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Let’s go back to September 2009.  CMA CGM Marlin, launched 2007,  was the standard size back then . . .  The 5092-teu vessel has since been scrapped, after only nine years of service!!

Over a dozen sailing barges came to NYC to sail in New York waters in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Half Moon arriving here all those years ago.  Here are more posts from back then. Groenevecht, below, is a 2000-built replica of a lemsteraak.

Also in town to celebrate were Onrust and HNLMS Tromp. Here’s more on Tromp.

Old and new came.  On one end of the spectrum was Day Peck, 

her great hold still waiting to be transformed into museum.

Urger still operated, here sidling up to Lehigh Valley 79.

A different Rosemary McAllister worked here.

Irish Sea (1969) was still at work.

Yessir, stuff changes.  All photos in September 2009 by Will Van Dorp.


The link here may show the first glimpse I had of Balder.  Let me share my getting better acquainted, but first . . . the foto below I took 13 months ago.  Note the different colors of salt, reflecting


different provenances, as explained in Ian Frazier’s New Yorker article below.  Buy a copy to get the rest of the story.


Without this vessel, all of us who drive the roads or walks the sidewalks and streets within the metropolis surrounding the sixth boro would be at greater risk of slipping and crashing.  Framed that way, Balder could not be better named.   Here’s what Kimberly Turecamo looks like from Balder‘s bridge.


On the far side of the channel, that’s Dace.



Here’s what has come forth from Balder‘s belly, a bit of the Atacama Desert on the KVK.   Huge tractors load the trucks that come to a highway department near you today.




This 246′ arm, reaching nearly to Richmond Terrace, offloads at the relatively slow rate of 8oo tons per hour.



And here’s the hold just emptied, one hold of five.  Notice the ladders and the tracks at the base of the hold.


Click here to see the unloading machinery in action.


Navel, perhaps?


Here’s what gets even the last pound making up the nearly 50,000-ton payload onto the salt dock.




All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to Brian DeForest of Atlantic Salt and the Balder crew for the tour.

And I thought I was a solitary tourist wanting to see the sights here?  I always do bring outatowners here to my “offices” for the scenery.


And to think that he too thought a maritime center devoted to contemporary shipping is sorely needed along the busy channels of the sixth boro.


First, Noble Maritime IS open this Saturday and Sunday, Labor Day.  More than half the fotos in this post are from the well-worth-seeing display called “Tides of 100 Years.”    Snug Harbor also caught some attention in the New Yorker  this week.

The KVK always intrigues and amuses.  Like, this tanker . . . made me think Torm is mini?    No way . . . it’s heavily-laden,  it’s rusty,


it’s orange (or would you call that cantaloupe?).



Over beyond it at Bayonne’s dry dock, USNS Dahl is getting a make-over.



Farther west, Maersk Phoenix is transferring a petroleum product and soon to head into the Mediterranean.


John Noble is the godfather of this blog.  And this exhibit helps you form a fuller idea of the artist.





And lest you think, it’s only his fabulous artwork, it’s more . . . like this manual below.  John Noble had a Jeepster, one of my all-time to-be-coveted vehicles!  See the flickr image to the left margin of this blog.   Anyone remember his topless Jeepster around Staten Island?


And here’s a taste of his workshop . . ..


If you have a chance this weekend or soon, come to see this exhibit.  Spend some time in the museum, and then find a place across the road to sit and watch his inspiration.

Tangentially related:  My Jeepster story does NOT involve John Noble or even NY.  I was born in coastal North Carolina, a marshy farming area where deep ditches tend to outline roads.  My slightly older relatives–who will stay unnamed–used to waterski behind the Jeepster.  Run the tow line from the car to the ditch, where the skiier crouches at the ready hoping to begin the ride before a snapping turtle, alligator, or water moccasin happens along.  Once the tow gets going, keep your skis cranked forward in the ditch, not toward the car.  Can be done. Has been.  Wish I had fotos!

If anyone has Noble Jeepster stories, please leave a comment.

Like me, you probably feel you’re drowning in reminders these days of a certain large vessel that sank exactly a century ago at 41°27’34″N 50°8’22″W.  Am I the only one who has never seen the 1997 James Cameron movie?  Should I see it?  Otherwise, I like Cameron’s work and exploits.  The April 16, 2012 issue of The New Yorker has this especially good piece by Daniel Mendelsohn.  Click on the foto below to sample the article.

The New Yorker magazine credits the foto below (and above) to “National Museums Northern Ireland/Ulster Folk & Transportation Museum,” but not to its photographer.  Hmm.

Mendelsohn’s piece ends with a reference to Morgan Robertson’s 1898 novella . . . Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan.  That’s uncanny stuff.   1898.

I’m hoping you’re intrigued by the title of this post.  If you haven’t seen the video below (click on the image below to play it),  you’ll learn how Titanic, Thresher, and Scorpion are connected through Robert Ballard.  Sections of the first 10 minutes of the video are “gushy,” but you’ll be glad you stayed with it. An important strand in the second half of the video is Ballard v. RMS Titanic . . . a salvage company.  William J. Broad, science writer,  picks up on that dispute in a NYTimes article here, embedded online in this cover.  Writer me in on the side of Robert Ballard and James P. Delgado.

In searching for ephemera you might not know about this story, I came across Knorr, the Woods Hole vessel Ballard used for his 1985 search for the three vessels in the title.  Here’s another link for Knorr.    A search turns her up less than a hundred miles SE of Montauk, obviously surveying, below.

An automobile in the ill-fated  hold . . . might once have looked like this.   A search on e-ships turned up no vessel called Titanic at work today, but then there is this . . . a yacht named Titanic!  Click here for the wikipedia entry for the 1971 launched Titanic.

Yesterday’s NYTimes ran this Q & A on various historical connections between Titanic and New York.  A future connection lies with a vessel called Balmoral, over the wreck tonight and due in the sixth boro later next week . ..  maybe Thursday.

Two vessels forever connected to the tragedy are the one that responded poorly and the one that saved lives.  Within a decade, both were also on the seabed, victims of U-boat attacks.

For a comparison of Titanic with her two sisters, check out the inimitable bowsprite’s post here . . .  And for a sense of the “titanics in unlikely places,” check Rick’s Old Salt blog.

Postscript:  Thresher, like Squalus, left from here.

A year, a month, and three days before I was born, Joseph Mitchell published the essay below in the New Yorker.  I don’t know when the first dredge appeared in the sixth boro, but

in Mitchell’s day, as now, dredging fleets and their crews sculpted the invisible portions of New York harbor.  The above hard-to-read text made its way into the beginning of  the essay “The Bottom of the Harbor” in Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel.  For fotos of the crew of dredge Florida at their various duties, check through several dozen new ones on my Flickr stream to the left.

And it does take a fleet of specialized craft, like Apache, which

drills holes into “hard rock,”  inserts explosive charges, and blows bedrock into fragments.  Here’s a KVK blast video from USACE.  This is how the process looks at a site in Finland.  For images and description of blasting in Hell Gate in the 19th century, click here.

The next three fotos come thanks to Allen Baker.  Loose clay mix slop

looks like this dropping into scows and smelling, by Allen’s description, as

“aroma there’s not enough vocabulary for.”

Drier particles, chewed up by the cutter head, might

get scooped by an excavator like 996 on

dredge New York.    Here is video of a very scary day a few years back aboard New York.

Other areas of the harbor bottom get sculpted by vessels like Padre Island and (below) Terrapin Island.

Padre Island and Terrapin Island suction stuff up with heads like these.

And performing liaison duties among all the ships and machines in the fleet are crew boats like Brazos River

here driven from the exterior control station by Capt. Bill Miller.

Thanks to Bowsprite for taking the fotos above and below.  And thanks to Bill Miller for his hospitality.

And finally . . . back to the teeth:  cost is between $150 and $180 each, depending on size and manufacturer.  And ,

this beaut weighs about 35 pounds.

Also, in case you  wondered about the date of Mitchell’s essay in the New Yorker:  January 6, 1951.

Each week the New Yorker runs one new cartoon lacking a caption.  People send in their cleverness, and the winner is announced a few weeks later along with that week’s new caption contest.  But when Joel Milton sent this foto yesterday, it seemed to me a perfect image to launch a tugster caption contest.  The prize . . . recognition of your wit among your peers?  A free one-year subscription to tugster?

So, have at it.  Some background  (or dry ground in this case):  this “slip” is located between Queens and Manhattan in the East river.  The island is officially Belmont Island, but some–like me–prefer to call it U Thant Island, named for the United Nations Secretary General, who used to see it right across the stream from the UN buildings. Ironically, the speedster seems to have parked right under an arch shown in foto #2 of this very old tugster post.  Also, doubleclick on the foto to enlarge it, and you’ll see the arch is very popular place for cormorants, known for their voracious appetites, intake,  and therefore output . . . .


The Peace Boat was in the sixth boro in June last year.  Yesterday thanks to Mage, who sent me in the direction of  Maritime Matters, I learned that earlier this month, off Yemen, the Peace Boat

outran and escaped from pirates!  Bravo.  That almost calls for a renaming of the vessel.  Any ideas?

The rest of this post is devoted to enigmas.  Like . . . anyone know this monument aka denkmal?  Answer follows.

This drooling clamshell could engulf my car.  Guess the location?

This weather foto–I’ll call the weather stunning if not the foto–makes predictions easy.  Vessel is Escort, moving coal into the Hackensack river.

At the point I took this foto, I had figured out the talent, but initially I rubbed my eyes and panicked about the cruel effects of aging.

And this last foto . . . it’s a family foto and I’m looking to identify the year and make of car.  The man on the left is my great-grandfather, not a citizen of this country, but the foto was taken somewhere in the Dakotas in the 1930s.  Please, make and model?

All fotos except the first and last by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to Joel for foto and Mage for lead.

The denkmal .  .  is a propeller of Intrepid, the carrier, CV-11.   Which reminds me:  the fleet arrives on Wednesday this week.  And the dredging was happening (seems always to be happening) in the Manhattan Passenger Terminal, where dredging is always happening.


Sirens . . . their brief season arrives Saturday. Check out the cartoon on p. 72 of the June 23 2008 New Yorker. The siren above . . . what do her hands signal the fish? The fish above . . . what might their interaction with the siren here remind me of? Of course, for me . . .

naturally, it’s like the choreography of Laura K Moran and the great Hapag Lloyd Essen Express as . . .


the couple tango away, Essen back stepping with immense momentum, and although Turecamo Boys urges restraint,

no holding back will happen until . . .

Essen Express pirouettes with proper form as

Boys inspects, approves, and then

Laura K backs away also. Essen has found its spin and not even the smoke pouring from a hasty Yemitzis can delay the trip toward the ocean. Meanwhile, Boys has other errands to run, maybe bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Meanwhile, suppose Essen will anchor off Coney Island for the parade?

More fotos of Essen Express here (scroll about half thru this page). Check out the other several thousand thumbnails also.

BTW, Laura K generates 5100 hp and Boys, 3200.  See also Jed’s comment to the left.

Photos, WVD.

309 posts ago the debut post introduced you to Alice, a bulker. One of the shots showed her from head on, highlighting the bulbous bow. Here’s another bulker Gypsum Baron, bow thruster just aft the bulbous bow getting service. Without the grate and prop, that launch could navigate right through.


Here in dry dock, yard workers maintain Gypsum Baron or its sibling Gypsum King. Notice the worker along port and two on scaffold near prop shaft.



Maybe I should call this requiem for a bulker, as this vessel has delivered its last gypsum up the Hudson to Stony Point and been crewed off to points east, maybe a beach in India, for . . . well, I won’t say it. Foto below shows Gypsum Baron loading on a windy day.



How many homes and businesses have wallboard dividing spaces made from gypsum delivered by this vessel and siblings? One of these siblings, A. V. Kastner, below and currently a regular through New York harbor, appeared in my blog, and



prompted a much appreciated email from coyote des neiges (snow coyote), to whom I owe these spectacular fotos. Merci!

Check out coyote’s site here. Canard a vapeur . . . literally, steam duck. Enjoy the fotos and learn some French. More of coyote’s tales and fotos soon.

This just in: see this link for the Dec, 3 2007 New Yorker magazine’s coverage of Tuesday’s atmospheric and most unusual book launch. See my post “launch site” under recents posts and H2O’s info about this. And come on down to the Navy Yard. Posts from there soon.


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