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Sandy Hook Pilots vessels are the first glimpse of the sixth boro traffic for incoming vessels, but many folks on the sixth boro periphery might rarely see any trace of them or their vessels.  The other windy day, however, they appeared to be training near the VZ Bridge, whose shadow you see as a dark band across the water in the photo below.

Click here for the fleet, made up of station boats (mother ships) and launches, 16 m boats shown below. 

 

I believe that’s Phantom.

For more history of the Sandy Hook Pilots, albeit from an outdated NYTimes article, click here.

All photos, WVD.

I’m keeping a lookout for Christopher Bell, the Erie Canal folk singer who travels from gig to gig by canoe, according to this NYTimes story earlier this week. There’s even a myspace link there where you can hear his music. Bell explains it as a reaction to fuel prices, but certainly an enhancement to his inspiration, too. Meanwhile, here’s who I’ve seen:

a solitary puffin . . . must transform when it made its way “upwest” to arrive here. Link shows puffins’ appearance as they congregate downeast…

and my foto-evidence of the tug44 command center, making its way up to greater Champlain. Notice the Rondout Light off Fred’s bow.

Summertime brings all sorts out; here sits a historian on the bow of a pilot boat with a legendary name.

Notice the pilot high on the bow of S/R Wilmington?

Now? He’s even got a sunshade rigged.

Now if Bell caught a ride to his next gig up here, how might that influence his sound? It’d also give new meaning to “ship’s bell.”

More people on the boro soon, maybe even Bell.

Photos,WVD.

Stan Rogers has a song “White Squall” with a line “In a sultry summer calm, there comes a blow from nowhere, and it goes off like a bomb” about a green deckhand who gets washed off a lake freighter. He’d been lying on the hatches heedless of weather change.

I’m amazed by some people’s hubris when they continue to under-estimate “greater powers” like tide and wind after warnings are given,

forcing intervention by professionals who put themselves at risk to deal with possible consequences.

Sixth boro waters (and lots of other things) can be sweet at their mildest

and then quickly deteriorate. The challenges of wind and tide are formidable.

By the way, if you don’t know Stan Rogers, check him out here. Oh, love the name of the pilot boat “shepherding” kayakers here: Phantom.

Photos, WVD.

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