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soon to be determined . . . less than 48 hours from now.  Here’s a schedule from the race organizers.

Will the winner be blue . . . like Atlantic Salvor or

formerly blue like Greenland Sea or Lincoln Sea?

Maybe it’ll be blue and miraculously restored . . . like Crow?

Or will it be red, like this Pegasus or

. . . the not-to-be underestimated Augie?

Or maybe a blue and gold government boat?

Or it might be some shade of white like Susan Miller or Gabby L Miller?

On the other hand, it may be a stealth competitor, like the one these gents have been refurbishing since late spring?

Cosmetic work has been visible on the outside, but

Glen had this grin straight off the cheshire cat when he told me they’d installed huge power down below and

as they’ve worked on the surface, above decks, rendering a beautfully restored New York Central No. 31 house.  Who

knows whether Glen was kidding or not about that power plant and about the hull they cleverly built below the dock which be free with a few minor cuts of the Saw-zall.

New York Central No 31 might turn its competitors green with envy once they steam out onto the course.  And if she were flying a Canadian flag, she’d be an international entry.     And

with all that jabber about competitors red and blue at the beginning of the post, you might have wondered if I was talking about something else.  Maybe a spokesperson for red or blue might be interviewing a stealth version of a leading member of the competition?

Check page four of this 1952 issue of Towline for an action foto of one of the winners of the race exactly 60 years ago.  And on page 5, you’ll see that the 1952 race was in fact a revival of a pre-WW2 International Lifeboat Race.  Click on the image below to watch a two-minute video of the rowing race, some time between 1930 and 1939.

In 1952, after the tugs raced, oarsmen took to the same course.  Hmmmm….  Might that portion of the race be revived too?  I wonder what happened to that trophy.

Here was 11.

First, this foto from Colin Syndercombe in Cape Town, and I believe the foto comes from The Latest Maritime News.  It appears MV Chamarel, which burned earlier in August off Namibia, will become yet another wreck in the sands of the Skeleton Coast.

To Michele McMorrow, thanks for her foto of Walrus, snapped near Bahr’s Landing in Highlands, NJ.  At first I thought it was being delivered for use by tugster . . .  I was mistaken.

RORO Cape Washington is the latest MSC vessel in for maintenance at the dry dock in Bayonne.

Currently in the sixth boro, it’s almost-new NCC Shams, not an inspiring name unless you consider that “shams” is Arabic for “sunshine.”

My foto snapped in Port Huron, it’s Lakes Pilots Association’s Huron Maid.

Also along the Port Huron waterfront, it’s Grayfox, a Sea Cadet vessel.

And finally  . . . since this post started with a walrus and since tugster does NOT appear in person frequently on this blog, here’s a foto of tugster and Badger on the waterfront in Manitowoc.  And apropos of nothing . . .  what’s the connection between dachshund and badger?

First enjoy the foto below and read this announcement from Old Salt’s blog here.

Answer:  “dach” is German for “badger,” so the word “dachshund” means “badger dog.”  Now you know !!

Unless otherwise attributed, all fotos by Will Van Dorp.

If you read Latin, you get it, this statement of Snug Harbor’s motto.  Otherwise, I’ll translate a bit farther down.  If you’ve never been, it’s worth a visit.

Here’s what KVK traffic looks like from the Minard Lafever-designed buildings of Snug Harbor, and

here’s what the waterside entrance to Snug Harbor looks like from the KVK . . . just between IMTT Bayonne and the “salt pile.”

The current feature exhibit is called “Treasures of Sailors’ Snug Harbor.”   The bust here is Robert Richard Randall, the sea captain whose charity established what became a home for thousands of aging seafarers.

The will establishing the institution was drawn up by Alexander Hamilton.

The Latin in this John LaFarge stained glass window translates as “We who are exhausted seek a harbor.”

If you’ve never been to SSH, you’ll enjoy three floors of exhibits, which include ship models like Massapequa and

Benjamin Brewster and

and Japan Ambrose.    And of course much much more,  such as

the entire John Noble collection, which I just scratched the surface on earlier this year here.  There’s even a Herman Melville connection here.

For directions to SSH, click here.

As I post this, Hurricane Isaac approaches New Orleans, and the work  of every mariner on the river is to ride out the storm. Even if it appears that almost nothing is moving on the river, movement is there and intense.  Click here (now) for live views on the street and on the river in the Crescent City.  To see what Isaac looked like over in Florida from Jed’s perspective, click here.

In the sixth boro, a race is a few days away, but vessels like Susan Miller--pushing the barge with the “rolled on and about to be rolled off” trailer–are at work.

Ditto an unidentified DonJon tug, Pati E. Moran, inbound CMM CMA CGM Eiffel, and schooner Pride of Baltimore II go about their business.

Having “rolled-off” said trailer truck, Susan distances herself from Mary Whalen (just the bow at the starboard stern of the cruise ship) and Queen Mary 2.

Viking moves a barge through the KVK,

as does Arabian Sea and 

Weeks’ Elizabeth, 

Dorothy J,

St. Andrews,

Gramma Lee T Moran, and

the list could go on.  Here, Doris Moran and Dace Reinauer . . .  that’s tug work too.   This last foto below comes compliments of Marian & William Hyman.  Thanks.

All other fotos taken by will Van Dorp, who will be at the race Sunday.  Thanks for reading.

The race took place exactly 60 years ago today, and megathanks and superkudos to Harold Tartell for finding fotos of more than half of the boats involved in the race.

Top Class A (over 1250 hp) finisher was Reading Lines Shamokin.

Second was Barbara Moran.

No foto found yet of third place Socony 11, but fourth place was William J. Tracy of  Tracy Towing Line.

Again, no foto of Dauntless #14, but here’s sixth place finisher Russell #17.

Number seven finisher was this Turecamo Girls, painted in “wood.”

And rounding out Class A, here’s Dalzelleader.

In the Class B division (850 to 1250 hp), top boat was Pauline L. Moran.

Number two finisher was Red Star Towing & Transportation‘s Huntington.

In Class C (less than 850 hp), the top finisher was steam vessel Latin American, operating for the Texas Company.

Number two Class C boat was Providence, of the Red Star Towing & Transportation.

Third place Class C finisher was  Ticeline, of Tice Towing Line, Inc.

Unranked Class B boats include Fred B. Dalzell here and

here, as well as

Anne Carrol, a 1910 steamer of Carroll Towing Line also ran.

I’m reposting this image, made available by Paul Strubeck and posted yesterday.   1952 is especially significant for me because it was the year I was born.  It was also the year that

Queen Elizabeth was crowned, nuclear sub Nautilus keel was laid, a B-52 first flew, SS United States first crossed the Atlantic, Ike became President, the word “smog” was coined in reference to London weather, Albert Schweitzer won the Nobel Peace Prize, lots of UFOs buzzed  Washington DC airport, and Werner von Braun published Man Will Conquer Space Soon.

This last entry reminds me of the Mr Armstrong that died a few days ago.  I’ll never forget the July night in 1969 that I, age 17 then, stayed up all night even though it was haying season;  I’d worked in the hay all day July 20, and stayed up much of the night before working again all day on the 21st.  My father thought I was crazy but my mother came downstairs to watch with me a few times during the night.  “What will it change?” she asked in different ways, and I surely had no answer, as excited as I was.

A few days later a farmer nearby told me it was all a hoax.  “Nobody really walked on the moon,” Elmer said.  “It’s all just a movie they made in Hollywood.”

43 years and a month later . . . well, maybe it didn’t change anything related to our travel destinations, but the some of the technology we  live with on earth stems from those efforts.

A final thought:  I recently read a statement by Robert Ballard saying that the NASA budget (I’m not sure which year he was talking about.) for ONE year equals the NOAA budget for 18 years.  As much admiration as I have for Neil Armstrong, maybe the next heroic explorations should involve walking along the bottoms of the oceans.

Harold . . . I hope your family illness will subside so that you can attend the tugboat race this coming weekend.   Thanks again for these archival fotos.

Many thanks to Paul Strubeck for this foto of a preserved “results report” he has . . .   from a 60-year-old typewriter!  A week from today Working Harbor Committee is sponsoring a great event they call the 20th annual North River Tugboat Race, but clearly there have been more than 19 prior races involving the machinery of the New York City towing industry.  How many races have been held?  Going in “order of completion,” I’ve managed to find fotos of  #2 finisher Barbara Moran and #3  Socony 11 (later Dorothy Elizabeth, shown here racing again in 2007) from Birk and Harold’s site.   Also, here’s a foto of a model of #1 Shamokin.  And a foto from eBay of Wm. J. Tracy.    Finally, here’s a quite forlorn foto of Dalzelleader late in her life.  That leaves me without images of finishers 5, 6, and 7:  Dauntless 14, Russell 17 and Turecamo Girls of that vintage.

Thanks to Charlie Gallo for sending this foto of Mister T (2001) from the east end of the East River, a section of the sixth boro that I’ve inadvertently ignored.    I’ve no idea who the T is Mister T is. Behind the bridge is SUNY Maritime’s Empire State.  Thanks, Charlie.

In fact, I’m always looking for new perspectives, like this one from a week ago over southwest Bayonne, showing McAllister Sisters and Ellen McAllister docking Golden Gate Bridge, with Bebedouro and Islander (I think) in the distance.  Also, in the foreground, it’s drillboat Kraken.

One of the details of ships is their names, like this quite intriguing one.

From a similar aerial perspective, enjoy Turecamo Girls (1965).

How about an unexpected angle on a frequent subject of this blog, Gramma Lee T Moran, running here with an outbound Carnival Glory.

The T in Gramma Lee T is for Tregurtha.   Gramma Lee has this other vessel named for her as well.  She was the wife of Paul Tregurtha, a name that you might know from Ken or Isaac’s blog posts on Interlake Steamship Company vessels.

I spotted one such vessel from Badger earlier this week.  Behold barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann.

Barge Pathfinder used to be a boat:  J. L. Mauthe. 

Boat-turned-barge Pathfinder now has a detachable engine called Dorothy Ann (1998).

As the person behind this blog, I want to step back a bit and thank you all for reading what I post, looking at the fotos, commenting, and sometimes correcting my errors.  I’ve enjoyed doing the blog for almost six years and will continue.

More SS Badger soon.

Seeing and riding SS Badger is a goal that’s been acomplished, a pilgrimage made.  And I will return to more fotos of Badger soon, but along the road we looked for nirvana, too.  Nirvana, Michigan . . .  it’s a place name on my road atlas, and unsuccessfully I looked for a post office and a zip code.  Alas!    But journeys are comprised of what unexpected places you find and take time to savor.   Here are some of what can be discovered between Manitowoc (home of Sputnikfest!!) and Port Huron (home of Thomas Edison Depot Museum).

SS Badger runs on coal, transformed by an engineroom crew of 20 into torque on the twin cast steel  166″ diameter propellers.

Tourism . . . largely derived from the vessel on the welcome sign . . . buoys this town of less than 10,000.

Turn any direction, almost, and you’ll see the importance of the SS Badger and

things Michiganite in this town.

Halfway across this section of the state a billboard brought us to this bakery/coffeeshop, which appeared caught in a timewarp.  Here’s the history, and here’s

a portrait of the nine guys who saved this business.  And check out the paraphernalia!!

Now I’ve known the boatnerd website for a long time, but I hadn’t gathered this .  . . world headquarters set within Great Lakes Maritime Center.  The sixth boro needs something like this . . . maybe this will be my retirement project??  It will need a benefactor or many . . . like Dr. James C. Acheson.  More on this renaissance of land once used for scrap.

I plan to do a whole post about this place, for now, let me share an artpiece inside that resonated with me.  Read the name on the stickie note.  I’ve already befriended a lot of nuts along the fringes of the sixth boro.   And they’ve enriched my life.

I love the weathervane on the pilot station and

the exotic small boats passing by, like PonTiki and

this Sea Skiff and

this 42′ vessel–same age as Badger–named for this island,Lime Island.

Are the Great Lakes great?  Greater than great, but there are too many great places for me to discover before I cease these gallivants.  All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Sign the “save Badger” petition here.  I have.  Here’s the other side.  Here’s an article about the other Lake ferry . .  . the one out of Muskegon.

This does not look like a highway scene, yet

it IS the stretch of Route 10 that will get you the best fuel economy and can accommodate quite oversized loads

whether they come from Manitowoc or Chengxi or

anywhere else, Badger can move backward

driven from here or

forward . . .

to get you there.  It has for a long time, and we hope will continue that role.

This last foto from the Badger onboard museum. All others by Will Van Dorp, who will continue along Route 10 today.  More Badger soon.  Click here to learn more about the imminent threat to the ferry.

A salmon-fishing dog in a kayak being paddled by a human and tailed by a Coast Guard RIB . . . that’s intriguing, but the 50 or so folks with me at the end of the jetty were not there to greet the pooch.  We were there to see the badger,

this Badger.

Badger entered service about the same year I did and

now she’s threatened, at least in her current state of being a coal-fired steam-powered ferry.  For part of the year she shuttles between Ludington, MI and Manitowoc, WI . . . as she has for 60 years, but

like I said, this might be it.  That’s reason enough to

take a ride, which I’m about to do.  More soon from the 60-miles one-way trip between the two Lake Michigan ports.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Looks like I got lured outa town once again.    Meanwhile . . . Discovery Coast goes on hauling out dredge spoils, and

Pioneer sails toward Red Hook.  Note Mary Whalen in the distance.

And if you’re around on Thursday, make your way to Red Hook to buy stuff–art, tools, etc–to help raise funds for Mary Whalen.  Details here on Rick Old Salt’s blog.

Both fotos by Will Van Dorp, who will try to post fotos from along the course . . . .

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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

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More Photos

Seth Tane American Painting

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My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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