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Happy 4th of July!  Here’s the first post by this title with a story of what John Adams wrote Abigail around this time 241 years ago.

So why do we celebrate this day?  Uh . . . the British surrendered?  It marks the first battle for independence?

DDG-55 Stout  (photo taken May 20, 2015)

We got freedom to say what we want, pray to whomever we choose, buy as many guns as we want, refuse to be unreasonably searched, charged too much bail, have access to lawyers in court, and things like that?

The founders of the US signed the Declaration of Independence?

Nope!  Nope, nope.  None of those is correct.  The British didn’t surrender for another 6 years and didn’t vacate their occupation force from the sixth boro–the only boro then–until 1783.  The Constitution wasn’t written for another decade and some!!

Here’s a good quick “not fake” read for today called “9 Things You May Not Know About the  Declaration of Independence.”

I’ll get back to that . .  but what is that military gray ship over there trying to camouflage itself against Staten Island ferry orange?  I took the rest of these photos about 24 hours ago . . .   The flag at the stern is NOT US…

It’s French.  So maybe they’re here to help us  celebrate the contributions of Rochambeau, DeGrasse. and Lafayette?

Nope, they helped after 1776 . . ..  In fact the Alliance had not even existed yet for a few years .  . .

Well, maybe the crew of the French L 9032 is here to ride the NYWheel?

Nope.  That’s in some turmoil.

See the billboard there?  Maybe they’re here for “the lowest cost health plan?”

Maybe they’re here for Macy’s !!?  Rowland Hussey Macy WAS a sailor, after all;  the red Macy’s logo star was the tattoo he wore on his hand . . .

 

Actually  I have NO idea why FS Dumont D’Urville docked over at the old homeport yesterday . . .  maybe someone can illuminate us . . .?

But to get back to 4th July . . . here was the response of George III–the accused– to the Declaration:  I’d never read it until now and it’s short and precious and defensive!!

Here’s another 4 July tugster post from the archives . . .  And if you still have time to read, here are “Six things you (probably) didn’t know about the 4th July. . . .”  And the flag of that year?  Maybe here.  And the drink of choice to fete the day back then . . .?  Well, it was not beer or rum.  Rick Spilman has it here.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who offers another link to the big document of the day here, and wishes you a happy independence day.

 

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In case you’re wondering which vessel(s) will be where, here’s the navy.mil listing.  These photos are ordered in the sequence they passed lower Manhattan.

USCGC Hamilton WMSL-753,less than three years old, is home-ported in Charleston  . . . and Seattle.   How does that work?

 

RV Neil Armstrong AGOR-27 replaced the venerable RV Knorr, mentioned here once some years back.

USS Kearsarge LHD 3, named for a mountain I climbed decades ago, is the fourth in a line of vessels named for the US warship commanded by John A. Winslow that sank Confederate raider CSS Alabama, two of whose crew were Raphael Semmes and Irving S. Bulloch,  off Cherbourg France in June 1864, less than a year before the end of the devastating US Civil War.  This account of the Battle of Cherbourg is worth a read.

 

Our friends to the North always have a representation, and HMCS Glace Bay MM 701 is this year’s.

Glace Bay‘s classmate Moncton appeared on this blog back in 2012 here.

Four YPs are in town from Annapolis. Here are some YP photos from two years ago, different perspective.

Here’s YP 705.

 

And finally USNS Yuma T-EPF-8 is without a doubt the newest vessel in this procession, having been accepted earlier in 2017.

I wonder who the photographer in the yellow foulies is.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will be wandering around town trying to get more closeups these next few days.  And below is another shot of USS Kearsarge.

Here are the posts I did each of the past two years.  I’ll call this the beginning of the processional.  How many government vessels do you count in the photo below?

Carefully screened support vessels--Rana Miller, Elizabeth McAllister, and Resolute— lead the procession, here past Ellis Island,

while small craft of the NYC Navy and Air Force and others patrol.

Other McAllister boats include Alex McAllister . . . and

Eric.

CG-56 USS San Jacinto leads the larger vessel contingent.  She was here as well in 2012.   Know the import of that location in April 1836?  

Tomorrow will feature close-ups of the rest of the fleet, but for now we’ll leave it here.

 

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who counts eight government craft in the first photo.  Here’s a post-fleet week photo set from 2009.

 

That’s true along the Elizabeth River in Virgina.  Naval Station Norfolk always has a formidable array, like

LPD-24 USS Arlington,

T-ARC-7 USNS Zeus,

T-AKE-13 USNS Medgar Evers,

T-ESB-3 USNS Lewis B. Puller,

lots of patrols and a fence,

T-AKR-5063 USNS SS Cape May,

and its complement of barges.  Here’s more of a description.

 

Then, there’s the R class.

 

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who suggests taking a tour if you’re in the area.

 

Over six years ago, I posted with a title this one mimics.  Richard Dixon is to the left, clearly USCG white, indicating its primary mission.  My question is what color is the larger vessel to the right?

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Maybe you can guess more about this vessel below.  The photo comes from a secret salt from a small Caribbean port I will also leave nameless.

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So the unidentified patrol vessel is the P-840 Holland, 355′ offshore patrol vessel for the Royal Netherlands Navy.   The design is intended to minimize radar visibility, but the color is also a blue gray said to camouflage it on the horizon better than gray.

Contrasting with that blue, check out the gray of LHD 7, USS Iwo Jima, which arrived in the sixth boro a few days ago in honor of Veterans Day.

ss4

Top three photos come thanks to Capt. Nemo.  The fourth was taken by Will Van Dorp.

For more gray, click here.

 

 

I have more Saint Lawrence posts, but with a chrononautical weekend behind us, let me digress and report.  The mood for the first ship was set by the weather;  see what the mist did to my favorite downtown building–70 Pine.  Click here and be treated to a slideshow of views through time of boro Manhattan’s  tall observation cliffs, past present and future.

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Looking eastbound up the East River, I saw her waiting, as

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first one of her entourage arrived and

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and then another.

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The term “haze gray” was certainly demonstrated yesterday,

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as was the vintage of this Liberty ship headed to sea, for a cruise.

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Even the Higgins T-boat in the distance is a whole decade closer to the present–in inception– than Brown, although  yesterday all crowded into 2016.

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It was a moving sight,

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which I beheld,

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only slightly regretting I was not aboard.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I’ve written about summertime and about summertime blues–about beating them.  But since you can’t ever step into the same river twice, or gallivant in the same primordial first boro, here’s the 2016 version of trying to capture the sixth boro with a camera on a hot summer weekend afternoon, looking for shade–any shade will do– as much as looking for novel compositions.

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These days odd juxtapositions can be found on west Manhattan piers and

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beyond, like Eagle and the fast bird and Loveland Island with a pilot on board and some folks gathered on the starboard bridge wing .  For a post I did last year with close-ups of details of USCGC Eagle AND for a book I highly recommend reading about her appropriate by the US post-WW2, click here.  Speaking of piers, here’s an interesting article on the engineering and construction of Pier 57.

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Or come for a tour on Janet D Cruises . . .

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with four sails set.

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Long Beach comes to Bayonne along with a Celebrity ship and a PWC . . . pesky workless canoe?

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Flagship Ivy clings for a spell to the bottom over by the VZ Bridge.

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Margaret Moran heads for the next job–or the yard, with Queens’ current and future tallest buildings in the background,

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while YP 704 sails past Governors Island, which has sprouted some new hillocks frequented by lots of people.

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Joan Turecamo exits the Buttermilk west with a light (?) dry bulk barge Montville, which probably recently carried coal.

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All photos Sunday by Will Van Dorp.  for some contrast, see this winter set and this.   More of the summer selects, tomorrow.

 

Barrel comes up with unusual photos . . . and this one below,  Merritt,  shows a side-cast dredge with a draft of less than 5′.

bbd1USACE DREDGE MERRITT-1

It appears she’s still in use.

bbd2USACE DREDGE MERRITT-2

 

bbd3USACE DREDGE MERRITT-3

Here’s the info.

bb1USACE DREDGE MERRITT FACT SHEET-2

I wish that tree was not obscuring the tug, but the real star here is the ship, an oddity that began life in the last years of the nineteenth century as a battleship, BB-5.   The first in her class was USS Indiana, BB-1. 

bb1USS Kearsarge as crane ship AB-1 transiting Panama canal

After 20 years as a battleship, she was idled for 20 years, at which point she was converted into arcane ship, Crane Ship No. 1, with lifting capacity of 250 tons, a weight more impressive then than now.  It does qualify this as a “second lives” post, though.  Finally, in 1955, she was sold as scrap.

bb2USS Kearsarge FORMER BATTLE AHIP CONVERTE4D TO CRANE SHIP PHILA NAVY YARD 1923

Click here for navsource’s great photo documentation–including the dramatic graving dock view below– of her entire half century career.

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Here’s a 1936 derrick boat, with a sign over the stern house that would get my attention.

bb3USACE DERRICKBOAT BABCOCK - FIXED

I’m not sure when she went out of service.

bb4USACE DERRICKBOAT BABCOCK FACT SHEET

Many thanks to barrel for these glimpses into the archives.

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.

 

This collage of orange and blue indicates that something unusual approaches . . .

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0846 hr . . .

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0904

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Atlantic Salvor might have been headed out on a long range mission, but

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at this point, I realized this mission would begin in the Lower Bay of the sixth boro along with

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lots of other vessels, although

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something new this year was the escort of four commercial tugs:  Sassafras, Miriam Moran, 

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Atlantic Salvor, and Normandy.   1150.    I was happy to find someone to talk to.

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It’s fleet week NYC.  Welcome all.

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It’s USS DDG 96,

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HMCS D 282,

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WMEC 911,

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HMCS MM 700,

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HMCS MM 708,

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LHD 5,

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DDG 99,

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and LSD 43.

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At 1216, Eric McAllister joins the welcome party . . .

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WLM 552.

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An E-2 flew by too.

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The message on the port wheel well ((?) amused me.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here was last year’s arrival.

 

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