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River Day 2 happened today, but I stayed on shore, among other things revisiting day 1.  My attempt here is to impose chronological and spatial order.  For starters . . . off Global Terminal in the Upper Bay, could there be a more diverse set of onlookers?  If the original Henry had seen indigenous equivalents of these, he’d have gotten his artillery out.


Lined up just south of the Statue before 9 am, helmsman of Shearwater resorts to an ancient coping device.


Around that time, Gateway Towing’s Navigator exited the Buttermilk Channel with an unidentified cargo on barge Sea Shuttle, which


looked like this as it passed.  Anyone hazard a guess?


Around 9:30 near Pier 82ish, this avian-wannabe brown truck cuts through the procession, triggering a siren/horn/hailer reaction in Lady BNYC Ducks simply continues and Lady B relents, all the official noise notwithstanding.  I suppose Ducks is commercial traffic and as such immune.


Near Inwood a half dozen or so swimmers, each one escorted by a kayaker, make their way out of Spuyten Duyvil Creek and southward toward Battery Park City.  Swimmers and River Day processionistas remain largely indifferent to each other.  Can it be that New Yorkers have such passion for swimming that they spontaneously make their way in numbers around the island?


This is lo-res, but after watching Onrust grow for over a year, I enjoyed recognizing its jolly crew, but who’s the guy in the red jacket and enormous feather in his cap.  Doesn’t the whole crew get ginormous feathers in their caps?


If you read Juet’s log for June 1609, you learn that storms carried away Half Moon‘s  foremast.  What would that look like?  In my other blog, I try to channel Hudson’s thoughts, using what’s recorded in Juet’s journal to speculate on rambings in Henry’s head . . . historical fiction, of course.


Yonkers gives each vessel a cannon salute.  Some return the salute.  I believe Onrust doesn’t, or maybe I was just not hearing things.


Here a lone canoeist watches the procession from near Alpine, off the Palisades.  Does anyone know the design of local Lenape canoes of Hudson’s era?


Large exploreNY400 banners hang from the vertical supports on either side of channel under the Tappan Zee Bridge.  Half Moon shows the scale.


I regret I couldn’t follow Day 2 . . .  but I hope to catch up for Day 5.


For a short video of the procession passing Battery Park City Day 1 around 9:15, see old salt blog here.

All fotos taken Day 1 by Will Van Dorp.

We lose our balance sometimes, regain it only to lose it again. Inevitably, this triggers changes, some gain and some loss.

We regain swimming in the East river. We had a manatee doing a reconnoitre of the Hudson this past summer. But way off at the other end of our ports and containerized supply chain, we lose species, as the New York Times reported on December 14. That dolphin’s habitat was degraded partly by our cheap stuff.

In 2020 what will the above part of Red Hook be?

And this part of a bank in Secaucus, what was this in 1920?


W. O. Decker had the good fortune to be saved. In fact, there’s a step-by-step description of the rebuild in the navigation bar to the right on that South Street Seaport page.

This tug or barge on the shore of Shooter’s Island on the southern side of Newark Bay is lost.
Will 2050 bring fusions of machine and plastic like the one above currently at Socrates Sculpture Park?

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Expected sights on the East River include tugs and barges, small private sail and motor boats, yellow water taxis, and sludge tankers. But it’s the unusual that delights me; it’s one of my reasons to live in New York City.


Who would expect a float plane to operate regularly off the East River?


Who would expect an island named for a former Secretary General of the United Nations? See the sign to the right center at the base of the vertical structure.  This is looking east toward Queens.

Who would expect the water under the Manhattan Bridge to be filled with kayaks and small motor boats? Why are they there?


Is the circum-navigation swim marathon around Manhattan more than just urban legend? Enrollment for 2007 is now open.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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June 2021