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.
“Tradition states that the first entry of the new year in the official log in CG and Navy must be in verse and rhyme.”
So, here’s to tradition…
Zero one January two thousand one two.
Eight glasses for the old year and eight for the new.
Clear, windless day; low tide at o8h14,
The river has that beautiful blue-brown, cold sheen.
Hair making good knots, rolled out of my berth,
Dismayed by the thickening of the girth
After bubbly and beer and something chateau,
Feeling like sierra hotel india tango
It’s already into the forenoon watch
When I go to the galley to assess the debauch
Staring at all of the bottles in front of me
Feeling a bit post-frontal lobotomy
Semper ready for the challenge!
It’s not too bad, rank it code orange.
Monitoring 13 while the kettle does boil…
So, where are my friends moving cargo, people and oil?
Clearing the nav station of sketches and cat,
I scan AIS to see where everyone’s at.
There’s xx at the anchorage and xx on the KV
And look at the ships coming in from sea!
Can’t wait to tell Tuggie who’s going by now!
Containerships, tankers, tugs and their scows,
Ferries and fishingboats and tour boats galore,
A honeyboat, and the boats of the Army Corps
Icebreakers and buoy tenders, and medium response
A sailboat, some kayaks, and hopefully, clearance.
A cruiseship. No ro-ro’s. The dredgers are at bay.
Do harbor charlie and fireboat get overtime pay?
Are the survey boats working? are the line boats out?
They’re not on AIS so I can’t see their routes.
I could do this all day, but muster midmess
To wish all of you for 2012: the best!
Thank you, CaptJJ for telling me about this tradition!
what is your log entry for today?
¡wow! thank you, west38! it looks so beautifully zen! click on her lovely blog to see the art of needle and thread in perfection: that corner is art.
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.
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?”
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!!)
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.