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I had no idea what I was seeing until I zoomed in on it here and recognized it as one of the small Miller tugs with a deck barge.

Linda L Miller heading across the Upper Bay, where

QM2 was in port.

Later, I saw Linda L sans barge, passing two anchored Reinauer units.


A couple days earlier I saw this and initially failed to identify what I was looking at.

I took photos anyhow and then realized it was Miller Girls with the northeasterly wind splashing a mess of water over the bow.

Here from earlier this year are photos of Miller Girls in a previous lifetime, 1974.

Earlier this year I’d seen her with skimming outriggers on, working in Poughkeepsie.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Note about ongoing voting below.  Also, previous “cranes” posts can be found here.

I’ve long included photos of Chesapeake 1000 but never devoted a post to it.  These posts here and here from seven years ago are my favorites, largely because my camera and I just happened onto the lift while prowling at night, not a common time for me to be out.  Is it possible that was already seven years that that WTC antenna went up?!!

So yesterday morning, I left home early for a midmorning rendezvous, and this is what I saw.

Mary Alice handed the Chesapeake 1000 off to Thomas,

who took the crane under the VZ Bridge and

toward the cliffs of the Upper Bay, including the WTC with the antenna it assisted the lift for  . . . seven years ago.


As is always the case, there’s a lot going on in the sixth boro.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who reminds you that the polling for my 2020 calendar pages is ongoing.  You can see all the choices in these posts;  ultimately you and I will choose one photo for each monthly calendar page.  Polling ends on December 21, when I send the order in.  Again, to vote, just put the letter for each month in the comments or send it in an email to me.  Moreover, for the December page, I’m soliciting photos from you;  rules here.

“Here are guidelines:  a qualified photo for polling must involve a vessel and a non-verbal detail(s) identifying it as having been taken in a December.  I hope that’s ambiguous enough to keep it interesting.  Whoever sends in the chosen photo . . . to be determined no later than December 21, also gets a photo credit and a free calendar.  Another option is for me to choose a December photo from a previous year.  See what I’ve done in the previous 13 Decembers in the archives;  the location near the bottom of the leftside navigation bar allows you to select any month going back to November 2006.”

Thanks to all of you who have already voted.


Let’s start with Alice Oldendorff, inbound with a hold full of Nova Scotia stone and about to turn to starboard on her (almost) final approach to Brooklyn.   Alice and I have a long history.

YM Wind makes the final approach her into Global Terminals, her first call at sixth boro docks.  In contrast above, Alice has already made hundreds of calls here, always transporting aggregates. Visible assisting Wind are Alex McAllister and Ava M. McAllister.

E. R. Montecito is a large ship, but containers are stacked 17 across, versus 20 across for Wind above.

Undine here takes on bunkers and other supplies.  The small black/red/white vessel long her stern is Twin Tube, the venerable 1951 harbor supply vessel. In dry dock in the distance it’s USNS Sisler.

MOL Emissary travels the last few miles before Port Elizabeth.

Uniquely named tanker Forties waits in the Stapleton anchorage.

COSCO Vietnam enters the Kills and passes Houston at the dock.

Since Kriti Amber is Greek-flagged, I’m guessing that’s a variation on “Crete,” but that only conjecture.

QM2 takes on fuel while transferring passengers on the port side.

And let’s call it a day with Unique Explorer.

All photos recently by Will Van Dorp, who considers himself fortunate to live in this large port.


When I saw Anthem of the Seas departing the Narrows as I waited for “da world” the other day, I was aware of a possible shot . . .  juxtaposing a large cruise ship with an ULCV.  Is there a ULCV/ULCC-type abbreviation for cruise ships . . .  eg, ULPV?  But I digress.  Imagine for now how that juxtaposition would look…

Earlier the same week, I’d seen QM2 at the Brooklyn Passenger vessel . . .  so let’s throw the tapes at that.  I recall reading the QM2 funnel was designed to accommodate the NYC market, more precisely, the fit under the VZ Bridge.

I know it’s a different vantage point again, but here was YM World entering the Narrows.

And here are World and Anthem, and it surprised me how much more air draft on Anthem this shows.

So here are the lengths:  World  1200′  Anthem 1139′ and QM2  1132′

Beams  World  167′  Anthem  162′  and QM2  135′

And for air draft, I know World‘s as it came in, but for the two passenger vessels, I’ll estimate air draft from “height minus deep draft,” using published numbers.  You naval architects may take issue with that, as may others of you with specific expertise I lack.

Anthem  208′  (Is that possible?)   QM2  199′  and World  177′

I’d expected the air draft of YM World to be greater.

So here’s a question I don’t know the answer to:  how many crew work on World?  Total crew on Anthem is listed as 760 and on QM2 is 1253, for 4905 and 2695 passengers, respectively.

Here are more numbers.


It has been over six years since I first used this title, yet a bridge appears as header for every post.  And just in case you’re wondering, I will keep that version of the header no matter what gets announced the day after tomorrow.    The VZ Bridge is our Arc de Triomphe.  An April morning in 2008 I caught this foto of the QM2 arriving here for the first time.  Foto taken from the northwest (NW) side of the Narrows.


Each year representatives of the fleet pass –here USS Nitze–under, with added moisture added by FDNY.   Foto from the SE.


Dozens of vessels pass beneath the structure daily.  I recall how thrilled I was to drive my boat underneath  . . . in 2003, as I was moving it to the Great Lakes and myself into the sixth boro.  Aside from its symbolic and logistical value, the VZ is beautiful–here seen from the NE.


It’s most beautiful at dawn.


But the other morning as I caught this, I wonder why the bridgegreen version of navygray was chosen as its color.  I think of the Golden Gate, the Purple People Bridge, the yellow bridges of Pittsburgh.


What prompts this post is a sight I saw from the SE a few weeks ago . . . what looked first like a high-hanging fruit hanging west of the Brooklynside tower.  I wondered if it’d always been there but somehow I’d missed it.


Zooming in, though, I saw it was a paint crew, at least five painters.  Putting on camouflage or daubing antirust?


Maybe preparing to change the color depending on the results of a horse race?


Or prepping for a new VZ Bridge color in honor of the bridge’s jubilee . .  in about a year and a half?


Happy May Day .  . all fotos by Will Van Dorp.   Anyone know why the official spelling of the bridge does not match that of its namesake?

I can’t resist . . . but Mary aka QM2 lingered in Red Hook a bit yesterday, conjuring up this 1960s song (great Smothers Brothers show version), these lyrics, and it seemed


Schooner Pioneer drew near, maybe to seek the oracle or exchange sweet nothings or somethings, prompting


a mad dash from the other coast of Manhattan, other


schooners like Adirondack, who wanted some of the action, the attention,


or not;


likewise, Imagine may have felt the compulsion


and might have drawn closer, but my own attention


by then was directed elsewhere.  More tomorrow.

If you’re not familiar with sixth boro schooners, check out Bowsprite’s guide to them here.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Thanks to Kaya for the Iphone foto below.  Kaya intrigued me by stating he wished to ride the lady’s wake, literally.  Given her top end of 34 knots, her final wave–wherever that may form–could be formidable.  I hope the soon-to-appear QE3 designers improve her speed rather than her make-up.

Compliments of Ron, at balloonist level,  see QE2 process southward as

QM2 creeps into place as QE2‘s maid.

Compliments of bowsprite, QM2 shows herself no slouch, a truly flashy maid, pirouetting on her axis at the confluence of Morris Canal and the North and East Rivers where

she holds station allowing the Dann Ocean Towing boat to push some cement through.

The cement salute is a unique feature of this ceremony, maybe the crosscurrents of the tow compound the challenge of surfing QE2s wake.

Anyone identify the gray hull in foreground shooting water?

Moran tugs escort the elegant lady past QM2.

Dubai lies over the horizon for QE2.  Honestly, given the lines and speed, I hope the inertia of the Palm

Jumeirah agree with her in her second life.  Dubai is located on the west lower end of the Omani Horn that juts northward in the Gulf.  By the way, in the background  from L to R, Verrazano, the heights of Staten Island, and Lady Liberty on ex-Bedloe‘s Island.  It’s remarkable how narrow QE2‘s waist seems at several miles distance.

QE2 herself has surfed a remarkable wave created by Hurricane Luis back in 1995.

See Newyorkology‘s take here with video.

Seasons transition like spring into summer, moons wane and wax, and fleets change hands and trigger renaming . . . sort of like Nieuw Amsterdam overwritten with New York or Spitzer signs hastily replaced by Paterson ones at state projects. The paint’s probably dried on most of these boats. The ex-Heidi rumored to become Siberian Sea had served the Queen M2.

Annabelle was here in April, and the great Emma . . . don’t know what’ll become of her.

To better grasp her size, see the four crewmen. Maybe make her Atlantic Sea.

Brandon possibly turns into Solomon Sea.

Brandon again . . .

Vivian transitions to Caribbean Sea, with Meredith C (not spelled Sea) Reinauer in the background.

and Francis becomes Aegean Sea.

I’ve read on a discussion board that only a few sea names remain, but NOAA would disagree even without straying into fiction. All fotos . . . Will Van Dorp unless otherwise attributed.

Unrelated . . . altho this  is an unfortunate transitioning story, check out Mage’s UrbanArchology blogpost here.

A blog that’s been following the Queens for a spell has great comparative info here between QE2 and QV, like which is faster? With that link above, be sure to scroll through the posts. Also, check out QE2‘s last go-round itinerary. My fotos taken in the rain from the Battery follow:



Notice the much-shrunk Statue in between above.  In the first two fotos, order is QM2 forward, QV after.



Joe Sharkey includes an interesting statistic in his Dec 16 2007 New York Times article: number of people doing cruises annually has increased three fold since 1990!



Final shot: QM2 with one of many patrol boats in foreground and fireboat aft. Note: The QE2 hung quite far back and from my terrestrial angle, I couldn’t get all three in one frame. More on them–daytime shots–later.

Photos, WVD.

See him standing by the railing taking a break? Call him Ishmael or Mohammad Hassan or Diego . . . Let’s consider some numbers related to his life as crewman aboard CMA CGM Asia, which departed New York yesterday bound for Asia, of course. Check this link for info on the vessel. Here’s a foto from when the vessel was called Portugal Senator.



CGA CGM follows the SAX route. I’ve no idea what SAX stands for. Notice on that link that outbound from New York, it stops in Norfolk, then Ningbo; in between are two oceans, a sea, and a canal. More numbers below, but notice the large white superstructure just to the right of the Robbins Reef light? Any guesses what vessel was in Red Hook yesterday? See a closer-up shot below.



So moving the SAX numbers around a bit, we get less than two years before the mast but lots of sea miles: Day 1 depart New York. Day 2 arrive Norfolk. Day 25 arrive Ningbo. Day 26 arrive Shanghai. Day 28 arrive Chiwan. Day 29 arrive Hongkong. Day 53 arrive Manzanillo, Panama. Day 56 arrive Savannah. Day 59 arrive back in New York. 59 days from now . . . that’s a week before Christmas. Check these links: Chiwan (port in Shenzhen) and Manzanillo.

Another number: how many hours did Ishmael spend in port? Do you suppose he got out to see the sights?



The east end of the KVK really is like an on-ramp here for the global highway: go to Robbins and hang to starboard heading dead center between the bridge supports. See you December 18, Ishmael. Not that you’ll see the sights or even get off the ship in your mere 30 hours in port, during which time you stay on the work roster.


It’s Queen Mary 2.

All photos, Will Van Dorp.

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October 2021