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Here were previous milestones at post 1000, the four-year mark, and the one decade anniversary.  A few weeks ago when I noticed on my dashboard that I was approaching my 4000th post a week or so after the actual beginning of the 13th year mark, I knew this post was necessary.

4000!!  It can be a small number:  my heart beats more times than that in an hour and I’m still in the healthy range.  I took more breaths than that in the first half day of my life.  I grew up in a town that had fewer than 4000 people.  One dairy farmer I know has about that many cows now, and collects their output in tanks . . . a reefer tank for milk and two large lagoons for  . . . well . . . their other production.

But it’s a huge number of blog posts, especially if I start adding up the time spent:  if I average about two hours per post … counting the photography and the computing –and that’s a low estimate–that’s 8000 hours of work, which is 200  40-hour work weeks, which at 50-week years equals four years of work.  If I paid myself a low $50,000 per year, that’s almost a quarter million dollar bonus.  Nice!!  As to photos, I’ve added at least 40,000 photos to the web, mostly on aspects of the work world on water.

In another way, the number doesn’t matter, because the story never ends anyhow.  Part of what makes the real story elusive is the Heraclitus issue I’ve mentioned before. It also eludes because there’s no one story; not even one person has just one story or even one fixed understanding of a single story, since we –like the water–is protean, ever shifting.  No matter . . .   we pursue nonetheless.

About those photos, hindsight says I should have started “watermarking” them years ago.  Recently I saw one of my photos in a major newspaper attributed to someone else.  The same article had two others of my photos attributed to me, but this third photo was also mine, shot at a unique event where no other photographers were present.   When I informed them that photo was mine, they refused to believe me.  I was traveling at the time, away from my archive, so I decided to drop the matter, but the fact that it occurs to me now is evidence that I’m still irked.

What else could I have done with those 8000 hours?  If I were a competitive sheep shearer, in that time I could have taken 240,000 fleeces!!  If I worked them in fast food, I’d get $80,000.  If I worked as a divorce lawyer, I’d have a Ferrari or two.  If I were a politician, I’d be at the end of my term and starting a gig as an TV analyst.

Now if I could convince my boss to pay up . . . maybe he’ll throw a party instead and buy the first round for whomever shows up …  Maybe she’ll give me some time off.  Oh wait .  . I’m the boss here.

Seriously, I’ve been fully compensated in meeting interesting people, seeing unexpected things, noticing minutae, and learning vital stuff and worthless trivia.  If I had any regrets, it’s that this time commitment makes me a hermit.  I’m not as anti-social as I might appear, only easily distracted  . . . .  Actually, I like people;  I just prefer to not let an interesting scene go unrecorded sometimes.   Although being a hermit allows me to get work done, the downside is that isolation is sometimes corrosive or parching.

Hermits lack physical community.  Since I retired from a human contact career, I’ve much less of an immediate community.  My online community is fabulous and I appreciate it, but it is its own thing.  I need to work on improving my flesh/blood community.

A friend once sent me a photo he’s taken of me photographing.  It was not a flattering photo because I appeared to be scowling.  I wondered why I was irritated at that moment until I realized that is my “focused face.”  I’ll spare you and not post that shot here.  Photography is much more than moving your fingers on the lens adjustment and shutter.  It’s an attitude born of seeing and trying to see more.   Once an overzealous security person asked me to leave an area I had permission to be because he said I was looking around too much, I must be guilty of something and alleged that I was looking around to see if security or law enforcement was around.  But I do look around while shooting to see if I’m too focused on one action and missing another.

Here’s an example from many years ago and not involving my camera:  I was hiking in a wildlife area and approaching a set of bird watchers, all of whom were intently focused with long lenses on some rare birds in the marsh.  They were lined up along a roadway ditch.  While I was still 200 feet away, I saw a red fox exit the marsh grass, walk past all the photographers close enough to brush against their heels, and then disappear back into the marsh.  Not one photographer saw the fox that touched them;  they were all focused on the rare birds 300 feet away in the marsh.

Given some of the places I go to take photos, there are wolves to be wary of, two-legged wolves, if you catch my drift. I should not malign the four-legged ones though.   Whatever to call these potential predators, I try to spot them long before they sense me.  I take chances with wolves, no matter how many legs they have, and so far they’ve all had dignity.

Anyhow, my course remains steady.  I’ll keep it up as long as I continue to enjoy it.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and sending along stories and photos.

The collage at the top comes thanks to bowsprite;  she created it for me back in 2010 for my 1000th post, and I decided to use Skitch to modify her collage as a way of creating a tradition.

 

Here’s the series . . . .

And the intention of this post is to prompt a discussion, not just be vain.  Let me explain:  thanks to HL for taking this photo the other day during a 33-hour delivery of a Nautor Swan 42 from NY to Baltimore.  Off NJ, conditions were described as a confused sea.

The reason for the photo and this post is to ask about seasickness, which I’ve never experienced but this time I did.  I lost breakfast as soon as we departed the Ambrose Channel and set sail.  I’d taken dramamine, but it only made me drowsy.  Ironically, between gags, I felt very happy;  stomach sick but spirits good.  It hurt to talk much but smiles soothed.  And when I was told to steer a course, all was better.

Here’s a set of 50 suggestions for dealing with seasickness I found on gCaptain.   A dear friend wrote that there are two kinds of people:  those who get seasick and those who haven’t YET.  My brother traveled to Vietnam by ship, said he was seasick for weeks, and has scorned water travel every since.  I used to pack a ginger root when I went fishing and keep a slice between my teeth and inner cheek.

0aass1

 

Thanks to HL for sharing the photo.

You might enjoy this article on the subject from the Atlantic.

Wow!  When I typed “wall” into the search window, I came up with this somewhat silly post from 2007!  But one of the photos shows Barents Sea when I first saw her in the sixth boro.

What I was thinking with the word “wall” today is that the hull of a vessel walls out any info about the crew, the cargo, the human climate on board!  By looking at  this image of a section of the hull, you can tell what it carries, where it came from, its age .  .  I could go on.  Actually, all those patches notwithstanding, the vessel is four years old.  Anyhow, my point is

0aaaawa

two thirds of the planet is inhabited by “worlds” walled off like this and more often moving throughout the latitudes and longitudes and climate zones and political regions and hot spots . . . .

and if you missed Ian Urbina’s articles recently in the NYTimes called “The Outlaw Ocean,”  check them out and the comments here.   I’m still stuffed with the food for thought presented there.

Photo by Will Van Dorp.

 


Is it a vestige of a past whoseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

artifacts are mostly

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disappearing?  Or

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is it an enterprise of

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what is

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to come?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read how the Danes and Dutch already do it.  These Dutch from Tres Hombres wanted to sail into the sixth boro last year but were stymied by red tape.   Then there’s the Vermont working sailcraft project discussed here.  Andrew Wilner has more examples in his blog here.   Here’s a veritable bibliography of hybrid sail ideas.

Working Harbor Committee presents a panel discussion of this topic tonight from 6 pm — 9 pm in Manhattan.    Click here for details.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.  The disintegrating sailboat fotos were taken near Bear Mountain last weekend, and the Black Seal three-masted schooner fotos date from when it delivered 20 tons of cocoa beans to Red Hook in June 2011.   Here and here are related blog posts I did back then.

 

I have always loved maps, as far back as elementary school.  The internet and satellites have changed maps;  sometimes I still prefer old-fashioned paper ones.  This post shows five “grabs” from on-line maps.  What they have in common is that in each an inch is equivalent to about two miles and that all show places in the Americas.  This is my last regular post for about two weeks because it is time to hit the airport, then the road.  This road will take me through three of the five grabs here.  I’ll identify the places along the way.

1.

At this link there are 24 quotes about maps . ..  like this one by Abulrazak Gurnah: “I speak to maps. And sometimes they something back to me. This is not as strange as it sounds, nor is it an unheard of thing. Before maps, the world was limitless. It was maps that gave it shape and made it seem like territory, like something that could be possessed, not just laid waste and plundered. Maps made places on the edges of the imagination seem graspable and placable.”

2.

Herman Melville said that true places are not found on maps.  Here’s an interesting article that quotes him and talk about a place (not in the Americas)  I’ll likely never visit, never have to navigate myself around with or without a map or chart.

3.

On travel . . . aka gallivanting, Robert Louis Stevenson said, “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

4.

I airbrushed some names out of this map grab . . . lest you figure the location out too easily.   And if you don’t figure it out, no matter . . .   see this LandSat fotos or play with google for a while if you think these satellite images are beautiful, as I do.  I didn’t change any of the colors, but some satellites use filters to capture invisible but significant detail.

5.

But as much as I enjoy looking at maps and charts, there is a time to get out, feel the wind on your face, and let yourself be surprised.  Doubleclick this one;  these two watchstanders on MSC Federica last weekend seem the ultimate gallivanters.  They could even be time travelers.

I’ll try to write from the road, something I last did just a month ago here.  Any guesses about the geography captured by those fotos?

Related:  Here and here are some airplane seat art sites.   Here are more examples of “land art” visible from google earth.

. . . astrotisements for everything imaginable.

Labor Day weekend is upon us again, but I can’t remember when it seemed quite this polarized, although if you read the first two sentences in the section here called “history,” maybe the celebration of the day was born in conflict, polarization, and then reaching out for solidarity.  Check out the Post editorials from the  Washington  and the Huffington.  I liked this foto essay in the New York Times Magazine here.

For many of the first 20 years of my life, living on a farm where Labor Day was a holiday in name only since harvest had to be taken then, I heard that on “labor day” one labored.  End of story.   And that was not such a bad way to spend the day.  Work challenges,

ennobles,

unites,

bonds,

accomplishes,

fulfills,

satisfies,

and ultimately feeds us, and others.

Happy Labor Day, whatever you do or don’t do.

Al fotos by Will Van Dorp.

In case you think life has slowed me down in Key West, you’re somewhat right, but it’s been only 97 here, cooler than some places in the US and as cool as it is for my brothers in the snow belt of upstate New York.

A guide here kept referring to this vessel as a “chug” although I thought he said “tug.”  Guess the story?  See end of post.

Chickens roam everywhere and constant need to cross roads here in the Conch Republic, a micronation with its own passport, coin, and more.  For a list of numerous other “micronations,” created as vehicles for agenda self-promotion, click here.    As the so-called mayor of the “sixth boro,”  I find the idea of declaring micronation status for the waters around NYC very exciting.  Feedback?

Foto of Nav/Air 38 for Rod of Narragansett Bay Shipping . . .   here in her usual setting.

Greetings to the crew of Yankee, built 1982 in Atlantic City.  More Key West schooners . . . soon.

Fotos I missed:   sailing on this dreamlike expanse of Gulf of Mexico, we saw scores of flying fish and ballyhoo . . . but nary a one consented to being on a tugster shot.  Imagine that!

Behold Fort Jefferson, 70 miles west of Key West, 900 … east of Brownsville TX, 200 south of Tampa, and less than 100 north of Havana.

Here’s one way to  get there at just under 30 mph.  The Yankee name caught my attention… not because I live in NYC but because I used to live north of Cape Ann, MA, where a whale watching vessel refers to itself as part of the “Yankee fleet.”  Well, same company has operated in both Key West and Gloucester.  Furthermore, this vessel was built by Gladding Hearn of Somerset, MA, and the captain grew up in Hampton Beach, NH . . . where I lived back in the late 80s!!  Gladding Hearn has built numerous ferries, pilot boats, and other vessels for the sixth boro.

Foto for Bonnie of frogma:  you never told me Sebago had boats here!!

And for the unfrazzling bowsprite . . . herself galivanting where time gets forgotten, a foto of  WPG-78 aka USS Mohawk, resplendent in gray and gray and gray, whose story reaffirms the point I tried to make the other day in reference to vessels in Mayport.

So . . . if you are artistically inclined . . . should an eventual “sixth boro” micronation have its own flag?

OK . . . back to the “chug.”   The National Park rangers have decided to house this vessel, which was instrumental in getting Cuban refugees “dry-footed” onto US soil, at Fort Jefferson.  “Chug” derives from the noise the automobile engine makes while the vessel is underway.  chug-chug-chug . . .  Too bad they didn’t keep this 1951 Chevy truckboat.  Maybe Mel Fisher‘s crew will seek it out one of these days.

How’s about this for a once- and future-newspaper ad?  How many years before this service gets re-established?  Here’s a business idea:  trips across the Florida Strait on replicas of Hemingway’s Pilar . . . on converted 1951 Chvy trucks and vintage Buicks?  I bet it’ll happen.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  More from the Conch Republic soon.

Oh, also, I hereby claim rights to any and all sixth-boro micronationalistic paraphernalia.

Unrelated but priority . . . don’t know if this is real:  Colvin schooner on beach for sale for $15000

I quote from gcaptain:  “According to AP Moller, the parent company of Maersk Lines, a single 20-foot vessel container on average can hold about 48,000 bananas. In theory then, Emma Maersk is capable of holding nearly 528 million bananas [aka 11,000 teu] in a single voyage – enough to give every person in Europe or North America a banana for breakfast.”    So I wondered . . . if Emma and sisters carry that number of bananas, then

CMA CGM White Shark = 243 million bananas,

Ital Lirica – 244.3,

Port Said – 82.03 . . . .   and

MSC Linzie – 242.3

There you have it, a new measure for container ships, the banana.  It’s right out there waiting to catch on  . .  like smoots, donkeypower, helens, and  hedons.

All fotos recently by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to gcaptain for bringing up the banana idea.  Now would those be Cavendish bananas, plantains, or something else?

If the repurposed green-painted police launch in the sixth boro can be called Big G, I guess this is gargantuan G, although judging by the weldprints in the portside bow, it has a history; for two decades it was an icebreaker/sealer named Polarbjorn (153′ x 38′ x 17′)  launched  in Norway in 1975.  Then, 15 years ago, it was chartered by

Greenpeace.   I wish I could be around when the history of the 21st century gets written because I’d love to know who the winners will be and (among countless other groups) how Greenpeace will then be viewed.  Even “losers” who fight good fights would be interesting to see through “future history’s long lens.”  They do know they have enemies . . . many of them, but sometimes I’m proud of who considers me to be an enemy.   Compare the bow in the foto below with what you see in this video at 1:30.    The comments in these two videos bespeak the controversies.

Arctic Sunrise has been docked at Chelsea Piers for the past few days, at the same location where Steve Irwin docked almost a year ago.

I didn’t get a tour, but I wondered about the sign “pigmy deck,”   one I’ve never seen before.

For more on criticisms of Greenpeace, click here.  For Arctic Sunrise‘s mission in NYC, click here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Sometimes stories get told wrong, again and again.  Like the one about Thanksgiving.  How many pilgrims can you name?

You know the name of the ship they sailed/chartered, but who was the captain?  Were they headed for Massachusetts?  Can you name one of the “Indians”  or their tribe?  When did it become an official US holiday?

I’ll pick one detail.  Most people know Squanto.  Do you know he spoke English?  Ever wonder how he learned it?  He probably spoke some Spanish too.  Do you know why?

Read at least a few paragraphs here, enough to learn about Capt. John Hunt, Tisquantum’s time in the Mediterranean, his time in Newfoundland, and the fact that his time of slavery (ironically) actually lengthened his life a bit.

I’m not meaning to be preachy.  But it seems that one reason to tell the real story is just that it’s

more interesting.

Just the facts, then?  You can read the links to Thanksgiving yourself here:  passenger list for that voyage of Mayflower, Captain was possibly Christopher Jones, their destination was “North Virginia” aka Hudson River Valley, they first encountered Nausets, later an important  liaison became a Wampanoag named Tisquantum, “thanksgiving” is a fairly universal sentiment that (as a single example) gets mentioned in the Old Testament coming from Jonah (Yonah or Junus), Lincoln (prompted by Sarah J. Hale) set the first US national Thanksgiving Day as November 26, and FDR made it float to the fourth Thursday each November.  And for UAINE, Thursday is the national day of mourning .  .  .

Hey . . . everyday should be Thanksgiving in my estimation, but please tell someone about Tisquantum the (reluctant) sailor today. But avoid calling heron a cormorant.

Related:  on the left side of this blog, an icon for My Babylonian Captivity appears, my account of a time exactly 20 years ago in Iraq as a hostage.  Read this segment for the details of the Iraqis efforts to mount a Thanksgiving meal for us.

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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.

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