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She brightened my day once last spring.

Saturday she spun around in the KVK with

assistance–not from Meagan Ann, who seemed more to spectate like me–from

from Gramma Lee T. Moran.

She headed out

not to sea immediately but first

to the anchorage for

whatever Emma Miller could give her.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is always looking for new vistas of the sixth boro.

The Bayonne Bridge has stood astride this blog from Post #1, and yet, I’ve never slung my lenses over its walkway.  Truth be told, I rarely view  the sixth boro FROM the Bridge;  instead the Bridge frames my view . .  . . fills background.  Richard Wonder–who previously submitted this wonderful shot of John B. Caddell almost four years ago–has convinced me with this next stunning series of shots that views from that bridge must lie in my future.

Yang Ming Efficiency slides inbound.  Might that be Ellen port (along) side?

I’m wondering what the large “granular” load is in the open-top containers. . . . castings?

Heading toward Shooter’s Island, Efficiency begins a rotation to starboard.  That’s either Charles D. or McAllister Responder between Efficiency and Shooter’s.

To execute the turn, Margaret Moran plays stern thruster with all

its might.

All fotos by Richard Wonder.  Thank!!

Related:  The NYTimes this morning ran an article on those links between this bridge, Savannah, Panama, and August 15, 2014.

No, I’m not switching over to other folks’ fotos, but I just read a story that I can’t pass up on.  I can’t wait until I find time to gallivant up to Eastport, Maine, for the next shipment of cows in CATS.  Eastport has suddenly called me, really loud.  Like MOO!  Pregnant Moo at that.  Let me explain.

Marcel and Ruud Coster took this foto of Artisgracht and put  it on Shipspotting.

During the second half of July 2010 Artisgracht transported 472 pregnant cows from Eastport, Maine, to Turkey.  All arrived safely thanks to “Comfort Animal Transport Suites,” aka CATS.   Pregnant Maine cattle have the additional distinction of being “bluetongue-free.” Further, thanks to a company called Sexing Technologies, 80% of the cows are guaranteed to be carrying females.   Read the story here.  Artisgracht is a particularly apt name for this vessel, since Artis is the common name of a zoo in Amsterdam, near a gracht (“canal”).

Excuse the brevity of the post, but I must get up to Eastport to see this.  I rest my case.  It also reminds me of some friends who worked for Livestock Air . . .  can’t make that up.

CATS . . . I’ve not located a description or foto of a CATS, but we can play with this a bit . . .  a lot . ..  til the  …. cows come home, in fact.

Imagine a shipping line offering to transport cars in DOGS (Dry Overseas Garaging Solutions).  Or local produce, brews, christmas trees, and milk products (SSS) coming down the Hudson on RABBITS ( Riverine Area Barged Box Initiatives for Transportation Sustainability).  Finally, oil on river TRUCKS (Transportation Remedation to Undo Congestion Kinks).

Unrelated to this post, but relevant to “Anatomy…,”  Kyran Clune from Michigan calls attention to “truckable tug” Nipigon, outa Toronto.  Click here and here.

… is Inuktitut for … well, you can read it below.

I could have called this post Wanderbird 4.  Some of the time aboard I spent looking through this book by Nat Igloliorte.

It’s common knowledge that from the sixth boro . . . i.e., local waters commingling among the other five boros of NYC . . . even with a relatively small vessel, you can get to anywhere on the millions of miles of coastline on the planet.  And folks in boats and ships of all sizes have seen or intend to see multitudes of seascapes and landscapes on that coastline.

Here a certain blogger reads about gunkholes that lie in his future.

As Wanderbird left its sibling Cape Race, I wondered when the two vessels next would meet and raft up.

So did Pitsik.  Where are we going, he wondered in dog thoughts.

When . . . I wonder  . . .  will Captains Karen and Rick be lowering in warm seas and when among icebergs?

Thanks again to David Blitzer for his fisheye fotos here.  His show at 350 Bleeker Street (here) stays up until December 27.

ᑕᑯᓛᕆᕗᒍᒃ . . .   or   takulaarivuguk

Unrelated:  The concluding installment went up on my blog My Babylonian Captivity.

Alice Oldendorff came into town yesterday.  Many thanks for this foto  to a reader and blogger who is anything but self-absorbed.  And seeing Alice from this angle, escorted by the inimitable McAllister Responder . . . Ms. O is the same beauty I fell for long ago, but the Manhattan skyline from this angle has some new detail . . .  right above Alice’s forward boom is the World Trade Center with its twin cranes, and forward of that the Beekman Tower, NYC’s tallest residential building.  I don’t think Beekman is a walk-up.

So, I have clearly self-disclosed myself as a fool for Alice, who may never requite my feelings for her.  Never will I–unless my fortunes change–be invited to commune with Alice in drydock, where I could study her from stem to stern.  Or trace her curves and contours.  Or admire her from every angle with my lenses.  Or massage her aches and smoothen her scars.  Let me demonstrate by . . .

showing what I was able to do recently with Edna, a 35′ loa x 16′ truckable tug launched in 1997.  My dance with Edna started here, and then

I walked around her, admiring her marks of graceful aging … the rust and the growth and dents.  She exposed her vulnerabilities.

She let me appreciate her power and maneuverability both starboard closeup and

from farther back.

I pivoted around to port, and venerated her complex yet classic lines.

Back at the bow, our eyes locked as we  read each other and grokked.

From full frontal to profile to dorsal-to-dorsal dosido, the dance could go on.

OK, Alice, I know you’re 20 times longer and 5 times beamier, but our feelings may some day converge and such exhilarated escape from inhibition we’ll enjoy.  For now,  I withdraw all this self-disclosure.  If working relationship it is, then I will cherish that.  Work calls us in opposite directions:  you to the quarries of Nova Scotia and me . . .  well, no more self-disclosure.

Top foto by Claude Scales;  all others by Will Van Dorp, whose smile stretches from ear to ear right now.

The vessel is Tor Viking II, I didn’t take the foto,  and it’s nowhere near the sixth boro.  Nor is it near Vancouver BC or the United Arab Emirates, although it’s linked to both those places.   Have you seen or heard of Tor Viking II?

Tor Viking II is one of two tugs currently towing bulk carrier Golden Seas with its 60,000 tons of rapeseed for making canola oil in the Emirates.  Robert of Oil-Electric tells a thorough story about the distressed bulk carrier that may (by now) have arrived in Dutch Harbor.  You may recall Robert’s report on Deepwater from May 2010.  You’ll also find out what a “canola plant” looks like.

The foto below shows old-style 1941 coastal oil ship and a 2006 ice-strengthened Aframax tanker.  (Doubleclick enlarges.)

To see a foto of Stena Antarctica moving oil through the ice, click here and scroll.  See how a Stena fleetsibling, Poseidon, and Kafka get linked in a post from over two years ago.

Australian Spirit, far-off and all ashimmer in the cold.

Bravery Ace, delivering cars to a someday (?) car-free Manhattan?

A single-hull 1934 oil ship . . .  Kristin Poling, nears a turn in its road.

Jurkalne at anchor.

AKR310 USNS Sisler with its new black paint in GMD Bayonne.

And finally, crossing in the KVK, Euro Spirit and HanJin Chittagong.

Most exciting of all . . . Alice is back in town!  Anyone get a foto of her?

All fotos, unless otherwise attributed, by Will Van Dorp.  Be sure to read the Golden Seas story linked above and written by Robert of Oil-Electric.  Here’s the canola story.

And –just confirmed– see you in Charleston for New Years!!  I can’t wait to gallivant.

Here’s a game:    I show part of a foto, and you might try to identify the vessel . . .

an answer of Marion C. Bouchard would have been correct.  Doubleclick enlarges most.

Let’s start here.  Although I didn’t take this foto, I did refer to it recently on this blog.  Note the logo.  Any guesses?

Unusual exhaust location . . .

“training wheels”

those can’t be superhigh steamer stacks, can they?

angular hull profile

tiny tires as fenders, or  …

Terrapin Island has a stack forward of the house.

Ellen McAllister, of course.

The unique Odin tailed by Ross Sea over by the Goethals Bridge.  Ross Sea seems to sprout a massive starboard stack here.  Anyone know whose stacks those really  are?

Lois Ann L. Moran

Huge tires, actually, on the gargantuan Atlantic Salvor.

And here’s the final one.  It’s Break of Dawn.  When I read that the tug that had the misfortunate to take the job of towing Mobro 4000, I assumed it was a local independent tug, not a fleet sibling of Dawn Services.    This blog has run fotos of Baltic Dawn and Atlantic Dawn.

For a fuller story of the motivations behind the “garbage job,” read this, starting from p. 243.

For the artistic story behind the children’s book, see this link for the series of decisions and sketches involved in creating the story.  As a disclaimer … I haven’t read the book and realize some controversy surrounds it, but check out the Amazon page video about the author’s process in creating the artwork.  To me, one important story here is an honest ambitious  crew doing a job that captures them, transforming them into pawns of a diverse, far-flung, and powerful interest groups.

The Break of Dawn fotos come thanks to Harold Tartell.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  I just added a blogroll link to Lars Johnson’s site on Swedish tugs and other vessels.    Thanks much to  Björn Wallde for sending these along.  Check out his comment for fotos!

And talking about being pawns . . .  my account of my time as a hostage in Iraq exactly 20 years ago is reaching its climax on the Babylonian Captivity site.  If you’ve not been reading it, my detention lasted from August until December 1990;  to read the account in chronological order, see the note upper right on the homepage.


Beaufort Sea (ex-Corsair, 1971, 105 loa x 32′) with DBL 101.  Can anyone identify the tallest building on the skyline there?  I can’t.

Emily C. Cheramie (2000, 90′ x 28′  ) with Unloader No. 2.

Despite a stiff tailwind, a Buchanan tug (12?) heads southbound toward Yonkers with six or nine stone scows barely making headway against the flood.

Catherine Turecamo (ex-Gulf Tempest, 1972, 99′ x 30′) approaches while Endeavor (2007, 964′ x 91′) and Ellen McAllister (1966, 102′ x 29′)  recede.  Ellen seems shorter than 102′ . . . although I’m not sure why I think so.  Click here and scroll for a foto of the Bayonne Bridge under construction.  See MOL history here.

Amy C. McAllister (ex-Jane A. Bouchard, 1975, 91′ x 30′)  with B. No. 231 approaching the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

Morgan Reinauer (ex-Exxon Garden State, 1981, 119′ x 34′)  passing an outbound Maersk Denpasar (exactly the same dimensions as MOL Endeavor but launched in 2003).  Denpasar is the capital of the Indonesian province of Bali.

Susan E. Witte (a classic looking from  2004, 55′ x 17′)  strides into the Kills.

Maurania III (also 2004, 101′ x 33′) escorts a tanker while Linda Moran (2008, 116′ x 36′) passes on the far side.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated question:  You will no doubt remember the fiasco of Mobro 4000‘s 6000-mile journey towed by Break of Dawn, built 1982.  Does anyone have a recent foto of Break of Dawn?

(Doubleclick enlarges fotos.) With a favorable weather window,  tomorrow nightfall may find Wanderbird out the Narrows and at sea, bound for Puerto Rico.    But midday today, she was

anchored off Piermont, off the old Camp Shanks.  More Camp Shanks later.

Captain Rick Miles came calling ashore in the skiff.

At daybreak Paolo and Pitsik bade farewell to Atlantic Basin as

we left  the Basin–where Clipper City and Cape Race remained–and

steamed upriver past a very sleepy version of the so-called “city that never sleeps.”  This morning I had doubts about that moniker.  And with an icy blast coming out of the north, sleeping in would not be such a terrible option, but

for me, the ride up to Piermont–in a wheelhouse listening to yarns from Culebra to Greenland and  smelling soup savors wafted up from the galley–it was sweet.

Thanks to Captains Rick and Karen for the chance to steam upriver a few hours.  Here’s their site.

For folks who want numbers:  Wanderbird‘s Industrie engine generates 510 hp, consuming a gallon a mile while cruising at 500 rpm and spinning a 8″ shaft and a 62″ four-bladed prop.

A great picture book about the hundreds of very similar North Sea trawlers, check out Arie van der Veer’s Van Zijtrawler naar Hektrawler (From Side Trawler to Stern Trawler).  It has hundreds of fotos.  An English-language article with pics on this category of trawler can be seen here.

Check out this blog from Labrador for more info on the Canadian husky above named Pitsik (scroll to August 18, 2010) AND the schooner Issuma (scroll to August 10), currently on Lake Ontario and written about here last month.  Here’s another Issuma post.    For pics of Wanderbird in the Caribbean, check out these by David Blitzer, whom I met on the trip to Piermont.  See info on David’s show at 350 Bleeker Street here.

Fair winds, Wanderbird.

See Salt 2.  Sidewalks, steps, and streets soon taste this

in the five boros and beyond.  Salt arrives at Atlantic Salt,

along Richmond Terrace.  And to continue yesterday’s motif,

this is the operator who empties

Chryssa K,

2002-built bulk carrier,

she who seasons our pathways,

who melts the city’s icy


heart and all its tracks and trails, allowing

her lifeblood, her traffic to flow.

All fotos taken today by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, the tower in fotos 1 and 2 is sometimes called Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower.  Also, in those fotos, you can see dredge New York.

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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.

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Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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


December 2010