From worse to bad
Smoke cleared Thursday and air quality went from ridiculously bad to just pretty bad. It was enough to keep recreational boaters off the North River, but commercial traffic was typical, with energy products and salt moving north and empties coming south. The Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel dropped lines from Pier 86 and headed for Delaware Bay, seemingly not returning to their Woods Hole base just yet.
Weird smoky conditions persisted Wednesday, reducing visibility, delaying flights, ruining air quality and keeping recreational activity off the River. Commercial traffic continued of course, though the haze made photography difficult. The Coast Guard cutter Sanibel remained tied up at Pier 86, while Viking Saturn made a 5pm departure for Iceland, set to work the Reykjavik to Bergen, Norway route over June and July. The dredging team seems to have paused or completed operations.
Smoke on the water
Brisk winds and occasional squalls rolling through did little to clear out the layer of smoke which sat over the North River Tuesday, a product of forest fires up north in Quebec. Commercial traffic was fairly heavy, with the knot of tugs anchored in the North River breaking up leaving only The Beatrice anchored off the water treatment plant by the end of the day. Dredging work continues in the cruise terminal, while Viking Saturn arrived from Nova Scotia, bringing the smoke with it. The Woods Hole based Coast Guard cutter Sanibel was also back in town, docked on the end of Pier 86.cement, cruise ships, hoppers, NYPD, smoke, sugar, tanker barges, tugs, USCG
North River anchorages remained crowded Sunday, and several anchored tugs received visits from colleagues on light tugs. Diamond Coast came up the River early running light to pay a call on Chesapeake Coast perhaps to deliver equipment or crew, while Centerline’s Jillian Irene paid a visit to Adeline Marie anchored off 96th Street. In late afternoon, Evelyn Cutler came up the North River to relieve Saint Emilion on their barge after the Saint came down from Yonkers. Strong winds gusting around 20 knots made for excellent sailing conditions.
Twenty-four hours of summer ended in thunderstorms Friday night and dropping temperatures Saturday. North River anchorages filled up for the weekend despite relatively calm conditions in the Harbor. Traffic was light, with a familiar mix of oil products heading north and crushed stone heading south
Commercial traffic picked up as we moved into June on Thursday, with a wood pulp ship and oil product cargos moving north. The cruise ships in town Wednesday departed for their varied destinations, while the Cutter Deyampert remained at Pier 86.
Cruising into summer
After NATO naval vessels left town Tuesday, Wednesday saw activity at the Manhattan cruise terminal pick up again as a trio of cruise ships arrived and dredging work resumed. The three cruises all had different destinations ahead, with Marella Discovery heading back to Florida via the Bahamas, Seven Seas destined for Montreal, and Silver Shadow stopping off enroute from Florida to Northern Europe. In addition to the cruise ships, the Coast Guard Cutter Warren Daympert returned to the end of Pier 86, just a few days after visiting for Fleet Week. Commercial traffic along the North River remained fairly light, but recreational boaters were out in force.
Summer and smoke
Memorial Day has come and gone, putting us in the cultural summer, with meteorological summer a few days away, and astronomical summer still a few weeks out. Commercial traffic has been light over the holiday, while the Fleet Week ships departed with much less fanfare than seen on arrival. A haze of smoke had descended on the city by Tuesday afternoon, as winds brought smoke from wild fires in the Canadian Maritime provinces.
Memorial Day weekend ahead
The cruise terminal is teaming with sailors and coast guards and heavily guarded as we head into Memorial Day weekend. Observed commercial traffic has been moderate.
The Fleet is In
Fleet Week kicked off Wednesday with the traditional parade of ships. The surprise this year was the participation of the destroyer USS Cole, famous for surviving a deadly al-Qaeda attack in Yemen back in October 2000. For more on Fleet Week, see my write up in the West side Rag.
Meanwhile, the marine highway remained opened for business as usual, though tugs generally stayed out of the way.