I manipulated the fotos, squeezing out some of the darkness, enhancing the little light in the original. The stem bitt in the lower right belongs to tug Cornell, attempting to get Kristin Poling unstuck from the ice. What does this look like to you . . . other than the obvious ship stuck in chunk ice?
I get competing thoughts and associations: like a submarine scene from a Jules Vernesque sci-fi movie, or
a vessel trapped in polar ice. No disrespect for the family or vessel name . . . but “poling” could be a verb referring to exploration of the top and bottom parts of the planet . . . as in “Peary left the sixth boro in the summer of ’08 aboard Roosevelt, headed north to go poling. . . .” My eyes could easily be convinced that the venerable Kristin P here is “poling.”
Imagine this stretch of the river six months forward or backwards. A deck in that location could be an idyllic spot to stretch out, enjoy summer heat, watch stars, and think of love or whatever you wish; a fit swimmer could slip into the water and drift or make for shore. However,
in January like this, the Hudson seems as inhospitable as the poles. Frederick Cook, Peary’s physician in the 1891-2 “north poling” expedition and later a challenger to Peary’s claim to have reached the North Pole first, said this about being in the frozen north: “We were the only pulsating creatures in a dead world of ice.” I can imagine the crews of Kristin Poling and Cornell thinking that . . . at least they and the reliable engines in the vessels.
Cook was a founder member of NYC’s Explorers Club.
Again, many thanks to Paul Strubeck for the fotos, which you may have seen in different format on Paul’s facebook page.