You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Coney Island Creek’ tag.

This post breaks the record for number of fotos, but the very existence of waterway focused on, yesterday as well,  Coney Island Creek, is thought by some to be the stuff of urban legend.  A little over a mile long, CIC spanned by a handful of bridges and blocked off under the Belt Parkway;  it encompasses a world in that distance, and once was on the drawing boards to become the “Gravesend Ship Canal.”

Here’s the launch beach just west of Kaiser Park  near the “mouth” of the creek.  And on the beautiful sand . . . is that the shell of a newly-discovered species of sixth boro terrapin?

Au contraire, it’s our mighty vessel, Marie’s self-built and decorated T & C Taxi.  Another one of her beauties was featured in this post from January 2010.

The yellow submarine is just one of the wrecks, maybe the only identifiable one.

With the tide farther out, its research sub design is more evident.

As we head up the Creek, the landmark Parachute Jump shows how near the beach is.

These wooden barges and scows are less identifiable than

fairly recent power boats, which even had registration numbers on the bow.  In the morning light, the reflected red is pretty, as is

the green on the underside of the 17th Street bridge;  the paint job which seems unfinished, given all the equipment around.

We paddle farther upcreek, here under the Stillwell Avenue bridge.

We pass under the D train and a little farther past

dove farms screened off from Shell road by vines.

On the opposite side of the creek near the Belt, egrets, cranes and gulls congregate.

People manage to maintain private resorts or at least arbors to sip morning coffee in silence with the birds and the Creek.

This is the end.  From top to bottom here, the F train, the Belt, and Shell Road.  And from beneath that wall, water bubbled to its own surface along with … stuff.

On the return trip, we spoke with the painting crew, who seemed quite shocked to see us.

A whole industry of crab farming happens on this improvised dock made of remains of a scow.

A swan family blend into (tries to maybe) its surroundings.

And before we return to our beach, we wonder about the identity of this wooden vessel,

this tug, and

whatever this vessel was.

If anyone knows how to discover the identity of these wrecks, please get in touch.  I wonder if any mermaids–so prolific on the south side of Coney Island–ever make it up here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Guess the creek?  From what continent rich does it flow?  What mysteries lie upstream?

Bird life is certainly rich, perched on some exotic geographical


And who manages these rich fields of grass (spartina coneyii)?  Where are the farmers, possibly watching with eyes masked by foliage?

Dancing birds.

Crabs were copious, and swimming blissfully in the act of making themselves more copious. Count them here.

Rare geological formations, crater lakes with caverns and


Odd relics . . . could they have religious significance?  Might this be an outpost of the Nacirema?

Like this quadrant . . . surely the Nacirema would direct their lives using such devices.

Behold the intrepid explorers and their vessel.  Might this be another Tide and Current Taxi project?  Doubleclick enlarges all fotos:  What is that blueish stringy structure below off to the right, just above the stern of the boat?

More expedition fotos in tomorrow’s post.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Picked clean and bleached terrapin shell?  Carapace of hermit crab?  A remnant of human armor?  A  vessel?

In May here and here I reported on a trip I took with frogma to Arthur Kill’s graveyard of ships. According to recent rumblings in the newspaper here, the ferry Astoria in that second link has mostly been cut up as “eyesores.”  Uh . . . would a visit to an optometrist help?

This morning I felt restored after visiting another  graveyard, this one in Brooklyn, in

(see the parachute jump on extreme left)  the Straits of Coney.  I’d love to know what this metal and

this wood once traveled as.  Where was it built?  What cargoes and which crews?

Thanks to a fearless crabber named Mariano I got these shots.

In August I hope to continue this trip through the Strait of Coney to visit Quester 1 aka Coney Island’s increasingly rusty-yellow sub, a golden dreammachine to salvage treasure off the Andrea Doria gone cold.  “Dreams gone bust; the rest is history rust.”  See fotos from a “tide and current taxi” trip here.

Less than 10 miles to the east, in Queens just south of JFK Airport, here’s another shot of the mystery vessel I took fotos at the start of this gallivant month.  Anyone know what lies on the west side of Sommerville Basin here?

Not a wreck at all, but you may feel the heat emanating from the foto below:  Manhattan around 7 am this morning, Manhattan in a heat wave, making a wreck of energy conservation efforts.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Somewhat related:  A ship was found in Lower Manhattan last week.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below 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.


May 2018
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