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and they skip the sixth boro….  They were in New London some years back and here too . . ., but 2017 has gone from Charleston to Bermuda, and from there to Boston, Quebec City and Halifax . . .   All these photos come compliments of Sean McQuilken…

And in order, it’s Libertad, who once long ago in 1969 called at South Street Seaport, here (and scroll) to deliver some original spars for Wavertree  ,

Oosterschelde, the 99-year-old,

Alexander von Humboldt II,  (the oldster of this set, albeit one with a major reinvention),

El Galeon, whom I first saw in San Juan, 

Spirit of South Carolina


Pride of Baltimore II, and

When and If, who traveled the Erie Canal a few years back to get worked on on Seneca Lake, all great ships . . .  Maybe one of these years, Wavertree and Peking will join in the fun . . . just maybe…  And Peking has its share of adventure awaiting it this summer, with loading anticipated now early in the second week of July.

But I won’t be in Boston, because this weekend is also the mermaid’s conclave . . .  and I head to the heartland and off the grid right after that . . .

Again, many thanks to Sean for these photos.


If you noticed a lot of sail on the sixth boro the past few days amidst all variety of weather, then you witnessed at least part of New York Classic Week.  Below, Pride of Baltimore2 and When and If pass below the cliffs of lower Manhattan.  Foto compliments of bowsprite;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Here When and If, Adirondack and Pride of Baltimore2 head for the Statue in the “farewell race” today.  Notice crewman setting a topsail on Pride.

Here, a view from the water, shows some of Lower Manhattan’s cliffs aka “the new palisades.”

The foto below taken yesterday just seconds after the red racing flag appeared shows America II, Black Watch (ex-Tabor Boy and ex-Edlu II), Imagine, and Adirondack.  For info on each of the vessels, click here, then navigate to NY Classic Week and then 2008 participating yachts.  Winner was Black Watch, with Adirondack, 3rd.

Also, at the start yesterday, When and If and Pride, finishing 6 and 5 respectively.  By the way, When and If was built for General Patton.

Naturally, a tug appears in these fotos . . . here a Buchanan moves a sand scow downriver as the sailing yachts prepare for the red flag signalling the race start.


Peculiar, thought bowsprite, for what cause does this sailing flotilla make southward?  To bring out -lemme see–Adirondack, What and If, Pride of Baltimore 2, and an unknown sloop, might there be some contest?  Might the East River squadron soon flank?   Might some exotic airship there negotiate an approach?  Spritely, then,  to the other side of her balloon’s gondola did she glance, and

–egads–what ho?  What fabulous collection of vessels does northward these waters ply?

What intrepid and classic do these smaller ones surround?

Surely, thought bowsprite, the regal lady, constant on her station on Liberty’s isle hence, will today stand down and follow this fleet to the north.

Up into the North River they all made way.  By now, bowsprite did comprehend,  an icon’s return

necessitated a quick descent earthward to retrieve her speedy steed, possibly gather reinforcements, and gallop along Hudson’s bank to see where this worthy band would make anchorage.

Of course, the intrepid vessel is–Intrepid, whose career spanned from 1943, saw suicide attacks of another generation, recovered space travelers, and now still serves as education for the future.  Anyone have fotos of CV-11 headed under the Brooklyn Bridge in 1965?

All fotos here, compliments of bowsprite.

Sails . . . .and migratory birds share rhythms: following the coast in tune with seasons. New sail and birds appear after having wintered southward over the horizon.



Inbound a week or so ago was Juno, launched 2003 in Massachusetts. Scroll down for info here.



Arriving about the same time was When and If, built for General Patton in Maine to sail around the world “when and if” he survived the war; most of the rest is history, but he didn’t survive long the postwar long enough to circumnavigate.



The vessel above is the length of Juno and When and If combined, although you’d never guess that from this foto. Knickerbocker, less than 20 years old was built—in Wisconsin!



And here for a few more days is Pride of Baltimore II.

As Herman Melville says in the first chapter of The Classic,

“Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall northward. What do you see? – Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster – tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here?

But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No.

They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand – miles of them – leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues, – north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither?”

My answer: Yup. Always did and always will.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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