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Back in June 2013, I went to this auction and needed a hard hat.  My friend Jonathan Atkin just walked up to an electrical contracting crew, asked for a hard hat, and received one.  It was red and scuffed up.  I wish I’d taken a “before” pic.

Yesterday, hanging out with my daughter near Atlanta, I asked her if she’d paint it.  I had no idea she’d turn it into a piece of nautical sistine chapel ceiling.

Since New Year’s Eve is a popular time to wear unusual headgear, I offer my hard hat.

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Happy 2014 to all.  I pray it be safe and rewarding, especially for all daughters and sons and parents and relatives.

Here’s what I did around this time last year as a look back.  As intro, I’d say about the same this year about the number of new fotos and the way I chose these.  Subjective is the operant word.

January 2013 . . . one day I caught a seldom seen Jennifer Miller passing Robbins Reef with the salt pile in the distance.

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In February, shooting from almost the diametrically opposed location . . . I caught Baltic Mercur leaving Red Hook bound for sea.  I’ve no idea which Vane tug is in the foreground.

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In late March looking north from the high point in old San Juan, PR, I caught Sea Star’s SS El Morro headed into port.  If you look carefully “above” the large splash in the foreground, you’ll see the mast of the pilot boat headed out to meet El Morro.

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April 2013 . . . as seen from the now-closed walkway on the Bayonne Bridge, I caught Atlantic Compass headed for sea and escorted by two tugs, only Responder being visible.  For other fotos of this moment, click here.

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It was a year of gallivants for me, this 2013.  I’ve been toying with other words for trips away, even made-up ones like guy-ivants.  Roverings?  Tramps?  Anyhow, this foto was one of many I took along the Columbia, here looking from Oregon over to the Washington side.  The trip to visit Seth Tane also propelled me in late May and early June to travel back in “sixth boro” time through what I called the fifth dimension.

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Out at the Narrows in June, I caught SSV Corwith Kramer racing into port ahead of Maersk Detroit and a rainstorm.

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And I have to cheat for June and put up two fotos . . . although many fascinating visitors come and go, how often does a vessel like this enter our fair port . . .  Turandor PlanetSolar.  If I hadn’t been forewarned via AIS, I would have seen this and doubted my eyesight . . . or more.   For closeups, click here.   For the annual gathering of mermaids for which the sixth boro AND the land boro of Brooklyn are famous, click here.

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July  . . . brought an opportunity to see this x-bow supply vessel named Copacabana entering . . . a place I’d long dreamed of . . . greater Rio de Janeiro, aka January River, which generated 25 posts.    This hiatus from the sixth boro was huge, since it has left me with a case of chronic and possibly incurable wanderlust.  Meeting Copacabana here is the intriguingly named Log In Amazonia.

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August in the sixth boro saw this scene along Rockaway Beach, which I renamed NYC’s potential copacabana.  George W here was part of many efforts to respond to the blow of Sandy.

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As I said at the outset of the post . . . subjective is the key descriptor in regards to choosing fotos for this retrospective.  For September, I skimmed through the month’s fotos, zooming past the North River Tug Race and the Waterford Roundup . . . and what caught my attention was this looming shape of Marjorie B. McAllister . . . getting a makeover and as seen from the middle of the KVK.

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October 2013 . . . this early morning bunkering set-up at the passenger terminal involves Chesapeake Coast moving in sternwise . . .

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Here is November, I caught Freddy K Miller moving a construction barge away after a long-ongoing project on Governors Island.  Click here for a June 2013 event on Governors Island that changed the south end quite dramatically in less than a minute . . . start to finish.

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And finally . . . December in the sixth boro was as snowy as you might expect NYC to be as winter approaches.  Balder here offloads road salt as Twin Tube approaches to make a delivery.  Balder, by now, is back in the American tropics.

When I showed this foto to my brother-in-law here in Atlanta, he mentioned that his aggregate company uses Balder ‘s fleetmate named Barkald to transport kaolin from Greenland to Savannah.  He then gets it through his yard near Atlanta on its way to Tennessee to a glazed tile making plant.  I chuckled, partly because I recall seeing Barkald in the sixth boro a few years back and never imagined kaolin as one of her cargos.   And that’s a good way to end this retrospective, global commerce surely makes strange and unexpected hold-sharers if not bedfellows.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who remains either parked and smelling the scenery or on the road . . . still in Georgia.  And believe it or not, as I was headed down to Georgia a few days ago, this great song came on the radio  . . . enjoy!

Happy New Year 2014 soon.  Many thanks to all who read, commented, and helped me in many kinds of ways in 2013.

My sincere Merry Christmas/Happy 2014 wishes to all of you.  Actually, I hit the road Monday morning for the now-annual road trip to see family in greater Atlanta.

Consider this my Christmas card.  Any ideas what this is?  These three fotos come courtesy of Nancy Donskoj.

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It’s the tugboat Gowanus Bay delivering Sinterklaas and his entourage up the rondout to Kingston, NY’s annual Sinterklaas festival.   Sinterklaas is the red-clad legend I was first made aware of, and he would supposedly arrive on December 5.   Click here for more pics.    Kingston was the third oldest settlement in New Netherland.

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Believe it or not, Sinterklaas stories are clouded in some controversy because of the guy standing to his left.  Actually not this guy per se at all.  In the Dutch tradition, this man is Zwarte Piet . .  or Black Pete.  The Americanization in the foto below is interesting.

As the Dutch say, prettige kerstfest.

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The next two pics come thanks to Jen Muma currently of New Orleans, and it’s fuel for the

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Christmas bonfire.

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Here are two East Coast traditions, but I’m thinking the sixth boro really doesn’t have much PUBLIC Christmas tradition spectacle related to the water at all.  Four years ago, I floated an idea about a harbor tree inspired by what folks do in New England, but I’ve moved on.  For myself, I like the idea below, the nautical clutter tree in my friend Ed Fanuzzi’s backyard.

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Have a festive day with your loved ones.  I will repost again in a few days.

Thanks again to Nancy and Jen for use of their photos.

Consider this tugster’s November version of the summer solstice parade.  Enjoy these eight fotos.  They call themselves the water nymphs with music provided by typewriter, although a google search comes up with no further info.  The music–see the bass player in one foto–was hypnotic also, but you’ll have to imagine the sounds, though this–sans voice–might be the reference.

Why eight fotos?

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Well . . . November 26, 2006 I did my first post.  Tomorrow I start my eighth year and I hope to continue as long as it’s fun for all.  Thanks for reading, commenting, sending along suggestions, corrections and fotos  . . . and so much more.  This is my 2285th post and have been blessed with 1,204, 899 hits as of posting.  Again . . . thanks all.

All these fotos by Will Van Dorp, who loved the dances.

Here was post #1 of what could become a series from over five years ago.

Dusk rarely finds me at my places along Richmond Terrace, but last night I was here with elizabeth, and she took a pic much like this one, and when she sent it to FB with the question “Guess who my dinner date is?” one friend wrote back . . .  “the great Gatsby?”  So call this  . . . what the great Gatsby sees as tugster on a short day’s journey into night, apologies to Mr O’neill.

Barney Turecamo passes Gatsby’s place, as do

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Frederick E. Bouchard and B. No. 210,

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Ellen McAllister,

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Fidelio,

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Dorothy J,

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Blue Fin,

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and Weddell Sea.  

Gatsby’s for the night . . . was actually Blue–formerly known as R. H. Tugs.  From Blue, it was a short walk to Sailors Snug Harbor for the 25th annual John A. Noble Art Auction.   And I’m very pleased to say that

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a print of my foto below brought $500 into the museum’s funds for restoration of Robbins Reef Light, and the framed foto went home with a very happy friend.  To see the other 49 items in the auction catalog, click here.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

As I scrambled away from the train, Meredith C. Reinauer ruffled the glassy calm of the river at the Rondout  Light.  Here long ago the Delaware and Hudson Canal completed its 108-mile journey from coal country to what was then the fast river transport to sixth boro coal market.

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And here waiting for me was my flesh-and-blood sister and brother-in-law and their Maraki, which they sailed around the world in the 1990s.  See their newly-inaugurated blog here.

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This was an opportunity, to rediscover the Hudson Valley with them, after all we never see or step into the same Hudson twice.  I’ve seen Esopus Meadows light many times before, but

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have never passed the volunteer boat.

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When last I saw this “castle,” it was a Redemptorist retreat center, but now it’s something different.

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It was gratifying to see the pilotboat John E. Flynn on station at Norrie Point.

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The last time I recall seeing this house in Hyde Park I’d not sensed it would rival the other mansions there, like the Vanderbilt and the FDR (currently closed because of the shutdown! !@!@##) homes.

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Maraki and Grande Caribe had last crossed paths on the Erie Canal.   More large sightseeing vessels on the Hudson soon.

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Maraki had sailed under this first bridge when it was still a disused rail structure.

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!@#@!  ?  pirate canoe club?

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OK . .  I had to put up another foto of Patricia.

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The Hudson Valley is a spectacular place.  More soon.  A version of it . . . in print . . . check out T. C. Boyle’s World’s End.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Two words juxtaposed in this headline from May 1914 NYTimes  are not ones I expect to see . ..  “Roosevelt” and “tug.”  Click on the image and (I hope) you’ll get the rest of the article.

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Below is Aidan, the Booth Line steamer which returned the former President from Belem, near the mouth of the Amazon.

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On October 4, 1913, Roosevelt boarded the vessel belowS. S. Van Dyck--for Brazil.  Departure was from Brooklyn

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Pier 8, to the left below.   Click the foto to see the source.

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What’s driving this post is Candice Millard’s 2005 The River of Doubt:  Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, which I just finished reading.  Learning about the namesake–Candido Rondon– for the vessel in foto 8 here while in Brazil last summer prompted me to finally read this book.  Ever know that the ex-US President was stalked by invisible cannibals as he and Rondon led a joint Brazilian/American group down a 400-mile uncharted tributary of the Amazon, now referred to as Rio Roosevelt  (pronounced Hio Hosevelt).

Well-worth the read!

. . . literally hangs in the balance in the next weeks.  This 1925 Tyne River-built flat-bottomed timber tug needs $150,000 pledged, or  . . .        I’ll come back to the  ” . . . or”    To pledge, click on the image of the tug to the left, click on the contribute button, and follow the prompts.

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Bertha was one of four of these tugs used to move booms of timber to the mill in the Bay of Islands area of western Newfoundland starting in the mid-1920s.  Click here for fotos of that timber operation; particularly appropriate are fotos # 189, 259, and 263.

Darren Vigilant (below) bought Bertha in 1999, drove her to New York, and if you were  paying  attention to the harbor from that time, you might recall seeing it.    Click here to see fotos from then as well as an illustrated history of the vessel and lists of what has been done and remains.  Currently, she’s in a yard in Staten Island.

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I took these fotos last weekend and will

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be adding followups in the weeks to come.

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But the clock is ticking.  Here is the  ” . . . or else” part.

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Time is running out, and Bertha could be scrapped and added to the half million dollar pile of metal chunks.

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Shudder the thought.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’d love to see any fotos you might have of Bertha sailing in New York harbor between 1999 and 2003.   Click on the image below to hear Darren make a plea for the boat.

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You may have seen this foto sequence yesterday of Orlando Duque diving from a helicopter near the Statue of Liberty?  Well . .  more on the foto below later in this post, but the diver here is in fact she who inspired my post today by her instructions on how to swim from a schooner . . . a few years back.

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If you’ve looked at bowsprite’s link above, you’ll notice that my instructions begin differently.

1.  Choose your location, and few locations are as enticing to me as the Hudson north of the Bear Mountain Bridge, where I hiked a few months back.

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2.  Select a tugboat.  Buchanan 12, here managing eight stone scows just below Breakneck Ridge,  is photogenic but absolutely the wrong choice for this.

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Nor should you choose Kimberly Poling, here headed southbound on the Hudson in the same bends.

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Patty Nolan, however, fits the specs perfectly.  You may remember Patty here  from a few years back looking just a little different and facing a dilemma.

3.  Here’s where I concur with bowsprite’s first item:  find a captain who will let you off the boat.    We did.  The dock worker here belongs to the blue-hatted union.

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And off we go in search of an anchorage.  Now I know that since contemporary life comes with an infinite lists of troubles and limitations,  to relax . . . and celebrate life  . . . you gotta do it!

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The mature days of summer demand celebration.

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4.  Anchor in a safe location.  Bannerman, haunting in springtime, seems more welcoming in late summer.

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5.  Check the equipment.  Will Patty the figure figure be enticed to come up out of her cabin by this gold lamé?

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6.  Set up the sturgeoncam

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and deploy

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the crane.

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7.  Swim . . . without the strap or

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or with, in a variety of entrance styles.

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8.  Board the boat when the day is done . . . if you can figure out how.  I need to work on that one.  Or sturgeoncam here might have to swim down the Hudson . . . .  In late summer, that’s not a bad option.

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Would you believe this waterspotted lens proves I followed Patty and crew all the way back to Bear Mountain?

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Do you think I’d conclude this post without a video of tugster swinging from the crane?  Click on the foto to see.

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Don’t let Labor Day find you without a Hudson River dip in your experience.

By the way, from the local paper, one of my favorite weekly columns,  twelve places you should also visit in the Hudson Valley. 

There was a time when I was a boy . . . I thought that hydrofoils would dominate the future.  They didn’t.  My question is:  does anyone recall a hydrofoil operating in the waters around greater NYC?  This just in from a jolly tar, a British film clip that alludes to but seems not to show a hydrofoil on Long Island Sound . . .  ??

The foto below taken in heavy rain just east of the Astoria-Megler Bridge–north side–shows the remains of Plainview AGEH-1.   Here’s a video of AGEH-1 under way.

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Here’s a year’s worth of links on hydrofoils.  And some more . . .

Foto by Will Van Dorp.

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My job . . . Summer AND Fall 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

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