Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

Fleet Week 2014 / National Stationery Show last day

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2014/05/21

Fleet Week begins today, with a parade of ships!
The following ships will represent the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard during Fleet Week 2014:

USS McFaul (DDG 74),

USS Cole (DDG 67),

USS Oak Hill (LSD 51),

Coast Guard cutter Katherine Walker (WLM 552)

Coast Guard cutter Campbell (WMEC909).

Cole will lead as the ships enter the Ambrose Channel at approximately 8:15 a.m., with
ships in formation behind, passing Buoys 19 and 20 at approximately 9 a.m. The New York
City Fire Department (FDNY) will join at 9:15 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., Cole will be on the beam of
historic Fort Hamilton, with each ship following at 3.75 min intervals. Oak Hill will render
honors as it passes the One World Trade Center at approximately 10:15 a.m.

The ships can be seen from virtually any view of the river, from the Battery
Conservancy to just south of the George Washington Bridge, and on the other side of the river
in Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken, up to Fort Lee, New Jersey.
You will be able to see them here:

Pier 92 Manhattan:
– USS Oak Hill (LSD 51)
– USCG cutter Campbell (WMEC 909)
Sullivans Pier Staten Island:
– USS McFaul (DDG 74)
– USS Cole (DDG 67)
– USCG cutter Katherine Walker (WLM 552).
Public visitation on Navy ships and USCG cutters begins Thursday, May 22 and continues through Monday, May 26. Public visitation is 8:00am to 5:00pm daily. Visitors are reminded that lines may be capped early so that the last people in line have an opportunity to complete their tours. For more information, visit the official Fleet Week New York City Web site.

contraband

Bowsprite’s tips for the stars: always carry a knife. Except when visiting at pier 92. Bring a water bottle you will not be heartbroken to leave behind.

“Fleet Week New York, now in its 26th year…Nearly 1,500 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are participating  this year.”
Me, too, after I pack up the show today! this is booth 1366, with visiting urchins:

boothwUrchins

military men

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/12/18

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.”

kenny

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?”

succulents

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:
“What’s that?”
Chloe, stuttering, “It-it’s the fax machine. I’m getting a fax.” She works from home.

navyseal

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.”

veterans day & tea towel for the engine room

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.

Here are past Bowsprite fabrics. I am going to do one with egrets and booms, a la Tugster! Have an idea for a fabric? drop a line!

buoys move & sh!t happens

Posted in arts of the sailor, buoys, learn from them, pump out, USCG, USCG buoy tender by bowsprite on 2010/09/13

A Patchogue captain returning from Boston squeezed through Shinnecock Inlet, and was making good speed when he suddenly ran hard aground in Moriches Bay.

“I don’t understand! I’m in the channel!” said he, as he pulled out his paper charts and peered at his GPS. And—as real life is stranger than fiction—while he was there, a Coast Guard boat came from behind him, picked up the channel buoy, and dropped it about fifty yards east of where he’d grounded, and disappeared.

“Ah, ” he said as he slowly listed 45° to one side, “NOW I’m out of the channel.”

A Port Jefferson greenhorn was a glutton for punishment: electrocution from lightning, several dismastings, near sinkings and allisions were not enough to dissuade the new sailor from the sport. On one early voyage, he managed to bring his wearied self and his disheveled vessel to a dock where he found himself tied next to a fancy boat:  “There was a couple sitting on white cushions, they had white-carpeted boarding steps and a white french poodle.”  Our sailor wrestled to pump out his holding tank. “It exploded. It went all over everything. It went everywhere.”

Many, many thanks, Capt. Tim of the Flaming Scorpion Bowls!
and thank you, N!

back by popular demand/command

Posted in coast guard cutters by bowsprite on 2010/04/02

Back by popular demand, the barrel is hereby returned to its rightful place on the OTO-Melara 76mm cannon of the CGC Escanaba.

Due to well-meaning–but unfounded–national security concerns, the gun barrel had been omitted. The illustrator apologizes for any crudities (crudites?) that may have occurred as a result of this misguided emasculation.

“the deck gun…retracted…?” — from a reader

“Didn’t you forget the gun barrel here ?
As a male, it seems important to me.”
— from another reader

Sorry, Commander Ed.

Click here to see the goings-on onboard the Escanaba.

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