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Happy Labor Day.  And for most of these photos, I’m grateful to William Hyman, whose perspective was Pier I at 69-70th Street.

The event starts with a parade . . .

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including a range of serious muscle.  That’s the gray Willard operating as New York Media Boat in the distance to the right.

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Even The Bronx represented that bor0.

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Then there’s the line up . . . .  Anyone have the experience of waiting in the starting blocks before some foot race?

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And then many engines roar . . .

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and churn up the river.

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William does a good job of capturing what it looks like from behind.

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Scroll through this 2006 tugster post for photos of my current boat–Urger–in this race eight years ago and seen from the back of the pack.

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And I took this photo yesterday of the 343‘s addition to the festivity.

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Many thanks to William Hyman.  And have a great Labor Day.

 

Here were 2 and the first.  This was Sunday morning August 24 at dawn.

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Maersk Atlanta was headed out and

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the lifters –Oops I mean Ardmore Sealifter and  . .  Ichabod Crane–were at different stages of prep to move and

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and who be that . . . incoming  . .  . hull down?

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with lots of deck gear . . .

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why it’s Alice!!

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with all her sculptural machines all

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ready to discharge more aggregates on the projects hither and yon in the terrestrial boros of NYC.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who offers this in case he’s NOT back in the city for the tug race on Sunday.  On verra.

Click here for the many posts I’ve done on my favorite Alice.

Resolute and her crew set a new speed record for the course.  Thanks to David Silver and a recording he made  in the wheelhouse during the race, you too can experience those five exhilarating minutes.  Double click on the foto below to hear it all.

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David, thanks much.

And the winner of the speed race . . .

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in a record setting 0 days, 0 hours, and precisely five minutes and 0 seconds . . ..

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. . . sorry . . .  this is part of the day too; click on the foto for bowsprite’s rare foto coverage.

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The winner   of the speed event will be revealed, uncovered, somewhat shorn  . . . at the end of this post.  But first, besides the tattoo contest, other contests include line toss.

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Jamie of Susan Miller shows how it’s done.

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Then . .  there’s sanctioned, precision pushing.

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Can you spot the difference between the white-and-green tug to the right above and the one below?

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Vane had twins in the race, and one near-clone.

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I’m not sure what this event would be called . . . mustering maybe.

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There’s sizing up and

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retreat.

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On the pier, winners wear not laurels but spinach . . . .  Someone inspired by the anthropological study of the Nacirema people might write this up as a study of a late summer ritual called Ecar Toabgut.

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There are raffles that landed some this bowsprite print of a boat that represents–I believe–the first Vane participation in this race on

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September 2, 2007.

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And after the race–if it hadn’t happened before–boats might pose with the great Lady.

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Here are some of the crew of the fastest boat . . .

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Resolute.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Congratulations to the crew of Working Harbor Committee for their work;  many thanks to all the companies and crews for participating.

And let’s make this Tubing Tuesday, with a video of the race in NYC, the one in Gloucester and this tour in port of Antwerpen . . al  this same weekend.

The race may last for less than 10 minutes for (most) boats, but each participant spends hours before and after.  Here, using the power of thousands of conceptual horses and one very real donkey, all four vessels in Miller contingent make their way upriver.

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At Pier 66, crew on deck and crew below start them up.

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Lady B (read her interesting history here and here, the latter explaining that the “B” stands for either “Benazir” or Bhutto.”

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For boats that arrive on the scene early, Red Hook may have come straight from a job delivering bunker to Norwegian Breakaway, there’s time for what might look like lollygagging, and

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(in these next two shots from William Hyman) saluting the spectators or just

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being seen.  Does Seagus have another name?

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But it’s also getting acquainted time.

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Some regulars didn’t show, and other vessels arrived that I’d never seen before.

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I had to look up South River Rescue Squad attending the Great North River race . . .

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Somewhere in the attractively dressed race day crew on Jake-boat Resolute are two of the principals of tugboatinformation.com . . .  hi Birk and Craig, as well as the force majeure aka Rod behind Narragansett Bay Shipping.

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This kayaker stays well out of the stream.

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The white bowstriped vessel–Lt. Michael P. Murphy– in the distance won the prize for persistence, finishing the course in a historic half an hour . . . spending most of that time doing a mid-race-course onboard repair.

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Despite forecasts of storms–and rain north of the GW Bridge–the only lightning I saw was here and

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thunder from the crowds on the piers.  That’s the intrepid bowsprite showing us her drawing/painting arm.

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Spectators took advantage of any platform.

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More soon.   Thanks to William Hyman for his fotos, especially the one of an exuberant W. O. Decker, which I featured hard at work using Seth Tane fotos from over 30 years ago here.  Click here for John Huntington’s superb fotos from a wet place in the race . . ..

Again, my hat’s off to all who must work on Labor Day, including my son, who always works holidays for the higher hourly rate.  And if you’re inclined, read what Paul Krugman has to say about Labor Day.

. . . the premier marine motor sports event in the sixth boro . . .  the 2013 Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition.

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I first attended in 2006, and when I look at fotos for the past seven years, I’m amazed by all the changes I see.    I hope you enjoy this album even if I don’t enumerate the vessels that no longer work here or look as they do in these fotos.

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2007

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2008

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2009

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2010

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2011

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2012

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What surprises will 2013 bring?  Don’t miss it.  See you there  . . . .

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, here are some of the competitors from 61 years ago . . . .

The season comes to the east coast in late summer.  New York’s 2013 sixth boro race is 12 days away, but you can get tickets to watch it from a boat already by clicking here.  Be patient  . . . it may load slowly.

This is NOT a foto from NYC.  Can you guess where you’d see this original OSV design?  OSV here means “offshore (lobster) supplying vessel,”  which I confess are my first love in workboat design, dating from back when I lived in New Hampshire.  All fotos in this post come thanks to Birk Thomas, a force behind this site and its Facebook version, which generates a lot of pics  of workboats from all over.

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If you guessed Portland, Maine . . . this is the pre-race lineup for the MS Harborfest.

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I’m pretty sure this foto was taken from Andrew McAllister.

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And it’s push-off time.

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So in New York on September 1, whether you ride the boat or watch from the pier . . . I hope to see you there.

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Although the September 1 race in NYC is the 21st annual in the current series, the races date back to before I was born.  See fotos of the vessels from the 1952 race here.  Back then, an international lifeboat race–rowers came from whatever cargo ships were in port at that time–was part of the festivities.

Again, many thanks to Birk Thomas for these fotos.  And if you do Facebook, check out tugboatinformation there.


Is it a vestige of a past whoseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

artifacts are mostly

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disappearing?  Or

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is it an enterprise of

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what is

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to come?

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Read how the Danes and Dutch already do it.  These Dutch from Tres Hombres wanted to sail into the sixth boro last year but were stymied by red tape.   Then there’s the Vermont working sailcraft project discussed here.  Andrew Wilner has more examples in his blog here.   Here’s a veritable bibliography of hybrid sail ideas.

Working Harbor Committee presents a panel discussion of this topic tonight from 6 pm — 9 pm in Manhattan.    Click here for details.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.  The disintegrating sailboat fotos were taken near Bear Mountain last weekend, and the Black Seal three-masted schooner fotos date from when it delivered 20 tons of cocoa beans to Red Hook in June 2011.   Here and here are related blog posts I did back then.

 

It is a race, and that means there’s a winner, but the race committee decided to have both the first place (left, Lincoln Sea . . . 8000 hp) and second place (right, Meagan Ann . . . 2200 hp)) finishers raise the cup this year because of Meagan Ann‘s lightning speed that allowed her to beat at least four boats of equal or great horsepower.  Is her hull coated with slippery paint?

Someone remarked that the Kirby livery makes this originally blue vessel seem larger than previous paint jobs.

This blue vessel built originally for Alaska is

speedy.  She left us in the dust . . .  er . . .  froth!

Final shot of Lincoln Sea (for now) and

us as we appeared from her upper wheelhouse.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, except the last one by Dave Boone.  Thanks, Dave.  You caught me waving . . . green deck forward of the wheelhouse.

Related:  last week I got this email from D. J. Lake, who gave me permission to reprint it:

“I am contacting you with regard to the pictures of the first tug boat race in the New York harbor in the early ’50′s that you posted recently. My uncle, Vincent Lake, a long-time employee of the M & J Tracy Towing Line, was a captain on the William J. Tracy on the day of the race.     As you probably know, the William J. Tracy was one of four new tugs acquired at that time by Tracy Towing, including her sisters, Kathleen Tracy, Thomas Tracy and Helen Tracy (all named for members of the Tracy family).  These tugs were replacements for older units in the fleet.     My Uncle Vincent always talked about this race and what an honor it was to be involved in it.  I am glad the races have been given a new beginning. The races give the public an opportunity to see tugs in action in the harbor.  Thank you. D.J. Lake”

D. J. . . . thanks for sharing that bit of history with us.

For a short video on this coming weekend’s Waterford Tug Roundup, see “now published author” Rick Old Salt’s blog here.

Here’s to the photographers of the event!  We do love it.  And here’s to the companies, crews, spectators, and organizers.  The sprint is only the start of the event, though.

After that, greetings and foto-ops happen, as

do carefully calibrated/matched push-offs contests like Vulcan III v.  Lincoln Sea or

Maurania III v.  Quantico Creek

or Pegasus v.  Thornton Bros. or

Weddell Sea v.  Lincoln Sea or

Thornton Bros. v.  Pegasus (again!@#@!!)  or

Vulcan III  v.  Gage Paul Thornton or

Quantico Creek v. Buchanan 12 and so many more.  Sorry if I missed your best brawl.

Meagan Ann won the line-toss, with second place going to Buchanan 12.

Yes there were kayakers but they stayed in the wash-machine between the piers.

Other results if I copied them correctly:

Class A (3000 hp and up)  Lincoln Sea,   Class B (1500-2999 hp) Meagan Ann, Class C (500-1499 hp) (not so) Little Toot, and Class D . . . Growler

Other awards:  “little toot”  to The Bronx (180 hp), “best vintage and “best mascot” to Pegasus and Duke, who can be seen steering two years ago in the fifth foto here. )

“best looking” to Maurania III, “best-dressed crew” to Growler, “best tattoo” to a crewman on Lincoln Sea, and “best company support”  to Miller’s Launch . . . who participated with four boats.

And (if my notes accurately reflect what was said) some maritime-related statistics from the EDC:  The sector provides 170,000 direct jobs in NY/NJ, 280,000 total jobs.  Tugboats in the greater sixth boro area account for 33,000 jobs and $2 billion in personal income.

And if you want more like this, steal away 130 miles to the north this coming weekend for the Waterford Tugboat Roundup.  See you there.

And finally (for now) see Bonnie Frogma’s race coverage here.

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My job . . . Summer AND Fall 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

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

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

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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