But first . . . Blue Marlin has sailed!!  I went upriver Sunday midmorning, and soon thereafter, she headed for sea.  Actually for Bonny Town, ETA July 4, 2011.  Click here to see what this Niger River delta town looks like, and then you’ll know why they’re buying tugs–like ex-Curtis Reinauer below–and barges.  The link explains the unusual house configuration.  If anyone got fotos of Blue Marlin exiting the Narrows or  wishes to shares fotos of the journey, please get in touch.

Click here for history, economics,  and controversies related to the Niger delta.   The Niger River, 14th in the world in length, flows through unlikely places such as Timbuktu–high on my “gallivant list”–and drains 10 nations.  Name them?

 Yesterday I volunteered on Pegasus for the Riverdale Riverfest.  In fact, Robert Apuzzo just sent this foto; I’m the tall guy in faded blue on the “upper deck” in the gap between the stack and the house.  I volunteer because it’s fun and important.  As “safety officer,” I help ensure no one gets hurt, and since I like to talk, I answer questions.  I’ve noticed people like to see the boats but also their own communities FROM the river.    Ensuring “guest safety” is vital and sometimes difficult;  a tugboat has industrial-strength hazards . . . it moves and steel is hard and forgiving, yet it is a fascinating opportunity:  throbbing noise and vibration, power of invisible prop and rudder and versatile line, huge engine, …

Believe it or not, Riverdale IS in the Bronx!  Therefore, this water too is the sixth boro of NYC.  By the way, in the background are the Palisades on the Jersey side.

Cornell was there also, here coexisting with human-powered vessels (HPVs).   I love to kayak myself, but I suspect people in some HPVs underestimate commercial vessel speed and over-estimate their own visibility.

Spud barge Black Diamond served as a makeshift dock, serviceable but labor-intensive but the popularity of festivals like this illustrates the value of serviceable commercial docks in many more Hudsonsonian towns and cities.  Imagine not only entertainment but also food coming ashore from boats for several reasons including reducing highway congestion.   Vessels in Riverdale included also Mystic Whaler (1967 reproduction of a coastal cargo schooner) and fireboat  John J. Harvey.  Of course, the distinctive red barge is the itinerant  Waterfront Museum, aka 1914-built Lehigh Valley 79.

These festivals showcase the skill of  maritime professionals and, though fun, are stressful and laborious.

Just north of Riverdale is Yonkers.  This foto of Yonkers as a storm chased us upriver in 2010 shows two frequently inquired about buildings on the this part of the Hudson:  the Yonkers Power Station and the “Blue Cube,” which has had lives as diverse as a test lab for PhelpsDodge and a movie studio.

Yesterday a young peregrine (?) feasted on a fish high atop the Power Station.

Traffic headed up and down the Hudson is diverse:  trawler Manitou from Ludington, MI,

MV Universal Amsterdam with a load of sugar,  escorted here north from the George Washington Bridge by Mary Turecamo and Margaret Moran,

trawler Muddy Waters from Miami Beach, FL,

Thomas Witte towing a tall load of scrap metal for export,  and much

much more.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, except the one thanks to Robert Apuzzo.

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