weeping cuts

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2017/04/27


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shell junks

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2017/04/16


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a vintage machine

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2017/02/14


I am in awe, wow!  The International Sewing Machine Collector Society is an incredible resource for old sewing machines, and has scanned and put online many old manuals.


Here is the link to the beautifully illustrated and written Singer Sewing Skills Reference Book. Scrolling through, I am dumbfounded by the fascinating attachments that were cleverly engineered to create hems, various edges, complex stitches, bindings, piping, tucks, darts, ruffles, seams, braids, shirrs. Perhaps it is not lamentable to have some of the fashion styles go away, however, the minds who designed such beautiful machines and brilliant attachments that have lasted decades, the factories which made these machines–are these lost forever, never to return?

For amusement: how to open the domed lid (“the doomed lid”). It is amazing what helpful things good people put online to advise and guide others. It was this post that taught me how to open Richard Hudson’s 1948 antique sewing machine cover. The machine seems to run beautifully, the artfully crafted steel attachments are intact.


With the help of the International Sewing Machine Collector Society, there is a good chance Mr. Hudson can sew his sails for schooner Issuma. She will look smart leaving Jersey City to Toronto under sail with perfectly ruffled leeches and a smock tucked fisherman.


“Crime of the Ancient Mariner” by Brian Lance

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2017/01/30

Just published!  “Crime of the Ancient Mariner”   by ELECTRIC LITERATURE’s weekly ‘literary oddments’ magazine, OKEY-PANKY.

I have always loved Gustave Doré’s moving etchings, and was very happy when Brian Lance asked me to illustrate his psychedelic, angst & drug-laden, navy man’s lament in his weaving of Coleridge’s poem with a U.S. Navy psych evaluation.

stargazy pie

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/12/24

Stargazy pie has a great name and history.pie
Enjoy this essay entitled Forgotten Fish by Mary Sue Milliken. Menhaden pie, anyone?

I will be making this recipe, courtesy of Saveur magazine. If you do, too, let us know how it comes out!


Get up, get dressed, go out in this rig to catch the fishies for the pie…


from Food of England (1954), by Dorothy Hartley, social historian, illustrator and author.

Merry Christmas, happy rejoicing-event of your choice!

the “Boke”

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/12/05




Hoboken Terminal, NJ.

My boss took me there on a survey job one snowy day, several years ago. The ferry slips were not ready yet, and were still being painted. One could see the grandness of the architecture. Billowy sheets of plastic were hung over the openings, and we had to drive in and out of the curtains to do the surveys, like stagehands hopping on and off the grand stage. It was so silent, snow falling into the river, no one there to see any of the beauty that day but us.

Thank you, JD, for the push to finish this drawing. Thx, Frankie for the ‘Boke’ tip!

hamburg süd

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


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le nuove strade

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/11/15


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


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


“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


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


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!


“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:
“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


…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:
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:

• 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,


Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/06/24


“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)
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:


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!


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.


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


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?”


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


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:


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!



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


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



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




— George Carlin (1972)


Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/12/07


Everyone: please BREATHE.

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



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

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


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


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.


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.
  “AIS shows her as lhermione,” he adds.
Got so into the curlicue kick that I did not get to finish the ships, alas:
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


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.


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


Maybe see you there!

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

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2015/06/25


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!