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(Unrelated:  If you are in or near NYC tomorrow, come to the “Save Our Seaport” rally at South Street to make a loud noise.)  I will be there.

It has NOT rained non-stop the past week, but enough rain and cloud have visited us that  . . . if today continues as glorious as it has started, the predictions will be correct:  I might just feel rapturous.  (Doubleclick enlarges.)  If you’re not in this drenched zone, here’s the sodden seaside you’ve missed.  Brendan Turecamo escorts in East Point with Lois Ann L. Moran and Turecamo Girls in the background.

Maryland in foreground with a very moody Manhattan and Jersey City  in the distance.

Pati R. Moran,

Lee T., and Thomas Witte (?)

all get unimpeded deckwashes.  Crew on Mare di Venezia might think this standard sixth boro seasoning.

When for minutes at a time, the rain stops, otherworldly scenes emerge, like VCB‘s decorated rowing gig Bird (more on this later)  in the foreground and Danish schooner Opal in the background.

But then the rain starts up again . . .  yet traffic ebbs and flows, like here Horizon Traderin the distance and Resolute escorting in Hyundai Integral closer by, and still later, as I shot from under a pedestrian bridge,

Sandmaster (ex-Ben Candies) enters the harbor with so-called Blue Marlin in the background.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who feels thoroughly rain-anointed and is astonished that his camera still works.


Here’s a bit more context.  The sun shone for only a few minutes this morning, and after that drizzle was steady, and distance was far, so your imagination may be called upon.    Blue Marlin is orange and

–uh–colossal, elephantine.  If any vessel should be called a whale, this is it.  And maybe the Reinauer tugs (Monarch, Curtis, Janice Ann !!, John, Dean [scroll thru each to find it]  and seven barges)  could be renamed for the transit as

Jonah 1, Jonah 2, etc. . . especially as they might be passing through a rapturous sea, if the folks in Times Square are correct.  Nevertheless, with Twin Tube’s help, provisions are laid on, and all manner

of prep goes on.

Welding and movement

get the vessel ready for loading on  . . .

Monday?  Is there a spectator boat to get just a bit closer?  I’d love to know.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Updates soon.  If anyone gets closer-up pics and wants to share, email me.

From my reading Stephen King phase, I remember a formula that involved a storm or fog moving on and leaving something inexplicable, usually malevolent.  If I

hadn’t expected Gazela at this appointed hour, my imagination would have raced.  Instead, it did my heart good to see Gazela–who was still dory fishing on the Grand Banks when Armstrong  strolled around some lunar real estate since abandoned.  Crossing paths with Gazela as it entered the KVK was John P. Brown.  If you’re interested in dining (DINING) aboard Gazela Friday evening, click here for info and reservations.

Gazela‘s in town as part of Atlantic Salt fest.    For fotos of Gazela in clear bright August sunshine, click here.

This too, had I not been forewarned, would have conjured up Stephen King thoughts;  given its beam, I’d call this “one big-ass ship” aka Makulu . . . if you speak Zulu.  Dimensions:  735′ loa x 210′ beam!

It looks like it could carry all of BAT to some foreign shore.

In spite of its color, it’sBlue Marlin.  Click here and scroll through to see Blue Marlin–back when it was still blue–carrying the DDG-67 USS Cole from Yemen back to Mississippi in 2000.  Click here on Fogonazos to see some huge loads.

I saw some Reinauer boats skittering around the boro today . . . for fear of being loaded onto this orange Blue Marlin.  I expect to see more of Blue Marlin loading the next few days.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated but almost . . . See these fotos Capt Joey of Good Morning Gloucester took of Wanderbird high and dry up in Cape Ann.

So I have this set of unrelated fotos lingering in my mental hopper, and it’s the time of year to clear out hoppers.  My decision . . . post them as , well, a set of unrelated fotos.  Like this one.  It reminds me of an Eagles’ song from long ago except not quite.  Where taken?  What would the lyrics of this song be?

From Allen Baker, who took it as he was leaving the Morris Canal back in 1984.  Besides the new skyline, the waterfront is entirely different.  What exists there now could be imagined in a parallel universe that has sen tectonic uplifting that has created a new set of escarpments, disjointed cliffs.

Taking a picture through a window could create a whole new series.    Has a tjalk ever before worn such fanciful sails?   Foto thanks to Rene Keuvelaar.

What to say . .  dancers high atop the  radar mast of a cruise vessels?  Cleaning and adjustment?  Performance art?

And finally . . .  from Fred Trooster, who also supplied the Hotel New York foto taken in Rotterdam, a sidewheeler steam tug alongside cliffs on the Rhine pulling a string of barges.  Do such fotos exist of sidewheeler tugs on the Hudson or in the sixth boro?

Thanks to Fred, Allen, and Rene for these fotos.  I took the foto of “dancers” in the radar mast high atop Caribbean Princess, just after it docked in Red Hook earlier this month.

A quick and dirty post on the 1912 tug formerly known as Grouper.  New name will be forthcoming.  The following four fotos show the removal of the DRXC Hercules diesel, which runs the generator and would, among other things, run the compressor to fill the air tanks.  Note the electrical board to the left.  This foto looks forward on the starboard side.

Tough work . . .  looking aft.

The owner Marc is looking for a parts engine.

This engine is headed for a shop.

Electrical board . . .


More updates to follow.

Completely unrelated but some fotos of a vessel that newly acquired a whole new legacy:  CVN-70 appeared on tugster here in December 2010.

Imagine a tugboat with a bowsprit, at least some of the time?  See the link at the end.

First from Robert Apuzzo . . .  Crow (1963) in the East River, and

Susan Miller (1981, ex-Uncle Ned) in the Bronx River.  Speaking of the Bronx River, here’s its namesake tug and some info on doings in the Bronx River this summer.  By the way, you saw Bronx nearly lost in the lush bow pudding of Cornell here last September… scroll through a bit.

From John Watson, the newer (Feb 2011) and bigger (630′) orange juice tanker Orange Stararrives escorted by Laura K. Moran.

Same shot, bigger context.

A distant sound like a train whistle Saturday morning . . .  that was the aforementioned Cornell.

A school of Vane boats (l. to r. Elk River, Pataspsco, and Quantico Creek)  get their stern-parts bathed by the oracle waters Gowanus Canal.

Eagle Service, fairly fresh off the Great Lakes, heads into KVK about a week ago.

Like Eagle Service, Greenland Sea was originally built as a Bollinger-built Candies boat.  . .  Grant Candies (November 1996) and  Doc Candies (December 1990).

Another Hornbeck boat, Freedom Service (1983) heads into the Buttermilk from the East River.

Buchanan 12 (1972) heads into the East River.    See her light here.

Thanks to Robert and John for sharing their fotos.

Unrelated:  Here are some fotos from the Seattle Maritime Festival, tug race and more, from yesterday.  Wish I’d been able to go.   Here and here are some Seattle water fotos I took last summer.  For updates on Coot, the tug in W. O. Decker colors, click here. Scrolling through you’ll also find some great tugboat names as well as the hull–high and dry–of a supertug under construction.

Also unrelated but  . .  a two-minute video honoring WW2 vets.  Watch it all, please.

Anna Frater is the bowspritted tugboat;  click here to see it.    It’s not the first such tug to appear here:  check out this tugantine from 2008.

(Doubleclick enlarges most fotos.) When I visited Village Community Boathouse (VCB) late last winter, we discussed a “photographic rowfari” to the Gowanus, come spring.  Spring has arrived, and so . .. yesterday, John Magnus and JML

constructed by volunteers at VCB were lowered into the north River at Pier 40 and

after some adjustments, the hearty crews rowed toward their destination,

making a stop to greet the folks at Red Hook Boaters near Valentino Pier before

heading farther south.

Once past Erie Basin, we turned into Gowanus Bay, past the Loujiane, the grain elevators,

part of the Vane fleet, docked where the previous tenant’s name still graces the wall,

past the experiment vessel Jerko

with its famous tender Mare Liberum. . . floating above all manner of artifacts there for the collecting . . . farther up the canal untl we reached it . . .

huge bubbles?  Reverse maelstrom?  Vortex reversus?  Belch of sludge lusus naturae?  Maybe it’s just evidence that the flushing canal actually functions in spite of its sisyphean task of cleaning what has been rendered most foul?

In spite of Gowanus‘ uberpolluted condition, an ecosystem exists, with feral cats,


an intrepid canoe club,

predators and prey.

Is the intention of this sign (above a novel use of tires) to invite us back?  See the VCB version of events here.

Questions I have are . . .  how soon might the Canal’s Superfund status show results?

Unrelated but possibly good news related to South Street Seaport   . . .  we all who pledged may have the pleasure of sending in our Benjamin Franklins . . . .

And a heads-up for next week . . .  Hudson River Pageant, involving some of Village Community Boathouse’s rowing gigs!

Related and very important . .  . if you’re in a human-powered and relatively small vessel, be aware that you are difficult to spot for huge cargo vessels of all kinds that travel fast and have limited maneuverability.  Read Towmasters post here

The two boats here–Grouper (1912) and Elisabeth (1925) –have nothing to do with each other, but they clearly illustrate two extremes of restoration.    Elisabeth lies starboardside to in Schiedam, whereas

same is true of Grouper in Lyons, New York.

Here’s another shot of


Work on Elisabeth these days entails polishing and wiping down, but on

Grouper it means studying diagrams and

tracing lines and piping and

referring to typewritten instructions from

–who knows–a half century back.

But Grouper will get there.  I invite you to weigh in on the project.  Meanwhile . . .  from the many mouths of the Rhine, Fred sends his greetings and salutes the American readers.

A final two words about Elisabeth here:  first, she’s vying for Dutch tug/pushboat (opduwer) of the year . .  . to be named during the Netherlands National Tug Day, June 2, 2011.  I’m trying to learn how/if at all non-local readers might participate.  Second, here’s Elisabeth, foto taken yesterday, National Windmill (molen) Day. to mark the completion of reconstruction of the Camel, a malt/gin mill in  Schiedam originally built in 1715.

Unrelated:  Happy Seattle Maritime Festival this weekend.  Wish I were there.  I’d be happy to post any fotos from there.

More on all these projects and events soon.  Thanks to Alen and Angela Baker for the Grouper documents and to Fred Trooster for the Elisabeth fotos.

That this green icon dominating our harbor  came as a gift to us from the people of France . . .  astounds me.    Here  Liberté greets Gramma Lee T and a Virgin Atlantic plane simultaneously.

She injects herself into the absolute calendar-beauty pose of Sassafras.

She gets Timothy L. Reinauer to turn his head.

She strains to capture Anthony L. Miller‘s attention.

She appears to catch a ride on DoubleSkin 303 bunker barge.

She manages to climb atop the old warehouse to direct Caribbean Princess’ s rotation off Red Hook.

On a misty late afternoon, she’s there when Sea Bear heads for the East River.

She uses her torch to mimic a starter’s pistol as Laura K passes.

She intrudes on my foto when I’m trying to focus on Houma.

This astounding gift from the people of France lives on and on.  All of which leads me to this . . .   wouldn’t  it be just super if people of another country decided to  . . . as did the people of France … make us a gift of a really tall observation tower?  Just think of all the great harbor shots to be taken from a 1500-foot tower along the KVK . . .   I’d just love it.  Somewhere, we must have grateful friends willing to do this, shouldn’t we?  Might the Emiratis give us a Burj of our own atop Todt Hill ?    Maybe the Chinese could gift us with an Occidental Pearl Tower on Bay Ridge?    We must have friends like the French people of a century and a half ago somewhere.

Ever been in close proximity with someone but you’re each focused elsewhere and that’s all fine?  This might be a cautionary tale;  action…. I thought …. is provided by Cape Talara  (2008) assisted in this pirouette by Resolute (1975)  and Barbara McAllister (1969, ex-Bouchard Boys and T. J. Sheridan).    Let’s call this roughly 4 pm.

7 minutes past focus medium and

focus closer.

8 minutes past.

16 minutes.

23 …

25.5 …









Whoa!  Warn me next time.   These are NOT the right lyrics;  I think they beg to be parodied to fit this tale, but until they are, enjoy.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Looks  like a new blog about the sixth boro . . . welcome Vladimir and Johna!

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May 2011
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