Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

cool charts

I love charts & maps, and here are some of my favorite sites:

Wikimapia: I like labeling, and it’s maddening to find someone’s beaten me. Clicking on the site will often lead you to the current occupier’s website, history, and other information. I’m always impressed with how thorough and fastidious my anonymous co-mappers tend to be. Map mode is easier to read street names. However, I like the satellite mode as some folks like to outline and label their boats! I’m still looking for the surveyboat–she was not at her slip the day of class photo. Please label resp0nsibly (anyone can label)! Friends don’t let friends label drunk.

Sturgeon Bay‘s out, Katherine Walker‘s out on the beat…everybody’s out working.

Google Distance Calculator / DaftLogic: Disclaimer claims that all distances are estimations, but this is great for measuring crumbling piers (in satellite mode).

So with this handy website,  you can see that the distance between Atlantic Salt and the DSNY Marine Transfer Station is, as the seagull flies:

8miles/12.6km/6.8nm

and yet we insist on rumbling over potholed roads, congested bridges, and through backed up tunnels to truck it, schlepping the salt through three four boroughs:

16mi/26.5km

when we could it tie it on seagulls’ legs and fly it!! duh!!

Antipodes Map: could we dredge our way to china? not by going straight through! we’d end up due west of Tasmania!
If It Was My Home:  this is a new find. You only feel like playing with this one once. Thanks, BitterEnd & RedRightReturning!

© 1987 D.Jouris/Hold the Mustard. All rights reserved. The copyrighted image may not be reproduced, altered, or transmitted in any format

Hold the Mustard: You in Funk? at War? in Hell? They have very fun maps! Thank you, David, for permission. Take a peek, place an order!

Upside Down and Unusual Maps: the last time I felt this disoriented was when I was driving the survey boat south, away from one of the many basins in Jamaica Bay. I was so confused: the chartplotter was north up, the manhattan skyline seemed east of us, the channel seemed south, my boss was checking our data, and I was tearing along at 20 kts headed straight for a shoal 1′depth at low water.

And! the Source—NOAA: Ode to 12327, Hommage to 12334!

¡Hola, fellow ChartLover! I have BOTH charts and Katherine Walker on here por te!

Short Sea Shipping in NYHarbor!

Posted in harbor shipping, short sea shipping, water access, waterfront by bowsprite on 2010/04/18

I love how that sounds! It would be, more accurately Very Short Sea Shipping, or simply, Harbor Shipping.
And expanding harbor shipping is only one suggestion for the Department of City Planning, who welcomes your voice in their Comprehensive Waterfront Plan for 2020. So, get involved!

Currently, our freight comes in as containerized cargo to New Jersey (Port Elizabeth, Port Newark, Jersey City-Bayonne), Staten Island (Howland Hook), and Brooklyn (Red Hook).  Everything is then mostly trucked around, with only some things moving off by rail.

Short Sea Shipping is the use of smaller vessels to bring goods from the central container terminals to various little ports around our city to get it all off the streets, and to you, via the water.

Your computer. Your clothing. Your chair. Your shoes. Your cup. The beverage in your cup (unless it’s good ol’ NYC tap–the best!). The dinner you will have tonight (unless you grew it yourself on your fire escape or illegally shot it in the park):  all these things we consume do not truly reflect what it cost to bring to you if we were to factor in the work and maintenance on roads, bridges, tunnels alone. (Not even going onto the topic of stress on the Mothership, yet.)

We are behind. Roughly 40% of freight in Europe moves by short sea shipping. And in Hongkong: mid-stream operation. Thanks, Carolina.

We currently have no little ports around our city, no working piers, limited usable docks, nowhere for feederships and lighters to tie up, some stevedores, but, no cranes for longshoremen to operate, nor storage facilities or transit sheds to hold the break bulk. (Notice, above, how many piers there were in 1933? A bit of history here on how we lost it.)

However, we have the water. NYC is richly blessed with waterways that can transport stuff into the hinterlands.

Here is what it might look like. As long as I am allowing my imagination to run amok and it is all theoretical, I shall be generous:

the newtown creek floating market & pick up point

oh, and while i’m fantasizing:

But here are the ones who know much more: America’s Marine Highways and Deep Water Writing‘s good starter package!

——————————————————————-

Thank you, Department of City Planning, for opening the dialog for  VISION 2020 (clever!)

A very good write-up of the evening’s 4+ hr meeting was made by Frogma, found here, with interesting comments.

I regret to say, their ‘before’ slides were WAAAAAAY better than what they envision in the ‘after’ ones:

before

after

They proudly showed slides of “increased waterfront access,” but it looks exactly like the “waterfront access” we have now, which–getting to work for me–is:
• look to be sure no parks police are nearby
• climb over metal rail
• step on boat at the safest moment, or jump down if boarding at low tide.

It was put so well at the meeting from a commentator: we’d like not just ‘waterfront access’, but water access.
Yes! please, and thank you!

—————

where to get it: skysails, trailer bikes, cargo bikes, tallship

(the Le Havre adventure/drawings! coming! coming!!)

Clippers in NYHarbor: Robin Knox-Johnston

Happy April 22–the 40th anniversary of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race the first round-the-world, solo, nonstop yacht race. The winner was Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

Messing about in Boats’ began the tribute, and has good post on the boat Suhaili and observations: “Sailing is one of the oldest forms of transport but has evolved so much in 40 years that boats can travel long distance distance 400-500% faster. Is there any other form of transportation that has evolved as much?”

70.8%twilight4 has put up an encyclopedic post and interesting read. Oh! this one’s cool: from Invisible Workshop! and this one is elegant: from Tillerman.
Many others have joined the tribute…(look here for the muster! It’s all hands on deck!)

My RKJ celebration contribution is to share this book: The Twilight of Sail, Robin Knox-Johnson. First American Edition 1979, G.P.Putnam’s Sons, New York

Beautiful black & white photographs (over 120) of clipper ships, full rigged ocean flyers, from the mid 1850′s and on.
Fascinating history:

• the first real clipper ship, the Rainbow, built in 1845, ran from New York to Canton in record time: roundtrip – 6 months and 14 days,
• the China Tea Races and the Opium run from India to China spurred the building of faster ships,
• the British Navigation Act forbade the carriage of cargoes by any other than British ships. When it was repealed in 1849, it brought on a flush of American clippers, like the Oriental, which did HongKong to London in 97 days, with 1,118 tons of tea on board,
• the British fought back, launching the Aberdeen clippers, a race which they won by 1855 taking the trade back from the Americans,
• the only surviving British tea clipper is the Cutty Sark in a dry dock at Greenwich.

procyon1

“The Procyon with [all sails] set…at 2,132 tons, one of the largest three-masted barques under the British flag, she distinguished herself on the maiden voyage by sailing to New York in fifteen days.”

lawson1

The largest schooner ever built, the Thomas W. Lawson, was built in Quincy, Massachusetts…she “measured 5,000 tons gross and had a waterline length of 385 feet. Her seven masts were each 193 feet hight and carried nothing but fore and aft sails. All her halyards, topping lifts and sheets were led to two steam winches, one on the forecastle and one aft.” Only sixteen men were required to handle her.

“…the building of the Suez Canal and the establishment of a road across the Isthmus of Panama enabled steamers to move in on these lucrative routes and brought the great sailing-ship era to an end.”

For now. Who knows which way the wind blows? For the stubborn few who continue to dream, take a peek here and sign up for a stint to learn the ropes (if you don’t already know), for when clippers return, we will need you: ASTAAmerican Sail Training Association.

And keep an eye out for more companies sailing products from harbor to harbor, like this one: Compagnie de Transport Maritime à la Voile.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 396 other followers