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Not all . . . . but some boats turned blue as in in this post here.    Like Cheyenne, whose

colors over the years are well-documented by

Birk and Harold in their site here.

The same is true for Caitlin Ann, who

has worked for over half century.  Birk and Harold have some documentation of her past lives, although I’m wondering if anyone can help with fotos of her West Coast lives.

Their fotos have gaps also with the half-century-youngster Thomas D. Witte, who even had a lifetime as a head-ducking canaler, a fact that amazes me.   I’d love to see a foto of Thomas, head-down.

Ditto Atlantic Salvor, for whom I wish I had snaps taken as she traversed the canals between Lake Erie and the Atlantic Ocean end of 2011 into 2012.

But as I said . . .  not all GET blued.  Some start their lives in DonJon blue.  I have not seen this vessel yet, but zoom-eyed Isaac up in Detroit has.  Admire the blue vastness of Ken Boothe Sr. and her endless barge Lakes Contender.  Isaac posts lots of fotos, so you’ll have to enjoy almost 20 fotos before you get to Ken Boothe Sr.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

When I was in high school upstate, I had to read this novel about drums . .  and history.

Now imagine this interior monologue . . . our speaker doesn’t read much . . . he works and then goes to the river to fish with his best friend the bottle . . . a riverine Rip van Winkle.  He slings in some bait, he dozes, he hears an approaching engine . . . and he sees this!

He shuts and reopens his eyes . . . and it’s closer.  He rubs his eyes .  .  .  and it’s still there.  He flings the cursed bottle into  . . . nearest recycling bin (of course), swears to mend his dissolute ways, and runs along the bank yelling  “OMG!!  It’s a Douglas F3D Skynight!!”   He just happens to “favorite” that aircraft of all the ones ever developed . . .  because of having built a model of one as a boy.

Our Rip has found new purpose.  The 2012 Erie Canal season has delivered the vehicle to turn his life around!

He vows to walk or run or bicycle along the Erie Canal as far as he needs to in order to see where this jet will land.

Then he hears another noise … another DonJon blue tugboat pushing a scow laden with

OMFG!!  He has no idea, and all the life-remedying he’d promised minutes ago . . . is in danger.    He turns and walks back to where moments before he had enjoyed the bliss of fishing along the Mohawk.  He stopped once and

looked back at Cheyenne and the scow.  “Nah . . . that never happened,” he decided.  Never.

Downriver some 100 plus miles, the day before, another blue DonJon tug had been pushing this dredge spoils scow toward the Bayonne Bridge when the 747/Shuttle flew past.

To be serious, the wonderful fotos above come compliments of Don Rittner, of the Onrust project, about which I did many posts a few years back.  Here are a few representative Onrust links:  2010September 2009 (see the last foto), May 2009, and 2008.    Use the search window to find many more.  Last foto is by Will Van Dorp.

The aircraft –a Skynight, a Mig-15, and a Supermarine Scimitar–have migrated from Intrepid Museum, which needs to make room for the Shuttle display, to ESAM, an upstate aerosciences museum.   The blue tugboats have all appeared here before; in order they are Empire, Cheyenne, and Caitlin Ann.

When I took this foto in 2006, I knew none of the folks depicted;  more about this foto at the end.

This Sunday in the sixth boro is the 19th annual tugboat race.  If you are free, come down to Pier 84.  Will Beth M. McAllister be there?  the young Pegasus?

Viking was partly there last year.  Might she race this year?

Might Tasman Sea clench her pins and sprint to the finish?

Will Bohemia lope ahead of the field?

Will Lee T Moran show just how misleading the “Gramma” part of her name is?

Will Socrates miraculously spring free from these lines and parade over the finish line first?

Will Brendan Turecamo and all these other occupied Moran vessels churn up the one-nautical-mile race course?

In previous years, the weekend following the tug race in the sixth boro, there was a tug roundup in Waterford, NY.  Bad news this year:  because of Irene’s reckless bluster and immoderate rain, the 2011 Waterford Tug Roundup  has been cancelled.  I will miss the puppytugs,

the pushoffs of fiberglass into steel,

the carefully matched performers,

the hometown favorites taking on the outatowners.    But I’m not going to miss

the hospitality of Waterford and its fine folks . . .  because I’m coming up anyhow.  See you on the 9th or 10th.

Thanks to Stray for sending along this link to fotos of Irene devastation upriver.  I feel sick.  Crow and Wire, #94, 119, and 181, were at the Roundup last year.  Black Knight, seen in a tugster post a week ago, shows up in #178.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Stories about parties here made this my primary destination for the recon.  Binghamton is the sole survivor of six identical “double-ender” steam ferries built in Newport News, although by cursory external examination, I’d say calling her a survivor at this point is an exaggeration.

Binghamton arrived in a sixth boro at a time when 150 or so similar ferries served these waters!    How many crossings carrying how many passengers would she have seen between 1905 and 1967?   How many livelihoods?   Her passenger capacity was 986!

Plus vehicles.  In the early years that would be horses, too.

Anyone can share fotos inside in the heyday of the restaurant?  How do I get permission to get fotos of her interior today?  It seems tragic for her to crumble into the river like

these docks slightly to the north, which come

with their own engine parts depot.    Maybe this is a remnant of the disappeared shad fishery of Edgewater.  Here are names of some of the last shad fishermen.  By the way, in the foto above, that’s the Way Upper West Side across the water.

From Edgewater Marina, I followed Thomas Witte and Cheyenne southbound,

past the Crab House, past these barges

of yore,

and past this pier housing with storage for cars beneath.  Now if I lived here, I’d surely buy and amphicar . . . and maybe equip it like an alligator tug . . . and if 10,000 other residents of the sixth boro shoreline had similar equipment . . .   I pause in contemplation.

So ends the recon report.  I need to get up here again soon and then continue my tramp up to the north of the GW Bridge, where tropical

birds like these inhabit the trees.  Who knows what else I might find there?  I’m not in the commercial blogging business, but I do intend to check out Cafe Archetypus.  Anyone recommend it?

All fotos and any errors here by Will Van Dorp.

Note:  the interactive map (first image in Loose Ends 1) can get you to this area: just head north along the river.  Binghamton can clearly be seen, although on the map, the crane barge is not alongside.

For some historical fotos of the area of my recent tramp, click here for railyards, banana piers, pier houses, the “bridge that never was” thank you very much, 1950s cars awaiting a ship for export, crashed ferry stabilized by a tugboat,  old style planting poles for shad nets, and you can sift through here to find more nuggets.

A general thanks for people sending me fotos.  Blogging allows some stupendous collaborations.

Thanks to M. McMorrow for sending.  Notice the cruise ship, the Intrepid, several sizes and types of tugs, as well as the Concorde!  Unfortunately, the blimp–on its way to the tennis tournament–had just escaped from the foto.

Thanks to Stephen Sisler.  Any guesses who’s atop the wheelhouse?

Do you recall that Cornell struggled in a pushing contest with The Bronx?  (That’s “struggled” to restrain all forward movement.)  The next two fotos come compliments of Jim Levantino, who saw that struggle from The Bronx having the pleasure of getting buried

deep within Cornell‘s … er … whiskers.

Here’s my foto of the very same moment, as recorded from high atop the house.

Thanks to Elizabeth … it’s a blogger fotografing within the confines of Troy’s Federal Lock.

And going back to late August, thanks to Eric Graybill, crewman on Bold  (See 6th foto down.), who sent these fotos of  Gazela making

her way, motorsailing

up Delaware Bay.  Recognize anyone on deck GazelaGazela will be returning through the sixth boro in mid-October on its way to the oysterfest.  Keep your eyes peeled; this blogger will await them at the Narrows or –near the “Gate”  in the East River.

All fotos as credited.  Only the fifth foto by Will Van Dorp.

First, the Flickr set on the left has been reset;  go there to see over 30 additional race fotos.

Doubleclick the fotos below to enlarge.  Directly below shows a few instants after the “go” signal is transmitted to the throttles.

“Go” minus 10 minutes has the vessels parading northward.

Like some people, Atlantic Salvor never ceases to mesmerize me;  it casts a spell.

And they’re off;  notice Cornell’s wave.

Reiterating the comment I added to my own post yesterday, Don Jon’s blue finally wins me over:  the hue blends perfectly with the sky fragranced by diesel fuel.  Bowsprite should add this to her simulation illustrations.   Yes, I even accept the orange-to-blue former June K, although she didn’t parade or race yesterday.

Cornell‘s furrow runs true and deep, although

Maurania III outgallops the herd.

Vessels schmooze . . .  or maybe compare pushing horseforce, before

heading over to the mangers to feed.

Enjoy the flickr pics.  I’ve also added the album to Facebook where you can add comments/IDs as you like.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, expressing gratitude to all companies and crews who participated and pleasure at seeing old friends and new dockside.  In a few days, it’ll be off to Waterford.

Unrelated:  Check this AP article on the USS Olympia.  See a tugster post on Olympia here.

Bonus pic from Rich Taylor.  And …egads … is that tugster just below the name board?

If you were leisurely drifting down the river on your air mattress and you saw this, how concerned might you be?  (Doubleclick enlarges.)

But that just wouldn’t happen.  Better to see this sight from an even faster boat.  What’s this?  It’s the race, and again, thanks to Captain Matt Perricone of Cornell, I enjoyed an upper deck view of my favorite Labor Day event.  And without much ado or text or research, here are some fotos.

To see the mighty Atlantic Salvor bearing down on you with all its momentum …

humbles and inspires awe.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  As the hour approaches, vessels parade north to the starting line, where they

fan out and turn to await the signal.

Blue dominated among the vessels around us, blue the same color as the smoke.

And afterward, the pushing contests began.  Some vessels were fairly even-matched whereas

Others seemed so mismatched almost to require the service

of stunt drivers.

Of course there were winners, and I might get around to announcing some of those, but on a day like this, everyone, spectators included, are winners.  Equipment gets dragged back to the yards.

All fotos taken by will Van Dorp.

Vessels included (in no particular order … and correct me if I missed one) Cornell, Atlantic Salvor, Bronx, Mary H, Maurania III, W. O. Decker, Vulcan III, Sea Wolf, Cheyenne, Meagan Ann, Catherine, Susan, and Shawn Miller.  Viking took part in the pushing contests but not the race.  More fotos tomorrow.

Call it a fusion of  foto #1 of “Seven Seas 2,”  scuttlebutt I’d heard about the previous lives of Lincoln Sea, colors of a certain animation extravaganza that  did NOT win the “best pic” award at a certain TV event the other night, and a Hindu deity called Vishnu.  What!  Well, they all involve the color blue.

Special thanks to Harold Tartell for all the fotos in this post.

Below, Lincoln Sea, way back when it was known as Mohawk, was a frightening blue, like Vishnu, “the color of the infinite space as well as the infinite ocean on which he resides”  and had flying horses on her stacks.

After a certain event in Alaska, the flying horses flew away and the name changed to S/R plus that of a town on Massachusetts, I believe.

Greenland Sea followed a similar shift of palette, starting out as Doc Candies and then becoming Tecumseh, before

becoming S/R Providence.

You may be wondering what the Kenny Lofton connection is . . . or maybe who Kenny Lofton is . . .  well, a friend who is a baseball fanatic tells me Kenny Lofton has the distinction in major league baseball of NEVER RARELY playing more than one season for the same major league baseball team.  It’s therefore a little unfair to cmpare Cheyenne to Kenny, but certain similarities exist.  Below . . . Cheyenne is DonJon uniform, then  (working backwards here)

Port Albany Ventures, then

Red Star, then

Spentonbush, then


The name never changed, but ownership and colors have.  Cheyenne . . .  pushing to be the Kenny Lofton of the sixth boro.

And as Juliet said, “”What’s in a name? That which we call a rose        By any other name would smell as sweet.”  Or as I appropriate, “What’s in a color?  That which we see in white and orange (or green) In any color would move as well.”

Many thanks to Harold Tartell for these fotos.

Change happens.  Infatuations cool, obsessions dissipate, and pendulums swing.  Alliances and relationships shift.  And with these alterations, sometimes new look, different colors.  I posted on the change from June K to  Sarah Ann recently here.  Now check out the new Cheyenne, she of a dozen or so posts now has turned blue.  Many thanks to Pat Folan for the first three fotos;  Pat runs a great website called Pelican Passage, on my blogroll.  I always look forward to Pat’s updates.

Here are many more views of Cheyenne in red from a post almost three years ago.  On the blue Cheyenne, notice the stripe around the stack.  Will there also be a renaming?

Herbert P Brake has made the same change of uniform.

Losing three red boats and one orange one in the boro to sky blue might just start a trend.  Here’s another look at the new color of Sarah Ann, formerly  the  orange June K.

Here Stephen Scott Reinauer (farther in red and bronze) passes sky blue  Mary Alice, and

Ultramarine Mary H passes in the foreground with sky blue Meagan Ann out beyond.

Imagine all the Staten Island ferries gone blue . ..   And if San Fran has a Golden Gate, we could redub the VZ as the Blue Gate.  Now that calls for the talents of an illustrator.  I wonder if I know anyone who could pour sky blue over images of these places.   Picture the Statue of Liberty oxidized blue . . . isn’t  it already blue?  I think it matches the hues called Eton or Cambridge blue on this shade chart.

Some of my favorite  sky blue posts include Salvor (exactly a year ago) and  Suspension (a month ago).

Top three fotos thanks to Pat Folan and last three are Will Van Dorp.

It’s official:  999 posts have preceded this one.  I have had a blast.  More important, I have met such a rich array of subjects, readers and commenters that I feel blessed.  Some of you I already knew before tugster . . .  I have gotten to know you better and differently:  I feel enriched in the re-acquainting this way.

I have imagined stopping more times than you might imagine, because I felt I have nothing more to say, but with blessings and riches I feel when you write, I’m eager to go on even when I have barely enough time in the day.  Thank you and you and you for reading;  I’m especially happy when you write back.  I made a list of people to thank, but chose NOT to publish it for fear of leaving someone out.  You know who you are.

The collage below is comprised of a vent and life ring from John B. Caddell, the wheel of Cornell, and a porthole from Cheyenne.

In honor of today’s event, I created this summary of the most popular posts using titles and key words in a wordle matrix.  It’s fun and easy to do;  make one using any set of words with your kid, grandkid, best friend, or grandparents next time you’re looking to dazzle, entertain, or just amuse.

Cheers!  On to the next waypoint.  Creating 1000 posts means more to me than a reaching a birthday or new year.

Special thanks to Bowsprite for the 1000 collage.

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September 2021