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You’ve seen “turning 70” and other rotations, get ready for this . . . it’s a windy day on Newark Bay as

Margaret has forward starboard line and

Emma dashes to the point where a turn of greater than 90 degrees needs to be negotiated to rotate into the


The calculations of forces resisting and favoring this turn go way beyond my mere high school physics, and my high school physics class was more than 40 years ago.

I’m guessing what’s happening was accounted for by Newton and I’d enjoy hearing a description of forces like resistance caused by hull and keel design, ideal speed for flow across the rudder, and coordinated push of the two tugs deployed such that 5100 hp is near stern and 3000 hp opposite but toward the bow;  and taking into account the current/tide and wind.

But ultimately, I suppose the principles are the same as turns a canadagosling.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Yesterday’s post featured a dredge that vacuums diamonds off the seabed.  I’d thought this remained mostly still the stuff of Jules Verne, but here’s a fairly recent assessment from the Economist, a half-decade-old article from Der Spiegel, and a southern African treasure trove of several sorts.  Dredging in the sixth boro allows trade worth billions to proceed in orderly fashion and without  . . . groundings.  Here MSC Emma heads southbound out of Newark Bay and toward the Bayonne Bridge, KVK, and …  the Atlantic.  Notice the tallest building in NYC (as of today) about seven miles away in distant Manhattan across the peninsula of Bayonne.

For outatowners, check out the lower left of the AIS screen capture below; doubleclick enlarges.  See Elizabethport?  Move toward the right along the bottom . . . see Kraken?  The foto above was taken roughly where Maurania III appears.   Now move across Bayonne toward the upper right and you’ll see lower Manhattan, where 1WTC is located.  The sinuous body of water along the lower center of the image is the KVK, the west end of which is crossed by the Bayonne Bridge, which you’ve seen at the top of this blog since post #1.

Below is the backhoe dredge Capt. A. J. Fournier, represented by the lowermost left magenta diamond.  Elizabethport’s St. Patrick’s Church is in the background between Capt AJ’s spuds, which appear of different heights because one is implanted in a deeper portion of the channel than its mate.

Notice the red clay,

overflowing buckets of it, 105% full

buckets of it.  On the south side of the gantry cranes at Port Elizabeth near the Horizon Lines vessel, another

dredge is working.  Foto taken from F. J. Belesimo showing self-dumping scow looking west and

east, again toward Manhattan.

Finally, here crew inspects the swivel motors inside the cabin of F. J. Belesimo.  Notice the diameter of drums that control the clamshell bucket.

Again, many thanks to Frank Belesimo for this tour of Cashman’s  Newark Bay/Arthur Kill project.    Any errors are my own.

And all this dredging relates to all the digging down in Panama.

Unrelated:  Note the new button . . . upper left.  Tug Pegasus (1907) and Waterfront Museum Barge aka Lehigh Valley 79 (1914)  have teamed up in a grant application for $$ for preservation work each vessel needs.  As a component of the decision-making about who gets the $$, Partners in Preservation have a “socialmedia-meter” running from now until May 21.  To help Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 register high on this “meter,” you can do two things from wherever on the planet you may be:  1)  befriend them on Facebook and get dozens of your friends to befriend them as well, and 2)   vote DAILY here.    DAILY!  Seems like a crazy way to run an election, but  . . . that’s social media and in this case, the cause is worthy.

Here’s the Facebook link.   For some background on Pegasus and its captain Pam Hepburn, watch this great video from almost 20 years ago.    And you must watch this. . .  a video made last week in which Pam and David explain their project . . . most compelling.

Ports Elizabeth and Newark handle most of container traffic in the “port” called Greater New York. All tallied, the traffic was estimated to value over $130 billion in 2005. Elizabeth and Newark lie along Newark Bay.


A remarkable aspect of the Port is the juxtaposition of natural and human industrial. Maybe a better way of expressing this is just that nature–in these photos specifically bird life–adapts to transformations in the environment. Newark Bay is not only shipping, the Skyway is not just habitat for cars, and the meadowlands is not wasteland or sports complexes.

At the southern entrance to Newark Bay is Shooter’s Island, and at the east end of Shooter’s is this osprey nest.


Going north from Newark Bay the water diverges into the Passaic and the Hackensack. Spanning both these rivers is the Pulaski Skyway, which  peregrine falcons use as a hunting platform.

This is under the Skyway, looking east. At the east end about halfway between the bridge and the white building, notice the top of the Empire State Building.

Now let’s continue northward on the Hackensack into the meadowlands. Three centuries ago this was a freshwater river covered with a cedar forest.


Because the “impenetrable” forest served as cover for pirates who operated on New York harbor, the government gradually burned down the forest.


The fires were just the first step in the abuse of the meadowlands. Here egrets feed on a tidal flat just northwest of Laurel Hill (aka Snake Hill) looking south toward the I-95 bridge and Kearney.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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December 2022