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In a recent post, bowsprite put up a message, which set me off in search of omens and other signs of the times, starting from the one in green below, which sounds vaguely like a line from a hostage situation.  “Ok, my hands are raised over my head and I’m really trying to cooperate.”

SCF is a Russian company, which makes me wonder about a chicken-or-egg question here:  Safety Comes First is clever.  I would not advise complying with the order to “tug” though near the base of the ship’s ladder.

Propellor warnings are common

enough, although not all look the same, which I like.

Some signs can be lengthy, whereas others

are short.  Or is this a command?  I wonder.

Some just make you wonder.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.    If you’ve seen any good signs–whether they augur ill or well–lately, please send them along.

Over a dozen posts already have followed Urger, the most recent last November.  I caught up with the old fishing tug in Lyons this week, not high and dry but low and frosted, down at the Lock 28A drydock.  And I mean down,

hibernating below high-water level

down in the dry dock, behind the lock about 300 miles from where Urger spent Labor Day (see 6th foto).

I’ve a whole new understanding of Urger’s stability, now that I’ve seen her deep draft.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Type”grouper” into my search window, and you’ll get almost 10 posts, the most recent is this from December 2009.  But I could have called the vessel Gary, its original name, after the city, I suppose, which itself is named after a founder of US Steel.    Enjoy these fotos taken Valentine’s Day weekend 2010.  Doubleclick enlarges most.  Notice something

different, other than

the deep snow?  Here’s a link to Gary info from the BGSU database.  Enter the name “Gary ” (case sensitive), click on “begin search” and  then click on the 1912 tug one.

Specs:  73′ x 19′ x 10.’   Owned from 1912 til 1934 by Dunham Towing and Wrecking, it then passed into ownership of C. Reiss Coal Co, still extant and one time owner of Reiss Steamship Company.  It later did some time at Florida Marine Terminal in Miami.  Anyone have fotos of the Florida portion of its life, transit north?

Next two are from Jon’s collection.  As Iroquois and

before that, in Reiss colors,  as Green Bay.  Long and low, a perfect canaler.

As to something different about my three shots?  Grouper finally faces west!  In all previous posts, she faced east.  Come spring, west she will go!

First three fotos by Will Van Dorp, taken on V-Day weekend.

For info on the Patty Nolan bikini contest, click the small foto below.

V-Day, Chinese New Year, and Mardi Gras @!@#@!! . . . within hours of each other …  makes this a special set of days.  Here’s my 2010 Mardi Gras post, quite different from 2009’s.   The vessel below is Patty Nolan, high and dry in Verplanck, New York.  I featured fotos of Patty at least twice before, notably here and here, the second one initially being a mystery tug foto taken by Jed.

Patty Nolan is the second tug owned by Capts Dave Williams and John Johnsen.  The first–Lewis F Boyer aka Tug Travis–floated from 1920 until 2001, when it was “reefed” off New Jersey.  Fotos of the sinking can be seen here.

Some history and specs:  built by Merritt-Chapman and Whitney in Superior, WI (a suburb of Duluth, MN) in 1931, Patty’s vitals are 41′ x 13′ x 6.’

Note the keel cooler.

Sweet lines await de-barnacling and re-painting by early March.

Power is provided by a 300-hp Cummins, circa 1954.

Controls on this 79-year-old hull have been upgraded, like this “joystick”  aka NFU and

remote control.

You might be wondering how this could be a “mardi-gras” post, for any reason other than I’ve returned from a multi-stop gallivant today, “monday before mardi gras.”  Here’s the tie:  note the “figurehead” more accurately “figure-figure”, yellow bikini-clad in the fotos below.

Once this bikini was neon-yellowishgreen.

Sunny months of braving the elements as well as shivering months of languishing in the cold wheelhouse bombarded by UV light have faded the color of the Hudson River’s only tugboat figurehead.

To put it plainly, upon consultation with Captains Dave and John as well as Dr. Elizabeth, we have concluded that Patty Nolan needs a new bikini. And I’m humbly asking for your help, sort of like the fund-raisers on NPR, PBS, and various & sundy political organizations. Here’s how you can help:

1. Send me, tugster, a foto of a bikini. It can be new or old, solid color or print (polka dot, tile, school or business logo), skimpy or ample, cloth or some other material, even contemporary or traditional.

2. I prefer that the foto sent in be on a model, any model. Given that Patty Nolan’s “figure-figure” lacks . . . a head, arms, and lower-half-legs, what COULD be depicted of the model could mimic Patty’s figurefigure. I realize I could be inviting all manner of tugster “hate mail” here, but we are an equal opportunity, gender-equality- and whole-person- promoting blog.

3. Fotos will be judged by tugster and Capts Dave and John. The winner will be announced on March 20, which just happens to be the spring equinox.

4. Prize: fame–”coin of the realm” in the blogging world–and signing rights on the bikini. Also, lunch with luminaries at the Peekskill Brewery.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s a Mardi Gras film I’d like to see . . .

Best Mardi Gras on a waterblog . . .  that’s Horse’s Mouth!!

ok . . . so the word is roll?  Lubbers might say lean?  I already did pitchTaurus swings to port;  coffee builds on the starboard side of the cup.

Ditto Meredith.

Oleander swings to starboard;  soup swirls to port.

Amy C McAllister throws herself into docking.

as does Miriam Moran .

Coast Guard RIBs lean into their turns , as opposed to

most other vessels.  Here’s  Amy C again.

For some tilting in the vicinity of windmills, check this video from Rotterdam.

Still fotos by Will Van Dorp.

If ever I knew this poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, the spouse of Mary Shelley, who authored Frankenstein then I’d forgotten it til a stranger–a compelling stranger– recited though not as an invitation the second half for me :

“See the mountains kiss high heaven.       And the waves clasp one another;        No sister-flower would be forgiven        If it disdained its brother;       And the sunlight clasps the earth.       And the moonbeams kiss the sea:       What is all this sweet work worth           If thou kiss not me?”

Bravo P. B.  Shelley!!

Here’s a hypothetical how-to PB might have appended:  Approach and watch signals.  Some signals are not visible yet real.

Establish first contact.  Time for subtlety has expired.

Move to the other side.  It might offer more frisson than the first.

Send out other tendrils of contact.

Allow  pressure and tempo to build;  then surge

even more, as one.

See bowsprite’s 2009 V-Day wish rendition here.

For loosening Affinity from her mooring and whirling her out to the open sea, compliments to the crew of Miriam Moran!  And to the stranger, merci.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Add  V-Day sentiments?

(cont. from yesterday)

Divine decks and the city . . . with Zeus.  Between Zeus and the city, that’s GMD docks at Bayonne, where both Tavrichesky Bridge and Sichem Defiance are having some attention lavished on them.  Notice between Zeus bow and the left side of the foto … just beyond the ivory colored building then to the right of Three World Financial Center … it’s Zurab Tsereteli‘s 9/11 monument.

Miriam Moran spinning the decks of Affinity while survey deck of Wolf River slips past.  Wolf River . . . now that’s a vessel whose name is begging for lyrics and a tune.

Over on the opposite side, we see Jersey City astride the afterdeck of Gramma Lee T Moran.

East Coast decks approaching a scrap tow pushed by a blue boat . . . and just off and beyond the clusterflurry of Manhattan, you can see Citibank Tower in Queens.

Of course, it’s June K, pushing two decks worth of scrap,  with fishing decks way off in the distance in front of the ferry terminal/Whitehall portion of the city and headed toward the East River.

Parting decks and the city:  the decks of NYK Daedalus and the ex-city Brooklyn, now one of the six boros, topped by the ex-Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower.

Any time you’re ready for more decks and the city, call me.  Don’t expect any resemblance to characters with names like Henry or Harry or Carry or Chary or  …  But all these banks, time for some Pete Seeger.  Indulge me.

All fotos, Will Van Dorp.

(Note:  See Bonnie’s iceboat video here.  Woohoo!).

New subject:  I went out looking the fotos the day before the snow storm, and here’s what I got in response to a request from my cousin.  It sounded like she asked for fotos of decks in the city . . .  with storied locations as back story . . . many stories, plenty decks.  Caveat:  She mumbles a bit, my cousin.  Well . . . cuz . . .

… for tugboat decks,  here’s Morgan light.  And in the background, a spread of city from Goldman Sachs (Jersey City) on the left to World Trade on the right, with the Empire State Building and the tip of Chrysler in between.

About-to-pirouette product tanker decks, here’s Affinity.

More light tugboat decks, try on Socrates.

You want throaty power?  Consider the decks of Adriatic Sea and DBL76.

For some variety, you might check for a fit with ice-class tanker decks, the festive color and musical name  that is Stena Concert . . . and just in time for Valentine’s Day. Yes?  Well, more decks then.

For doubleskin barge and tug decks, I give you Pocomoke.    I can tell you’re not satisfied yet, cara.  More to come.

Newish tugboat decks with a feline flair . . .  here’s the ex-Jaguar now Kimberly Poling.

All fotos taken on February 9 ( less than 24 hours before onset of the so-called snowcopalypse) by Will Van Dorp.  More decks and then even more, but for now,  it’s lpm.  I’m all tuckered out.

To be continued . . .

Now that John and Bonnie have revealed that the vintage ice racer named for a water nymph, Galatea, crashed, I’ll postpone the gear post.  And right here at the top, refer you to bowsprite’s just-released video of the last 56 seconds of Galatea here.  I just caught of glimpse of myself pushing them off at 3 seconds in.  Remember to enlarge a foto, just double click on it.

The instant Galatea rolled  onto its side on the ice, a crowd hurried in that direction.  My first fear was that the starboard runner had broken through the ice; seeing John and his passenger (bowsprite) get up and walk around the wreckage was reassuring.

Looking at the wreckage from behind, notice the stern runner and tiller and the port side of the cockpit  folded over about 135 degrees;  below it, the starboard side of the cockpit is snapped off.  See the two c-clamps.  Also, midships, the port side of the runner plank has been pulled over to starboard about 135 degrees, the boom sandwiched between the runner plank and the mast.

The beauty of wood is  . . . you can just scarf in repairs;  it’s organic, so forgiveness and healing come with the material, just as with our bones.

But let’s turn the clock back to a few minutes BEFORE the wreck, to when we first met John as he completed a solo run.  Notice the c-clamps and brace about where his right elbow meets the cockpit.  Also, the see the jump skeg, explained in yesterday’s post.

He offered us a ride;  bowsprite climbed aboard and away

the wind took them, tacking toward the north end of the bay, all captured in bowsprite’s

video, linked above.

Before the final tack, Galatea gets some adjustments, tweakings.

Fortunately, John had the most important piece of gear ever:   unflappable grace.  Wood heals, be happy, and here’s a toast to Galatea’s next run, soon.  Prior to January 2010, Galatea had not sailed since 1914!!!!  96 years  of hibernation!

Here’s a quote from John’s website:  “On January 31 [2010], Galatea took its first sail since 1914 on light southwesterly winds. The boat is nicely balanced and a very comfortable ride with its large ten foot cockpit. The wind did not last long, though, and by mid-afternoon there was more pushing than sailing. I still remember the day in 1982 when John Somma pulled into my driveway and said “Get in — we’re going for a ride. I think I found Galatea’s cockpit.” So off we went to Mrs. Gray’s Hudson River estate, and there in the rafters of the carriage barn, it was — probably exactly where Robert Livingston Clarkson stored it many years ago. Arrangements were quickly made for it’s acquisition and Reid Bielenberg and I had one more original piece of the boat. We did a lot of work fixing the backbone that first year, but then other projects took center stage and it languished in the barn for almost another 30 years.”

And before the sun set any lower in the sky, Jeff and Dock sailed off in Floater (nearer) paralleling Vixen.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, on more reflection, I realize the good ambiguity in “”wood heals.”  Yes, it does.

Unrelated:  Check out soundbounder’s series on oystering in Long Island Sound;  third in the series is here.

Also unrelated:  check out this article on the Ethiopian Olympic ski team.

A reprise of the approaches to ice:  some vessels (Is Morton towing Esopus light?) and loads need to fracture it, whereas

these skim over it, harnessing the wind as was done in the past and will again happen in the future . . . not to suggest there has ever existed a hiatus between the two.

A gaff-rig trails a lateen-rig.

And here two gaff-riggers compete, Galatea pursuing Puff.  A few names:  backbone is supported by the perpendicular runner plank, which itself supports the port and starboard runners.  On Galatea, I estimated the backbone to be 30′–35′ with approximately 15′ runner plank.  Someone correct me?

I was quite taken by Vixen with its lateen rig.  It reminded me of the rig I’ve not used for years on the canoe, which I wrote about here two years ago.    This shot also clearly shows the jump skeg, near the stern just below the cockpit and forward of the stern runner.    The purpose of the jump skeg is –in the case the boat glides over some open water and then back onto ice, the substantial wood there would “jump” the stern back onto the ice, preventing the stern runner from catching on the edge of the ice.

Like most boats, iceboats have name boards.

Vixen alone.  With people, of course, two of whom look unmistakeably like frogma and bowsprite.  See frogma’s gliding at –dunno . .  at least 100 kts here, AND her second post about the experience here.  Check both, as the first has great video and the second has dozens of fotos.  We’ll soon see what bowsprite and Jeff come up with.

Vixen juxtaposed with 999.  Note:  over 200 years of wooden boat are posed here, many more years than the years of people admiring the rich wood and sail colors.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  More on some gear tomorrow.

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February 2010
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