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Perspective makes all the difference. Robert Frost concluded that was the result when he took the less traveled road? When I’m on the sixth boro, I know a little about those sharing deckspace, but a lot less about folks on other vessels no matter how loud their radio communication. Particularly on work boats, I barely see people, as they’re at work or off duty and asleep in a bunk. But when I catch a glimmer, my wonderment excites my imagination. Of course, I imagine all fiction…


Glen Cove has just dropped off a sand barge, and on this really hot day, the crewman in the forward engine room door might be catching some breeze, but next to the power plant!? He might be contemplating some feverish plans or wondering how to say something difficult to she who must be informed…


After retrieving some nasty debris with Hayward‘s crane, this crewman might be chatting on a blackberry or reading Pynchon …


Furtive plotting under the lifeboat frame or telling tales of homeport loves long ago and faraway…


Checking on the refueling operation or pondering the feasability of diving for the diamond ring that just slipped out of the fingers of this nervous newlywed as he and bride set out for honeymoon on QM2


Client representatives signing off on a docking idea or watching a rehearsal for Absinthe at the Spiegeltent

Photos, Will Van Dorp.

I tried this with Alice once; now let’s put QM2 to this scrutiny, thanks to some fantastic!!! pics in this link. It’s written in Danish, which I don’t read, but the fotos of the QM‘s mast and funnel squeezing under the VZ Bridge astound me. Scroll down through, as best pix are near the end. Thanks Lupo.


Not a submarine in sight.


The white number closest to the waterline reads 10 meters.


horns a seagull could fly into without folding their wings and then die with a blast


various tenders 75 feet from the water


The “2” rather than “II” designates that this vessel is named for the Queen Mary, which itself was named for Mary of Teck., if wikipedia is trustworthy here.

If anyone can give a synopsis of the Danish, … tak for lån.

Photos by Will Van Dorp.

Roughly 150,000 mornings ago, Henry Hudson sailed into what is now New York harbor. I hereby propose that we scrap Columbus Day-since Cristoforo never deemed this geography worthy of a reconnoiter– and, instead, celebrate a newly-declared Hudson Day. Our politicians could make us happy that way.




This morning this Half Moon replica raised its anchor off Bay Ridge Flats and sailed northward. The haze lent the ship a ghostly suggestion. Might that really be Captain Hudson voyaging upriver in a time fissure removing him from his era by 150,000 days? What notation would he have written in the log as the Staten Island ferry breezed southward here?




Would he have sworn off any hard drink or tobacco after seeing the Queen Mary 2 make for the Narrows, as we can recognize off the port bow?




What fearful conjecture might he have toyed with to account for this large structure in today’s Hoboken? And what might he conclude about the natives in the red sailing craft?




What terror would have gripped the Captain and crew as they studied the monumental artifacts of a civilization off to his right? Did he contemplate turning back south and fleeing for the safety of the high seas southeast of the Narrows? Ahoy, Henry, time traveler! We might be friendly.

Images by Will Van Dorp.

One if by land, QM2 as seen from the “subway” thanks to rsguskind. And two if by sea. Well, “by sea” defined as midstream between the Statue and Governor’s Island. In the foreground is Cheyenne pushing some gravel barges, then the empty housing blocks of Governor’s Island, and the skyline across the invisible Buttermilk Channel is QM2.


Below is a much closer waterline shot showing tug Heidi Roehrig and barge attending to the Queen‘s fluids. Recall that less than 24 hours before, Heidi was escorting a derelict out of Brooklyn.


Below again, here’s a closer shot of the banner suspended from the Queen.


By the way, in 2008 three Queens will visit New York simultaneously, as QV makes her maiden visit. Click here for fotos of QM‘s first squeeze under the Verrazano.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

More ships pass. Like strangers on the sidewalk or cars on the highway. Significant differences could make all the difference, especially in the approach.


Certain contacts are to be avoided.


And then they pass with possibly only a glance, a wave of the arm, forgotten.


Still others, stay locked in struggle or maybe engagement and might even escalate.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.

No, not the borough that’s the most diverse county in the country, but one of the large Cunard ships.


Here Queen Mary 2 shoehorns under the Verrazano with less than 10 feet between the top of the antennas and the underside of the roadbed. Vertical clearance at the center of the bridge is 229 feet. QM2’s original design was modified to allow her to fit under this bridge. I guess, to follow the “panamax” term from my earlier post, that means QM2 is “Verrazanomax.”


Vertical clearance under the Brooklyn Bridge is 110 feet. My estimate puts the 110-foot mark just atop the orange life boats.

Here she dwarfs Red Hook as seen from the south, from Bay Ridge Flats.

Here she is from just south of Governor’s Island. A container ship is just leaving the loading terminal.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Look carefully at this first picture for a while. It seems nothing is there. It’s grayed out. Look at the lower half of the space and something starts to emerge, 92,000 tons and over 950 feet LOA, it’s Norwegian Dawn several miles outside the Narrows, the entrance to the harbor. Imagine operating here without radar. The collision of Andrea Doria and Stockholm happened even with radar albeit radar of 1956.


Here’s the same ship on a clear day, making its usual Sunday afternoon departure for down south somewhere.


Here’s another fog shot, this one from the East River looking down toward the Buttermilk Channel and Red Hook. The ship you can see moving away is one of the sludge tankers that NYDEP uses to transport sewage so that it can be transformed into fertilizer for our citrus and vegetables. Read the sludge link if you’re skeptical. But back to the fog. What you can’t see is about a quarter mile beyond the sludge ship . . . Queen Mary 2 at the Brooklyn passenger terminal. Trust me, QM2 was there at the time of the photo.qm2.jpg

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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September 2021