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Uh … transplant to the Delaware?

Wilmington Tug’s Sonie passes junk-rigged Summer Wind as

she pushes light in the direction of the Ben Franklin Bridge.  In the foreground left is the faux sternwheel of Philadelphia Belle.

Gulf Service heads in the same direction from over near the big guns of battleship New Jersey.

That transplant …  It launched from Philadephia in 1902 to work out of New York, which it did until 1939.  See the fourth profile below. 

Petrel is an Allied staple on the Delaware.

Jupiter (ex-Socony #14) currently is operated and maintained by a volunteer group called Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild.  The tip of boom and yellow-green-white vessel belong to Gazela, the Guild’s other vessel, previously written about here and here (See fotos 7, 8 and 9).   

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

First:  If you haven’t already, check out Bonnie Frogma’s fantastic post on Olympia here.

Foggy, rainy weather shifts my focus to closer range, to detail, like the contents of this gargantuan bucket taking bottom real-estate out to sea;

the swirl of water over the bulbous point of a Romanian-built, newbie 900′ LOA container vessel;

a barge with orange-peel grab and clam-shell head moving

to the dig site along with Weeks 529 towed by Sea Wolf;

the neck of a Matton-built Mary Turecamo;

fairy-dust on the water lower left and Margaret Moran headed for work upper right;

and … finally … my favorite, the cutterhead on GLDD’s Florida surrounded by its own fairy-dust and shepherdessed by Layla Renee.

All rainy, foggy day fotos by Will Van Dorp.

See them under the arch of the Bayonne Bridge, two vessels:  in the distance a hint of bluish Mary Alice and closer up the petite bright orange Monark.

But if you were working in the fog of the KVK that day, you would want flare-bright orange in something so

tiny as Monark, focused on

surveying the bottom,  where the refinery roar obliterated sound and fog diminished visibility.

And Monark dashed all over the Kill, where the waters were sometimes flat and other

times quite lumpy.

Imagine my surprise when–two days later–driving northbound on the NJ Turnpike, I spotted through my moving windshield wipers, a sight of  the same mettlesome orange Monark, trailered, headed south.  Oh, why don’t I keep the camera beside me on the seat!  Well, given traffic, the right thing to do was keep my hands on the wheel and my eyes pointed north.

All fotos–such as I got– by Will Van Dorp.

Thanks for some of your comments.

Sorry for the blurry pic, but these are the words of President McKinley on a plaque inside Olympia.  I include them here because they seem appropriately addressed to the vessel itself now.  The entire quote is here.  Santiago Playa was the location of the largest naval actions of the Spanish-American War.  (Click here,  scroll down to the “Cuba”  section and then farther to the “naval operations” paragraphs for info on Santiago.

This is the most outrageous thing I have ever said on this blog:  but I’m only repeating someone’s suggestion that, if the decision is made to “reef” Olympia, she might have a “riding crew” made up of those “museum custodians” who put their own interest$ before the seriousness of their charge to preserve this vessel.    Now I’ll add a “Yaarrr … ”  for some color.

Here’s a quote from the ISM site:  “ISM will cease public tours of the Olympia on November 22, 2010.” Scroll all the way down for some then-now fotos.

I know this is NOT news, but in light of the ticking clock, you might want to reread this 2007 post from Peter Mello’s SeaFever.  Here’s a followup from a year and a half ago.  Here’s a recent op-ed piece pleading for “rescue” of the vessel from John F. Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy.

And yes, this post exists only to vent, and encourage venting.  Please feel encouraged.

Call this … “what we might lose soon.”  I wrote about it here a few months back.

This Proceedings article lays out some of the recent history of deterioration.

Here’s a recent article from the Christian Science Monitor.    On its falling into this state, Naval naval historian Lawrence Burr, author of US Cruisers 1883-1904,  says, “It’s an absolute national disgrace. It’s an appalling situation.  She is a national symbol, and she marks critical points in time both in America’s development as a country and the Navy’s emergence as a global power.”

Says Harry Burkhardt, leading efforts to save Olympia, “I think what’s happening is a total disgrace.  The Liberty Bell has a crack in it, but we don’t melt it down. The Statue of Liberty turned green with corrosion, but we don’t throw it away.  The Olympia was a symbol of America’s might and freedom.  Now she’s a symbol of negligence.”

Click here for dozens of fotos of Olympia taken a few years back.

Click here and go to page 17 to see a foto of Olympia‘s hull on 5 November 1892, day of launch.

The large gun juxtaposed with the many-paned “picture window” was operated from the fleet commander’s suite.

Right now the vessel’s fate  hangs … or teeters in the balance.  These might be the last days to visit, to walk her decks and companionways, to photograph her in various light, to sketch her iconic lines.

Here’s a “Friends of the Cruiser Olympia” site.

For some great interior shots, see MarkerHunter’s site.

This can’t really disappear, can it?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

My intended title here was something like “….so I thought I’d get out early this morning and take some fotos of the harvest moon setting, but the morning arrived all foggy in the sixth boro…”  but that would have been been too long, even though everything I just said is true.

Practically the first thing I saw on the KVK this morning intrigued me, after a summer of seeing houses, bridges, and  more*

I wondered.  It looked like an industrial park building was eastbound on the KVK.  Hunt Girls:  the boat name charmed me too, since it sounded like the message the “voice in my head” first told me when I was an early teenager…  to talk with them, of course.  Imagine a work vessel named “cherchez les femmes.”  Vane’s Bohemia had a rumble seat view of the tow.

I wondered what other tows might be forthcoming:  foggy days–as Stephen King knows well–always usher in the unlikeliest visitors.

*More earlier includes the power plant ventilators that Bowsprite captured below earlier this week.  It looks like either Crow or Cheyenne and Margot.

St Andrew–the sixth boro’s resident Oregonian– never quite caught my attention as it did today, seen here full frontal.

Out of the mist came Donal G McAllister, usually based in Baltimore.  By the way, I finally tracked down Rosemary McAllister;  it seems she runs for G & H Towing,  a Houston company,  now under the name  Rosemary.

Here, in close quarters, APL Arabia is flanked by Barbara McAllister and Thomas D Witte.

Alexandra, the LaFarge barge, is positioned by Turecamo Girls alongside and Mary Turecamo, in notch.

Timothy L Reinauer and Ellen McAllister wore a conspiratorial air as they held this formation westward along the KVK.

Huron Service passes an unidentified safety-colored survey boat a half mile east of the Bayonne Bridge.

I later learned that I would have heard and then seen OSG Vision if I’d stayed at the Kill for another half hour.  Oh well, then I would have missed this terrestrial apparition below.  This intimidating sight pulled up behind me in Elizabeth, NJ yesterday as I went in to work!!!  Why on earth would a battlefield-ready Ford 550 bear NJ plates and cruise that modest-size greater sixth-boro landing!?

I wondered if I’d slipped into the twilight zone in which maybe this blog and my Babylonian Captivity one had merged, as in dreams, especially ones during a full moon.

But I made it back to tell the tale and post the fotos…  Will Van Dorp.

Nothing was injured while researching or writing this, but I did discover a kindred Flickr account.

When President Truman heads for sea,

an escort follows, and it’s not secret

service.  That was the other President Truman.  It’s Ellen McAllister today.

Lots of girls do escort service in the harbor, like Turecamo Girls and

McAllister Girls

Some escorts negotiate to go only

part of the way. 

Here’s another shot of Ellen seeing President Truman all the way out.  I must tell Joey that Homie seems to have prolonged his stay in the sixth boro.  Something here must have caught his fancy.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  More girls soon.

Ok, I used to call group some of these in  “from the line locker” or call them “whatzits,” but those don’t fit well here.  I’m not sure “anomalies” fits completely here, nor were all these taken in the sixth boro, strictly contained.

Thomas D. Witte is shifting a tanker into a dock here, along with Laura K Moran.  I’ve never seen a Donjon vessel shipshifting , although it might occur frequently.  Tanker was Stavronisi, launched 15 years ago in Crimea.

Prisco Ekaterina, also Black Sea-built though less than two years ago, has an unusual (IMHO) bulb on its bow. It looks like a paddle prow.

Thank Poseidon . . . and whole lot of other folks, sixth boro waters are fairly clean.  This weekend I saw thousands of these (unidentified) fish, the longest two here headed right about six inches long.  Porgies?

The “barrel buoy” with strobes duct-taped in place seems to follow the dredge crews around the harbor.  That’s Hubert Bays , not quite 10 years old and four feet longer than W. O. Decker, in the distance, maybe off to deliver bunker fuel?

I don’t know the name of this mustardy truckable tug, but the assortment of gear on the barge it pushed made me smile, and think of primitive camping.

A Bowsprite foto from about a month ago shows Pegasus heading up to Cold Spring with Lehigh Valley 79 on the hip.  I wrote about the almost-two-hundred-year-old combined age unit here.

Here’s another “whatzit” headed up the North River snapped by Bowsprite just before mid-September.  To me it looks like a Turkish gullet.  Anyone know it?

This foto is dedicated to Dave, unlit neon is the best . . . until night falls, of course.

All fotos, unless attributed to Bowsprite, by Will Van Dorp.

Digging requires claws.  Claws inspire primal dread.  Dredge machines seem beclawed in groteque ways.  And they’re huge, like the ape that scrambled up the Empire State building.  I waited long but in vain to line up these talons and the tower in the distance, but I’m sure you can visualize the effect.  Imagine the headline:  dredge machine grapples its way as the large ape did first in 1933.  Please keep those climbing beasts sequested in the southern Upper Bay of the sixth boro … or farther.

Call it ooze, mud, or fluff … no matter.  Ick!  Dispose of it please,  Captain D.

It spatters when it ends its route from bottom of the harbor to bottom of the scow.

I’d be very nervous walking there.  I know it’s safe, but irrational fears–like ones that make you run in the dark or for me swim quick in dark, deep water–would surface with me cause me to look up.

How many cubic miles of bottom  have been removed in the

past century of pantagruelish bottom removal?

Some years back I wrote about a dredger off Jones Beach here, which I was reminded of when I heard the dredger Vespucci was troubled by pirates off Cameroon (my home from 1975–7, last of my Peace Corps years). See another article here.   How dare these pirates . . . I guess they don’t have my dredgerphobias.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who understands the efficacy, sometimes,  of  claws and other grotesqueries.

I first devoted a full post to Marjorie B last winter, after seeing her be-rimed.  Here’s a foto from this morning, before 9 a.m.

Around 1030, Sun Round entered the KVK from the east.  That’s the mast of Colleen McAllister hiding behind the scow.  Here’s my post about Sun Round from over three years ago.

I wondered about this skyescort, and what tug

accompanied the Evergreen vessel through the Kill, congested with dredgers.

Marjorie B, thank you very much.  I believe that’s Tasman Sea approaching.

As it turns out, dredgers were only the start.  Over at the Bayonne Bridge end of the Kill, more traffic appeared.

Marjorie and other escorts did due diligence and

it was only another routine morning.  Sun Round always makes me smile:  I used to have it and Ellen McAllister on my business card.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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September 2010