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April ends with transitions, endings and beginnings, decisive moments.  May 1 is cross-quarter day aka Beltane, and a time for juleps, mead, or mint tea–or rainchecks for same.

And into the midst of all that excitement into my email popped the foto below, thanks to Kaya, who had surfed the Queen‘s wake last fall.   Kaya:  you made my day by sending a foto of the gray and green ships below passing along :  I know that gray one (Georgia S)  AND that green one, but I know the green one more.  To digress, from this angle, doesn’t the Hudson look like a minor water course?


Marlene‘d steamed away from me before,  for other missions and destinations,


after I’d witnessed her sidle up to handlers like a tame animal . . . not tame at all really but one with adequate self-assurance and strength to tolerate for a spell the appearance of being domesticated, the illusion of being led on a tether, giving herself if only for a short time in spite of her immense power relative to the handler.


Marlene Green she calls herself, and she gets around and through some straits.


And if anyone upriver sees Marlene headed back south, let me know ETA the sixth boro.  I’d like to get some good fotos of Marlene powering herself back out to sea.  Here be her sisters.

Of course there’s always the not-so-minor inconvenience of having to report for work the hours I–like most folks–have to.  And of course I’m grateful for my work, but all the passages, transitions, transits–just plain sixth boro traffic– I miss!!  Like BBC Konan a few weeks back.  Yes, the house is way up forward.  I’m endebted to Dan B for catching the shot below of  BBC Konan and sending it along.   See info on the entire BBC fleet here.    It turns out that Marlene gets chartered by BBC sometimes.


Ah, well . . . I know that if I lived along here, I’d never get work done, never have the chance to be decisive because I’d always be scanning for surprises moving in and out of the sixth boro.

Thanks again Kaya and Dan B.  Fotos 2, 3, and 4 by Will Van Dorp.

OK, so I couldn’t get close enough fast enough, but the gray vessel evaporating into the fog at the Narrows is none other than Bob Hope aka T-AKR-300 delivered to the US Navy just over a decade ago by Avondale Industries.  I never knew this until just now, but the vessel’s namesake was born in the UK and entered the US through the Narrows and Ellis Island!


Just past Ellis Island, bulker Georgia S hauls in Canadian gypsum to be transformed into wallboard aka sheetrock, putting her in the same trade as A. V. Kastner.  What is it about gypsum bulker that causes them to have the peculiar stern design?


What I intially thought was a dollar sign (or possibly “zero dollars”)  is actually the monogram of the modern bulk carrier designer, Ole Skaarup.


Last week, Singapore Star anchored just north of the Narrows not far from


where Patriot Service lightered off Norient Solar, a handysize vessel from Norient Product Pool.

aarsnspsMeanwhile,  if you see something and I don’t, don’t say something; just snap a foto, send it my way, and I’d be happy to credit you with coin of the realm . . . fame and fortune in the blogshed.

Unrelated:  Many thanks to Justin who sent along this link to the entire 36-minute Irving Johnson video of “Peking Round the Horn” here.

Thank God for the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips and many kudos to the crews of many US Navy vessels for doing it.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Troy Lock stops any vessel longer than 300 feet and wider than 43 feet. It is 134 nautical miles back to the Battery, mostly south to the heart of New York harbor. Notice the signal light positioned in front of the lock house is giving a red light.  From Troy, let’s head southward.
Eight miles to the south it’s the Port of Albany, a tidal port that accommodates ships up to 750 feet long, 110 wide, and drawing 32.


The bulk carrier below, some 40 miles south of Albany is outbound, approaching the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. It’s still another 80 miles to Manhattan.

Poughkeepsie, West Point, Yonkers, and everything in between we’ll have time to see later. Now we push outbound.


Jersey City to starboard and the Battery to port, a DEP sludge tanker overtaking us to starboard, we move toward the Narrows, another two plus miles on.


We head to port, pass the stern of the incoming container ship and follow the Ambrose Channel out.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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