You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2015.

Remember the logic in this series is . . . the first pic of the month and the last pic of the month . . .

Early September found me still along the Acushnet . . .  Malena–as of this writing–is in Sierra Leone, having bounced around the Caribbean since departing New Bedford.

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By September’s end, Wavertree was slathered in a beautiful red primer.

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Early October . . . that’s North Star off the Orient Point, and Plum Gut, with Plum Island in the background.

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Late October . . . a conversation led to an invitation to tour iMTT Bayonne and see Marion Moran at the tug fuel station from the waterside.  I still need to post about that.

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November . . . and Med Sea bound for the Sound and beyond.

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Joyce D. Brown going back to the kills.

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And late in the month, my only view of Patty Nolan, on the hard in Verplanck. Click here for some of many posts on the 1931 Patty.

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Early December . . .it’s mild and I decided to experiment with some color separation on Margaret Moran. Click here for a post from seven-plus years ago with Margaret Moran  . . .

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And since December has not yet ended, I will post this in its incomplete state, with the promise of a “last December 2015”  post yet to come.

This is my last post for 2015.  Happy New Year.  May it be peaceful and safe.

Picking up this retrospective post with the beginning of May 2015, it’s a nearly 40-year-old and tired Barents Sea, waiting then as now for what’ll likely be a “fish habitat” future.

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The end of May saw Quantico Creek move Mary Whalen to its public space over in Atlantic Basin.  Was there a docking pilot calling it out from the drone?

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Here’s first glimpse of an early June trip I’ve never reported on via this blog.  More on this vessel will appear soon–currently working in the Dominican Republic.  The red vessel in the distance is F. C. G. Smith, a Canadian Coast Guard survey boat.

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Eastern Dawn pushes Port Chester toward the Kills.

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July opens with the ghost of Lafayette arriving back in the harbor aboard L’Hermione. Click here for the set of posts I did about this person. 

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I’m omitting a lot from my account here;

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The end of July brought me back to the south bank of the KVK watching Joyce D. Brown go by.   July was a truly trying month . .  is all I’ll say for now.

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In early August Wavertree awaited the next step into its rehab, and I

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made a gallivanting stop in New Bedford, a place I’d not visited in too long.

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All photos by will Van Dorp.

Here’s what I did two years ago.  And here’s what I did last year.

This time I’ll do it differently, as post –more or less but close–the first and last photo I took each month, starting below with Buchanan I entering the Narrows on January 1 not long after sunrise.

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And I won’t mention each date, but this was January 28 just before midday, Durance entering the KVK with Laura K Moran taking the stern.

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Winter sees fishing boats like Eastern Welder in the Upper Bay, adding to the regulars in the anchorages like Asphalt Star and Emma Miller.

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If you’ve forgotten how cold it stayed throughout the month of February, here are two photos from just off the Battery

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taken on February 28.

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James Turecamo ushers in March, actually that was March 6, and there’s still snow on the ground.

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At the end of the month, Grey Shark was in town for repairs, an extended stay.

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April 1 saw Margot continuing to extend NYS Marine Highway right through the sixth boro . . . the same day that

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Kismet enters the cold waters after leaving its lair in the Caribbean.

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April 29 . . . I finally caught Simone in the harbor . . . here tailed by MSC Monica.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I could have called this “unusual sail.”

That’s me in the two-person sailing Folbot back in 2002.  I had bought it back around 1998 from an ad I saw in a publication called Messing Around in Boats.  The gentleman who sold it said it had been in his barn for at least 30 years.  When I peeled off a layer of pigeon shit, the skin came off with it and exposed a wooden frame that broke down into pieces four-foot or shorter.  The hull, mast, leeboards, sail, rudder all could fit into a seabag, and I fancied myself, a show-off,  hiking up to a roadless mountain lake, assembling my vessel, and sailing  . . . in the clouds.

When I couldn’t sew a new skin or find someone who could do it–two different canvas shops took on the job and then backed out–I decided to skin it with leftover shrink-wrap boat covers,

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reinforce the bow with duct tape, and go paddling.

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It worked!  Here’s a blurry shot showing the insides . . . shrink-wrap and plastic strapping.

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As time passed, I decided the Folbot could at least as be sculptural until such time that I find a canvas skin maker.

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So this is the top of big room in my Queens cliff dwelling, where I should maybe keep some shrink-wrap and a heat gun handy to skin my boat in case the water level here rises.

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And since I’ve invited you into my home, how about more of the tour.  Yes, that’s the stern of the Folbot in the center top of the photo and a spare one-seater kayak, which I cut-bent-glued-stitched at Mystic Seaport, to the left. [They appear not to offer the kayak building classes now.]   Only problem with the stitched kayak . . . the only egress/ingress is out the window, down 12′ onto a flat roof, and then down another 15′ onto the sidewalk.

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In a pinch, you could make a kayak using a tarp, willow or similar shoots, and wire.  And in the long ago and far away department, here I was back in January 2005 sewing that kayak you see hanging to the left above . . .  10 hours of just sewing once the skin was on, per these plans.

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Bending ribs right out of the steam box and

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knotting together the bow pieces happened

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prior to the actual two-needle sewing.

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These last two pics are not mine but come from a Folbot publication from the 1960s.  The photo below shows what a later-model sailing Folbot–just out of the duffel bag– looked like.

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Here’s what the publication says it looks like sailing.

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For now, mine remains sculpture.

is everyday at every major port!!  It’s not about pugilism.

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All 17 million of them . . ..

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and another 10,000 annually that leave the ship at sea,

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carried on who knows how many ships . . .

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and from the port . . . those that pass muster, hit the railroads and interstates and backroads . . ..

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all types of transport, even transporters transported .  ..

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OK . . . I have no idea how to make that a sentence, but it doesn’t matter.  Happy boxing day.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

If there’s a shortage of any kind of stuff these days, there seems to be a dire scarcity of compassion, tolerance,  . . .  So it doesn’t matter what you believe or don’t believe, I’m sure we have common ground in thinking we need

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peace on Earth and goodwill towards everyone, especially this year.  That’s what I see in these decorations and hear in the music.

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From here in NY’s sixth boro on bows and

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sterns.

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From the south,

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the middle,

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and the north . . .

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and from this card someone sent me . . . have a happy day.  And a calm and boring day;  let

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me explain.  Click on the image below to hear a song by Capt. Josh Horton that probably captures the sentiments of crews at sea today.

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Here was 2014, and here was 2013.  Also, two years ago it thrilled me to share photos I received from the good folks at Hughes Marine to get photos from 1997 —here –of the year the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree came downriver by tug and barge.  And more good folks at Cross Sound Ferry sent along photos from 2003, here, when their ferry North Star delivered the tree that year . . . crewed in part by Rockettes!

If you’ve got time today for the background on how NORAD started reporting on Santa movements back at the height (or depth) of the Cold War in 1955, click here.  Here’s another version of the same Cold War story.

Thanks to Brendan Matton for the photo of Paul Andrew, Tali Padilla for the photo of Z-One lit up at the San Juan dock, Lisa Kolibabek of Cape Cod and Bonnie Halda for Jupiter both on the Delaware River, and Mike Magnant for the be-snowmanned Toot Toot.  Barrel sent me the photo of the red clad beard guy on the green 29. I took the photos at South Street Seaport Museum.

Finally, if you want to squelch the “red elf” mythology, check out the name of this 1963-built bulker AND its status.

 

Many thanks to Glen for this photo of his restored 1934 below.  His words:  “Naomi and I on our 1934 retired, fully restored USCG motor lifeboat up on the Snake River (a tributary of the Columbia) last spring. We did 14 dam lock thrus in 14 days! Have a great Holiday Season from Glen and Naomi out here in Washington State.”

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Here was a post I did two years ago on a 1929 Type T motor lifeboat, slightly shorter and narrower.  Scroll through here and you’ll see a photo of a Type-T operating in NY’s sixth boro.

Click here for a recent post that used Glen’s photos.

 

She hardly looks her 75 years, but as I walked across a marina in Baltimore earlier this fall, I had to turn my head and

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look a little closer.  Other than that she’s Chas. D. Gaither, I can’t say much else.

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But I can tell you something about her namesake and one of those responsible for saving her.  Click here for the Gaither story and here for a restorer’s story.

It appears that Gaither‘s builders, Spedden Shipbuilding, also built Driftmaster (1949) and Wilhelm Baum (1923), which sank at the dock nearly two years ago.  Does anyone know what has become of Baum?  All photos here by Will Van Dorp.   I took the Baum photo back in 2008.

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Click here and scroll to see the oldest retired NYPD launch I know of, Patrolman Walburger  aka Launch No. 5.

What better vessel to post about on the winter solstice than a lightship.  Here, here, and here are some previous ones.

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This particular lightship I saw east of Rotterdam in May 2014.

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It’s not particularly old, so I hope it’ll be a reminder in dark times into the distant future.

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Here’s part of the story.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

One more winter solstice post from the archives here, but this year I’m not thinking about the 182 or whatever days until the summer solstice.  Maybe it just feels like the world’s a darker place than it used to be and we need light and relief now.

I took this photo back in 2008, and it seemed I never got back to it.  At the time, I didn’t realize it was built in 1904 and had once done the Buffalo–Duluth passenger run with first-class staterooms.  Buffalo–Duluth passenger ferry  SS Juniata . . . doesn’t even seem reasonable a century later.

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Between 1937 and 1941, she was thoroughly upgraded and  “returned to work  as the Milwaukee Clipper and carried passengers and their cars between Muskegon and Milwaukee until 1970 when the interstate highways and air travel rendered her obsolete.”    I’m told volunteers are working to preserve her.  I’d love to hear a progress report.

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In contrast, the rest of the photos I took on the Arthur Kill in 2010, and what you see here is no longer there.  I’m going out on a limb here, and guessing it’s the Astoria aka William T. Collins, built in 1925 and out of documentation in 1966.

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I recall reading that it was removed –as an eyesore–since then, but can’t find any newspaper record of such.  Anyone help out?   My co-explorer here is none other than frogma . . . .

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Click here for a post I did on a re-purposed 1929 NYC ferry still operational as a double-ended construction vessel,  click here for a post I did on a NYC-NJ ferry that operated as such between 1905 and 1970 before being repurposed as a restaurant until neglect and a certain Irene came along, and here for a post on what might be the oldest in service ferry in the US.

Below is P/S Majesteit, a 1926 steam ferry still operating in Rotterdam as a floating restaurant steam side paddle wheeler;

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here’s their site with photos of the steam machinery.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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