Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

Thunder up the Hudson

0300h – Lightning and thunder roared right by my ear, deafening claps of powerful electric eruption that then boomed with full might up North River, echoing, unstoppable, seemingly without end.

Times like this make me think of those days, of people high up in the rigging, perched precariously on wet footropes,  furling in heavy wet canvas on a pitching ship with other shipmates roused from sleep to climb the masts in driving rain. That would not happen today.

But today, mariners are still out there, in heavy storms like this.

It was the middle of the night, and channel 13 (bridge to bridge) was silent, but 14 (USCG Vessel Traffic Service) was steadily broadcasting, the voice of the controller reciting as on any other day the names of ships and where they were heading.

stormseabound

At 0355h, to the guiding voice of Vessel Traffic, one Liverpool Express navigated its way through the harbor under the crackling night sky, past several ships, tugs and a dredge, and headed out to sea.

Liverpool Express
Ship Type: Cargo
Year Built: 2002
Length x Breadth: 281 m X 32 m
DeadWeight: 54155 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 17.3 / 12.4 knots
Flag: Germany [DE]
Draught: 11.6 m
Destination: NORFOLK

Thank you, Tugster! need a photo of a ship? call him. He will find it for you.

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9 Responses

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  1. tugster said, on 2009/06/09 at 12:07

    it’s always a pleasure to do your research bidding, especially when it connects with such dramatic watercolors as you treated us to here. love the thunderclouds looking almost like a fist stretching eastward. and the color of the ship . . . obviously it’s lit by a just gone but not quite faded flash of lightning.

  2. dinnie said, on 2009/06/10 at 09:39

    That is brilliant. Literally and qualitatively too.

  3. Mage Bailey said, on 2009/06/10 at 13:09

    Rich stuff today. Nice depth. Thanks.

  4. Michael said, on 2009/06/11 at 10:56

    I like how brilliant the whites are on the boat, as if a snapshot during a lightning crack. Illumination by Zeus!

  5. naveganteglenan said, on 2009/06/11 at 17:26

    I would not like to be sailing in the middle of a storm like that sugested by your wonderful watercolour :-)

  6. [...] 21, 2009 by bowsprite Crash!  Tear!   Rend!  Rip!  Thwack! all sounds of terror added to wind and thunder in the darkness before dawn!  Horrors for any mariner until reason intervenes and fights back.  So [...]

  7. Watercolor « tugster: a waterblog said, on 2010/02/25 at 11:11

    [...]  This post is dedicated to my second . . .  well, actually first among those I know,  favorite watercolorist. If looking for specific "word" in archives, search [...]

  8. Maritime Monday 204 said, on 2010/03/07 at 23:49

    [...] keep reading » [...]

  9. tugster said, on 2010/03/08 at 09:14

    “thunder..” and “ships 1 and 2…” great stuff. more more soon soon please.


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