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In less than half day from this writing, March will arrive.  Since I hope for t-shirt mildness by end of March, I’m counting on the month to arrive  . . . like a large feline:  lion plus whatever synergy comes from compounding with year of the Tiger.  (For the record, the tiger portion of that synergy frightens me most.)  As peace offering then, I dedicate this post to the large felines.  The foto of Sea Lion below comes from 2006;  I haven’t seen this 1980 tug in a while.  Anyone explain?

Feline connection with Half Moon?  Some of the hawses, like these two, are

framed by red felines . ..  line lions, I suppose?

Atlantic Leo

Onrust has as figurehead a growling lion today, but this foto from a year ago shows the about-to-hatch beast pre-blond, actually natural wood tones.  More Onrust soon.

Growler . ..  that could be a lion reference.

Eagle Boston, escorted by McAllister Responder, shows registry as Singapore, from the Malay Singapura meaning “Lion City,”   although the namesake was probably a tiger, not a lion at all.  So we should call that nation Tigrapura?

From the platbodem armada headed north on the Hudson last summer, farther is Danish Naval Frigate Thetis, but nearer sailing vessel is Pieternel, registered in the Dutch town of Beneden-Leeuwen (Lower Lion).

Notice the claws hanging from the bow of tanker Puma.

And thanks to my poor eyesight, it’s easy to see the lettering on the Evergreen vessel forward here of Tasman Sea as Ever Feline.  Can’t you make it out?  Squint a bit and it’s skewed as daylight . ..  Ever Feline, also registered in Tigrapura.

All fotos by will Van Dorp, who’s hoping for t-shirt weather and a dip off Coney Island in exactly 31 days.  Anyone care to join in . . .  a Patty Nolan bikini?

Tugster last captured snow days here and here 13 months ago;  this year has brought inches more.    Thanks to Jed for the foto below from Thursday afternoon.

Modifications to the routine forced by heavy weather bring unlikely revelations, like this metro NY area newspaper editor reading his poetry (yes poetry . . . from a no-nonsense editor!!) about snow that you can enjoy here.  Low-brow?

Sometimes snow is just snow;  and bad weather is unadulterated pain, but  . ..  other times snow might get us thinking about other stuff.

Claude McKay sees in snow flakes love found and lost:   “Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,   Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,   Whirling fantastic in the misty air,   Contending fierce for space supremacy.   And they flew down a mightier force at night,   As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,   And they, frail things had taken panic flight   Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.    I went to bed and rose at early dawn   To see them  huddled together in a heap,    Each merged into the other upon the lawn,   Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.   The sun shone brightly on them half the day,    By night they stealthily had stol’n away.

And suddenly my thoughts then turned to you   Who came to me upon a winter’s night,   When snow-sprites round my attic window flew,   Your hair disheveled, eyes aglow with light.    My heart was like the weather when you came,   The wanton winds were blowing loud and long;     But you, with joy and passion all aflame,    You danced and sang a lilting summer song.    I made room for you in my little bed,    Took covers from the closet fresh and warm,   A downful pillow for your scented head,    And lay down with you resting in my arm.    You went with Dawn. You left me ere the day,     The lonely actor of a dreamy play.”  High brow?

Anyone feel inspired?  A poem . . . 60 seconds or less?  Snow on the water?  If you go, I’ll go ….  I’ll even film my reading at one of my favorite waterfront offices.  High brow or low brow or no brow . . . no problem.

Until then, I hope you enjoyed the same foto of Meagan Ann, increasingly manipulated.  Here she appeared in the 2009 Tugboat race with her Viking crew, and here (See Youtube at end.) she sports in nose-to-nose pushing with Nathan E. Stewart.

Again, foto thanks to Jed although I’m still looking for more.

Simon and Garfunkel …  original release date 1966 . . . now paraphrased, “Slow down, we move too fast.   We got to cut the greenhouse gas.   Just kicking down the rpms.  We’re steamin’ slow and feelin’ green, we.”

OK, here’s a visual/auditory aid, and alas . . . I have no future as a lyricist, but can I convince you to scan this Elisabeth Rosenthal article from the 2/16 NY Times about Ebba Maersk, taking a week longer now than it did two years ago on the run to Guangdong from Bremerhaven, a week more at sea deliberately . . . as a means to increase efficiency and thereby reduce carbon emissions.

Some statistics:  “halving the top cruising speed reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 30%.”

Interesting, but it makes me wonder whether crew compensation would decrease on a per-day basis?   The article says Maersk saved more than enough on fuel to pay the crew.

“Driving on the highway at 55 instead of 65 miles per hour cuts carbon dioxide emissions of American cars by about 20 percent.”

But it might get you rear-ended quickly as well.  And I’ll be honest, I speed whenever I forget that the journey trumps the arrival.

“Transport emissions have soared in the past three decades as global trade has grown by leaps and bounds, especially long-haul shipments of goods from Asia. The container ship trade grew eightfold between 1985 and 2007.”

“Today more than 220 vessels [worldwide] are practicing ‘slow steaming’ — cruising at 20 knots on open water instead of the standard 24 or 25 — or, like Maersk’s vessels, ‘super slow steaming’ (12 knots)”

I’m no expert on this complex topic, but

“slow steaming” seems to make sense.

Ships shown from the top:

MOL Efficiency

NYK Meteor

Turkon Line Kasif Kalkavan (I had fotos with surprises of another Turkon boat here –second half of post)

MSC Carla, NOT the one built in 1972.

NYK Daedalus

Sealand Michigan

By the way, NYK Daedalus left New York on 9 February for Taiwan.  Will leave Taiwan on 16 March  for arrival back in New York on 9 April.     I don’t think that’s slow-steaming.

For thoughts on sailing (v. petro-powering) from very different blogs (though locked in delightful squabble) see ODocker and Tillerman.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

“feelin’ green, we.”       I hope you like my nod to cajun english dialect, there, you.

Related:  from today’s NYTimes, “Clearing the Air at American Ports.”

February 24, 1836 . . . is the birthday of my favorite watercolorist.  Who?  Answer follows.

For most of these shots, some of which remind me of watercolor, I’m not going to identify the vessel, although all (except the orange one below)  floated somewhere in the sixth boro.  As to the watercolorist, he died at age 74.  As to the orange one, the watercolorist died less than 100 miles north of where that lobster boat, which has appeared in this blog before, docks.

Some  of my favorite works by this artist featured scenes in the Keys and points east and south.

He did some stunning war work, too, like one of a Union sharpshooter aka sniper in tree.

Peripatetic, he got up to the Adirondacks to paint a lot of canoe and fishing tableaux.

Some of his sunsets immersed maritime subjects–lots of schooners– in Gloucester.

The vessel, high and dry below, is Peking, which Winslow Homer never painted, but I’ll bet he wished he had the chance.  See 481 of his works here.  Peking, featured here many times before, launched a year after Winslow Homer died.

He would have turned a mere 174 today, and I’ll bet he’d be waterblogging and watercoloring.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  This post is dedicated to my second . . .  well, actually first among those I know,  favorite watercolorist.

When over 5000 horses get pulling, generating 68 tons of bollard pull, smoke happens.  That … and the tanker starts to move.    And Gramma Lee T Moran (May 24, 2002)  feels satisfied.

Marjorie B McAllister (1974) escorts Stena Concert into her venue . . . er . . . berth through

a congested KVK.  Foreground here . . . East Coast ( 1982) approaching and Pocomoke (2008) distancing.

June K (2003) hauls out the crumpled and rusted scrap metal for new life,

John P. Brown Thomas Brown (1962) , East Coast, and Brandywine (2006) all facing west in Bayonne,

Baltic Sea (1973) (Was she originally painted blue as S/R Albany?) heads east,

and a fairly new Laurie Ann Reinauer (2009) comes in from sea.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated . . . I’m literally knocked out by the entries to the Patty Nolan bikini contest.  Just kidding.  Maybe the figurefigure will be dubbed ” P Lady Godiva Nolan” this year?

Three years ago I got fotos of M/V Ambassador entering the Narrows.  If this weren’t the sixth boro, I’d have some trepidation about the ladder and lines down her stern and the men in the tender along Ambassador‘s port stern area.  Pirates in the sixth boro?   Notable is that Ambassador was built on the Canadian side of  Lake Ontario.  More important for this post is the structure just forward of the house . . .   Ideas?  Remember, doubleclicking enlarges most tugster fotos.

That structure is a variation of this one.  In fact, it turns out that Ambassador and this vessel–CSL Spirit--unloading at Atlantic Salt on Staten Island both belong to the same fleet, as do–can you guess?

the Oldendorffs.  It seems I just cannot escape Alice and her networks, but I’m fine with that; affection remains.  That structure is a self-unloader, the best and fastest way to

to discharge

tens of thousands of tons of salt out of the holds and onto

the roads and streets (and sidewalks, train platforms, subway stairs . ..  . and penetrating to the inner recesses of your car’s underside and impregnating your shoes and any bags you happen to put onto a walked upon surface with slip-preventing and maybe life-saving but corrosive salt.)  Beautiful salt.

If you are reading this from southern US or from many other countries, you may never have experienced salt this way, but judging from truck traffic yesterday in and out of Atlantic Salt on Richmond Terrace, it’s bustling business.

And CSL?  Canadian Steamship Lines, tracing its history back to 1845 and currently the world’s largest fleet of dry-bulk self-unloading ships.  See wiki link here and CSL’s corporate history site here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, I’m told the salt piled up on Richmond Terrace here comes from northeast Ireland, County Antrim.  See this BBC story/video from the salt mines of Ireland.

In reference to the rescue Sunday, Captain Matt Perricone of Cornell says,  “I would hope that this would be something any good mariner would do.” Read the rest of Paul Kirby’s report from Daily Freeman here.

It’s a very happy but pensive  birthday for Tugboat Cornell and crew, I’m sure.  See more media links below.

Cornell‘s been working since

1949.    Now tug and crew are also  . . . lifesavers.  And here.  Congratulations.   May she run and toot her whistles for another 61 years!!

All fotos taken in 2009 by Will Van Dorp.

Click here for one of my recent posts on Cornell.

After SB Traffic 1, here’s a second installment.   Fotos 2 and 3 below come from Vladimir Brezina, whose paddle out through the Narrows led to this series.  Vladimir has been one of the many kayakers that accompany swimmers as they take part in various Manhattan swim events.  My foto below shows swimmers, kayakers, and support boats a few miles into the 28.5 mile circumnavigation back in June 2006.

In this foto, Vladimir accompanies a swimmer near the end of that race in 2004.  While he spots and paddles, he suddenly finds himself in the company of a tug moving a bunker barge away from the passenger terminal.

Here’s another foto by Vlad from a June 2009 race.  And how long would you imagine swimming the 28.5 miles takes?  Answer follows.

Of course, one-human-power AND tens of thousands of horse-power sometimes encounter each other  sans swimmers.  This kayaker heads westbound on the KVK

in early February.  What’s not obvious from this foto (yes … I use the foto in spite of its “unfocus” because of its drama.)  is the fact that container vessel Daedalus is about to make a hard turn to port following the channel and the kayaker is only about 30 feet off the southern bank of the KVK.

I never spoke with the kayaker to learn his launch/destination points.

Results for the top finishers in the 2009 Manhattan circumnavigation race can be found here.  A little over seven hours is all it took for the fastest swimmer, John Van Wisse, who once crossed the English Channel, about 22 miles,  in just over eight hours.  The race is said to be a fund-raiser, except I’ve been unable to discern who these funds are raised for.  Anyone help?

A swimmer a few years back was . . . Bowsprite.  What follows are excerpts from her log:

“[I swam as part of a team of four:  Anita, Sho, Anne and me.  You might think the physical part of the swim is gruelling, but …] “the mental part is harder. The swimming is mental, once you have the form down. It is so easy to decide to stop after a certain time, when you think you really have had enough, or to think that it is so cold and your jaw is frozen and your fingers are splayed and stiff that you will surely die so you must get out. But, there [in the spotter boat] is my swim partner [from a cold ocean race], Abe, saying through clenched jaw: ‘C’mon, only 20 minutes to go, we can do it, I’m cold, too…  20 mins!!!’  Although you want to say, ‘no, sorry, I really must get out!’, somehow, you persevere, and then 21 mins later, shivering uncontrollably on the grey, cold beach in the whipping wind, feeling truly ill, cold and horrible, you feel also elated because you have pushed yourself even further than you thought possible.”

Currents present a problem:  “I had unwisely chosen to sight off the kayak instead of navigating, as lifting the head straight up just steals a bit of time.  But, with currents running amok near Hell’s Gate, I saw that one moment the first Harlem River bridge was dead ahead, and 3 strokes later, I was looking into the Long Island Sound. I was swimming a wild zigzag.”

Besides the cold and currents, critters wait in the water:  “At 7am, the first swimmers jumped in, and swam through stinging jellyfish around to the East River.”

As part of a four-woman team, each swimmer got the parts of the swim that fit into the rotation:   “I got the area of the 137st sewage treatment plant. How lucky can a girl get?   Once I came out of the water with a nice green algae beard and moustache. At least, we hope it was algae.  At 102st, Anita goes in to a very strong current against her. We all now have to swim only 30mins. each, and she takes us to around 116th, where Anne swims past the circus and the worst garbage. There were many coney island ‘whitefishes.’  I guess here they’re called ‘harlem whitefishes’. I’m very glad they’re being used, but please, put them somewhere else when you’re done!)  Anne started to make lunch, but threw up when she saw all the garbage around us. It was pretty bad.”

But when it’s over:  ” Anne’s husband opened champagne for us, so we first rinsed out with alcohol! We got hosed off, and stood about very happy. My friend Valerie came along with cubs Eva and Max and my scowling mother, and we ran up along the river to get a towel. I had been in the water the longest and it is cooler down here, so I was cold. We ran into Abe and Cristian and Oscar and many jubilant, congratulating people. And, then, Abe got me my first margarita in months. Well, ok, he got me two. In all, a very fun, great day!”

Many thanks to Vladimir Brezina for fotos 2 and 3 and Bowsprite for her narrative.  More swimming here.

Unrelated:  Now I learn about this oyster and beer fest . . .!

Otherwise unattributed fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Tugs take myriad shapes.  Jay catches a hint of tugs to come on Cape Ann Images:  the new tug Independence. Yet another reason to return to Gloucester, soon!!  More at BTT tugs at Shooting My Universe.  Then, 3000 miles away, catch a variety of recent Puget Sound tugs at Fremonttugboat her, the first of which is K-Sea’s Sargasso Sea, no doubt named for the steamy Rhys’ novel.

Back along the Hudson, try this one-seater tug with hand-painted name sign on portside of the bow.

Ike‘s specs:  Gladding-Hearn built in 1957 with dimensions of 34′ x 13′ x 6.’

Socrates has a traditional rugged look of a model bow tug.  Specs:  113′ x 29′ x 11′ and built in 1966.

But Socrates sports some unusual calligraphy, which wouldn’t be unattractive tattooed on someone’s hip.

Taking this foto got me my first-ever “talking-to” by law enforcement, but all went well:  I gave the officer my “business” card, and he might now just be a happy reader of the tugster blog . ..  I hope.

Coastline Girls (ex-Ruby, Ruby M, and Beverly)  at 69′ x 20′ x 8′ dates from 1943.  And this one’s for you, Officer.

Molly Johannsen (ex-Carol) is a real cutie dating from

from 1972 and all of 30′ x 10′ x 4.’

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Who brings the salt to season the roads and highways and drivers who want to avoid skidding there?  And if you detect some family resemblance to the vessel on my first ever blog post,

a glance at the name and profile will confirm that Johanna is a sibling of Alice.  Yes, that’s Robbins Reef Lighthouse just forward of the bow.  I’ve written about Harmen, so now meet Johanna. I feel quite ignored by Alice these days, so it’s time to ignore her back and move on.  Of the three, Alice is the smallest and Harmen has the greatest tons/hour offloading capacity.

Harmen offloads 5000 tons per hour!  Johanna conveys it out at 2000 tons her hour.

Clamshell cranes reach into the hold and drop the salt

into hoppers that drain into belts that move the salt toward the main offloading arm.  Yes, that’s the Empire State Building in the lower right.

I wonder if the Oldendorff self-unloaders carry

additional crew to operate the cranes while in port. Anyone know?

While Johanna offloaded, Pati R Moran moved an oil barge eastbound.

The salt piles bulge and shrink with weather fluctuations at Atlantic Salt, last summer the home of the Salt Fest.  I hope it happens again this year.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated except by geography, here’s a story I just learned of related to a spill of Congolese uranium on the north shore of Staten Island back more than 50 years ago.  No matter how long ago a half century may seem for us, in uranium half-life terms (millions of years depending on the particular isotope) it’s an instant.     Can anyone help me identify  the name of the ship that delivered the uranium from Matadi to New York.

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February 2010