Happy Harbor Week!

NYHarbor was busy this week, and here are some of the highlights where partyers, stately visitors, and working mariners made it work, swimmingly:

12sept09 Saturday, 1411h  – “Requesting slow bell in the Buttermilk Channel for a flotilla of historic Dutch vessels visiting, requesting slow bell in the Buttermilk until 1500.”


Then, the navy vessels go by:


WaterTaxi to the Coast Guard Cutter (paraphrased): “Oh, please, please, may I go inbetween the navy ships? i’m just crossing the river.”

Coast Guard Cutter (verbatim): No. Denied. Forbidden. “You can stay where you are or you can go to the end and take the stern of the last vessel, but you may not cut through the parade.” The ships went by slowly, and the taxi was like a little boy who has to go the bathroom very, very badly, but could not.


The ships went up as north as the 79th boat basin, turned and went south. Here, one passes Pier 40, home to the Steamship Lilac and Fireboat John D. McKean:


Little Flying Dutchmen joined the parade:

flying dutchmen

Cargo ship Ocean Atlas steamed south alongside the Sloop Clearwater, calling out 5 bells to warn sailing vessels ahead:

clearwater.oceanatlasOcean Atlas (120m x 20m; draught 7.7m, destination Houston)

What ship is this?


Then, a call on VHF 13: “A flotilla in the mooring!”


The working harbor draws comparisons of the regatta to Nature: “Yeah, watch out, I got a lot of fleas here on my right.”


“Uh, Heyward, I’m going to go south of these mosquitos, see you on the 2.”


(The views expressed here are not the opinions of the blogger, who rather saves the discourtesy for the cigarette boats.)

flotillabattery2This view is looking south, where the regatta is at the Battery. The hexagonal stupa is the Holocaust Museum, the patina’d copper green topped roof and tower is Pier A, the old fireboat station. The strip of land midground is Governor’s Island. The waters are the deep water range (fore), and Buttermilk Channel (behind).  The background land is Brooklyn. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge straddles Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to the left and Staten Island to the right.

Sunday: Harbor Day. The morning started calmly with Half Moon and Tromp riding between Penobscot Bay and Thunder Bay. Hawser 65610 was also in service.


Sorensen Miller brought a large number of passengers onto the Warship Tromp.


sorensenout2 The USCG Cutter Penobscot Bay began to announce on ch13 that a security zone would be in effect from 1100 until 1600: no traffic allowed on north river during that time, from the Battery to Berth 64 (about 24th street.) The announcement was made at intervals.

catherding2KP: “Kimberly Poling is in the ConHook Range, splitting the 29 and the KV buoy, headed up the north river.”
CGPB: “Kimberly Poling, this is CG Cutter Penobscot Bay, you going all the way through?”
KP: “Oh, yes, sir, I’m going to Albany, to Rensselaer.”
CGPB: “OK, well, please hug the Manhattan side.”
KP: “Very good.”
CGPB: “Thank you, have a good day.”
KP: “You too.”


KP (to buddy on radio): “Yeah, I just made it before they closed.” “You’re lucky.”

Another vessel is not as content: a series of insistent 5 blasts were made as boats were right in front of its path (photo is taken when they just cleared away.)


Arcadia, faltering: “I..I can’t believe you just crossed my bow like that…”


1003h  “Don, what are you doing, cooking everybody’s pop tarts with that radar?”
“Oh, you like that screen, huh?”

Minerva Zoe, in the ConHook Range, headed out to sea.”

1045h “Jervis Bay (cargo) is at the KV buoy, inbound for Port Elizabeth.”
1109h Half Moon and Onrust announce they are about to fire guns. I never did hear them.
McKean: “Yeah, you can pump 25.”

Marjorie McAllister uncomplainingly steers with a partially loaded barge and heads south.



Unknown: “Can you go 1 whistle? we’re going to raise an RHA on the starboard side.” (–what is an RHA?)
Containership Bauci: “We’re coming on the 28 here, see you on the one.”

statenferryWhich tallship is motoring without sails set? yes, Clipper City.

1100h – Penobscot Bay declares on ch13 the security zone is in effect, “closing North River from the Battery across to Morris Canal, Jersey City. The south marker is this unit, Penobscot Bay. The north marker is Thunder Bay, a straight line across berth 64.”

Despite the warnings all morning, boats call out.

Penobscot Bay, we need to refuel at Morris Canal…”

“…requesting to transit north to North Cove…”

Penobscot Bay, we need to get across the river to the Battery…”

“…do you have a radio on there?” (If this does not elicit a response, try to talk louder.)

Penobscot Bay responds to almost all of them, and repeats: “… you will have to wait until the end of the race, at 1600.” “If you do not have a flag, you may not enter the security zone…” “Negative, you may not enter the security zone…”

sundry tugmen: “How about some working channels here?” “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a race channel on the working harbor?”northriver

The DEP’s North River, going on North River after the security zone is in effect.

to be continued…

20 Responses

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  1. tugster said, on 2009/09/15 at 06:27

    wow! wow! an epic tale you tell, epic in word count, both sheer number and range of vessels depicted, and centuries spanned. even the light is impressive. and that mystery ship . . . it seems almost to have a massive canoe bow. your foto posts give as much delight as your watercolors . . . er . .. wetcolors. keep both coming.

  2. […] mermaids, photos, visiting tall ships, woodcarving Bowsprite satified my hungry eyes with her epic vistas of the diverse craft in the Upper Bay Sunday.  Let me complement by directing the eyes to equally satisfying detail. […]

  3. Mage B said, on 2009/09/15 at 11:22

    Oh my, this is such great fun with your comments plus the radio remarks. I’m sitting here just about to read this entry for a second time with a big grin on my face. Delightful, delightful. Thank you.

  4. Pat said, on 2009/09/15 at 19:23

    Well, fer sure the RHA they were raising wasn’t a Right Half Ascension because you shouldn’t need celestial navigation fixes to figure out where you are in New York Harbor!!

    • bowsprite said, on 2009/09/15 at 21:45

      Oh, the thought of seeing a star or two in the new york city sky…! sigh.

  5. George Conk said, on 2009/09/15 at 19:31

    Wow – breathtaking.

    The Arcadia against the Central jersey RR Terminal demonstrates again your command of bulk and scale.

    The pastels of many shots, but particularly of the shot of North River (DEP) and the fireboat (is it the Harvey?) firing its water cannons just off Governors Island is particularly stunning.

    • bowsprite said, on 2009/09/15 at 21:47

      thanks, George! Fireboat John D. McKean is pictured.

  6. Michael said, on 2009/09/15 at 21:29

    This is wonderful, in so many ways! My following select comments are not in proportion to any section’s wonderfulness…they’re just what I have to say:

    1. Coast Guard Cutter (verbatim): No. Denied. Forbidden. “You can stay where you are or you can go to the end and take the stern of the last vessel, OR YOU CAN SUCK ON MY DECK CANNON!” That’s what I would have said.

    2. “I can’t believe you crossed my bow like that.” See comment one. Shoulda put a shot across that punk’s bow, I sez.

    3. “(The views expressed here are not the opinions of the blogger, who rather saves the discourtesy for the powerboats.)

    Spoken like a sea goddess!

    • bowsprite said, on 2009/09/15 at 21:46

      Ok, man, fork over your FCC licence…

      Well, Michael, you bring out the worst in me: I heard one fellow say that he wondered how many sailboats the warship could take out, and some buddy replied that the warship shot out creme brulée. That’s obnoxious, right? confusing the Dutch with the French?

      • Michael said, on 2009/09/15 at 22:02

        The FCC is fine with “suggested violence” because in their wisdom they’ve determined that sex is a bad thing but violence (particularly with guns) isn’t.

        Hey I’m just feeling the luv and respect for the CG and the Navy!

        AND ALSO

        I remember Tugster sharing the origins of the name of a juicy boat not too long ago…where were the obscenity cops then?

        (but hey what does a puffin know?)

  7. Brian said, on 2009/09/15 at 21:39

    I was doing my tour of Bannerman’s Island on Saturday, and I think I saw Ocean Atlas up near Newburgh. Do you know where they were coming from? Whatever boat I saw up there was also blowing 5 blasts to get some party boat out of their way.

    • bowsprite said, on 2009/09/15 at 22:13

      Oooh! everyone: go look at the link to Brian’s tour of Bannerman’s Isle. Very cool photos!
      (ps–sorry, did not catch Ocean Atlas’ destination.)

  8. Buck said, on 2009/09/18 at 10:09

    Really love all the photos and the commentary. Makes me feel like I’m there!

  9. […] Of all the vessels in the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1), the most unusual was HNoMS Rauma.  Ever-reliable Jed sends these links here and here on vessel and hull design  Although Rauma traversed the Atlantic with the rest of the group, she seems marginally seaworthy.  But what do I know?    For all the SNMCMG1 vessels, visit Bowsprite. […]

  10. […] great photos and discussion of the Dutch sailing barges see the Tugster blog .   Bowsprite also has a great photo of the flotilla heading up river taken from her lofty aerie. Bookmark It Hide Sites […]

  11. tugster said, on 2009/09/21 at 23:08

    i just discovered this strange blue stain on my shirt . . . my new white shirt. you haven’t been sloppin’ the blue around, have you? actually hope so.

  12. […] LOADS MORE PHOTOS >> September 22nd, 2009 | Tags: Harbor Week, New York City, New York Harbor | Category: Destinations & Tourism, Photography, Special Events | Leave a comment | […]

  13. MonkeyFist said, on 2009/09/22 at 00:59


  14. […] spring, Clearwater will again cleave the Hudson.  I wonder when Bowsprite will generate Clearwater magic in her sketchbook . . .?  She has fotos, and I know a sloop’s […]

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