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In celebration of the beginning of the 11th year of blogging, I’m licensing myself to change course a few days.  Two things I want you to know are 1) I’ve posted approximately 90% of the days since November 26, 2006, and 2) my eyes always search for details other than tugboats to photograph.

I’ve gone here in the past, and retreated.  Tugboats and ships have a lot in common with trucks, and my eye is always attracted by an unusual truck, so in the effort to show that I DO take photos of things NOT on the water, let me revive this line.  Should I go over to this side?  Call this R&R, rambling and rumspringa.

Admit . . . this is a cool truck, eh?  And I took the photo right atop Penn Station, too.  Can anyone tell me if this is the same one that lives near the Newport PATH station?  And might there be three of these on the banks of the sixth boro?

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Less well cared for, in Jersey City I saw this rusty Divco van next to a dumpster.  Anyone know if it’s for sale?  It might make a good camper?

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Now where along the sixth boro banks (SBB) these days might one find a Mammoet field car?  Answer follows.

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The other day I stopped to admire the calm and skill of a Shepherd Enterprises rig as he negotiated the streets under the south end of the High Line.  The driver told me it was a brand-spankin’-new Western Star.

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Here he’s about to back into a dock to his right.

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I was told this is a 1928

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Graham Brothers truck.

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Yes, it’s an Element and not really a truck, but if I were hitchhiking and this red head stopped, I’d run the other way, no matter what she might say.  I hope you’re convinced by now that I see a lot of strange stuff.

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In the port of Oswego, might this be waiting for a cargo for Fort Drum?  If I cropped this in a certain way, you might think the ingots are on the trailer?

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And we’ll end this digression here . ..  said to be a 1946 Dodge truck.  Cool!

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

And the Mammoet field car was over by the NYWheel.

You may remember the Sojourn story here, about a Belgian freight barge that the original owner and builder sold, lost track of, and then rediscovered in upstate New York?  Here was how she arrived in upstate NY.

Well, after two years of work, she’s under way–just ahead of winter storm Argos.  These photos were taken yesterday (Thursday) by Bob Stopper up in Lyons, NY.  Below, Sojourn is easing not Lock 28A,

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heading for Lock 27, and

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and out of the canal before it closes, draw-down takes place, and ice invades.

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Calling all eastern Erie Canal watchers and Hudson River photographers, here’s Bob’s short background to the vessel:

“First arrived in Lyons on November 12, 2013 . The boat was built in 1963 and originally used as a coal and materials barge. It was used for over 40 years by the same family, but eventually because of family illness, the barge was sold. The barge was purchased by Paula Meehan, founder of Redken Cosmetics, renamed the Sojourn, and converted in 2006  to a Hotel Barge and used for high style cruises in France. Ms Redken shipped the barge via freighter to America with the intention of cruising American waters, especially the Erie Canal. Unfortunately, Ms Redkin died in 2014, and the barge returned to the Lyons Dydock on October 15, 2014. It sat  in the Lyons Drydock and began to deteriorate  until purchased by a young hi-tech  internet entrepreneur from the state of Washington. The newly renovated barge, 126′ x 18′,  left Lyons on November 17 headed for its new home in the NYC Harbor.”

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All photos by Bob Stopper.

You may recall that my connection with Lyons is that it’s the county seat of the county where I grew up.  It’s also the county where Grouper languishes, about to freeze into another canal winter.

 

. . .it turns out Horace Greeley might not be the author, and John B. L. Soule, who may have been, had some harsh ideas about people.

I use it as explanation for something new I’m doing.  Today I head over toward the pushpin to the right . . . Narragansett Bay, where I board a small passenger ship that has hired me as onboard lecturer.  By July 12, we expect to be in Chicago via the route indicated.  I am thrilled!  The red dots are overnight stops, and the greenish ones are daytime stops for such tasks as lowering and raising the wheelhouse.

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Here was Grande Mariner along the west side of Manhattan back in May 2016,

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and here are two shots of her sister vessel farther upstate taken in 2013 and 2014.

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The challenge I’m giving myself is to post each day of the westward journey, using photos from that day.  Note that these ships with telescoping wheelhouse are truly Eriemax, designed to carry 100 souls along inland waterways on weeks-long voyages.  My job is to present lectures every other day on topics ranging from wars along these waterways to 19th century canal fever to the storied and obscure cast of characters who lived along the waterways (e.g.., Seeger, Fulton, Rockefeller, Freed, Stanton, Tecumseh, Brock, Hanks) . . .    to –of course–the variety of shipping working there.

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In a way, it’s a 21st century version of the D & C route for which there’s the poster below.

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If you don’t hear from me for a few days, just know I’m hoping to be somewhere along that route.

Here was the previous installment.  And here were the cargos and places of summer.  And if you missed it previously, here’s an article about Seaway Supplier I published in Professional Mariner last year.  The first six photos are used with permission from Seaway Marine Group.

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Trucks like the ones with the white tanks transport stocks of fish from hatcheries to water bodies, in this case Lake Ontario.  Here’s the first time I noticed one of these trucks on the highway.

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Off Oswego, it’s ready, aim,

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swim!

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Elsewhere at sites determined by the DEC . . . fish are brought in.

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and the truck returns to shore for the next load.

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The photos below all come thanks to Cathy Contant, who

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works in the inlet and bay where I learned to swim almost 60 years ago. Back then, when a coal ship came in here, everyone had to get out of the water.  But I digress.

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How could I not recognize the lighthouse AND Chimney Bluffs way in the distance.

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Here’s what Seaway Marine writes on their FB page:  “We have transported 40 trucks, via 6 port locations stocking over 500,000 fish into Lake Ontario aboard our USCG certified landing craft, Seaway Supplier.”

Many thanks to Jake and Cathy for use of these photos.

 

Here was the first time I used this title.

America II looked resplendent bathed in a last burst of late afternoon sun yesterday.

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She was one of several sail vessels out;  here Pioneer seems headed over to a new loading point.

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On a meteorologically different afternoon a few weeks ago, I caught Lettie G. Howard out headed for the Kills. Here was another spring when I caught Lettie under very bare poles.

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I saw Topaz briefly only once, so far away she was only a tall mast, but Claude Scales caught this from his daily vantage point.  Click here for a close-up of Nantucket WLV-612 from three years ago.

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No words . . . no gilding the lily!

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Pioneer heads back to the dock.

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Anyone know where Mary E is sailing from these days?

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Thanks to Claude Scales for use of his Topaz photo.  All other photos by Will Van Dorp, who has used the title “autumn sail” much more frequently.  And if you have not yet read my article about sailing to Cuba last winter, you can read it here.

Here are the previous 17 iterations of this title.  I thought of this the other day when there were three others photographing with me along a short stretch of the KVK.

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Recreation along the waterway there has been popular for a very long time.  I took this photo recently at Noble Maritime at –you guessed it–Sailors Snug Harbor.  I’m always surprised at how many people say that fine institution is on their list but they’ve not yet gone.  More on this soon.  Go.

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Here’s another photo from Noble Maritime.  Can you identify anyone on this 1878 photo?

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Did you guess it?  Taking the air along or on the waterways puts you in fine company.

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Some folks works there, possibly because they enjoy that environment.

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See the folks on this MSC vessel?  Look near the middle of the M on MSC.

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There.  They’re probably waiting to assist the pilot off the ship.

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Standing by with lines is critical.

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As is having a refreshing cup of coffee . . .  Enjoy the rest of these photos.

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All photos here, including the one below, were taken by Will Van Dorp.

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Recently I had the good fortune of crossing paths with David Rider of Seamen’s Church Institute, and what was he doing . . . photography.  See his March 2016 shots here.

And for some reflection on taking better photos, check out this Youtube pilot video.  I hope more in the series get made, if they haven’t already.

Condolences to the families, comfort to all the friends, and gratitude to those who so quickly responded.

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I took these photos in March 2008.  The tragedy touched me and a lot of folks I know quite hard.

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Let me share this photo that comes from William Lafferty, who says “Here’s something of historical interest, perhaps.  It’s the Brother Collins in the midst of being transformed into the Curly B. at the dock of the Calumet Marine Towing Corporation under the Skyway Bridge on the Calumet River at South Chicago, in 1979.  The transformation took a long time, and wasn’t completed until 1982, begun, I think, in 1977.  It would, of course, become the ill-fated Specialist.”

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Here’s one of my favorite hymns, which seems to fit entirely here.

. . . upon.  That’s what happened when I was just minding my own business the other day . . . and a voice calls my name and “Be careful.  I could have thrown you to the fishes,” he said, before showing this photo below.

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Getting USNS Red Cloud,  Helen Laraway, Andrea, and Sea Wolf into a single frame had been my aim just seconds before.

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No matter.  Here goes Lucy Reinauer pushing RTC 83.

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I think Stephen-Scott was headed for a barge out beyond Gulf Service with GM11103.

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What I found was Bluefin and

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Morgan Reinauer and

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Amberjack and

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Scott Turecamo with barge New Hampshire.  And more.

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And maybe getting kept upon and thrown to the fishes . . . might just work out alright, although watch out for shadowy characters like the lurker over there.

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It made me think about a day a mere 100 or so days from now when photographers photographing get photographed themselves.

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Happy leap day.

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Here’s what I put up last leap year.

All photographs here–except the obvious two–by Will Van Dorp.

 

Picking up this retrospective post with the beginning of May 2015, it’s a nearly 40-year-old and tired Barents Sea, waiting then as now for what’ll likely be a “fish habitat” future.

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The end of May saw Quantico Creek move Mary Whalen to its public space over in Atlantic Basin.  Was there a docking pilot calling it out from the drone?

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Here’s first glimpse of an early June trip I’ve never reported on via this blog.  More on this vessel will appear soon–currently working in the Dominican Republic.  The red vessel in the distance is F. C. G. Smith, a Canadian Coast Guard survey boat.

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Eastern Dawn pushes Port Chester toward the Kills.

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July opens with the ghost of Lafayette arriving back in the harbor aboard L’Hermione. Click here for the set of posts I did about this person. 

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I’m omitting a lot from my account here;

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The end of July brought me back to the south bank of the KVK watching Joyce D. Brown go by.   July was a truly trying month . .  is all I’ll say for now.

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In early August Wavertree awaited the next step into its rehab, and I

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made a gallivanting stop in New Bedford, a place I’d not visited in too long.

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All photos by will Van Dorp.

I could have called this “unusual sail.”

That’s me in the two-person sailing Folbot back in 2002.  I had bought it back around 1998 from an ad I saw in a publication called Messing Around in Boats.  The gentleman who sold it said it had been in his barn for at least 30 years.  When I peeled off a layer of pigeon shit, the skin came off with it and exposed a wooden frame that broke down into pieces four-foot or shorter.  The hull, mast, leeboards, sail, rudder all could fit into a seabag, and I fancied myself, a show-off,  hiking up to a roadless mountain lake, assembling my vessel, and sailing  . . . in the clouds.

When I couldn’t sew a new skin or find someone who could do it–two different canvas shops took on the job and then backed out–I decided to skin it with leftover shrink-wrap boat covers,

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reinforce the bow with duct tape, and go paddling.

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It worked!  Here’s a blurry shot showing the insides . . . shrink-wrap and plastic strapping.

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As time passed, I decided the Folbot could at least as be sculptural until such time that I find a canvas skin maker.

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So this is the top of big room in my Queens cliff dwelling, where I should maybe keep some shrink-wrap and a heat gun handy to skin my boat in case the water level here rises.

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And since I’ve invited you into my home, how about more of the tour.  Yes, that’s the stern of the Folbot in the center top of the photo and a spare one-seater kayak, which I cut-bent-glued-stitched at Mystic Seaport, to the left. [They appear not to offer the kayak building classes now.]   Only problem with the stitched kayak . . . the only egress/ingress is out the window, down 12′ onto a flat roof, and then down another 15′ onto the sidewalk.

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In a pinch, you could make a kayak using a tarp, willow or similar shoots, and wire.  And in the long ago and far away department, here I was back in January 2005 sewing that kayak you see hanging to the left above . . .  10 hours of just sewing once the skin was on, per these plans.

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Bending ribs right out of the steam box and

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knotting together the bow pieces happened

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prior to the actual two-needle sewing.

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These last two pics are not mine but come from a Folbot publication from the 1960s.  The photo below shows what a later-model sailing Folbot–just out of the duffel bag– looked like.

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Here’s what the publication says it looks like sailing.

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For now, mine remains sculpture.

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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.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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