Bowsprite

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.

warships of fleet week 2009

Posted in by bowsprite on 2009/05/29


20 may 2009 around 1100h. Presenting, in numerical order, northbound:

PC3 USS HURRICANE (Coastal Patrol Craft)
grey3

PC12 USS THUNDERBOLT (Coastal Patrol Craft)

grey12

CG72 USS VELLA GULF (Guided Missile Cruiser)
(notice the red coast guard boat fending off the friendly boater)

grey72

DDG80 USS ROOSEVELT (Guided Missile Destroyer)

grey80

DDH282 HMCS ATHABASKAN

canada282

FFH336 HMCS MONTREAL

canada336

her identical twin, FFH337 HMCS FREDERICTON
(sorry, Folks, our revered Colgate clock is off. This photo was taken at 1121h.)

canada337

FFH340 HMCS ST JOHN’S

canada340

Fireboats Governor Alfred E. Smith and er, red and white Fire Rescue:

fireboats

Coast Guard Cutters Chinook 87308, Morro Bay 106, Katherine Walker, Sturgeon Bay 109, and a few others were out, announcing to all vessels to maintain a 500 yard safety zone and a 100 yd security zone around all warships.

Hawk-eyed researcher Tugster identified these flying birds: ospreys!

by air

boids

1214 on VHF channel 14: “The southbound navy vessels are coming down North River…the first one is just going under the GW bridge. They are headed for the Stapleton Anchorage and there will be a 500 ft security zone around them.”

And, then, to one working boat: “Yes, cap, they’re going to be in the Stapleton Anchorage. You will not be able to go into Miller’s Launch (Staten Island). You’re going to have to make that crew change within the next 45 minutes.”

“This is the CG Cutter Sturgeon Bay, you will not be able to cross the Hudson River. Please contact the CG cutter Sturgeon Bay, on 13, 16 for any overtaking or meeting of these warships.”

However, it’s still a working day, and on 13, in a very doleful voice: “…taking off lines at KMI Carteret (Arthur Kill), heading out to sea.”
“Chin up, Lambert!” piped in an anonymous tug.

“Yeah, to the CG Cutter Chinook, we’re done with our day here, we’d like to return to the Morris Basin (Jersey City).”
“Ok, please be aware there is a 500 yd no wake—I mean, 500 yd security zone…”

PC12 USS THUNDERBOLT

grey12south

CG72 USS VELLA GULF

grey72south

DDH282 HMCS ATHABASKAN

canada282south

FFH336 HMCS MONTREAL

canada336south

FFH337 HMCS FREDERICTON, looking the same, except for the helicopter.

canada337south

Many thanks, Jed, for the names and research done on the vessels (please see his comments, below!)

Only one Canadian ship had AIS:
1320H
IROQUOIS CLASS
Flag: Canada
Ship Type: Military Ops
Status: Underway
Course/Speed: 185˚/ 8.2 kn
Length x Breadth: 130 m X 15 m
Draught: 7.5 m

Thank you, Mage: all photos are taken from the Manhattan side of North (Hudson) River looking across at Jersey City. That beautiful old building is the old station of the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company. Also in view are Liberty State Park and the marinas in Morris Canal, New Jersey.

Bon Voyage! 28 may 2009 1400h:

USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7)

IwoJima

1435h: Destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG80), Schooner Pioneer, see you on two…

pioneerpasses80

7 Responses

  1. Buck said, on 2009/05/21 at 08:54 (Edit)

    Beautiful photos, thanks for these!

  2. tugster said, on 2009/05/21 at 22:05 (Edit)

    bowsprite . . . i go upriver on assignment and return to find you’ve gone all gray and grey (for the canadians) on me . . . nice and thanks but all GRAY! not red green or blue or cyan or magenta . . . but gray!

    • bowsprite said, on 2009/05/22 at 17:15 (Edit)

      Ah, TugsterLove! but WHAT greys they are! the US ships are a ‘I-mean-business’ grey, a ‘Get-out-of-our-way’ grey. The Canadians have a soothing marine grey, a ‘Of-course-we-will-navigate-around-this-whale’ grey. They’re a ‘have-a-good-day’ grey, a ‘Light-karma-easy-conscience’ grey.

  3. Mage Bailey said, on 2009/05/22 at 09:27 (Edit)

    Fascinating stuff. You’ve got far better pictures than I ever get. Maybe this year I should go sit on the stern of the Midway. That’ll get me a bit higher than the docks. Great shots. Could you tell us San Diegans what is in back of the ships? Which of course reminds me to do this in the future with my shots.

  4. Jed said, on 2009/05/22 at 18:09 (Edit)

    If I may…

    PC3 USS HURRICANE (Coastal Patrol Craft)
    PC12 USS THUNDERBOLT (Coastal Patrol Craft)
    From Wiki-
    The Cyclone class is a class of United States Navy and United States Coast Guard coastal patrol boats. The primary mission of these ships was coastal patrol and interdiction surveillance, an important aspect of littoral operations outlined in the Navy’s strategy, “Forward…From the Sea.” These ships also provided full mission support for Navy SEALs and other special operations forces. The Cyclone class ships are assigned to Naval Special Warfare.

    CG72 USS VELLA GULF (Guided Missile Cruiser)
    From Wiki-
    The Ticonderoga class of missile cruisers is a class of warships in the United States Navy, first ordered and authorized in FY 1978. The class uses phased-array radar; the increased combat capability offered by the Aegis combat system and the AN/SPY-1 radar system justified the changing of the classification of Ticonderoga and Yorktown from DDG (guided missile destroyer) to CG (guided missile cruiser). Vincennes and Valley Forge may or may not have been authorized as DDGs; regardless, the DDG sequence continued with USS Arleigh Burke as DDG-51.

    DDG80 USS ROOSEVELT (Guided Missile Destroyer)
    From wiki-
    The Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers, one of the destroyer classes of the United States Navy. It is the first destroyer built around the Aegis combat system and the SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar. The first ship was commissioned on 4 July 1991. After the decommissioning of the last Spruance-class destroyer, USS Cushing, on September 21, 2005, the Arleigh Burke class ships became the U.S. Navy’s only active destroyers.

    DDH282 HMCS ATHABASKAN
    From Wiki-
    Iroquois-class destroyers, also known as Tribal class, are a class of four helicopter-carrying, guided missile destroyers of the Canadian Forces. Launched in the 1970s, they were originally fitted out for anti-submarine warfare, but a major upgrade program in the 1990s overhauled them for area-wide anti-aircraft. The Iroquois-class were the first military ship design to employ gas turbines exclusively, using two turbines for cruise power, and another two fast starting “boost” turbines for speeds of up to 29 knots (such an arrangement is known as COmbined Gas Or Gas, or COGOG). The design was highly influential, and had a major impact on the design of the US Navy’s first modern post-war destroyers, the Spruance-class.

    FFH336 HMCS MONTREAL
    FFH337 HMCS FREDERICTON
    FFH340 HMCS ST JOHN’S

    From Wiki –
    The Halifax-class frigate (hull designation FFH) is a class of multi-role patrol frigates that have served the Canadian Forces since 1992.

    Hope it wasn’t too dry OR too much.

    JED sends

  5. tugster said, on 2009/05/23 at 06:28 (Edit)

    to bowsprit: and i assumed that gray was just gray or grey . . . i stand mightily corrected; humble pie shall be my penance. to jed: i know this isn’t my blog BUT i feel this is perfect tech/cult info. i especially like the info on DDH282 HMCS ATHABASKAN . . . and the COGOG arrangement.

  6. tugster said, on 2009/05/23 at 17:12 (Edit)

    oh and another thing . . . “hawk-eyed” tugster . . . .?? make that parrot-eyed at very least.

ships in the night – II

Posted in by bowsprite on 2009/05/18

I hear them first, the vibration of their motors, cutting through the night. Then, as they approach the Colgate clock, they will identify themselves on 13 (bridge to bridge) if southbound, or on 14 (Traffic) to check out by the vents, heading north. Tonight, the sounds of their motors are drowned out slightly by the heavy sound of falling rain on the new leaves of the trees below. But, those tugs do rumble when they go by.

erieservice1above: 2 apr 0135 – Erie Service, speed: 10.7kn

maryturecamo1above: 2 apr 2116 – Mary Turecamo, course 210˚/speed 1.7kn

conan11

conan31

13 apr 2254 – BBC Konan
Ship Type: Cargo
Year Built: 2000
Length x Breadth: 126m X 20m
DeadWeight: 7172 MT
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 13.6 / 13.6 knots
course 11˚ / speed 13.2kn
Flag: United Kingdom
Destination: Albany

seaservice11

seaservice21

19 apr 2200- Sea Service
Ship Type: Towing
course 12˚/ speed 8kn
Length x Breadth: 33m X 8m

rosssea2

20 apr 2018 – Ross Sea
Flag: USA
Ship Type: Towing
course 18˚ / speed 9.1kn
Length x Breadth: 30m X 10m

dredge51a

dredge51b

20 apr 2337 – Dredge 51 (this makes me think of fruitcake at christmastime)
Flag: USA
course 22˚ / speed 3.3kn
Length x Breadth: 115m X 31m

erieserviceii

21 apr 2137 – Erie Service
course 195˚ / speed 9.3kn
Length x Breadth: 45m X 12m
Draught: 5m

brendanturecamo1

21 apr 2307 – Brendan Turecamo
T: “Turecamo, to the (name unclear)…you pulling up the hook and headed to the Kills?”
X: “Yeah, but I haven’t started pulling yet.”
T: “I’m headed to MOT”
X: “Ok…You should be ok.”

maryland

6 may 2005h – Maryland
Flag: USA
Ship Type: Tug
course 183˚ / speed 9.3kn
Length x Breadth: 33 m X 10 m
Draught: 5 m

lemmtaur

6 may 2012 – Melvin Lemmerhirt (background)
Flag: USA
Ship Type: Tug
course 190˚ / speed 6.9 kn
Length x Breadth: 40 m X 10 m
Draught: 18 m

Taurus (foreground)
Flag: USA
Ship Type: Tug
course 12˚ / speed 8.5 kn
Length x Breadth: 24 m X 8 m
Draught: 3.5 m

cometsolom2

6 may 2155 – Comet (behind, in the notch)
Ship Type: Tug
course 193˚ / speed 10.1 kn
Length x Breadth: 33 m X 9 m
Draught: 4 m
Destination: KMI Staten Island

Solomon Sea (foreground)
Ship Type: Towing
course 192˚ / speed 9.6 kn
Length x Breadth: 29 m X 10 m
Draught: 4 m
Destination: Yonkers Anchorage

nathanstewart

6 may 2357 – Nathan Stewart
Ship Type: Tug
course 14˚/ speed 6.9 kn
Destination: Albany

dorismoran

7 may 0429 – Doris Moran
Flag: USA
course 12˚ / speed 8.5 kn
Length x Breadth: 160 m X 24 m
Draught: 7 m
Destination: Albany

rose2

Tandem blogging! tagging Tugster, who here does Boats in the Day. As look for his beautiful posts on Onrust and her call for hands as she prepares to join ships in the harbor!

(All views are taken from battery park, manhattan: 40.7096N, 074.0185W. The view is of North River, also known as the Hudson River, with Jersey City as the backdrop. Thx, Jed, for course/speed corrx, à la Navy!)

vhf harbor prose: salvage of the plane

Posted in by bowsprite on 2009/01/29

New York Harbor is amazing. Thank you to everyone floating around that day.

Tugster caught the lifting of the plane: (http://tugster.wordpress.com/2009/01/18/weeks-and-flight-1549-re-emerges/)

people2

Here’s a tribute to the people who worked out in the cold, as crew on sea and on land (including camera people standing out there for hours hours hours…)

Thursday – 15 january
—————————–
2015h – Two Don Jon cranes, the Columbia and the Delaware Bay, were being met by and set into place with the tugs Thomas Witte and Mary Alice. On their working channel (78), they were passing equipment and crew about, and emailing the plane salvage instructions.

The USCG may have set up emergency call points, for every single floating vessel was calling out their routes and intentions, and making passing arrangements.

donjon1

Tug captains talking about the tide were heard to say:
“Don’t know if it’s going up or down, but it’s pushing up at the top, making it go north.”
“High tide was about midnight, low about 5am”
“We’re coming up on low tide.”
“Low is 6:24, Weehawken”
“Yeah…and that depth is 35 feet..'”

Friday – 16 january

—————————–
0630h – Heard a tug captain ask Traffic (14): “I just heard you say Owls’ Head. Where is that exactly?”
“There’s a tug that just sank outside (38th? 68?th) street [Owl’s Head park is by Sunset Park in Bay Ridge.] They’re trying to salvage that.”
“OK, very good thank you.”
And thus, the day starts…!

The cold can make bad things happen.

uscg1

“This is the Coast Guard Cutter Katherine Walker: All vessels entering the Holland Tunnel security zone, be advised: this is a no wake zone, please proceed with no wake up to the Battery.”

photoshoot2

It was before 0700H, and the Queen of Hearts paraded stately to and fro mid river to tape a segment with Good Morning America.
The CG Cutter Katherine Walker would call her to remind her to stay clear of the security zone.
USCG KW: “How long are you filming, over.”
QH: “6-8 minutes, over.”
KW: “OK.”
QH: “Thank you for your assistance this morning. Over.”

But, she strayed in again: “We’ve lost the satellite signal, so, we’re just moving around, trying to find it.”
USCG KW: “OK, but please stay over west of us.”
QH: “OK, we’re just looking for another signal here.”
An anonymous captain put in his few cents: “I hate when that happens.”

“Coast guard cutter (…), requesting you slow down abit, you have a bit of wake there behind your stern.”
“Cutting it back abit.”
“Coast Guard calling the Christopher Columbus, could you come down to no wake, please?”

Saturday – 17 january
—————————–
0729h – Ice passes in front of the Colgate clock, the first bit of ice in the harbor this winter!

firstice1

0941h – Weeks Tug Alexandria and crane come up to buoy 32. On their channel (65) was heard this: “I got Mr. Weeks on the phone, he wants to come, can you pick him up at the Battery along the sea wall?”
“Yeah, maybe on the 566. Mr. Weeks is on the phone? …wait. wait. I’ll call you back in a minute.”

alexandria1

“…dry dock push gear, ok.” and orders are given for passing lines.
“Give me the eye…A touch of flood would be nice.”
“Yeah, well its going to go that way, so that’s good!”
“Maybe we should put the strap on the double bitt?”
“One more!”
“Put your wheel hard left and just engage the starboard engine.”

alxdria41

“Plenty of engines on the 536. She’s opening 30′ midships. Get out of the slip, you won’t fit, there’s no water there!”
“We’ll see how she goes, how she comes in there.”
“…diver ship, make sure he got out… 536”

alxdria51

“Pete, I’m trying to get in touch with that diver but no one’s answering the phone. There’s a little boat tied up beside it and I can’t get through.”
“Alright–the diver’s out of the water, no one’s in the water. They’re going to try to get that boat out of the way.”
“Alright, great.”
“Why is this the only spot on the river with ice?”
“Haha! I don’t know!”
“Put your rudder hard left, Dave, hard left.”
“I still got the starboard engine on.”
“Full stop.”
“Full stop.”

“OK! you’re clear to come in, captain.”
“Watch your head! Starboard! have somebody watch the stern on the port bow!”
“Let me know when I’m lined up, Don.”
“Half a stern port.”
“Uh, cut your head, John.”
“Got an overlap of the 566 at the stern.”
“Dave, hard left.”
“Full stop on the starboard.”
“Then push up the ice, is that correct?”
“Hard right, you got 41”
“..clutch in reverse…up on the port”
“All stop, John.”
“All stop.”

A small space to breathe occurs, but then, it continues:
“20′ overlap…now, 20-25′ overlap”
“Most of that ice is coming out of here anyway.”
“Come in easy.”
“Well, these big wheels you know, Pete.”

wheels1
“Lift up your stern as you come in there, lift up your stern — stop.”
“Touch her back, touch her back.”
“Open the stern!”
“All stop, all stop.”

“Midship rudder.”
“Touch her ahead, John.”
“20-25 wide on the 566, got to come in another 30′”
“Drift in.”
“Repeat that, Willie?”
“Starting to close her down…closing the gap now.”
“Midship rudder…”
“Stop, John.”
“Stop.”
“Coming down easy on that spud..”

“You need to be carded, got to go through…”
“I think someone up there’s got an open mic”

“We got to get in you got to have push gear in place…you got water by the 30 x 90..that isn’t going to be easy to do.”
“We got some hand rail here that might be in jeopardy.”

“Make sure no one is standing there…We need a deckhand out there with a radio to make sure no one falls in between the 2 cranes, and to be sure that ladder is always there.”
“Herbie’s out there, maybe he can be there for 15 mins until the next person.”

“All squared up, to the east…”
“Get off the north pier! get off.”
“Get the springline off! I got to get this thing breasted up!”

The ice is thick and beautiful. One boat went by making a wake, and the ice around south cove slushed around. People walking by all slowed down to listen and watch.

southcove1

Here are people on the esplanade to give a sense of the size of the ice chunks:

icescale1

By 1500h, most of the ice had dissipated.

Then, around 1900h – “Notice to all mariners, a jet engine has been located in vicinity around the Lincoln Tunnel.”

Around this time, nothing more could be heard on channel 65. Channel 17 was active, it was mostly communication among USCG vessels 41385, 41491, 87328, police boats, the Firefighter and Army Corps of Engineer Hayward. The little HMHTTC Responder was busy darting around the plane, taking on booms, and pushing ice out. The plane was allowed to sink to level it out.

responder1

hayward1

firefighter2

Another Corps of Engineer boat, the Moritz went by, with its multibeam scanner, going home after a long day scanning for engines in the river:

moritz

When those CG vessels with numbers give out their GPS positions, the airwaves fill with numbers!

ucsg22

Business inland took me away from the marine radio, but following is a transcript via text messages from Tugster:

2223h – Plane on surface no kidding

2254h – Small boats search lights.

2333h – Barge being moved under plane

2342h – Plane down on barge

2358h – She’s come undone or unslung

0111h – Heading to Penn station

and, his next communication was made on Tugster, around 0300h. Yes, we know. It’s an obsession.

Sunday – 18 january
—————————–

The action is now on channel 21.

Cutter Ridley 97 has been busy, coordinating with 605, 590, 25598, 4927, 497, 8250, 246, 50, the Virginia, the Thomas, the Shelby? Confirmation of onboard cameras, FBI agents, burgers, fresh pots of coffee, and a package delivery have kept the boats occupied while a run was made to La Guardia to pick up tools or equipment.

“Cutter Ridley 97, over.”
Ridley 97
“Yes, we just received word from Command that at 2000 firefighters will drill into the wing to remove the fuel that does not come out. Just be advised that they will be wearing their life preservers and PFD’s but we require that you stand off 50 yds in case any fire fighters get wet. Over.

1700h “We just recovered deepfission(?), wondered if you’d like to come over to take a look at that.”
“Roger.”
“We put a fresh pot of coffee on, too, if you’d like that.”

Later: “Put your prop over, go 50′ of the drilling exercise. The concern is for the fire fighters because they’re wearing really heavy gear, over.”

“497, is there a need for public affairs pick up?
“No need for a public affairs pick up, over.”
“Roger that.”

2037h – Snow is falling, fog is thick. The barge carrying the plane, bound for to Greenville Terminal, Jersey City, passes the Colgate Clock:

planebarge1

planebarge2

A quiet procession, dodging ice, navigating around a mudhole around 23′, moves into the dark. Right behind the crane is another working barge; historic events co-exist alongside normal, everyday life.

nighttug


(thank you, Lee, Jordan and Rachel!)

ships in the night

Posted in by bowsprite on 2008/10/15

It is not easy to spot a ship in the dark. It is an inverse search–you look for lights on land that disappear, that get eaten by a big black shadow that moves. Once you’ve got the shadow, you look for those red & green dots that cease being traffic lights and become running lights.

4am – This is what the scene looks like. But if I push the camera’s ISO…

Surprise!! the Bulkship Ayna Marina!! passing the Colgate clock at 0416 (not sure of the spelling of ship’s name)

Below, The Balsa 71, going up to Yonkers Sugar Dock.

It is so early in the morning, but there is a jam in the harbor. Traffic was very busy, and channel 13 was buzzing:

Ayna Marina, at buoy 22, we’re dragging our heels with all this inbound traffic…”
Sealine approaching 26 buoy, we can take Grand Pioneer’s stern, see you on one whistle, two whistle whatever you want.”

“Yeah, uh, Balsa?”
“one whistle, John.”
Balsa 71, buoy 24, heading north to Yonkers sugar dock.”
“What time, Coleen?”
“I was told 6, but I could be there 6:15”

snippets of ships calling out: “Atlantic Hess…Bayonne, heading out to sea,” “Outrageous,” “Grand Pioneer,” “Everdelight…salt dock”

“Good morning sir, what’s your pleasure?”
“well, if you want to cross my bow I’ll take you on one.”
“Very good, sir, one whistle, you have a good morning.”
“You too.”

“I could be there at 4:45…how would you like to pass when I get there…, two whistles?”
“yeah, starboard to starboard sounds good, see you then.”

“uh, a little clogged up here today.”
“yeah, i’m southbound on the range, see you on one whistle”

Tug Michigan Service, this is the Ayna Marina, the first ship outbound to sea, we’ll see you on one whistle”
“One whistle, very good, thank you.”

“I’ll just slowerer her down”
“I’m sorry to have to make you do that”
“we’re just all making room here this morning.”

“yes, John”
“we’ll shoot across, see you on one whistle?”
“ok, very good.”

Meanwhile, just before the Colgate clock, a tug has spun a barge around, taken it on her hip, and moves north, no fuss. Don’t know who she is.

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!