sleek.  For scale, notice the crewman alongside the house just forward of the winch.


Jane A. Bouchard with Amy C. McAllister background left and New Jersey Responder, background right.  New Jersey Responder is MSRC equipment based in Perth Amboy.


Bouchard Girls . . . haven’t noticed it around in a bit.


Ralph E. Bouchard.


Frederick E.


And once again, different day, Evening Breeze this time escorted by Evening Mist.


Before you check the answers here, can you guess which Bouchard tug has lowest and highest horsepower rating of those depicted?  The highest rating of the fleet goes to Danielle M. , depicted here last winter.

All fotos . . . Will Van Dorp.

For a reminder on the hazards of the trade, see this blogpost about the 2003 explosion.

Deltoid pumpkin seed?   Got a better guess?   Answer at end.


Portside of the flank of a smiling shark?  Notice the heaving line en route just above the horizon.  Might there be someone dockside drawing lines . . . when they thought she said “catching” lines?  Language barriers exist sometime.


Android in stirrups and slings for a posterior examination?  Notice the prep-work done by the man with powerwasher, starboard.  By the way, a focus on posteriors soon.


Bird dance done sans feathers?


Inspiration for a new muppets character with massive black beard, protruding ears, and pointy crown?


Then might this be a draft of an alternate for Miss Piggy . . .  Missie Hip Potami . . . known by trademark overwrought green eye shadow?


An over-worked  and sobbing scullery maid from a district of Hamburg?


Classic nose ridge and bulging eyes  with exaggerated eyelashes . . .  or (see the comment by Les) rectangular eye, a whistling mouth, and “dolly partons.”  Ya know . . . I never saw it that way . . . til now.  Tassels . ..  pasties?


And the first foto was New York Central No. 13, the 1887 riveted iron tugboat that recently got pierced, and pierced again.

The others:  an unidentified New York Waterways ferry, fishing vessel Amber Waves, chemical tanker Anemos I, pure car truck carrier Don Juan, and product tanker St. Pauli, and chemical tanker  Chemical Pioneer.

Amber Waves . . . built 1977 in Texas?   Anemos I . . . built in 2007 and chartered by Morgan Stanley?   PCTC Don  Juan .  . . built in 1995 with capacity of 5900 cars . . . how many Smarts would that be?  St Pauli . . . built in 2003 and flagged in Singapore,  and Chemical Pioneer . . . built 1968, flagged in the USA,  and steam turbine!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Inspiration for this post comes from a delightful book (given me by a very dear friend . . . you know who you are, merci) called Face to Face by brothers Francois and Jean Robert, who say, “yesterday we saw a padlock gazing at us with whimsical intensity.  It occurred to us that seeing is selection, a process of framing.  When it comes to photography you might call it mental cropping.  (My note: both can also be said about reporting.) As we begin consciously selecting and framing and cropping, the world became a delightfully communicative universe of human and animal faces–eyes, noses, and mouths–that tell a never-ending stream of silent stories.  These adventures in vision are only the tip of the iceberg, the first step in exploring the potential of projected realities.  Now choose your mood, take a look around you, wherever you are, and watch for faces that will haunt and hearten you.”  Remember as a kid, lying back on the grass and find cloud faces?

traveler, first time in the sixth boro, and espying this ship asail


tacking from the East River and into


the Upper Bay, I


would want to board her, imagining


she was headed upriver to pick up pallet boxes of apples and skids of cheeses, maybe even barrels of Hudson River  beer,


casks of upstate wines, and anything else from the cornucopia called the Hudson watershed.  I’d be first one then to pay for passage as this grand vessel that transported produce to Phildelphia before my grandparents were born rejuvenates as flagship of getting these local fruits off the highways and downriver


mostly by sail.   It might mean only one trip up or down river per day, maybe with wind in the rigging, music on deck, and harvest treats from the hold for the sampling.  But wouldn’t it be nice . . . for Pioneer to occupy this niche of New Amsterdam Market river tourism, especially in this season when the upstate regions are pregnant with harvest, and the valleys turn their most beautiful colors.

Want to positively identify the schooner, check this guide.  Want some music . . . where this post came from?  Try then Cash and Carter.  No surreptitious messages are intended by the language along the bulkhead behind various shots of Pioneer.

Fotos by Will Van Dorp.

is the  name of Pamela Talese’s show (til end of October) at Atlantic Gallery at 135 W 29th Street Suite 601 in Manhattan.  Pamela and I share some large interests . . . like her take on Alice Oldendorff and


and mine.


Hers of Penobscot Bay, now


gearing up for ice-breaking duty, and mine.


Charleston, being painted in dry dock and


fotograffed in KVK.


Pamela has worked in cold weather and


and warm to


capture the ubiquitous


changes wrought by rust and paint . . . in paint.  Below, she travels to her “studio” via the paintcycle.


See her website here.  See her work at the Atlantic Gallery soon.

A description of people along the waterfront in the first chapter of Moby Dick omits a class; Melville mentions some  “posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks . . .”   To do the unthinkable of completing Melville, my annotation here:  “still others women as well as men devoted to the arts, brush in hand, gazing in turn at ship and then at canvas . .  or notebook, then searching with paints or inks or charcoal . . . ”  Go Pamela.  Go others!  I love it.    More waterfront art soon.

North Sea (ex-Eileen M Roehrig, ex-El Gallo Grande)   launched 1982 aart1

Comet 1977


Odin 1982


Pati T Moran 2008


Thomas Dann, ex-Yabucoa Service, Yabucoa, Yabucoa Sun 1975


Nicole Leigh Reinauer 1999


Virginia, ex-Bayou Babe 1979.    Yes


this used to be Bayou Babe, not Bayou Base.

All in all, amazingly diverse machines and physical backgrounds.

Top foto by Carolina Salguero.  To see many more recent fotos by Carolina in connection with Portside NewYork, click here.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

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October 2009