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We’re past mid-November, which has upped the urgency in thinking about a 2021 calendar, to do one or not.  And that made me decide to revisit the photos that morning that I took the November photo for  this year.  Houston Star came in with two Moran tugboats. 

Any ideas where Houston Star might be today?

Ice bow?

Guess what the Atlas logo is?  See here.

What was interesting the morning I took the Houston Star photo was that just 15 minutes behind her was another tanker,

Yasa Flamingo.  She’s currently off Salinas, Portugal.  Houston Star is now off Port Aransas, off Corpus Christi.

 

All photos, WVD, who’s receptive to your ideas about the inclusions on a possible 2021 calendar.

Yes, I missed doing this in July, so today I play catch-up.

Three vessels were on the July page.  First, it’s Louis C, a small tanker reborn as a small crane ship.  I was last aboard her on a very cold morning in January 2020.  The enclosed workshop forward of the wheelhouse features a wood burning stove that has no appeal in August but was very welcome in January.

Fugro Enterprise, now as then, is working off Atlantic City, making bathymetric charts of the area where the 99 turbines of Ocean Wind will soon sprout above the surface of the waves.

The third and more prominent boat on the July calendar page is Nathan G, and rather than use a photo from July 2019, let me put up this one from July 2020, where Nathan G is one of the tugs escorting USS Slater to the dry dock.  That dry docking will soon be finished, and Nathan G will possibly accompany the destroyer escort back to Albany.  For more info on Slater and memberships, click here.

For August, on 17 August 2019 at 0615 and we were at the western end of Lake Ontario approaching Port Weller.  You’re looking over the after deck of Grande Caribe.  In case you’ve not heard, Blount Small Ships Adventures made a shocking announcement this Monday that their BSSA vessels are for sale. 

Welland Canal pilot vessel Mrs C approached ready to deliver a pilot, having just

retrieved one from the down bound Federal Yukina.

A few days later in August at 0722 and at the northern end of Crystal Island in the Detroit River, about 50 miles north of Toledo OH and 25 south of Detroit MI, we passed

Edgar B. Speer as she was about to enter the down bound lane between Crystal Island and Stony Island.

Speer is one of the 1000-footer, aka “footers” who ply the Upper Lakes unable to get beyond Lake Erie because they greatly exceed the dimensions of the Welland Canal.  Speer‘s cargo  capacity is 73,700 tons.   That would be a lot of trucks.

All photos, WVD.

On the 2020 calendar, the top right photo shows a shore fisherman, a small fishing boat, a tug, and a tanker.    The 2013 and 49,999 dwt tanker, Elandra Sea, as of this morning is in the Java Sea, likely almost as far from the sixth boro as you can get.  The tug escorting her in is Capt. Brian A. McAllister.   It turns out that was the only photo I took of that vessel, because of the fisherman, small boat, and industrial vessels and setting.

What I was really there for that morning was the mothership of Sandy Hook Pilots, New York No. 1, the current one as the new one is being created.  It seemed to be an event happening on the after deck. Surprisingly, I believe I’ve never posted this shot until now.

Upper left on the June 2020 page is Helen Laraway; seconds before I took the photo chosen for the calendar, she passed this this container ship E. R. Montecito, escorted in by  James D.

The 2004 and 7544teu container ship is currently in the Malacca Strait, heading for Durban SA, and carries a new name. . . GSL Grania.  I cherish info like this, reinforcing the fact that the sixth boro is but a tiny place on a planet of countless coastlines.

Assisting her in were James D, JRT, and Margaret.

The lower photo on the calendar was taken in the Mohawk Valley, lock E-13, easily accessed via the westbound lanes of the NYS Thruway.  Grande Caribe was Chicago bound.  For more info on E-13, click here.

As she departed the lock, she passed one of the newest tugboats on the Erie Canal, Port Jackson, named for the part of Amsterdam NY  on the south side of the river.    It turns out that the family of the namesake of Port Jackson moved west and distinguished himself.   The barge attached to Port Jackson no doubt has an identified; I wish I knew it and its history, given the riveted hull.

The next shot after the one on the calendar shows the 183′ x 40′ Grande Caribe shrinking as it juxtaposes with the ridge that makes up the Noses.   Grande Caribe is currently in Warren RI, as Blount Small Ships Adventures has decided that in the wake of COVID, it’s better to use 2020 to plan for 2021.   So, neither of the Grande vessels will be transiting the canal this year.  Given the virus, I’ve planed some gallivants, but as is true for everyone, much of that is on hold.  I’m free to gallivant now, but my sense of responsibility says I stay put and see this all as opportunity to craft a different path.

All photos, WVD, who is working his way through his library again.  Last week it was Pieces of the Frame and Uncommon Carriers.  I’m currently re-reading The Night Inspector, historical novel by Frederick Busch, on the exploits in post-Civil War New York featuring a mask-wearing disfigured wounded vet who worked as a sniper in the Civil War, and his friend M, who is none other than Herman Melville, the washed up writer who currently works in the harbor as a night inspector, aka a deputy inspector of Customs who would row out to any ships arriving inport in the dark hours and waiting until morning to clear customs. Here‘s another review.

I’ve also discovered the many videos of Tim B at Sea on youtube.  Interesting stuff . . .  answers to questions you’ve not even considered yet in some cases.

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.

 

. . . and I hope they’ll soon all be goneHere‘s the ordering info.

I’ve intended this project to be transmedia, ie, same event told in several formats . . . in this case on paper and on the blog.  I took the photo  for the January page in the early afternoon of January 10, 2019. As we [and that we will be defined soon] approached Mission Point, we encountered Wilfred Sykes to port and the Sugar Island ferry about to take Sykes‘ stern and cross in front of us. note the crewman breaking ice on the deck of our barge.

The temperatures at this point were around 10 F.   In my opinion, the 1949 Sykes is among the most beautiful lakers operating on the Upper Lakes.  Read the link at the start of the previous sentence for all the superlatives she earned back in her first years of service.

Crews in winter break ice so that hatch covers can be opened;  note the four doing so as we pass.

 

In midafternoon light, darkness is not far away.  This year, 2020, Sykes is already in winter layup in Sturgeon Bay WI.

Please order some calendars if you’ve not yet done so;  it’s already January 3, so 2021 is only 363 days away . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s grateful for the orders already submitted and monies sent to SeaScouts.

Here was last year’s post by this title.

My 2020 calendars are ready and can be mailed out as early as this Monday.  To order, send me your USPS mailing address by email (parrotlect at gmail dot com    , you know what I mean) and pay by paypal to that email address, or check made out to Will Van Dorp.  Calendars are $15 each.

When I started the calendar idea,  I’d not considered needing a cover photo, so it was proposed that I chose the Sea Scouts and Sea Dart II, thinking that organization would be one to mention as a possible group to support.  This is a break-even enterprise for me, but if you want to pay more, make a donation to the local Sea Scouts, whose Ship 228 I chose for the cover.  Contact them here.

Here are some photos from the Sea Scout group doing chart training and

hand saluting.

So the calendar . . . here are some ..

sample pages.

Your votes guided my choices.  In one case, I had to switch an image (the April shot of a container ship under the VZ Bridge) to make the photo fit.  In a few cases, no proposed image had a majority, so I included more than one image.

In a few cases, I added some related images.  I hope you will be happy with the result.

As to the actual calendar-making process, it was eye-opening.  I chose VistaPrint (Waltham MA) because I was happy with work/price from them in the past.  Vistaprint is owned by Cimpress, an Irish company that was founded in France.  When I completed the assembly process and sent the credit card number, I got a receipt saying it was sold by Vistaprint in Venlo, Netherlands.  When the box of calendars arrived, the shipping label stated “Printed in Canada” but was shipped from Reno NV.  Mind boggling! This is the global supply chain involved in creating a calendar for a guy in NYC who is handling “order-fulfillment” himself to cut out [the additional] the intermediaries.

It reminds me of a William Langewiesche article I read years ago, which starts out with him telling of flying an air cargo jet over the Himalayas carrying air pallets of Chicago telephone books, back when there were still paper telephone books.  It also reminds me of learning that my MMD-related urine sample was jet FedEx’d to a federally-approved facility in the Midwest;  now I can’t look at a FedEx jet flying overhead and wondering what manner of biosamples it may be transporting.

I printed only 50, so get your calendar ASAP.  My plan for Monday is to carrying a bunch down to the post office.  To repeat, if you want one, email me your address.  Paypal to my email address is an option;  if you want to send a check, email me and I’ll get you my mailing address.  Pieces-of-eight are fine; cryptocurrency is not, nor are sand dollars.

Enjoy one of the shortest days of the year, and the first winter sunrise in the sixth boro is not until 0715 on December 22.

 

Thanks so much for voting.  This post will end the “candidates”  soliciting feedback for my 2020 calendar.  The calendar is now a “go,” although voting will stay open until December 21, ie, if you are just hearing about this and have not yet voted–one winner for each month–you can still express your choice, carefully telling me which choice is for which month.

The options for October follow:

A

B

C

D

E

The November possibilities are

A

B

C

D

E

And that’s it.  The December photos have mostly yet to be taken, so the onus for that month is jointly on you all and me.  To repeat, here are the guidelines for a December photo:  a qualified photo for polling must involve a vessel and a non-verbal detail(s) identifying it as having been taken in a December.

Thanks for your help.  I’ll keep you updated on the calendar.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

A big thanks for reading and VOTING.  Once again, see the December 5 post for instructions. Today’s post has only two months, so your vote will be two letters.  Ask your friends to vote.  Voting hasn’t closed for previous installments, and I won’t close the voting until  December 21.

Here are the August choices.

A

B

C

September was a hard month to whittle down to three.  So I offer more choices here than for any other month.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

And that’s it for today’s voting;  remember that today’s vote will be only two letters, one for August and one for September.

To complete the calendar, there’s one more post of options coming tomorrow.  I’ve received proposed photos for the December page, but photos are still solicited.

All photos in this post by Will Van Dorp.

Thanks for responding to the poll.  Some trends emerge, which made me give the photos a second look.  If you missed the rules from yesterday’s post, click here.

I’m astonished by the top vote getter:  the January photo B, a shot I took on  . . .  and one I almost withdrew from the set at the last minute because I’d taken it outside my usual range.  It might interest you to know it shows the 1949 Wilfred Sykes, named for the president of Inland Steel for most of te 1940s, a few miles below the Soo locks.  Sykes is considered a streamlined [I call it art deco] bulk carrier, the first built after WW2 on the Great Lakes, according to the erudite folks at boatnerd. For more info, click here on the Duluth Shipping News site.

Here’s what I propose for the December calendar photo:  you send a photo to my email.  See left navigation bar for the email address.  Here are guidelines:  a qualified photo for polling must involve a vessel and a non-verbal detail(s) identifying it as having been taken in a December.  I hope that’s ambiguous enough to keep it interesting.  Whoever sends in the chosen photo . . . to be determined no later than December 21, also gets a photo credit and a free calendar.  Another option is for me to choose a December photo from a previous year.  See what I’ve done in the previous 13 Decembers in the archives;  the location near the bottom of the leftside navigation bar allows you to select any month going back to November 2006.

Here are the May choices.

A

B

C

June offers

A

B

C

D

July can be

A

B

C

D

Again . . . see yesterday’s post on the easiest format for feedback . . .

First, happy sinterklaas day.

Here’s my goal for the next few posts:  since it’s the time of year when some folks think of making 2020 calendars, I’m asking you for feedback on various photos for a possible calendar.  I realize unanimity is impossible.

I’ve quickly gone through my archives month by month and chosen a few “favorites” and as I said . . . gut reaction.  I repeat . . .  no ponderous thinking, just gut reaction.  For some months a “few” means three;  for other months, it comes down to more.   I’ll take your feedback into account qualitatively  . . ie, I’m not just tallying.  So you can help out with a straw vote, a show of clicks .  .  if you will.

Here are the January photos, labeled A through C, that caught my attention using the “gut reaction” test described above.

A

B

C

Here are my February selections A through C.

A

B

C

For March there are three picks, A through C.

A

B

C

And the last one for this post, here are my April nominations, A through D.

A

B

C

D

If you choose to give feedback, it would be sufficient to write simply C, B, C, D . . . for example; meaning the third photo here for January, the second for February, etc.  If you wish to state reasons for your choice, that would be most welcome.

Posts for the next three days will cover the rest of the year.  Thanks for helping out by weighing in.  Bribes are always welcome as well.

All photos and felonious suggestions by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

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