A steam engine seems like the perfect antidote to dark dreary mid-October; last night leaving work I scrapped ICE off my back window.  Besides their heat, I love how steamboats look, perform, and sound; the power they generate while panting makes anthropomorphizing easy.  I could fall in love with that sound, a sound after all of love.  Hestia, a liberty launch, on this mid-September morning was stunningly beautiful.

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The wood-clad boiler protects a careless finger or hand from  burn.  The starboard-mounted wheel affords the steersman clear view of stand-on traffic.

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Hestia‘s engine was built in Portsmouth (NH) Navy Yard in 1898;  that’s on the Piscataqua.  Its oil dripping system

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photogenic as vials in a long-gone apothecary.

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Tech specs:    18.5 hp.  USN G2 type compound.  Bores are 4″ and 8″; stroke is 6″    and it can dance while turning a 26″ four-bladed prop.

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Starboard side of the boiler.

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Tools and ancillaries on Hestia themselves please the eye, especially when juxtaposed with the equally-leasing aesthetics of its hull, built in Bass Harbor, Maine in 1972, design by Peter Culler.

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Hestia . . . a thing of beauty.  See her play in the Rondout here.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to Gary Matthews for info.

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