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Credit for this foto connundrum goes to Joel Milton, whose site Towmasters has long been on my blogroll.  Same for the next two.  I notice the same fotos appear on gCaptain.  Thanks to Joel, the sun and UASC Shwaikh for lining up and

channeling something!  I’m stunned.

As large as the Staten Island ferry is, it looks tiny beside Shwaikh, which itself would  seem small beside the likes of Emma Maersk.  These fotos illustrate collaboration, one of the joys of this blog;  Joel passed these shots in the sixth boro onto to me, and I share them.

A gull swooped in  while I lined up this shot of Marie J. Turecamo (ex-Traveller, 1968).  I like what serendipity added as  Marie J. headed eastbound for

following Laura K. on its next assignment, passing MSC Turchia, an interesting name . . . the Italian spelling for Turkey, which

seems just right somehow, three days before Black Friday.  That’s Margaret Moran (1979) assisting.

To paraphrase a saying formerly overused, this is the last post in this run;  in a few days I’ll write the first post in the rest of the life of this blog.

Last three fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Happy Thanksgiving all.  And thanks for reading the blog.

After thought completely related:  As I drove  away from the KVK yesterday, I hit a traffic jam right in front of the municipal buildings & courthouses on Richmond Terrace:  crowds were carrying frozen turkeys away from an open trailer parked there.  And this made me want to mention my all-time favorite turkey experience:  garbage can turkey.  Check it out here.

Thanks to Joel Milton for this foto.  Romer Shoal Light dwarfed by the sky?  If so, here’s some info on origin of name, which I wanted to spell “roamer,” which would make it an especially treacherous shoal and ingenuous light.   Zeebart recently sent this lighthouse link.


This foto illustrates the profound attraction big water exerts:  openness, uncluttered vistas, an antidote to hustlebustle.  Melville nails it in Moby Dick Chapter 1 paragraph 3 especially with the lines starting . .

” What do you see?- Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster- tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone?”

Other sights to behold may be haunting, like this one from Punta Arenas, shared by Jesse, who took the foto as he neared the southern end of his many-thousand-mile motorcycle journey from New York to Tierra del Fuego and as documented in this compelling blog southbound650.


Above unidentified square-rigger may have launched from the same yard, same year–124 years ago– as Wavertree, below, benefiting from several decades of volunteer work in lower Manhattan. Notice the location of the two hawses on both vessels.  Two guys on the bowsprit on next two fotos below are jerseycity frankie and … tugster, taken by Maggie.


Bowsprit painters show scale and size of the headrig.


See  Tierra del Fuego on the distant horizon.  In foreground, the decrepit handiwork of the industrial past gets re-purposed as docking


extraordinary, profoundly unique.


Might she of the intriguing name Wye River (unless you know the Chesapeake watershed) be afloat 124 years hence (2133 AD or CE)?  Re-purposed?


There’s something about spring’s unstoppable approach out of the frozen grasp of winter that raises questions about past and future.

Good time for me to write and read blogs, devour good books, and seek out the challenging in other print.  Make lists.  Listen to haunting music.  Gather with kindred spirits.

Good book:  The River Why.  Here’s a summary.

Challenging article:  Harley enthusiasts in Havana, Cuba,  transcending politics. I’ve tried to weave this into the blog almost two months now.  It’s the transcending ideology that appeals to me.

Haunting music:  Gordon Lightfoot “Wherefore and Why.”  Lyrics.  Youtube cover.

Gathering:  I added some links since posting this yesterday.  Eager for the next waterbloggergathering.

The down side if your occupation relates to transportation, medical, law enforcement, military, infrastructure, hospitality, agriculture . . .  might be that you work on holidays.  I say might because as a farm kid,  I enjoyed having to work those days;  in fact, I believed my father many years ago when I asked why I had to work on Labor Day and he responded . . . “Labor is what you do on Labor Day.  Everybody else has it wrong.”

The up side if you work in some of these fields is to see wonders like those below.  What’s it?


I’m deeply thankful to Joel Milton for sending these pictures.  I’ll let Joel’s own words explain:  “These were taken in the Atlantic Ocean off the Jersey shore, about 50 miles south of NYC, near Barnegat while we were towing an empty oil barge back to Philadelphia about a week ago. The icy-blue light in the sea foam is a type of bioluminescence that isn’t all that common here. Usually it’s the green sparky kind. It completely surrounded the hull below the waterline, and was most pronounced in the bow wave and the wake behind us. When I turned off all the deck lights we were positively glowing and these shots don’t even come close to seeing the real thing for yourself. (Above) see the lights of the City and the navigation lights of the barge behind us, and the brighter stars in the sky. A beautiful night.”


Joel continues: “I’ve been working and playing on, in and under the water since I was a little kid, and I still never get tired of this stuff…”  Neither do I.  Nor do some kids who saw these pics.  And I hope neither do you.


Although I’m not inclined to dogmas, my religious upbringing leads me to respond to these pics by dredging up the words of the ancient poet in Psalm 107: “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;  they see the works of the Lord and his wonders of the deep. . . .”    Best wishes for the holidays, and may all our eyes be open to all the wonders.

Thanks to Joel and all my other friends who have sent fotos, comments, explanations, encouragement, corrections, etc    this past year. Thanks for reading the blog.  Feed your wonder and be safe.

Two “unrelateds:”   Check out the new blog on the left . . . Underthenorthernstar. And I caught and channeled in another transmission from crazy Henry you might want to check out; thanks from Bowsprite and me for reading that.

Many thanks to Joel Milton for this undated, “coloriferous” image of –well–  “Marilyn out of the frying pan and into the [North] River.”  Might she of the yellow locks feel attracted by the radiance of the lightship?


A year younger than four score, Frying Pan repelled mariners from shoals at the mouth of the Cape Fear River for a score-and-a-half years before making its way northward.  The past two decades ‘Pan has spent along the Hudson lighting up the night in new ways.  Her storied career–including almost three years underwater–is detailed in links here, including one by the ubiquitous Fred of tug44.


Parties and gatherings have drawn others to Frying Pan, and since tugster is looking for a winter  “water aficionado” groupement, I’d love to hear accounts of Frying Pan as such a venue.  Might “frying” happen to ‘Pan in the below decks?  Email me if you have off-the-record remarks.  Might the fireboat raft up in case these gatherings get too hot?  Foto below thanks to Bowsprite.


Unrelated:  Read how Henry’s been obsessing again here about his voyages twenty score years past.

Also unrelated:  Read this account of an Egyptian Captain Mahmoud Hammad detained for over three weeks this year  by Somali pirates til ransom was paid.

Finally, Brian has updated his site with bridges over the Harlem River.  Great links.

I adopted the theme “three score plus” for this week.  Anything still afloat in the harbor 60 years or older, any vessel launched prior 1948 or earlier is fair game.  Please send along your candidates . .  I may have an incomplete list. What vessels of this vintage work in other ports?    John B. Caddell and Mary A. Whalen fit the “three score plus” criterion.  And so does the older, larger sister, Coral Queen.  Spot it below pulling past an annoyingly slow (in the KVK) container vessel, Maersk Donegal, and preparing to


streak past like a high-performance Stutz Bearcat circa 1920 like


Coral Queen, and still awork after four score and eight years!!


Coral Queen has shed several other identities since it came off the ways at Bethlehem SB, Corp. in Elizabethport, NJ in 1920 as Buffalo Socony.  Among them, Buffalo, Queens Bay, and Leona L., always 188 ‘ loa.  Anyone have fotos of this vessel with the above names?

Thanks to Joel Milton for this shot of Coral Queen under Pulaski Bridge in Newtown Creek.  More of Joel’s fotos soon.


Another “three score plus” vessel in the harbor in tomorrow’s post.

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October 2022