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Can you guess the connection between the three fotos that follow?    Gazela –540 hp, the oldest wooden square-rigger sailing in the United States, built in Portugal in 1901 (?) to fish cod, and Philadelphia’s tall ship.

Paul T. Moran, 7200 hp and built in 1975

and “pirate Calico Jack, who, unbeknownst to his crew, has decided toget out of the pirate business, and has sailed to Wall Street to make some business deals, secure a401k, and plan his retirement.”

Once more, Gazela,

Paul T and    … who’s this with Calico Jack!

Well, buy your tickets here for “The Seven Deadly Seas.”  Read a review from the Philadelphia CityPaper here.

Bringing Gazela and crew/acting troupe to Atlantic Basin is the result of hard work of PortSide NewYork.  “About bringing her to NYC, Eric Lorgus, President of Gazela, had this to say, ‘Tall ships have found it increasinglyhard to visit this place, and I’ve been trying to crack NYC foryears. We really appreciate the efforts PortSide has made on ourbehalf. Carolina herself has pursued this will tenacity and zeal.’

Carolina Salguero, Director of PortSide NewYork says about the visit ‘PortSide was founded to bring the BlueSpace, or the waterpart of the waterfront, to life in New York City. We are excited that Gazela is coming, because tall ships are education and inspiration afloat. We hope her visit opens the door to more visits by more boats—of all types—at this pier and other piers.We are encouraged by recent government initiatives focusing onthe water itself and grateful that the EDC [New York City Economic Development Corp] has made Pier 11 available to us for Gazela’s visit.’
Gazela will be open for deck tours during the day. These arerun on an open-house basis. To defray costs of the trip, a modest $5 donation is being requested, but is not mandatory. The cabaretalso subsidizes the trip.”

As to the connection between Gazela and Pati R., I’m leaving that open to your guesses for a few days yet.

See press release here.   Show dates are August 19–22, 8 pm and 10 pm shows, for a total of eight shows.

Fotos 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7 by Will Van Dorp.  Show fotos are compliments of Peter Gaffney of Cabaret Red Light.

This post breaks the record for number of fotos, but the very existence of waterway focused on, yesterday as well,  Coney Island Creek, is thought by some to be the stuff of urban legend.  A little over a mile long, CIC spanned by a handful of bridges and blocked off under the Belt Parkway;  it encompasses a world in that distance, and once was on the drawing boards to become the “Gravesend Ship Canal.”

Here’s the launch beach just west of Kaiser Park  near the “mouth” of the creek.  And on the beautiful sand . . . is that the shell of a newly-discovered species of sixth boro terrapin?

Au contraire, it’s our mighty vessel, Marie’s self-built and decorated T & C Taxi.  Another one of her beauties was featured in this post from January 2010.

The yellow submarine is just one of the wrecks, maybe the only identifiable one.

With the tide farther out, its research sub design is more evident.

As we head up the Creek, the landmark Parachute Jump shows how near the beach is.

These wooden barges and scows are less identifiable than

fairly recent power boats, which even had registration numbers on the bow.  In the morning light, the reflected red is pretty, as is

the green on the underside of the 17th Street Cropsey Avenue bridge;  the paint job which seems unfinished, given all the equipment around.

We paddle farther upcreek, here under the Stillwell Avenue bridge.

We pass under the D train and a little farther past

dove farms screened off from Shell road by vines.

On the opposite side of the creek near the Belt, egrets, cranes and gulls congregate.

People manage to maintain private resorts or at least arbors to sip morning coffee in silence with the birds and the Creek.

This is the end.  From top to bottom here, the F train, the Belt, and Shell Road.  And from beneath that wall, water bubbled to its own surface along with … stuff.

On the return trip, we spoke with the painting crew, who seemed quite shocked to see us.

A whole industry of crab farming happens on this improvised dock made of remains of a scow.

A swan family blend into (tries to maybe) its surroundings.

And before we return to our beach, we wonder about the identity of this wooden vessel,

this tug, and

whatever this vessel was.

If anyone knows how to discover the identity of these wrecks, please get in touch.  I wonder if any mermaids–so prolific on the south side of Coney Island–ever make it up here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Guess the creek?  From what continent rich does it flow?  What mysteries lie upstream?

Bird life is certainly rich, perched on some exotic geographical


And who manages these rich fields of grass (spartina coneyii)?  Where are the farmers, possibly watching with eyes masked by foliage?

Dancing birds.

Crabs were copious, and swimming blissfully in the act of making themselves more copious. Count them here.

Rare geological formations, crater lakes with caverns and


Odd relics . . . could they have religious significance?  Might this be an outpost of the Nacirema?

Like this quadrant . . . surely the Nacirema would direct their lives using such devices.

Behold the intrepid explorers and their vessel.  Might this be another Tide and Current Taxi project?  Doubleclick enlarges all fotos:  What is that blueish stringy structure below off to the right, just above the stern of the boat?

More expedition fotos in tomorrow’s post.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

A few months back, I did a “Graveyard” series, in which the ferry New Bedford was mentioned.  It’s the vessel with the tilted steam stack on the left.  Some might see an eyesore.  I see this looking south, and

this looking north.

And we can all see this looking back:  hospital ship for those wounded at Normandy, or even vacation vessel for those traveling from Rhode Island to Block Island for relief.  Do you have any recollections of sailing aboard her, either your own or vicarious ones from an older relative or friend?

New Bedford‘s story deserves to be remembered, preserved on film, even if the actual vessel is beyond hope.  As does that of ILI-105 aka Michigan (sister of Day-Peckinpaugh).  From low tide today, I got this foto

and this.

There’s still enough of her to identify the vessels above, not like the ones a little farther south

or this one with (I believe) long unsupported hand-operated bilge pumps,

or these (That’s Outerbridge in the background.),

or these.

But this one has almost decipherable writing  (doubleclick enlarges)  on front of the house.

It’s Blue Line 101, built on Staten Island in 1933.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, checking out another graveyard near you soon.  Spoken in less ghoulish terms, just trying to take inspiration from John A. Noble.  Thanks to Jeff Schurr for identifying Blue Line 101.

Unrelated:  I like naturepainter’s fotostream!  There are kindred spirits (like him and me) who find each other via the internet and blogging.  Naturepainter, keep up the great work!

Actually I’m creating the mystery, but I uncreate it after the fourth foto.  You might try to guess what’s happening.  I put in some lovely distractors.  What was happening on Coney Island this morning between 7 and 930 am?  Man with red shorts, a swimmer, and tug Edith Thornton (1951, ex-Signet Defender, J. K. McLean).

SUNY Maritime’s Empire State-all flags flying– returns from its three-month summer training cruise to the Mediterranean.

Man with red kite in the air;  black spot in between.

Man with green bathing cap wades in as a brace of jetskis bobs nearby.  So far, it’s all men with head gear, but

then Bowsprite approaches with camera;   yellow kayaks and NYPD as background.  She didn’t say, “We have you surrounded.”  This could mean only one thing:  click here and find out.  Here’s the site for CIBBOWS.

Swimmers in green caps (warming and limbering up)  did the 5 km race.

Long Island City Community Boathouse spotted, as did the jetskiers.

Cristian read the rules.

And the first wave went in, heading for the first

turn around the buoy.

The second wave (white caps) began their one-mile race to the Coney fishing pier and


Bowsprite served as beach-spotter at the finish line, where here arrive the first finishers in green caps.  After

five kilometers in one hour and 18 minutes it was this close.

Now the man with the kite . . . that speck was a camera.  Click here and here to see Scott Dunn’s amazing photography with kite-suspended camera.

Empire State and Edith Thornton . . . their role was to bless the race with their beauty.

This was my first swim race;  I plan to attend the one in November.  About the Aquarium, it served as venue for registration and celebration;  as we prepared there for the race in the wee hours before sunrise, I overheard some flush pinnipeds wagering their fishy breakfast on race outcomes.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

And here’s another swimming organization to learn about:  Swim Across America.  Recall the 2009 swim post by tugster . .  . uh,  me?  And someone’s unconventional techniques?

Carfloat, front heavy,  moving from Jersey to

Brooklyn under the powers of Charles D. McAllister.    Remember that double click enlarges most fotos.  Notice the graffittoed railcars and the immaculate tug and barge.

Another shot of the mighty Brangus tending to the teeth of Florida, with more to come soon.

Treasure Coast pushing

uh . .  cement.

Meagan Ann noses along a barge of crushed

cars that may until recently have traveled along those roads.

Tarpon moves asphalt barge (?) Potomac up toward the Buttermilk.

Thomas D. dispatches more cars to the scrappers.

Pegasus the younger sports new primer paint.

Susan Miller and

Dorothy J (?) move spud barges.  Rae seems to be along for the ride.

And can anyone tell me the name of this small Reinauer tanker?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Thirteen months ago I last used this title;  it seems summer appropriate.  Look carefully at the foto below and the one that follows.

Same or different?  Barbara McAllister gives portside assist.

The huge orange Eagle Beaumont is in both fotos, but the 40′ Coast Guard boats . . . look at the numbers on the bow, one ending in 50 and the other 81.

Dolphin III had a group of divers over the side.  That’s Sea Raven in the background.

Seeing a cutter suction head emerge from the water might make me afraid to dive, but dredge vessel Florida

only raised it to have some dental

work performed by the crew on the barge attached to Brangus.  More Brangus soon, since there seems to be some new equipment mounted to the visor (hard to see)  that reminds me of sport at Pamplona.

Hoegh Pusan hangs on the hook as

Laura K heads out to meet an assist.

I can’t recall seeing the crew boat Alert before yesterday, or

Little Giant.

Parting shot of Heron.

I really am back.  More sixth boro fotos tomorrow.

All fotos taken Wednesday morning by Will Van Dorp.

Now . . . that bridge in the background has not been moved to the North Country, has it?    And have the folks at Brooklyn Bridge Park –the section south of the Bridge–finally been persuaded to have freighters incorporated into the design?  And is this foreground schooner really named John A. Noble?    Will the captain and crew please identify themselves?

Answers to the above questions are (in order) no, no, YES, and maybe.  The foto below is the same vessel, now named Sara B, and now a denizen of Lake Ontario.  Sara B‘s very complete and illustrated log (2004–current . . . hours of pleasure await at this link)  can be found here, a story that bears some resemblance to one told by Farley Mowatt.  In the background are Lake Ontario’s Chimney Bluffs.

Sara B was built in the 1950s (can be more specific now) near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.  She then traveled up the  St Lawrence and through Champlain Lake and Canal, ultimately to the sixth boro, which explains the lead foto.  The log begins with her purchase here and voyage up to Ontario.

Below is the pinky schooner La Revenante (Ghost) (ex-Amanda, Buccaneer)built in Massachusetts in 1969.  I spotted her twice:  once near Ogdensberg and then here near Alexandria Bay. “La Revenant” belong to charles Baudelaire.

Mentioned in the Sara B log is this vessel (foto from 2008) called Royaliste, technically a gaff-rigged topsail ketch.

I saw Sara B in a barn last week south of Oswego, where she’s undergoing a refit.  Check out refit log here.

Anyone tell New York stories about Sara B or John A. Noble . . .   I’d love to hear them.

Last two fotos here are mine;  the others are attributed in her log.

Sara B‘s log is kept by Susan Peterson Gateley, whose other writing can be found here.

I’m still unpacking my head and camera from the gallivant to Algonquin Provincial Park, where these “water taxis” work the tourist trade, hauling canoes on racks to remote reaches of Lake Opeongo.  Because Canada is a bilingual country, next to “water taxi” on the sign were the words “bateaux taxis,” which Elizabeth-in spite of the fact that she knows French–decided said “battle taxis,”  an exciting

permutation.  And they raced around the lake as if they were doing battles, lances up top at the ready, jousting against phantoms.

At rest, the Giesler boats–built in Powassan between Algonquin and Lake Nipissing–are cedar–stunning-strip!  I want one!

Less beautiful, this aluminum  “battle taxi” jousts with three weapons.  The sound of these vessels racing up or down the lake was not unlike that of a floatplane, and it was easy to imagine this a floatplane traveling upside down, floats up.   We paddled our own ways around the south end of the lake, but given that the park is 10 times the area of  the six boros of New York, a little assistance helps.  If we’d taken a not-cheap lift on a “battle taxi,” we could have camped nearer to moose and bear.  Lake Opeongo is 1/3 the size of Seneca Lake and 1/6 the size of Moosehead Lake, this latter a probable future gallivant destination.

At the logging museum there I learned of “pointeaux,” very sturdy and shallow draft variation on the dory, designed by the Cockburns to

break up logjams, almost like a waterborne “log fid” that

resists crushing in log-choked rivers as its crews  “unjam.”

Thanks to Jed . . . identification of the freight vessel next to Maple Grove is a 1646 LCU, one type of vessel that HaRVeST should look into for transporting the Hudson Valley’s bounty to the five boros of consumption aka “foodway corridor.”   I wonder who came up with that garble, and further … how the francophone Canadians would transmogrify that.  Buy an LCU here.

Yes, I was transporting dry firewood from the lakeshore here, and it’s only coincidental that it appears that my canoe has a bowsprit, and I’m sticking by that story.  To digress, H. D. Thoreau said, “A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”  I’m sticking with that, too.

Less far up north–yes, this is Grouper, often written about here and still stuck just west of the Erie Canal locks in Newark, New York.  Anyone know what happened with the plans to get her to Detroit this summer?  This foto was taken in late July 2010.

Mystery boat #1 . . . seen at a marina in Cape Vincent, NY.

Mystery boat #2 . . . seen at a marina in Clayton.  This vessel has a metal hull.

The lines would say 40’s.  I don’t have any info about either of these boats.

All fotos taken by Will Van Dorp.

For starters, yes I do feel I’ve dropped the ball and missed taking and publishing fotos of such sixth boro events as the final move of the Willis Avenue Bridge and City of Water Day.  If anyone has fotos to share, I’d love to see them.

The North Country here means the St. Lawrence and beyond.  The white-helmeted gent does seem to be leading and gentle giant on a leash, not even having to

tug as BBC Rio Grande (ex-Beluga Gravitation, 2008) traverses the Iroquois Lock.  All the Wisconsin-built Staten Island ferries had to make their way through this lock.  Anyone have a foto of a big orange ferry passing here?  I previously wrote about these locks here and here.

It hardly seems possible their beam would squeeze through.

William Darrell ferries loads of improbable size across the international border between Cape Vincent and Wolfe Island, Ontario.  86 windmills now churn in the breezes near this northeast tip of Lake Ontario, not without controversy.

The “H” on the stack stands for Horne, the family that has operated this ferry since 1861.  This particular vessel entered service in 1953.

Bowditch (ex-Hot Dog, 1954) works out of Clayton, NY; as do

Maple Grove (left) and the unidentified “landing craft/freight ship” on the right.

More upcountry workboats tomorrow.  All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

For now, some announcements:

Kudos to the ArtemisOceanRowing (scroll way down) crew who left New York in mid-June;  they broke a 114-year-old  record when they arrived at Isles of Scilly this weekend.

And finally, I’ve started a new blog called My Babylonian Captivity.  Exactly 20 years ago today, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait, the US entered the current era, and I became trapped and remained so for over four months.  It’s a different kind of blog–all text– but I plan to chunk it out day by day or week by week until December.  Please send the link along to folks who you think will enjoy it.  It’s all nonfiction, the experience as filtered by me.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.


August 2010