Bowsprite

hamburg süd

Posted in containership, Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/12/01

hamburgsüd2.jpg

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le nuove strade

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/11/15

mamounaitalia

le nuove strade (the new streets)
Dancer image: costume design by Eugène Lacoste for the ballet “Namouna”  performed in 1882 at l’
Opéra de Paris.

bird on a wing

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/11/09

birdonthewing

or, a wing on a bird…
Happy November 9th everyone. And now: onward. Carry on.

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go see…

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/10/21

manhattanscalec

“Macondo” — from the fictitious cursed town in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.   The well was named by this winning entry in a BP employee contest. (wiki)

The hydrocarbons that were sought lay 4000-4500 m below the sea floor.
That is 2.8 miles.

It would be like starting at the Empire State Building and going south, ending around the Wall St. Stock Exchange.

They never passed 14th street when the blowout occurred.

Go see the new Deepwater Horizon movie.

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talk tomorrow, all welcome

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/09/13

starhull

Ships of Commerce, War, Work & Pleasure

a presentation of NYHarbor doodles by Bowsprite

aboard Nantucket Lightship WLV-612

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
6 to 7pm

Pier 6 Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge Park

bklynbridgeferrysub

take the WaterTaxi ferry or the East River Ferry from Pier 11 across the East River to Pier 1
Brooklyn Bridge Park, walk south to Pier 6,
or, take the trains to the stations shown on the map and walk west to the park and the ship.

Of great note!

libertyship

“Between 1941 and 1945, Liberty Ships were constructed in 18 U.S. shipyards.
John W. Brown is one of only two Liberty Ships that survive.

“She is docked at Pier 36 on the Lower East Side (299 South St.) and is open for tours and other events ending with a six-hour living history cruise on Sept. 18.
The John W. Brown was built in Baltimore. She was named for a well-known labor leader and launched on Labor Day, 1942.  Her maiden voyage was to New York City where she picked up Jeeps, trucks and ammunition to aid Russia under the Lend-Lease Act and took them to the Persian Gulf. She transported troops and cargo in support of the WWII effort until 1945…

“On both Saturdays the engines will be working at the pier as part of the tour.”

From DowntownPost. For more information: http://www.ssjohnwbrown.org
“She’s been fully restored and is beautiful. I’ve never ever ever seen
such a clean engine room.”   –Schoonertrash Ros

 

how I learned to stop worrying…

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/09/07

hopshabitatprint

…and love internet searches. Are you in need of a good title for a talk or presentation?

I am! Next week, I am invited to speak on the Nantucket Lightship, WLV-612, on my New York Harbor Sketchbook drawings.

So, I did a search, and found this site:
http://www.mybloggingthing.com/writing-catchy-blog-titles/
They recommend a few sites for generating titles using your keywords, so, I tried them all.

I think this one wins for making me laugh the loudest:

• What Will Historic Ships Be Like In 100 Years?

how sublime. I could never make anything so perfect up!

The title was generated by the website, HubSpot, along with these:
• 7 Things About Historic Ships Your Boss Wants To Know
• How To Solve The Biggest Problems With New York Harbor
• 10 Signs You Should Invest In Historic Ships

(I know of too many people who would pelt me with rotten tomatoes if I used this last one.)

Here is a pedantic site for generating academic paper titles:
http://www.besttitlegenerator.com/index.php

• Formulating Versatile Pathology: Artistic Guide To The Harbor in the Disenfranchised

• Politicizing Pessimistic Postmodernity: Exploring New York Harbors Historic Ships and the Savage

•  Exploring New York Harbors Historic Ships: Creating Narrow-Minded Desire and Affliction

• Intersection and Mythos: Suppressing the Savage New York Harbors Historic Ships, Pathologizing Amiable Perversion

This site is the perfect reason to skip college and run to sea.

 

This was the most amusing site: Portent’s Content Idea Generator

• How Drawing Boards Once Saved the World
• Why Do People Think New York Harbors are a Good Idea?
• How Artists View of the Harbors aren’t as Bad as You Think
• It Did What? 19 Secrets About Drawing Historic Ships
• What Mom Never Told You About A Once and Future Harbor
• What Experts Are Saying  About Doodles of Ships
• 9 Ways Drawing Historic Ships Could Leave You Needing a Lawyer
• Folk Remedies for Improving Drawing New York Harbor
• Drawing Historic Ships Taboos You Should Break

• The Unconventional Guide to Drawing Horsecock (had to try this military delicacy keyword once.)

 

Linkbait Title Generator is another rich source of merriment:

 

• 10 Ways Historic Ships Can Suck the Life Out of You
(others could speak with more authority on this than I)

• 10 Ways Historic Ships Can Help You Live to 100
(make up your mind!)

• 8 Things the Media Hasn’t Told You About Historic Ships
(and won’t)

• The Rise of Historic Ships and How to Make it Stop
(make rising seas stop. I’m on it.)

• 101 Unusual Uses of Historic Ships
(I’m not so creative to attempt a talk thus titled.)

• 10 Ways Marketers Are Making You Addicted To Historic Ships
(I’d pay good money to hear this one.)

• Guns Don’t Kill People — Drawing Historic Ships Kills People

• What the Government Doesn’t Want You To Know About Historic Ships

• Why You Should Forget Everything You Learned About Historic Ships
(you mean in school? a non-issue)

• Why Historic Ships Are Destroying America

• Historic Ships Die Every Minute You Don’t Read This Article

A few more straggling suggestions:

• Do You Make These Common Historic Ship Acquiring Mistakes?
• Drawing Historic Ships By the Numbers
• How Drawing New York Harbor is the New Drawing New York Harbor

 

well! they are all winners. How DO I pick? which do you like?
(Winning Title To Come):
a presentation of NYHarbor doodles over the years,

USCGC BOUTWELL (WHEC 719)

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/06/24

Boutwellcs

“I just had the bittersweet honor of removing the USCGC BOUTWELL from active Coast Guard service, pierside at Coast Guard Island in Alameda. This small event involved the remaining few who have completed the legwork that began with the formal decommissioning ceremony back in March in San Diego. The hull now will sit empty until its prospective owners, the Philippine Navy arrive to take custody.”

Capt. E. Westfall,
Commanding Officer
USCGC BOUTWELL (WHEC 719)

USCGC Boutwell (WHEC-719)
Builder: Avondale Shipyards, LA
Laid down: 1967
Homeport: San Diego, California
Motto: “Best in the West”
Length: 378 ft / 115.2m
Beam: 43 ft / 13.1m
Draught: 15 ft / 4.6m
Speed: 29 knots / 54 km/h
Endurance: 45 days
Complement: 167 personnel

swim season

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/06/04

Unlike my fellow waterlovers, the Coney Island Polar Bears, I cannot jump into cold water. I must go in very slowly.

The waters of Gardiner’s Bay have been warming up perceptibly, and I have finally been able to swim without my face numbing.

Today at high tide, while standing and waiting to adjust in waist-high water, something bit my heel.

In the Sound during hot months, little 2″ / 5cm long white fish gently nibble and exfoliate my legs. This was not that. This was a bite. And the next bite was on my toe. And the bite after that was even harder. I peered in and saw this:

biter

It looked like a rock, about 7″ / 17.8cm long and triangular pyramid shape. I kicked at it. It came right back, biting harder. And I was mad I had to swim earlier than I was ready.

But once I was in, it was all good.

I think it was a lumpfish, but I am not sure. A “football with warts” is how it was described. And I will add: attacks toes.

 

teaching art

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/06/03

The New York Harbor School students have their artwork up at the Melville Gallery, South Street Seaport Museum!
211 Water Street, Saturday and Sunday, 11 – 5pm

Much thanks to Yvonne Simons, Jonathan Bouleware et al at the SSSM, thanks NYC for the CASA grant that made this course possible, and Capt. Aaron Singh for bringing me in. I taught students to doodle and paint. Boats. By the water. Does this not sound tailor-made?

Beautiful photography (taught by Len Bernstein) and a wonderful video (guided by Gordon Skinner) were also the results of this Maritime Arts Afterschool Club.

Thanks goes to all the kids who came after school to draw, paints, etch, carve, cut, crinkle, tape, paste, and play. “They said: I can’t draw.” Well, yes, you can, actually.

What I learned: show them the materials and how to use them, tell them about the exercise of the day, and then keep quiet and watch what they do. It was mind-expanding and very rewarding and inspirational.

Thank you to RigmorValerie, Kathleen and other art teacher friends who gave me their tips and ideas. As Kathleen said: “I thought I was doing it for the kids, but I realized I was the one getting the most out of it!

artsinvite

Good job, kids! Be bold. No fear. No erasers. Tusche.

new moon names

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/05/08

 

newmoonsOn the beach today, I found a pretty piece of Northern Quahog shell (Mercenaria mercenaria) with a ring of suction marks from Eastern White Slipper shells (Crepidula plans). It looked like a sky with new moons…

The native people here named the Full Moons, but they did not name the New Moons. So, I suggest the following:
Crimson Clover Moon
crimsonAs theoretically, the last frost is over, even though one still freezes one’s derrière off, the peepers optimistically begin their nocturnal calls, the earthworms churn the softening ground, and the crimson clover seeds have been sown. Make use of the rains as water costs and rain is free. The more crimson clover, the less lawn to mow, weed and water. A no-brainer.

 

Whitefish Moon
sturgeonAlso known as Coney Island Whitefish Moon. While on the topic of Coney Island Whitefish, please dispose of condoms properly. Do not fling them into the water! Hello—I’m talking to YOU. I’m delighted you are using protection, but please put it into the trash where it can wash into the waters through official channels.

 

Margarita Moon
margarita.jpgInsert-Libation-Of-Your-Choice-Here Moon. Fire up the grill, swirl around in your sun dress, imbibe and howl at this new moon. Don’t drink and drive: jump into the bay instead.

 

 

Vinegar Moon
vinegarAs jellyfish fill the bay, and bathers get stung, the smell of first-aid vinegar laces the sweet soft briny zephyrs. As the Natives know: when the jellyfish are in the bay, they are not in the Sound. When they clog up in the Sound, you’re safe in the bay. And in both, the fertilizer run-offs will give you ear infections. Do not use vinegar in ear.

 

Antler Dropping Moon
antlerLyme Tick Dropping Moon was too depressing to name this beautiful new moon. Deer may run amok and feed the ticks, but it is the white-footed mice which are the key hosts of the virus which go into the ticks. So don’t get guinea hens, get a fox. Add some wolves, coyotes and bears, too.

 

Image department correction! our editor/poofweeder/researcher and image source/archivist has once again caught lunar errors. The below image is of full moons:fullmoons

 

Waterfront Management Advisory Board

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/05/03

The New York City Council’s Committee on Waterfronts will hold a hearing on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. in the 14th Floor Committee Room, 250 Broadway, New York, NY.

visionprint2016

Hey, Cityfolks! even those living in waterfront condominiums will need food and goods brought in and wastes removed. Can’t keep trucking.

whatthen.jpg

Kaffee Museum

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/02/24

Cafè Badilatti is a coffee purveyor. In their building in Zuoz, sometimes the dreamy smell of coffee mingles with strains of live classical music. There is a cafe in the basement where there are performances, there is a lecture room upstairs, and my favorite: a lovely museum of beautiful old roasting and grinding implements.

I love their collection of old wrought iron and forged equipment.  From the most primitive hand hammered iron mills to impressive grand, large standing roasting machines from all over the world, you can travel through history: the Belle Epoque, the Roaring 20’s, the Deco 30’s, and WWI, the 1950’s, the swinging ’60s…

It is a marvel that through wartime, havoc, mayhem, social and political upheaval, people did sit down to brew a cup of coffee and imbibe.

kaffeemaschineDuring peak seasons, Café Badilatti offers lectures, as one of the Badilatti brothers is a scientist, a bird and plant specialist. For this month, a wonderful classical music trio of musicians from Hungary who play every weekday evening.  There is also a small cultural program.

A handmade zoetrope blends in with the roasting machines. You turn a crank, and coffee beans jitterbug, a Josephine Baker-like dancer shimmies over espresso cups, a coffee pot dances. I think this is their last season. I must go and inquire in my fractured German…

hello, Barista Uno, JED, Lee, my Kaffeeklatsch, and all coffee loving friends…!

does anybody else in here feel the way I do?

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/02/09

“Does anybody here remember Vera K?”

VeraK

Ship Builder: Main Iron Works, Houma, LA
Year: 1967
Length: 68.8 ft / 21m
Hull Depth: 6.2 ft / 1.9m
Hull Breadth: 22.2 ft / 6.8m
Hailing Port: NEW YORK, NY

Vera K is now Bobbie AnnVera Lynn is still active!  Tough gals, the two Veras.

 

snow shoes

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/01/24

bearbeaver

I love snow shoeing. It is liberating, meditative, calming.

Make your own snow shoes, lacing instructions here. During off-snow seasons, add beads or feathers, hang in window as a dreamcatcher.  (Here, traditional wins over new technology.)

Lash together an emergency pair:

JHbearpaw

johnhudsonsurvival.com

Or, use old tennis racquets and bicycle inner tubing.
When not in use, use to strain pasta. (Remove rubber tubing.)

pastaserveJack Lemmon & Shirley Maclaine in The Apartment. He is really good with that racquet.

Snow shoes are amazing. I walked in deep Engadin snow, with and without.
Results from the testing department:

• without snow shoes (pink line) – choppy, exhausting, halting walk. I quit rather quickly.

• with snow shoes (green line) – off to S-Chanf!

snowshoetest

 

And now, Jonas heads our way…
Be safe, be well, Everyone, post- and pre- storm. Lace up and happy wandering.

Meanwhile, at sea (seemingly less and less far away):

last week, Tropical storm Alex made landfall. a very rare January Atlantic hurricane.
For those at sea, hope you missed this.

building now: North Pacific Hurricane Force Storm. “…with winds forecast 50-70 knots and seas building to 14 meters (over 45 feet) between 35N-42N latitudes in the main shipping routes.” — Fred Pickhardt, Marine Meteorologist

oh beautiful…

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/01/16

hackensackKearny.jpg

Hackensack River, Meadowlands, Pulaski Skyway, Kearny Generating Plant, NJ

grains

stripmine

highway1I’m not making this up! click here: this is the Pregerson Interchange in LA, CA, blowspittled.

waterdump

fracksigns

oilysea

— George Carlin (1972)

breathe

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/12/07

peacePeople!

Everyone: please BREATHE.

Because you can. You know why you should breathe? because if you don’t, you die.

Breathe.

TurnerToronto

Thank you, Marina, who recently rode the train to Toronto from NYC, and brought back this striking image and quote from Turner, whose paintings “were compared to lobster salad, soapsuds, whitewash, and beetroot or mustard.”

Breathe first.

Then, breathe and work.

 

st. nicholas day

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/12/05

StNicholas
Happy St. Nicholas Day.
It seems there was once a St. Nicholas Lightship, in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England.

wheatmultipl

Click to see a rich brocade of St. Nicholas images from the old gCapt Maritime Monday magazine of MonkeyFist.

river rock and sage leaves

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/12/04

riverrock&sage

east marion post office war memorial

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/10/09

emarionpostofficeIn March of 1946, several war veterans living in East Marion wanted a memorial to honor the memory of their fallen neighbors.

They decided to create the only War Memorial Post Office in the United States.

A piece of land was purchased in April (for $1500), they went from door to door to raise the funds to erect a building, and after a year, many volunteer hours and $7000 later, a memorial building was built.

There is a metal plaque for veterans of “the World War,” 1917 – 1919.

Another for WWII, 1941 – 1945 (with Merchant Marines listed as well.)

Another reads: “In honor of the citizen of East Marion who served their country in the Korean War, June 27, 1950 – Jan 31, 1955…and in the Viet-Nam War, Aug. 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975…”

In May of 1999, Congress officially recognized and re-dedicated this little post office to war veterans.

The room is small. Antique mail boxes cover two whole walls. Here is my mailbox:box52mailbox

I have moved from NYHarbor, and now live in East Marion, the North Fork of Long Island, NY.

I bike to Greenport and Orient for boats and ferries. I can swim in the Sound (water temperature 60°F / 15.5°c now, a bit warmer in the bay.) And I pick up my mail from the East Marion Post Office War Memorial.

po52

On a framed official document from the Senate is this poignant line:

“WHEREAS, When the plaque was placed inside the Post Office, and when the dedication took place 50 years ago, no one could imagine another plaque being placed beside it for the East Marion men and women who would fight in Korea and then in Vietnam; we can only hope that we do not have to create another plaque to place beside them;…”

Janis and Jimi might agree.

dare! and tugboat race & contests

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/08/31

octopusBlueDarewell, thanks to Pecs for muscling me into drawing mode.

This Sunday! one of the rare chances to see crew inside those tugs come out! in the flesh—and a lot of flesh, at the tattoo contest (which I don’t see on this year’s line up…?)

23rd Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition

Sunday, 6 September 2015
10am -2pm
Pier 84:West 44th Street and Hudson River Park, NYC

10:00am Parade of Tugs from Pier 84 (w 44th st./hudson river park) to the
start line @ Pier I at w 70th st. in Riverside Park South

10:30am Race Starts (runs from Pier I to Pier 84)

11am Nose-to-nose pushing contests & Line-toss competition

Noon Amateur line-toss & Spinach-eating contests

1pm Awards Ceremony

2pm Tugs depart

more information at the Working Harbor Committee’s site.

Greenport Tallships Festival 2015

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/07/03
“For the love of french, add curlicue L and apostrophe,”  requests Tugster.
l'hermione
  “AIS shows her as lhermione,” he adds.
Got so into the curlicue kick that I did not get to finish the ships, alas:
tallships
I will be selling ship schwag at Blue Ruth 29 Front Street, 4 and 5 July.  It is so exciting to have the ships in town, and friends who sail, buzzing around. Sailors do tell the best stories, especially when imbibing happy-inducing libations.
I’m looking forward to people watching while keeping watch. Happy happy July, All!

Hermione coming to NYHarbor!

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/06/30

This is a work in progress, but she is due to arrive tomorrow in NYHarbor! l'hermione

Join the parade! She will be tying up at pier 15, by the South Street Seaport Museum; look for Hermione’s schedule while in NYC here.

Her story is here. Watch for photos to come on Tugster and NY MediaBoat!

Brews, Blues & BBQ! today and tomorrow at the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/06/27

thirtback

Come on down to the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company‘s American Bierhalle in Peconic, (not the Greenport location) Long Island, NY.

From today 11am until tomorrow, Sunday 5 pm (perhaps with a hiatus to rest during the wee hours), there will be BBQ competitions, music, tastings.

Meanwhile, back at their original brewery in Greenport, a beautiful art exhibit is up at the same where I had my show last year.

The artist is Scott Bluedorn, his work is very beautiful. He was commissioned to do the artwork for the labels for the bottled beers which just came out last month, the show is titled “Message On A Bottle.”

Read the story of the artwork for The Black Duck Porter, named after a famous rum-running boat. In fact, all the labels have great stories, as reported here and here by N. Krommydas of NextStop magazine.

ghbc

It was very fun to do this poster with Ann Vandenburg. We are both Woodstock stock:

BBBposterblog

Maybe see you there!

NY Media Boat’s RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat)

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/06/25

navyribs

APERTURE / AMUNDSEN
Length: 24 ft / 7 m
Power: 220HP Cummins Diesel // Range: 120nm
Cruising Speed: 25 kts // Top Speed: 30+ kts
Homeport: Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City, NJ
Capacity: 6 passengers + crew

Built for the U.S. Dept of Defense, Naval Surface Warfare Command, and purchased by Bjoern Kils, these RHIB are hardy, fast vessels. I would see Bjoern all the time, all seasons, all weather. He was there for several rescues, and more, so that Tugster and I would call him the NY Media and Rescue Boat, which Bjoern seemed disinclined to use. I have taken friends out on his tour to celebrate a birthday, and was lucky enough to be a guest, and can attest that you will have an amazing time: Bjoern is knowledgeable, a good captain, and a runs a very good service for zipping about the harbor and being on the water.
Their blog is a fascinating view of the going-ons of NYHarbor.

And on the way to tying up on pier 25, they sometimes retrieve the myriad volleyballs/soccer balls clogging the slip, selecting the nicer, less algae’d varieties, ready for barter if you have a cold drink on hand. NY Media Boat does it all.

Book a trip or read more about NY Media Boat here.

Thank you, Kristina, for the inspiration to make these drawings happen!

Wavertree on the KVK

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/06/05

Thank you to Bjoern and Erik of New York Media Boat and Tugster of the 6th Boro!
Hooray for the South St Seaport Museum and Wavertree.

Read Tugster’s recounting of the epic journey Part I here and Part II here. It was a beautiful ride through the harbor with the majestic Wavertree, with some of our friends onboard and some accompanying her along the way.

Thomas J. Brown pushes Wavertree towards Caddell’s Dry Dock & Repair. The poor, elegant Bayonne Bridge is the background, getting a roadbed lift.

And, as I started to draw, it began to rain…

wavertreehaul

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

infamy

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/04/20

deadBP

Every day is Macondo Blowout day…unless?? see this article in Bloomberg Business

WOW, beautiful film that Deep Sea News linked to (I use reed pens, too!):

Dr. Eugenie Clark

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/02/26

On special weekends when I was young, we would go to New Jersey to one of the remaining polynesian, tiki-hut themed restaurants. Adorned with itchy colorful plastic leis, we watched exotic, sizzling pu-pu platters, drinks with paper umbrellas, accordion lanterns, maraschino cherries and canned pineapple slices go by as we ate under thatched awnings lit by colored glass fishing ball lanterns in nets, beside large carved tiki statues.

tikiparty

That kitsch was the most I knew of the South Sea Islands until I read about the adventures of a plucky scientist in Micronesia. She wrote beautifully about the people and her work there, and Lady with a Spear became one of my most treasured books.

Dr. Eugenie Clark, was an ichthyologist at the American Museum of Natural History in NY, and an expert with Pletognatha, of which the poisonous blowfish is a member.

fishingnettin2She was hired by the Pacific Science Board (funded by the Office of Naval Research)  to collect and catalog “poisonous reef fishes that had been tormenting American troops wading in the surf.”*   Sailors were also getting poisoned by eating the fish, of which some are only poisonous depending on the season. She set out in June 1949 for six months.

Her headquarters in the Palaus Islands was the Pacific War Memorial Station. The handyman there was Siakong. Mischievous, troublemaking, “with the power of three Palaus,” and a spearfisherman extraordinaire, he became her guide and protector, and taught her how to spearfish.

They packed neither food nor water for long day outings at sea, for, with the locals’ knowledge, and with the seas as bountiful as they were then, they would catch their meals from the boat, which would satisfy both hunger and thirst. Do-it-yourself raw bar.

One day, Siakong spied a giant clam deep below, and with his homemade goggles on, dived down towards it. Dr. Clark wrote she saw him swim deeper and deeper until his small figure was dwarfed by the clam which measured about 4′ across.

siakong2

When he did not surface for awhile, she looked over the side of the boat and to her horror, saw him, arm deep in the mouth of the giant clam, caught and held fast. She frantically signaled to the boatman, who looked over and did not understand. She fretted, signaled, panicked and finally stood up in the boat, about to dive over herself when Siakong popped up, holding a part of the giant clam’s flesh in his hands.

The men laughed as she recovered from her terror, and they rowed away, leaving below, a giant clam with a tooth gap the size of a strong man’s arm diameter.

She eventually amassed for the Navy a collection of the most poisonous ones: triggerfish, scorpionfish, lion fish, stonefish, sea urchins, jellyfish, surgeon fish, sea snakes, cowfish, as well as edible fish–before and after monsoon seasons.

Known mostly for her work with sharks, she had said once:  “It is one of the jobs of a marine biologist, to make the environment of the sea more familiar and hence safer, through studying and understanding the animals which live in it.”

Making it safer for us, or the animals?

Thank you, Dr. Gary Kroll for his thoughtful, informative dissertation*. What a read!

sage tea

Posted in health, Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/02/24

sageleaves

This is from the sage of the Val Bregaglia, Dr. Hans Bänninger, whose recent recommendation for me I share with you:

Please, try to find garden sage (Salvia officinalis in Latin.) It is an herb you find usually in all traditional gardens. Even in wintertime the leaves have her oils. This is the right medical plant with the potential to help you.
Cut the leaves in small pieces. Infuse for 10 minutes. This will help your throat and take away inflammation and pain.

It is working–thank you so much, Dr. Bänninger!

Pack fresh sage in that sea bag! if you don’t need it for medicinal purposes, you can always roast potatoes or meat with it.

Sal Polisi, wood carver of the South St Seaport Museum

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/02/19

chezSalOnce upon a time, by Pier 16, behind a collection of bollards, cleats and a giant anchor (and underneath the FDR drive,) there were two containers that housed the open studio of a wood carver by the name of Sal Polisi. TiconderogaFlat He was a navy man, served on the USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) , and when he retired, he was one of the anchors of the South Street Seaport Museum. People would wander into his wood shop, and he would talk about the museum, the ships, and the history while he carved. He offered free lessons to anyone interested, and his shelves were full of wood chunks in various stages of becoming whales, fish or mermaids (including one never-finished block hacked at by the author, an abandoned whale-wanna-be.)

One day, a big, strong man walked into Sal’s woodshop. “He didn’t look right, he was looking without seeing, asking without listening…” Sal didn’t have a good feeling. Suddenly the man grabbed a large piece of wood, and walked out. “Hey! come back here!” yelled Sal. The wood piece was solid and very heavy, but the man made off as if it was hollow.

Sal called the police, then followed the man as he walked north of Pier 17, and watched in disbelief as the man threw Sal’s wood into the East River, jumped in, mounted the wood, and began to paddle towards the west anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge.

bridgeswim This was pre-9/11, there was no harbor police stationed at the spot where the man paddled through. It took a while before the police came. The harbor police eventually appeared in their boat, and they pulled the fellow off the log and hauled him off to —? we do not know where. The shoreside police watched, laughed and got into their cars to leave.

“Hey!” said Sal, “What about my wood? I want that wood back!” The cops shrugged and left.

“I was so mad,” he told me later. “That was a good piece of wood! Black Walnut!”

Sal worked in his wood shop for many years until the current regime was given the public land to develop. They assured him he would not be moved, but moved him they did. His shop was razed, and it did break his heart. salwoodshop Fair winds, Sal. We miss you. sal&kids2   USS TICONDEROGA (CV-14)

Name: Ticonderoga
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding, VA
Laid down: 1 February 1943
Launched: 7 February 1944
Class & type: Essex-class aircraft carrier
Length: 888 feet (271 m) overall
Beam: 93 feet (28 m)
Draft: 28 feet 7 inches (8.71 m) light
Propulsion: 8 × boilers 4 × Westinghouse geared steam turbines 4 × shafts 150,000 shp (110 MW)
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h)
Complement: 3448 officers and enlisted
Armament: 4 × twin 5 inch (127 mm)/38 caliber guns 4 × single 5 inch (127 mm)/38 caliber guns 8 × quadruple Bofors 40 mm guns 46 × single Oerlikon 20 mm cannons
Aircraft carried: 90–100 aircraft