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in the sixth boro and visible from my location . . . and that I saw.  Those are all the qualifications I need to make to that title.  That’s yesterday’s dawn in the background at 0817, light has just begun to allow clear photos, and I’m on Staten Island looking toward Brooklyn.  Name that tug?

Here’s another shot.

Three tugs appear in this shot.  Name the closest one?


It’s obvious now.  Getting these shots was part of my goal yesterday morning, the first light of winter 2019, and this part was done by 0835.  Days can get longer now.

More tomorrow.  Notice that in salt water-surrounded industrial landscape, there’s little sign of snow or ice.

And the tugs were Pegasus above and Mister T farther above.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who visited the local post office this morning and mailed off HALF of the calendar run.  Get your order in and you’ll likely still have your calendar before 2020.


The answer to the question in part a of this series is  . . .   Faro San Giorgio Maggiore, “faro” meaning “light.”  And today, the winter solstice, with only 9 hours and 15 minutes of daylight in the sixth boro,  has to be the best time to do another post about lighthouses.

Before we get to that, how about another question:  Which country hosts the oldest light in continuous use?  And if you get that . . . name, age, etc?

I can’t find my previous use of this photo, which I took just shy of two years ago.  Anyone identify it?  Answer at the end of this post.

Ogdensburg, NY, formerly on a major fault line between New France and New England,  might not be in your backyard, but I hope this photo of Ogdensburg Harbor Light pleases you.

White Shoals Light –the name–always confuses me with its red spiral.

Romer Shoal Light is one of the aids to navigation in Lower New York Bay.  At one time–if I understand the history, this light once stood near the easternmost point of Staten Island, at what is now the National Lighthouse Museum.

Duluth North Pier Light . . . was erected after this wreck in 1905 . . . SS Mataafa.

I’m leaving this one in;  I erroneously thought it was an unusual lighthouse, lens opening facing the lake only, but it was actually the Whiskey Island Coast Guard station, now being repurposed by Cleveland Metro Parks.

In the foreground here is Round Passage Light, a structure that went into service in 1948, rendering Round Island Light–in the background–then obsolete.  The channel lies between the two lights.  If I make it here again, I hope to get close-up shots of the 4′ bronze relief head representation of residents of this area before the Europeans came.  Nowhere online have I found such photos.

Some lighthouses are built of wood, most are stone or cement, but Belle Isle’s  Livingstone Memorial Light is the only one in the world built of marble from Georgia.

Here’s the same structure in different time of year and sunlight.  It was designed by Albert Kahn. 

Given the vivid hue at sunrise, it’s no surprise Holland Harbor Light is commonly known as Big Red.  

Milwaukee’s Breakwater Light occupies the foreground;  in the distance is the red Milwaukee Pierhead Light and the bridge between Third Ward and Jones Island.

Where, we leave Grays Reef Light to the left and likely that’s Hog Island in the distance.

And southeast of Mackinac area, this one’s Poe Reef.  

I believe I’ve really never used the top photo;  it’s the unusual Faro del Cayo Guano del Este, off the southern coast of Cuba. 

And the title of oldest light in the world seems to belong to Spain’s Tower of Hercules.  Ruins of an even older light could some day be seen here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

What better vessel to post about on the winter solstice than a lightship.  Here, here, and here are some previous ones.


This particular lightship I saw east of Rotterdam in May 2014.


It’s not particularly old, so I hope it’ll be a reminder in dark times into the distant future.


Here’s part of the story.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.

One more winter solstice post from the archives here, but this year I’m not thinking about the 182 or whatever days until the summer solstice.  Maybe it just feels like the world’s a darker place than it used to be and we need light and relief now.

I chased the moon this morning, and lost.  By the time I got away from my high-horizoned, building-intensive lair, the solstice moon only recently eclipsed, had slipped beneath the New Jersey highlands, but in spite of the cold . . . . I was not disappointed.

First I caught the sixth-boro newby Crystal Cutler pushing

barge Patricia E. Poling into the Upper Bay.

Then MSC Mandraki headed past with

bulb exposed to the cold winds and

Gramma Lee T Moran protecting Mandraki‘s assets.

Freddy K Miller (ex-Fred K and ex-Stapleton Service)  headed west on a mission.

Rarely sixth-boro-seen Marion Moran sprayed past

in the stark but intense winter solstice colors.

As my fingers were losing all sense of feeling in the wind chill 19 degree sunlight, Freddie K and Susan Miller headed back east with Weeks 533, which has appeared here

powerlifting locomotives and Sully’s Airbus 320.

And before I crawled back into a warm place, I caught Sassafras pushing some fuel in Doubleskin 34 and

What!!?? . . .   a classroom on a fieldtrip?  checking out Minerva Rita.

Well, maybe this floating classroom is a figment of my imagination brought about by the cold.

Mermaids emerge on the summer solstice and draw the crazy out in me and some of my best friends.  I MUCH prefer THAT solstice, now only a half year away again.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  check out these fotos of the Crowley barge on towmasters.

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