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This gateway to the sixth boro dazzles at dawn, with out traffic or with.


Know this ship?  You saw this funnel before in a foggy October post as well as in a sunny September post in the past twelve months.


Here are the specs for the 12-year-old vessel going under the almost 50-year-old bridge.



In the distance, that’s the Newark Bay Bridge, located  north of Ports Elizabeth and Newark.


Inbound . . .


outbound, and


closely monitored.



All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who finally watched Saturday Night Fever for the first time, because of the bridges scenes.  It turned out to be a much better movie than this non-discoing blogger ever imagined.  See it if you haven’t, for a throwback to Bay Ridge (mostly)  back in 1977 . . . which started with a president named Ford , new computers were Commodore PETs and Apple IIs, and the Concorde started to fly to NYC.

Fotos here were taken last Friday, much colder than today.

Conflicting jurisdictions?  It felt so cold along the water the other day that I totally understand a chase for no other reason than . . .  to speed up blood flow and heat, not that I’m saying this is happening here.  By the way, in blue, it’s Launch #4, the 55′ 1994-launched Kenny Hansen.  In yellow, it’s the 1980 Arkansas-built 85′ Gelberman, named for Jack Gelberman, who was chief of operations of NYC-area USACE  until 1973.

I move from “office” to “office” too, simulating chase maybe, staying warm.  And I track down Zachery Reinauer and the great Herbert P Brake.

A quick dash further east, I catch Sassafras with DoubleSkin 36 in push gear and Rhea I. Bouchard light, passing on the north side of the KVK,  Bow Architect and LaFarge barge Adelaide.

Still not quite out of breath, I spot Cape Cod spritzing past Theo T.

Moving again . . . jogging to keep warm . . . I espy (l. to r.) the bow of Bow Architect, a light Norwegian Sea, an approaching Conrad S, and (possibly) Davis Sea.

Three things about Conrad S give me pause for reflection:  the last name initial, the seriously tubular bow deck (not sure that’s the technical term), and the containerized tanks belonging to R. M. I. Food Logistics.  Here’s what I found.    So . . . alcohol, oils, syrups . . .. ?

It seems my day for single-letter last names, as in Gunes K, which

enjoys a bridge with big glass for perspicacious watch-keepers.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who really needs to rest in the shade of a palm tree for awhile listening to sweet music and honeyed conversation.

Unrelated:  For a look at shellfishing and much more happening around Nantucket, check out Martie’s blog:

A pizza box and some bags . . . you know of course what’s happening here. It happens at my job, and it happens when the police or fire department stop across the street from my building: people on the job get hungry and call in an order for food, delivery style. Only here the work site happens to be the sixth boro. The workers involved could push cargo or–as here– keep the peace and maintain safety and security.

Since I’ve not been on a harbor launch, I can’t vouch for their food prep facilities.

Anyhow, once grub’s aboard, I imagine that once you eat, it’s easier to stay on task.

Much as some folk working on the sixth boro might like to cook, it would be good to have places for take out to be delivered while crews stand by awaiting assignment.

Take the delivered pizza, feel less disconnected, and attend to the job at hand. Bon appetit.

That’s the idea: docking stations, pick up a variety of good healthy food, and go back to work. Do what you can’t when you’re at sea.

Hmmm . . . New York’s fastest (delivery) matters too.

Other places have it:  Netherlands have parlevinker boats–grocery stores on the water.  All I found was a Dutch language site here;  the fotos tell part of the story.

Photos, WvD.

Back in the late 1980s a friend and I drove northeast from the “top” of New Hampshire to get away and enjoy seeing the magic of Quebec. Following the southernish bank of the St. Lawrence on Route #132, we stumbled onto a maritime museum whose marquee then was a superfast experimental Candian hydrofoil, the FHE400 Bras d’Or. You must check out that link at least.

My reaction to the hydrofoil may have been similar to what the crew of the sailboat below left felt when something rushed by yesterday. I know it’s here with Fleet Week, I saw one of these here a few years back, it probably lives in the bowels of Kearsarge . . . but what is it? How fast does it move? Is it an MK V.1? Oh, that’s the Liberty Science Center in the background.

More speed–while heading toward Haverstraw Bay later yesterday this speedride passed us. Why would a Seadog boat–living in Chicago and Maryland–be headed up the Hudson?

And finally more speed, it tops 57 mph and has some formidable equipment. I’d never seen it til last week and only barely did then. Zoom. Oh, those are radiation sensors embedded into the windshield.

The blue hulls of this speedy catamaran may appear foamy white as it shuttles between Sandy Hook and Manhattan.

And the crew in this blue hull is kindly referred to as “harbor charlie” by folk I know. This label comes with utmost respect. Thanks to Gabe, I recently located this fabulous website devoted to all the history and lore of NYPD’s harbor unit. For example, in what year did the harbor unit retire its last steam-powered vessel? When was the harbor unit founded and for what mission? Answers below, but  enjoy the “Bent Wheel” website, “wheel” as in prop.

Answers: The last steamer retired in 1926. The unit was created in 1858 to combat harbor pirates!  Much more info and foto essays in the Bent Wheel site.

Photos, WVD.

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October 2021