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GWA stands “go[ing] west again,”  the next set of posts all attempting to catch myself and maybe you up, if you’re following along, with random and I hope interesting photos from the past almost three weeks.  I realize that catching up is impossible, and in this case while I had vacated the sixth boro, big stuff happened.

A word that comes to mind is protean– named for Proteus.  Type “define: protean” into google and you’ll appreciate why it’s difficult to catch up.  But here goes.

Within a half hour of departing Warren RI, we pass Naema and

Lionheart.  Do check the links.  Either would be worthy of a post in itself.

And still north of the Rte 138 bridge, we see NOAA R/V Henry B Bigelow.

On the cusp of Block Island Sound, we encounter inbound Atlantic Pioneer, where you’d expect her returning from a run. Here’s a post I did almost exactly two years ago when Atlantic Pioneer components still needed to be combined at the shipyard.

A bit further, it’s Carol Jean and Islander, both Block Island bound, although one will arrive much before the other.

By now, we’re into Long Island Sound and being overtaken by darkness.  That’s Atlantic Navigator II as a speck heading toward us.

This dawn photo found us within NYC and approaching the East river.  It’s Fort Totten, designed for the entire US by Robert E Lee.  Here could be a dilemma:  there’s no debate that I know of of striking his name from the credits for this fort.

We pass HuntsPoint Produce Market,

the floating pool,

Marty C–a Weeks tug I’ve never seen,

the “north end” of Roosevelt Island with the Blackwell Island Light,

Gabby L Miller pushing past Cornell Tech‘s yet-to-be used buildings,

the Brooklyn Navy yard with Asphalt Sailor and –I believe– the old Great Point,

swimmers in the water doing a Manhattan circumnatation,

and–let’s end it here for today–a yacht  named  Vava II.  Here’s info on her owner.

Protean  . . . day 1?  It’s not even over, and I think so.

Lots more to come.


Let’s make up some words and revisit Sunday’s significant changes to the “landfront” of the sixth boro, not the “waterfront.”   In fact, on the waterfront change is fluid, literally.   Click on the foto to see the dust fly.


What’s happening on the water at 0553 h?  Just the usual . . . bananas


from Ecuador need to be offloaded.


NYPD patrols, and


kayakers make their way across the calm bay.


Tuesday morning, as seen from the Staten Island ferry . . .


machines disassemble the


rubble and


load it onto trucks for processing, once Susan (Catherine?) Miller gets them back to the roads.


Our landfront has never looked this way . . . til now.


Fotos and video by Will Van Dorp.

I thought I’d used this title before, but I was thinking about this one, backgrounds.  The idea here is similar.

From this angle, can you identify this vessel?

It’s a shipshape Pegasus!

From the same perspective, Justine McAllister and Franklin Reinauer leaving the KVK for the AK.

Ditto equally shipshape Mary Turecamo, from a perspective such that the visor practically obscures the house windows.

What’s the tale of three wakes . . . one recent and the others less so?

This is a good view of how a model bow fits snugly in the notch.

Where’s this and what’s this?  Although it looks like a building being overrun by tropical flora and fauna,

this might generate a different set of associations.

This was taken from the same  vantage point but with the camera pointed a bit higher yet, and it makes all the difference.

It’s OSC Vision entering the Upper Bay last weekend, giving new meaning to the term “shipshape.”  And the fauna here could be called landscaping goats . . . . or “scapegoats,” for short.

Two ships . . .  well, at least until you examine the farther one more closely.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who did this earlier goat homage here.

GB15 was here.

About the foto below, I love  surprising discoveries like this:  Rikers Island has a launch, Officer Guy Hudson.  I wonder if the launch has ever figured in searches for escaping Rikers’ inmates.  Click here for foto and video tour of Rikers.*

Below foto taken last weekend, Kojima has made the sixth boro an “annual” stop the past two summer solstices!  I also spotted them here in early summer a few years back, too.  Suppose they come for the mermaid parade?

Thanks to Captain Zizes for this foto of the Bravest, the most recent FDNY Marine unit, commissioned less than a month ago on May 26.  Info thanks to Harold Tartell.

Another shot of EPA Bold arriving through the Narrows a few weeks back.  I love the small boat on a trailer on starboard side.  Bold was docked at Riverbank State Park–the park over the sewage treatment plant!!–less than two weeks ago.

Lower Stapleton (?) serves as homeport for this fleet of speedy USCG vessels . . . just north of the Narrows.

Yesterday’s post featured a Robert Allan tug in Italy; here’s Fire Fighter II,  the latest Robert Allan-designed fireboat in the sixth boro.

Special trash skimmer DEP Shearwater . . .  I’d love to hear more about it, and is Jamaica Bay still around also?

I believe this is an NYS Environmental Conservation vessel over by SUNY Maritime;  Wednesday it was having a hard time dragging some docks . ..  horsepower YES but torque NO.

Foto #3 thanks to Captain Zizes.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelateds:  Has no one gotten a foto of Cangarda in the past 36 hours?  Does the unique vessel only steam Captain Nemo-style under concealment of night?

And the NYTimes CityBlogs had this article recently . . . a story about the tug Petersburg;  a foto of a certain deckhand handling Petersburg lines appeared here almost two years back on tugster . . . see the last foto.

Finally . ..  if you’re free Sunday night, come to BAM’s short film series for Jessica Edwards’ Tugs.  I think I’ll be there.

*Embedded in the Riker’s Island link is some interesting budget info:  Riker’s recent budget info (?.. ok this takes more sourcing) reveals that it spends $860 million at the correctional facility to “control”  [wikipedia’s term] 14,000 inmates with 7000 corrections officers and an additional 1500 civilians;  less than 20 miles to the southeast, Nassau Community College (NCC)  spends $200 million to serve 22,000 students with 740 fulltime professors number currently in flux)  and  an undetermined (by me) number of parttime professors and administrative folks.  I realize that Rikers has to feed, house, etc. their 14,000 “controlees,” but also added into the equation should be that NCC students depart with skills for upwardly mobile jobs.

If you click here and are familiar with some of the changes on the NYC waterfront, you’ll know some of these landmarks are gone.  Debate on choices of what to save and what to preserve are endless.  Recognize the vessel below?  What was its past and will be its future?

The vessel above and the one below live about 20 miles from Hell Gate.  Christeen, below, was built as an oyster sloop in 1883.  Click here and here for video of Christeen under sail today.

Here’s a summary of Christeen‘s features.  Click here for a quick timeline of  150+ years of water history of Oyster Bay, NY.  Of course, Oyster Bay launched many tugboats during the half century of Jakobson‘s tenure there.   Scan the list for boats that have appeared on this blog, (Cornell, Margot, Houma, Maryland, Escort, Consort …) too numerous to link to now, but you can use the search window to see them.  Jakobson’s even built a small submarine, X-1.  Jakobson’s yard is now gone without many traces.

The vessel in the top foto is Ida May as she currently looks, but

she once looked like this.

This is a down-at-the-heels queen whose future

hangs in the balance.  More info is available through the

Waterfront Center.

What prompted this post is an article in the NYTimes this morning about Pier D, near 64th Street.  If you’ve never seen it,

you won’t.  It’s gone.  See the article here.  I took this foto less than three months ago.

All fotos by will Van Dorp.

Because of last night’s rain, you have one last chance to see “Seven Deadly Seas” TONIGHT at 8 pm.  Go early and catch this hard-to-replicate combination:  left to right Cape Race, Gazela, and Mary A. Whalen … as seen from the entrance to the Brooklyn Passenger Terminal in Red Hook.

Big doings also are happening for Pegasus, here with a happy tour group.  Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 will be docked in Brooklyn Bridge Park starting later this week.

Uh . . . shoes of future mariners?

Contemporary mariners work aboard such vessels as

JoAnne Reinauer III

and (right to left) Twin Tube— a supply boat–and CSL Atlas, cousin of my longlost Alice O.  By the way, Atlas brought in the beginnings of the upcoming winter’s supply of road salt .  . or was that table salt??

Colleen McAllister and other vessels labor away at the sisyphusian task of dredging.

R/V vessels like Blue Sea do their own research/education work.  Here RV Blue Sea is on the high and dry as a preparation for a new season.

Jay Michael frequents the sixth boro, and

in parting, this sloop (Margaret A ?)  passes a fuel barge.

Unfortunately, I missed yesterday’s lobsterboat races up in Portland, Maine, and I have to wait til 2011 to see them.  But you can still get to the 18th Annual Great North River (aka sixth boro) Tugboat Race on September 5.  See you there.

Tomorrow … yes … another few days’ gallivant.  Details later.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Check out this Newtown Creek shipping post by Restless.

Note:  Since I overdo the links sometimes, the two most important background ones here and this on the China Tea Trade and this on the China clippers.

I start this post with five older fotos; the one below showing crew tidying up lines on McAllister Responder dates from January 2007.   Until now, I’ve always focused on the foreground, not the background.  Of course, all those blue warehouses are now being replaced by Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Another example–Francis E. Roehrig (now Aegean Sea but ex-Jersey Coast and John C. Barker and as Francis E. a hero post-Bouchard accident) has always been focus of this foto for me rather than what’s in the background.

Again, I’ve focused until now on the foreground, on the 140′ icebreaking tug Sturgeon Bay instead of on the rich architecture of Brooklyn Heights,

in summertime obscured by a jungle of foliage, making it easier to focus of East River traffic like Express Marine’s Duty, below.  However, what I learned last week is that Brooklyn Heights has fascinations all

its own.  Like this house standing on Pierrepont Place, the house of Abiel Abbot Low, son of Seth Low of Salem, Massachusetts.   A. A. Low moved to Brooklyn Heights after spending six years in Canton’s markets dealing with Wu Bingjian aka Howqua.    From Brooklyn Heights, Low could observe

the goings and comings of his fleet of China clippers over at South Street when it was a seaport in the years between the First and Second Opium Wars.  Finding out more about the Lows ( and in subsequent generations their connections to the mayor of Brooklyn, Columbia University and FDR . . . ) those are adventures and work that lie ahead.  Last week I learned that what’s in the background might as well be an interesting focus as what is background.

Meanwhile . . . the drum calls to Coney Island, with the parade just four days off.  Here and here are links for 2009; first and second for 2008.  More tomorrow.  Plan to be in Coney on Saturday?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

As Fuji is a source of  unity for all  and inspiration for artists, so is our Lady.  Today I’ll purloin the words of

Emma Lazarus, who wrote,  “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,  with conquering limbs astride from land to land;  here at our sea-washed

sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.

From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged

harbor that twin cities frame.  “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips. . .  .”    And you probably know the rest.

A bulked-up Helen Parker plays here, and

as does this Bouchard barge No. 85.

Different photographers help her give illusions of cavorting atop dredger New York or

or wave at a random passing container ship, this one Hanjin Colombo, and so many more.

Other vessels pictured include Liberty IV, schooner Pioneer, and ferry Spirit of America.  Also, in the second foto, notice the club/barge William Wall between the sailboats and Ellis Island.

Fotos #1–8 credit to Dan B.  #9 is Jed’s, and the last one is Will Van Dorp.  Dan B contributed the shots of Flinterduin, and Jed contributes regularly, recently with this rare puzzler shot.

As I look at these two days of shots, in response to the survey about whether NYC’s sixth boro needs a seasonal light display, it occurs to me that some shots are missing, like Liberté as seen from outside the Narrows, atop the gantries at Bayonne and Port Elizabeth, from an aircraft above 1000′, and from the peak of a tall building in Newark.  Anyone help?

Parting shot:  one of my own favorites.

And for an artistic influence on Bartholdi, see a painting called La Vérité by Jules J. Lefebvre completed before Liberté, click here.

Leapfrogging from “L” to “P,” ok ok, later I’ll pick up the ones I skipped.  P . . . parks and paddling.  Like National Parks.  Try to guess where these waters flow.


It’s Sunday glorious morning, and


and the water is flat;  the kayakers stay safely out of shipping channels and “go-fast” trajectories.


A ranger stands by.  The trailer transported the kayaks to the beach off to the right.  What’s your best guess about location?

aaaap4A clue:  apartment buildings lie just beyond the beach and trees.


If I turn the other way, this tower projects itself against the sky.  The profile might lead you to wonder if it’s the newest ATB setting the record for the highest air draft (a metal swan, as Bowsprite conceptualizes it) . . . or  an airport?


It’s JFK, in the boro of Queens.  And the kayaks, believe it or not, the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, in conjunction with the  National Park Service, runs a FREE kayaking program just east of Canarsie Pier in Brooklyn.  Yes, it’s Brooklyn, and a calm out of the way portion of the sixth boro.  Friday through Mondays all July from 10 am until 2 pm.  And someone powerful must be happy:  since the program started on July 10, the weather has been fabulous.  Over 200 folks have come out for a paddle, many of those again and again and again.

Harbor Conservancy has also created a trail for experienced kayakers in Jamaica Bay with five put-in points as well as signage for wildlife viewing.  A map will soon be available here.

Click on the map below to make it interactive.  This beach is just south of the intersection of Rockaway Parkway and Belt Parkway.  Jamaica Bay is the “only wildlife refuge in the National Park system.”  Follow some great directions in that link.


I first kayaked over 20 years ago in boats much like these, nervous before I boarded that a kayak would be unstable.  Only weeks later I was surfing down coastal New Hampshire waves that grew from three feet to four feet to . . . well, after that I usually wiped out, but got back in and tried again.  For the kids and adults getting into a kayak the first time here, where might the experience lead?    And since writing that post more than two years ago, I’ve met Rocking the Boat and  Floating the Apple.

Thanks to Rangers Jose A. Ramirez, James Keena, and Pat Given for info used in the story.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  City Parks info here.

Unrelated:  Read frogma and moveable bridge’s reports from “Campground Governor’s Island.”

Also unrelated:  from today’s NY Times, a “secret pool party“!!


Caribbean Sea, above, heads into the obscuring fog.  Only on clear days do I appreciate the fog.


Atlas Navigator emerges from it, like a gift.


Bowsprite witnessed Monge, large and camouflaged in the color of the fog, depart.


The next fotos bear no relation to the previous although I do imagine that somewhere beyond the fog a “gorgeous” waterfall realm beckons.  It beckoned and I followed a crowd last month.  Any ideas where?    Answer revealed below.


New York.  Click here after you guess where in NY.  It’s St. Lawrence watershed.

PS:  Tugster tells stories/shows fotos in the Melville Gallery at South Street Seaport Monday, November 10, at 630ish pm at Ship Lore & Model Club, NY.

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October 2022