You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘ExploreNY400’ category.

This morning at dawn,  replica Half Moon, was anchored in Gravesend Bay.  Four hundred years ago, VOC Half Moon was, and worlds began to collide.  Today they continue to collide.  They don’t need to.  Empathize.


Let’s dance to our neighbor’s drum as well as to our own.  Foto above was taken at the Salt Festival on August 29.  Thanks to Red Storm Drum & Dance Troupe for posing.

Bowsprite and I have been trying to imagine this collision, with all its casualties and boons, angst and ecstasy, steps forward and back . . . in Henry’s Obsession.

So here is most of the rest of the fleet.  Of course, Half Moon was the flagship, the raison d’etre of the event.  Following behind is Onrust, its first season teaching history.  Use the search window to find more on both.  For a creative-nonfiction account of Henry Hudson’s journey channeled across 400 years, click here.


Tjalk Hoop en Vertrouwen (Hope and Trust, Confidence) dates from 1913!


Check out the four rows of reef points in the sail!


Lemsteraak LE89 dates from 2005. Partly obscured is Windroos, the hoogaars from 1925.


Check out the crew shirts that read “Touch of Dutch.”


Ommeswaaij is a Lemsteraak from 1995.


First in this pack is the tjalk De Tijd zal t Leeren (Time Will Learn It), dating from 1912.


All in all it was a lovely parade.  Standing on Pier 84 I was moved to tears, especially during the gun salute as I heard background chatter mostly in my mother tongue.  Given all the preparation that went into these festivities, I have a complaint:  the outermost portion of that pier has been incomplete for some time.  Almost finished but NOT.  That outer portion would also have been the best platform for fotos, which a lot of people recognized to be true.  Since no signs prohibited access, a few dozen folks stepped over the fence and started snapping fotos and cheering friends and relatives–yes, relatives–on the boats.  Until various authorities arrived, threatening $100 fines.  It troubled me to hear threats used against tourists who might have marginal control of English.

My question is . . . why is this decking work not complete in time to be used for such high-profile events as this.  After all, less than 300 feet away were the Mayor, the US Secretary of State, and the Crown Prince and Princess of the Netherlands?


And when a certain boat blocked these fotografers, some of them were unhappy, especially that tall guy, arms akimbo.


And what view was this certain boat blocking . . . you ask?  Check this out!!  And please finish the pier decking!  I’ll even volunteer to help with the installation.


I have a request:  certain folks would like the opportunity to photograph and sketch these classic and exotic boats in all their lush detail.  There is a viewing scheduled on Governors Island on Sunday, but the time is short.  Also, might there be a back-up time if –say–it rains?  For specifics on each of the Dutch boats, click here.

Arms akimbo-guy . . . oh, that’s tugster.

All fotos except the last two by Will Van Dorp.  The last two come from Bernard Ente.  Thank you!

I can’t remember how many times I heard this referred to a Dutch invasion.  Traditional and modern Dutch vessels paraded past  Intrepid, where various types of nobility watched.  I thought it remarkable how successfully sail obscures naval vessels, identified later.  If I’m not mistaken, from right to left, we see Sterre, Vrouwe Cornelia with just the bowsprit of Sydsulver visible, and the Fugelfrij.  For profiles on each of the traditional vessels, click here.


The first two here are Onrust and Groene Vecht, discussed in previous posts.


They come in all sizes but share curves and lines of wooden shoes, especially true of


De Goede Hoop, a Staverse jol.


Suggestion of kayak lines exist in the Giethoornse punter called Henry Hudson, with the VOC logo on its sail.  I visited Giethoorne a few years back; it’s  a small village in central Netherlands known as “Venice of the North,” in that it has no roads, only waterways.  I love the large decorated rudder.


Pieternel is a Zeeuwse poon, built in 1890.  Look closer.


Fashion for the docks and quays of Vollendam  a la 1890s.


and a several dozen . . . Flying Dutchman aka vliegende hollander boats.


McAllister Sisters found a place in the parade tailing a Lemsteraak called Groenling.


A wonderful parade . . . that should have happened a day before when thousands of New Yorkers had found themselves taking the air along the river.   See the flatbottoms close up next Sunday afternoon on Governors Island.  See the schedule here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

If you’re a new reader, I use “sixth boro” as a way to recognize the city space that IMHO deserves recognition as its own unitary name;  without the water, justification for the concentrations in the other five boroughs of New York City would disappear.  Hence, all the city water and  . . . extensions thereof in all navigable directions I call the sixth boro.  Want to go to Fiji or  Philly or Fundy . . . follow the sixth boro.  I need someone to write a wikipedia entry for the sixth boro.

More Flinterduin offloading fotos here;  I’ve got many more if you’re interested.  Let’s follow Sydsulver, a steel Lemsteraak built in 2004.  Lemster is a location name, so this is an aak from Lemster, like a Brooklynaak.  For the record, most of the barges are either aaks or tjalks (pronounced “chaw lick”) .  Tjalks were originally used for cargo on inland waterways, and aaks  . . . for fishing on the Zuiderzee, now called the  IJsselmeer.  Double click on fotos to enlarge them.


Note the helmets all around.


I would not have predicted the number of traditional Dutch design “airships” appearing in this blog this year.  Captions follow.


How to lead a barge to water.


How to inculcate an interest in sailing among the next generation.


How smooth and polished to get a painted surface.  And how to maneuver in tight basins.


Splash.  That’s  Groenevecht lying to the right.


Carving detail and


closer up.


The most beautiful tiller ornament in the sixth boro and far beyond.


Held in the basin.  Brown sail is HZ108 Janus Kok, a wooden botter from 1934!  Botters are traditional fishing vessels also.  Design on the sail is the sponsor’s logo, “old amsterdam cheese.”  To the right along the wall is Windroos, a hoogaars built in 1925.  Now if you know that “hoog” means high . . . as in “up high,” then you can figure out the “ars.”  “Hoogars” vessels have a more upswept stern than aaks, botters, or tjalks.  More Windroos to come.


Painted ships in a painted basin.


Flinterduin shifted forward so that the offloaded barges could leave to make space for the rest.  Sydsulver leaves first.  Notice the decoration around the hawse.


Escape into the boro.  You can’t keep the Dutch pinned up long.  Everydayeastriver foto’d one of the explorers/escapees.


and posing.  That’s the Williamsburg Bridge and –of course–Empire State Building in the background.  By the way, on the bowsprit flies the Friesland provincial flag.


Again, many thanks to the fine folks at GMD and to Carter Craft for access.  The barges will cavort in the sixth boro and surroundings waters for the next month.  Some foto ops may happen at North Cove soon, home of Atlantic Yachting, new on my blogroll.

Another newcomer  on my blogroll is, an account of the barges’ month here by Arjen Wapenaar, captain of the Sterre, a tjalk built in 1887!!!  English site about Sterre here.  Amazingly, Sterre has been in New York harbor before:  some 20 plus years ago for the Statue of Liberty celebrations.  Scroll through that English-language link and you’ll see Sterre in the harbor with the Twin Towers in the background.  Does anyone have pictures to share of that event?  I hope Arjen posts lots of fotos so that non-Dutch readers can enjoy his sailing barge tales.

More Flinterduin AND the tug races this weekend.  Haven’t they cancelled the US Open because the sixth boro activities draw greater crowds?

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Let’s follow one aak from Flinterduin to the East River.  GroeneVecht, built in 1999, hangs in the slings.


Notice the hull lines.  Dimensions are roughly 60′ by 20′.  Groene means green, and Vecht is the name of a river in Netherlands.


I am fixated on leeboards, you may have noticed before.


Once out of the slings,Groenevecht motoors into a basin for minor up rig and then a wait with


earlier barges offloaded.


Once the flag is secured to the rudder,


she motors past Flinterduin to savor the East River


Much more later.  All fotos by will Van Dorp.

Access thanks to Carter Craft and GMD Shipyard.  Thanks.

Remember to double click to see full size fotos.


With many thanks to . . .  welcome Flinterduin!  In the next few hours, her cargo will be offloaded, and the sixth boro will see sail and leeboards as it never has before.  Amusing though confusing was the counterclockwise victory lap of Governors Island Flinterduin indulged before heading under the southernmost East River bridges on her way to GMD.


More later, but here’s another look at her deckload.


Might there be an as-yet unannounced tugboat race entry down in the hold?  And the contest . . . not over yet.

So that I avoid being labelled too much of a tease, I’ll start by saying . . . this post features two ships and a tale, but I do NOT know the tale of the two ships,  which in themselves are related only in that they both traversed the KVK yesterday morning in opposite directions.  The tale comes at the end, but before we get there, imagine loading a large population of boro6’s historic vessels onto a ship for a festival on another continent. for example, suppose the groups and people responsible for Pioneer, Lettie G. Howard, Pegasus, Shearwater, and Adirondack agree for their treasures to be –literally–shipped to South America for a festival.  Visualize the emotional cargo making its way to the south.  (Btw, if you don’t know these vessels, type the names into the search window on the left side of this blog.) And I’ll get back to this.

Now let’s learn some taxonomy (tjalk, aak, jol, botter, hoogaars, skutsje) and some place names (Lemster, Giethoorne, Zeeuwland).   Ponder those words;  I’ll get back to them too.

Here are two more shots of Sea Miror, also depicted in yesterday’s post.


Judging by the stains on the hull, I’m guessing this bulk carrier, its previous life betrayed by the paint job on the stack, transports a building material like cement.  Anyone help with this?


Moving toward my point, I gave a big KVK welcome yesterday to MV Marneborg, a general cargo ship registered in


Delfzijl, up near the North Sea border between Netherlands and Germany.  This area serves as setting for one of my favorite sailing books:  Riddle of the Sands (1903),  by Erskine Childers, author, sailor, and Irish nationalist executed by the British in 1922.  I love the sailing and intrigue in the book.


Marneborg has the profile of contemporary northern European general cargo carriers;  actually, she looks not unlike Flinterduin, featured here a few days ago.  I’ve duly noted that the extraordinary orange survey vessel betrays a desire to follow Marneborg here. That’s Brooklyn in the hazy background.


So, when Flinterduin arrives in less than a week, it will treat sixth boro watchers with some quite unique and historic Dutch sailing vessels.  Some examples:

Sterre (translated “Stars”)  a tjalk built in 1887!

Vrouwe (Lady) Cornelia, a tjalk built in 1888.

De Goede Hoop (Good Hope) , a staverse jol.

Delfzijl, a modern port.  Lemster, once a traditional Zuyder Zee fishing village.  Giethoorne, another tiny water village.  Zeeuwland, a province along the southwest coast of the Netherlands.  The list could be very long, but the point is that coastal Netherlands, like coastal US, has places each associated with various boat types.  For example, Jonesport lobster boats, Cape Ann schooners and dories, Chesapeake skipjacks . . . .

More tales on this later, as my excitement for September builds.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp and imaginary gnomes.

Remember the foto contest:  material prize for the best foto of Flinterduin entering New York or making its way up to the Brooklyn Navy Yard on or about August 31,  As of dawn August 27, tracking shows Flinterduin NW of the Azores, about halfway across.

Foto credit here goes to Wilto Eekhof of the city of Sneek in the Netherlands province of Friesland.  And I’m crediting him via Koopvaardij as transmitted by  SeaBart of  Flinterduin, below, looks to set of record for masts:  a 15-(at least)-masted-power vessel.  Here at the Flinter site are pics of the loading of this particular vessel.   She currently at sea, bound for the sixth boro.  Here are other interesting Flinter vessels.


On or about August 31, this vessel will enter the boro and forever (at least for a while) change the sailscape of the harbor.  From it will emerge 20 traditional flat-bottomed sailing barges.  Check out all those leeboards; get your cameras ready!  Here’s an update foto from sea from Koopvaardij (a publication whose title translates as “merchant marine”).  Article includes this sentence:  “Wij wensen kapitein/eigenaar Henk Eijkenaar en zijn bemanning een goede reis en behouden vaart,” which translates as “We wish Captain/owner Henk Eijkenaar and his crew a good trip and a safe voyage.”   Amen.

Here’s a link showing Flinterduin’s hold and a view down onto the deck from a bridge over Harlingen harbor.  As to the type of traditional vessels contributing to all those masts, SeaBart tells me they are multiple tjalken (plural of “tjalk”), a staverse jol (the English word “yawl” stems from the Dutch “jol” or the German “jolle”), a lemster aak and 2 skutsjes.  Here’s another skutsje link.

I’d love to hear from readers who know these specific boats or boat types.


Tugster returns with his own fotos,  taken on a most recent gallivant,  tomorrow.  For more interesting cargoes coming into Duluth from the sea on Flinterduin, Marlene Green, and Margot (both of whom have previously appeared here), click here, then click on “ships” window.

Tangentially related:  August 29 . . . Atlantic Salt Maritime Festival.

H . .  Hudson and Holland aka H&H.  This year mention of H&H in and around the sixth boro happens so frequently that a friend has phrased it as the Dutch re-conquest of the erstwhile New Amsterdam.   And I like it.  After all, my Dutch identity feels at least as strong as my American one;  in fact, I’m a hyphenated person:  feeling neither wholly  Dutch nor American but some sort of fishfowl or fowlfish in between.  About Hudson, an important detail that gets lost is that our river is NOT the first place of “first contact” for Hudson, crew, and Half Moon.  That place is shown in the next three fotos.  Guess where?

Four hundred years ago–July 17, 1609–Hudson came ashore in this rivermouth looking for a tree suitable as a new foremast;  in their stormy crossing in June 1609, they’d lost their foremast overboard.


The landscape has changed little in 400 years here, I wager.


Here’s another clue to the location:  where Henry came looking for a mast, a famous American watercolorist who died earlier this year at age 91 came looking for landscapes and people to paint.  His initials:  AW.  Seeing this pristine beauty, I wonder why Hudson would sail on . . . except that a quest obsessed him.


The above three fotos come compliments of Lisa, who grew up on the banks of the St George River near Cushing, Maine, adoptive home of the Wyeths.  In fact, last Sunday when she took the foto, she inadvertently wandered onto Wyeth land;  after she snapped these shots, she was asked to leave.  The foto below shows the current Half Moon replica leaving Rondout Creek about a month ago.  A  noteworthy event that happened on the St George River  400 years ago is that Henry Hudson had his first contact with the native Algonquins, for whom Hudson’s visit was just another in a series of contacts with Europeans that dated back over a century . . . possibly many centuries.  Lamentable is the fact that Hudson’s thoughts on that first contact are unknown.  The existing log entries–written by Half Moon‘s mate–Robert Juet–are unflattering, oblivious to the natives’ perspective.  Whether Hudson subscribed to the same notions as Juet will remain a mystery unless a Hudson journal turns up.


Talking H&H . . . the latter H more relevant here . . . here’s Sandy Hook Pilots’ other station boat, No. 2 New Jersey, built in the province of South Holland by Damen Shipyards.  Info thanks to Les in his comment here.


H&H . . . some of you might consider Henry Hudson just another Eurocentric explorer who, encountering any non-Euro group, would immediately assume his own cultural superiority.  And maybe he was.  But what if he was not.  What if he was so obsessed with his quest for a shorter route to China–a civilization that produced stuff desired by the European consumer–that he was different, that he was willing to see the inhabitants of the beautiful inlet as peers?  Given how things turned out for Hudson, he surely was at odds with much of the crew.  Given how it turned out for the Algonquins, it was unfortunate that Eurocentrics dominated.  Indulge Henry’s thoughts here.

Fotos not taken by Lisa by Will Van Dorp.  Remember, click on a foto to expand it.

Off gallivanting tomorrow.

Check out Ian Chadwick’s Hudson story here.

Closed fist . . . not a monkey’s fist . . . evokes many, many  things.  It could signal a stop, a hold, a dramatic pause in the music, but this fist happens to be the forward portion of the tiller on Clearwater, a vessel synonymous with music.  Just over exactly 40 years ago  Clearwater came off the ways in Maine named as a wish, the thing desired itself:  clear water, in the Hudson and elsewhere.   Just clear enough water to swim in, at least.  To drink . . . and the shellfish of which to eat . . .


Captain Nick welcomes passengers on board . . .  To me his stance suggests a conductor gathering the focus of the band.


Raising Clearwater‘s 3,000lb main sail requires  “Many hands make light work,” says Pete Seeger.


Like a nautical still life . . .  all lines taut . . . let the music  . . .


begin.  I once had a dream about living in a house that transformed itself into the sounding box of an immense piano.  All the lines involved in handling Clearwater sail–were they strings of an instrument–would charming music make.  How her hull would resonate.   Pick a key . . . sort of like  . .  jib and bowsprit point to Teller Point at the south end
of Croton Point Park.


Line flemish coiled like a treble clef?   I’ve never understood clefs yet admired their curves.


The Captain’s face focused on


the space to fill with music. Tack toward Hook Mountain, looking south from Haverstraw Bay.  Let the


music begin–Rich Hines and The Hillbilly Drifters.  Check out their schedule here.


Photo credit to Rene Arnessen.  Fotos #2 and 8 by Jeff Anzevino,  who provides the ideas for the post.  Jeff is second from left above.

Final shots below are mine.


I’ve never sailed Clearwater, though I’ve surely sailed near her enough. Here canal tug Governor Cleveland chugs between us.


I guess it’s high time I step aboard.

Mark your calendars for July 23 . . . at Barge 79 in Red Hook . . . Waterfront Museum hosts a talk by Clearwater captains on her 40 years.

By the way, Clearwater‘s maiden voyage from South Bristol, Maine, involved a stop at South Street Seaport.  Does anyone have fotos of her at the Pier there?  Any recollection of the cermony there?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,489 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.


September 2021