Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

lost and forlorn!

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2013/06/20

Where is the Colgate Clock???

It was there yesterday when I was sketching in North Cove. Looking carefully at my photos though, I see it was being lowered away like a ventian blind.

And today, it is GONE!

dondeclock?

Years of hearing over VHF: “…(name of tug), turning around at the Clock, headed for the Gate…” “…(ship name,) southbound off the Clock…” “…hey, Cap, we’re the unit at the Clock, northbound, where you headed?”
We are lost. Lost, I say.

colgateripphoto: Gerry Weinstein

Thank you, Margot. ChickenLittleitis hit. This just up, I’ll be monitoring that void on the shore.

sandy, the horrendous force of nature

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/10/29

At 10h38, the CG reported on VHF16 two refrigerators floating at Edgewater. May it not get any worse than that.


Sandy Hook Pilot Boats 1 and 2 were on North River all day, starting at the vents, were pushed sideways downriver by the wind to Colgate Clock (day off for the Clock), and would go back north to the vents and start over, accompanied by PB America and PB Phantom. CG Sailfish was upriver, and Penobscot Bay was heard on VHF, but was going stealth.

The bottom of the low was at the top of the high:


To see conditions at the Battery, click here; Station ID: 8518750.

Pier 25: Pegasus is riding out the storm with her captain onboard. Fireboat John J. Harvey joined the party this afternoon. Buy tickets for Sunday, 4 november’s Federal Save America’s Treasures Grant celebration!

Lightship Tender Lilac is secured, and the amazing WWII photo exhibit of the U.S. Army Air Corps has been safely stowed away.

Lightship Nantucket left yesterday afternoon to ride the storm upriver.


Pier 17: Wavertree and company secured by the stalwart volunteers and museum crew yesterday. Pioneer is up in Verplank with tug Patty Nolan, and Pioneer captain reports all is well.

Red Hook is underwater! but coastal tanker Mary Whalen is riding out the briny surge with her shipkeeper and mate Chiclet onboard.

Seeking safety midstream were passenger vessels Miss New York, Miss New Jersey, Lady Liberty, Circleline Queens.

For a mariner’s perspective on Sandy, click hawsepiper.

Leave note of how you are weathering the storm if you’d like! Bianka is fine, hope the cars in the lot next to her are tied down.

Keeping watch? peek at Wunderground. See photos at Tugster.
Light a candle in vigil, condolences to crew and family: we are sorry. Bravo USCG

Signing off at 19h40: Tide is over the Battery seawall: a new record high. It’s washing over the seawall and onto the grass. Grateful to still have power; prepared for days without. Be safe everyone!

20h19 VHF 16: Fireboat Bravest responding to shipping containers afloat in Buttermilk Channel.

21h04 VHF 16: “Pan pan, pan pan, eight to ten people in the water at Gravesend Bay. Requesting all to be on the sharp lookout.”

21h09 VHF 16: HMS Liberty reported a yellow (diesel) fuel tank banging against the bulkhead of the water treatment facility by the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

vhf prose: radio check

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/09/24

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).”

Silence.

Boater: “This is (name of boat), we are here at Sandy Point. I mean, Sandy Hook…doing a radio check. Please respond.”

Zip.

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.

wind

Posted in anchorage, chart, containership, red hook, tugs, vhf by bowsprite on 2011/02/06

Last night, thick fog closed in, the horn called out into the silent, empty night.

But over the radio, many voices spoke. As the winds came, the fog was cleared away, but the tension mounted as the wind grew in strength, gusting over 40kts.

When the winds howl, you hear the tightness in their voices.

Coming in this morning, from being in the Panama Canal four days ago, was this ship, calling from the 26 buoy at around 04h30, navigating its way around traffic, an anchoring tug and barge and into Red Hook. The winds began to die down, and everyone was talking:

“…You taking the main channel?”

“…You got a barge there or are you light?”  “No, we’re light.”

“…We’re going to anchor here.”

Molinari (ferry), two whistles?”

“…Yeah, we got your pilot here…starboard side. Roger.”

“…I’m going up the Buttermilk.”


With a sigh of relief (mine), it docked at around 6am.

Boxes are ships at anchor: Light blue are tugs. Red are tankers. Green is cargo. The dark blue arrow is the SI ferry.
I did not include boats tied up at docks nor underway unless they were in the anchorage. The 26 buoy is around the “h” of  ‘mahima’.

vhf prose

Posted in Uncategorized, vhf by bowsprite on 2011/01/30

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.

“Coming to you as quick as my little propellers will take me.”


“We’re standing by, and we’ll keep knocking the fish outta the water until you get by.”



vessel 1: “Cap—you hanging out here?”
vessel 2: “No, this is my warp speed, believe it or not. You go ahead, I’ll take your stern.”

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!

vessel A (very cheerfully): “That you, Stupid?”
vessel B (equally cheerfully): “Cheeeeck!”
vessel A (in cartoon voice): “I’ll gitchoo…!”

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?”

The Rafts of Troy

Posted in art, junk in the harbor, tugs, vhf by bowsprite on 2008/09/04

0802
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!

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