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The dawn sun communed with harbor waters for   about 10 minutes before retreating behind thick cloud, but


those few minutes delighted me.  That’s Hellespont Prosperity in background and Margaret Moran headed for the Upper Bay.


Thomas D. Witte moved in some dredge equipment, and then looked for a dolphin to hang on.  “Dolphin”  See meaning 3.


Would you believe I asked these three vessels to line up like this?  Left to right:  Ruth M Reinauer, Christine McAllister, and Nathan E  Stewart.


And a beastly shot.  Left to right:  Sea Wolf, Wildebeest, and Falcon.


If the sun rises tomorrow, I hope to post more, as usual.

All fotos August 6 morning by Will Van Dorp.

Someone asked what prompted the “meditations” series . . . well, I’m facing some big decisions  with respect to work and aging . . . you know . . . fun stuff.

G . . . gee!  Grog, galley, green flash, gaff, and my favorite . . . gallivant, which I don’t do nearly enough.  The sixth boro encompasses two bays, spots named Gravesend and Gowanus.  Available for charter is a small boat called Big G and


and yesterday a Torm “super ice” tanker named Gotland Marieann


lightered onto the DBL 32 attached to Taurus.


Falcon sporting some new green paint sidled up to Sea Raven.  Anyone know if Allied Transportation has a website?


If you return to yesterday’s post, I mentioned a tanker named Altius having a ghostly shape;  here that tanker close up and


and then still closer up.  E-ships lists launch date on Altius as 2004. Ghostly . . . or maybe ghastly paint job, especially the partial obscuring of the a previous name.  I can’t figure what it used to be.


Fantasmic  name.    By the way, Big G used to be called Launch 13, named for Patrolman M. Mercer.

Seven days of meditations have ground away at me.  Gotta draw from a different well for a few days.  Remember, click on a foto to enlarge it.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Oh . . . I will get grief for the foto below:  the glossy green bird from Equinox,which seems never to disappear from my top posts.


OK, so I’m a curious blogger who  looks in on a world I don’t really inhabit, a set of professions I wish to know more about than I do, a realm where I might re-engage.  If I’d made different decisions years ago, I could have been this crewman, almost lost among the steel members of bow and crane at the dock where President Polk will discharge and accept containers with goods worth millions.  I’m guessing he’s a docking pilot, sixth boro crew as opposed to Polk crew.  Might some of Polk crew be asleep as their vessel docks, here at Howland Hook?


I might have come to work the clamshell dredge this morning on this crew boat.  Or I could have been boat crew bringing these dredgers to their job site.  English is strange sometimes:  crew boat just isn’t the same as boat crew.  The tug there is Miss Gill.  More Gill and dredge fotos soon.  Is Gill a day crew only boat?


When Grimaldi Lines Repubblica di Amalfi came through the Narrows the other morning, I first saw a RORO container ship painted the same bright yellow as  . . . a Ferrari or a Fiat.  Well, maybe less glossy.  But I didn’t think of the crew:  how many, what life stories and dramas and talents, what nationalities.  But as the vessel came closer, I noticed the bow


had five guys visible.  They were taking in the sunrise as I was.  (I’m trying to figure out how to upload fotos such that when you click on them, they enlarge, but I don’t have it yet.)  The closest guy wearing a chartreuse life vest had a phone to his ear.  Talking to whom and where, I wondered.  I’d certainly call friends and special friends all over the city just to say I was back in the sixth boro, but could he even get off the ship?


About the same time into the harbor came this beautiful tanker, Orange Wave, carrying my favorite drink fresh from groves in Brazil.  And the Orange Wave crew, what color uniforms do you suppose they wear?


But who is he?  How many trips between Santos and Newark has he made?


Robbins Reef . . . I could be wrong, but I’m guessing what we see here is the entire crew, one man sitting at the wheel.  Correct me if I’m wrong.


And the crewman of Falcon standing beside the railing near the stern of the barge, how many fellow crewmen are on the tug?


As Miriam Moran with white protective sheet over the rubber pudding  trailed a cruise ship into port last weekend, a crewman looked upriver maybe at the stern of the cruise ship, resting on the warm H-bitt.


This is one of my favorites and I posted a different shot in the series a few days ago:  one crewman of Gramma Lee T Moran working out on a rowing machine while hundreds of people on the cruise ship look on.  Does he realize he appears to be such a spectacle.  Of course, you say, those folks were looking at Manhattan, not the crewman, and I know that.


My point:  crew is crew.  They’re not passengers, family, friends, staff, associates, castmates, colleagues, teammates, partners . . . I could go on.  Crew.  They’re crew.

If I were crew, there’d be gains and losses.  I’d know some of the answers to questions like those raised, but I wouldn’t see myself or my vessel in its entirety the way I can now.  On the other hand, I’d see the world from it, see the insides.  Gain some, lose some.  Makes it hard.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp since July 1, 2009.

I know I skipped “C,” but my editor lets me do anything I want . . . like rearrange alphabetical in order.  For the record, I have already gone to “C”  (pun intended) and will return but feel excited today to do “D” first.  Thanks to all for your comments/corrections/clarifications . . . I responded in a megacomment to the left.

Question answered at the end of this post:  how many National Parks find themselves in NYC and how much area do they cover?

“D”is for details.  I’d soon atrophy and die if I were sensorily-deprived and unable to seek details.  Like the canoe on Justine‘s boat . . . er . . . canoe deck.  Guess the manufacturer?

aaaad1 Coleman!  I imagine my little car underneath it, and how much of the canoe would extend forward and back of the cabin roof.  Check out a canoe post sent along recently by Kennebeck here.  I’m eager for some canoeing this summer.  Kennebeck own site here echoes Peter’s invite to Dickmas;  only a little over three weeks remain til Dickmas.  Are you ready??


Yesterday’s post had full frontal on Stolt Capability;  up above the tank is their Yokohama in the case  . . .  there’s interest in a tubing party at sea.  If you haven’t already, check out Bowsprite’s reflections of prototypes for Yokohamas.  On those prototypes,  wonder how this is dealt with in Taiji.


Another look at the bulb of Ever Radiant;  ….and I always thought these fairly common marks resulted from props in the wrong place.


I just happened to catch Ever Radiant coming into the sixth boro 18 hours before;  based on the percentage of bulb exposed in each, I’d wager she left lighter than she was upon arrival.


Falcon . .  always that low in the water . .  full of fuel?


Exercise equipment  . . . or auxilliary power?


Cruise ships . . . crews think . . . glad there’s no brightwork . . . or brass to polish or




Is it just me  not noticing this type  of detail before . . . looking like human curves or the pouch of a lady slipper?  Any guess where it’s located?


It’s the hawse of barge Charleston.


Finally, here’s a shore detail I’ve long wondered about:  east bank of the Hudson just north on New Hamburg is the Tilcon Quarry at Clinton Point . . . it looks like a stupa or temple.  Anyone know more about it.


Two more details:  I’ve shouted out Mitch’s “Newtown Pentacle” blog recently; let me do it again with his post about a seaplane landing on Newtown Creek.  That’s right . . . that Newtown Creek.  Maybe some fisherman decided to do the NYC Creek this year rather than the Allagash.  I wrote about a similarly delightful landing on the East River a spell back.

Last but certainly not least:  The answer is 10 Parks and 27,000 acres.  In these days of ubiquitous iPods, National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy has put together an interesting partnership between the National Park Service and other entities to create downloadable podcasts/maps to guide your way around NYC.  Check out their boat tours and walking tours here.

Also, if you VOTE in NYC, here’s a public service announcement from the “mayor of Coney Island, the man behind the mermaid parade.”

One more from Bernie:  turtles close runway at JFK!!

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to Jason for contributing info to this post.

Unrelated:  See a new blog on my blogroll:  the Newtown Pentacle; Newtown, as in the Creek.  Also, another swimming post from Capt JP on swimming with urchins.  Oh, the stories I could tell about my close encounters with fire coral in the Red Sea.  Leave it to Frogma (I added this late the other day) to tell a pleasant tale about the swimming with parrotfish and their friends.

All fotos but the one directly below were taken yesterday, but what you see below is what John J. Harvey, ex-Engine 57, Engine 86, and Marine 2, does:  in its prime, it pumped up to 18,000 gallons per minute.  And  now, the vessel and crew get invited from near and far to pump these prodigious amounts of water;  I’ll call it the wet equivalent of fireworks . . . waterworks!!

Yesterday, thanks the the Harvey crew and Bernie & friends,  I traveled Harvey the 6.5 hours to Poughkeepsie, queen of the Hudson.


Seven a.m. sharp departure was delayed by sizeable traffic in the middle of the channel (just forward of Bel Espoir 2) , but


other traffic–Comet southbound and Patapsco north–kept to the Jersey side.


At the Passenger Terminal, Taurus and Caribbean Sea stand by with a bunker barge for the sizeable traffic, shown earlier,  delivering a morning load of travellers.


Lucy Reinauer waits at anchor with RTC 83,  as Patapsco trails us, pushing fuel northbound.


Local traffic moves south with any serviceable conveyance.


Off the Palisades across from the Yonkers sugar mill,  Falcon waits.  Note that two Falcons at least inhabit the sixth boro, one is K-Sea and the other is green.  Anyone know who operates this Falcon and Socrates and where the sugar comes from?


Just north of Tappan Zee we encounter Glen Cove, pushing stone.


Patrolman Walburger Launch No. 5 greets us in that same stretch of the river.


Harvey purrs and rides very steady in minor river chop, here passing Newburgh.


Poughkeepsie is almost in view.


The captain explains the difference between the larger and smaller diameter wheels (the smaller serves as a switch to trigger the larger).


Deck crew demonstrate their impressive  line toss skill.


With only a short break before Harvey is called to perform, some crew (Carl, Huntley [captain], and Lucy) kicks back.


I wished I could have stayed but .  .


before the water fest began, many of us took the train back to Grand Central.

Waterworks, fireworks, or just plain working, Happy Independence Day.  John Adams, one of the luminaries of this day 233 years ago, suggests the following celebratory events:   “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”  Harvey, a bell boat, brings pomp, show, water guns aka monitors, puts out bonfires, and entertains during illuminations.  I think Adams would come aboard with enthusiasm.

As you recall in enjoyment your 4 July BBQs, consider Henry Hudson’s grub of a then-insignificant-date, 4 July 1607, Gregorian calendar, bacalao, hard tack, and genever after watch.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

I took all but the last two fotos here between 1230 and 230 today at Pier 66, where Elizabeth and I met Rick of Old Salt for lunch.  Good company, tasty grub, wild weather, diverse traffic describe the lunch;  see if you agree.

First Robbins Reef passed southbound,  some swells washing the stem bitt.


Spartan Service pushed oil upriver.  I’ve never previously seen SpartanWeehawken cliffs make up the horizon.


Bandersnatch (a sailboat converted to a powerboat?)  of Charleston heads south, a great Lewis Carrollian name for a snarky hybrid.


Lunch over, we were packed up and ready to head out when the skies opened, water washing off the roof atop us like snow past Bounty‘s bountiful figurehead, whose garments then clung to her body.  The bowsprit just beyond Bounty belongs to Bel Espoir 2, of Brest.


Rain reduced visibility to less than a mile at this point.  Notice here as Adirondack powers upriver, the tower at the Hoboken Terminal is barely visible; the menacing point… resembling thunderbolt, is Bounty‘s martingale.  And the crew and passengers huddled in the yellow slickers give the impression of all members of the same religious order, reminiscent of one of my favorite all-time Bowsprite drawings here.  Rain then


tapered off as Dutch ketch Saeftinge, Falcon, , plowed northward.  Imitating Hudson?   Geer is a tiny village less than 20 miles south of Amsterdam.


Falcon moved a light barge on the hip,  southward past the Lincoln Tunnel vent.


Speaking of Bowsprite, here’s a tribute foto, with two visitors–Bel Espoir 2 and Bounty–as backup.  Strangely, I was seeing shadow and still covering my camera from rain as I took this.


By the time Erie Service headed past, the air felt positively (negatively?) tropical.


The next two fotos were taken yesterday.  As the western sky over North Hoboken reddened, I couldn’t resist hauling out my camera.


Cameras are vision-aids for me.  The more I looked, the more what I saw on the French three-masted schooner intrigued me.  Note the “collage” through the glass on the aft end of the cabin.  Would this combination EVER appear on an American vessel?


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, I just got an email from Rick in which he swears he saw an old man in a strange large vessel made of gopher wood and pitch and carrying a lot of animals, pairs male and female,  as he ferried over the Hudson to Hoboken.  I watched what Rick drank at lunch, and he consumed in moderation, so . . .  draw your own conclusions here.

Let’s hope you don’t conclude this blog has gone to the dogs . . .  first wenches and now this.  But doghouse is the word I hear most often in reference to the aft-facing cabin that offers good visibility of the winch and tow  as well as protection from weather and parted wire.   Notice the variety of styles, sizes, and locations of these cabins.   Barney Turecamo has the triple-pane model mounted center, whereas


Comet‘s is starboard with a roof-mounted spotlight, all of which describes


Gulf Dawn‘s, which also features an AC.


I’m not sure what the small dome on Wilcomico‘s roof is, but it adds steel lattice glass protection.  And notice its portside orientation, unlike all the previous examples.


Falcon‘s doghouse is more capacious than the upper wheelhouse.


To follow on Nathan Stewart‘s winch fotos from yesterday, notice the controls, a


full set of them plus ability to monitor two channels at least on the VHF.


Finally, for now, Nanticoke, one of Vane Brothers Patapsco-class tugs, as is Wilcomico, uses the doghouse as a location to display the IMO number.  Here’s gCaptain’s take on IMO’s.


More on this later . . . since many “tug” boats do not have winches, and not all that have winches have doghouses.  Is there a rival term to “doghouse,” since Nanticoke and sister vessels are powered by Caterpillar 3516s . . . Cats . . . it could become complicated.

One week until the equinox!  And if you missed my late addition to yesterday’s post, Henry’s posted from Amsterdam;  check out his eagerness to get back to sea here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

In August 2007, while reading about K-Sea history, I wrote a post called “… Ancestry” that featured Davis, Falcon, Taurus, and Lincoln.  In response to an email a few days ago, here are some recent shots of three of the four.  Here’s Davis Sea with barge Oyster Bay on the AK as the setting sun illuminates the cranes in Bayonne.


Different shot, different November day with Davis light.


Here’s Falcon one early morning in late September.


And this of Falcon frothing past Lee T. Moran and


from July when


Falcon squeaked past a 6400-car carrier with a great name (speaks German).


Taurus I’ve seen but not foto’d since the June solstice.  You may recall Taurus dancing with Mary A. Whalen.  Here are two fotos not previously used.


You might recall how it pirouetted into a narrow space with the Portside ambassador on its hip.  If not, check out “A Local Shift,” exactly a half year ago.


Lincoln?  Must be off on deepwater or stealth assignment, as  I haven’t spotted it in a long time.  Anyone tell of Lincoln‘s range these days?

Photos, WVD.

These fotos document an interval of two hours–albeit edited–along KVK last Friday.  Davis Sea westbound,


Brendan Turecamo eastbound past a Bouchard and a Reinauer in the background,


Taurus westbound,


Falcon eastbound,


Marie J. Turecamo (farther) and Turecamo Girls westbound,


Megan McAllister westbound with Labrador Sea in distance.


What a revitalizing way to spend a few hours at week’s end, recuperating from the fury of a work week.  If I could bottle that energy and sell it, I could luxuriate as CEO of a snake oil company!  All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Note:  Type “random tugs” into the search window to see all the previous tugs randomly.  Quotes aren’t needed.

You’ve seen this scene before: two people standing about 10 feet apart. In this case, the guy in the orange jumpsuit holds a box pointed at him in the white, who hopes he’s radiating clear body language for folks not depicted, not present here. Where is the “here” here though?

More guys in orange . . . detainees?

If so, the wall or bulwarks supporting them extends high enough that a jump to safety does not seem a prudent course.

Maybe some details seem familiar, but what is the whole? Who couldn’t look at that wall and imagine a design to break it up? Why not use it for product placement?

Maybe you figured it out right away. So can you guess how many automobiles this “pure” car carrier contains?

Last chance to guess . . .

Try 6,400. See more here. While you’re there, check out the remolcadore named reinod 9 too.

Back to the 6,400 cars. If each car runs $50k, that’s more zeros than I want to compute.

And back to the orange jumpsuits, that’s not what sailors used to wear. Since when has this orange color invaded ships? Is there a hidden message here?

Photos, WVD.

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September 2021