You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘mardi gras’ tag.

If they fly the flag, maybe they do the deeds, 

or maybe they had been too busy shrimping to notice what the deckhand ran up the mast.

Maybe they were just both at Journey’s End.

Lizzy B. Moran returned from an assist.

This unnamed trawler–I forgot to look at the transom because I was so distracted by the next traffic–might be doing a local run or could be ending the Great Loop just around the bend.  I just don’t know.


It is that season . .  and Silver Fox is festive.



Ships with memorable names head upstream.

Angus R. Cooper

and Mardi Gras are two of the local assist fleet too. 

All photos, WVD, who’s thinking to find a room down here, but I can’t gallivant back down until I sell the three more calendars I have left.

First, some context, and yes, today is that day.  I celebrate it without claiming to adhere to anything beginning with ashes.  This may be grasping at long shots, but I have not visited a location that celebrates this spring event in a long time.  I know . . . shame on me.  More on that later.

Anyone know the author here?  It’s a fat tome I’ve taken it from  . . . over 1600 pages, all from the king of fat tomes and rich language himself.

“We are off!”   It has not nearly the hook of a “Call me Ishmael.”  The short second paragraph, though, is a line that needs remembering.   As to location, Ravavai is contextualized with reference to Pitcairn, at place today with a grand total population of 50.   I’m not sure what the population was 150+ years ago when this was written.

Still in the first short chapter . . .  now that’s prescient .  . in the second paragraph here, describing the skipper!

By now, I hope you’ve concluded the author here has to be Melville, one of the top five authors of the sea and gallivants thereupon.  Anyone want to fill in the names of the other four?  I have my ideas.  Mardi is one of those fat books very few folks read.  I started last night, and hope to complete it.  You can start it here.

But in the spirit of mardi gras, here’s another story you may have missed . . . the houseboat Shameless, piloted down the Mississippi by a dying man, Kelly Phillips.  His first mate was Sapphire, recently honored among the float sponsored by the Mystic Krewe of Barkus.

Here’s more on the voyage of Shameless from Wisconsin to Venice LA, and all the great folks along the river who lent a hand.

And if you need some language yourself, click here for a fat Tuesday glossary.


For the misfortune of all us 25 million sixth boro shore dwellers, it’s cool like below.  Here’s what the the river banks like look for us when Mardi Gras gets scheduled.


Tugs and buoys carry glaze like this or


this . . . .


Even local wrecks (that’s two side by side there) have a glaze that mimics the gleaming white paint they once wore . . . .  And one local water guy whose blog I usually read conveys experiences like these.  Hawsepiper, . . . this goes out to you.


At these times it’s good to remember we have our own deferred (defurred?) mardi gras parade when we ditch our winter burqas and enjoy the summer solstice warmth . . .




sometimes even without parasols


in fewer than 125 days from now.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Loosely related, click here for a bulk carrier named Mardi Gras and a whole youtube channel devoted for Asian tugs, jetfoils, fireboats, and other workboats.



So after work today, I went looking for evidence that New Yorkers celebrate mardi gras.    I saw this instead . . .  seal?


Not!   Unless seals these days carry flashlights and trail markers and have a support



vessels like Linda Ann, herself supported by W. O. Decker and Peking.

Here is one of a series of six posts I did five years ago about Peking, which moved across the bay that day.    And half a year back, here‘s a post I did about W. O. Decker and Helen McAllister‘s last waltz.   And Wavertree . . .  I regret that in my dozen years wandering the sixth boro, Wavertree has not ONCE left the dock.  I know some of you must have fotos . . . and good memories of her moves, but   I have none.

BUT . . . click here for a mystery vessel with three masts square-rigged in a foto I was given some years back.  Anyone want to take a stab at identifying it?  The conclusion a few years back is that the foto is “‘shopped,”  although it was done some years ago.


My guess is that someone was inspecting Wavertree‘s wet side.


Later I thought I saw a mermaid . . . but I struck out again.


And for the record, after 1700 hr on the E train I finally saw some mardi gras beads . . . worn by a couple going to a party.  I had to ask.

All fotos today by Will Van Dorp.

OK . . . it’s time to fess up . . .  you may have imagined this a successful WATER blog, but the tugster post with the highest all-time hits was . . .  not a random tugs installment, not a salvage post, not a daily ship, not even a post with a respectably deep water.

No, the all-time most-frequently viewed (out of over 700 posts) bears the title “Equinox” and features a be-misted and ecstatic  parrot and a be-legged dancing mermaid.  Now don’t get me wrong . . . I have a powerful attraction to exuberant parrots and dancers, and this stern view of she with the frizzy hair and large hybiscus blossom attracts powerful attention . . .


but this is a WATER blog.  Truth be telled,  I’m not unhappy.  The parrot rules my roost, and someday I might even meet that mermaid or learn her name or sea.  Meanwhile, in the sixth boro, where the temperatures just don’t reach high upward enough to celebrate as warmer climes might allow this day, enjoy this foto for now. Or go over to Hawsepiper Pirate Paul and see what “very tasteful …pictures” he offers up.   Maybe I’ll put up an “Equinox Redux” post when spring arrives in less than a month.

Odds and ends:  Wednesday what a shot I missed in Staten Island driving southbound on 440 near the Bayonne Bridge approach;  in the northbound lane I spotted five (!) in a row USCG Defenders headed north . . .  on trailers of course.  What a shot .

And finally, indulge me here . . . rap does not provide the soundtrack to my life, but this weekend I stumbled onto the music of a Somali-born Canadian, birth name Kaynaan Warsame singing as K’naan, son of an immigrant who drove a New York City taxi, and scion of Somali poets and singers.  So conjure up the influences coursing through such a person from a soupy geography of anarchy we now associate with piracy, and then give a listen.  This may contain a kernel of truth;  rogues should be recognized wherever they are.  My ire was raised when a pristine lake I love in New Hampshire was once besmirched by a rogue night dumping of drums of chemical byproduct.

Meanwhile . . .  one more foto here. . .  a flip of a coin for parrot or dancer yields . . .


mermaid communications, of course.  Laissez les bon temps roullez.

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June 2022