She was working in the sixth boro long before I lived here, as I understand it, a former Department of Sanitation tug. 

And although my “sampling” by no stretch qualifies as scientific, it seems she’s often towing this way, on gate lines. Here and here are some previous appearances of Buchanan 1 towing on lines.

Of course, this method of towing can be seen often enough, like here, here, and here.

Here’s a close up.

And here, from almost exactly three years ago, is B1′s fleet mate Mister T doing the same westbound of the East River.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.