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I post this as the race is approaching its finish; see live tracking at the bottom here.

Twenty-fours hours ago Baltimore-based Chock WYTL-65602 was leaving Annapolis to go on station as pin boat 1 . . . the west side of the starting gate.  Pin boat here takes on a whole new meaning.  For a Chock-sibling with a different mission, see bowsprite’s latest here.

Norfolk Rebel, currently itself transformed into a schooner and sailing, was the other pin boat.  Here the jaunty captain and crew relax as schooners arrive at the starting line midday yesterday.

Condor was our platform, dashing around trying to catch the arriving schooners as they plotted a “red-carpet” course toward the pin boats.  No offense to the smaller, class B boats . . . the faster ones . . . but we focused on the larger class A boats.  First in was A. J. Meerwald.  Links to many of the vessels can be found here for full info, but Meerwald is 84 years afloat.

Next across the red carpet . . . Sultana . . .

Lady Maryland . . . whom I sawsome years back in the sixth boro,

Some of the class B boats like the one in the distance . . . I never could identify.  Any help?  RORO is Rigel Leader.

Mystic Whaler and unidentified in background.

And the two vessels  (sort of) that started it all . . .  From l to r, 1916-launched, Tottenville NY-built Virgina  and Pride of Baltimore 2.

Kings Pointer . . .  Summerwind, a 1929 Alden schooner, and unidentified smaller vessels.

Anyone identify these?

Libertate.

A part of the field just minutes before the starter-cannon.

When a schooner races starts on a day with little wind, vessels crowd on all manner of sail, and yet . . . the “natives” on SUPs pass them.  I believe the schooner is Prom Queen, now vying for first across the finish line.

Mystic Whaler and Summerwind, with bulker Clipper Emperor in the distance.

Part of the field follows.  Notice the difference between the start of a schooner race and a tug race.

First Coast bypassed the schooners towing a barge and was already in Norfolk by the wee hours today.

The natives sat down on their boards and hung out at pin boat Chock,

as racers rocket south toward Norfolk.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks to anyone who can identify some of the vessels I could not.

More from the race’s start tomorrow.

When this event happened on Memorial Day in the sixth boro, I wrote about it as “cast.”   The New London cast right after the 4th of July was quite different.   All these fotos come with thanks to Birk Thomas, now at sea. Ferry New London is automatically part of the local and daily cast .

Thames (rhymes with “james” ) Towboat Company’s   John P. Wronowski (2004) was built in Florida.

Gwendolyn (1975) was built in Louisiana.

USCGC Eagle began to take shape in Hamburg in 1936.

USS Carter Hall had her keel laid in Louisiana in 1991.

Adam uses her 450 hp mostly around the Thames Towboat Company yards, where it was built.

Patricia Ann came out of a Louisiana shipyard as a YTB on hull #758 . .  to Hercules #766, now in Nigeria.

Figureheads need inspection.

John P. and Paul A. Wronowski (1980 in Connecticut) assist USS Carter Hall into its berth.  Paul A. was one of the first z-drive tugs ever built.

Ticonderoga (1936 by Herreshoff in Boston as Tioga) begs to be seen from closer, much closer.

Ferry Race Point is cast, even if she’s really working the run to Fisher’s Island.

Behold Wolf . . . she flies the flag of the Conch Republic, where I found myself exactly a year ago!

Cisne Branco . . . like Eagle was in the sixth boro almost two months ago.

Schooner Brilliant, 1932 in the Bronx, is truly brilliant.

Schooner A. J. Meerwald, 1932 in South Jersey, homeports in Bivalve . . . yes the village is truly called that.

Wisconsin-built YP-700 had its keel laid in 1987.

Another shot of Paul A.

It’s Amistad  (Connecticut with a 2000 launch) with its unmistakable rake.

Again . . . many thanks to Birk for these fotos.

But first, see this fabulous set of Flickr fotos of Cangarda, which by now must have passed through the sixth boro . . .

and  . .  from Old Salt Rick, let’s remember today is International Day of the Seafarer.

The waters aka the sixth boro provide the best vantage perpective on many aspects of New York:  the bridges, the architecture, the skyline, even shoreline traffic congestion.  In this shot, Margaret Moran (1979) steams southbound beyond the GW and its red lighthouse as it approaches the Upper West Side.  Dominating the scene for many seafarers, the Empire State Building (ESB), the city’s premiere landmark, señal numero uno,  for the better part of a century.  Anyone know what a premiere Moran vessel assist tug was in  1931 when the ESB was built?  Did you realize the ESB drawings were generated in just two weeks because it had a prototype . . . the Reynolds  Building in Winston-Salem, NC?  (Doubleclick enlarges.)  Some part of the ESB appears in every foto here except the last one, which I didn’t take.

With never-retired Patty Nolan (1931!! same vintage as the ESB) westbound on the East River in the foreground, the background shows the towers of LaGuardia Airport to the left and

ESB immediately to the right of the house.  If you’re wondering why this rear view of Patty, well, she has not yet received her new bikini and–in the interest of tugster’s temporary prudishness, I couldn’t possibly reveal her nudity.  For bikini donations, please email me.

Adirondack  II (1999) scuds along while sails get trimmed.

Miss Yvette (1975)–now fully red–heads eastbound on the East River.

A. J. Meerwald‘s schedule shows them in Bivalve, NJ, two days ago, but I’d identify them as northeast bound entering Long Island Sound, leaving a gray smudge of ESB way behind.

Blue Marlin is 13 days out, as of this posting;  her image will stick in my brain until she returns.  Here the loading that seemed endless about three weeks back.

Dawn foto taken just south of Miller’s yard  captures night lights still blazing on Manhattan.

Leaving Chelsea Piers southbound, it’s replica vessel Manhattan.

Another foto of Dominican cocoa being unloading from Black Seal.  For an excellent set of fotos of the entire project, click here for an inimitable Flickr set.

To round this post out, let’s back to Margaret Moran, making her way south along the Upper West Side.

All fotos taken in the past month by Will Van Dorp.

This “foto” is a capture from Carlito’s Way, the 1993 De Palma film.  This Kosnac tug passes in the background as the Sean Penn character leaves the prison barge Vernon C. Bain.  Can anyone identify the tugboat?

 

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My job . . . Summer 2014

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

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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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