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Here was 26.

China-built 2008 Ranjan and an unidentified UPT tanker.


The only foto NOT in the sixth boro here, anchored in Guanabara Bay it’s Japan-built 1998 Aframax tanker Moscow Kremlin.   Notice the Cristo Redentor statue atop the mountain to the right.


Korea-built 1995 APL Garnet leaving town today. Name the tug off the port bow?  I can’t look at that covering on the Bayonne Bridge and NOT think of a junk sail.


More on that tug later.  Great names here . . . Silver Lining (2003)  and Christina Kirk ( 2010), both Japan-built.


Fiorano (Netherlands 2012)  I wonder what she delivered here . . .


. .  with Petalouda, Japan 2008.


German-built 2007 Norwegian Gem, included here to show scale with respect to a Circle  Line vessel.  I should have looked more closely at the Circle Line.


Amelia Pacific (Japan 2006) and Americas Spirit Korea 2003).   This view of Americas Spirit better shows her size.


Shippan Island, China 2005


OOCL Vancouver, Japan 2006


Najran, Japan 1998, up on plane perhaps?


And last but not least . . .


she with whom I have a long history . . .


Alice Oldendorff, (China 2000) earlier this weekend offloading in Gowanus Bay Brooklyn.   Alice was featured in my first-ever post here.  Click here to see all the others.


So that tug.  I thought it was Ellen . . . but it’s the slightly newer Robert E. McAllister.


Foto of Moscow Kremlin by my daughter, Myriam, whom I thank.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

Related:  One ship currently in the sixth boro that I did not see this weekend was this one by the Kabakovs.

Yesterday a goal was to get a better look at this vessel, Ternen.

Her odd posture resulted from some marine variation on a flat tire.

And while I watched, this familiar bulbous bow appeared, headed for sea.  Alice!!  she was in town almost to the day six years after I started this blog.

Almost exactly four years ago I posted this, with a tallying of statistics about two years of watching/studying the empiricals of New York harbor aka the sixth boro.

Thanks to your continued encouragement in the form of reading, commenting, correcting  . . .  I’m still watching life on the most important boro of this port city.

The buffleheads are back, and when I asked, they let on they were really happy they were not gallopavos of any sort.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, no matter any info to the contrary, tomorrow is Blue Friday.    Why blue?  DonJon blue . . . of course.  Atlantic Salvor will be arriving back in the boro towing sections of the WTC antenna.  You can track it here.

How I spent Thanksgiving 22 years ago . ..  in Basra, Iraq . . . click here.

Here was 2.

What kind of fotos does one get  on a dark and drizzly morning?  Well, through a fence I snapped this one of the virginal Evening Star . . . in the boro less than 24 hours!    And less than a year and a half after keel-laying down in Louisiana.

Alice Oldendorff came in this morning . . . the first moving vessel I spotted today AND the subject of my first ever post nearly six short and long years ago.   Alice shuttles aggregates between Port of Bayside, NB and Brooklyn Navy Yard.

And even more virginal than Evening Star, here’s DDG-112, to be commissioned in the sixth boro next Saturday.

USS Michael Murphy is named for a fallen SEAL and built at Bath Iron Works.

Here’s Alliance St. Louis, a US-flagged RORO with

a smudge on her bow that resembles smudges I’ve seen on other ROROs.  Anyone explain the origin of what appears to be primer paint over damaged coating?

Here’s the Kirby barge Pacific, which

has this unusual feature midships.

Moving her eastbound was Amy C McAllister.   The tanker in the distance off Amy‘s stern is Lia.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Soon-to-be commissioned USS Michael Murphy will be open for tours tomorrow.


Actually that title captures 98% of this blog’s +1800 posts.  And just as elsewhere in Gotham or anywhere else, so on the sixth boro what work you see depends entirely on your station.  And my station this particular day was Tchefuncte River’s  Equitable Equipment‘s hull # 1428, delivered in August 1966 as Red Star Towing‘s New Haven.  Now she’s Freddie K. Miller;  I took the foto below just over five years ago when she was Stapleton Service.    I use this foto here because a downside of being on the tow is my inability to get a foto OF the tow.

At 0520 hrs, dawn was sweetest and coolest, from this point a mile south of Miller’s Launch.  When I reported at 0530, the Miller’s yard was already busy.

The crew of Freddie K Miller’s had a job: pick up Weeks Crane Barge 552 and its crew and proceed to the East River ConEd.  By 0615, crew was making the tow.

0645 we were crossing west to east across the Upper Bay.  Buchanan 1 was towing a scow  and

Douglas B. Gurion headed west for passengers.  The ferry is named for a victim of September 11.

0715 . ..  near Red Hook container port, we passed this ex-MSC vessel Transatlantic.  I will post more MSC soon.

0730 . . . we had passed under the Brooklyn Bridge and now could feast on this potpourri of  Manhattan skyline.  Side by side on the right are Gehry’s flowing-facade 8 Spruce (2011) and Gilbert’s spiky-tower (1913).

0745 . . . we pass GMD Shipyard, where morning shift has already started its work on Massachusetts Maritime’s TS Kennedy  (1967).

0815 . . . the crew have tied to the ConEd dock and Weeks’ crew has begun setting the spuds, for stability as the load is transferred.  My very general understanding of this load is that ConEd purchased equipment from  Manufacturer M.  Company A trucked it to the Weeks yard because installation by land (by Company B) was less feasible than installation from water.  Miller’s job was to move equipment on crane barge to ConEd so that Weeks–with collaboration from Company B–could set equipment exactly where it will be used.

0915 . . . first equipment is lifted and rotated over the East River counterclockwise to avoid obstacles on land, and at

0920 . . .  crew guides unit into exact location.  If half an inch off, then lift and get it right.

1010 . . . next piece of equipment is moved.   While the tug stands by with the crane barge, Miller crew does fine carpentry work in wheelhouse.

Since my self-appointed job is to record details, check out Carolina IV, sailing westbound on the East river . . . hailing from Stockholm,  Yes, sailing!  and  . . . yes . . . that Stockholm while

eastbound are Gage Paul Thornton and a floatplane.

1115 . . . heavy-duty pipe elbow gets lifted into place. Tower protruding from the building just right of MetLife is Chrysler Building.

1215 . . . the spuds are up,  the crane boom lowered and secured, Freddie K Miller has spun off the dock and now heads back westbound for the Weeks yard.  If the grayish vessel in the foreground is locally known as a “honey boat,” then this has to be one of the sweetest scenes possible in these parts.

1300 . . . as we approach the Weeks yard we cross Buchanan 12 towing three stone scows, possibly headed for a quarry up the Hudson.

1330 . . . Freddy K Miller is now “light,” having left the barge at the Weeks yard.  Ever Decent is outbound for sea, and by this writing is southbound off Cape Hatteras.

Meanwhile, close to Manhattan, Asphalt Star takes on bunker fuel from a Vane barge.  That black hose . . . that’s like the hose at the pump where you fill your car tank.

By 1400, I’ve said my thanks to the crew of Freddy K Miller —who await their next job on this or another vessel–and the dispatcher, and take a break to examine a familiar sight:  Alice, she who inspired my first ever blogpost!!

Back on the bank and before heading home, I get another shot;  she’s loaded deep with her Canadian aggregates.

Imagine my delight, then, later that day getting a foto from Mike C. of Alice Oldendorff north of the Navy Yard self-unloading her cargo of crushed stone.

Many thanks to all the folks at Miller’s Launch.  Also, thank you Mike for sending along this last foto.  All other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

I had planned to call this convergence, but the sixth boro or any harbor is much too dynamic a place for that title.  Stuff in and stuff out . . . .  From near to far here is Dewaruci, Arabian Sea, and Swan.  Dewaruci, arriving here already last Thursday, was the vanguard of the flotilla that prompted me to think of this as “convergence,”

When Swan left and sank over the horizon, here’s the track she followed for the rest of the day.

As she headed out, a flurry of other vessels moved out as well, like Mariposa. I’ll bet she’s the updated version of Butterfly, which used to call here. . . and maybe still does.   These are non-interactive screen captures of AIS.

Anyhow, as Swan and Mariposa headed out, notice APL Indonesia and A. r. c. Gloria  arriving.  As thrilling as it was to see Gloria, I felt the same to see APL Indonesia, which I foto’d here three months ago headed outbound for China;  THIS is the return, twice via the Panama Canal.

Let’s follow more KVK outbound shipping.

Sunday night I also noticed Gazela exiting Delaware Bay.  Almost two years ago, I stood watch on Gazela inbound from just east of Cape May and upward toward Wilmington, midnight to six, a thrilling experience.   If you’re local or can get here by this weekend, come see pirate burlesque on Gazela.  Get tickets here.

As Mariposa and McAllister Girls tango eastbound on the KVK, crew retrieve Girls’ line.  Just a few days ago, Girls participated in the foggy loading process of Swan.

In the wee hours this morning, I noticed B. E. Guayas (all 257′ loa of her) approach from the south and Eagle from the East.

Line back onboard, crewman flakes it out for the next job.

Also in the wee hours this morning. APL Indonesia heads back for China already, passing between Pride of Baltimore 2 and Cuauhtemoc, converging upon the sixth boro.   Here’s a quite poor foto I got of her at Pier 17 five whole years ago  . . . before this blog sprouted chin feathers!!  For a guide to pronunciation, click here.

Next . . .

Also by Tuesday morning, more Opsail vessels have converged within the sixth boro.  See Gazela at Pier 25 Manhattan, and over at the cement pier in Brooklyn is . . . . Alice!!!    Alice Oldendorff!!    My point is . . . Opsail happens within a context.

More vessels leave via the KVK Sunday to make way for those like APL Indonesia and scores of others arriving.   Below are Cosco Kobe and MSC Natalia.

And when I woke up this morning, Eagle was doing a turn in the Narrows while Scotty Sky (52 years young . . .  bless her vital Blount-built tanks!) was supplying Gloria with liquid sustenance.

Final shot . . . no one’s walking the plank here.  It’s the docking pilot debarking Cosco Kobe (check out her port history and more here.) onto Catherine Turecamo.

Enjoy Opsail and Fleet Week, starting tomorrow.    All fotos and captures by Will Van Dorp.

Latest . . . J.S. El Cano (1927 built and 371 ‘ loa) has popped up on AIS;  I had seen her in the wee hours.  Cisne Branco, La Belle Poule, Etoile, and all the FleetWeek vessels are still out of range or in stealth mode.

Unrelated:  Who works at the highest elevation in NYC?  Tom Gordon.   And, bothered by the rain today?  Read this from Zinder.

More context:  Click on the word for ships (in no particular order) of the Mexican Navy,  Ecuadorian Navy, Colombian Navy, Indonesian Navy, Brazilian Navy, and Spanish Navy.

The first 11 fotos here come compliments of bowsprite, who was so eager to get fotos of Ambrose‘ return that she admits to running out to the East River to get these shots  …  in her pyjamas …!   Now THAT would have been a sight to see.  As evidenced by her posts here and here, she IS a devotee of lightships.

I leave most of the narrative here to her fotos, which begin here are a parade processed past the heliport along the East River.

Keep in mind that Ambrose in not moving under its own power, but

traveling on the hip of Charles D. McAllister, whom I foto’d from seagull perspective recently.

Ambrose clearly demonstrates some power here versus this hecilopter.

That’s Brooklyn Heights in

the distance.

Now pay a modicum of attention to the vessel way out beyond the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

For a resplendent Ambrose, it’s homecoming!  I hope you can come to the welcome back ceremony on the pier next Monday evening, March 12.

Again, note the ship in the way background.

A radiant Ambrose gives new meaning to the term “lightship.”

Docklines are tossed . . . she’s home!

Et voila!  Guess who’s back in town . . . Ms. O, Alice . . . my first love!

More seriously, I’ve written about a crypto-lightship in town here and here after being tipped off by Jeff S.

The final foto above comes thanks to Mike Cohen . . . who snapped it from Brooklyn Heights.

So here’s a matter to speculate about:  Ambrose‘ return attracted some of the mainstream media.  Is it possible that these media are starting to pay more attention to folks’ attention paid to water and harbor and sixth boro events?

Here was #1 of this series, started earlier this month, featuring quite random fotos and thoughts.  Here’s a shot looking toward Shooters and Elizabeth, NJ.  In the foreground just off the street and that bell tower and to the left of the cement silo are three . .  actually four identical brown brick structures; the fourth one is mostly obscured by the silo.  I have no clue, although they look like pylons to a structure long gone.  Help?

To give a sense of scale of vessels in the KVK, I’m fairly tall, measuring 1.8796 m by last calculation.  If I could stand on the waterline, the spritz here would come up past my knees.

Standing here, I could barely reach up past the bottompaint green into the MOL blue.

Tides were quite extreme last week, although I haven’t researched beyond that.  The indicator was

stuff like this long submerged engine showing off its transformation.

In a bit, I’m hitting the road . . . gallivant time, so many places to see along so much highway and way too little time.  The blog may vacate for a few days . . .  But on the 26th, whether I post or not, this blog has its fifth anniversary.  This is post #1608 in the past 1825 days.  Post #1 was prompted by my huge stone-bellied muse.  Thanks so much for reading;  I’ve had a blast.  I’m eager to get gone and then get back.

PS:  If you haven’t voted or asked a half dozen friends to vote for this blog as “best neighborhood blog” and “best photo blog” (#5 and 24), please do so now.  A few of you have written to say you like thinking of the sixth boro as one of the overlooked neighborhoods of NYC, the place said to be comprised of five terracentric boros.


Some great pics of a self-unloading Oldendorff bulker, Sophie, come our way thanks to John Watson, from his perch high above the sixth boro.  Alice has been around recently as well. 

Sophie delivered salt, since we don’t know how many times winter will resurrect before summer comes.. 

I’m not sure what procedure Siteam Adventurer expected to undergo, but she seems unusually positioned.

Many thanks to John for these fotos.

In the sixth boro Queens come and go, shipping and schlepping all sorts of cargo.

Here Miriam Moran and

Kimberly Turecamo escort

a Queen from Claremont Terminal to Port Newark.

This Queen carries bulk,

probably scrap metal, and hails from Viet Nam.

As she turns into the KVK, Tai Bai Hai, a very rusty bulker from Tianjian, China, escorted by Ron G and Resolute slips astern.

And still farther along, Vinalines Queen streams past GLDD dredge Florida.

The last three fotos comes compliments of John Watson;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, Alice is said to have slipped into Brooklyn last night, Mardi Gras, under cover of darkness, but I have had no visual contact.

Alice Oldendorff came into town yesterday.  Many thanks for this foto  to a reader and blogger who is anything but self-absorbed.  And seeing Alice from this angle, escorted by the inimitable McAllister Responder . . . Ms. O is the same beauty I fell for long ago, but the Manhattan skyline from this angle has some new detail . . .  right above Alice’s forward boom is the World Trade Center with its twin cranes, and forward of that the Beekman Tower, NYC’s tallest residential building.  I don’t think Beekman is a walk-up.

So, I have clearly self-disclosed myself as a fool for Alice, who may never requite my feelings for her.  Never will I–unless my fortunes change–be invited to commune with Alice in drydock, where I could study her from stem to stern.  Or trace her curves and contours.  Or admire her from every angle with my lenses.  Or massage her aches and smoothen her scars.  Let me demonstrate by . . .

showing what I was able to do recently with Edna, a 35′ loa x 16′ truckable tug launched in 1997.  My dance with Edna started here, and then

I walked around her, admiring her marks of graceful aging … the rust and the growth and dents.  She exposed her vulnerabilities.

She let me appreciate her power and maneuverability both starboard closeup and

from farther back.

I pivoted around to port, and venerated her complex yet classic lines.

Back at the bow, our eyes locked as we  read each other and grokked.

From full frontal to profile to dorsal-to-dorsal dosido, the dance could go on.

OK, Alice, I know you’re 20 times longer and 5 times beamier, but our feelings may some day converge and such exhilarated escape from inhibition we’ll enjoy.  For now,  I withdraw all this self-disclosure.  If working relationship it is, then I will cherish that.  Work calls us in opposite directions:  you to the quarries of Nova Scotia and me . . .  well, no more self-disclosure.

Top foto by Claude Scales;  all others by Will Van Dorp, whose smile stretches from ear to ear right now.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click 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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