First snow day of 2012 on MARY WHALEN, Chiclet asks for help shovelling the deck!

Pier 9B
Posted by Carolina Salguero

That's Chiclet coming in this morning after a night off the boat.

Soon after that, I sent an email blast out to volunteers for help shoveling at 3pm.  Chiclet asks for help!

I did that rather last minute, I know, but I wasn’t on the ball vis a vis work yesterday. It was my birthday and day 13 of a cold, two different excuses for being a dingbat.

Before shoveling, I'm relishing the cozy delights of snow day: Irish oatmeal with currants on the diesel stove.

Chiclet snoozing on her galley tuffet. 

Snowy light on silver polished by Jenny Kane for a Supper Club dinner; thank you Jenny!    

WBGO Rhythm Revue streaming. Dave Black, thanks for introducing me to that!

Here’s a snow day shot from 3 years ago, a stove multi-tasking, heating up the shovel so I can wax it and warming soup at the same time.  

This is also a sign of progress! In 2008, the fidley deck had not been repainted yet (note the peeling paint on floor) and we were using an old shovel with a taped handle (it was a classic though), and now we have mod Canadian shovels with plastic blades and carbon fiber handles. Come use one today! Stevedores will start plowing the pier next to the ship sometime after 1pm and deck shoveling starts at 3pm!

After that, I've invited people to join me at Montero's Bar at 6pm and raise a glass in honor of bar founder Pilar Montero who passed away at 90 this week and celebrate her and the great place she created.


73 Atlantic Ave @ Hicks

Brooklyn Heights

Boom! meets Pizza!

Pier 9B, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Posted by Carolina Salguero
Photos by Carolina Salguero unless otherwise indicated.

The first volunteer day of 2012, Saturday, was blessed with GLORIOUS weather with temps hovering around 50 degrees and the sun mostly out all day.  Project Boom! is in its final stages. Mike I-love-rigging Abegg tweaked the cable running through the boom's refurbished blocks, attached a block to the end of the boom, running its line through the fair leads used during the MARY WHALEN's days of carrying fuel hose.  We'll use that block instead of  the boom chainfall (so key for gangway tending) to do things like lift pallet loads of hard coal. We'll be getting 2 tons of coal once the boom is back up. Time to play Break Bulk! Better that than Break Back from carrying eighty 50-pound bags of coal up the gangway...

Today's goals:  get shipwork work done, have fun (as always) and learn to make pizza to feed the crew.  It's cold enough to want something warm at the end of the day, and deep inside the container terminal TWIC zone as we are, no take-out deliveries are possible.  Today, we received a donated pizza stone from by A Cook's Companion - thank you! - picked up by John Weaver and Karen Dyrland who popped by to deliver my new used Leica digital camera (photos here may improve) and put in an hour of work.  Before the volunteers arrived Smitty, a wizard musician on the steel guitar, came and donated to the firewood pile, walnut offcuts from his cabinetry work.
Today's work list was aspirationally long; but hey, Mike Abegg says to make a bigger list than we can do!

First thing I did before shipwork was make the sauce for the pizza. Time for a shout out here to thank Scott Pfaffman and Molly Blieden for donating a stack of saucepans after their tenant restaurant O'Barone closed. This is one of the big ones. So great!
Sauce is being cooked on our Webb Perfection diesel pot-burner stove, a design patented in 1918.
Diesel simply piddles down the pipe, turns right and then heads towards the back and into the "pot," aka a Valjean Burner. The holes allow oxygen to enter.  The overflow safety cutoff is the little chain dangling to the right of the down-sticking overflow pipe. If the pot floods, the extra diesel spills down that pipe and into a cup. Once that cup get heavy (you have to calibrate that), it pulls down on the chain and cuts off the intake. Originally there was a round-bottomed brass cup. Now, we have a bean can with a dead padlock to give it heft. If someone knows where to get such a Webb brass cup, we'd love to know.
First volunteer in, Peter Rothenberg, nets the day's Best Dressed Award.  Pete is painting the boom mast fully and his shirt not very much.
Mike Abegg where he likes to go, up the ladder and into what little rigging an oil tanker has to offer. Photo by Karen Dyrland.

Though the South Street Seaport is rising like a phoenix and has reactivated their volunteer program, our Save Our Seaport friends are still around.  After spending the morning volunteering on the Seaport fleet, Mike Cohen, Nelson Chin and Linda Beal spend their afternoon at PortSide. Here they're pitching in on final stages of Mike Abegg's boom project.

Somehow Linda Beal seems to get involved in projects stretching things out on the pier. This time she handles it without Chiclet's assistance. Chiclet punked out this work day and did not supervise.

Me, setting off to cut firewood on the pier. Photo by Nelson Chin.

Linda Beal and Mike Cohen wire brushing the boom guy wires. Heckuva job! I wrote the guy wires off as badly rusted; but after Linda and Mike's diligent brushing, the wire rope looked really good!
Me, cutting wood offcuts donated by Ralph Gorham of Brooklyn Farm Table and Red Hook Lobster Pound. That's so Red Hook... that kind of range out of one person. I'm sorry to burn such wonderful old timbers and set aside a few for Mike Abegg who is also a cabinetmaker (what was I saying about people with diverse skill sets...). The axe here is a wanna be. I swung it twice and concluded that my shoulder is NOT healed after being hit by a truck on 1/14/11, so it's a good thing that I'm switching the fidley stove from wood burning to coal burning... I'll need much less wood this winter, just enough to start the coal fires...
Speaking of fuel. Here, passing us is the kind of 2nd generation equipment that replaced the MARY A. WHALEN. The first generation after coastal oil tankers was fuel barges pushed by harbor tugs. Now there are these huge "pin boats," ATB (articulated tug and barge units) whose tugs are pinned to double hulled fuel barges.  The MARY is an old single hull. She carried 8,019 barrels.  That's Reinauer equipment passing us, and their bigger barges carry 100,000 barrels and more, all of which constitutes a heads up as to how much fuel consumption has soared from 1938 when the MARY WHALEN was built until now.  Photo by Karen Dyrland. Her father was captain of the MARY A. WHALEN from 1958 to 1978.

The wind really came up by the end of the day; and here Mike Cohen is wrastling the wheelhouse window tarps back into place. They came down for New Years Eve fireworks viewing....

Pizza #4. What you can't see here was the learning curve from Pizza #1, the pizza that was a lesson in corn meal or semolina flour. eg, without it scattered on your pizza peel, you're not getting your pizza off the peel! A nimble committee lept into action and helped me drag deformed Pizza 1 onto the Pizza stone. 

Nelson Chin cutting pizza, Mike Cohen and Mike Abegg  to the right of him.

Matt Perricone of the Tug Cornell and Amy Bucciferro arrived in time for Pizza #4. Matt was in to pick up two old radar monitors that were donated to us.  We're trading them for work time from Matt.  We all laughed about Lessons of Shipwork, The Shopvac Episodes.  My tale covered why not to use one to vacuum out a diesel stove--clogs your filter in minutes, and there is  no way to clean that off without getting blackened like a coal  miner.   Matt said "never use one without a filter; because if  you do, what was over there, just goes zzzzip over to here."  Matt described cleaning out the MARY WHALEN's boiler chimney on New Year's day. He removed about 15 gallons of rust scale and one dead pigeon.  Minus the bird and friends, could we finally get the boiler to work? Wouldn't central heat be grand....

And with that, I'll leave you with the Shop Vac Song

Boom! History + volunteer day

Time to lower the boom, replace the cables, check, service and maybe replace blocks and paint the boom itself. We finally have a sweet spot to do this. The weather is FINALLY going to give us a long run without rain so it should be possible to get this all done without too many days of disruption.  We get some crane help to lower the boom as the boom winches walked a long time ago.
Project before the start.  Where boom was 11/4/11 Friday morning at 0900.

This project, as so often happens if you are dealing with preserving a historic boat, raised all sorts of questions about what was. So, mixed with the grunt work was all sorts of hypothesizing and checking old photos and plans.

Saturday's s volunteer day had an A team of Mike Abegg, Nelson Chin, Linda Von Voss-Beal (all South Street Seaport people), Carolina Salguero, and supervisor Chiclet. 

While the Seaport has their ship volunteer program on hold, Seaport folks have been stepping up to help over here. Thanks to you all for helping out while you couldn't get on your usual boats!!  

While we have your attention, I thought I'd mention that the Seaport looks very much on the mend after the take-over by the Museum of the City of New York with Susan Henshaw Jones at the helm.  You can follow the progress of the resuscitation of the Seaport on the blog of the group Save Our Seaport, heavy lifters in the cause, here

Where it was Saturday morning 0900 after new volies Jeffrey Jernstrom and Enrico Bazzoni chipped and scraped during Friday
Once the boom is on deck, you start to wonder what all the fittings attached to it were doing, why a bulge here, why a flat bar there. Mike figures out that a run of long shank shackles is a series of fair leads... and they went to the hose winch. But what were the mystery tubular fairleads along the forward edge of the boom?  Carolina and Mike make several trips to the ship plans in the fidley, a photo in the galley, and a photo in the fidley.  
Bob Mattson photo from 1979
Carolina comments that on a visit a while back Charlie Deroko pointed out that the mast and boom in the plans were not what's here now... that they are much shorter and look as if they're wood.  

Mike then points out that in the plans the mast isn't even where it is now - something no one had remarked upon until now. As drawn, the boom was on a pad eye on the ullage trunk, not forward of it; but then again, the drawings don't show the mast on the aft end of the wheelhouse that appear in ST Kiddoo photos...

Carolina hypothesizes that the new longer boom reflects how Mary Whalen's work evolved from delivering to terminals (short boom) to fueling ever bigger ships, necessitating a long boom for reach.

Bingo! Within a day, Carolina has a phone conversation with a Mary Whalen Mate from the 1980s who said that Eklof was very proud of their elongated  "superbooms" used to fuel ships. They found all sorts of ways to add stiffeners, he says, just what Carolina and Mike had been guessing. What a difference thirty years makes. The "superboom" seems mighty unimpressive in comparison to today's hydraulic, telescoping booms.

Mike I-Love-Rigging Abegg prepares to lift the boom with a shackle so we can rotate it to better get at the underside. We'll also clean and grease the pin.

Carolina  & Linda stretch the old boom cable on the dock to measure it.   The boom is not the original one in the ship plan; so until we lowered the whole affair to measure it, we didn't know how much new cable to get.  Amounts to 242' of wire rope.

Ship cat Chiclet assists in the cable measuring process.

Team Abegg & Chin priming the boom. The primer is milk chocolate brown which leads to many jokes about repainting the whole ship brown. Anyone ever seen a brown boat?  Tugster, can you help us here?

The cable measuring team comes up to heckle the boys on the boom. Classic boatwork slogan on the back of that old Wavertree t-shirt there, Mike!

Mike Cohen shows up, a fuel barge goes by, the sun is setting and it's time to get the tools back down below.

Kicking back in the galley after a day's work.

Next thought... might as well lower the mast, while we're at it, and paint that bedraggled thing and redo the mast stays.

Chiclet issues 1st ever press release - response to TONY mascot list

PortSide NewYork

contact:  Chiclet

Chiclet says Time Out!
PortSide cat hurls furball at exclusion from TONY list of “Animal mascots of NYC”

Chiclet, ship’s cat at PortSide NewYork, today expressed her resentment at being left off the list of NYC mascots published recently by Time Out New York:

She called some of the mascots “fly-by-nighters who laze around all day, and disappear when there is real work to be done, like catching mice and birds, and supervising humans.”

Chiclet referred to her active supervision of work on the Mary Whalen, the 172’ repurposed oil tanker that serves as office and floating venue for PortSide NewYork.

Chiclet also crowed about her computer work. “I designed the Twitter page for PortSide, although it was under false pretenses – I was led to believe it would attract birds. It took great willpower learning to use the mouse without picking it up it my mouth and offering it to my human, Carolina Salguero.”

Another job Chiclet takes pride in performing is her role as the boat’s official greeter, which was caught on camera last year. “When Charlotte Rampling came on the boat to film an interview show for European television, I hit my mark perfectly, reaching the actress just as she was about to climb the gangway. She reached down and stroked my head right on cue. It was a pleasure working with a real professional.”

Chiclet suggests that next time inclusion in the mascot list should be done democratically. “Make it like the All Star Game, not that I actually know what that is. Let us mascots vote for who deserves to be on the list. And get the humans out of the picture.”

More on my activities below:

Streaming Netflix and looking for Charlotte Rampling who I much admire
Inspecting during NY1 shoot. I'm sitting on their equipment case here.

Helping John Weaver cut foam

Attacking bikinis
Hiding in the pier Savannah

Pipe inspection
Inspecting from the office

Send off to Old Man Winter

Is shipboard life romantic? You decide. Here's some of life on Pier 9B since late December.  

Below is a video from the Christmas blizzard where Carolina and her brother Antonio get ready to put out another bow line due to 50mph winds whipping around the end of the shed and hitting the bow. A few hours later, the winds were pushing the ship so far off the pier, they decided to raise the gangway on the boom so the gangway didn't come off the pier. We've kept the gangway rigged to the boom, which has allowed us to raise it and protect it from wake damage at high tide. This has given the office crew an athletic interactive feature they use several times a day, and Chiclet has become expert at catapulting herself off it at high tide. 

In order to spring the spring that has not sprung, we offer this tribute to Old Man Winter on what he does for us on the Mary A. Whalen!  
Block the view
Coat everything
Have us go for salt from the pile
Prevent office staff getting carpal tunnel by having regular shoveling breaks. Here, Dan Goncharoff demonstrates excellent shovel technique.
Provide opportunity for Smoke 101, or How to Use the Damper, a
short intensive class for Stephanie Ortiz, our planning intern from Puerto Rico.
Beat up on the gangway chainfall until it snags, kinks and chokes and 
needs rescue lubrication. Thank you ASI for sending this forklift 12 minutes after the request!
Oblige us to call Rich Naruszewicz of the Captain Log for diesel fuel deliveries to run the galley stove. Like the mail boat, he comes with sea stories (Brownwater Edition) new and old (he used to be a tankerman on the Mary A. Whalen).

Attract better dressed shovellers on Volunteer Days! Here Claudia Steinberg, who writes about design and fashion for the New York Times and German publications, joined a shoveling committee, needed after our director Carolina Salguero was hit by a truck in January and couldn't shovel for most snowfalls after the blizzard. 
Set off the ship colors so nicely
Make lovely patterns, such as this March snow where the frames under the deck, warmed by the sun the day before, are still warm enough to melt the damp coating of an early morning.

Water at 18 Degrees

Maybe some people can finish posts in chrono order, but not around here. Life and Work get in the way!

Back to Sunday 1/10/10

It's just 18 degrees at 0930, but all PortSide water is liquid!

The water drum in my rowing machine froze up a few days after I got back from the holidays on 1/2. It was more important to get the Whalen's water "systems" unfrozen first, so personal fitness was far down the To Do list.

After two days with heat tape under a tarp, the large cylindrical ice cube was again liquid despite it's being 18 degrees outside. The machine is an unheated room with open window in the shed, so yahoo heat tape!

'twas also Chiclet's first day outside after her first heat cycle. If only we could use cat heat to warm things on the boat!

But no. Feline heat applied itself more towards the knocking over of manuals in the office as desperate aforementioned feline tried to look out a porthole.

Were there courting toms lurking behind the headlog? Not that I could spot, but hope springs eternal in the hearts of all the gals on board!

She'll be fixed on Jan 24, but who knows when the Mary Whalen's water systems will get fixed. The interim systems seem under repair all the time during the winter... No one is going into the water tank under the galley floor this time of year to bang off the loose cement wash and re-cement it. That's a task for balmy days ahead.

WaterRower lifestyle as advertised

Actual WaterRower lifestyle here

PS. thank you Pam Hepburn of the Tug Pegasus for the hand-m
e-down WaterRower machine. I'll provide enthusiastic testimonials for anyone considering this machine.

Nitey Nite!