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Of course, it’s two boats, the sloop Clearwater tied up to the ex-NYC DEP skimmer Cormorant.  As I understand the situation, it’s on the market . . . again.




I don’t know the date of this photo or the identity of the person showing scale.


Dimensions are 114′ x 44′ x 10′

And here’s Clearwater pulling away.  But, before they cast off lines, their crew was on the dock checking


this short nose sturgeon.  Now I can’t prove a connection between dead fish and TZ construction, but a few days ago I read this article at the Lohud site that included this paragraph:  “In June 2012, the fisheries service determined Tappan Zee construction would injure or kill some sturgeon but was “not likely to jeopardize the continued existence” of the fish. Under a federal permit issued to the Thruway Authority, two of each species can be killed during construction.”  I’m surprised such language exists in the paperwork.  And what happens if this limit is exceeded?


Well,  here’s another paragraph from the article:  “[Riverkeeper]  said 100 Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon have died since the start of construction in 2012. From 2009 to 2011, it said six sturgeon deaths were reported to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.”


Here’s a statement of Cormorant‘s mission, now turned over to the USACE.



All photos by Will Van Dorp, back on June 12, 2015.

To start part 2, I’ll go back upriver a bit to Esopus Island.  Craig Eric Reinauer with RTC 103 is anchored to the south.  Much of the Hudson has  associated with some unusual characters, both in fiction and in real life.  Esopus Island is no exception:  about a century ago it was the magical hideaway of Aleister Crowley.  My friend Mitch–Newtown Pentacle–wrote about him here.


Farther south is a place with a magical name but a quite mundane though necessary construction on it.  This is the current resident of Duyvil’s Danskammer Point, idled in litigation I think.  The Dutch called it “devil’s dance chamber” because they saw natives doing a ceremonial dance there by firelight . . .   A lighthouse and several brickworks also once stood here.


Looking back upstream . .  the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge and Danskammer Point in the background.  Foreground is picnic boat Gem.  A Hinckley?


River Rose previously appeared here about three years ago.


Justine McAllister . . . I caught her the day before east- and then northbound at the KV buoy pushing RTC 120.  Also, three years ago I caught Justine towing the same barge on the Hudson.


Upbound off Cornwall . .  it’s Kimberly Poling, also a frequenter of both this river and this blog.


I’m not sure why so many large yachts were on the river the other day . . . off Bannerman’s Castle, location of a ceremonial swim a few months back, it’s Blue Moon.


Here’s Bannerman’s from the south side, juxtaposing the residence (left) with the warehouse.


I’ve yet to deliver on closeups of the residence, but here’s a preview.  The “picture window” serves to illustrate the interior for now.


That’s Bannerman’s in the background as Black Watch passes northbound.  Slope on the right is dauntingly named Breakneck Ridge.


The Hudson is truly loved.


Here a crowded Clearwater lowers sail in the Hudson Highlands.


Seastreak New York, usually shuttling south from the sixth boro, travels north when the leaves start to turn color.   Not pictured to the left is West Point.


Peak behind Bear Mountain Bridge is Anthony’s Nose, which I scaled back in April.


And finally . . . just south of the Bear Mountain Bridge . . . it’s another people mover usually associated with the confines of the sixth boro, Circle Line Queens, here assisting in leaf peeping.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Here was 9.

It seems that sailing just gets better as summer turns into fall.  Like Pioneer.   Click here for bookings via Water Taxi.


America 2.0






There are also those sailing vessels I’d like to see under sail.  Like Angel’s Share with its twin helms, here


a close-up of the port helm.


Slim Gunboat 6606


with its Marshall Islands flag


Heron . . . which I’ve seen as far south as Puerto Rico.


Clipper City


I’d love to find the time and invitations to sail on all those wind vessels.  But I actually did sail on Pioneer the other day.  Come with the vessel and crew as we leave the pier,


ride the wind in a busy harbor for a few hours, and


then lower sail before returning to the pier.


All fotos taken this week by Will Van Dorp.  Time’s now for me to head out and enjoy more of this autumn air.

If anyone out there needs to be convinced of the beauty of the Hudson Valley less than 100 miles north of the big city, take a glance at this foto by Tim Hetrick showing tanker Icdas 11 escorted by a paparazzi savvy eagle.

The foto below shows sloop Clearwater in mid-June arriving at the music festival that shares the same name.


A minute or so earlier . . . Clearwater rounded the bend following Woody Guthrie toward the shallows.

But if anyone has notions of operating a wooden vessel, it’s important to consider the regular maintenance.  Here was a post from about three years ago about work on Clearwater.  Currently way upriver this


is happening again.  All the following fotos now come thanks to Paul Strubeck.  In mid-December, Clearwater was downrigged and hauled out near Albany at Scarano Boat Building and


gently placed onto Black Diamond, with tug Cornell nearby.


Securing the big sloop for travel takes care and time, more time than there is light at the winter solstice end of the year.




But when all’s fast, the trip to where the winter maintenance crew can begin.


Click here for an article about Clearwater‘s winter home in the shadow of the Hudson River Maritime Museum.


Many thanks to Paul for sending these along.  It looks like I need to find time to get up to the Rondout.  The first two fotos in the post are mine.

Update:  May Day no more at South Street Seaport Museum, and I have sent my benjamins as promised.    As I understand it, the Museum has been “taken over” in some fashion by the Museum of the City of New York.     Below, Peter Stanford addressed a group of “save our seaport” supporters back in May.

Bravo to Save our Seaport for their efforts to pull together support.

Guess what this is?  A clue is this:  I took the foto back in November in Detroit.

This is related.  The Great Lakes are mostly devoid of commercial passenger traffic today, but a century ago, had my great-great grandparents lived and prospered along the “northern coast” of the US, deluxe cruise itineraries might include stops at Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit.

Here, from the Dossin Museum is a model of what was marketed as THE way to cruise the Great Lakes around the time I was born.  Even the name of the aqua-hulled vessel,

SS Aquarama exudes that age of optimism.  Too bad I hadn’t  started this blog and contracted my obsession a decade or more earlier . . .  I would have been able to photograph her in mothballs in Buffalo.   Although it’s better late than never, when “stuff gets gone, it’s gone.”

So here’s the answer to my “whatzit” question . . . that place of carved oak above is the lounge on one of those Great Lakes passenger vessels:  City of Detroit III.  Who knows what honetmooners, retirees, or other celebrants smoked cigarettes (back when that was thought sophisticated)  and sipped drinks here.

Among the many great people I met this past year was Peter Boucher of Nautical Log.  Peter sent me this foto in response to a foto of Cove Isle, here.  Peter’s explanation of the foto below is as follows:  “When we were on the 1967 Western Arctic Patrol in CCGS Camsell  at one of the river stops this CCG river vessel came out to visit us.  Our Captain renamed it “Dimwit”, as it looked like it was going to turn over at any moment.”  Here’s another shot of Dumit.

I had to include this foto here:  this endless coal train travels along the bottom of the Great Lake called “Lake Maumee.”  Never heard of it?  It was there, though.  The day before Thanksgiving I waited a long time as this slow train moved prehistoric plant material along the bed of this prehistoric lake.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Jed this past year.  Thanks much for the tour of the Jacksonville area.

Blue Marlin captivated me this year, to put it mildly.  Here Clearwater, another worthy project if you’re still toying with year-end donations,  checks it out.

Here’s a foto from January 1, 2011:  Ann Moran glides on clouds beneath a heavenly bridge in charleston, SC.

Finally, it’s a cliche to end with a sunset pic, maybe, but I am so glad that a “cancelled trip” led me to visit Vieques as Plan B.  I’m hoping for more “plan b or even c” gallivants for 2012.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I hope to write again from Wilmington, NC.

The solstice happens in a week.  Is your household ready, mobilized.  Can you safely take it out onto the highways and wetways?

Thoughts of anything but summer . . .  with its adventures and gallivants . .. are elusive, for me.  Dana Spiotta writes of that in tomorrow’s NYTimes magazine, recounting a voyage on the Erie Canal by rowboat with Tide and Current Taxi‘s very own Marie Lorenz.    You could go fishing:  both Marlin and Minnow are currently in the sixth boro.

You could just go sit by the water and see all there’s to see.  I saw a classic loon yesterday–who dove before I could snap evidence.  This Corsair passed more slowly, less skittishly.

A week from now you could swim around Manhattan . . . or volunteer to keep swimmers safe by emailing

You could swallow new herring and gin.  Here’s more info.

In a week you could go to the Clearwater Festival.

This foto from last year comes from Yen.  I know where, like these monks, I’m going . . . .

Next Saturday . . . the sea will again boil with hot blood and creatures rarely seen will emerge and parade.  It’s  the 29th

annual Mermaid Parade and Ball!!!

Thanks, Yen, for that foto.

No . . . this site is NOT transforming into a book emporium.  But I can make some recommendations, good reading whether you’re on the water, at the beach, or in a house . . .  The last time I revealed this much about my bookshelf was in 2007 here and here.

Numero uno:  A “must read”  We the Drowned . . .  I guarantee it’ll be the most enthralling and fastest 675-page novel you’ve ever read.   Read a review here.  I’ll even send my copy once a few more friends have read it;  my copy was sent to me by Les Sonnenmark, a frequent commenter here.  It’s a saga of 100 years of lives of folks whose starting point is a Danish Baltic Sea island town called Marstal featuring naval prisoners of war, St. Peter’s triage style, mariners by sail and steam and diesel, Samoa, Greenland, Captain Cook’s shrunken head, haunting red lights (and more) for a character who survives World War II aboard convoy after convoy in and out of Murmansk, and some poignant stories of loves lost and long deferred.  This is a story of resurrections. Hear an interview with the author, Casten Jensen, here.   Read an interview focusing on storytelling craft here.

Unrelated:  can you identify the sailing and diesel vessels here?  Identification to all will be at the end of the post.

Second suggestion:  Fire on the Horizon  (267 pages) by gCaptain‘s very own John Konrad, with Tom Shroder.  This book walks you minute by minute through the last days of Deepwater Horizon, with compassion for the crew and their families.  You will learn much about a drillship, of which many exist today.  Konrad and Shroder  tease out responsibilities of BP, TransOcean, and  Halliburton.  I hadn’t known until reading this book of John Konrad’s unique qualifications to write this book:  he learned of the blowout while in the Southern Ocean, delivering a similar Korean rig called Deepwater Ascension from Korea to the Gulf of Mexico;  moreover, he knew some crew aboard Deepwater Horizon. Konrad shows his knack for telling a tragic story quite well, throwing in compelling backstory along the way.  In the first 50 pages alone, you’ll learn something about offshore drilling in 1896, SUNY Maritime, and the Hyundai shipyard in Ulsan, Korea.  In our age of petroleum and time of peak oil,  this book will leave you with greater understanding.

Third suggestion:  Also related to the blow-out of last summer, A Sea in Flames, (352 pages) by Carl Safina.  In the preface, Carl Safina  calls this “a record of a technological event . . . a chronicle of a season of anguish . . .”   It’s an informal book in which Safina records his observations and vents.     He, like Konrad and Shroder, makes the arcane world of deepwater drilling understandable and interesting to the layperson;  in the first 50 pages, you learn about the decisions made throughout the six months of drilling at Macondo, which he compares to a “high risk pregnancy.”  Safina’s voice evidences his ecology background (Ph. D. from Rutgers and President of the Blue Ocean Institute), and he’s clearly fuming, incensed;  he reports statements from officials from BP and government agencies and then (as if we were watching or listening to some broadcast news with him) we hear his reactions . . . be they sarcasm or refutation.  He acknowledges his anger, though:  e.g., “I am not impressed with the Coast Guard so far.  Admiral Thad Allen becomes to me a one-dimensional talking head: the Thadmiral.  Does he deserve to be a caricature?  Of course not; does anyone?  But in my anger, that’s what happens” (96).   And he’s particularly angry about private security guards interdicting the public from  . . . public parks . . . when they are officially open (207-10).   Ultimately, near the end of the book, Safina reports on having coffee with Allen and another of the caricature’s in the book, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator;  here . .  Safina listens and in his reportage, transforms what had been one-dimensional into nuanced people.  And I admire that.    Read the book.

I’d love to hear your reading suggestions . . . in part because I’m fishing for my next book. I always can fall back on rereading  the standards by Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Farley Mowat, or Jan deHartog . . . but would rather have my horizons expanded.

Otherwise, in summer the temperature makes it a whole lot more comfortable than winter to just while away some hours doing the Otis Redding thing . . .

Fotos show: 1)  Clearwater and Atlantic Salvor, 2) Norwegian Gem, 3) Remember When,  4) Susquehanna . .  I believe, and 5) Turecamo Girls.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp in the past two weeks.

Oh  . . . right . . . here’s another review.

Today’s update on the loading of Blue Marlin–rumored to happen today–is that there’s no update, other than more prep work.  Maybe tomorrow?  Clearwater passed to check progress.  Technical question:  does Blue Marlin have dynamic positioning system to keep it stable while loading happens?

So, let me catch you up on Saturday’s water portion of the Hudson River pageant:  Village Community Boathouse sent three rowing gigs, decorated as if for the mermaid parade.  Whatever happened on land, I’ve no clue, because we stayed out of sight of the landcrew,  stemming the tide and waiting our cue.

For some closeups of the other boats, click here.

In two hours on the water, we saw bright sunlight and downpour, which

moved me to keep my camera in a drybag.

The gigs are fast but the longer they are,

— I was one of  five rowers in this 33′ gig–the longer the keel, the better it tracks, i.e., the less it wants to go anything but straight ahead.

Unrelated to this but apropos of yesterday’s Save Our Seaport post, come if you can to Community Board 1 meeting tomorrow:  South Street Seaport Museum is on the agenda.  Here are details:  CB1 Meeting will happen at  Borough of Manhattan Community College,  199 Chambers St., Richard Harris Terrace.    Tuesday May 24th 2011, 6:00 PM.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  If anyone was on the landside of our flotilla for the Hudson River pageant and has fotos of our “boat dance,” please send a link.

All fotos and information here comes from John Sperr, last referred to here in relation to ice yacht Galatea, as its pilot.

Today’s post comes from the same area of the Hudson where iceboating was happening a mere two months ago.  Ice has now given  way to the fine color heralding leaves.  Clearwater has wintered on a mobile shipyard, a barge.  The “whiskey plank”  aka the last part of the hull to be closed up post-repair was recently steamed, jacked into place, and fastened.

Libation followed and then

parade, as the shipyard itself danced upriver clutched tight by Cornell to be offloaded in anticipation of rigging, which

would happen at

Scarano Boat.  The barge was slid into the travel-lift dock, slings

moved like fingers under the hull, and

Clearwater, cradled in these sturdy arms, was

carried onto the high-and-dry.  Notice Onrust in the background?  And Adirondack directly beyond Clearwater‘s stern?

This left the barge Black Diamond to assume other duties, become other things.

All fotos by John Sperr.  Thanks, John.

By the way, start imagining the weekend of June 19 and 20.  Mermaids on Saturday (with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed !@#@! as Queen Mermaid and King Neptune)  and music on Sunday (with Pete Seeger and Lucy Kaplansky and many more!@#@##@!!)  ?  How can one make a choice like that?

Also, a tall ship and volunteer opportunity in Brooklyn:  PortSide NewYork FreeSail Clipper City 4-12-2010

It’s  been a year and a half since I’ve used this title, but how could I not jump at the chance to post Dock’s fotos here of Clearwater on its “portable shipyard,” in this case barge Black Diamond, here mated to Cornell.  Clearwater sometimes exits its element for maintenance.

Come spring, Clearwater will again cleave the Hudson.  I wonder when Bowsprite will generate Clearwater magic in her sketchbook . . .?  She has fotos, and I know a sloop’s not a schooner, mais . . .

Some  continue to sail, like this sloop in Gravesend Bay Sunday, taking Maersk Michigan‘s stern.

And here are two sailing hulls undergoing major work in Gloucester:  left to right, they would be Eleanor and Beaver, “replicas” of two of four Tea Party ships.  Can you name the other tea ships and the year of said party?

Eleanor (ex-Vincie N), a Gloucester fishing vessel built in 1936, seems to have undergone a major face-lift and . . . er . .  butt-lift.  Click here for a shot of Vincie N pre-conversion, and here for the story of the dragger’s fishing history.

Click here for info on that tea party.  The other two vessels were Dartmouth and William.

Top two fotos by Dock Shuter; others by Will Van Dorp.

All week this week Tugster mentions the blog started three years ago!  Three candlepower!

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