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As remnants of  Hurricane Nicole pass through the sixth boro, we might have a look back to details of aftermath of Sandy exactly 10 years ago, like this undecked pier over on the NJ side of the Arthur Kill, across from Howland Hook. 

USCGC Spencer came up for the cleanup, as did

then-USCGC Gallatin, now NNS Okpabana

NASA’s Enterprise saw some damage as well, leading to installation of a more robust pavilion

McAllister Sisters assisted ACL Atlantic Concert past the damage to the park shoreline just west of St. George while  

National Guard units staged in the then parking lot area. 

And I have to digress here to rant about a shoreside issue:  hundreds of millions have been spent in preparing this area for the ill-fated “NY Wheel,”  and in the process transformed what had been a simple but pleasant park into a wasteland behind an unsightly green wall and guarded chain link.  Hey mister mayor and mister SI boro president, clean it up and reopen it for the public.  The “wheeler-dealers” and the NYC EDC did more damage here–and allowed it to fester–than Sandy.  Is the small wheel next?

APL Cyprine, then flagged US and carrying USMC vehicles, has gone to Alang flying the flag of Comoros. Ditto ACL Atlantic Concert, shown up the column. 

Patrick Sky was still working back then, and Happy Delta brought in one of the first loads of NYC sanitation cranes. 

That year, by November 9–the date of this photo–we’d already had a dusting of cold, white stuff here. 

Cashman’s TSHD Atchafalaya was in the boro.  She’s still afloat in Florida. 

On black Friday 2012, the high point of my day was seeing Atlantic Salvor return to the boro with Witte 1407 carrying segments of what is visible today as

the antenna atop WTC 1. 

All photos, any opinions and all errors, WVD. 


Any guesses on the identification of vessel/structure X above?  I assumed it was military.  Answer follows.

The long frustrating lines at the gas pumps locally are NOT the result of absence of fuel in the port.  From l to r here are tankers Queen Express, Romo Maersk, Sira, and Mercini Lady . . .

Closer up of Romo Maersk and Sira.  Although these tanker are in port, they’re not at the usual docks because

this activity is in high gear there:  hydrographic surveying for hidden obstacles and possibly

retrieving them.   Tug here is Harry McNeal.

Oil is being moved, however, in the likes of barge Edwin A. Poling, pushed by Kimberly Poling,  and

barge Pacific, pushed by North Sea and assisted here by tug Pegasus. Clipper Legacy is obscured at the dock there also.

Here it is . .  vessel/structure X aka Happy Delta bringing in some large structures marked

NYC Sanitation.   ?

It’s great to get this angle of Pati R. Moran, but noteworthy also . .  the orange vessel in the background . . . it’s Duncan Island, bringing NYC its bananas.

Western Highway . . . transports who knows what vehicles

And surely some parts of the port are flowing when APL Cyprine ingresses as Hoechst Express egresses.

Note the tan colored vehicles atop  . . .  port side.  Charles D. McAllister escorts.

JLTVs mebbe?  Among other things  . . .

And the two final images thanks to AIS marinetraffic . . . .  the inflow Monday morning at 0800 . . . and

today, Tuesday, at 1400.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is mindful that many folks on land around the sixth boro still lack electricity, heat, and cable communications; and walk up and down dark stairs in high rises to get MREs passed out by the National Guard.    Temperatures this morning here were in the mid-30s . . . i.e., just a hover above freezing.

Superlatives:  Ti Oceania, largest working tanker at 441,000 dwt and 1246′ loa.  Oasis of the Seas, largest cruise ship at 1181′ loa and 234′ air draft;  ie., it cannot be shoehorned under the Verrazano Bridge.  Berge Stahl, largest bulk carrier at 365,000 dwt and 1125′ loa and draft of about 75′.  Here are other sites on this trio:  TO,  OS, and BS.

Immense!  Like these cranes, the likes of which you saw arrive in this March 2007 post.

Look closer and

eventually you see a dock worker, miniscule way up there.

And considering the scale of machinery and vast number of containers that need to be moved, it might interest you to see

what a crane operator sees, between his or her shoes.  Really . . . the operator booths have glass floors so that the spreader bar with flippers seems to shrink as it descends toward a container.

Sorry there was no ship in place when this foto was taken.  For an outside view of the operator booth, see the last foto here.

Here is scale difference of another sort, and because of

foreshortening, the distance between these two ships–Cielo di Napoli and Americas Spirit–seems recklessly small.

First three fotos thanks to Jed;  last four are mine.

Yesterday afternoon along the Arthur Kill, I communed with this creature, which I thought erroneously an osprey.  Peregrine?  Some type of hawk?  I was amazed that while tearing apart its rare-rat lunch (I declined a portion), it allowed me within 10 feet!  More fotos of the encounter at the bottom of this post.  I knew I would post some fotos, but in considering a context, it occurred that the sixth boro (and beyond waters) is ideal  bird-look space.


Here an egret or heron steals across a dawn shot.


While Cyprine was easing in, a gull streaked across a foto.


A wonderfully-titled work in Pamela Talese exhibit is “Je n’egret rien.” Check out her show before October 30!  Pamela’s caption reads, “The ITB (Integrated Tug & Barge) Jacksonville came into the Navy Yard pretty beat up. As I was painting, I noticed a white egret splashing around in the waters of Dry Dock 5—wildlife among industry!”  Coexistence!  Check out these birds-in-the-meadowlands tugster fotos here.


As bulker Oxygen came in yesterday, a gull escorted it.  Oxygen referred to here is about six months new, headed for Port Newark although I don’t know what cargo.


Here’s a first for tugster:  Bowsprite‘s art migrated electronically from her site to mine, and it shows self-help-oriented Laridae.  Related to birds, recall my suggestion in September that Bowsprite can fly.


Pioneer travels with its very own familiar.


“A swarm of starlings so darkened the skies one July day at precisely 1:33 pm that sunbathers left the beach…”  Sounds like a good opener for a sci-fi tale.


But back to my hawk.  At one point when I closed within 10 feet, it picked up its lunch with its left talon, and hobbled back.  Another bird might use its beak for that.  I took that as a indication of its self-confidence.


Long beautiful legs.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Here’s an older birds-post.  A Moveable Bridge has tracked some geese, and if you check in at Reid’s on 1000daysatsea Day 914, you’ll see he’s begun communing with a heron.

Lord Byron’s poem “She walks in Beauty” might eventually be parodied  rather updated in this post.  If you’ll click on this link, you’ll get the entire poem AND a Botticelli Venus.  I admit I had a long discussion with Botticelli about this work while he was creating it:  have her turn around, I pleaded.  Oh well.  I long ago gave up trying to argue with Sandro’s about anything.   Meanwhile, seeing how bows got us to Dolly Parton, who knows how an examination of sterns might lead, how it could descend . . . or rise.


The name’s the thing sometimes like here or


here:  behold ex-Jaguar.


Sure, it’s  fuel barge bow but a survey stern.


Look upon ex-Exxon Empire State.  Why is Responder on recycling duty so much?


uh . . . ?  Anyone help?  [Thanks to Jeff and James:  Psara meaning “of fish.”]


Check out Doris Moran and Cable Queen.  Anyone know the Cable Queen story?


Catch a glimpse of Ruth M. Reinauer, class of 2009.


Drool over John J. Harvey.  By the way, to learn more about this legendary fireboat, come hear author Jessica DuLong read at Atlantic Gallery on October 21, or read her book My River Chronicles.  I immensely enjoyed it.

aaaafs10Relish the lines on what for 40ish years has been the sixth boro’s very own mostly stay-at-home some of the time flat-bottom, Pioneer.

aaaafs11Marvel at Maryland, as she wonders about this island.  Yeah, and wanders about it, too.


Oh . . . posteriors.  Send in your favorite.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, Patricia Ann bounced me around quite a bit, I hung on, but I haven’t seen her since.

Before seven a.m. yesterday I’d already overstimulated my excitement circuits:  two large container vessels dock almost simultaneously at Howland Hook.  Four McAllister tugs and the two behemoths (APL Cyprine and Hyundai Voyager) make me feel better than any loafer on the docks of 17th century Amsterdam watching a VOC East Indiaman return treasure laden from the Indies . . . or  . . . any roustabout wharf-gallivanting as a fleet of Spanish galleons deep with New World gold floated into 16th century Cadiz.  What riches albeit mundane wait sealed within all those containers?  By the way . . . tugs from near to far are Ellen, Amy C., Rosemary, and Responder.


First some fotos of  Cyprine, eeriily silent, Amy C‘s running lights


reflect on Cyprine‘s hull


the greatest noise coming from the torrents rushing through the bow thruster.  Wonder what the thruster diameter might be?


As Cyprine (what a fabulous AND curious name . . . wonder how it got attached to this frequent visitor to the sixth boro??) approaches its berth, Amy C throws itself into countering Cyprine‘s momentum


with all its power, torquing itself over as the larger vessel begins lateral movement


thrust toward the bulkhead by both tugs now, Ellen seeming almost to crawl


to creep bowfirst,


up Cyprine‘s wall-like starboard.


Tis amazing to watch!  Tomorrow more of my May Day morning.

How would this vessel get the name Cyprine?  If you haven’t noticed yet, check here for Cyprine . . . bet it’s not meaning #3.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

I don’t use the word much, either because I lack it or because it’s such a given that I’ve become unaware of its existence in my life… and I really can’t tell which.   McAllister Girls motors determinedly to prevent the momentum about 500 times its mass from crushing a dock.

Meet the momentum, APL Cyprine, entering port at dawn a few days before the fall equinox

like the dark power its name suggests

But Girls and Rowan McAllister vector the 5000+ TEU Cyprine into its slot

Two tugs v. 5000 trucks move it in place

and all before breakfast and

without doubt that three more shifts can be done before lunch.

All fotos, Will Van Dorp.

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March 2023