A captain was in the harbor at anchor when he heard the following over VHF 16:
Boater: “Radio check, radio check this is (name of boat).”
Boater: “This is (name of boat), we are here at Sandy Point. I mean, Sandy Hook…doing a radio check. Please respond.”
Boater, with annoyance: ”This is (name of boat), someone please respond to our radio check.”
Mystery Mariner, with just a touch of playfulness: “Ok, sure…FUCK YOU!”
Ah, New York Harbor…I do love this harbor.
oh my goodness. I really sat through this: F Troop.
A more scholarly link here…
“Ships of New York Harbor”
oil paintings of Frank Hanavan and illustrations of Christina Sun
open today! and on view until 31 August
Mondays and Thursday, 4 to 7 PM,
Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 6 PM.
Reception: Thursday, August 30, 6 to 10 PM.
Music by the Jug Addicts!
1 train to Franklin Street stop
A/C/E trains to Canal Street stop (exit at Walker Street)
LILAC is a 1933 lighthouse tender that carried supplies and maintained buoys for the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.
More information about her here. We hope to see you there! Frank is there sundays, Christina will be there mondays.
Lightship Ambrose LV 87 / WAL 512
Built: 1907 by New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, NJ
Length: 136ft. (41.5m)
Beam: 29ft. (8.8m)
Draft: 13ft. (3.9m)
Original Illumination Apparatus: three oil lens lanterns
This lightship was stationed in the Ambrose Channel since 1906, guiding vessel traffic through the main shipping channel just below the Verazzano Narrows bridge, into New York and New Jersey Harbor until 1967. She was given to South Street Seaport Museum by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1968. A light tower replaced it, was hit by ships a few times too many, and, now, the channel is marked by lighted buoys.
Now at the new! improved! South Street Seaport Museum under the fertile wing—nurturing wing?— of the City of the Museum of New York this lightship was painted in March, and is now being restored and is open for visiting at Pier 16.
The wings of the seaport museum are alive: a new exhibit is up, nautical pieces from another museum I love, the American Folk Art Museum.
And true to the harbor’s spirit, the active gem of the museum, Pioneer, is sailing. Go onboard to sail in the harbor or go and volunteer and learn how to handle lines and many other things that may always serve you well…!
one black ball:
two black balls:
“Not under command. Underway, but no way on. Adrift.”
Unable to follow any rules.
three black balls:
“Aground. Displayed aloft.”
two black balls, two diamonds:
“Vessel engaged in underwater work. Pass on diamond side; avoid ball side.”
Another beauty tip from Capt JJ: “You know how I remember it? girls love diamonds, so go for the diamonds. Or, you have to have balls to pass on the side with the balls. But the girls and diamonds one is easier, for me.”
ball diamond ball:
“Restricted in ability to maneuver. Working vessel.”
And, Capt JJ had to go there—“This is no good, either:”
— thanks, Capt JJ. I think.
If hungry for more, the COLREGS International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, published by the IMO, spells out in exhaustive detail the rules for lights, shapes (dayshapes like these), and sound signals.
Note: *No vessel ever has absolute ‘right of way’ over other vessels.* You can be the ’give way’ (burdened) or the ‘stand on’ (privileged) vessel.
Print your own fabrics! re-upholster your bunk, make cool pillows, and frame your porthole with your own designs! Spoonflower, is a site based in Durham, North Carolina that prints your designs at their ‘mill’. Read more about them here.
In honor of Veterans Day (today: 11.11.11) they just held their military fabrics contest which I missed, but inspired me to make a tribute fabric anyway. (I never knew the symbolism of poppies until this contest.)
The Ships Ahoy Tea Towel calendar is now available! The fabric measures 21″ long by 18″ wide, but the edges are raw and will need to be finished:
All ships are denizens or frequent visitors of NYHarbor, and run on their own power. I love our historic vessels, but will save those for the Dead Ships Dinner Napkins series.
I love how the sailboats are so unpredictable, making loops, turns and spins. When the wind picks up, they get frenetic.
In contrast, the tugs and barges, plow through, steady and true to their course. It is like that in real time, but speeded up, it is very dramatic.
The tugmen sometimes call the sailboats “mosquitos” or “fleas,” but everything looks like waterbugs to me.
This video was shot on saturday when the high number of commuter ferries do not run. The gay pride sailboats go by at the end.
Material: Wood hull
Length: 60.6 ft.
Breadth: 22.5 ft.
Gross Tonnage: 41
Depth of Hold: 5.4 ft.
Lovely Greenport, L.I. wooden freighter which carried oysters, potatoes, lumber, cordwood, and stones for jetty construction. She plied the Sound, making trips from as far as Massachusetts to Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Known also as “chandlery lighters,” these versatile little boats carried supplies and drums of fuel to ships lying at anchor in the harbor. She had simple hoisting gear, an A frame cargo mast. You can see her, floating at pier 16, on the east river.
goodbye, Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh!
me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou…
Under the cover of darkness, she sails under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, heading south. What what was such a behemoth carrying? our upriver correspondent caught her boatload few hours earlier (thank you, Jeff)! Another hefty load here.
jambalaya, crawfish pie and fillet gumbo,
cause tonight I’m gonna see my machez amio
The ship is Dutch. Hm, jenever-infused crawfish, anyone? herring-gulf oyster po’boy? cajun edam ‘cheesecake’ soufflé? alligator nasi goreng (indonesian fried rice)? mmm!
Don’t know the song? ah, but he’s the king!!!
pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
son of a gun, we’ll have big fun down on the bayou!
These lines were heard on various channels of VHF (very high frequency) marine radio. Vessel names (where possible) and times were jotted in sketchbook margins or envelopes. All tugs have been changed to protect the innocent. or guilty.
vessel X: “Oh, Yooooohoooo!”
vessel Y: “Yeeeeeep?”
vessel X: “I gotta go move the buddha, so I’ll be right back.”
vessel Y: “Ok.”
vessel X: “And he’s gonna move it boat style, not boom style.”
vessel Y: “As long as he don’t get used to it.”
Ah! translation in the comments section! thank you, Yooohoooo!
middle of the night, buddy 1: “Look at at that moon!”
buddy 2: “Ah! I forgot what it’s like to do oil.”
buddy 1: “You still smoking?”
buddy 2: “Ha ha…well…I quit today. But I think I’ll go back now that you mention it.”
My absolute favorite VHF moment is here, “Are you angry?”
Short Sea Shipping is the use of small vessels to transport containerized cargo by water, using coastal and inland waterways. It is also going under the name of Marine Highway, the Blueway, Harbor and River shipping.
Waterborne freightage of cargo takes it off the roads, bridges and out of tunnels; it is the more economical, environmentally sound, and healthier method of goods transportation.
source: Texas Transportation Institute
Many people have envisioned and worked for this. What are SOME of the obstacles in NYHarbor?
I can’t imagine. We have bollards in place:
Trucking companies might get miffed and will want to shake a fist at the boats, but there are very few to target. As per the Jones Act, all vessels must be American made. That’s fine. We have shipyards that could use the work. It will cost more than a ship built in Asia. Yes, it will. And, not to fear: we have tugs & barges. We have schooners. We have intrepid kayakers.
We have the bollards, but few working piers or docks. Getting them built will run you into city, state and federal red tape, depending on the piece of waterfront you are looking at. Many town communities do not want traffic or riffraff like working mariners to mar their riverfront and views. One could float an eco-dock. Or, one could toss boxes of goods over the railing and run before the police come. You get fined $60 for biking on these walkways pictured above. How much would the fine be for cluttering it with baskets of apples and other produce from upstate, crates of dairy goods and wines from up the Hudson Valley, kegs of amazing Brooklyn beer, Christmas trees?
SO: boats, piers, docks, harbor tax, fines, TWIC fees for crew, dough to bail out crew (of course, US citizens!) when apprehended…money can handle those.
City, state, federal resistance…we’ll tweet you and let you know where to meet us with guitars and bongos, or to hold hands and sing “We Shall Overcome.” The absolute largest obstacle is cheap fuel. Invisible subsidies favor trucking and hide road-bridge-tunnel maintenance expenses. Trucks will bring food in from Florida to meet the cruise ships that left Florida to dock in our harbor. True true: florida oranges and grapefruits are better than our local varieties, however we have better dairy than them just upriver, and what farmlands we still have excellent produce, meats, beverages. How can it be that trucking goods that are available locally from across the nation is legal? or even profitable?
Changing people’s mindset that trucking is easier…oh, we will need a real miracle here. Join here if you’d like to help (still fledgling).
This weekend: Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival 2010
A musical and environmental festival; the venue looks amazing!
Uglyships has its Flashbacks, BibliOdyssey has its Image Dumps. Here is mine, for John Sperr’s old Instant Button Machine in the Dutchess Outreach booth this weekend. He asked for a few images to represent river and harbor activity, so I collected a few together. I have to draw more tugs! According to Roberta Weisbrod, since 1991, there is a 37% increase of tugs operating in NYHarbor. Taurus is foist on the list!
All artwork is ©2010, but is available upon request for altruistic, beneficent, benevolent, charitable, eleemosynary, good, humanistic, philanthropic, public-spirited causes, and for birthdays and ship anniversaries.
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.
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:
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:
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!
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.
¡Hola, fellow ChartLover! I have BOTH charts and Katherine Walker on here por te!
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 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:
oh, and while i’m fantasizing:
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:
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!
(the Le Havre adventure/drawings! coming! coming!!)
Coast Guard Cutter ESCANABA (WMEC-907) – “Medium Endurance cutter”
Built: 1983, R. E. Derecktor Shipyard , R.I.
Class and type: Famous-class cutter
Displacement: 1,800 long tons (1,829 t)
Length: 270 ft (82 m)
Beam: 38 ft (12 m)
Draft: 14.5 ft (4.4 m)
Propulsion: Twin turbo-charged ALCO V-18 diesel engines
Complement: 100 personnel (14 officers, 86 enlisted)I do love deck fittings and ground tackle!
Mariners from around the world, both licensed and not, float into NYHarbor. A look here at the merchant marine capacity is to see a complete array of pretty little flags. The people who serve as crew come from as many nations.
This story comes from a seasoned tug captain:
When finished bunkering and pulling away from a visiting ship, the tug captain maneuvers to position the barge to catch its lines as the ship deckhands cast them off. The trick is to slide quickly beneath the lines, and to take up the slack, so that the lines land on the barge and not go in the water.
“But if they want them to go in the water, there’s really nothing we can do to stop them,” and so, sometimes, the lines are flung off into the drink, leaving the crestfallen tankerman below to retrieve the heavy, wet, freezing lines.
“Yes, it happens. The deckhands lean over the rail and gloat. And, a handful of times, from hongkong nationals, I’ve heard the accompanying: “Hahaha! You go now, Round-eye!’”
“What?! That is absurd!!! no self-respecting asian would say ’round-eye!’ Round-eye is a “round-eye’s” term!”
“Well, I’m at eye-level, and I tell you, I see them. They take the line off the bitt and let it slide through the chock, and there’s no way you can take up all the slack in time. When the line goes into the water, their heads pop out over, they look at each other and laugh. And they say, “You go now, Round-eye!”
According to this excellent source of street lingo in beijing, the more probable insult of choice at the friendly work level would be da bi zi, “big nose” (though i’ve heard this used as a term of affection when an old chinese father called his american son-in-law that.) “Round eye” would not work because big eyes are very popular in china, and women undergo the knife to widen the eyes. I suppose it could be insulting for a deckhand to accuse you of having plastic surgery.
Blissfully disregarding the fact that they are the foreigners and not allowed off their ships, chinese mariners may still refer to the NYHarborer as an “old foreigner”: lao wai.
As for cultural exchange, a fascinating glimpse into the plight of the stranded, visiting mariner is depicted well in this Village Voice article. And over in our own Howland Hook, a personal shopper for the shipbound…
Regardless of your nationality: If you are throwing lines in the water, shame on you! what would your parents say?
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Happy 4708, year of the metal tiger, from this water tiger! and,
Happy Valentine’s Day! happy Mardi Gras!!!
Thank you, Caro, for the inventory of insults, most of which I could not use on this family blog.
In front of the Colgate clock, I spy a raft towing a shattered houseboat. They are colorful, with scrappy sails on dubious masts, and I cannot make out if they are manned by crew, stuffed dummies, or–er–art. And, they say (on 13): “This is a raft, requesting miminum wake and safe passage.”
And, they get:
“You want safe passage, get a real boat.”
“Get out of the way!”
Undaunted, they motor on, and reach the Battery quickly.
Captain 1: “Uh, Mike, what the heck is that in front of you?”
Captain 2: “It’s…a pirate boat.”
Captain 1: (Laughing) “Hahaha, they all got life jackets on.”
Captain 2: “Yeah, I’d wear one, too!”
Captain 3: (in a raspy voice) “I want your booty.”
Captain 4: “Is the idea here to put garbage on the river to see if it floats?”
Raft: “There’s two rafts in front of you, in front of your starboard, requesting miminum wake and safe passage.”
Captain: “Get the hell out of our way!”
They make it past the Battery when at the World Financial ferry, two more assemblages go by. A police patrolboat has sort of stopped one.
In the meantime, the project is at http://www.switchbacksea.org/
They started out from Troy, NY, August 15, and will end the 3-week Hudson sail at Long Island City.
The NYTimes described it as “… part floating artwork, part performance, part mobile utopia and seemingly part summer camp for grown-up artsy kids.”
The flotilla is seven strong, all built of recycled motors and–things.
Well! welcome to our friendly harbor!
Bowsprite was born in NYC on Riverside Drive, grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and did not realize the Long Island Sound was just a monkeyfist’s throw away for the first four decades. Duh! But, there are so many of us New Yorkers like that, so I began this blog to show what surrounds us.
Our waters are amazing! Our waters have protected, nurtured, nourished us, and still today, bring us much of what we need to survive and flourish.
What is on the water? who’s out there? what is going on on the waterfront? Come to the water. Get on the water. Get IN the water!
I love the old boats we have, I admire the knowledge of people who know how to fix, maintain, and run some of these boats and ships. I admire the working harbor, and I’ve been lucky to find a little boat to work on, a little orange hydrosurveying vessel. There is a vibrant community of what Tugster calls “the 6th boro”, and it is thanks to them that I learn of the things that I record. I love ships, I love stories, I love the water, and with this blog, I get to combine it all!
I got into this watery world quite late. It began with the books of Jacques Cousteau, Dr. Eugenie Clark, Patrick o’Brien, but really became an obsession when I joined a team of swimmers to swim around Manhattan, and studied my first chart. I owe much to the people I’ve met who work on the Pioneer, Peking, Wavertree, & the Michele Jeanne who generously pass on their knowledge, passion and friendship.
This doodle is of a tin toy, a German christmas ornament. It dangles from my lamp, over a large pile of drawings of boats and ships I hope to post up soon!
(& in memory…)