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This morning I was looking for something, I thought happened in spring 2008.  Alas, I had the date wrong, but this research led me to these photos, some of which I may have posted before, all taken between April 10 and 17 2008, i.e., a decade ago exactly.  Back then I’d go into work an hour or so early, and because I had not yet plugged into AIS on my phone–I had a flipper–it was catch as catch could. Revisiting these photos stunned me with how much specific equipment has changed.

Baltic Sea and Coral Sea have gone over to West Africa.  Maybe a gallivant there is in order.  I last left West Africa forty years ago!!.

Maryland is still in the area;  I caught a glimpse of her in Jamaica Bay last week as Liz Vinik, but not close enough for a photo showing anything but a speck.  Check out Birk’s site’s info on Vinik Marine Services.

Nathan E. Stewart came to an ignoble end.

Both K-Sea and Allied have been purchased by Kirby.  Petrel has gone to Philadelphia, where she’s working as Northstar Integrity. Below, she was pushing Sugar Express, up to the plant in Yonkers.

Crude oil tanker Wilana (now Kamari) arriving at dawn on a very calm slack water Arthur Kill was the high point of that week, especially because it was the first tanker I’d watched coming into Linden.  I’ll not forget how silent the process was.

On the starboard bow was Catherine Turecamo, now working in freshwater near the Great Lakes as John Marshall.

On her stern was Laura K Moran, now moved to another Moran base.  And, notice the Bayonne Bridge now longer has the geometry as shown below.

Any time I feel that stuff never changes, guess I should look through my archives.

All photos taken in mid-April 2008 by Will Van Dorp, who wonders if anyone out there read Future Shock by Alvin Toffler.  It was published almost a half century ago but I think he was on to something.

 

Channeling Galahad, Tennyson wrote: “My good blade carves the casques of men,/My tough lance thrusteth sure,/My strength is as the strength of ten,/Because my heart is pure.”

Mostank delivers the lubrication.

Diana plays lead romantic interest in my own personal mythology. In foreground, the tug Lee T. Moran walks her Norwegian tanker like a dog on a leash, or vice versa.

Daedalus, who built some really imprudent toys for his son, otherwise plays hero in my imagination. The tiny workboat Becky Ann zooms chooses not to linger nearby like a tool.

Hero was the ancient engine guy whose work we’ve mostly all seen.

We all know about Poseidon, although it might seem arrogant of titanic proportions to name a ship so. But where’s the Kafka?

Recently a good friend inspired me to pick up a Franz Kafka anthology, and I saw a short piece called “Poseidon.” Dedicating this to kennebec captain, whose blog about a recent voyage I’m really enjoying, I quote the first and then the best lines from Kafka.

“Poseidon sat at his desk doing figures. The administration of all the waters gave him endless work. He could have had assistants, as many as he wanted–and he did have very many–but since he took his job very seriously, he would in the end go over all the figures and calculations himself . . . ”

For all the hilarious set-up, the ending disappoints me: “Poseidon became bored with the sea. He let fall his trident. Silently he sat on the rocky coast and a gull, dazed by his presence, described wavering circles around his head.” Only Kafka would imagine the seagod as a frustrated pencil pusher.

Click here to read the short Kafka but complete text.

I gladly exchange an hour’s sleep to watch the sun rise over the Arthur Kill. But when dawn reveals a Suezmax crude tanker–in addition to the moist salt air–I know the day holds promise.

Three tugs guide her in. Tractor Lee T. Moran controls the stern of the 149,000 dwt Wilana. Catherine Turecamo is starboard; I couldn’t identify the tug to port.

The foto below was taken only five minutes after the top two and with no manual adjustment of the camera. Perspective works magic.

A few years back, pirates shimmied up the anchor chain of Wilana in the harbor of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Scroll down to case #17. And speaking of pirates, those suspected of briefly holding the French yacht Le Ponant are now in France awaiting the legal system.

So I’ve some questions for anyone who works at an oil terminal like the ones along the Kills: during transfer, is there an odor–unpleasant or otherwise–from the cargo?

Photos, WVD.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

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My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

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