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AIS is just that . .  a tool to help us see the otherwise unseen, those moving things over the horizon.  And wonderful things there are to be seen with this tool.

Yesterday I was reading Ray Bradbury’s short story “Night Meeting.”  A large part of the story features a conversation between Tomás Gomez (TG) , Earthling, and Muhe Ca (MC), Martian.  I’ll simplify part of it here:

“TG:  The canals are empty right there.

MC:  The canals are full of lavender wine.

TG: It’s dead.

MC:  It’s alive. (protested the Martian, laughing more now.)  Oh, you’re  quite wrong.  See all the carnival lights?  There are beautiful boats as slim as women, beautiful women as slim as boats, women the color of sand, women with fire flowers in their hands.  I can see them, small, running in the streets there.  That’s where I’m going right now, to the festival; we’ll float on the waters all night long;  we’ll sing; we’ll drink; we’ll make love.  Can’t you see it?

TG:  Mister, that city is dead as a dried lizard. . . .   ”

So I was looking at AIS midmorning;  the purplish clutch of “round the world clippers” was about 60 miles south and a tad east of Montauk.  Another player out there -farther southeast of the racing yachts–was the tug Rachel!   The last time she “passed my radar” was last fall when she towed a vessel from the San Francisco area to the scrappers in Texas.   Now it appears she’s homebound after a tow of parts to Bath Iron works, parts for what will become USS Zumwalt.

Also, just off Brick, NJ on the AIS “map” above is Larvik, which was at the dock in Bayonne yesterday.

Ten weeks ago in Nola, I got this quite distant foto of American Queen, which I understood had been at the dock for some time, a few seasons.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I stumbled upon this article about steam travel on the Mississippi having resumed.

A visit to AIS finds her snaky trail leading to this dense cluster of vessels in Baton Rouge.  Here’s a recent NYTimes story on the boat with a great slideshow.

And finally . . .  I caught Wilson Saga escorted by Brendan Turecamo headed under the Brooklyn Bridge the other day.

She’s not a large ship relative to Brendan.

And  until I got my fotos home, I’d never even noticed,  taking Wilson‘s stern,  the refurbished marketboat turned yacht named Peggy ?

So where do you suppose Wilson Saga has been prior to the sixth boro?  Some obscure and magical places, if you like Nordica:

June 6th, New York

May 23rd, Aalborg

May 19th, Moerdijk

May 10th, Riga

May 7th, Jelsa

May 5th, Heroya

April 23rd, Svelgen

April 19th, Leirpollen

April 15th, Glomfjord

What a saga . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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June 2012