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Looking northward from Staten Island, here was my first view of Maltese Falcon under sail yesterday;  it looked as if someone had photoshopped Cutty Sark heeled over into a routine sixth boro scene, complete with a Staten Island ferry.

And the helicopter . . . makes it look like filming of a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 18, the time-travel sequence

through the mythical sixth boro of early 21st century.  I’m also reminded of the prow of a Viking ship by the forwardmost mast, holding

lights, signals, and navigation components.

Note the crew of tug and barge on the left side of the foto who were fortunate to have a frontrow seat as Falcon screamed past;  also, invisible are the mechanical mariners (“75 electric furling winches”) aloft in the rigging striking sail in this series of fotos.  Royals (?) are already doused here.

As Falcon passes Owls Head, she passes  PCTC Otello as the mechanical mariners further shorten sail.  Check out this splash scene aboard Otello.  Notice also the major design difference between the two tugboats.

A few hours later, these fotos show the last of the “off-loading” scene at Blue Marlin, after yesterday’s unsuccesful loading attempt.  These fotos, thanks to my friend Ed Fanuzzi, look toward Owls Head, across Red Hook, and toward Manhattan.

This loading saga has produced not only a bounty of fotos but also a harvest of “overheard comments” bankside.  I’ll leave out the expletives of surprise, but enjoy these:

“Call 911 and the Coast Guard; that @#@!ing ship is sinking!”

“I tell you.  That’s not normal procedure.”

“What the hell are those two orange buildings in the water?”

“They must be testing something.  I saw the same thing a few days ago.”

And when I offered some explanation, including references to this vessel returning the USS Cole from Yemen to the US, I got . . .

“What do you mean . . . deliberately sunk?”

“It doesn’t look like it could carry much coal.”

All of which brings me back to my chorus:  ordinary folk who live on the land masses around the sixth boro, in spite of all the mainstream paper, broadcast, and wired media, do not know very much about doings on the water.  One person I spoke with yesterday while sitting taking fotos was so impressed by these goings-on that she took her kids out of school for a few hours so that they could see this;  THAT is responsible parenting, taking charge of your children’s education, IMHO.

Anyhow, the beat goes on.   Or, how about these “wake-up” scenes from “Groundhog Day,” the movie.

Thanks again, Ed, for the bottom five fotos.

Unrelated:  for scenes of Seattle harbor during the recent tugboat races and more, click here for Meryll and Tom’s blog.

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June 2011