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All hype . . . like Camping and others . . . just to mention recent hoaxes.

Nevertheless, I made my rounds.  High winds chill to the bone but no doomsday out here . . . Brian Nicholas pushed recycling into the Kills,

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Catherine Miller moved semis beyond the end of the bridge,

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Nomad and Alpine Alaska waited inside the Narrows,

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as did Mount Karavawhich first appeared here almost brand-new over five years ago.

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Padre Island anchored off the BAT, taking time off from vacuuming the channels south of the Narrows.

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Michigan Service headed for the Kills.

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OOCL Kuala Lumpur shifted  containers.

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Given the hype about the apocalypse, I kept eyes wide open for debris and found some, although this is long-planned and controlled demolition.

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USCG made their own rounds.

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Six years ago, I put up this winter solstice post, led off by this fine foto  . . . compliments of Richard Wonder . . .  of an elegant John B. Caddell, recently lifted off a place where floating things should never go.  And speaking of vessels finding themselves in places that should remain off limits, check out this and this article about a tanker bottomed out on the upper Hudson.   “Bakken crude”    . . . that’s a term I’ve not heard before.    If anyone upriver has fotos to share, please get in touch.

Me:  wool cap and hood, three layers under my jacket, silk longjohns, and gloves on except when I took a foto.  Then surprise:  a half dozen kayakers paddling south toward the Narrows:  I hope they have drysuits, winter paddling gloves, wool toques, advanced paddling skills, and local knowledge.  Like me the hiker, the paddlers were out for exercise.  Here the lead kayak passes dredger Padre Island and Torm Emilie.

Kayaking was once my obsession;  scroll through this post to see me in my kayak 15 years ago.   Below more of the group paddles past Tavrichesky Bridge and  Kimberly Turecamo.

When I paddled, I was conservative and cautious, yet I did have a capsize that scared me.  Obviously, I survived, but it made me even my conservative in the challenges I undertook.  I still kayak when I can, but not here.  I dismissed the sixth boro as a paddling area.

I’ll bet you’re looking for a kayak in this foto.

There’s no kayak there, but expecting the unexpected–in no matter what activity–is essential.

From today’s NY Times magazine “Lives” section, here’s a cautionary tale of kayakers who under-estimate the challenge and who get rescued by “good samaritans”  with something themselves to hide.  Makes a good five-minute read.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Related:  For fotos taken from one of those kayaks by Vlad, click here.

Unrelated:  Check out Fremont Tugboat Company blog to see how things look in the Pacific Northwest; I especially like the log barges.

Late December featured the second post on dredging and more; here’s the latest installment.  At first glance, Baltic Dawn seems about to lose its stern to an oversize bucket (or at least get a machine’s version of a butt pinch), but

–no–it was just an illusion.

All progressed well with this project not far from mid-channel in the KVK in front of Atlantic Salt until

MSC Carla approached from the west and Peter F. Gellatly approached from the east.  Whether the sudden plume of black exhaust resulted from reversing the ship’s engine full or not, I

can’t say, but the dredging continued, as did the journeys of container ship and tug with barge on hip.  This MSC Carla (ex-HanJin Long Beach) dates from 1986; a former MSC Carla, built in 1972, cracked in half in 1997.

Meanwhile , trailing suction hopper Padre Island crisscrossed the water in front of Stapleton.  There’s lots going on beneath the dredger, but  very

very little to see from the surface, except hoses running into the water, port, starboard, and possibly trailing from the stern.  I imagine it like a vacuum cleaner transiting a carpet.

I’d love to hear from someone working on Padre Island and willing to explain more of the working below this vessel.

Dredges … mechanical bottom feeders, bringing up dirt, literally.  They’re time traveling too, uncovering silt of many past events.  Be they adventures or misadventures, the act disturbs the memory of the watershed, you could argue;  in exchange, they make way for a modified future.

All fotos taken today by Will Van Dorp.

Here was the first post in this series.  Some months back I wondered what this vessel was;  only by the time it had sailed a thousand miles southward did I realize it was a dredger, B. E. Lindholm.  If only I had gone around the barge here at the east end of Caddell’s . . .  .   But I was in a hurry that morning.   Kenny Wilder took these fantastic dredge fotos for which I am grateful.  All my hopper dredger fotos are too far away to demystify the bottom vacuuming business.   More Lindholm fotos can be found here.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has a hopper dredger in the harbor right now, but my shots are

always too far off.  This trailing suction hopper dredger is called Padre Island.

Here’s a GLDD clamshell submerged and probing the topography of the bottom of the bay,

emerging,

and re-submerged.

Here’s a hydraulic excavator.  The equipment is mammoth.

Deeper, deeper, the task seems herculean and somewhat futile at the same time, except it’s not.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

To see how the huge dredger Leiv Eiriksson is put together, click here.

Dredging . . . besides being essential work of the harbor, it reminds me of how my consciousness works:  each morning, whatever the hour, when I wake up, my perception is affected by whatever topography of my memory is then exposed.  It may be peaks or valleys or even human-created highs and lows.  Stuff resolved or not but accepted last week or last year needs to be dealt with again and again.  Not that I’m a slow learner, just new perspective brings new doubts, refreshed hopes.  Unsettling, pun intended.  I suppose this makes a post about dredging an apt end-of/beginning-of  year post.

Related to dredging is dealing with the nagging stuff that comes up in many of our consciousnesses as relates to getting along with people.  A type of post I’m thinking to add is an advice column.  Being on Georgia backroads now with only a quite blank laptop,  I have no sixth boro fotos to illustrate, but here’s a an example, which–@!%&*#@–sounds so much like Shakespeare that I’ll just modify this synopsis of Midsummer Night’s Dream. . . except this writing happens to be  midwinter.

Sample advice seeker whom I’ll call “December dredgerist”  —-

Dear Tugster, My crewmate Mori (married to a lubber Elfin Princess . . . aka EP) feels profoundly attracted to Tori (a lubber), and Tori feels deeply attracted to  Luis. EP loves Mori but also–being elfin–has strong attractions and liaisons with a plethora of  fairies, sprites, nymphs, mermaids, and sirens, and other magical creatures of the forests, islands, tidepools, hills… all of which is fine with Mori, who understands elfins and their openness about Mori and Tori.  There is neither pressure to change anything nor complications that exist, but (I’m writing for Mori) Mori wants to know if you could dig into your experience to help Mori either attract Tori or deal with her lack of attractedness to him without turning into an ass.  Many thanks… December dredgerist.

Henry Fuseli Titania and Bottom circa 1790
My response:  Dear Decemberist:  Tell Mori that change is the only constant, and since I have no control over the elves, sprites, and other magical creatures that make  stuff happen in your/my lives, just  . . . do what you’re doing–be sweet or salty or neutral according to your custom and … ride out the hurricanes, calms, ebbs, surges.  May your anchor hold tight in spring tides as in lows.  Dress warmly, and always wear a life jacket.

Lame, maybe?  Any  advice for either the advice giver or the advice seeker?  Much appreciated, and  Auspicious 2010!  Enjoy the midwinter’s full moon.  I’m starting to make my way down the Savannah watershed.

PS:  If your advice to me is to call off this column and terminate the personals-dredging, I’ll consider it.

Unrelated:  check out the mini-tug on Gypsy pirate wench! Fair winds to her as she joins Amistad!

Cargoes past featured–besides plain colored containers–trucks, and boats like this. Anyone know the cargo of a rowboat called Liv?  Unrelated to the sixth boro, but the answer follows at end of post.   Some of these

traveled to sea yesterday on

President Polk.  Military colors?  Some engines or generators traveled a little farther back.

No . .  cargo here is not cobalt.  But can anyone tell me the types of oils or chemicals she carries?  For pics of her launch, see here;  scroll down a bit.

As to cargoes or potential ones here, use your imagi . . .

nat

ion. I still have no confirmation what this fishing boat catches.  MOL Express, 964′ loa.  Bering Sea (ex-Stacy Moran and ex-Cougar) stands by barge in the distance.

E-Bos undergoes lightering.

Cargo on Padre Island . . . rich Hudson Valley silt, soon “dissipant” on the  seabottom.

And more on this later:  a group a thirsty folk in matching red uniforms evoking a certain cargo-delivery outfit from up north . . .  .  Could they have liberated themselves from the hold of Ambrose?  Would they be carrying TWICs?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Liv . . . . info here.  Cargo/powerplant is a young woman named Katie Spotz.

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