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First, to get back to the mystery tug . . . It was taken in Dordrecht,  a city of about 120,000 whose history goes back 1000 years.  In this area about 20 miles southeast of Rotterdam, the rivers Noord, Oude Maas, Dordtse Kil and Beneden Merwede meet.  That foto–as well as all the others in this post– comes via Jan van der Doe, frequent commenter on this blog.  According to Jan, Dordrecht is the busiest shipping intersection in Europe.  It has been and still is very important for the inland shipping.

Tug below is Rotterdam, 22,000 hp, formerly owned by Smit, then Smitwijs, and now Switzer.  A foto of a Smit tug (or related subsequent) company towing bark Peking into the sixth boro appeared here.  Rotterdam towed SS France on its long journey to Alang here (scroll about halfway through).

Study this foto Jan took on the waterfront in Rotterdam;  look for odd features.

Info follows.

Dockyard IX is a 500 hp steam tug, currently owned by The Maritime Museum. It was built in 1940 for dockyard work and owned by the Rotterdamse Droogdok Maatschappij (literally, “Rotterdam Drydock Company”).  The stack location allows the skipper unobstructed view while towing and assisting during docking and un-docking.

Enclosing the stack in the house also solved the heating problem during the winter months, although I’m not sure what that means for summer.

Variable height houses are used in the Netherlands, like on Maasstroom 9 (1957), here near Vlaardingen (my father’s birthplace!!), and

Matricaria.  (Note:  in this link, check out all the wind turbines in the background;  the Dutch seem to have traded old model windmills for new.)

Left to right, MTS Vengeance (1988) and Koral (1976).

I love the colors.  Vengeance is UK-registered and Koral Maltese.

These last two foto make me wonder when last a foreign-flagged tug traversed the sixth boro.

All fotos by Jan van der Doe.  Jan, hartelijk dank.

Unrelated:  I’ve NOT seen Rosemary McAllister for some time now.  Anyone know where she is?

Updates on Mon Lei, see Matt at Soundbounder.

RBM.  43 knots, 20 tons. This one has been in the boro not quite a year yet.

Last weekend must have been training, as it was dashing hither and yon with lots of crew.

Yon and hither.

By the way, did you notice that I played a game out of bowsprite’s book with that first foto?  Go back and see if you can figure what I did.  Notice the wake pattern here;  45612 had just completed a speedy turn.

Notice that I airbrushed out–and not too elegantly–the M240 gun?

She put her 76mm canon back on too, after first drawing Escanaba without.  If she can play that, so can I, right?  For news from Escanaba, click here.

All fotos . . . and some photosshopping, Will Van Dorp.

Check out the Escanaba blog here.

The idea here comes from the “eyed but not seen until it’s noticed” department.  I noticed the Brooklyn church on the hill behind Linda Moran only recently.  I’ve no doubt I’d seen it many times before, but my glance never lingered there.  Now, I am unable to NOT see it.  It is the basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, OLPH, for short.    Between Linda and OLPH is the Brooklyn Army Terminal, designed by the legendary Cass Gilbert.

This got my wondering about other churches visibly prominently  from the sixth boro.    Like St. Michael’s in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  I know some might find this heretical, but as a newbie in the sixth boro, I considered the possibility that the 200′ egg-tipped spire might be a minaret.

Just forward of Megan McAllister is St. Mary Star of the Sea in Bayonne, as seen from Richmond Terrace, Staten Island.

Just above Ellen McAllister‘s stacks, Our Lady of Mount Carmel is mostly obscured here by the IMTT tanks.

St Peter’s in New Brighton, Staten Island can’t be missed.

Just astern of Kristy Ann Reinauer, St Patrick’s in Elizabeth, New Jersey, has two spires.  The single white spire to the right of the courthouse tops First Presbyterian on Broad Street in Elizabeth, a congregation going back to 1664.

From this 2007 foto, it’s Riverside

Church in Manhattan.  In the foto above, left to right:  Dorothy Elizabeth, Patapsco, Lucy Reinauer, and unknown.  Can anyone identify this Moran boat below?  Answer below.

And since I’m asking, here’s a church along the Brooklyn side of East River aka Easy River, taken in 2007, I cannot identify.  Anyone help?

If you wish to add other church landmarks, let me know.

All fotos here, Will Van Dorp.

Moran boat below Riverside Church is Paul T. Moran, answer thanks to Allen Baker.

Thomas J. Brown passes a Penguin on the way to the yard, westbound on the KVK.

Thomas J. (Gladding-Hearn 1962) is a classic.  At this link is an account of a day in the life of Thomas J crew, as told by John Soltes.  Penguin is less than three years old, made in China.

Morro Bay in springtime contrasts sharply with her image three months back, icebreaking on the upper Hudson.

Anyone know the year 140′ Morro Bay was launched?

Odin may not be a classic, but she is certainly unique, a bit of  exotic

technology in the harbor.  The 1982 tug is one of my favorites.

Zodiac PLUS Irish Sea (ex-Clipper, 1969).

The zodiac seemed to be doing drills off Morro Bay.

Scott C dates from 2007.

Here Scott C crosses Cape Cod, a staple of shortseashipping in the sixth boro.  In the link on shortsea… previous sentence, you are treated to bowsprite’s delightful eutopic visions for humanizing the sixth boro, unlike the dytopic view Alexis Rockman projects as a cautionary tale.

Closing shot:  a mystery tug, place and fotografer to be disclosed soon.

All fotos (almost) here by Will Van Dorp, in the past week.

… as in frontals and posteriors.

Head-on, a ship positively looks like a sentient being, maybe because like a head, it is symmetrical:  hawses like eyes and in the case of many ships, a bow not unlike the ridge of a nose or beak.  Zim Savannah approaches and I shoot into the sun.

In this foto by Jed, Targale seems flanked like someone either being freely assisted or escorted against her will.  Starboard and port, respectively, are Marie J. Turecamo and Marjorie Turecamo.

Charleston was here once before, stern-view by me as juxtaposed with a version painted by Pamela Talese.

Enjoy the rest: Torm Nakskov, slightly off center.  I’d never guess Nakskov to be a Danish place-name.

Clipper Oceanica.  Part of a diverse company that includes Marlene Green.  Escort here is Miriam Moran.

A local  named Kristin Poling.

Al-Sabahia, here and

positively posterior.  Escort is Laura K. Moran.  Twenty years ago, I lived and worked in the Sabahiya district of Kuwait.

Foto #2 by Jed;  all other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Related aesthetic from France/ Bay of Biscay:  lots of work boats.

Old American tugs adorn other ports, and vessels that began life far away sometimes adapt to places like or near the sixth boro.  This is true of the vessel below, fotos of which come from Matt of Soundbounder.  Notice in small print the port of registry.

Does Mon Lei really mean 10,000 miles, and does that mean a literal distance of that length or … just so far that it feels like infinity?  Does anyone recall seeing the red junk in New York harbor or farther up the Hudson?   Does this foto show the same vessel, and if so, where was this foto taken?  I believe it was built near Hong Kong just before World War 2, as there seems some indication it’s much older than that.

So, clearly I am intrigued and would love to see this vessel in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Andrew writes:  “Mon Lei for many years was tied up first on the East River at the 23 st boat basin and then I last saw her  on the west side by Intrepid. Years ago I spoke with a 23 st harbor master who stated that Mon Lei was owned by an actor (unnamed) who lived on the boat during the warmer months here in New York.”  Thanks, Andrew.  I’d love to learn more.

Any answers, please get in touch.  If you know the owner, I’d like to talk.

I’d like to use this post to offer some boat rides via Youtube;  my goal here is to use this approach–with some reservations–to get a sense of differing senses of harbor and waterfront, since some conflicting visions of “waterfront sixth boro 2020” are currently being debated.

Hong Kong 50 years ago (3 minutes) and a junk in contemporary Hong Kong (4.5 minutes)

Welcome to the Bosphorus (6.5 minutes)

Yokohama (4 mnutes)

Rotterdam (3.5 minutes) I didn’t care for the music.

Shanghai (almost 2 minutes)

Singapore (4 minutes)  From what I can see here, Singapore is my favorite solution to openness of the waterfront; at least in SOME locations, it’s be great to have the stairsteps right to the water, with no lawsuits allowed if inadvertent splash happens.  As for swimmingsuits, they are allowed but not required.

Sydney (25 seconds)

Victoria (10 minutes)

An old tugster post here showing some of waterfront Bangkok.  Remote waterfront homes slideshow here.

Bathing in the Ganges here.

Otherwise, all fotos here from Matt at Soundbounder.

All fotos and information here comes from John Sperr, last referred to here in relation to ice yacht Galatea, as its pilot.

Today’s post comes from the same area of the Hudson where iceboating was happening a mere two months ago.  Ice has now given  way to the fine color heralding leaves.  Clearwater has wintered on a mobile shipyard, a barge.  The “whiskey plank”  aka the last part of the hull to be closed up post-repair was recently steamed, jacked into place, and fastened.

Libation followed and then

parade, as the shipyard itself danced upriver clutched tight by Cornell to be offloaded in anticipation of rigging, which

would happen at

Scarano Boat.  The barge was slid into the travel-lift dock, slings

moved like fingers under the hull, and

Clearwater, cradled in these sturdy arms, was

carried onto the high-and-dry.  Notice Onrust in the background?  And Adirondack directly beyond Clearwater‘s stern?

This left the barge Black Diamond to assume other duties, become other things.

All fotos by John Sperr.  Thanks, John.

By the way, start imagining the weekend of June 19 and 20.  Mermaids on Saturday (with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed !@#@! as Queen Mermaid and King Neptune)  and music on Sunday (with Pete Seeger and Lucy Kaplansky and many more!@#@##@!!)  ?  How can one make a choice like that?

Also, a tall ship and volunteer opportunity in Brooklyn:  PortSide NewYork FreeSail Clipper City 4-12-2010

Unrelated to this post, but take 2.5 minutes and enjoy this audio slideshow for an article in the 4/19 New Yorker magazine, a story of a family towing life written by Burkhard Bilger.

For an earlier post on the stone trade almost three years ago, click here.  All today’s fotos come from Jed.  Trident (ex-Delta Trident, Delta Eagle, and Libra built in 1982)  is a new boat in the boro, I believe.  I’m guessing she’s currently a sibling of Eastern Dawn (ex-Delta Mule).

Crushed rock . . . what building project could proceed with it?  A major quarry is located upriver in Clinton Point;  see the last foto here.

Buchanan 12 seems to be dedicated to the

stone trade.

Imagine if all this crushed rock moved exclusively by truck.  Horrors!

All fotos … thanks to Jed.

Unrelated but tall ship opportunity:  PortSide NewYork FreeSail Clipper City 4-12-2010

I first saw Rae before she was Rae, when she was red and called Miss Bonnie.  Scroll through here.

Rae is approaching 60 years, two years shy of it.  And she’s not a behemoth:    46′ x 15′ x 5 with (at one time at least) 450 hp.  Rae hails originally from Texas, not far from the Louisiana border.

In the confines of at the mouth of Gowanus Canal, Rae might be the perfect tool. Some jobs call for dental picks and others for crowbars.

Whoa!!! And then sometimes small can do impressive work moving crushed rock!  And does it only look like Loujiane, the cement ship is assist vessel?  For other fotos on that ship, see here.

All fotos thanks to Jed, for whose work I am grateful.

This recalls the summer of 2005, though, when a smaller tugboat–Rachel Marie at 43′ x 16′ x 5′ — towed an artificial continent (based on drawings by Robert Smithson) round and round the sixth boro.  See tugster fotos here.  Has anyone seen Rachel Marie recently?

As to artificial continents, someone’s new vision for Governors Island-makeover includes hills and according to this article, canyons with vistas.

Unrelated:  Here’s a 2.5 minute audio slideshow for an article in the 4/19 New Yorker magazine, a story of a family towing life written by Burkhard Bilger.

All these fotos I took yesterday afternoon.  Of all the fotos that were taken in greater New York yesterday, these represent probably one billionth of the total.  Besdies the fotos I took on my camera, I took about 10 others, on four other folks’ cameras.  This is New York in springtime;  these people were from four countries:  India, Switzerland, Canada, and the US.  Although the fotos–the ones of tourists as well as the ones below– are quite random, a predictable unity exists.  Can you guess the tug below?

My eyes often “misread.”  From a distance I perceived the name of the yellow tanker to be Atlantic Mule.  I liked that connection with basic transportation.  Shortly after I recognized the name as Atlantic Muse, an appropriately-named Atlantic Concert happened past.  Music was conjured up in my head and feet.

The tug above out-of-focus beyond the apple blossoms was Davis Sea, here being overtaken by Atlantic Concert.  A mere three months–less than 100 days!!– ago, I did this post and video of Davis Sea struggling with ice a hundred miles upriver.

As I composed a shot of tanker Apollon, a pigeon intruded.

This egret was not an intrusion.

A century ago–maybe two centuries ago–there was a stone trade.  Then rock was transported in old schooners, slow and expendable;  now it’s done in dinged up scows and a variety of tugs.  Specialist II looks long and lean here.  She was last in the blog foto’d out of the water.

So on a Monday morning like this, I’ll say something true about feeling lucky to live in New York and know the people I do.   Have a fabulous week;  may it go so fast we don’t fall into the potholes.

All fotos taken Sunday, April 11 by Will Van Dorp.

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