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This is my Janus post . . . which I’ll start with a photo I took in January 2007 of an intriguing set of sculptures, since licensed to Trinity Church in Manhattan.

Since I’ve tons to do today, comment will be minimal.  The photo below I took near the KVK salt pile on January 14, 2016.  Eagle Ford, to the right, has since been scrapped in Pakistan.

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The history of Alnair, photo taken in Havana harbor on February 4, 2016, is still untraced.  It looks like an ex-USN tug.  Click here for more Cuban photos.

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This photo of JRT Moran and Orange Sun I took on March 12.

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This photo of Hudson was taken in Maassluis, very near where my father grew up,  on April 4. Many more Maassluis photos can be found here.

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Sandmaster I photographed here on May 6.  since then, she’s moved to Roatan, I’m told, and I’d love to go there and see how she’s doing.  Maybe I can learn some Garifuna while I’m there.

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June 1, I took this, with Robert E. McAllister and an invisible Ellen escorting Maersk Idaho out the door.

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July 14, I saw GL tug Nebraska yank bulkier Isolda with 56,000 tons of corn through a narrow opening and out the Maumee.

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August 23 I caught Atlantic Sail outbound past a nearly completed Wavertree.  And come to think of it, this is a perfect Janus photo.

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September 9 at the old port in Montreal I caught Svitzer Montreal tied up and waiting for the next job.

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October 18, I caught Atlanticborg and Algoma Enterprise down bound between Cape Vincent and Clayton NY.

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November 4, while waiting for another tow, I caught Sarah Ann switching out scrap scows in the Gowanus.

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And I’ll end this retrospective Janus post with a mystery shot, which I hope to tell you more about in 2017.  All I’ll say is that I took it yesterday and can identify only some of what is depicted. Anyone add something about this photo?

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I feel blessed with another year of life, energy, gallivants, and challenges.  Thank you for reading and writing me.  Special thanks to you all who sent USPS cards !  I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2017.   Here’s what Spock would say and where he got it.

Here was my “last hours” post from 2015.  And here from the year before with some vessels sailing away forever.   And here showing what I painted in the last hours of 2013.  And one more with origins “oud jaardag” stuff from the finale of 2011.

Here’s an article published by the USCG on this profession. And here’s my article/photos from the October 2016 issue of Professional Mariner on Lakes Pilots Association, District 2.  The photos in this post are outtakes from that article.

Below the captain of Huron Belle maneuvers into position to switch a District 2 pilot for a District 3 pilot on an upbound ship at the south end of Lake Huron.

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Here Great Lakes tugs Mississippi and

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Nebraska finesse a ship to negotiate a narrow bridge span on the Maumee River, as guided

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by a Lakes District pilot.  Imagine calling the commands to ship’s helm and tugs on bow and stern while watching this evolution from the bridge wing  700′ back from where the ship steel could splinter the bridge wood and steel. A seiche here can cause the river to run upstream, and that bridge, which sees a fair amount of water traffic, is a midwest version of the Portal Bridge.

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Pilots read the water as well as a plethora of tools to keep shipping without incident. Mark Twain said that as a pilot he “mastered the language of the river,”  and that’s still a requirement today.

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And there’s always the transfer of pilots, which represents a significant risk.

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This was a calm day, but in adverse conditions,

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this is a challenge not to be understated.

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Almost all photos here by Will Van Dorp.

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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.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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