You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2008.

Apologies!! NYC saw bright sunlight, and all the cylinders fired, but I stood in the wrong location and my fotos are mostly backlit.

Race officials gave the signal for the first heat–more powerful boats.  The race ran in two heats for the first time this year;  the second heat featured less powerful boats.  The race-start foto below, showing only MOST of the line-up,  comes thanks to Bernie of Working Harbor Committee, organizing several tours in September.

The final count was over two dozen, maybe as many as 28.  Sometimes I can’t count that high.

Winner in this class was Ross Sea followed by Maryland.

In one of many pushing contests, Maryland takes on Cornell.

More tomorrow.

Photos, WVD.

day left.  What might be a possible contender entered the Kills yesterday . . . the Paul T.  (just my speculation).  Huge and dark in the cloudy weather, Paul T.  humbled me.  I know I’ve seen others with greater power, but this machine had a looming presence.  Its silent power reminded me  of the first time I saw a humpback whale from a small boat.  One foto below for now;  more will follow showing Paul’s nose.  The inimitable Fred also has a foto of Paul T, along with pleas for your vote.  So vote for Fred or whoever you prefer . . . but vote . . . early and often (Oops!  Can’t do that.)

Some vitals:  built 1975.  7200 hp, 138′ x 40′ 13′ and ex-Ocean Venture, S/R and Exxon Golden State, Eliska.

Pegasus, foto below, is reportedly showing up for the race tomorrow.  I took this foto in 2006 (I think) and so look forward to seeing the mythical flyer in the North River creating white water in 2008, her 101st year!!

Some vitals:  built 1907. 96′  x 23′ x 11′ and ex-Socony 16, Socony, Esso Tug 1, John E. McAllister.

Two final fotos:  seconds after the start of the 2006 race, and

a portrait of yours truly . . . as captured by my partner-in-everything . . . Elizabeth.  I’d love to talk with you tomorrow.  Have a fun and safe day.  Again, thanks to the organizers.

Finally, I’ve added a link called diesel duck to my blogroll . . . interesting writing and fotos.  And one more question–wherever is the small tug Rachel Marie, prime mover of the Smithson “Floating Island,” three years ago?  Tomorrow, I’ll post fotos as soon as I’m back from the Race.

days left . . . Curtis and Meredith do the doe-see-doe. Might Meredith be relaxing before the sprint?

And Catherine T and Miriam allemand left grand right ‘n left.

A foto from last year: Cornell and Janice Ann in North River whitewater.

Don’t know if you saw the notice “In Search of the Toughest Tug” in the NYTimes this morning? In the fourth paragraph, the reference to a female pirate luring urbanites to sea intrigues me. Might her name be Alice? Might she look like the foto below? If so, I’ll be lured.

All fotos, Will Van Dorp

days left . . . and three fotos. Up close . . . with Dorothy Elizabeth. Will mascot Gotham appear this year?

Will the mystifying Odin take part, and if so, house up or down?

And will Susan Miller, below shown in a backwater of Brooklyn, be tag teamed with Catherine C?

A shot from last year’s race, and

… here’s Sunday’s schedule.

9:30 a.m. – Spectator Boat departs Pier 83 (boarding begins at 9 a.m.); advance reservation necessary*

10 a.m. – Parade of Tugboats starts at Pier 84

10:30 a.m. – Race begins near W.72nd Street & Hudson River

11 a.m. to Noon – Nose-to-nose pushing contests and line-toss

Noon to 1 p.m. – Tugboats and crews gather at Pier 84
Spinach-eating contest (SPINACH???? Dulse might be more appropriate.)

1 p.m. Awards for the above PLUS best tattoo and other fascinating qualities.

* The spectator boat will depart at 9:30 a.m. sharp from Circle
Line’s Pier 83 at 43rd Street and the Hudson River. The boat will
join in the tugboat parade and provide the closest view of the action
as the tugs race down the river at full throttle and then go nose-to-
nose in the nautical version of an arm-wrestling contest. Tickets are
$35 adults/$30 children and seniors (free to members of the press on
assignment). Advance tickets can be purchased online at or by calling: 212-757-1600.

Admission to the Pier 84 events is free.

Here’s the complete press release from Working Harbor.

Surprises might be debut of a new tractor tug. Maybe an award for the crewman most resembling King Neptune?

Photos, WVD.

days left til the race . . . and Specialist II sprints about,

Laura K flexes line,

Vera K. holds station,

and Dean does what Dean needs to do . . .

Here’s a nose-to-nose contest foto from last year: Nathan E. Stewart v. Lucy Reinauer.

Four is also the number of K-Sea tugs in this foto: from left to right, Adriatic, Baltic, Caribbean, and Aegean.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp unless otherwise stated.

Countdown begins. Five days left. As training perhaps, Cheyenne pushes gravel,

Joan Turecamo froths up the KVK,

Labrador Sea and Taurus diverge off Mariners Harbor (foto thanks to Jed),

Marie J McAllister, Pati R Moran, and the sweet Brandywine converse in Bayonne,

Might those above raft up at Pier 84 in five days as these did last year?

Might they churn up the Hudson as Urger and Hackensack did two years ago?

Unrelated update on a delivery–not of pizza—but of cranes. Below is Zhen Hua 10 in Port Elizabeth as of mid-day Tuesday, August 26.

Photos, WVD.

Greenland Sea passes the container port at Howland Hook,

Craig Eric Reinauer exits Erie Basin,

Christine M. McAllister approaches the Buttermilk,

Scott C glides past Carl Schurz Park,

Nanticoke pushes into the eastern end of the East River, and

I’m wondering how many of these will converge for the festivities on the North River (aka the Hudson) this Sunday.

Above is the first in this week’s series of previously unposted fotos of last Labor Day’s race.

Photos, WVD.

The sixth boro hosts the 16th annual tugboat race in less than a week. Don’t think there’ll be foreign boats, but I’m confident no fake (ok, digitally enhanced) fireworks show to kick it off. I saw a blimp in the sky this weekend that really should sell camera seats . . . hint hint. Meanwhile, not knowing who will be there driving what, I’ll post a lot of tugboat fotos this week. If you’ve spectacular or unsusual shots you’re willing to share, email me. A social pair starts us ut, Colleen McAllister and Dean Reinauer, eastbound together through Hell Gate.

F. Dawson, which I called a mystery tug some months ago, works on a Harlem River project this past week.

Lee T. Moran never ceases her shift work through the Kills, it seems.

Thanks to Bernie of Working Harbor Committee, here’s a shot of Swift, just east/north of Brooklyn Bridge.

I’d never seen this Pegasus before a few weeks ago.

And last but surely not least for now, this shot of the lofty Volunteer, sent along by Jed.

See you at the Races.

Thx to JED and Bernie.  All others, WVD.

I rejected calling this “government boats xx” because the vessels belong have more in common than that. Boundary keeping makes up part of their mission. Griffon patrols the border between two countries, maybe on a political ice-breaking mission . . .

Penobscot Bay cruises through Hell Gate between tidal straits aka “rivers,”

these RB-S‘s between Brooklyn and Staten Island,

Penobscot Bay and Line between the especially tense line between Queens and Manhattan, and

440 between “us” and “them.” Moose and manatee in the sixth boro!!

When we confront boundaries of all sorts in life . . . between familiar and unknown, right and wrong, comfortable and not . . . , we sometimes find the support, internal or otherwise, to navigate safely.

Some unrelated catch-up: My answer to the question on distance of pitch and roll at any 100′ level is 35 feet. It’s one week to the marine Olympics in NY. And it’s time to vote in a run-off that ends in only TWO weeks.

All images here by Will Van Dorp.

So there’s Turecamo Boys,

Turecamo Girls here getting the attention of Greenland Sea,

McAllister Sisters,

Bouchard Girls,

another shot of Turecamo Boys,

and Barker Boys.

Other tugs elsewhere have “boys, girls, sisters” in their names, but I don’t know any with “brothers, daughters, sons.”

But to get back to the fotos above, I know that less than a half mile from one of them there’s a certain establishment called “Jersey Girls” and a quite different one that begins “Sisters of ..” Hmmm . . .do you suppose these are tugboat enthusiasts organizations?

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear of tugboats with names that include “brothers, fathers, mothers, daughters, granddaughters,” etc . . .

Photos, WVD.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,583 other subscribers
If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Documentary "Graves of Arthur Kill" is AVAILABLE again here.Click here to buy now!

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

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


August 2008