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Random framing here, no need for assistance, as that flag might suggest.

Ardelle has been one of my favorites since she was launched from Burnham’s yard in Essex over a decade ago.  But this was my first time to see her schoon about. 

The Burnhams have been building schooners since forever.  If he’s not building new, he’s rebuilding older boats.

You have to love the lines of Ardelle as she sails, curves from the belly of the sail to the pinked stern;  no, that’s not the color.  Here’s brief, journalistic context from shallops to pinkys in North American NE fishing boat design.  

For a little deeper context and art historian illustration, check this Erik Ronnberg/Fitz H. Lane article.

Rides on Ardelle were sold out when I got there, but some day . . .

When Harold Burnham was invited to Washington DC a decade ago to pick up his National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA,

of course, he sailed there, and that was classier than any four-wheeled limo ride. 

I hope you enjoy looking at these photos as much as I do.

If you want more on Harold Burnham, click here. For his wit and his words, check out this clip.

All photos, WVD.

I vividly recall June 2010.  Let’s take June 3.  The two Hornbeck tugs there are Erie Service and Eagle Service, now Genesis Valiant and Genesis Eagle.  Minerva Anna is at one of the easternmost IMTT docks; today she’s eastbound in the Indian Ocean. But in the middle of it all,  GLDD’s Liebherr 966 was getting the channel down to 52′, if I recall correctly. Was that 966 dredge the same as New York?   In the distance the Empire State Building stood alone;  from this perspective today, you’d see WTC1.

Later the same day, and I don’t recall what the occasion was, Conrad Milster brought his big ship’s whistle down to South Street Seaport Museum, and ConEd hooked it up to ConEd steam pressure.  Hear the result here.  To date, this video has received 88,000 plays!!  Here and here are some videos of the legendary Conrad.  A few years later, I went to a marine steam festival in the Netherlands;  I took a river ferry from Rotterdam to get there.  When I stepped off the ferry and walked up the gangway to the dock, there stood Conrad.  Of course he would be there.

June 17 brought the return of Reid Stowe‘s schooner Anne after 1152 days (more than three years) at sea without seeing land!  Here‘s the NYTimes story.

Notice the toll the sea took on the paint.

For more photos of Anne, inside and out, click here.

As serendipity would have it, the day Anne returned, Artemis departed, going on to successfully row across the Atlantic in just under 44 days!  Recently, Reid has displayed art inspired by his voyage, as seen here.

June 26 John Curdy invited me to see a good bit of the Delaware River fronting several miles north and south of Philadelphia.  Overseas Anacortes was not yet launched at that time. As of today’s post, she’s in the Gulf of Mexico off Corpus Christi.

Here is Penn’s Landing and Gazela, which I sailed on later in 2010, but that’s a story already told here.

All photos in June 2010, WVD.


You may recall the schooner Issuma?  Click here for many of the posts featuring her and her skipper Richard Hudson.  She’s overwintering in the sixth boro after a truly remarkable voyage.  When he left northward from the sixth boro in the fall of 2010, inviting me to sail along as a Halloween ride, he


eventually sailed out the Saint Lawrence, up along western Greenland, across northern Canada through the Northwest Passage, through Dolphin and Union Strait, southward in the Bering Strait, eventually to Easter Island, around Cape Horn into the Antarctic . . .


to Cape Town, and then northward along SW Africa until jumping off for St Helena, and then single-handing back to the sixth boro.  That adds up to a circumnavigation of the North and South American continents and then some, and I think that’s a big deal.  If you want to read about the entire trip, click here.


All photos here by Will Van Dorp.


Progress report, first from Vladimir Brezina, of Windagainstcurrent.  In Vlad’s words, “I did see Ceres, motoring down the Hudson past Stockport Middle Ground, where we were camping, just a few minutes fter sunrise yesterday (Monday). At first I couldn’t believe that it was Ceres—she wasn’t sailing (there was no wind, but wouldn’t a PROPER sailing barge just wait for the wind?) and making quite a racket for an eco-friendly boat… ”


At first Vlad feared they gotten out for fotos too late.  Here’s more on Stockport Middle Ground.


After these fotos were taken, Ceres stopped in Hudson.


The following fotos taken yesterday come from Michael Kalin, who writes,  “North Germantown Reach. My wife & I launched from North Germantown Landing 10AM, paddled to Catskill, around Rogers Island, ate lunch, went back, lost hope, took out, looked upriver one more time and there she was!”




Thanks much to Vlad and Michael for these fabulous fotos.

The next fotos of Ceres I hope show full-bellied sails!   Click here for more on VSFP.

So here’s a prime example of a sixth boro delight.  No, THAT inspector is not immersed in the sixth boro!  But the object of the inspection sailed into the East River last year in late August from the Sound and then out again heading north, up the Hudson River.  Note the place and date on this foto, which I borrowed from Richard Hudson’s Issuma blog.  Click here if you don’t know (like me) where the “Dolphin and Union Strait” is located.

I took this foto of Issuma last October just off the Rondout, where Issuma anchored.  Who would have guesed that Issuma, one year on, would be NORTH of Whitehorse!

Here’s another from that same morning.  Another schooner . . . Rosemary Ruth . .  was buddied up alongside.

This foto, also from Richard’s blog, shows the exact date.

So how does one get a 50′ schooner from the Rondout to the Yukon is less than a year?   Some thoughts come to mind:  very large truck, a C-17, squadrons of helicopters . . .  or by just sailing it through the northwest passage, doing what a namesake failed to do some 400 years back!

Congratulations to Richard Hudson and his crew, who on Columbus Day 2010 poured me a distinctly tropical drink on Issuma, docked in Long Island City, Queens.  Cheers.  I trust you passed the mustachioed one’s inspection gloriously.

This holy grail of sail is the Van Nostrand Cup, crafted by Tiffany in 1888 at the behest of  Gardiner Van Nostrand, “held since 1891 by the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club,” put up for competiton only once (1978)  since then.     Getting it back is tricky.  Races can only happen when waters are frozen;  you need good ice, though, not just any ice.  You need wind but not too much.  Last Saturday winds gusted to 50 mph, and then Sunday . . . in spite of this beautiful ice … puffs happened only sporadically.   And with good wind, how fast can they go?  Answer follows.

John Vargo, here with a formidable hat made of skins of two Great Plains coyotes, talks about the sport as

over on the far side of this lake (which I will refer to as Lake Shangri-la . . . located somewhere between the sixth boro and the St. Lawrence) two old stern-steerers race.  If you haven’t seen bowsprite’s  video of the last run of Galatea from February 2010, click here.

A little over 100 years ago, ice boats like these were THE fastest vehicle on earth!  This youtube video from the 1930s touts the fact that a Chevy can outrun an iceboat, an appeal that seems quite bizarre today.

To me, these vessels seem too beautiful and delicate to be so fast.

Varnish, polished brass, marlinespike are all lovingly cared for on Ariel.

Genevieve is a beauty returned recently from Wisconsin

by Brett, whose passion for iceboats was quite evident.  This type of passion and

obsession one who blogs incessantly of water can easily empathize with.  Wonder why the nameboard looks so untraditional?

Genevieve was built not far from a certain temple of baseball in the Bronx.     Here’s a list of vessels built there, but there’s no mention of their iceboating endeavors.    While we’re on NYYL&E history, check out their Bronx-built Linmar and  Olympus.  Another long-gone Morris Heights-based builder built lightships.

A two-person crew pushes off in light wind  before lying in the basket.

Genevieve’s bigger basket accommodates more crew, more pushers.

Waiting for the wind here from near to far:  Ice Queen, Whirlwind, and Ariel.

Lake Shangri-la beckons; when the wind blows, these boats are eager to bring the Grail back to New York ice.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s grateful for the hospitality.

For a wide variety of European iceboat images and links, click here.

Ice boat speed records:  Debutaunte . . . 143 mph?    Miss Wisconsin . . .   200 . ..  has it been clocked?

Check out John Vargo’s Boating on the Hudson FaceBook page here.

Welcome home, schooner Anne and Reid Stowe.  (Doubleclick enlarges the fotos.)  Quoth my favorite talking pigeon upon seeing these fotos:  “Na dat fella Reid him make too much gallivant long one.”  Mermaids and seamasters and dolphins and fish armies have decorated the hull nicely, adding outlandish

designs.  Reid waved as excitedly as he did 1152 days ago.   Click that link for NYTimes video and article from yesterday.

A lively breeze  was like music for the weathered schooner, inviting it to dance spritely once more before kissing a dock.

Well-seasoned athletes, these hermits in from over the wet curvature of the earth, maybe over almost everyone’s horizon.

From my vantage, they tacked all the way in;  after all, what other way is there to

return if you’ve moved on the waves and wind so long as well as added so many patches sail upgrades.

And the New York, the sixth boro he returns to has signs about an . . .  air race?!!?  Air race signs in the harbor?  That would be more than enough to befuddle someone even returning from a proverbial  three-hour tour.

And my conveyance, a 125-year-old schooner that raced on the waves at 8.4 knots,

heeling over, scudding before the wind, drinking deeply through the scuppers . . .  well, I’ll post about that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, come to Pier 66 for the party on Sunday night.

Here’s the AP story.  Here and here are posts I did on the interior of Anne three + years ago.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated but very exciting:  NYHarbor Shipping!! Check it out and leave a comment.

And more from the NYTimes: where NYC families learn to sail . . . on the sixth boro of course.

April 22 2007 . . . schooner Anne heads out for

a very long time.  Goal:  to sail without landfall for 1000 days.    I took this foto several miles outside the Narrows, one of my last of Reid, Soanya, and Anne bound for sea, and I was nervous for them.  Today . . .

Anne returns.  Capt. Mike has already seen the schooner and posted about it here.

More later.

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June 2023