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I’d planned something else for today, but then I saw the tree!  See it on the bow of Pilot No 2 New Jersey?  And that reminded me it was Three Kings day, Epiphany.


The colors are always best when wind chills are biting.   Pilot No 2 and the smaller boat, America, went out as it were in a procession.

America stayed out over the horizon, but New Jersey returned, tree intact.

This reminded me also of photos I’d taken from New York Media Boat and had intended to use for my Christmas post.  From its station out at the sea end  of Ambrose Channel, the VZ Bridge is clearly seen.


Coming from sea, this is first glimpse of the port, two states and all six boros.

Safe year to all.

All photos, WVD.  Thanks to New York Media Boat.

Six years ago, I posted this for Three Kings.  And the tree makes this a great complementary bookend for this season.

. . . as in  boarding party, which might never be pleasant for anyone, but it goes with the enterprise.

YM Evolution was coming in the other day with New Jersey to port, and


lots of coasties descending starboard.


When I say lots, I mean two



All photos by Will Van Dorp, who although unrelated, is recalling that sojourn that a container ship spent in Philly earlier this year.  Meanwhile,  MSC Gayane has been bailed out and is currently in Chile…

Here are some of the rules for boarding.  And no doubt, some of you have seen this dramatic boarding of a sub on the high seas.

H . .  Hudson and Holland aka H&H.  This year mention of H&H in and around the sixth boro happens so frequently that a friend has phrased it as the Dutch re-conquest of the erstwhile New Amsterdam.   And I like it.  After all, my Dutch identity feels at least as strong as my American one;  in fact, I’m a hyphenated person:  feeling neither wholly  Dutch nor American but some sort of fishfowl or fowlfish in between.  About Hudson, an important detail that gets lost is that our river is NOT the first place of “first contact” for Hudson, crew, and Half Moon.  That place is shown in the next three fotos.  Guess where?

Four hundred years ago–July 17, 1609–Hudson came ashore in this rivermouth looking for a tree suitable as a new foremast;  in their stormy crossing in June 1609, they’d lost their foremast overboard.


The landscape has changed little in 400 years here, I wager.


Here’s another clue to the location:  where Henry came looking for a mast, a famous American watercolorist who died earlier this year at age 91 came looking for landscapes and people to paint.  His initials:  AW.  Seeing this pristine beauty, I wonder why Hudson would sail on . . . except that a quest obsessed him.


The above three fotos come compliments of Lisa, who grew up on the banks of the St George River near Cushing, Maine, adoptive home of the Wyeths.  In fact, last Sunday when she took the foto, she inadvertently wandered onto Wyeth land;  after she snapped these shots, she was asked to leave.  The foto below shows the current Half Moon replica leaving Rondout Creek about a month ago.  A  noteworthy event that happened on the St George River  400 years ago is that Henry Hudson had his first contact with the native Algonquins, for whom Hudson’s visit was just another in a series of contacts with Europeans that dated back over a century . . . possibly many centuries.  Lamentable is the fact that Hudson’s thoughts on that first contact are unknown.  The existing log entries–written by Half Moon‘s mate–Robert Juet–are unflattering, oblivious to the natives’ perspective.  Whether Hudson subscribed to the same notions as Juet will remain a mystery unless a Hudson journal turns up.


Talking H&H . . . the latter H more relevant here . . . here’s Sandy Hook Pilots’ other station boat, No. 2 New Jersey, built in the province of South Holland by Damen Shipyards.  Info thanks to Les in his comment here.


H&H . . . some of you might consider Henry Hudson just another Eurocentric explorer who, encountering any non-Euro group, would immediately assume his own cultural superiority.  And maybe he was.  But what if he was not.  What if he was so obsessed with his quest for a shorter route to China–a civilization that produced stuff desired by the European consumer–that he was different, that he was willing to see the inhabitants of the beautiful inlet as peers?  Given how things turned out for Hudson, he surely was at odds with much of the crew.  Given how it turned out for the Algonquins, it was unfortunate that Eurocentrics dominated.  Indulge Henry’s thoughts here.

Fotos not taken by Lisa by Will Van Dorp.  Remember, click on a foto to expand it.

Off gallivanting tomorrow.

Check out Ian Chadwick’s Hudson story here.

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January 2023