Happy Labor Day!  An often forgotten fact about this holiday is that it stems from labor disputes.  President Grover Cleveland (former governor of New York),  115 years ago, put together  a proposal for this celebration to make reconciliation with Labor after the Pullman Strike, in which 13 strikers were killed.  The suggested formula for celebrating Labor Day included “street parade to exhibit to the public ‘the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,’ followed by a festival for the workers and their families.”

What better time then than now to devote some space to some Jones Act issues that affect working mariners in the Gulf of Mexico.  Since I’m out of my depth in specifics, I’m ceding this link to a maritime lawyer who has launched a petition drive to save American seafarers’ jobs.  Check his homepage here. Read the link here and sign the petition if you so feel moved.  It seems relevant to me, since the marine job market is a national one.  Fotos of some of these vessels can be found here.


Videos follow at the end of this post, but the tugboat race (Technically called  “17th annual Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition”) quite well fits the description of “festival for  the workers and their families.”


What a day to introduce families to the working water,  to teach curiosity, to


feel solidarity, to join


in the rewards, to take time off with


fellow students as well as sister and brother vikings, and


just scud across the sparkling waters.


Ellen McAllister made it down the nautical mile in six minutes and seventeen seconds;  watch the abridged version below.  Countdown starts at about T minus twelve seconds.

After a glide past by the most beautiful 108-year-old ever in the sixth boro . . . Urger–with Jack, Rick, and crew–no doubt serving the function of “urging” the tugs to shove away, push matches ensue  featuring Ellen McAllister, Nathan E. Stewart, Meagan Ann, and Pegasus. Enjoy.

See old salt blog’s fabulous shoreside coverage of this event here.  Bravo Rick.  I love the horns, hoots, and whistles!  One group Rick’s video captures is a set of PCV’s, “population control volunteers,” commingling their wake with those in the middle of this race, seemingly determined to do themselves in.  See them at the following times:  1:14, 1:24, and 2:05.  What’s not funny is that had there –please no please no–been an incident, somehow others might have caught the heat.

Fotos and videos by Will Van Dorp.

Again, if you haven’t voted yet, consider casting one for Cornell for the “People’s Choice” award at next week’s Waterford Tug roundup here.