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Thanks to Harold and eastriver for their recent comments on (I’d say) opposing points of view on change, on of the future of the sixth boro as a major port.  Work has proceeded apace for a future involving larger vessels.  The barely visible yellow vessel in the foreground is one instrument in that work.  Some specs and a company foto of her, drill boat Kraken, can be found at the bottom of this company site.     By her virtual invisibility, she reminds of USS Monitor.

Low profile does not translate to low power.  With her three towers, Kraken drills holes into bedrock, inserts dynamite, and then triggers the blast to loosen that rock so that shovels on other Cashman and DonJon vessels can remove it.

The structure on stilts here must be mission control, like the “tower” for mid-20th century air traffic controllers.  Work was happening Sunday despite the cold snap.

After a blast, as I said, shovels transfer loosened materials into scows towed by vessels like Atlantic Salvor  to “dump sites” offshore.  notice in the background another drill ship, Apache, which I wrote about here.   Atlantic Salvor here tows the scow underneath Bayonne Bridge, another controversial target of change in the sixth boro as a port. I wrote about this here and here back last November, on the days of the 80th anniversary of the dedication of the Bridge.

Two notes:  First, not all the dredging in the sixth boro relates to navigation.  Along the Passaic River in Newark NJ, a dredging project to remove Agent Orange -related contamination is underway.  See a video on this project here.

Second, way over the horizon, but just a week away by sea is another node of this change in the sixth boro . . . I mean the Panama Canal.    Note one of the dredge boats Samson in lower right of this screen capture of the Atlantic end of the Canal.   Samson is one of the vessels operated by DEME-Group Dredging International, a contractor working on enlarging the Panama Canal.   Another one of their vessels is Yuang Dong 007, a larger version of Kraken and Apache.  Note that the screen capture below is time-sensitive.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s beginning to feel a stronger gravitational pull from the Canal.

Unrelated:  in today’s NYTimes, check out this article on maritime whistleblowers.

And (thanks to a reminder from jpaul) these 1940s/50s fotos of NYC by Charles W. Cushman published in yesterday’s NYTimes.

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February 2012