Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

lightship ambrose

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/07/01

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
Propulsion: Steam

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…!

views of the kill van kull & the arthur kill

Posted in chart, kill van kull, schooners, Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2010/03/16

What could be better than to be on an open metal deck of a lovely old boat in the fog, rain, thunder and lightning?

A. looking south into Gulfport Reach


Sunday was the transit of the Pioneer from her home at pier 17 down  to the a marina at the bottom of Staten Island. The trip took 5 hrs motoring at about 6 knots.

B. a view looking north into Newark Bay; Newark Bay Bridge in the background.

C. Howland Hook to port and Port Elizabeth to starboard, we go under the
Arthur Kill Rail Road Lift Bridge first, and then the Goethals Bridge

D. In the background is the Fresh Kills Land Fill

Below, the Pioneer is tied up at the yard in (E.) Tottenville, ready to be hauled out for work.
Ploughshare Point tank farms in the background at the foot of the Outerbridge Crossing.

Weatherly inspiration from Tugster.

An error on my original chart brought up the Boneyard (thanks, Vlad!). Photos of what the ‘graveyard of ships’ looked like once were taken by Shaun o’Boyle and opacity; it does not look like that anymore. Recent views found here and here on Tugster.

Hungry for more views? look at Frogma’s circumnavigation around Staten Island: 50 miles of kayaking in 14 hours!

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