“I was walking in San Francisco on a small street not far from where I lived in North Beach. It was spring, sunny and breezy. The street was a quiet street of small galleries, lined with lacy locust trees.
I remember looking at a sign hanging above the door to one of the galleries. It was dark wood, beautifully varnished, with gold-leaf lettering. The sign was swinging slightly in the breeze and the shadows from the trees were playing across it. As I was looking at it, I heard a ship’s horn; one long blast, then three shorts. I immediately knew that the big dinner cruise boat was backing out of its slip. One long blast, a warning that I’m coming out of a blind slip, and three shorts, my engines are operating astern. I knew what the boat was saying. I speak boat. I didn’t know what the sign said, it was in Chinese. Not having been distracted by what the sign said, I remember every detail of its texture, color, the play of the light across it. Of the ship’s horn, I only remember what it said.”
— Daniel Porter, mariner
It was hard to read the name at first, for rust covered the lettering. But I stared hard, and it was worth the effort:
a crude oil tanker named Compassion.
It was such a good name that it survived two company changes. It was Stena Compassion until 2010, then Newlead Compassion until 2012. It is currently owned by BW Maritime (Singapore). Flag: Bermuda, homeport: Hamilton.
The company also owns a tanker named Compass. Un-ION-ized.
Built: 2006 by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Group
Length: 748 ft. (228 m)
Beam: 105 ft. (32 m)
Draft: 37.4 ft. (11.4 m)
What good karma to be up in the bridge, high on Compassion.
Bike, walk, swim, sail, paddle to Hudson River Park’s pier 25, off North Moore street and West Street.
Public transportation directions here.
Presenting! a few of our vendors, and if you would like to be in touch with them or learn more:
many thanks to Mary, Gerry, Andy, Sanford, Carl, Brian, Paulina, Stephen, Jimmy, Tom, Kenny, Brian, Derry (other volunteers’ names to come) for all your help. This would not be possible without all of you!
LILAC: Saturday, July 20, City of Water Day, 10am to 7pm **SPECIAL HOURS**
City of Water Day is a celebration of New York’s waterfronts sponsored by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.
The tug PEGASUS and fireboat JOHN J. HARVEY will be offering free boat tours with the fireboat loading at LILAC. The ship is open for tours and viewing the exhibit, Dead in August. Hudson River Park educators will be offering lessons in fishing from the pier from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and The River Project will be pulling up traps and inviting visitors to see estuarine life up close in touch tanks on LILAC’s buoy deck in the afternoon.
The shop will be open on LILAC today.
The Waterfront Museum, Red Hook, Brooklyn: SLACKJAW celebrates New York City’s waters with a lively mix of traditional, new and original bluegrass songs, 1 – 5pm. Admission free.
That is how Clermont Ferrand would greet the crowd in the little bars we used to play in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Hoboken: Sin-é, Sidewalk, Pianos, Black Betty, PS1, Maxwell’s…
This troupe of Brooklynites formed this French go-go band, Les Sans Culottes, in hommage to Serge Gainsbourg, Francoise Hardy, France Gall, Nino Ferrer, Jacques Dutronc, and others. The French hated us, so we knew we’d do well touring around France—as in—the countries surrounding. Alas, I had to leave the band just before they got booked in France. I am happy they made it back alive.
We had great names like Kit Kat le Noir, Celine Dijon, JeanLuc Retard, Cal Dommage, Pascal Blase.
The crew now:
Clermont Ferrand – singer
Kit Kat Le Noir – chanteuse
Courtney Louvre – chanteuse
M. Pommes Frites – bass
Geddy Liason (aka TRESemmé) – guitar
Johnny Dieppe – keyboard
Jacques Strappe – drums
We had great costumes:
“You look like astronaut wives.”
We had great sound. Well. We had great fun.
omg. I cannot sing! We pissed off the French, we pissed off musicians with perfect pitch.
Well, that’s why I became a deckhand.
I hope youtube will not show me throwing the heaving line into the drink. Yes, of course I have.
Les Sans Culottes are playing tonight, Friday, at 6:30 at Front St. and Fulton St. Vive la Révolution!
The performance in this video Clermont sent was on the 107th floor
of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
The hall was called, “The Greatest Bar on Earth.”
Unrelated, but one buoy tender capsized in the East River the morning before the above photograph was taken. Story here, speedy and complete recovery to crew of tender and rescue boat.
Radio LILAC, this Sunday, July 21st!
Dress up in your 1960-70′s best and come go-go on the welldeck! shop on a ship with the only beer at the pier!
Information for Vendors and photographs, please click here. Come join us and sell your wares!
…in honor of the free spirit of Radio Veronica.
LILAC is open Thursdays 3:00 to 6:00 PM, Saturdays and Sundays 1:00 to 7:00 PM.
1 train to Franklin St. or
2, 3 / A, C to Chambers St.
Ferry: to World Fi.
She sells ship porn on the sea shore. On LILAC at pier 25, every saturdays and sundays, 1pm to 7pm.
The ships look alike, both are black, steel-hulled, four-masted barques, both have what I was taught was called a ‘liverpool house’ but when I search for it, photos of pub grub and happy people in a bar pop up.
“Moshulu” is Seneca for “Dreadnought” (Dreads Nothing).
“He told us once when he was newly aboard Moshulu, they were in a horrible storm. The first mate yelled at him to go up and furl the sails on the upper yard. They train you, start you off on the lower ones and you work your way up to the higher ones. Well, Bob wasn’t ready for the upper yard, and he was scared. But he was more scared of the mate’s cobbled boots: he’d seen that boot make it’s mark on several men’s bottoms, so up he went.
• • •
Click here for the re-rigging of Moshulu
In my well-worn copy of The Book of Old Ships, by Henry B. Culver, beautifully illustrated by Gordon Grant (Garden City Publishing Company, Inc, NY © 1935), it says this name may have come from the generic Turkish word “fulk,” meaning a ship. The Catalan felouques had “masts inclined well forward, and had on each side of the stem, a painted eye after the style of those which ornamented the prows of the ancient Egyptian and Greek ships. The lateen sail with its high pointing whippy yard is much better suited to the lighter and dryer winds of the south than to the heavier airs of the northern seas.”
The “Gold & ambergris…” quote is from Patrick o’Brien. Ambergris is found in the guts of the sperm whale, it smells like poop when fresh, but ages into a sweet scent and was used in perfumes. It made Melville muse that “fine ladies and gentlemen should regale themselves with an essence found in the inglorious bowels of a sick whale.” Store High In Transit!
This Sunday, USCGC LILAC (WAGL-227) is turning 80. Come for local crafts, local brews, music and mirth.
LILAC ran on steam, and you can go into her engine room, imagine it running and sounding like the engine room of San Pablo of Sand Pebbles, and peer into the big cylinder where a piston was removed. Keep one hand in your pocket if you venture near the main electric board with the Frankenstein switches. Better yet: don’t go near there.
Lilac has a diesel stove.
When Girlfriend with a Tanker tried to make paella for her SupperClub on her diesel stove, the passing ferries threw wakes that kept sloshing the broth out over the low freeboard of the paella pan. And if that is not difficult enough: there’s no way to control the heat.
One tugboat crew cut rings of varying thicknesses from a discarded steel drum picked up along the KVK, stacking and swapping metal rings while cooking until done.
“You want those eggs how? hahahaha.”
Class: Lighthouse Tender, Buoy Tender
At: Pusey & Jones Shipyard in Wilmington, Delaware
Length: 173 feet, 4 inches
Beam: 32 feet
Draft: 11 feet, 3 inches
Displacement: 1,012 tons
Propulsion:Two 500 HP triple expansion engines supplied by two oil-fired Babcock & Wilcox watertube boilers.
Armament: During WW II, 3 inch 50 cal., two 20mm 80 cal., and two racks of depth charges.
information from Naval Historic Ships Association
Upon surfacing with the turtle, he found his boat had drifted away.
He let go of the turtle, but could not catch up to his boat.
He had to swim back home, exhausted and embarrassed, with neither turtle nor boat.
Those who try to do two things at once often accomplish neither.
On June 14, 2011, this 70 ft schooner, Black Seal, brought 20 tons of cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic to Red Hook, Brooklyn.
This is how they did it: no customs report, no bills of lading, no contract with the ILA to lift the 400 bags, and a blank stare when asked for a TWIC. Viva l’esprit of rum running!
Our wise leaders decided that shooting at the handmade three masted schooner was not as good press as welcoming it, so we are happy to have the beans, Mast Bros chocolate, and this WSJ story. Will there be more? Day-o!
(update: the editorial offices of BLOWSPITTLE ink have been informed that all hoops were hastily collected, set up on pier 9A and jumped through: correct papers were obtained-signed-approved-delivered, customs agent procured, docking permitted, stevedores contracted, eyes crossed, teas dotted.)
♠ ♥ ♣ ♦
On March 9, 2012, this 105 ft schoonerbrig, running under sail power only — no motor at all — set a course from the Dominican Republic to pick up cocoa beans in Grenada bound for New York. They had rum, salt and other Caribbean products for New York, England and the Netherlands. Their voyage plan had Grenada as their last Carribean stop in order to load the cocoa beans last to keep them cooler, forcing the ship to sail from the Dominican Republic against the current and close to the wind, sailing that demanded constant trimming and setting of sails during all watches.
All for naught: the bureaucracy and regulatory fees demanded by our port thoroughly discouraged Tres Hombres, and the cocoa shipment for Grenada Chocolate Company was not to be. The ship had to abandon the stop off at New York, and changed course towards the Azores. Simply no way to gain if you try to follow the rules. Read the ship log’s entry here. Day-o…
♠ ♥ ♣ ♦
This 191 ft barquentine is the largest tall ship operated by the Indonesian Navy and serves as a sail training vessel for naval cadets and as an ambassador of goodwill for the people of Indonesia: Dewaruci.
She was on her last voyage, nearing NYC for FleetWeek/OpSail 2012 when she ran low on water. She crawled like a thirsty desert traveller along the NJ coast, crying ‘water! water!’ unheeded. She reached the Verrazano Narrows bridge, and approached Sullivans Pier in Staten Island where she would tie up for FleetWeek, two days early. She was denied permission to dock. And was not allow to water. Anti Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP): the police forces were scheduled for two days later and could not be deployed so quickly, nor could they be paid for for the two extra days. ATFP does not do boat time.
Desperate, the ship with their crew of 70 students looked for water, but found none. Calls were made and both SUNY Maritime and the United States Merchant Marine Academy welcomed them, eager to host the ship for two days. Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula was just a touch closer than Kings Point, Long Island, so the plan was to sail to SUNY Maritime to tie up and get water.
The ship began the trip up the East River, when the Sandy Hook Pilots noticed a discrepancy with specs and a translation issue. “Air draft” in Indonesian looks like “mast height” or the other way around; the mast from the deck up would have gone under the Brooklyn Bridge, but not with the ship under it.
Dewaruci turned away, and limped back, still parched, to Lower Bay to wait for two days.
For the FleetWeek parade up and down North River, Dewaruci students dressed gaily in blue and white uniforms, and stood atop yards, on shrouds and on bowsprit, saluting a city that was a rather shabby welcoming host. O day.
♠ ♥ ♣ ♦
Tonight! the Working Harbor Committee presents “Sailing Ships At Work”: the history of sailing cargo ships, the ships that sail cargo today (short part) and what the future may look like.
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 6 – 9 p.m.
Community Church of New York
40 E. 35th Street
New York, NY 10016
Price — Adults: $25, Seniors (62+) $20
please click here for tickets.
The future: projects like the Vermont Sailing Barge, Hope and Alert, HARVEST, B9 Shipping, and the MARAD initiative of the Hudson River Foodway Corridor will bring back water transportation of cargo…putting ships back in shipping.
The Working Harbor Committee is not responsible for any of the drivel I write. I just monitor VHF radio and drink in scuttlebutt in bars. And unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the event tonight, but go and have great fun. ♠ ♥ ♣ ♦
This American Beauty turns 120 years old this year:
Join the Museum of the City of New York, the Seaport Museum and Friends at Rosanne Cash‘s Fundraising Concert on monday!
Monday, April 8
New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, NYC
Please buy tickets here. For a bit of history, read on Tugster, who writes: “Rosanne Cash traces her family to an ancestor who arrived in Salem, MA in 1643 aboard Good Intent.” And a bit more history on Sea Mist, Time, and Sunsets.
Gotta give a shout out to the Homies—Gloucester in da House!
We had one million bales of the best Sligo rags
We had two million barrels of stones
We had three million sides of old blind horses hides,
We had four million barrels of bones.
We had five million hogs, we had six million dogs,
Seven million barrels of porter.
We had eight million bails of old nanny goats’ tails,
In the hold of the Irish Rover.
—Shane McGowan, Paddy Rolling Stone
for this post, information and comments, please see the side page here:
Some tugs are named after rivers. Some after seas, some after trees. Some are named after American Indian tribes.
But the CG has a class of tugs that wins the award for best names: the 65-foot Small Harbor Tug (WYTL).
Named after things normal people call “rope”, and things found on a boat that interact with the “rope,” or, in one case, what normal people call “droop” of a rope, to those who love tugs, these names are little, one-word love poems, odes to the small harbor working tug.
The WYTLs were built between 1962 and 1967, and were employed only on the east coast, from Maine to Virginia. Originally a class of 15 tugs built by different shipyards, 11 are still in service:
- BOLLARD (WYTL 65614) New Haven, CT
- BRIDLE (WYTL 65607) Southwest Harbor, ME
- CAPSTAN (WYTL 65601) Philadelphia, PA
- CHOCK (WYTL 65602) Portsmouth VA
- CLEAT (WYTL 65615) Philadelphia, PA
- HAWSER (WYTL 65610) Bayonne, NJ
- LINE (WYTL 65611) Bayonne, NJ
- PENDANT (WYTL 65608) Boston, MA
- SHACKLE (WYTL 65609) South Portland, ME
- TACKLE (WYTL 65604) Rockland, ME
- WIRE (WYTL 65612) Saugerties, NY
BITT (WYTL 65613) was decommissioned on 4 October 1982, now R/V Clifford A. Barnes
SWIVEL (WYTL 65603) , still SWIVEL at Governor’s Island
TOWLINE (WYTL 65605) perhaps for sale, and
CATENARY (WYTL 65606), now Growler
And YOU are invited to the 50th birthday celebration of Hawser (17 Jan 1963), Line (21 Feb 1963), and Wire (19 Mar 1963):
“1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013: the three tugs will meet at the Walkway over the Hudson and steam north to Saugerties. A Coast Guard spokesperson will be available at the walkway and there will be a photo opportunity there to capture the tugs together on the Hudson River.” USCG Media Advisor
According to Hudsonian’s & Tugster’s photos, all three have expanded the cabins aft to enclose the stack. So the drawing above is incorrect. Do not use for navigation.
Like one to take home? look here.
|Power Plant:||Upgrading to
Does your deckhand (or other crew member) look like anyone from this clip?
if ‘yes’, s/he is eligible to win a bowsprite print of her/his vessel and a
pink salmon scarf!
Scan of TWIC card needed to claim prize Nevermind, no TWIC scanners yet. Send phone photo. And phone number.
Good luck, Wo/Men!
*this is an equal opportunity event.
USS Mitscher (DDG-57)
Ingalls Shipbuilding, 1992
Homeport: Norfolk, VA
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
38 Chief Petty Officers
210 Enlisted Personnel
At Stapleton Pier / The Sullivans Pier, Fleet Week 2012. With the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in the background.
Chock-a-block of eye pads…unlike this unidentified ship, with a dearth of panama chocks.
Line handling these days must be damned bitter cold. Oof!
But I did catch this on VHF13:
A NYHarbor tug which moves oil called out to a cruise ship, tied up at pier 88. The cruise ship responds. (Yes, I know the names; No, not naming.)
Tug: “Yeah, we’ve been here for 40mins, and not a hatch has opened.”
Cruise ship: “Oh…oh. Stand by, please, stand by.” A few minutes go by. “Yes, someone has gone to open the hatches, now.”
What do you say to the nice tankerman who’s been waiting on the barge for you?
sorry: posting while under the influence of flu. This is the first year I get a flu shot and BAM! hit by da bug. Hard.
To my aid came this from an old salt and top first aid administrator:
take a mug
fill it half with HOT water
add sugar, or honey and some citron
add half whiskey, or brandy
drink as hot as possible
take 2 paracetamol (we call it acetaminophen)
Now you have to hurry to make it to your bed, because you will probably faint. You will sweat all night. Next morning you will be still ramshackle, but are going to be ok.
• 2 cups of water,
•12 to 20 thick slices of ginger,
• 3 to 4 teaspoons of brown sugar (not white)
Boil together for a good long while, until a quarter or a third of the water boils off.
Drink as hot as you can handle. It will feel like lava, but not due to temperature, but the ginger’s power.
Go to bed immediately.
Sweat sear your bugs out. Wake up and thank the Goddesses you survived the brew.
A tip from King Neptune:
More electrolytes than Gatorade. Just water it down to dilute all the salt.
Avoid coffee, tea and lemon: these are diruretic, which makes you move water out. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Stay healthy! Best to you if you were on the ferry this morning, under the bug, or otherwise not feeling A-1.
A NYHarbor tugman tells this story of serving on a particular ship, early in his career:
When his ship was in the same port with other vessel of the service, they would have to be extra vigilant to keep rival comrades from playing pranks with the ship’s good name. All it took was two lengths of thick black tape, crossed.
It was called being on the “X” watch.
Someone at A and A Coffee Shop was slacking off:
Refuse to enable people or companies who put profit above responsibility to their crew—
• no money,
• no service,
• no business,
• no supplies,
• no crew,
• no succor.
As a tugman I know puts it, ” I wouldn’t piss on them even if they were on fire.” How inadvertently gracious of him.
Don’t work for Azal Shipping & Cargo. We need the names of the owners, should they disband and reform as another company.
Iceberg I, RO/RO
Built: 1976, ACH Construction Navale, Le Havre, FR
I did not know any military people until I began to work on boats. I still do not know any military women very well, just by correspondence. But I’ve met some men. Different world.
With a few rich and generous exceptions, they don’t blog. They don’t like to reveal much. It is not easy to drag a good story out of them.
But every now and then, in a calm crossing of the river while we’re both in the wheelhouse, I’d hear:
“Did I ever tell you? Oh, you’ll like this one—we were in the PBR, they were shooting at us, and let me tell you how this boat was made: you could turn a valve to use the motor to pump the water that was filling up in the boat OUT. It was called a crash turn. But you couldn’t move, then. We had to choose: pump out the boat, or get our asses outta there.”
“The boat was filling up? you were all getting wet?”
Eyes widened: “We were getting SHOT at! YES, our socks were getting wet!”
“Oh, Kenny! where were you? when was this?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Well, who made the boat?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Come on! Oh, pretty please?”
“No. I can’t.”
Tried to find the boat. A good resource here: the Historic Naval Ships Association.
They see things differently. My dear girlfriend Lilian is a potter, she gave me beautiful red clay to pinch into pots for my succulents. One ex-CG friend picked up the bag of the heavy dense stuff and asked, “It this your bag of plastic explosive?”
I could not tell if he was serious or not. That’s another thing. Poker faced, even when you step on their toes really hard by accident with a high-heeled shoe.
They act differently. Chloe, who lives in the east village, told me of a time when a fellow who was a NAVY SEAL visited her. He walked up to her fifth floor apartment of a tenement building, and warned her: “Watch out, these guys are packed around here.” He was able to detect some of her neighbors coming down the stairs concealing weapons under their pants legs. While he was there, he heard a noise and with his broad arm, pushed Chloe down to the floor and crouched protectively over her:
Chloe, stuttering, “It-it’s the fax machine. I’m getting a fax.” She works from home.
Well, for some of us, there will always be that fascination:
And! though not Military, fellow ship portraitist Pamela just sent me this: SECRET FBI sale! Dec. 20, for the first time in its history, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will open its New York store:
“The rare offer for G-men branded gear is good for four hours only. Intelligence locates the store somewhere between the 22nd and 29th floor of 26 Federal Plaza. Special clearance required.”