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He:  (stretching after much needed nap) Oooo.  Let me quick recall that dream!  The meaning’s in vu.  [See end of post.]

Parrot: (from perch near bed) What?  Atchooo!

Knowing where to start in this story  . . . well, it eludes me.  It’s a story, like so many, of a journey on water, a physical undertaking some do daily in the context of work or play,  but others–wishing they might–do so  as often as possible, either aboard a vessel or  in a daydream.  A ship Flinterduin arrived on September 2.  The next day, after a dozen barges were offloaded, the ship edged forward, and the first gorgeous barges escaped into the sixth boro.  To contain them would have felt like herding cats (in current parlance);  actually a better phrase might be . . . like corralling gamesome goslings.  “Goslings” also works for me:  my mother, despite her frustrated artist’s spirit, used to draw ducks and geese to amuse me as a kid; the wings on her birds–I now understand–looked a lot like the leeboards she saw growing up along the Rhine!  Got it, Ma.


On September 14ish, after a rollicking departure party at Atlantic Basin, the fleet headed upriver.  Note the cutter proposing to serve as escort in the backgound. I had land duties that kept me from following this fleet on its upriver journey, but no easy feat would be escorting a frolicksome fleet of Dutch folk.

As an example of a carefree Dutch attitude:  my brother-in-lawish  Wil at Rockaway Beach last summer to swim.  After swimming, I said, “Wanna change?  Bathrooms are there” and pointed to enclosures 100 feet away.  Let me add that Wil is a responsible man, appropriately . . . a hydrologist.  With him and me were his wife and two teenage sons.  As he turned toward the horizon, dropped his trunks, and pulled on his pants, he said, “Thanks.  I’ll change right here.”  Yeah . . . why not, I thought, listening to him laugh.  As I said, unrestrained.  Free of silly protocols.  In the Netherlands, no one’d be wearing swim suits anyhow.


When the fleet reached Peekskill, Reiner Sjipkens entertained the crowds on shore, as he had previous in Red Hook Brooklyn.  Click on his name to hear the music.


And crowds visited the journeying flotilla.


On October 3, this bulk carrier headed past the Battery.  Interesting color scheme but otherwise non-descript.  Time for something.


By Monday morning, October 5, the ship was docked in Albany and some of the flotilla sidled up;  their blithe journey,


ended.  Time to load.  Time for Ingeladen, which means loaded, and if you want to see into the hold, click here.  And here.


It looks like stepping masts.  See you later . . .  Fugel Frij.


Windroos, leaves next.  Seeing these fotos makes me think of the Paul Simon song:  50 Ways to Leave . . .


Me too, hop on the bus, Gus?


Anyone identify the tug here or in the foto a couple up?  Answer below.


On Oct 7, headed past Hudson Light, Flinterborg of the nine masts passes bulk carrier Atlantic Arrow, close


enough to  . . . to . . . wave, even holler.


Three or so hours later, the Walkway came into view.


200 plus feet above the bow wave of the ship, Harold conversed and Tugster shot a


a video, below.  Hear the ship’s horn at :52, see bow watch wave at 1:15, and see bridge crew wave at 1:28.

Flinterborg, with its load of corralled and eternally youthful goslings, heads south for sea.  Note how many bonds are needed to strap the frolicksome fleet in by the homeward leg.


I have so many people to thank for putting together this post:   fotos in order . . . Will–first one,  Carolina Salguero-next 3, Christina Sun-next 1, Pat Van Alstyne-next 6, Paul Chevalier-next 2, and Dock Shuter-last 3.  Videoo by tugster.  Many others–Elizabeth, Harold, Jeff, Kaya, Chesley, Dan, Joe, Hetteke, Arjen, Jan, Margaret, Laura, Capt. Frank, Alex, Carter, and Bernie–helped out in behind-the-scenes ways.  I am so thankful.  Blame my tired brain if I’ve left you’re name out.

Meaning:  Unlike commutes or tourist trips, journeys sometimes fill the traveller and proxies with insights.  One insight aka “take-away” from the past 6 weeks or so for me is that blogging about the journey of these mariners has fostered the creation of a fantastic ad hoc community.  This isn’t a commercial venture, but as an alliance of folks based both on water and on land we can exert power and influence we don’t have individually.  Why power?  To call attention to what’s ignored, to disseminate info that languishes, to connect with like-minded folks we otherwise could not find common ground with.  To communicate about what mainstream media don’t.

Since the sixth boro (the waters surrounded by New York City and some New Jersey towns, and in turn surrounding all the coastal places on the planet) IS our common ground element, I hereby propose that :  we think of ourselves as–for want of a name “the sixth boro confederation,” a loose and adhoc and non-partisan alliance of people who either work on or identify as invested in the harmonious use of the waters and their margins for the great good of the greatest number of us.  No matter nationality, mariners both on the water and those currently ashore have always journeyed and disseminated goods, people, and ideas.    Viva the sixth boro confederation.  Let’s make things happen. Track Flinterborg here:  Behouden vaart, Flinterborg.

I’d love to hear your ideas.

Answer to question on tugs in Albany:  Kathleen Turecamo upper and Jennifer Turecamo lower.

Flinterborg update:  Confirmed departure time Oct 7 at 7 a.m. from Port of Albany, bound for sea.  That sounds like late morning  past the Rondout, mid-dayish through Poughkeepsie, and late afternoon (dusk?) through the sixth boro.  Advice:  Don’t trust me to calculate “boat/ship time.”   In spite of the rainy forecast, I’ll be at one or more locations.     Not simultaneously.

Seeing Odin today . . . my first sighting in a while . . . called me back to stacks.  Long periscopes peering from squared off stacks.


Taurus sports near-cones with pipes retracted within.


Bismarck Sea has similar ones, but they display the IMO.


Might Caribbean Sea‘s stack be too small to sport the logo?


I’d never noticed til now how far the pipes protrude from Maryland‘s.


Without something or someone beside them, it’s difficult to perceive how large the stacks on Lincoln Sea are.


Norwegian Sea, like Caribbean, has no logo on the stack, although the fleet colors tell all.


Java Sea‘s are dwarfed by the array of climbing superstructure.


A K-Sea tanker?  Sorry.  I couldn’t resist when the components lined themselves up.


Five boats docked at Mariner’s Harbor:  (l to r) Odin, Houma, Nathan Stewart, Falcon, Maryland.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Thanks to Harold, here’s a foto of Flinterborg launched in 2008.


What’s this?


Would you believe the object in the first foto here rubs faces with the formidable 8th Sea?  And does  so sans fear.


This gives “flat bottom” a whole different meaning.  No comparisons with an athlete’s belly fit here, as was true for Livet.


It’s the mighty albeit miniature Sea Horse, possibly Hippocampus ingens plywoodus connecticutus, here communing with Mystic Seaport’s resident tug, Kingston II, I believe.


Here is owner/builder/captain Stuart Pate at the Waterford Tug Roundup . . . was that already almost a month ago?  Yes, that’s Mame Faye off right.


The engine room.  Tohatsu 9.8.  Note the ” onboard auxilliary  re-powering system” or O.A.R.S. for short, athwartship between the chairs.   Seahorsepower?  Immeasurable.  Bollard pull?  Inestimable.  I’ve heard Paul Bunyanesque rumors about the results of the nose-to-nose push-off contest.  And deep draft on the tug . . . unfathomable.


Thanks to Stuart for all the fotos except the last two.  For plans, see here.

Unrelated:  Below is a foto by Jeff Anzevino, showing Flinterborg headed upriver Saturday.  When she leaves Albany some time tomorrow, she’ll be carrying a deckload of  Dutch barges.  Check this site for fotos of the barges rolicking their way upriver.


Happy river watching.

As a kid living near Lock 28 of the then-Barge Canal, I might have seen this strange looking vessel.  If I saw it  as a 9-year-old in 1961,  a) I’ve forgotten it . . . but b) it was already 40 years at work in 1961. Day-Peckinpaugh aka Richard J. Barnes and Interwaterway Lines 101, progenitor of a now-scrapped fleet, does present an unforgettable face.  Bart might call it ugly, but its design conform to its niche . . .  kind of like a flounder.

aadpThroughout the Working on Water events, which ended recently at Cohoes, NY, she was driven by John Callahan, in green shirt adjusting docklines here with the capstan.  John is a driving force behind the annual Waterford Tug Roundup, an annual event started in 1999.


See this view from high on the stern looking forward  259′ between the stacks.  Actually, I find it’s difficult to to get a clear shot of DP because of its size.  In the distance off DP‘s port bow is tug Hackensack, her stack no longer quite as delightfully be-colored as it once was.


Here’s the hold looking astern.  Companionways, added as part of the retrofit to transform DP‘s hold into gallery space, obviously were not in place when she worked as a bulk carrier.  With a carrying capacity of 1650 tons, she took –at least–100 tractor trailers of her era off the roadways.


Detail of hatch cover.


Spare prop.


Well, DP is a big ship, and I didn’t get to see it all this year.  No matter, she is the largest exhibit in the New York State Museum . .. will be for years to come, I suppose.  Final shot here shows more audio than overall image of DP docking in Lake Champlain this past summer.

I’m playfully ending on a snarky note . . . I’m curious about the name.  What comes to mind from   “day peck & paw…”   is how it might differ from “night peck & paw . . . .”   Is that a first and last name . . . a certain Peckinpaugh named “day” maybe short for “Davidson.”  Another option might be “day peck ‘n paw . . . yes day do!”  The real story is here, and it connects with the New York Yankees.

All photos . . . Will Van Dorp.

Can we possibly be passed the equinox yet again?  And we’ll have to see flurries fly and flows freeze before summer returns to bless us?  Autumn 2 was almost a year ago?  The two fotos that follow come thanks to Dock Shuter, up near Catskill.  Look carefully at the sail arrangement on . .  what I believe is Ommeswaay below, and


Tijd zal t Leeren (aka Time Will Tell) .  Thanks to Uglyships Bart, each of these water-scooping sails is appropriately called a waterzeil.


Yesterday this sloop explored the east end of KVK, racing Hamburg Goal.  Anyone know this sloop?  Tug on Hamburg Goal‘s bow is James Turecamo.


Here it is again, upriver of Comet.


Catherine Turecamo passes in the foreground, and I can’t positively identify the schooner on the far side of the barges with blue houses and out close to the Battery.


Kimberley Turecamo near, Margaret Moran farther, and it looks like schooner  Pioneer off the Battery.


Judging by mast height relative to top of sail, schooner near the Battery here is Clipper City.

aaas7And as WTGB 107 Penobscot Bay, one of eight such tugs in service.  And . . . yes . . . that’s Pioneer under bare poles, disappearing behind 107’s stern.


Finally, I anticipate that in less than a week, another 15-masted motor vessel will traverse the sixth boro;  in this case, it’ll be Flinterborg, currently approaching the mouth of Delaware Bay from northern Europe bound for Philadelphia.  I believe from Phillie, Flinterborg will make for Albany to load barges and “intall” her 15 or so masts.  So, fellow-shipspotters in the area . . . please inform me of a spotting.  Next weekend, I will wait at some opportune location once I have ETAs.  [Update:  as of 0830 this morning, Flinterborg passes through Wilmington bound for Philadelphia.]

Photos, WVD.

A fortnight PLUS 400 years ago, Half Moon lay in what we now call the Upper Bay;  a momentous encounter of civilizations soon drew blood, and  would draw more.   Today is more or less the anniversary of the northernmost point reached by Half Moon.  What little we know of the actual trip comes from the pen of someone lacking much fondness for Henry Hudson, who was quite the mystery man.  No, I’m not going to say Henry was actually Henriette.


Prolific author Joseph Bruchac has written River of Tides, a play telling of this encounter from the perspective of the people native to the river valley 400 years ago.    Photos below were taken by Bowsprite at the premier last week.  Below, the author introduces the story.


Other times and places to see the pay include the following:

  • Thursday, September 24, Troy, NY, 10:30 AM, Bush Memorial Hall, Russell Sage College, 45 Ferry St.
  • Saturday, September 26, New York, NY, 5 pm, Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University downtown Manhattan campus, 3 Spruce Street (East of Park Row, near the corner of Gold Street). Reservations suggested at or 212-868-4444.
  • Sunday, September 27, Poughkeepsie, NY, 2 pm, Marist College Nelly Goletti Theatre, Student Center. Contact Hudson River Valley Institute, 845-575-3052,
  • Tuesday-Friday, October 6-9, New York, NY, adaptation for elementary schools, National Museum of the American Indian in New York. To register for school performances educators should contact Ada Torres at 212-514-3705.


Enjoy.  I will be at the Saturday Pace performance.

Meanwhile, stay tuned here for the last several installments of Henrysobsession, the version produced by Bowsprite and me.

Second in this series, this post attempts to captures quick details on Rondout this weekend,


venue for the latest Working on Water (WOW) festival.  Rondout, a creek I’d love to spend much more time on, enters the Hudson about 80 miles north of  the sixth boro, strictly delineated.  The word may be a corruption of “redoubt,” no doubt a reference to the geography of the high part of town relative to the Creek.


Some vessels there this weekend included Governor Cleveland and Day Peckinpaugh, both having been featured on this blog previously.  Much more Day Peckinpaugh soon.


Lehigh Valley Cornell and Barge 79, the peripatetic  Waterfront Museum, have also appeared here before.


Bermudan ketch Belle Adventure reflects sunrise.


Bushey-tug The Chancellor was there.  Check info and a lovely drawing of The Chancellor here.   More The Chancellor later in this post.


Jessica duLong alternated between driving Gowanus Bay (ex-Linda) and talking about her new book My River Chronicles.   Listen to a podcast of an 8 September interview with Jessica here.


Canine passenger kayaks inhabited the Creek.


Working tugboat Patty Nolan was there;  hull was launched in Superior, WI in 1931, but I’ve been unable to determine if the bikinied figurehead figurefigure was original standard equipment.


For some sights and sound . . .  mid-day and duck, watch this.  Benjamin Elliott, who arrives at dusk, has appeared on this blog before.  Video made from the venerable Pegasus.

All fotos and video by Will Van Dorp.  More from WOW later.

Bowsprite satified my hungry eyes with her epic vistas of the diverse craft in the Upper Bay Sunday.  Let me complement by directing the eyes to equally satisfying detail.  Like flags defying uniformity of color and shape flying from


mastheads of divers tips.  Actually, the tell-tale is called a wimpel.  On the top foto, notice the Flinter house flag.


Fugelfrij, built in 2000, already striking with its flat-black hull, enhances that with   . . . black fenders.


Vrouwe Cornelia, 1888, has lovely carved signs.  Whoever Lady Cornelia was, she


left her shoes on deck.  Was she the beloved, or


despite the wooden shoes . . . the mermaid muse of the first skipper?  Either way, this reminder rides Cornelia‘s tiller through every turn.


These three boats (far to near . . . Pieternel, Sterre, and Vrouwe Cornelia ) alone have the combined age of 362 years!


And each tiller carries a different beast, land spirit or


water.  This fish rides Sterre‘s rudderhead.


Like grapes are these parrel beads, and like a fine basket the fenders on Windroos.


And after night fell, there was the utterly delightful music man of the waters, Reinier Sijpkens, turning as many circles as


designs on his vessel or notes in his music.  See him here on Youtube.


More soon.  All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Remember, fotos of the trip upriver can be seen at Arjen’s  site here.  It’s also an opportunity to struggle with Dutch text.  Still more fotos are here.

And a request:  if you happen to cross paths with this flotilla the next few weeks, I’d love to see and maybe post your fotos.  Email me.

I’m praying for perfect light on Sunday afternoon when a public viewing of the barges is scheduled on Governors Island.  PortSide NewYork offers this downloadable guide to the barges, Red Hook, and its Dutch history here.  If you have a chance to get there, the details of these vessels will reward you.  For this month from an on-barge perspective, check out the blog maintained by Arjen Wapenaar, captain of Sterre, the 1887 tjalk;  although the text is in Dutch, the pics are great.

I’ve always been taken by leeboards (aka zwaarden), but I’ve developed a new interest in the rudders:  large and exuberant.  And it seems the Dutch themselves love the rudders, transforming a component that could be just functional to  Rudders with a passion for  . . . being rudders.  Notice the size the rudder (aka roer) on the 1888 tjalk Vrouwe Cornelia (Lady Cornelia).


And the decoration, which I offer to the readers over at Neversealand.


The rudder on Lemsteraak Sydsulver includes a boarding ladder and a flag bracket.


The rudder on Groenevecht dwarfs the tillerman.


And all that beautiful wood begs for paint and carving tools.


I’d like to know the various types of wood used in these rudders, like this dark wood on Groenling (green finch).


I’m looking forward to the viewing on Sunday not only for more rudders but also other details:  mast, rigging, houses, blocks, bowsprits, etc.  Check out the boom (giek) support on Windroos, the hoogaars.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Off to Waterford now.

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.

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