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I traveled RT by air last week, and as usual, tried to spot landmarks, entertainment for the map fan that I am. 

Mount Vernon is how the smart phone labels it.  I’d call it a view of Mobile Bay at dusk, looking south.

I concur with the phone that this is New Orleans, one of the bends in the river below the Crescent City.

Westwego is a western suburb of New Orleans.  I see those bulk carriers anchored in the river and I think of all the wheat and beans grown along the Mississippi River system (or the Missouri River system) to be exported in their holds.  If you want a long fascinating read by John McPhee on the river system, click here.

After five intense days in Louisiana, I was back at another airplane window seat.  It was a foggy morning over the Crescent City.

Westwego again gets the label.

River Ridge is another western suburb of Nola.  These bulk carriers, like the ones a few photos above, will likely take grain and beans for export.

Cambridge MD appeared after almost a couple hours of cloud cover.  I took the photo because of the “outlined” island.  A little research told me this was Poplar Island, a restored island created with dredging spoils.

Greenwich Township seems wrong as a label, but the Salem Nuclear Power Plant is unmistakable.  Also, along the top of the image is the sinuous C & D Canal.

Matawan seems alright as an identifier, since this is the mouth of the Raritan River and the west end of Raritan Bay.

Brooklyn-Fort Hamilton is not visible, but the concentration of orange vessels clearly marks the the east end of the KVK, and beyond that Bayonne, Newark Bay, and Port Newark.

Brooklyn.  Need I say more?  I find it curious, though, that from this perspective the 1WTC gets lost in a cluster of its neighbors.  With all the new tall buildings in central Brooklyn, One Hanson Place, long the tallest building in the boro, has gotten lost near the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic.

Brooklyn is below in this view across to lower Manhattan and Jersey City.

Flushing-Queensboro Hill means we’re about to land, once we make a hard turn to port.  Note the Unisphere and 1WTC on the horizon.  The circular body of water in the foreground is called by the unlikely name Fountain of the Planets.

All photos, WVD, who previously did similar shots here.

A friend recently suggested that “gallivant” should be my middle name.  There’s no need to make it legal, but maybe I’ll get it embroidered onto my hat and jacket.

The first batch of calendars is in the mail as of this morning.  The price this year is $20.  I have about 10 left.




Doubleclick enlarges.  Note the NYC skyline above the Staten Island horizon to the right.

Baykeeper the organization uses this 30′ skiff made with

cedar planks over oak

frames as their patrol craft.

See the builder’s name stamped into metal on the upper left.  The Pedersen family has built wooden skiffs in Keyport (pearl of the Raritan Bayshore)  for three generations.  This Star Ledger article from a few years back shows work in the Pedersen shop.

The top foto comes thanks to Andy Willner;  the others by Will Van Dorp.  NY/NJ Baykeeper has a Facebook page, as does American Littoral Society.

Related:  Riverkeeper also has a wooden patrol boat, I. Ian Fletcher, which I wrote about here back in 2008.

Lots of references to Keyport and Raritan Bay can be found in Mark Kurlansky’s The Big Oyster, which I’m rereading.  I’ve also recently read Jack Jeandron’s Keyport.

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June 2023