You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2010.

June 19 . . . from the boardwalk after the parade, and (maybe celebrating solstice inland) nary a mermaid or seamaster in sight.  An unidentified sloop plots a course between two outbound c-vessels.  See frogma’s solstice on the boardwalk pix here.

June 18 . . . a McAllister boat heads past the World Financial Center after escorting in a cruise ship.  Between the mirrored walls and sheathed in blue . . . that’s the state of construction on One World Trade.   Does the name sound a bit like a commercial version of the Bob Marley song?

June 17 . . .  crewman watches as Atlantic Coast pushes a loaded cement barge up the East River.

Earlier that day, the unit anchored in the Hudson;  barge is Cement Transporter 5300 . . . clear enough.

Crewman uses telephone on the afterdeck of Adriatic Sea.  That’s Jersey City in the background.  A year ago, Adriatic appeared here.

Left to right:  barge New HampshireScott Turecamo, Mark Miller, and Americas Spirit.  Fort Wadsworth lies in the background.

Ocean King looks to land on Pier 16 for a crew change.

I’ve never seen Ocean King (ex-David McAllister, Resolute, launched 1950) in the sixth boro before last week.

Cornell heads south past Battery Park City, hard at work in the golden hour for fotos.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp in the past 5 days.

Happy Solstice.  If you want more mermaids . . . let me know.

In recent years, the villains have included developers and politicians.  Let’s see if you can guess who got pilloried in 2010.  I give no clues, although I will show dirty pictures.

Eeeew!  Sullied skin and scales;  sticky besmirching gunk!

A polluted sea on the sidewalk,

such beauty begrimed,

a beached fowl befilthed by a fouling foam,

a pestiferous plague on pickup and passengers,  and

all drawing out righteous indignation.

Face it . . . many of us  are traumatized  . . .  and what can we do?

In the Gulf of Mexico and many other places our consumption has brewed a cruddy, nasty, soiled, nasty, stinky concoction that

chokes when brought to the mouth.

The sea . .. and the land and the shoreline are

yours and ours.  But how do we claim what is ours?

What must we all do to save beauty from beastliness?

Click here to see Rick (old salt’s) post with a great clip of the becrowning of Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed.  Here’s Lou Reed’s “coney island baby.”  From frogma, musica!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Some related pieces:  a Frank Rich essay from Sunday’s NYTimes that I like, oil spills we don’t hear about,  a cautionary tale from Nigeria where oil has issued forth since 1958, info and pix about the momentous 1969 oil spill off Santa Barbara, and an article about life of the crew of vessel known as OCS-G 32306 integral to efforts at end this nightmare.

So who was the villain here?

My gratitude to all the performers for their theatre of grief.

Coney Island has such a distinct culture that the sixth boro (the watery parts between the five terra-boros) should just annex it.

Very introductory but fascinating  history of Coney’s evolution can be had in these short articles by Lisa Iannucci, Jeffrey Stanton, and Laurence Aurbach Jr. One theme of these articles is that Coney has a rich history of  inverting the genteel norms, entertaining rather than uplifting, dissolving the distinction between audience and performer, and (for a holiday) legitimizing some folks’ ideas of the illegitimate.  (Some of those phrases come from the lecture by Goeff Zylstra recently at Alongtheshore.)  It sounds like the alongshore of Coney makes a candidate for the capital of the sixth boro, and the Mermaid Parade its official holiday.

May these few fotos whet your appetite!  Doubleclick enlarges.  More tomorrow.  I took this foto almost immediately after arriving yesterday, and I was so happy I could have gone home satisfied.  Mermaids exude such grace!

Dick Zigun, mayor of Coney,  leads off the 20th annual parade.  Thanks for ALL your efforts, Dick and crew.  Oceans of appreciation to all the performers!

King Neptune and Queen Mermaid aka Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson ride the ceremonial cart.

Charm and


Fun for all ages, youngsters

of all ages:  THIS is the circus that has come to Coney.

Beplumed posteriors and

profiles,  they have given me a smile I can’t erase for days, months even.

Those black smudges . . . yeah, the parade did have its dirty parts, but for that, your patience until tomorrow is required.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

A bit of chain . . . and the onboard scenes like the ones I posted the past two days . . . these are the only views of Pioneer I got.  Simple request:  if you shot any good scenes of Pioneer heeled over or otherwise playing tag in the 20-30 mph winds on Thursday, could you get in touch.  Please.

I’d be happy to exchange fotos, high-res ones.

Especially if you were on the water on another of the chase boats or welcome boats,

let’s exchange

fotos.  Obviously Reid and Anne were the

center of attention . . . royalty of the ball, and again congratulations to them.  See Brian’s (Moveable Bridge) posting from the pier here.

And now . . . faintly, I hear the merfolk and all their kin drumming.  They’re soon to come ashore.    See you at Coney.

Last fall I caught Pioneer from outboard; yesterday I rode Pioneer on its trip to welcome back schooner Anne and play with Erin Wadder.  This post is mostly intended to document the first part of that ride.  Before leaving the dock, captain and crew confer.

This seasoned crew greets passengers as they transition from terra to aqua.

After the vessel slips into the East River,  crew tidies docklines.

Crew on the halliards raise the mainsail; then

coil and hang these lines on the shrouds, to keep them from free to run, should an emergency lowering of sails need to happen.

Bow watch signals oncoming traffic.

Pioneer skitters down the Bay quite nicely for a hull that served as a sailing sand conveyance a full 125 years ago.  Imagine a 1985 Mack dumptruck racing around with paying passengers in the year 2110!!

The winds inspiring Pioneer to skitter and scud also propel these other sailing vessels yesterday,  Anne farther and an unidentified sloop nearer.  Can anyone identify the sloop?

Scuppers port and starboard get a thorough rinsing.

Reid and Anne engage in some performance artistry with Freja Fionia.

The sloop tacks past again, and Pioneer, belly

in her sails, plays along.

A followup post soon will document Pioneer‘s return to the dock.  For now, sharing the air and water with us was a crew setting out on a formidable journey as Reid concluded his.  Artemisoceanrowing intended here to leave the sixth boro for a ride across the North Atlantic all the way

to the UK.  To be followed.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  See you among the merfolk tomorrow!

Welcome home, schooner Anne and Reid Stowe.  (Doubleclick enlarges the fotos.)  Quoth my favorite talking pigeon upon seeing these fotos:  “Na dat fella Reid him make too much gallivant long one.”  Mermaids and seamasters and dolphins and fish armies have decorated the hull nicely, adding outlandish

designs.  Reid waved as excitedly as he did 1152 days ago.   Click that link for NYTimes video and article from yesterday.

A lively breeze  was like music for the weathered schooner, inviting it to dance spritely once more before kissing a dock.

Well-seasoned athletes, these hermits in from over the wet curvature of the earth, maybe over almost everyone’s horizon.

From my vantage, they tacked all the way in;  after all, what other way is there to

return if you’ve moved on the waves and wind so long as well as added so many patches sail upgrades.

And the New York, the sixth boro he returns to has signs about an . . .  air race?!!?  Air race signs in the harbor?  That would be more than enough to befuddle someone even returning from a proverbial  three-hour tour.

And my conveyance, a 125-year-old schooner that raced on the waves at 8.4 knots,

heeling over, scudding before the wind, drinking deeply through the scuppers . . .  well, I’ll post about that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, come to Pier 66 for the party on Sunday night.

Here’s the AP story.  Here and here are posts I did on the interior of Anne three + years ago.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated but very exciting:  NYHarbor Shipping!! Check it out and leave a comment.

And more from the NYTimes: where NYC families learn to sail . . . on the sixth boro of course.

April 22 2007 . . . schooner Anne heads out for

a very long time.  Goal:  to sail without landfall for 1000 days.    I took this foto several miles outside the Narrows, one of my last of Reid, Soanya, and Anne bound for sea, and I was nervous for them.  Today . . .

Anne returns.  Capt. Mike has already seen the schooner and posted about it here.

More later.

Forces at play include:  sun, earth, season, tide, surf, and many more.  J aka Jamaica Bay is not not more than 10 nautical miles (goose-flying miles) from Manhattan, about the same distance the Meadowlands is, if you continued that straight line between my vantage point and the Empire State Building, then beyond.

Here’s a map.  Doubleclick to enlarge;  see “you are here” and continue clockwise around the indicated yellow path and look toward Duck Point Marshes;   Manhattan is to the northwest.  J-Bay is an NPS area.  Click here for info on the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy.

See the Verrazano Bridge on the far side of Floyd Bennett Field.

Osprey respond to all those same forces at play.

On the far side of a pond, a wildlife volunteer (aka midwife?) observes an egret,

a snowy egret, gossiping and waiting . . .  as they all are.

So what’s this volunteer doing?  Note the pendant and the red dot.

After the eggs get laid–prompted by all these forces–

and a thorough burying process happens,

the red-dot mama gets weighed, and all relevant info gets encoded.  I saw a half dozen egg-layers summoned by the forces in a one-mile walk in the preserve yesterday.  A year ago, on the northeast side of J-Bay, the terrapin shut down JFK.  See the story here.

Humans think the terrapin obey signs?    From the volunteer, I learned that another force at play here is an overpopulation of raccoons.  And for hatchlings, predators include wading birds and voracious fish.

Well, it’s time for us all to kick back and enjoy all those same forces at play:  Saturday . . . Coney.    Or if you’re upriver . . .  Clearwater.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, himself beset by forces and tribal ritual of spring.

For info on terrapin mating, see here and here.

For another rite of spring in the sixth boro, click here.

Note:  Since I overdo the links sometimes, the two most important background ones here and this on the China Tea Trade and this on the China clippers.

I start this post with five older fotos; the one below showing crew tidying up lines on McAllister Responder dates from January 2007.   Until now, I’ve always focused on the foreground, not the background.  Of course, all those blue warehouses are now being replaced by Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Another example–Francis E. Roehrig (now Aegean Sea but ex-Jersey Coast and John C. Barker and as Francis E. a hero post-Bouchard accident) has always been focus of this foto for me rather than what’s in the background.

Again, I’ve focused until now on the foreground, on the 140′ icebreaking tug Sturgeon Bay instead of on the rich architecture of Brooklyn Heights,

in summertime obscured by a jungle of foliage, making it easier to focus of East River traffic like Express Marine’s Duty, below.  However, what I learned last week is that Brooklyn Heights has fascinations all

its own.  Like this house standing on Pierrepont Place, the house of Abiel Abbot Low, son of Seth Low of Salem, Massachusetts.   A. A. Low moved to Brooklyn Heights after spending six years in Canton’s markets dealing with Wu Bingjian aka Howqua.    From Brooklyn Heights, Low could observe

the goings and comings of his fleet of China clippers over at South Street when it was a seaport in the years between the First and Second Opium Wars.  Finding out more about the Lows ( and in subsequent generations their connections to the mayor of Brooklyn, Columbia University and FDR . . . ) those are adventures and work that lie ahead.  Last week I learned that what’s in the background might as well be an interesting focus as what is background.

Meanwhile . . . the drum calls to Coney Island, with the parade just four days off.  Here and here are links for 2009; first and second for 2008.  More tomorrow.  Plan to be in Coney on Saturday?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Before these views of the bridge at Bayonne, two quick reminders:  1) the drum calls to the big parade less than a handful days away, and 2) the voting for caption contest #2 takes just a few seconds.  Do it, please.

A half year ago, you saw views of Outerbridge;   what unifies these fotos is the most beautiful bridge over the sixth boro that now threatens to stifle the sixth boro as well as the other five.  When the Bayonne opened in 1931, it set the mark as the longest steel arch bridge in the world.  Similarly, the foto below (looking to the southwest from central Brookln, over Red Hook, and toward the Bayonne)  was taken from 44 Court Street in Brooklyn, which in 1901 was the tallest building in Brooklyn.   Certainly, it’s a most enviable view of the sixth boro I’ve seen in a while.

I have a request at the end of this post.

Supply vessel Sorensen Miller distances itself from the Bridge on a foggy May day.

Falcon leaves it behind as it enters the Buttermilk Channel.

Shannon Dann heads farther southwest of it.

Patriot Service pushes a fuel barge toward it for refill.

Scott Turecamo, locked 60 feet into the notch of fuel barge New Hampshire, uses its 5100 hp to drive the unit toward the Bridge.  To the left is Cape Cod, which first appeared here two and a half years ago.

A light and curvaceous Timothy L. Reinauer steams toward the yard on this side of the Bridge.

Help me out here:  an unidentified tug (a Great Lakes Dredge & Dock boat?)  pushes a scow (with Boston registry?)  toward the KVK beyond the Bridge.  Foto taken in 2008.

From the same Elizabeth (NJ) perspective, unidentified tug and tanker collaborate so that one may head for sea.

Bayonne, the Bridge too low for the future . . .  what will it look like in 10 years?

My request:  send me your views of the Bayonne Bridge, the more unusual, the better.  I’m proudest of the second shot above, as the tower of 44 Court is a special place.  Send me your unusual shots and we’ll reprise this topic.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated but very notable:  Check out this memorial post for the first CGC Escanaba, which made the supreme sacrifice 67 years ago last weekend.

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June 2010
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