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I took these fotos two and a half years ago . . . February 2011, and posted others I took here.  But last night


I read that the vessel is currently anchored just outside  Murmansk and the crew awaiting


word on which among them will be charged with piracy.


Maybe the crew can seek asylum in  . .  Michigan?

Another unrelated update:  Sailing Cargo . . .  New Yorkers can order Vermont products now to arrive by ship in late October.

Here was 18 in this series, which offers similar equipment.  Something supermax somewhere?


All these fotos come compliments of Xtian Herrou, who previously passed along fotos for this post and others.  He took this foto in Brest, although the tug is by now through Port Said for parts south and east… .


These waters require that Sea Foxtrot and her tow take on specialized gear.


Once they get in the zone, Sea Foxtrot and


Norma 1 will fully deploy gear and look like this,


UAE tug Simyar, currently working in the Indian Ocean.


Merci beaucoup, Xtian  . . .

Here’s a post I did six and a half years ago (scroll on through) alluding to pirates that once annoyed ships in the sixth boro . . ..

Mere weeks ago:  pirates attacked a vessel currently in the sixth boro!!!

We non-pirates are out there, on deck barges.

on government boats,

on gangplanks,

behind glass

amid ground tackle,

at the waterline and on bridge wings,

on the landing deck and at the helm,

behind bulwarks, way forward of the bridge,

crossing the threshold into the wheelhouse,

walking on the waters . . . or at least wishing to.

and caught in the act . .  . or just on the rocks looking for a place to sit and sip hot tea.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, except the last one, which comes thanks to Saskia de Rothschild.

Tom-a new friend who introduced himself as a friend of a friend- contacted me last week with a research question that has no immediate connection with the sixth boro although–if you’ve visited this blog–you know how I’ve developed this fluid sense of what the boundaries of the sixth boro might be.  He wanted to know if I could locate a foto of a certain “blue tugboat.”  He gave the name as Yenagoa Ocean.  I love research challenges and the fotos below make evident my find.  I then asked Tom what was so interesting about this vessel.  Answer follows.


Yenagoa Ocean aka Yenegoa Ocean, ex-Nico Shindagha and Spartan Tide 91 of Tidewater Marine, came off the ways in Aberdeen in 1975, and worked in the Persian Gulf until recently sold to ESL Integrated Systems, a Nigerian company who took possession in Dubai and sailed for home until . . .


it was hijacked by Somali pirates.

Tom’s story follows here, but the gist of what he writes is  . . . what you’re looking at above is now a pirate ship, in fact, a  mother ship.  So, next time someone asks what a pirate ship looks like, remember Yenagoa Ocean.  Forewarned is forearmed.  Talking about second lives . . . .

Oh, my “captain” title in Tom’s article,  . . .  his idea.   🙂  Thanks, Tom.

For the record, I dislike the term “etc” except when talking with clairvoyants and enjoy Halloween parties as long as costumes are mostly body paint, glitter, mud, metal, horn, feathers, and scales, or anything non-celebrity/plastic/Hollywood. Pirates? I have low tolerance for them. And where has my laissez-faire self gone? Check out this Yahoo story. Here’s an October 2007 National Geographic story.  Here’s one from 10/30.



Here’s a Somalia story. And another. And still another. Blood and gore don’t bother me; I can have messy eating habits myself.



The International Chamber of commerce displays info on its “live piracy 2007” map at the link here. Loading may take a few seconds.

I like mermaids of all sorts . . .



But no stinky pirates. Commercial Halloween pirate costumes? Begone! Bah humbug . . . oops that’s a different holiday.

Happy Halloween, but I’ll be working that night.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp 2007.

Previous posts here have mentioned pirates; an experience I had yesterday prompts another. I was eating a late midday lunch on the third floor balcony of Pier 17 before going sailing a shift of public sails as volunteer on Pioneer. Beside me on a teak deckchair sat a Chinese woman and a 10-year-old I took for her grandson. She was having lunch too while the boy crouched at the front of her chair immersed in a hand-held video game. The scratchy sounds emanating from the v-toy bothered me, but I felt generous, buoyed by a general joy about my life and the sights and sounds of the East River. No, Alice was nowhere to be seen, but so what. The grandmother, however, seemed unhappy; to any question she posed the boy [in some dialect of Chinese I understand nothing of], he grunted in a way that in any language means “don’t bother me.” Any food she offered, he declined. Any sight she pointed out, he ignored. He contorted his body such that his vision and his hands converged around the game. His avoidance of her and tuning into what I deemed grating electronic sounds went on for about 15 minutes. Then the black ship below approached the pier.



In tones less whiny than before, she called his attention to the ship. She repeated a sound that I took to mean “ship.” The excitement in her voice became palpable. “Ship, ship” she repeated, and for once the boy looked up. “See the captain,” said she, pointing to the helm where a man in black hat sat with a mysterious double.



A loud distant voice rose from the ship, counting down; then a simultaneous puff of white smoke and a loud boom, followed by echoes clattering off the buildings of the island of Manhattan, echoes like impact, tangible impact and not just sonic ones.

The grandmother’s voice had energy now, and the once ensnared boy put down his v-toy. Another puff and boom and he handed the toy to his grandmother, who took it as she continued to narrate the events to her grandson. She had all his attention now, she and the black ship.



Young voices now roared from the deck of the black ship. As the red-capped pirates lowered the sails and furled, the young pirates waved swords and shouted.





And the grandson, only moments before begging in a whiny voice for his grandmother to leave him to his electronic device, now seemed petitioning her as the powerful one in his life: “Please, grandma, may I go? Please let me join this band? This would be exciting. My life is so boring. Let’s go meet them at the dock.”



So grandmothers and grandfathers of all ages; hope for v-toy addicted young’uns exists only as far away as the end of Pier 16. Pirates sail again to liberate us from electronic dreariness!

Departing at 1 pm July 22 and August19, both Sundays at pier 16. $20 for young’uns and $30 for adults. Reservations: 212-748-8786.

All fotos, you guessed, Will Van Dorp

Movies are fun, even pirate ones shot surreptitiously on replica ships, but who needs professionals and long-distance travel . . . alright, Libertalia has been my dream destination for decades. New York has always had its share of subjects of the jolly flags (wags?).



Characters like Sadie the Goat sailed here once, and today their great-granddaughters may drive tankers.

Or they may invite you for a pleasant Sunday sail (third Sunday of each month seems their routine) from Pier 17. Look for an authentic black ship and (would I lie?) bona fide descendants of . . . .


Ch’iao K’uo Füü Jëën?

prg.jpgJolie Rouge ?


Scroll all through here.

prw.jpgMargaret Jordan?


Learn more about pirates from Colin Woodward on Tuesday night, May 22, at South Street Seaport Melville Gallery.

Come June 20ish, bring down a son, niece, grandson. Bring your grandmother, neighbor or a random stranger to see the other side of the harbor.

Check Rob Ossian’s site to eclipse all pirate sites.

But stay away from waters to the north and east of Libertalia.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

… or “pie rats” as a friend says. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a reference to pirates has been on my “about” page almost since day 1. There was also an early post about the hideout of pirates in the Meadowlands. Pirates hid there when that area was covered with a cedar forest; in fact, the cedars are gone because of the desire by the “authorities” to burn the pirates out. Great move, guys; makes us wonder sometime who the real pirates are. The pirates below were filmed on New York harbor in 2006… all shall remain nameless, however, or replaced by nom de guerre, in the great pirate tradition. That’s “greenbelt” at the brass canon.
All theater aside, named pirates had a New York chapter in their lives: Captain Kidd lived here as a respectable citizen in the 1690s. Here’s more. Even Ellis Island, as we now call it, has a pirate chapter, a surprising one.
Modern day pirates, though, are no laughing matter. Check out the links below. Scroll through this outline. See the recent MO‘s. And since we hear the word often enough as related to copyright violation, try out this usage. Finally, here’s a cruise ship angle. Notice the weapon; twas no brass canon.

Photos by Will Van Dorp.

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