My favorite place in NYHarbor is Sandy Hook and the Atlantic Highlands, especially at this time of year, when the prickly pears sprout their big purple olive-like buds, the sumac turns firey red, pokeweed branches droop with heavy, ink-filled berries, and maybe monarchs pass through. Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the National Park Service tends and preserves wonderfully the pockets of wilderness.
This healing place of beauty is also where the presence of defense is felt. Monuments of the American Revolution, relics of the Civil War, crumbling forts, battery ranges and our USCG base stationed there tell of its military importance. But the most fascinating is site NY-56: where missiles were nearly launched 52 years ago this time.
Length: 27 ft
Weight: 5000 lbs
Range: 75 miles
Altitude: above 150,000 ft
Housed in underground silos, the missiles would be ready to launch off racks to intercept long-range bombers. Barracks still stand where men were housed, men who would maintain and train here. During the tour, one man in the back, who was very quiet and moved slowly suddenly burst out with emotion, “We were never allowed here when I was here, never!” He said no more, but among us that day was one who had served, one who lived through it all. This base was closed in 1974.
In this WWII paratrooper tribute blog are the writings and comments of a recent generation that grew up with incredible fear of being incinerated at school or in their sleep; one commentator found a great handout courtesy of the Canadian government here: a “How to Pack to Survive a Nuclear Attack” brochure. Thank you, GCOX.
This Saturday & Sunday (Sept 20-21), I will be peddling my wares at the Greenport Maritime Festival on the North Fork of Long Island.
Ships stationery, prints, paper signal flags, signal flag playing cards, Irish linen tea towels, ship buttons etc. will make their usual appearances.
Tshirts: grey with pink and orange type OR forest green with sky blue and bright green type. They will be available on my etsy shop next week. All printed in NY (except the playing cards.)
Workboat Wear is the very cool site of a captain working on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico,
with contributions, … hijacked by… with contributions by the endless, inexhaustible talent of Fist o’ Fury Monkeyfist of Adventures of the Blackgang. A few bowsprite doodles have appeared on some of the Capt’s designs.
Meow Man, is indescribable. Unique. Meow Man is.
“Candy tastes better on the boat, little girl…”
You wouldn’t fall for that, so why would you fall for…this? You do not know the vessel’s condition nor safety equipment status; you do not know the operator nor his ability to handle emergencies: Do not get on boat.
Thank you to the author, Suzanne Strazza, and Four Corners Press;
happy this had an OK ending…
the article he wrote in 1995 is here;
“Last January in the Sea of Cortes more than 200 porpoises, eight whales and over 70 sea lions suddenly died … [The captain] started talking about … how the sea was suddenly flooded with plastic packages. But he said no one could pick up the packages because if they did, the Mexican federal police would seize the kilos.”
Charles Bowden, 1945 – 2014
Former east river site of the 23rd Street Ferry with ferries once running from Manhattan to Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as far back as 1857, this lovely concrete structure today is a parking facility. Party boats and dining cruisers dock here.
Color to come. Just wanted to post to say: Tomorrow, Sunday! the Working Harbor Committee‘s 22st Annual Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition takes place
Sunday 31 August
West 44th Street & Hudson River
10:00 AM – Parade of tugs from Pier 84 to the start line.
10:30 AM – Race starts – From South of 79th Street Boat Basin (near Pier I) to Pier 84.
11 AM – Nose to nose pushing contests and line toss competition.
Noon – Tugs tie up to Pier 84 for lunch and awards ceremony.
Exhibits, amateur line toss, spinach eating contest
1 PM – Awards ceremony. Tugs depart at about 2 PM.
I don’t see the tattoo contest on the agenda, but I’m sure wardrobe will come off and ink will be revealed. And the night shift crew will try to sleep through it all.
J. Cowhey & Sons hardware was a chandlery in Red Hook. Three containers of their old marine and rigging equipment will be on sale today, Sunday, at Atlantic Basin in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
The metal tools and equipment were in time capsules freshly opened. Foundries from towns I have never heard of made beautiful pieces. Some of the factories are gone, and some of the jobs these tools were used for are no more.
Steel Products Corporation, South Windham, ME:
The Caldwell Company, Rockford, IL: the Adjust-A-Leg Equalizing Sling
Boston & Lockport Block Company, Boston, NY (I didn’t know there was a Boston, NY; did you?)
New England Butt Company, Providence, RI: a line counter that still works, clicking away as it measured 50 feet of beautiful old manila rope that a shopper, Ben P and I fed through it.
“What’s that called?”
“A Headache Ball.” ouch. It reads: “Swiveler, SWL 3 TONS, WGT 35 LBS, Model SAS5”
Huge shackle, anyone?
130 ton–it can hold, or it weighs?
Huge oar not included:
A Skookum block:
I liked these: female and male container lifting gear lying over each other on a pallet.
These are made in Japan. From Marc: “Twist locks, used to stack and lock marine containers on top of one another.”
Rope through every link of a chain? “Elevator chain. Keeps the chain well-oiled,” said another shopper, Steve R, peering into the three barrels of the stuff.
Girlfriend With the Tanker says “The rope keeps it quiet! So it doesn’t klank as the elevator and chain go up and down.”
Voluptuous hooks, like Henry Moore sculptures, but sexier.
Beautiful, wonderful things. A gun rack from around the 1920’s. A perfect cast iron stove from Florim Foundry, Florim, PA. A Jacob’s Ladder. Hooks galore. Old wooden blocks. Go, admire, puzzle, wonder.
More information here.
PortSide NewYork Heavy Metal Sale:
Happy summer, Everyone
This song has been going through my head nonstop. This was recorded on the Monkees program–remember them?
I also love this version (and I love Robert Plant, Led Zepplin):
I have moved (again). Posessions possess you. I am on a mission to simplify and reduce. I found my ink and reed pens, and will doodle soon…
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.
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:
Today begins the National Stationery Show at the Jacob Javits Center.
Do you want to focus and promote your artwork, and try to make a living at it by committing to this trade show–when you know on Wednesday, the ships are coming in for Fleet Week and will pass right outside the building, a monkeyfist’s throw away!?
So, I’ve committed. Here is my bike with all the ship cards and stationery I am presenting. I called the convention center to say I could not find information on how to unload from a bicycle; it was all written for car and truck drop off. The fellow was amused I was biking everything, and asked: “but who will watch the bike when you are unloading?” which I found very charming. I locked it to a lamppost.
I was lucky and missed the rain, but my shelving unit, coming from the flame proofers’, got extra-super, monsoon-flame-proofed. Thank you Urban Mobility Project, Shelly and Joe! It cost 1/9th the quote I got from vans and trucks, and we did not have the interminable wait times for the long vehicular congo line to the elevator in the back. We walked everything in the front doors, exhibition hall level.
Ok: so I had to spend $300 to flame proof my shelves in this modern structure with sprinkler systems. That’s fine, I did it. However, to then allow the NO FREIGHT AISLE be clogged for two days with heavy, immoveable stuffs…this would NEVER be allowed on even the more lackadaisical passenger vessels I’ve worked on. I could not get my things in. But, I was more worried that in case of fire, no one would be able to get out.
I finally made it to my little booth. Here is it, before:
and not quite done yet. I have ship schwag up the wazoo, and still so much to do…meanwhile, just west, past my lovely neighbor Park Soap, I know lies North River, right past that exit sign…and:
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Event: Fleet Week New York Parade of Ships
Location: New York Harbor
Time: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Corwith Cramer is docked at pier 25, she looks so beautiful.
Elcano just left town:
And, in case of fire, I am running west, and advise my colleagues to do the same.
New York City Council, Committee on Waterfronts • Oversight hearing open to the public
Friday, March 28, 10 am, City Hall, Committee Room
resources to contact:
sailing barge, Vermont Sail Project / historic ships coalition, Mary Hasbritt, founding director; with Maggie Flanagan / working harbor committee, John Doswell, executive director /community: Waterways Reskilling, Wellbeing Farm
to be disciplined is to follow in a good way
to be self disciplined is to follow in a better way
consider everything an experiment
nothing is a mistake
there is no win
and there is no fail
there is only MAKE
don’t try to create and analyze at the same time
they are different processes
it is lighter than you think
from the Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules,
Sister Mary Corita
evidently, Rigmor is in town!
Hello, dear Friends!
You are cordially invited to my first solo show which will open this saturday at the very cool Greenport Harbor Brewing Company!
It is in a lovely harbor village on the North Fork of Long Island.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company was founded in 2008 by Rich Vandenburgh and John Liegey. The beer is wonderful. The brewery is on the ground floor, upstairs is the gallery and tasting room.
This 1896 carriage house was the Star Hose Fire House for many years. Sometimes barrels of leftover grains sit outside the building, covered with myriad happy sparrows.
I met Ann Vandenburgh, who runs the gallery at the Brewery, with Rich and John at the Greenport Maritime Festival when we had booths next to each other; I was selling art, they were selling beer. The long lines were for the beer, but I was happy for the company. And Ann offered me this show back in September.
Our neighbor on the other side of our booths was WPKN, a non-commercial, non-profit, all volunteer community independent radio. Starting to broadcast in 1963, PKN (Purple Knights Network) was named for the sports team back when the University of Bridgeport had a sports team. And when the University existed. Neither do today; all that remains is this fiercely eclectic radio station. Thank you, Kevin and Dave for the shout-out for the show from your station.
Thanks, Ann, GHBC, and All! maybe see some of you out here east, sometime. It’s a lively, lovey village, and a deep water port!
Berlin-class replenishment ship FGS Bonn steamed as quietly out of the harbor yesterday as she entered, almost two weeks ago.
Name: FGS (Federal German Ship) Bonn
Built: (four dockyards!) Fr. Lürssen Werft, Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft (deckhaus), ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Peene-Werft (hull), Emder Werft und Dockbetriebe.
christened: June 2012
commissioned: September 2013
Length: 570.9 ft (174 m)
Width: 78.7 ft (24 m)
Draft: 24.3 (7.4 m)
Load displacement: about 18,000 t
Speed: 20 knots
Capacity: 10,560 kW (14,357 hp)
Endurance period: 45 days
Two 24T cranes
Crew: capable of carrying 237
Homeport: Wilhelmshaven, Germany’s only deep water port, and its largest naval base.
- Named after German cities where German parliaments are, the ships carry supplies, fuel, provisions, ammunition and provide medical services.
Powered by two diesel engines, the Berlin-class frigates feature in-flight refuelling-capabilities (HIFR) and replenishment-at-sea (RAS) systems in accordance with NATO regulations.
She had just come back from a week in Halifax, her design will be used for two Royal Canadian Navy supply ships to be built by Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. (After the Coast Guard’s polar ice breaker. Or before. If at all.)
What is wrong with us? Our NATO partner and alliance’s vessel comes to town for a good stay but there is no official city memo nor press release, no hoopla. The ship is all dressed up but no where was there a welcoming oompah band, a red carpet soiree, a nyc kaffeklatsch/kvetch, a luau farewell…Nichts! The locals kept watch. Well, we hope you had a good time, Sailors!
thx, Walt and JED!
“I was a deckhand on her from 1999 to 2003, and a relief mate from 2004 to 2011.
She’s a tough old boat. 327 ft long. You could stand at one end on a rough day and watch it twist in the swells. As you know she landed at Normandy on D Day as the LST 510. One of a small group of LSTs that actually returned from From the invasion. LSTs were built as throw away vessels that were never intended to come back, so it’s amazing that she did, and even more amazing that she is still working.
Last year we took the WW II Vets out for a wreath laying. The mate and I found a vet standing on the car deck. We asked him if he was alright. And he told us that this was the spot he was standing on when he heard a torpedo skid along the bottom of the hull. It did not explode and just bounced off of the bottom of the boat.”
Name: USS Buncombe County (LST-510)
Builder: Jeffersonville Boat and Machine Company, Jeffersonville, Indiana
Laid down: 27 September 1943
Launched: 30 November 1943
Commissioned: 31 January 1944
Decommissioned: 1 July 1946
Displacement: 1,625 long tons (1,651 t) light
3,640 long tons (3,698 t) full
Length: 328 ft (100 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft: Unloaded : 2 ft 4 in (0.71 m) forward 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) aft
Loaded : 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) forward 14 ft 1 in (4.29 m) aft
Depth: 8 ft (2.4 m) forward 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m) aft (full load)
Propulsion: 2 × General Motors 12-567 diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Boats & landing craft carried: 2 LCVPs
Troops: Approximately 130 officers and enlisted men
Complement: 8-10 officers, 89-100 enlisted men
• 1 × single 3″/50 caliber gun mount
• 8 × 40 mm guns
• 12 × 20 mm guns
Tugster: “What’s wrong with us?”
indeed. Why are we here? why are we not back in New Orleans?! damn fools.
Two years ago, we went. We watched tugs and ships. We stalked shipyards. We ate beignets. I pulled a few strokes in the Mississippi, by Algiers (but did not put my head in the water. There IS a limit to a gal’s love.)
Sigh, it beckons still. Wishing we were there. Hello, there Friends!
And! should you not be one of the lucky ones with a tug to run to, there is an app to help you find a head: airpnp, where the savvy businessfolks even tell you that there is all day happy hour at Capedeville.
Warren Disch: fair winds. His favorite tug was Little Bear, and he named the little skiff Pooh Bear. It was always special to pull up to his rigs because they had beautifully colors, crisp letters that spelled out lovely images, like a dredge called “Stepping Stone.” He was my boss’ mentor, and I had heard so much about him.
type: ?400 HP twin screw push boat
built: 1992? by Frank J. Weckesser, Southern MA
length: 26 ft / 7.9 m
beam: ? ft / –m
draft: ?ft / — m
drawn to scale where .25″ = 1′:
26′ tug = 6.5″
125′ barge = 31.25″
10′ wave = 2.5″
The story is here; very happy crew is safe.
When I was first breaking into tug work, I taught sailing on the side for a company which also had a big motor yacht which people chartered for parties. One night, they asked me to drive it for a bachelor party, as the regular captain was not available. My deckhand, a local sailor, dressed up in a funny little sailor suit. It was as you’d expect: booze, youngish men and a couple of strippers. Nobody cared about the cruise, they just wanted to be out on the bay where nobody could see the goings on.
I was at the wheel, and the deckhand was seated on a cabinet nearby. The stripper, wearing little more than stilettos, came prancing up the ladder to the wheelhouse. The deckhand was expressionless, and in her bouncy voice, she said, “What’s the matter fellow, why the serious face?”
He remained deadpan and said, “I’m working.”
She stopped wiggling, went equally deadpan and said, “So am I.”
Then she turned around, put her party expression and wiggle back on, and pranced down the ladder back to the party. It was the only memorable moment in an otherwise forgettable experience.
This morning: it was all ice and fog.
On VHF radio: “(Name of tug), 14, can I get a visibility report? thank you.”
Voices, they were all speaking:
Voices from ferries whose names I rarely hear uttered on 13, calling out today where the fog has collected extremely heavily: around Liberty and Ellis Islands.
“Miss New York, leaving Liberty Channel to Ellis Island.”
“Miss New Jersey, I see you. See you on the one.”
“Miss Freedom…” “did you leave the dock yet?” “yes, I’m in front of the Statue:” “Roger that.”
“Miss New Jersey, departing the battery wall for the Statue.”
“Miss Freedom, I’m south of the clock, where are you?”
“Leaving Morris Canal…south of you.”
“I’m at the WR buoy (red buoy marking a wreck at the mouth of the Morris Canal) and I can’t see the Clock!”
Voices from the Kills:
Voices from the anchorage:
“Yeah, Cap, I don’t have you on radar yet, but see you on the one.”
Voices from everywhere, mingling: