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Tugs moves barges of fuel, dredged rock, garbage, recycling paper, cranes, bulkhead construction materials, and more. What do you suppose is in the boxes on this barge that is marked with red flags and moving north on the Hudson?


Or what’s in the boxes on the barge attached to the small tug Mame Faye? Why are workmen pulling plastic over these boxes? Can you see the raindrops on the water? By the way, this picture was taken near the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk north of Albany last September at the Tug Roundup.
The rain stopped, the sun went down, horns and whistles on more than two dozen tugs blasted into the night, plastic wrap was removed by someone with a flashlight, the first box opened, and then there was an explosion and light,


and more delightful light as the show went on for what seemed hours; any lull was responded to by more horns and whistles. A stranger stopping at a local gas station while passing through would have wondered about the racket in the tiny town of Waterford, might have made life-altering vows.


Fireworks reflected on the water: this reminds me of the excitement of unwrapping gifts, of the lights in the eyes of children as they open boxes and presents. Such marvels arrive in boxes delivered on ships and barges. How about a whole new mythology about how boxes get delivered all over the world tonight? Cheers.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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December 2006