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Let me illustrate the point I made in Something Different 3. Suppose you were reading a river chart and saw a place labeled “Burden Point.” And suppose it looked like this. It suspect it’d make you wonder about the origin of the name, imagining that some weary wretch struggled unsuccessfully to make something happen on that point of land on the wrong side of the tracks …
Burden Point is a real place though, and those tracks support a loco Amtrak racing by many times daily. Info on the Burden follows.
Another place freighted with evocative name and debris is Port Ivory, just slightly to the west of this foto. Makes you wonder, and I think that’s good.
The charts mark Pot Cove as near near here. I had to make the fotos somewhat interesting. By the way, that’s tug Quenames sliding a barge under the rail bridge near Hell Gate, and beyond her starboard is the Bronx, DEP sludge central, possibly sludge tanker North River.
And one last rather uninteresting foto . . . Bushwick Inlet poking into Greenpoint, Brooklyn from the East River. Know how this place is connected with Burden Dock?
Bushwick Inlet was once the home to Continental Iron Works, where the ironclad Monitor was built. And the iron used in the plate, well, that’s the Burden connection. Burden Dock is named for Henry Burden, one of the Hudson valley’s most prolific inventors with iron, a name I didn’t know until I started digging prompted by the weary dock name I spotted last weekend. Burden made superb train wheels and horse shoes for the Union army as well as iron plate–shipped downriver from his iron works in Troy–for the construction of Monitor. The hills inland from Burden Dock supplied ore for all Burden’s projects. See p. 13 of this issue and p. 9 of this one for references to Burden’s Hudson River Ore and Iron . . . although that whole magazine has enthralling articles in it. Kudos to the Columbia County Historical society. Interesting also is that Hudson River ore was superseded by that from the Mesabi Range.
Now without that name and a little wild debris–a shack on a barge or dock transforming itself back into wilderness–I’d not have felt invited into this past. I’m grateful for the names, at least. Port Ivory has this story, better smelling though less fabulous than you might have imagined. Pot Cove was once a native village. Upriver are Anthony’s Nose (maybe named for the proboscis of Peter Stuyvesant’s aid Anthony Corlaer and Kidd’s Cave. Mr Stuyvesant himself enjoyed a well-endowed proboscis.
Tangentially related: The sixth boro is dotted with an archipelago of islands from the famous Manhattan to the obscure Hart, where Melinda Hunt has brought the dead to life.
Spot on related: Check out hudson river explorer, Dennis Willard’s blog.
Finally: A tip of the hat to Rick of Old Salt Blog for his compendium of haunted ships . . . for tomorrow. I’m off gallivanting up the Hudson Valley for Halloween.
Need sunglasses for this drama on the Hudson? “Random” means … spotted in a plethora of places, like Elizabeth, passing the Hudson waterfront at dusk with a barged Weeks crane 532 in tow. Note the Crow or Cheyenne in push gear with barge on the far left.
Paul T Moran at Gulf Marine Repair in Tampa. Not to be insensitive to customary modes of dress, but–as east river pointed out– doesn’t this vaguely like a burka or abaya from the eyes down on the tug?
Atlantic Coast pushing Cement Transporter 5300 south of –you guessed it–Cementon, NY.
Sea Hawk in Brooklyn Navy Yard last June appearing tied up to sludge tanker North River.
Connecticut (1959?) crosses the Sound north to south.
That’s it for now. Thanks to Deb DePeyster (who previous contributed to this) for the foto of Elizabeth, and to east river for the foto of Paul T Moran. All others by Will Van Dorp.
Call this an op-ed piece, prompted by this article from Crain’s New York and Bowsprite’s angry reaction to it. To paraphrase Bowsprite’s reaction: much of the money will go to build railings and other structure to BAR access to the water, and not as Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro wants to, “creat[e] … a beautiful north shore park allowing our citizens access to our waterfront.” I’m with Bowsprite. Beautiful parks are fine in some places, but others should be left wild, ruins, driftwood, flotsam, jetsam, and all.
Here’s a quote from a February 2010 tugster post. “As Rebecca Solnit says, ‘ruins stand as reminders. Memory is always incomplete … but the ruins themselves … are our links to what came before, our guide to situating ourselves in a landscape of time. To erase the ruins is to erase the visible public triggers of memory; a city without ruins and traces of age is like a mind without memories.’” This structure on the south side of Catskill Creek reminds us that once this creekbank was a bustle of manufacturing; the ruins trigger a memory; they serve as an antidote to land-clearing, park creation amnesia. The past must be remembered.
Ruins stand as context-givers to our current technology: there was a past, we don’t inhabit an eternal present, and our hands and minds will shape a future either to cherish or fear.
Museums provide some of this context, but can’t be the sole source. Ollie (built 1911 in Greenport, NY) was 21 years old when Marion M came off the ways. If anyone is interested in a recent NYTugs article on the Standard Boat fleet of stick lighters, of which Ollie and Marion M were members, email me me for info.
Back to the quote from Councilwoman Debi Rose, quoted in the Crains New York article in the first paragraph, “overgrown with weeds” does not mean it has “[become] inaccessible.” Please leave some wilderness in the city, even if those parts along the sixth boro are examples of how the wilderness deals–at its own pace–with cast-off handiwork of our technology. There are valuable lessons to be learned in “under improved” areas as they currently exist along Richmond Terrace AND many other places on earth.
Check out Underwater New York and some of the “objects” and stories we learn from them, objects found in those wild places.
All fotos here by Will Van Dorp. Thanks to Jeff Schurr for identification work on Ollie.
A year ago, I wrote here about my following in Rip van Winkle‘s footsteps, hiking to the summits in search of the ghosts with the keg of purple magic liquor. This post stays at river level, where sights appear like a 50′ Issuma hustling along with only slightly-shorter Rosemary Ruth on the hip. By the way, notice Issuma’s homeport Whitehorse: “issuma” is the Inuktitut word for knowledge, idea, wisdom or mind.
Before the river was called “hudson” it was called “mohican knee took,” if I might spell it out that way. It’s still a place of magic, visual charm here as Cynthia Pioneer heads north past Rondout Light.
Hudson River or not, Allyson Ann is a genuine Beals Island lobster boat, a charming apparition that can sweeten anyone’s day or night.
Saugerties Light lies below the high peaks, a B & B where you can reserve a room if you dare; whatever would it be like to sleep straight through here for 20 years.
GDM 264 is a specialty you’ll not often see . . . a cement suction barge.
draws you in with wondrous ruins. More on the gift of ruins soon.
For a short intro to Hudson Valley legends and place-name explanations, click here.
But if you can, get out and dance to the fall splendor before its music ceases for a year.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who has abstained from from Rip’s purple magic liquor . . . and had an extra cup of coffee instead.
Issuma has traveled off four continents in the past two years: Europe, Africa, South America, and North America. In the past year alone, Issuma‘s landfalls have included Argentina and Nunavut. Yet, Issuma‘s skipper Richard Hudson has logged hundreds of hours sailing in the sixth boro, as well. His tow, the vessel slinging here on the towline–for sale–is none other than the charming Rosemary Ruth.
Issuma is Richard’s third schooner. See all the stories from Issuma back to Orbit II (which now lies thousands of feet below the surface of the North Atlantic between Iceland and Ireland) here.
Issuma–unstepped mast lying cabintop–by now might be off farther north and west, headed for Toronto before winter closes the Erie Canal. The tow will be left behind in Catskill, awaiting a new owner.
More fotos of the trip up the Hudson Valley coming soon. As an aside, with a vista like this, I find it credible that Henry Hudson, making this trip 401 years ago, could have believed this waterway would lead through the continent.
Related: Rosemary Ruth IS a signed piece of art. See the weld signature here.
This post is devoted entirely to requests for info. Like . . . what is the metal cage on this disintegrating wooden barge on the portion of Shooter’s Island shore right opposite Mariner’s Harbor?
Calaboose? hoosegow? tool crib? bird cage? rat pen?
Industrial to be sure, but what is
this structure right across the southeasternmost point of Port Elizabeth and near a green corner of Bayonne?
Lygra has an unusual design for these parts. I caught her in Red Hook about two months back. Anyone seen her before? Know what she transported?
Someone asked me about this boat last winter, no doubt attracted by the design and the port of registry: Portsmouth NH. Until I watched it a bit this summer and noticed divers aboard, I was convinced that Dolphin III was a sport fishing vessel: billfish or tuna.
But it seemed to be operating as a dive support boat, complete with
a fairly large tender.
So it didn’t surprise me to hear that the vessel might be working with a marine contractor. Anyone know what project might be?
the annual schooner race from Baltimore to Portsmouth, VA. Here are the results. Below, it’s Sultana and Summerwind. Summerwind, based at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, was the Class AA winner.
Privateer Lynx finished third.
Lady Maryland–yes she is painted pink –finished fourth.
left to right, Woodwind (?) and the curvaceous Shanty
And not to be omitted, with a second place finish, it’s Pride of Baltimore II.
A schooner that would have been happy to race last week–When and If–-did not, since it’s for sale. Who knows . . . some other participants from previous years but NOT on hand in 2010 might also be for sale.
Final shot . . . left to right: Norfolk Rebel (the world’s only “tugantine”), Summerwind, Lady Maryland, and an unidentifed tug in the background.
All fotos by Melanie Lettau. Thanks a bunch!
And some sixth boro autumn sailing pics coming soon.
As Florida’s cutterhead chews the harbor bottom away at the rate of 43,200 revolutions per day … in ideal conditions of teeth staying permanently sharp, vessels of all provenances and sizes sashay in and out and around. By New York standards, Maersk Kokura is large, at 1040′ loa x 138′ beam, and its keel mere feet above Florida‘s anchor line.
I’ve no numbers on clearance below the Bayonne to the uppermost portions of Kokura. Anyone?
Fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Unrelated: Underwater Halloween party . . .
A year, a month, and three days before I was born, Joseph Mitchell published the essay below in the New Yorker. I don’t know when the first dredge appeared in the sixth boro, but
in Mitchell’s day, as now, dredging fleets and their crews sculpted the invisible portions of New York harbor. The above hard-to-read text made its way into the beginning of the essay “The Bottom of the Harbor” in Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel. For fotos of the crew of dredge Florida at their various duties, check through several dozen new ones on my Flickr stream to the left.
And it does take a fleet of specialized craft, like Apache, which
drills holes into “hard rock,” inserts explosive charges, and blows bedrock into fragments. Here’s a KVK blast video from USACE. This is how the process looks at a site in Finland. For images and description of blasting in Hell Gate in the 19th century, click here.
The next three fotos come thanks to Allen Baker. Loose clay mix slop
looks like this dropping into scows and smelling, by Allen’s description, as
“aroma there’s not enough vocabulary for.”
Drier particles, chewed up by the cutter head, might
get scooped by an excavator like 996 on
dredge New York. Here is video of a very scary day a few years back aboard New York.
Other areas of the harbor bottom get sculpted by vessels like Padre Island and (below) Terrapin Island.
And performing liaison duties among all the ships and machines in the fleet are crew boats like Brazos River
here driven from the exterior control station by Capt. Bill Miller.
And finally . . . back to the teeth: cost is between $150 and $180 each, depending on size and manufacturer. And ,
Also, in case you wondered about the date of Mitchell’s essay in the New Yorker: January 6, 1951.