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Closed fist . . . not a monkey’s fist . . . evokes many, many  things.  It could signal a stop, a hold, a dramatic pause in the music, but this fist happens to be the forward portion of the tiller on Clearwater, a vessel synonymous with music.  Just over exactly 40 years ago  Clearwater came off the ways in Maine named as a wish, the thing desired itself:  clear water, in the Hudson and elsewhere.   Just clear enough water to swim in, at least.  To drink . . . and the shellfish of which to eat . . .

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Captain Nick welcomes passengers on board . . .  To me his stance suggests a conductor gathering the focus of the band.

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Raising Clearwater‘s 3,000lb main sail requires  “Many hands make light work,” says Pete Seeger.

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Like a nautical still life . . .  all lines taut . . . let the music  . . .

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begin.  I once had a dream about living in a house that transformed itself into the sounding box of an immense piano.  All the lines involved in handling Clearwater sail–were they strings of an instrument–would charming music make.  How her hull would resonate.   Pick a key . . . sort of like  . .  jib and bowsprit point to Teller Point at the south end
of Croton Point Park.

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Line flemish coiled like a treble clef?   I’ve never understood clefs yet admired their curves.

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The Captain’s face focused on

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the space to fill with music. Tack toward Hook Mountain, looking south from Haverstraw Bay.  Let the

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music begin–Rich Hines and The Hillbilly Drifters.  Check out their schedule here.

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Photo credit to Rene Arnessen.  Fotos #2 and 8 by Jeff Anzevino,  who provides the ideas for the post.  Jeff is second from left above.

Final shots below are mine.

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I’ve never sailed Clearwater, though I’ve surely sailed near her enough. Here canal tug Governor Cleveland chugs between us.

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I guess it’s high time I step aboard.

Mark your calendars for July 23 . . . at Barge 79 in Red Hook . . . Waterfront Museum hosts a talk by Clearwater captains on her 40 years.

By the way, Clearwater‘s maiden voyage from South Bristol, Maine, involved a stop at South Street Seaport.  Does anyone have fotos of her at the Pier there?  Any recollection of the cermony there?

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