Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

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

military men

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/12/18

I did not know any military people until I began to work on boats. I still do not know any military women very well, just by correspondence. But I’ve met some men. Different world.

With a few rich and generous exceptions, they don’t blog. They don’t like to reveal much. It is not easy to drag a good story out of them.

But every now and then, in a calm crossing of the river while we’re both in the wheelhouse, I’d hear:
“Did I ever tell you? Oh, you’ll like this one—we were in the PBR, they were shooting at us, and let me tell you how this boat was made: you could turn a valve to use the motor to pump the water that was filling up in the boat OUT. It was called a crash turn. But you couldn’t move, then. We had to choose: pump out the boat, or get our asses outta there.”
“The boat was filling up? you were all getting wet?”
Eyes widened: “We were getting SHOT at! YES, our socks were getting wet!”
“Oh, Kenny! where were you? when was this?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Well, who made the boat?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Come on! Oh, pretty please?”
“No. I can’t.”

kenny

Tried to find the boat. A good resource here: the Historic Naval Ships Association.

They see things differently. My dear girlfriend Lilian is a potter, she gave me beautiful red clay to pinch into pots for my succulents. One ex-CG friend picked up the bag of the heavy dense stuff and asked, “It this your bag of plastic explosive?”

succulents

I could not tell if he was serious or not. That’s another thing. Poker faced, even when you step on their toes really hard by accident with a high-heeled shoe.

They act differently. Chloe, who lives in the east village, told me of a time when a fellow who was a NAVY SEAL visited her. He walked up to her fifth floor apartment of a tenement building, and warned her: “Watch out, these guys are packed around here.” He was able to detect some of her neighbors coming down the stairs concealing weapons under their pants legs. While he was there, he heard a noise and with his broad arm, pushed Chloe down to the floor and crouched protectively over her:
“What’s that?”
Chloe, stuttering, “It-it’s the fax machine. I’m getting a fax.” She works from home.

navyseal

Well, for some of us, there will always be that fascination:

And! though not Military, fellow ship portraitist Pamela just sent me this: SECRET FBI sale! Dec. 20, for the first time in its history, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will open its New York store:

“The rare offer for G-men branded gear is good for four hours only. Intelligence locates the store somewhere between the 22nd and 29th floor of 26 Federal Plaza. Special clearance required.”

growler

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/05/13

Growler is the sole survivor of the Navy’s fleet of pioneering strategic missile diesel powered submarines.”
– Historic Naval Ships Association

U.S.S. GROWLER SSG-577

Class: Grayback/Regulus II Submarine
Launched: April 5, 1958
At: Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Commissioned: August 30, 1958

Length: 317′ 7″ / 96.8 m
Beam: 27′ 2″ / 8.3 m
Draft: 19′ (surface trim) / 5.8 m
Displacement: 2,768 tons (surfaced)
Armament: Regulus I and II missiles

Speed: maximum surfaced – 20 knots
maximum submerged – 12 knots

Complement:   9 officers, 11 chief petty officers, 68 crewmen

Decommissioned: May 25, 1964

Growler was destined to be sunk as a target, but was saved at the last minute by the Intrepid Museum. More details here. Cool old photos on NavSource.

Pier 86 is the location of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum (West 46th Street & 12th Avenue).

We were surveying some piers located north of the museum, and would have to take tide readings regularly off a tide board posted up just east of this submarine, so these workers would watch us go back and forth, and wave:

And they know what many of us know: any day on the water is better than a good day at the office.

However, if you are in the office, check out Maritime Monday’s submarine edition and order a sub for lunch.

cup of joe

Posted in drunken sailor, navy by bowsprite on 2010/09/23

Army’s version: this comes from “a cup of (Jolt Of Energy) joe.” Or, it is a drink as common as the “GI Joe.”
Does G.I. stand for Ground Infantry? General Issue? Galvanized Iron? Government Issued!

Navy’s version: this comes from the secretary of the US Navy, Admiral Josephus ‘Joe’ Daniels who banned the serving of alcohol on ships in 1914, serving nothing stronger than coffee (although the phrase is known to predate his service.)
thanks, Joe! this’s joe’s for you

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!

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