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Recall that “fifth dimension” is my code for the time travel series;  call it history if you wish.

In 1968–50 fast years ago!!–  Mon Lei, which transited the harbor last weekend, was more of a presence.  All photos here come from Steve Munoz, who writes:  “I saw your post and remembered seeing a Chinese junk at the South Seaport in June 1968, and I looked at my pics, which were originally slides. I was on the tug Dalzelleagle (1958 and now McAllister Brothers) with my uncle Bob Munoz, captain and pilot with McAllister. We had some time between jobs so we walked over to the Mon Lei and the people on the boat let us go aboard and inside to take a look. If I remember correctly, the boat was built in Hong Kong around 1895. The interior was beautifully hand-carved mahogany, but very musty smell. You will also see the USCG sail vessel Eagle at seaport pier. I did not know that Mon Lei was still around.”

Another reader of Monday’s post wrote:  ” I boat-sat her for one week in maybe the winter of 87-88. Was bitter cold and she was wintering at the late great Pier 15 [pictured above and below].  Normally she lived at the E 23rd St. marina, but some construction was going on there.  Alan York was traveling on business, so I looked after her. The interior was nothing short of a  fantasy world of Asian carving and ornamentation. One friend described it as a “floating fornicatorium.” Also a nice comfy oil burner for heat. I remember he was scouring the world for new bamboo of a certain kind for her sail battens. Quite the gentleman.”

If you didn’t look at this link previously, see it now for some interior shots.

I’m curious about the two vessels alongside the pier in the lower right.

Continuing here with photos from Steve, below is the future that never was . . . NS Savannah passing Ellis Island (onion domes) bound for sea.  It was June 1968, almost exactly a half century ago for all these photos.

Back when some tugboats had eagles atop their wheelhouses . . . this was Steve’s Uncle Bob at the helm.  A few years ago, I recall seeing one of McAllister’s boats with a plastic dinosaur atop the wheelhouse for a while.  I’ll have to look for the photo.

 

On a different note, here’s a photo by Elizabeth Wood taken in 2005 of Lettie G. Howard along the Brooklynside of the Upper Bay.  Lettie G., built in 1893  (125 years ago, making her as old or even older than Mon Lei, depending on which story you believe.   for all you readers downcast of me, Lettie G. departed the Hudson River around 0700 today, heading for Lake Erie via Gloucester and Nova Scotia.  She is on AIS.  Nelson, Joey, Mac, Jack, Marc, Brenda, Jake, Barry . . . you know who you are.   I hope to see Lettie G. on Lake Erie this summer;  I hope you do too.

 

Thanks to Steve and Elizabeth for use of these photos.

For a history of the Chinese “junk,” click here and here.

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