Bowsprite

Fleet Week and the National Stationery Show!

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/05/18

Drum roll, please! we are at the convergence here, in this happening city, of both Fleet Week AND the National Stationery Show!

Say it with a war ship greeting card!

chinookGreetcard

Many thanks to the CO of USS CHINOOK (PC-9) for commissioning the drawing of his vessel for his crew.
(Prints were ordered; I just made the greeting card up for this post.)

And much thanks to Sarah Schwartz, editor of Stationery Trends for using Bowsprite cards to illustrate her very good article on the trends in the industry:

StationeryTrends

Very interesting information, beautifully designed with clever charts depicting the results of survey responses from 299 greeting card suppliers, manufacturers and retailers.

If you go to the National Stationery Show and look out the west exits, you’ll see the Fleet go by! who could ask for anything more? Sarah Schwartz is speaking at 2pm: see you there! going with my dear friend, Anja Kroencke, click to see her gorgeous work.

USS CHINOOK (PC-9)
built: 1993, Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, LA
class and type: Cyclone-class patrol ship
displacement: 331 tons
length: 174 ft / 53 m
beam: 25 ft / 7.6 m
draft: 7.5 ft / 2.3 m
speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)
complement: 4 officers, 24 men, 8 Special Forces

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

sailing ships at work

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2013/04/10

blackseal

On June 14, 2011, this 70 ft schooner, Black Seal, brought 20 tons of cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic to Red Hook, Brooklyn.

This is how they did it: no customs report, no bills of lading, no contract with the ILA to lift the 400 bags, and a blank stare when asked for a TWIC. Viva l’esprit of rum running!

Our wise leaders decided that shooting at the handmade three masted schooner was not as good press as welcoming it, so we are happy to have the beans, Mast Bros chocolate, and this WSJ story. Will there be more? Day-o!

(update: the editorial offices of BLOWSPITTLE ink have been informed that all hoops were hastily collected, set up on pier 9A and jumped through: correct papers were obtained-signed-approved-delivered, customs agent procured, docking permitted, stevedores contracted, eyes crossed, teas dotted.)

♠    ♣   

treshombres

On March 9, 2012, this 105 ft schoonerbrig, running under sail power only — no motor at all — set a course from the Dominican Republic to pick up cocoa beans in Grenada bound for New York. They had rum, salt and other Caribbean products for New York, England and the Netherlands. Their voyage plan had Grenada as their last Carribean stop in order to load the cocoa beans last to keep them cooler, forcing the ship to sail from the Dominican Republic against the current and close to the wind, sailing that demanded constant trimming and setting of sails during all watches.

All for naught: the bureaucracy and regulatory fees demanded by our port thoroughly discouraged Tres Hombres, and the cocoa shipment for Grenada Chocolate Company was not to be. The ship had to abandon the stop off at New York, and changed course towards the Azores. Simply no way to gain if you try to follow the rules. Read the ship log’s entry here. Day-o…

♠     ♣   

darwaruci
built in 1952 by H. C. Stulchen and Son of Hamburg, Germany

This 191 ft barquentine is the largest tall ship operated by the Indonesian Navy and serves as a sail training vessel for naval cadets and as an ambassador of goodwill for the people of Indonesia: Dewaruci.

She was on her last voyage, nearing NYC for FleetWeek/OpSail 2012 when she ran low on water. She crawled like a thirsty desert traveller along the NJ coast, crying ‘water! water!’ unheeded. She reached the Verrazano Narrows bridge, and approached Sullivans Pier in Staten Island where she would tie up for FleetWeek, two days early. She was denied permission to dock. And was not allow to water.  Anti Terrorism Force Protection  (ATFP): the police forces were scheduled for two days later and could not be deployed so quickly, nor could they be paid for for the two extra days. ATFP does not do boat time.

Desperate, the ship with their crew of 70 students looked for water, but found none. Calls were made and both SUNY Maritime and the United States Merchant Marine Academy welcomed them, eager to host the ship for two days. Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula was just a touch closer than Kings Point, Long Island, so the plan was to sail to SUNY Maritime to tie up and get water.

The ship began the trip up the East River, when the Sandy Hook Pilots noticed a discrepancy with specs and a translation issue. “Air draft” in Indonesian looks like “mast height” or the other way around; the mast from the deck up would have gone under the Brooklyn Bridge, but not with the ship under it.

Dewaruci turned away, and limped back, still parched, to Lower Bay to wait for two days.

For the FleetWeek parade up and down North River, Dewaruci students dressed gaily in blue and white uniforms, and stood atop yards, on shrouds and on bowsprit, saluting a city that was a rather shabby welcoming host. O day.

♠     ♣   

And there, a glimpse of the life of sailing ships at work that call, or try to call, at NYH.

Tonight! the Working Harbor Committee presents “Sailing Ships At Work”: the history of sailing cargo ships, the ships that sail cargo today (short part) and what the future may look like.

Ship historian Norman Brouwer, Capt. Maggie Flanagan, and Rick Spilman will be presenting.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 6 – 9 p.m.
Community Church of New York
40 E. 35th Street
New York, NY 10016

Price — Adults: $25, Seniors (62+) $20
please click here for tickets.

The future: projects like the Vermont Sailing Barge, Hope and Alert, HARVEST, B9 Shipping, and the MARAD initiative of the Hudson River Foodway Corridor will bring  back water transportation of cargo…putting ships back in shipping.

The Working Harbor Committee is not responsible for any of the drivel I write. I just monitor VHF radio and drink in scuttlebutt in bars. And unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the event tonight, but go and have great fun.      ♥     ♦

tools of the trade

Posted in art by bowsprite on 2011/01/15

Voila! this is it: a hand-cut reed pen, made from bamboo sticks available at any gardening store to stake up plants. It is with this pen that I make what Monkeyfist calls, with characteristic sensitivity, ‘blind retard lines’.

Dip pen into black ink. I prefer calligraphy and drawing inks for their fluidity, but they are not waterproof, and washes will bleed, which I do not mind. I like waterproof inks, but the lacquer coats and suffocates my pen.

I like to draw on site, directly with ink and pen (no pencil) in a 9″ x 12″ recycled paper sketchbook. FleetWeek merits the 14″ x 20″ big guns pad. For the washes, I like charcoal paper because of the texture; rarely use watercolor paper. I like papers that drink the washes unevenly. Bank statements and bill envelopes were great, but I’ve gone online.

To do lettering or fine line details (Plimsoll marks) I use metal pen nibs in a simple wooden nib holder.

With exotic names like Aviator, Bronze Falcon, Globe, Figaro, Herald, Imperial, Magazine, Mail, Panama, Pedigree, School, Silversteel, and others, the nibs are shaped differently. I cannot tell the differences.

Colors are usually added later, but sometimes I like to paint at the spot. I always carry a plastic bucket on a long line that I throw off the pier to collect water, and I wet my palette and rinse my brushes in the briny. Therefore, I technically make saltwatercolors.

a nautical bestiary


bee

– a ring or hoop of wood or metal.

bitching

– not exclusively nautical, but rare is the ship without this; sounds like:
“I dont %&$&# LIKE sailing! Why don’t I go to the crafts festival and just take the train and meet you at the next %&$&# port?”
or “The hosting yacht club is serving ¿%&$&#what???”
or %&$&#! %&$&#! horse cock for dinner again??”

camels

– wooden (usually) platform buffers between a ship and a pier; way deeper and heavier to move than you think. On this camel by Passenger Ship Terminal pier 90, rope was shredded into a soft nest, eggs were laid, and the parents-to-be waited while warships of Fleet Week 2009 tied up a few feet away.

cathead

– a heavy beam projecting from each bow of a ship for the purpose of holding anchors.

clamshell dredge

cockbill

-an anchor is said to be cockbilled or a-cockbill when hung vertically by its ring stopper from a cathead ready for use, or, temporarily, during the recovery process.

constrictor knot

– not well known, but according to Hervey Garrett Smith, author and illustrator of the wonderful book, The Arts of the Sailor (1953), the constrictor knot is superior to most comment seizings or stoppings: “…quicker, neater, and can be drawn up more tightly. The harder you pull the two ends the tighter it grips, and it will not slacken when you let go…It can be set up so tightly that is is almost impossible to untie, and makes an excellent whipping. (The slipped version is easy to untie.) …Its superior construction and usefulness leads me to believe that it ultimately will achieve the popularity it rightly deserves.”

cow hitch

– also known in days of old as a lanyard hitch, the cow hitch is today more associated with any knot which is not a recognized maritime knot as used at sea; a lubberly hitch. Folks must be forgetting to use those lanyards.

crabbing

– sideways maneuvering into a cross current or wind to compensate for drift.
To “catch a crab” is to make a faulty stroke in rowing that causes the blade of the oar to strike the water on the recovery stroke.

cranes

crow feet

crow’s nest

doghouse

dogwatch

dolphins

– pilings lashed together with heavy cable upon which vessels land to moor. Usually, one piling is called a dolphin, a group of more than one pile is called a cluster, as in “put out a line over the second cluster off the bow.”  When neglected, provides fine nesting for birds of the harbor.

donkey engine

– a steam-powered winch to hoist sails and anchors on old schooners; an auxiliary engine on a sailing craft (which does propel the vessel) is still sometimes informally known as the donk.

elephant foot

elephant table – (help! cannot find this one!)


fishplate

fish tackle

– a large hook used to assist in maneuvering the anchor from under the cat-head, and brought to the side or gunwale, or to launch and recover boats.

flounder plate

– a triangular steel plate used as a central connecting point for the tows, bridles, and towline.

fluke

– the wedge-shaped part of an anchor’s arms that digs into the bottom. Sometimes painted yellow to lure full frontal admirers.

fox

– made by twisting together two or more rope-yarns. A Spanish fox is made by untwisting a single yarn and laying it up the contrary way. (But, why? ¿por qué?)

gooseneck

goosewing

hogged

– the state of a vessel when, by any strain, she is made to droop at each bow and stern, bringing her center up. Opposite of sagging.

horse

horse cock

– “phoney baloney”. Mmmmm.

hounds

leech

marlinspike, a marlinspike hitch

– a tool for opening the strands of a rope while splicing.


monkeyfist

– a weighted knot wrapped around lead or a ball, found at the end of a heaving line. Illegal in NYHarbor. ME variety is especially lethal: you really won’t know what hit you.

mousing

– a seizing to prevent hooks from unshipping. Sling hitch on the hook’s back, go around the bill, make turns, wrap with frapping turns, then a set of riding turns, finish with a square or reef knot. Notice how Hervey Garrett Smith draws the same hook three times; that is love.

pelican hook

– a hook-like device for holding the link of a chain or similar, and consisting of a long shackle with a hinged rod which is held closed by a ring.

pigtail hook

– a screw hook having an eye in the form of a spiral for holding a loop, chain link, etc., at any angle. I am not fooled: this was designed to snag my sweaters.

ratlines

– rope running across the shrouds horizontally like the rounds of a ladder and used to step upon in going aloft.

roach

– curved cut in edge of sail for preventing chafing

rhino horn

– slips through a hole in the bow ramp of the LCU or LCM to hold the landing craft in position while vehicles embark/debark.

sea cock

– a valve to open a pipe to allow suction of sea water into your vessel either to supply fire pumps or for cooling if your engine is cooled with raw water. Also used generically.

sheep-shank

– a kind of hitch or bend, used to shorten a rope temporarily.

sole

snaking, snaked whipping

– snaking protects against chafing of turns on whippings at the end of ropes.

whales

– fenders that were once upon a time real whale bodies, but today, are BIG black, heavy industrial strength rubber bumpers. One captain’s fender story is here.

wildcat

– oops. another wildcat coming up…

worming

– rigging of old ships were wormed, parcelled and served and lasted as long as the ships, or longer. Worming is the laying in of small-stuff between the strands of rope to fill in spaces to prevent moisture and rot. Parcelling is spirally wrapping rope with narrow strips of old canvas soaked with rigging tar, overlapping to repel moisture. Serving covers the rope by tightly winding marline or hemp against the lay. Heavily tar, and maintain regularly.

Worm and parcel with lay
Turn and serve the other way

zinc fish

– a “sacrificial anode.”  Metals (e.g. your propeller) in salt water, experience a flow of electrical current. The slow removal of metal is called “electrolysis”. Zinc is used as it has a higher voltage in the water so the current will tend to flow from it than from your props.

beasts of weather and water conditions:

dog days, ox-eye, mackerel scales, mares’ tails, white horses…

other waterborne beasts:

frogma, peconic puffin, the beagle project, the horse’s mouth (if any otters I missed, please do drop a lion.)

Look here for a beautiful post of hardworking animals here on the USCGC Escanaba!

Thank you, again for everyone’s help! drawings will be added, and please report any missing strays. Thank you!

Fleet Week at Passenger Ship Terminal

To find the street that corresponds with a pier along the west side of Manhattan, subtract 40.  So:
pier 66 is on 26th street,
pier 89 is on 49th street,
pier 90 is on 50th street.
pier 40 is on Houston Street, or ‘zero street’.

Pier 89 and 90, Passenger Ship Terminal, is where the Iwo Jima and the USS Roosevelt were docked for Fleet Week.

iwojimastern

unfinished drawing of the Iwo Jima

What a crowd to see the Iwo Jima! How patiently people–children!–stood on interminably long lines to wait to enter the ship.

I set up in a quiet spot at the end of the pier 89, just past the throng, the booths with advertising, brochures, and paraphernalia, and past the navy ride simulator machine, but still within the boundary set up to pen visitors in from the end of the dock.

twicThe ship is daunting. She’s BIG, long, complicated, and I contemplated how to squeeze her bulk onto my sketch pad.

The smell of low tide was lovely (yes briny Gloucester and pristine CascoBay! NYC’s lowtide smells good!)  After drawing for 20 minutes, a marine with a big gun came by and apologetically asked me to move. “I’m really sorry. My OIC asked me to tell you, uh, but you have to go somewhere else. ” (oh? why? I’m not sure. Et cetera.)

Ok. How about here? I moved next to the ride simulator booth. I got a friendly nod, and continued to draw.  But after 10 minutes, another marine came by to tell me I could not stand there. No, I could not!–the exhaust from the ride was choking me.

I moved into the line of folks waiting for the ride, and my fellow citizens patiently accommodated by filing around me while I drew. Surely I can stand here? everyone’s standing here! More armed marines appeared. I continued to sketch, chatted with children.

Apparently, standing is not the issue. One OIC came to tell me that anyone standing in a place photographing–or drawing–for a long time was going to cause a bit of concern. He was very nice about it. I had my TWIC card suspended around my neck on a 1-800-USA-NAVY  ribbon I got from FleetWeek last year, and mentioned that I had worked on these piers, but he smiled apologetically and said, “You’re probably innocent, but, sorry…”  With the TWIC, I got the same reaction I get at airports–blank glance.

They who fight for liberty and freedom were good enough to grant me the liberty to finish my drawing, sort of.

I do understand their reaction, though. I think it was when I peered through the binoculars to see how the light fixture was attached on the stern of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship that I raised a red flag. I’m glad I left the VHF at home.

Perhaps it was the detailed drawings that they objected to. I turned the page, switched to a cut reed pen and loose-&-groovy mode. The kids liked this much better:

iwojimabow2

What are your rights, should you find yourself in a similar situation? US military personnel (including military police) have no authority over non-military property or people. I was not on the ship nor standing on a tank, but on the pier which is is owned by the City of New York, though was probably also a USCG regulated facility for the visiting ships and various cruise ship companies. On non-military installations, they have no jurisdiction. If it was a security concern, the police might have been called. No one ever told me not to draw, but I was not able to stand around to draw. Well. I chose not to make it an issue. There’s plenty to draw, it was a beautiful day, people were happy.

USSRoosevelt1

USS ROOSEVELT (DDG80), LOA-509′

For good photos and a literary stroll through the interior showing machinery, marines, where barnacles reside and the NAVY’s tweeting address, look here at Tugster.

I watched the marines in their various uniforms debark from the ship, pausing at the head of the gangway to turn to the river to salute the flag on the stern of the ship which was not visible. They would then come off the gangway and joyfully go off into the city with their comrades. I wish for them safe journeys, I wish for them to be able to return home, mentally and physically healthy.

I have the same wish, though, for those with whom they might cross paths, or swords.