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Wow!  Today is already 02/02/2020, so turn the calendar page if you have it.

Torm Hilde is featured on the February page. Here are more photos of the tanker from last year.

So in the interest of making the calendar part of a “transmedia” project, I decided to see where in the world she might be today, a year on.  I include below what I learned:  transiting the Red Sea on a voyage from Norway to Singapore. Notice on the lower left:  “armed guards onboard.”

This reminds me of a story I heard from a captain down south who delivers fast OSVs to the Gulf, Arabian or Persian, that is.  His credentials seemed bon fide, so here’s a loose paraphrase of what he said when I asked him about protection from pirates while transiting the Red Sea and around to the Gulf.  “We have armed guards onboard.  [He mentioned the type of arms but I’ve  forgotten the specifics, only that they were long-range, rapid, and lethal.]   Upon arriving in waters where pirates frequent,  we stop the boat and release a large inflatable floating target.  As it floats away from the boat, we get on the radio and invite the pirates to approach.  The armed guards then obliterate the target, as a display of lethality.  Then, after inviting the pirates to follow, we throttle up and get to top speed, leaving the pirates far behind.  So far.”

I’ve never been on the southern portion of the Red Sea, only from Jeddah to Port Suez and that was 35 years ago.  Here‘s an article from the past decade.

Happy February.

 

What the title means is something different than I had planned . . .  So watch this series of screen shots . . .  first at 0010 hrs today.

But then, look who picks it up, re-messages it, and it appears in their news feed!!  NBC, NYDailyNews, USNews . . .!!

Tri-CityHerald comes from Washington state, and then there’s the SFChronicle . . .

. . . the ReadingEagle . . .

So when I got up this morning and read notes messaged to me and then a sampling of news from commercial outlets–as evidenced above–I’m in a tizzy.

I recognize the ship as a serious attempt at reproducing a vessel of 500 years ago and calling it Nao Santa Maria.  So when I google Nao Santa Maria, I find they’ve been in town but their very own FB notice–I believe–says “first time in the US…”  I’m done!!

 

This leads me to the vessel’s “serious” page, rather than their FB hype, and for the second time (I’ll get to that) I read this:

The “Nao Santa María” is one of the most famous ships of mankind. On October 12th of 1492, led by Christopher Columbus, it played the main role on one of the most important historic landmarks: the discovery of America, the encounter between two worlds that changed the future of universal history.

On August 3rd of 1492 it sailed off from the port of Palos de la Frontera (Huelva, Spain) together with the caravels “Pinta” and “Niña”, the so called three caravels from which this nao was the flagship. In all references written by Columbus about the Santa María in his famous diary of the expedition, he refers to it as “nao”, as did other chroniclers of the time:

“Cristopher Columbus loaded, apart from those two, a nao… and on the third, being the nao bigger than the rest, he wanted to travel himself, and hence it became the flagship” 

It was acquired by the Spanish Crown to be part of Juan de la Cosa’s columbine expedition. Although De la Cosa was natural from the Spanish northern region of Cantabria and lived in the southern Puerto de Santa María, the general belief is that the vessel was built somewhere on the coast of Galicia, hence her previous name: La Gallega (The Galician) . . . .     

It goes on.  You can read it here. So, Nao Santa Maria (NSM) is one of the “most famous ships of mankind” by their own proclamation, and US history books would generally agree.  How many ships’ names did you know in –say–fifth grade?

But I go on with my rant.   On NSM’s “blog” section, and you’ll see here they say they begin their “tour along the US” here back in January 2019, and at that, they state they arrive in the US then from San juan PR . . . Is PR NOT in the US?   !@#@!!   And was their summer “tall ships parade” as far west as Green Bay WI not in the US?  Moreover, did NSM’s participation in the 2019 event ever get shared nationwide identifying them as a pirate ship?

In the world of “fake news” and “spin” and otherwise biased reportage, this surely seems like a cautionary tale.    This out-of-control story about NSM as a pirate ship reminds me of this old collecting feathers story.

I first encountered and posted about NSM in Ogdensburg NY here.

All “cut’n’paste” and sentiments are solely those of Will Van Dorp, who has previous made known my attitude toward pirates here.

If you think you’ll find a disabled pirate ship in the sixth boro tis morning, well, they’re nearly to Atlantic city by now, trying to outrun the travesty of reportage captured in google . . . or bury their loot?

 

 

Click on the photo below and you’ll see basic details of 1979-built LNG carrier LNG Virgo.  

Click on the image below, and you’ll find a 9-minute video with details of a boatload of refugees rescued by LNG Virgo in the South China Sea and what happens 30+ years later.

Lauren Vuong, one of those refugees, writes:  “I was seven years old when my family was rescued from the South China Sea in June 1980.  We were part of the “Boat People” crisis.  We were ten days at sea, lost and depleted of food, water and fuel.  Barring a miracle, death was an imminent certainty.  That miracle appeared in the form of a liquefied natural gas carrier flying the American flag, LNG Virgo, an image that forever cemented itself in my mind as being synonymous with life and freedom.”

Lauren, now making a documentary about their rescue, has a GoFundMe site if you want to help.  Recently Lauren was at SUNY Maritime at an LNG conference.

Lauren’s story reminds me of an email I got a few years back and shared here;  it involves a rescue conducted by a tug that went on to work in the sixth boro.

 

I took these fotos two and a half years ago . . . February 2011, and posted others I took here.  But last night

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I read that the vessel is currently anchored just outside  Murmansk and the crew awaiting

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word on which among them will be charged with piracy.

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Maybe the crew can seek asylum in  . .  Michigan?

Another unrelated update:  Sailing Cargo . . .  New Yorkers can order Vermont products now to arrive by ship in late October.

Click here for an account of gallivants in and around Ocracoke and Hatteras Inlets as well as my connection to these waters.  Beaufort Inlet–near Cape Lookout–is scheduled for some depth maintenance these days with Marinex Construction excavating what McFarland count not extract.  Katherine Weeks enters the inlet from sea with a light scow.

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The only USACE presence I saw was Snell.  USACE awarded Marinex the contract to subtract a half million tons of sand from beneath these waves.

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I believe this is cutterhead/pipleine dredge Savannah, connected by pipeline to this

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scow and loading equipment.

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When Katherine tows the loaded scow out–here past Sea Quest II, a dive boat (more on that later)

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Na Hoku-formerly a K-Sea vessel

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tails.  The Sea Knight helicopter

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just happened overhead.  I’d love the view from a helicopter here.

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Once through the narrow inlet, Katherine heads out for the dumping area and Na Hoku returns to its holding station.

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Who knew the inlet could be this busy . . . l to r:  Grace Moran, Aurora, Na Hoku, and Salamina1.  More on the last one on that list tomorrow.   Aurora, listed as a sulphur carrier, carries PotashCorp colors.

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Potash Corp has their big mine about 35 miles from here, as the pelicans fly.

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Chief is clearly a Marinex tug.

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I’m not sure the ID of the inbound vessel here passing Chief, here heading out to the dredge.

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I can’t say for certain about that dive boat early on and whether the divers had been on Queen Anne’s Revenge, but there’ve been lots of salvage activity around the Inlet in recent days.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s the engine order telegraph and a bit of uniform.  Guess the vessel?  Doubleclick enlarges fotos.

Here’s more signage.  Identification later in the post.

And a closeup of the topsail furling system of Etoile, one of the French schooners.

More brass and brightwork on Etoile.

And the guard of the passerelle.

Not far away, crew on this vessel looked less inviting.  Guess the nationality?

Canadian.  She’s guarding HMCS Iroquoisbuilt in the same Quebec town as Mathilda!

Here was Iroquois last Wednesday converging with other vessels in the sixth boro, and

here she is nose to nose with USCGC (WLB 202) Willow, alternatively captured by bowsprite.

From the bridge deck of Argus, looking over the stern and toward the west . . . Governors Island and New Jersey beyond.   Along the horizon near the south tip of Governors Island . . . those are the cranes of Bayonne and even fainter beyond that Port Elizabeth.

Here’s the view from the forward positioned bridge.  Back in 2007 I caught these fotos of Oslo Express, the only bridge-forward container vessel I can recall seeing in the sixth boro.

Here’s a bit more info on Argus.  My tour guide and globalsecurity.org describe Argus as the only vessel in the world to have a CT scanner.    As it turns out, she also has a cat.  This is Simon, and yes . . . Simon went off duty decades ago, but his healing presence in the hospital lives on.  More sobering, Argus has patient monitors that allow patients to have a chance to survive IED-caused triple amputations.

Nearing dusk, yesterday afternoon . . . the Brooklyn vessels as seen from the water:  stern of Seneca, Shirane, the French Belle Poule and Etoile, and Cuauhtemoc.

Which brings me back to the Mexican ship.  Some of the cadets I spoke with finally explained this flag . . . it’s the captain’s personal flag . . . personal pirate flag, actually is what the cadet said.

Aboard were over 250 crew, who started their morning yesterday polishing brass before they let any visitors up the pasillo.

And the vessel was immaculate.

Below the stack here, I’m told, is a 1250 hp Cat.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who needs to get to another job now.

I thought you spelled it “okracoke,” as in cherry coke,” caffeinated but slightly more viscous and less fruity, she said.

Names and spelling change less frequently than shoals and shorelines.  Local Indians called the place “wokokkon” and who knows what Verrazano and Raleigh called it.  And Blackbeard . . . people originally called him  Captain Drummond before he took on a string of noms de corsair.

I photographed this 1970 National Geographic map where it was posted aboard ferry Carteret, since it shows my birthplace (Belhaven) and its proximity to both inlets at Ocracoke and Hatteras.  My father had imagined buying farmland inland from Swan Quarter;  now I’m thinking it’s a place for me to retire, whenever that becomes possible.

The yellow pickup on the foredeck carries a supply of wheel chocks.  Intermodal shipping with trucks on decks:  bowsprite should love this.

The 24-vessel ferry system also hosts an ongoing water monitoring effort called Ferry Mon.  In a separate strand of multitasking, ferry crews keep a lookout for marine life in distress.

Midpoint in the trip between Cedar Island and Ocracoke we crossed southbound

ferry Pamlico.

Note the two-floor passenger cabin.  Carteret was launched from Halter Equitable, the same yard that launched the sixth boro’s tug Aegean Sea and ferries Barberi and Newhouse.

Chincoteague has its ponies, and Ocracoke has its “bankers.”

We traveled from the north end of Ocracole to Hatteras aboard Croatoan.  Note the Fedex truck.

As we crossed Hatteras Inlet, we saw three small fishing boats inbound

hurrying to the dock with a catch.

Long and narrow with lots of  sheer, the boats resemble

New England lobster boats, although these “banks” boat have less beam, sharp chines, and smaller houses.

Can anyone identify the fish?

Midpoint in the trip between Ocracoke and Hatteras we were tailed by small fishing boats and

crossed southbound ferry FriscoPatti-built like the tug Duty.  I’d love to see a foto of Frisco hauled.

Let’s call it quits here.  More “road fotos” tomorrow.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Meanwhile, unrelated, how long do you imagine a powerboat would take between Hatteras and NYC?  Your guess?  Now watch this youtube on the consumption of 600 gallons of fuel.

Unrelated:  What happened to the vessel recently removed from the James River ghost fleet?  Read about it here.

And finally, here from Robert of Oil-Electric is an article about last summer’s whales … and an elephant, ladybug, and rails.

Digging requires claws.  Claws inspire primal dread.  Dredge machines seem beclawed in groteque ways.  And they’re huge, like the ape that scrambled up the Empire State building.  I waited long but in vain to line up these talons and the tower in the distance, but I’m sure you can visualize the effect.  Imagine the headline:  dredge machine grapples its way as the large ape did first in 1933.  Please keep those climbing beasts sequested in the southern Upper Bay of the sixth boro … or farther.

Call it ooze, mud, or fluff … no matter.  Ick!  Dispose of it please,  Captain D.

It spatters when it ends its route from bottom of the harbor to bottom of the scow.

I’d be very nervous walking there.  I know it’s safe, but irrational fears–like ones that make you run in the dark or for me swim quick in dark, deep water–would surface with me cause me to look up.

How many cubic miles of bottom  have been removed in the

past century of pantagruelish bottom removal?

Some years back I wrote about a dredger off Jones Beach here, which I was reminded of when I heard the dredger Vespucci was troubled by pirates off Cameroon (my home from 1975–7, last of my Peace Corps years). See another article here.   How dare these pirates . . . I guess they don’t have my dredgerphobias.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who understands the efficacy, sometimes,  of  claws and other grotesqueries.

Ooooolala!  What’s this?  Make your way to Atlantic Basin ASAP;  click here for tickets … only two shows Saturday (tonight!)  and two Sunday left, before the floating burlesque sails over the horizon.

Staging this burlesque is barquentine Gazela, whose first life fishing for cod continued until the year Armstrong stepped onto the moon.  Yessir, this fine vessel served as a dory boat until 1969!

Up to 35 dories (many built in the Merrimack Valley north of Cape Ann)  like the one in the foreground here served “mothership” Gazela.

Daytime tours of Gazela as well as nighttime entertainment can be had only through this weekend!  This is also the last chance (for a while) to see Mary Whalen at Pier 11.  For directions to Pier 11, click here.

So I went to the show “The Seven Deadly Seas” the other night.  Before the show, the devil’s advocate (of the Flaming Cherries) emerges from the nether portions of the ship, and

the city darkens as the band begins to play.  See the twinkling Manhattan lights off in the distance.

Feisty bawds dueling over everything

can be charmed only by

dancing

and more dancing and

still more dancing that sometimes lead to …  lost clothing.

Come learn the story of Calico Jack, who imagined he had all the skills needed to thrive on Wall Street.

Bring a dozen friends and make it the most memorable night of the summer, the summer of Atlantic Basin as prime offshore Broadway.

Will Calico Jack swing here, or is it Camp Butner FCC for him?

Don’t miss the boat.

Fotos by Eric Lorgus (some taken in Philadephia)  and Will Van Dorp.

Can you guess the connection between the three fotos that follow?    Gazela –540 hp, the oldest wooden square-rigger sailing in the United States, built in Portugal in 1901 (?) to fish cod, and Philadelphia’s tall ship.

Paul T. Moran, 7200 hp and built in 1975

and “pirate Calico Jack, who, unbeknownst to his crew, has decided toget out of the pirate business, and has sailed to Wall Street to make some business deals, secure a401k, and plan his retirement.”

Once more, Gazela,

Paul T and    … who’s this with Calico Jack!

Well, buy your tickets here for “The Seven Deadly Seas.”  Read a review from the Philadelphia CityPaper here.

Bringing Gazela and crew/acting troupe to Atlantic Basin is the result of hard work of PortSide NewYork.  “About bringing her to NYC, Eric Lorgus, President of Gazela, had this to say, ‘Tall ships have found it increasinglyhard to visit this place, and I’ve been trying to crack NYC foryears. We really appreciate the efforts PortSide has made on ourbehalf. Carolina herself has pursued this will tenacity and zeal.’

Carolina Salguero, Director of PortSide NewYork says about the visit ‘PortSide was founded to bring the BlueSpace, or the waterpart of the waterfront, to life in New York City. We are excited that Gazela is coming, because tall ships are education and inspiration afloat. We hope her visit opens the door to more visits by more boats—of all types—at this pier and other piers.We are encouraged by recent government initiatives focusing onthe water itself and grateful that the EDC [New York City Economic Development Corp] has made Pier 11 available to us for Gazela’s visit.’
Gazela will be open for deck tours during the day. These arerun on an open-house basis. To defray costs of the trip, a modest $5 donation is being requested, but is not mandatory. The cabaretalso subsidizes the trip.”

As to the connection between Gazela and Pati R., I’m leaving that open to your guesses for a few days yet.

See press release here.   Show dates are August 19–22, 8 pm and 10 pm shows, for a total of eight shows.

Fotos 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7 by Will Van Dorp.  Show fotos are compliments of Peter Gaffney of Cabaret Red Light.

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