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You’ll excuse this poor quality lede photo once you realize who/what took it:  the Statue of Liberty has functioning eyes and watches everything that passes through this sector of the sixth boro.  Think about that:  she’s big and she witnesses!  And yesterday it was raining here, so those are water droplets on the lens.

But the point of this post is the tug with an unusual tow just entering from the right.  I know it’s not very clear, but bear with me . .  or us.  It gets better.

A bit later, Phil Little was at the ready from the cliff across from the Manhattan passenger terminal, but who knew which side of the tow to watch until this point.

A bit later, Luis Melendez, NYC Parks dock master at Dyckman Marina,  was on the optimal albeit rainy side of the tow to see schooner Pioneer well defined against the scow.

Here’s a little bit of history if you’re not familiar with Pioneer:  she was built in Marcus Hook PA in 1885 as a sand sloop, operating between Delaware Bay and the Delaware River. So think of the photo this way, and I’m paraphrasing someone else here: she was a sand sloop converted to a sand schooner (and other configurations) now made to a sand or aggregate scow and headed upriver pushed by the mighty 1957 Frances.   Pioneer was hitching a ride to Albany for engine work.

A few dozen miles later, Kevin Oldenburg was ready to get even clearer pics.  It was still rainy but not yet dark.

 

After she rounded Jones Point,

she was soon visible from the Bear Mountain Overlook along Hwy 202.

That’s Iona Island off the port side and

sand sloop/schooner that Pioneer was, she had clearly a small fraction of capacity when compared to her 21st century scow descendants.

Many thanks to Justin Zizes, Jonathan Boulware, Phil Little, Luis Melendez, Kevin Oldenburg, and the Lady of the Harbor for their contributions–made in rainy December conditions–to this post.  By the way, did anyone get photos from W. O. Decker?  Anyone else from any other vantage point?

A previous time we had this many collaborators watching traffic was just over a decade ago and involved sailing barges and a mothership named Flinterborg.

Getting back to the Statue of Liberty cam, “girl with no eyes” made a great song, but it could certainly not be said to refer to our Lady of the sixth boro.

Since I mentioned Dyckman Marina, whatever became of Mon Lei, the Chinese junk formerly owned by Robert “believe it or not” Ripley and recently docked up there at the now defunct-La Marina for a few years?

Lady Liberty called me up last night to apologize for the poor quality of photo she delivered and asked why Pioneer had not hitched a ride on a nicer day.  I was speechless, because what does one say when the Lady calls you up on your personal number??!@#?

 

 

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