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I zoomed in on details in some Panama posts here and here, so how about closer to home . . . .  All of the following fotos were taken in New York harbor, except one.  But that one could just have well been taken here.  Can you identify it?

Otherwise, just enjoy the fotos.  Doubleclick almost always enlarges.  For me, pleasure maintaining this blog comes from the locale and endeavor. I respect the livelihoods.  But things the camera helps me see I admire also for the sculptural beauty,

the play of light and shadow over diverse surfaces,

qualities of suntime and angle,

texture and weathering . . . aging,

universality and timelessness,

employ of color and volume,

imagined or real vignettes,

power and evocation of sound and temperature,

coexistence of natural and industrial,

labor’s wear and erosion,


elegant design . . . .

Since I deliberately wrote these captions quickly, spontaneously recording what I associated with each foto,  I could have captured something different no doubt upon examining each,  . . . but then again . . . I’m interested in what they evoke in you.  And here I invite your response.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp . .  . in the past month.

The bottom foto was taken in Panama of a container ship I’d seen in the KVK earlier in March.

The NPR station I support–WNYC–has been running an interesting BBC series called “History of the World in 100 Objects.”  This has itself spawned a local variation called “the story of NY in 10 objects.”  So far, WNYC has revealed 10, 9, and 8;  more next week.

I’m curious whether the seven remaining will include water-related, sixth boro-linked items.  Certainly, any ship that passes through the Narrows is emblematic of the story of this city.  Any the vessels never stop!  John Watson took these two this morning.  CSAV Suape heads out, and

CMA CGM L’etoile arrives, for a short appointment for some container shuffling in the port of NYC/NJ.   Suape‘s namesake is a Brazilian port, and the vessel, whose original name was MedBaffin, first floated three years ago off the Chinese island of Zhoushan.  L’etoile . . .  star, comes from Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan.    Vessels come and go, all weather and hours of night and day . . . a gauge of tireless trade.

Is it Noy Noy or

NouNou, or are they the same?

Can you guess the origin of that flag?

St. John’s is the clue.  Passing here is OOCL Norfolk.

Mare Transporter on 1/28 (a month ago) and then

on 1/31.  Today she’s in Alexandria aka الإسكندرية‎, as in Egypt’s largest port.

NYK Meteor as focused on a chock, and then

steel braces, and then

spare chassis,

On February 1st she departed the east end of the KVK, and now she’s in port in Busan.

Ditto Ever Diadem . . . on Feb 7 she left the sixth boro;  since then she’s stopped at half a dozen ports, traversed the thin continent at Panama, made her way in and out of the

the Golden Gate, and is headed  . . .  where in Asia?

And what would surround us in our daily NYC lives without the goods on these vessels?

Many thanks to John Watson for the first two fotos.

Notice the Village Voice icon has disappeared.  Tugster didn’t get their nod.  Thanks for voting.  Although it would have been nice to win, winning is not why I blog.

You know the song;  I decided to adapt it like this.

“On the first tides of Christmas, my true loves spoke to me . . . of  propellers in a parts tree.

On the second tides of Christmas, my true loves gave to me, two honey boats, and  . . .

… three schooner sails,  . . .

… four ferry boats,  . . .

… five safety rings,  . . .

… six sailors sailing,  . . .

… seven short sea shippers,  . . .

… eight bunkers pumping,  . . .

nine scows a dumping,  . . .

… ten dredgers digging,  . . .

… eleven lighters lightering,  . . .

…twelve tugs a pushing, . . .

and pushing and pushing . . .

Happy holidays, and maybe the Village Voice will employ it in this song.  Here’s the original, if you don’t know the Twelve Days . . . song.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Same idea only different . . . check out frogma.

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.


Are there shadows when you can’t see them?  Others forces exist though invisible like tides, winds, markets, seasons, combustion,  zeitgeist, …

inertia, gravity,

attitude, determination, pheromones,

friction, electromagnetic fields, stardust,

love potion #9, entropy, tea leaves . . ..

Why things happen . . . a soup of forces govern this, too many to keep track of, unless you have to. 

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who has forces tugging at his heels today.

Blue is the colour of the sky . . .”  in the Donovan song of almost a half century ago, but this isn’t a post about foliage, although I took this foto Friday . . . if you’re wondering why I didn’t post.  Guess the location?

Brown is the color of the Hudson, yesterday, as seen high above crane barge Columbia (and Sarah Ann??) viewed from Storm King, about 60 miles north of the sixth boro.

Brown flows under Margot and Benjamin Eliott at Waterford about a hundred miles north of Storm King.

It has been the color of the Hudson and feeders streams since the visitation of Irene (note the high point on the Second Street Bridge) and the rest of the rainy season in the Hudson and other Northeast watersheds.

But go another 70 or so miles north of Waterford, not far from the headwaters of the Hudson (as far north from the sixth boro as Washington DC is south!!) and the

waters through the rock

are clear, not cafe au “way too much” lait.

Twas a good place to get away and

reconnect.  Hiking here . . . offers no clue of what cliffs lie downstream.

I know I missed the arrival of tugs Justice and Reinauer Twins and who knows whatever else     . . . come through the boro, but gallivants can’t and shouldn’t be postponed.

Fotos by Will Van Dorp.   More Donovan?

And speaking of colors from inks and pigments as multi-hued as nature up north, check this out from my favorite niche-leaping, river-crossing, shipshifting cliff-dweller . . .  and so much more.

For explanations on all manner of color, checkin with seaandsky.

Just to contextualize this, here’s Random Ships 16 and 15.  Below is one sight that thrilled me yesterday . . . Orange Star.  Nice sternlines, eh?  Just over three years ago, I took fotos of Orange Star, a different and older vessel by the same name.  If you open only one link in this post, open this one for the 2008 version of Orange Star.

This foto taken from more than a mile away shows Barrington Island leaving Red Hook bound for sea with the assistance of Margaret Moran and an unidentified Moran boat.

These Brazilian juice tankers HAVE to be the most beautiful large motor vessels (IMHO) anywhere: immaculate exteriors exuding sublime colors and hues, bespeaking what I imagine are gleaming stainless steel interiors redolent of citrus.

Bulker Medi Antwerp passes Conti Benguela on its way to sea.  The fact that “benguela” appears on a tanker speaks to the success of offshore drilling there.

A new word for the beauty of these tankers?  Try pulchritudinous!   No, really . . . that’s a good thing!  Even the old Orange Star may have registered a old, worn out, tired feeling to itself or others,   but she was always pulchritudinous to my eyes.  Orange Stars to me . . . I view as resplendent as the day they came off the ways.     A statistic for the volume of Brazilian juice:  (2007)  It produces 53% of all orange juice consumed in the world!  For more statistics like that, click here.    I do–I admit–recognize the problem of getting staples like orange juice from a continent away;  maybe I should move to a place where I can grow my own oranges, lemons, mangoes . . .?

Here Medi Antwerp (recently in Chile) passes between the salt pile and Bow Sun  (less than a month ago passed Cape of Good Hope!).

Back to these juice vessels . . . their charms disarm me.  Now here I could have taken a closeup of this structure, starboard side of where the pumps and controls must be, but I didn’t think to do it.  Anyone explain the device below the crane and abaft the horizontally oriented tank?   Next time I’ll try to keep my analytical wits about me and not go all aflutter.

Overseas Kythnos, Korean-built and launched last year, has a great slogan painted along the top of the house.

All fotos this weekend by Will Van Dorp, who readily admits to having an orange juice drinking problem as well as eye problems that sometimes let me see what I want to.

Coming home from work, I overheard this conversation on New Jersey Transit last night between Newark and New York.

She from West Virginia:  Oh this is so exciting.  Soon I’ll walk through Penn Station, just like I saw in movies and TV.  Even the train ride is exciting.

She from NYC:  Thank you.  Thanks for the reminders.  I’m always tired coming from work on this train, and I forget how exciting this is.  Thank you!

The latter sounded sincere, and I’ll bet it was.  Taking fotos helps remind me of the exciting place the sixth boro is.  I took all these today while showing a friend around.  Like Captain Zeke urging a scow

through the Cut into Erie Basin as crew calls in from his vantage point.

Like encircled bollards lorded over by a frozen crane not far

from silenced shipyard tools.

Like a scow with dredge spoils . . . or is that a steel portal into Poseidon’s realm?

Like the melange of upriver silt mixing with flooding seawater?

Like a tanker bound for sea, leaving

the busyness of the Upper Bay.

Like the solitary exertion of kayaking or

the collaboration of USCGC Campbell heading outbound through the Narrows.

Or like an osprey showing his next-fish-meal the heavens.

Like the aesthetics of coating and oxidation and friction.

Like the osprey invigorated by the fish-meal.

Like the dance of tug and ship and the

tools of egress.

Thank you.  The sixth boro never ceases to tantalize and refresh and motivate another look.

All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.

 Everyone knows the “nothing–absolutely nothing–half so much worth doing as messing around in boats.”  I’d revise that as “nothing . . . quarter so much worth doing as watching  . ..  boats, whatever those vessels are doing.”  And I’m not the only one watching.  Cargoes and passengers on water intrigue me much more than those on land.I wonder sometimes how these other observers in the sixth boro process what they see. 

I can’t tell what I’m looking at quite often.  When the blue container ship entered port last week and I tried to make out the name on the curves of the bow, I read “loose sand” where seconds later I saw “Louds Island.”  Actually, I wish the vessel were called “loose sand.”  Remember “Ice Babe“?

Sometimes I just pay attention to these other eyes. 

Not knowing raises the level of intrigue.

They watch back too.

They even seem to have their own agenda.

They might even have their own way of seeing.

Today I have to work  inland  though, so here ends this post.

Knowing what I knew, Maurania III headed up to the North River–where recently she raced– could only mean one thing, especially

given her accompaniment by Ellen and Elizabeth, also wearing the canvas frocks.  What it meant was that

USS New York  had done its local doing and was

bound for sea.  We’re two days off the one decade anniversary of

quite the tragedy.

By the way, I’m with Bloomberg on this one: please stop calling it ground zero.  Let’s move on because time has moved on.

Also, for the record, we have a local election in my voting district, and I will hang up every time pollsters call and ask if I feel less or more secure now than before 9/11.  It’s a stupid question.  IMHO, be vigilant, but there NEVER is such a thing as complete security, although I’m grateful for those who endeavor to keep us secure.

Period.  Hope you liked the fotos of USS New York leaving for sea after paying respects.  Fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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