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Time to reprise one of my summer meditations:  the one on line.  Countless line-handling events happen in the sixth boro.

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Crews everywhere and from every nation do it.

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The technique is generally the same . . .

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The goal is to attach to a cleat or bollard.

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Vikings do it.

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Those seeking shelter from impending storms do it.

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It has to be done safely, for the dangers with line come fast and irreversibly.  I know from almost . ..  key word . .  almost losing some fingers.  Towmasters speaks of the dangers here, aptly illustrated.

First foto thanks to Mike Lesser, last one to Elizabeth Wood, and the others . . . Will Van Dorp.

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A truckable tug named Mame Faye and her tow anchor outside the current near the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers.  Idyllic . . .  serene, sleepy upstate river banks .  . . eh?  She’ll be back.

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Here tugs Empire and Shenandoah tie up on the opposite bank of Mame Faye and along the bulkhead.

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Farther east is The Chancellor, with twin stacks arranged longitudinally.

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Still farther east inside LehighValley Barge 79, speakers like Jessica DuLong and Don Sutherland mesmerize with their tales and chronicles of the river.

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Captains Bill and Pam park their powerful machines to rest and enjoy the quiet of oars moving in and out of the fresh water.

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Rain showers come and go and no one cares.  Lined up behind Empire are Little Bitt, Gowanus Bay, Benjamin Elliott, and Margot. It’s another lazy day at the Roundup.

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What’s this on the foredeck of Bill’s Eighth Sea?  Looks like PVC, hairspray, and  . . . radishes?

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And Captain Fred has gotten involved.  This looks  . . .

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ominous, especially after he went to the supermarket for 50-calibre radishes, the most lethal kind.

aatdx2As dusk falls,  that same Captain Bill boards Mame Faye to maneuver the barge into the middle of the stream, which is now closed to traffic, for it will soon be time to

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see the scene change and

How to describe that:  part night harbor scene, rock concert, traffic jam, railroad crossing, cacophony, simulated war zone, kaleidoscope, popcorn popper, video game, confetti, aquatic bioluminescence gone wild, volcano, apocalypse .  . .   Oh, and I’ve always preferred seeing the flashes reflect in water to seeing them in air.

Now who do you suppose Mame Faye was?  Elizabeth toots Mame‘s horn here.

All fotos and video by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated . . .  the Dutch barge flotilla probably moves through the Hudson Highlands and northward today;  if you get good fotos and want to share, email me.

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My job . . . Summer 2014

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Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

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