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Old American tugs adorn other ports, and vessels that began life far away sometimes adapt to places like or near the sixth boro.  This is true of the vessel below, fotos of which come from Matt of Soundbounder.  Notice in small print the port of registry.

Does Mon Lei really mean 10,000 miles, and does that mean a literal distance of that length or … just so far that it feels like infinity?  Does anyone recall seeing the red junk in New York harbor or farther up the Hudson?   Does this foto show the same vessel, and if so, where was this foto taken?  I believe it was built near Hong Kong just before World War 2, as there seems some indication it’s much older than that.

So, clearly I am intrigued and would love to see this vessel in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Andrew writes:  “Mon Lei for many years was tied up first on the East River at the 23 st boat basin and then I last saw her  on the west side by Intrepid. Years ago I spoke with a 23 st harbor master who stated that Mon Lei was owned by an actor (unnamed) who lived on the boat during the warmer months here in New York.”  Thanks, Andrew.  I’d love to learn more.

Any answers, please get in touch.  If you know the owner, I’d like to talk.

I’d like to use this post to offer some boat rides via Youtube;  my goal here is to use this approach–with some reservations–to get a sense of differing senses of harbor and waterfront, since some conflicting visions of “waterfront sixth boro 2020” are currently being debated.

Hong Kong 50 years ago (3 minutes) and a junk in contemporary Hong Kong (4.5 minutes)

Welcome to the Bosphorus (6.5 minutes)

Yokohama (4 mnutes)

Rotterdam (3.5 minutes) I didn’t care for the music.

Shanghai (almost 2 minutes)

Singapore (4 minutes)  From what I can see here, Singapore is my favorite solution to openness of the waterfront; at least in SOME locations, it’s be great to have the stairsteps right to the water, with no lawsuits allowed if inadvertent splash happens.  As for swimmingsuits, they are allowed but not required.

Sydney (25 seconds)

Victoria (10 minutes)

An old tugster post here showing some of waterfront Bangkok.  Remote waterfront homes slideshow here.

Bathing in the Ganges here.

Otherwise, all fotos here from Matt at Soundbounder.

Unrelated to this post, but take 2.5 minutes and enjoy this audio slideshow for an article in the 4/19 New Yorker magazine, a story of a family towing life written by Burkhard Bilger.

For an earlier post on the stone trade almost three years ago, click here.  All today’s fotos come from Jed.  Trident (ex-Delta Trident, Delta Eagle, and Libra built in 1982)  is a new boat in the boro, I believe.  I’m guessing she’s currently a sibling of Eastern Dawn (ex-Delta Mule).

Crushed rock . . . what building project could proceed with it?  A major quarry is located upriver in Clinton Point;  see the last foto here.

Buchanan 12 seems to be dedicated to the

stone trade.

Imagine if all this crushed rock moved exclusively by truck.  Horrors!

All fotos … thanks to Jed.

Unrelated but tall ship opportunity:  PortSide NewYork FreeSail Clipper City 4-12-2010

I first saw Rae before she was Rae, when she was red and called Miss Bonnie.  Scroll through here.

Rae is approaching 60 years, two years shy of it.  And she’s not a behemoth:    46′ x 15′ x 5 with (at one time at least) 450 hp.  Rae hails originally from Texas, not far from the Louisiana border.

In the confines of at the mouth of Gowanus Canal, Rae might be the perfect tool. Some jobs call for dental picks and others for crowbars.

Whoa!!! And then sometimes small can do impressive work moving crushed rock!  And does it only look like Loujaine, the cement ship is assist vessel?  For other fotos on that ship, see here.

All fotos thanks to Jed, for whose work I am grateful.

This recalls the summer of 2005, though, when a smaller tugboat–Rachel Marie at 43′ x 16′ x 5′ — towed an artificial continent (based on drawings by Robert Smithson) round and round the sixth boro.  See tugster fotos here.  Has anyone seen Rachel Marie recently?

As to artificial continents, someone’s new vision for Governors Island-makeover includes hills and according to this article, canyons with vistas.

Unrelated:  Here’s a 2.5 minute audio slideshow for an article in the 4/19 New Yorker magazine, a story of a family towing life written by Burkhard Bilger.

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April 2021