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What’s this?  Clam-shell bucket and helicopter markings?

Amazing, as in IMO9456331.  Amazing is the name of the vessel.  And amazingly, three vessels here appear mostly on the rocks:  middle ground in Noble Express and in the distance the stack belongs to Inyala.

I’m not sure where the cargo has originated, but

Amazing arrived in the sixth boro about a week after  traversing the Panama Canal.   So although we get salt from lots of places, this salt

I believe comes from somewhere in Asia, and

other minerals are commingled, here’s the color on the pile.

Ultimately it gets to storage barns like this one on the sanitation Pier on “thirteenth avenue.”

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Gazela will be at this very salt dock for a few days starting May 18 in transit to Portsmouth, NH.

Totally unrelated but amazingly upsetting to me:  Can a government official with an annual salary of less than $7000/year order a yacht costing over $350 million?  Sure, if the official happens to be Minister of Agriculture and Foresty of Equatorial Guinea, and named Teodorin Obiang, son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (scroll through to see an official 2009 portrait).    Disclosure:  I’ve never visited Equatorial Guinea, but between 1975 and 1977, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, I visited along the border between the two countries.

Two weeks ago I did a “leaving Bayonne” post.  Here’s the other shoe.  In the two-week interval, maybe a dozen vessels have come and gone.

Sparse text today:  8:50 am . . . two lineboats and crews race eastward from IMTT.

9:02 .  . . two McAllister tugs with a tanker round the bend near the entrance of the KVK, about a mile east of the “office” where I am.

9:09. . . .  and it looks like Evrotas is coming no farther west.

9:21   . . .  Amy C McAllister moves the bow towards the dock, as

Marjorie B McAllister nudges in the stern.

9:46 . . .  a lineboat moves in

9:49:38  .  . to receive dock lines.


9:50:22.  Line has been received, and is being made fast and the

9:50:46 . . . and gets moved toward to shoreside bollard.

9:50:46.  Ditto, sternlines.  Note the terminal service truck arrives.

9:51:27 Shore crew prepares to

9:52:03   . . .  receive and make fast the stern lines.

9:52:31 . . .  all fast and lineboats do a celebratory dance, then depart.

9:54:51 . . .  Marjorie B. is relieved, while

9:57:40  . . . up forward Amy C begins to move off as well.

10:02:47 . . .  the last line comes off, and

10:0308    . . .  as  Amy C slides astern as deckhand tidies up docking lines.

At least that’s how I interpret it, as the photographer, Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated from the NYTimes . . . “Suddenly a rise in piracy’s price,” and be sure to see the graphic.  Kennebec Captain and Hawsepiper have notable thoughts from mariners’ points of view.

means “jumbovision”  or “not everything fits inside a steel box.” Jeff Anzevino took the fotos in Poughkeepsie last Saturday, and  coincidentally Bowsprite became intrigued with her some hours later as the jumboship passed through a dark sixth boro bound for sea.  Bowsprite’s watercolor renders her conceptually, whereas Jeff’s fotos caught her naked deckload.   As a further coincidence, I’d caught fotos of Fairload 50 days earlier in Charleston.  Below, Fairload rushes through the ice as it approaches Walkway over the Hudson.

Believe it or not, Fairload belongs to the smallest class of Jumbo vessels.    Errors loading such enormous loads can be catastrophic, as happened in Albany in 2003 with Stellemare .   Check out these fotos of a single 130-ton piece aboard Fairload.

Cargo on the weather deck of Fairload last week included the 146-foot yacht Danadia.   Anyone know the destination?

By midnight, Fairload will be under and south of  the Verrazano.

Thanks to Jeff Anzevino for these shots.  Bravo to Bowsprite for her lovely rendering.

Here’s a vessel-carrying vessel I caught from the Walkway a year and a half ago.

Elizabeth Wood took the following pics just over three years ago;  I hated the gloomy light that day, but now I find it appropriate given the topic this post.  Below is a letter from Peter Stanford, founder of South Street Seaport Museum, who thinks the current chairman and director should resign.

<<   … a  long slide from four piers under Seaport Museum control and a museum  that was operating in the black until corporate managers took control, who sold out to Rouse in 1980. In those days you helped lead “a revival of spirit” (as  a NY Times headline called it) in 1980, when Jakob (Isbrandtsen] and the Wavertee Volunteers turned to, supported by NMHS, and saved the ship from the sale or scrapping as set forth in the Rouse plan. Today we have one pier and have lost our urban renewal status which gave the Seaport Museum control of waterfront development which now proceeds regardless of museum needs and interests.

Seaport management asked Terry Walton and myself, with another seaport founder, Robert Ferraro, to develop an outline plan for the ships. We’ve now done this, after consultation with leaders in the Mystic, San Diego, and Erie maritime museums.  These good souls run active, creative ship programs. And they have the vision to see that failure of the historic ships’ cause in New York would deal a deadly blow to the movement nationally – and in fact, internationally. As soon as we have final approval by Ray Ashley in San Diego, Dana Hewson in Mystic, Walter Rybka in Erie we’d like to circulate a summary of the Ships Plan to bring fresh life and interest to the ships of South Street.

We might also hold a meeting of informed people on what the Seaport needs and what it can deliver. We might hold this meeting on Maritime Day, 22 May, during the scheduled visit of the Gazela of Philadelphia, the last square-rigger in the immemorial Newfoundland fisheries – Jakob’s old skipper Robert Rustchak is relief skipper and trustee of the ship, and I hope he can help us do this in proper style. And I hope others of like mind may also weigh in to get a public campaign rolling.

ACTION THIS DAY! Meantime we urgently need e-mails to Mayor Bloomberg ( and the NY Times (212) 639-9675), to let the Mayor (www/ know that the fate of the Seaport Museum cannot be left to real estate interests in high cabal, and to alert Times readers to back-alley dealings over an institution which has been a resource and inspiration to many New Yorkers – which needs their support to tell the story of New York as a city built by seafaring,  which is vital its well-being and progress on the sea trades today and tomorrow. >>

To any who wants to e-mail Mayor Michael Bloomberg, put this address on your browser line This will bring you to a form to email the mayor. Max 300 words.  What to write?

Whatever you want, whatever you know.  If you don’t know much, keep in mind that ( as Rick Old Salt reports)  Peter Stanford, Museum founder, has so little confidence in the the current leadership of the Museum that he calls for them to resign.   I’m not privy to the inner workings at the Museum, but I did invest 1000 volunteer hours there, ending a few years back because the low morale among folks who worked there just broke my heart.   If you know anyone who has ever worked there, ask them.

A vibrant port city, with its active sixth boro, deserves an energetic and maricentric museum, determined to provide residents and visitors to New York ” a living maritime museum …  on New York’s historic waterfront, where a century ago a thousand bowsprits pointed the way to commercial greatness,”   as Robert S. Gallagher wrote in October 1969.  And a functional research library . . . that would be nice, too.  May brighter days lie ahead.  And may Peking and her sister vessels breathe again.

To see pics of Peking as a proud merchant vessel under sail, click here . . . last three fotos.  For fotos of  Peking‘s first arrival at the Narrows on the wire of Utrecht, click here.

No, the blog hasn’t gone politico-preachy . . . America‘s the name of the push vessel below.  Check out the unusual (at least by sixth boro standards)  of four side-by-side stacks, each stack corresponding to a Cooper-Bessemer LS-8 engine, with a total combined horsepower of 9000 bhp.  Details are these:   170′ x 58′ x 10.3′ and launched in St. Louis in 1960.    For two decades America pushed for Federal Barge Lines.  After that, it went to another pushboat company, was repossessed, converted to a restaurant, casino, and is now in conversion to a B & B.  I want to see this vessel that’s trying on all these post-push vessel roles.

Foto used with permission from Steve Schulte.  Thanks much, Steve.

Summer’s approaching, and I’m feeling a strong urge for a gallivant along the Ohio leading the misi-ziibi and any other  “tight-assed” river tributaries, as John McPhee called one of them.  Can anyone offer suggestions of where to get the best fotos along the central Mississippi and the Illinois?   And while at the juncture, I’m visiting here.

For a list of towboat companies on the Mississippi watershed, click here.

Question:  Where might a “used” New York harbor ferry go?  Where might the sixth boro buy a used ferry from?  Answers below.

My attention was directed to the sixth Great Lake some two plus years back as well as more recently, and thanks to some recent icy fotos from Jed, let’s have another look.  Vessel Vermont runs year round between Grand Isle, VT and Plattsburgh, NY.  Vermont dates from 1992 Louisiana, and like the recent arrival–Raymond C Pecor Jr–  Vermont traversed the sixth boro and needed some disassembling to get to the big lake.

Adirondack (1913   ex-South Jacksonville,  Mount Holly, Governor Emerson C  Harrington II) has an impressive resume:  1913–21 in Jacksonville, 1921–27 in Philly, 1927–36 in the sixth boro, 1938–54 in the Chesapeake . . .  before migrating farther north to the sixth great lake.  As Mount Holly, this vessel operated across the East River between 34th Street East and Long Island city.  Anyone know of a foto of her as Mount Holly?

Two years from now,  January 15, 2013 will mark a century of service for this oldest, in-service, double-ended ferry in the US.

Behold Miss Piggy (1982) and Plattsburgh (1984).

Champlain‘s resume reads like an abbreviated version of that presented by Adirondack:   (1930-47  ex-City Of Hampton in Baltimore first and then in Norfolk).

She too, as you can imagine, needed to be decapitated to get to Lake Champlain.

For more info on all these vessels, check out the LCT site.

Valcour is named for the island, site of a key naval battle of the US Revolution.

Thanks much to Jed for sending these along.

or maybe I should call this “windy saturday 2,” because as I watched the merciless wind from a shelter on the “cliff,” Kyle Stubbs felt it from the water.  All fotos today come thanks to his efforts.  Merci merci.

And these first two fotos, perfectly complement (as in andouille to crawfish-boil)  Bowsprite’s recent Jumbolaya post here.    It’s the dredge Atchafalaya, named for the great Cajun river and region. (Treat yourself to the 7.5-minute video at that link:  great cuisine, music, accents, and swampscapes .)

Atchafalaya first splashed into the water way up in St. Paul MN in 1980, quite a journey from its namesake.

Recall how gusty Saturday was:  additional assist work is needed, as in yesterday’s foto of James Turecamo standing by Pati T. Moran.  Here Brendan Turecamo waits at Robbins Reef Light to

tie in.

Ditto here as Mary Gellatly assists Quantico Creek and Doubleskin 39, like a refusing-to-huddle mass under a dramatic sky.

Here decommissioned 65′ harbor tug Swivel shuttles between Governor’s Island and Lower Manhattan.

And finally, harbinger of fotos coming tomorrow, Spirit of America defies the winds as it heads for St. George.

Again, many thanks to Kyle Stubbs for sending along these fotos.

My parting question:  which company now operates Atchafalaya?  Or . . is that a Crowley “C” on the stack?

And with all these Cajun and pre-Mardi Gras  references, check out the blog of a local Brasilian Carnival expert here.   Laissez les bons temps rouler.     And for the young at heart, watch Robert J. Flaherty’s Louisana Story here, for authentic life in Atchafalaya Country.

Gusts last Saturday were over 40 mph, but work on the harbor, as always, went on.  Here Joan Turecamo pushes barge Bridgeton upriver between the Battery and Ellis Island.

Might that barge be loaded deep with coal?

Notice the whitecaps all around Joan Turecamo, built north of Albany in the last years of the Matton Shipyard, possibly the penultimate vessel out of that yard .

Aegean Sea (1962, ex-Francis E. Roehrig, Jersey Coast, John C. Barker)   pushes up river.

Driftmaster heads south, and from this vantage point, you can see into the hoppers where

debris it fishes out of the sixth boro gets stowed.  Driftmaster dates from 1948, but I can’t locate its place of construction.

Virginia (1979, ex-Bayou Babe) shuttled between shore and the “mat-laying barge“.

In the distance, the long, low James Turecamo assists Pati T Moran and barge Charleston into the KVK.

Also, way in the distance . . . the new dredge in town . . . one I’ve never seen closer up than this:  Atchafalaya, one I hope to meet again on a less windy day.   Maybe she’s in town for repairs?

All fotos taken by Will Van Dorp last Saturday from a lower Manhattan cliff from which much of the sixth boro can be seen in a single glance YET little or nothing of its complexity can be divined.  Like my attractive muse, the sixth boro does not give up its secrets at a finger’s snap or with any degree of haste.  Any attempt to unlock the story or tales of the harbor with a single key is like trying to catch the wind.

This holy grail of sail is the Van Nostrand Cup, crafted by Tiffany in 1888 at the behest of  Gardiner Van Nostrand, “held since 1891 by the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club,” put up for competiton only once (1978)  since then.     Getting it back is tricky.  Races can only happen when waters are frozen;  you need good ice, though, not just any ice.  You need wind but not too much.  Last Saturday winds gusted to 50 mph, and then Sunday . . . in spite of this beautiful ice … puffs happened only sporadically.   And with good wind, how fast can they go?  Answer follows.

John Vargo, here with a formidable hat made of skins of two Great Plains coyotes, talks about the sport as

over on the far side of this lake (which I will refer to as Lake Shangri-la . . . located somewhere between the sixth boro and the St. Lawrence) two old stern-steerers race.  If you haven’t seen bowsprite’s  video of the last run of Galatea from February 2010, click here.

A little over 100 years ago, ice boats like these were THE fastest vehicle on earth!  This youtube video from the 1930s touts the fact that a Chevy can outrun an iceboat, an appeal that seems quite bizarre today.

To me, these vessels seem too beautiful and delicate to be so fast.

Varnish, polished brass, marlinespike are all lovingly cared for on Ariel.

Genevieve is a beauty returned recently from Wisconsin

by Brett, whose passion for iceboats was quite evident.  This type of passion and

obsession one who blogs incessantly of water can easily empathize with.  Wonder why the nameboard looks so untraditional?

Genevieve was built not far from a certain temple of baseball in the Bronx.     Here’s a list of vessels built there, but there’s no mention of their iceboating endeavors.    While we’re on NYYL&E history, check out their Bronx-built Linmar and  Olympus.  Another long-gone Morris Heights-based builder built lightships.

A two-person crew pushes off in light wind  before lying in the basket.

Genevieve’s bigger basket accommodates more crew, more pushers.

Waiting for the wind here from near to far:  Ice Queen, Whirlwind, and Ariel.

Lake Shangri-la beckons; when the wind blows, these boats are eager to bring the Grail back to New York ice.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s grateful for the hospitality.

For a wide variety of European iceboat images and links, click here.

Ice boat speed records:  Debutaunte . . . 143 mph?    Miss Wisconsin . . .   200 . ..  has it been clocked?

Check out John Vargo’s Boating on the Hudson FaceBook page here.

Tomorrow or later today I’ll explain my fotos at the top of the Flickr gallery lower left.  Meanwhile, thanks much to Kate and Dock Shuter for these fotos from the Rhinecliff side of the Hudson taken eight days ago.   From near to far in this foto:  ice sailor on skis, his kite propulsion, Kimberly Poling, and the Rondout Light.

Here crews up-rig/tweak their  ice yachts at day’s start.   For more on these vintage boats, see tugster posts from Feb 7, Feb 8, and Feb 9 2010 taken a few miles north of Rhinecliff.    Note the unidentified (and from an iceboater’s POV) “dreaded” USCG icebreaker in the distance.

Race time!

Note the portside runner hiked off the ice in a blustery turn.

Iceboat pics from Feb 20 in the next post.    As I said, see previews in Flickr gallery to the left.  Click here for the info clearing house for ice boating in the Hudson Valley, site maintained by webmaster . . .  the ever-gracious John Sperr.   Be careful . . . there are enough links to fascinating stories at the HYIRC site to engage you all day.

All fotos above from Kate and Dock Shuter.  Thanks much.  Their fotos have appeared here (Clearwater) and here (departure of the Dutch sailing barges) previously.

Thanks to all for your kind words related to the NYTimes article.

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February 2011