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This post marking a personal milestone passed already five years ago.  Today’s post marks the fact that now I’m officially old enough to opt for the thin slice of retirement money or a senior price ticket on New Jersey Transit.

The photo below shows one of my high points of my past year.  I’m the more enclosed guy with the black cap.   And you might wonder where this is?

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Here are two clues that’ll help you situate that high point, the aluminum portion and the

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steel.

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And here I’m standing on the edge of a trough.

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Many thanks to Chris Ware for the top photo and to Brian DeForest for the one directly above.

I am deeply grateful for a chance at another year of living  . .  . exuberantly.    Here was seven years ago.

I could have called this a “scale” post, but I wanted to keep the thread.  The next two fotos were taken over a hundred years ago;  I used them back in 1989 in a now out-of-print book called Incomplete Journeys.  It was about shipwrecks in or near the mouth of the Merrimack River in Massachusetts.  The fotos show not salt but sand being loaded onto a schooner.  The vessel would be run onto the “sand pile” bank at high tide, loaded, and then floated off the next high tide.

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These ships were called sand droghers there, although that usage doesn’t seem very widespread.   But I digress.

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Let’s return to Port Newark, United Challenger, and salt.

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61,000 tons of salt arrived on this ship.

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Two men in cranes emptied the ship in about five days.

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That involved an additional eight men driving trucks to the mountain.

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Time lapse photography might be fun.

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Notice the spiral staircase into the hold.  Also, this hatch is midships;  the bridge is quite a distance away.

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Double click to enlarge (most fotos) this foto and just to the left of the Newark Bay Bridge, you’ll see WTC1.

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This is taken from just forward of the first hatch, counting from the bow.

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This is the bridge view.

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This parting shot is from the starboard bridge wing.

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Safe driving on icy roads.

All fotos (except the first two, of course)  by Will Van Dorp.   Many thanks to Brian DeForest of Atlantic Salt.

Timbuktu?  Taudenni?    Has tugster gone back way west?

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A buried ship?

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Nah . . . See the Newark Bay Bridge in the background and if you look carefully just under the open clamshell in the center of the foto, you might spot WTC1 in Manhattan.

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Here’s a closer up of United Challenger–now back at sea and bound for Norfolk, actually Newport News, I think, to load coal.    See the WTC1 between the crane cab and the bridge?

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The workday is getting under way.

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Clamshells drop the salt into the loader.

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Huge trucks loaded with relatively small increments of the 61,000 ton cargo transport the road salt to

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the top of the mountain.

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Here you’re looking from the ship at–I’d guess–at least a million tons of road salt.

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And these are one of two sets of hands that unload the ship by controlling

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clamshell buckets this size.  Think of these places, ships, and crews when next you’re driving on icy roads.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  More soon.   Many thanks to Brian DeForest of Atlantic Salt for permission to get these fotos.

Tangentially related:  Check out this article in the NYTimes about my friend John Skelson.

All ships are basically containers.  They are –after all– sometimes called vessels.   And just as is true of a FedEx aircraft or a semi or a plain-brown wrapper . . . ship’s names give little clue about what’s in the holds.  So for now, let’s just look at a few and leave it at that:  they are a delight to look at.

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Would this be pronounced “pango?”

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And finally from Maureen . . . our elusive and fast Afrodite, southbound for St. John.

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Thanks to Maureen for this last one.  All other by Will Van Dorp.

 

FedEx in the sky, container barge at the ASI yard on this side, Donjon Marine yard on the other side, and off the end of the channel, highways and railways.  By the way, Fred Smith has long been one of my heros.

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EWR is one of three very busy airports in greater New York.

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Note the control tower at the airport.  Check that link for a view of the whole complex from the air.

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And the ship . . .  since 1 September, here’s a list of ports it has called in:   Balikpapan,   Yeosu,   Huanghua,  Aviles (maybe) , Red Dog Mine, and who knows where else.  And some of the crew . . . are dreaming of visiting Times Square and Rockefeller tonight.

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And if this is Port Newark, then next it’s Norfolk.

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