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All fotos and information here comes from John Sperr, last referred to here in relation to ice yacht Galatea, as its pilot.

Today’s post comes from the same area of the Hudson where iceboating was happening a mere two months ago.  Ice has now given  way to the fine color heralding leaves.  Clearwater has wintered on a mobile shipyard, a barge.  The “whiskey plank”  aka the last part of the hull to be closed up post-repair was recently steamed, jacked into place, and fastened.

Libation followed and then

parade, as the shipyard itself danced upriver clutched tight by Cornell to be offloaded in anticipation of rigging, which

would happen at

Scarano Boat.  The barge was slid into the travel-lift dock, slings

moved like fingers under the hull, and

Clearwater, cradled in these sturdy arms, was

carried onto the high-and-dry.  Notice Onrust in the background?  And Adirondack directly beyond Clearwater‘s stern?

This left the barge Black Diamond to assume other duties, become other things.

All fotos by John Sperr.  Thanks, John.

By the way, start imagining the weekend of June 19 and 20.  Mermaids on Saturday (with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed !@#@! as Queen Mermaid and King Neptune)  and music on Sunday (with Pete Seeger and Lucy Kaplansky and many more!@#@##@!!)  ?  How can one make a choice like that?

Also, a tall ship and volunteer opportunity in Brooklyn:  PortSide NewYork FreeSail Clipper City 4-12-2010

It’s  been a year and a half since I’ve used this title, but how could I not jump at the chance to post Dock’s fotos here of Clearwater on its “portable shipyard,” in this case barge Black Diamond, here mated to Cornell.  Clearwater sometimes exits its element for maintenance.

Come spring, Clearwater will again cleave the Hudson.  I wonder when Bowsprite will generate Clearwater magic in her sketchbook . . .?  She has fotos, and I know a sloop’s not a schooner, mais . . .

Some  continue to sail, like this sloop in Gravesend Bay Sunday, taking Maersk Michigan‘s stern.

And here are two sailing hulls undergoing major work in Gloucester:  left to right, they would be Eleanor and Beaver, “replicas” of two of four Tea Party ships.  Can you name the other tea ships and the year of said party?

Eleanor (ex-Vincie N), a Gloucester fishing vessel built in 1936, seems to have undergone a major face-lift and . . . er . .  butt-lift.  Click here for a shot of Vincie N pre-conversion, and here for the story of the dragger’s fishing history.

Click here for info on that tea party.  The other two vessels were Dartmouth and William.

Top two fotos by Dock Shuter; others by Will Van Dorp.

All week this week Tugster mentions the blog started three years ago!  Three candlepower!

is actually a euphemism for “catching up,” which is all that’s on my plate today.  Like a month ago, I intended to put up a link to a west coast tugboat blog.  So here it is:  fremonttugboat.

Otherwise, this post comes from scrolling back through fotos I’ve taken (and not used, I think) since late spring 2009.  Try it yourself:  Put up your number of images (your fotos, else’s, your drawings, else’s) and comment on their place in your life.  Go back your chosen length of time, et voila, you have your very own retrospective!

Communication:  nothing fancy here as the deck keeps eye on work and skipper while the skipper pokes head out the window to see and hear.  Makes for clear communication, without which we in any endeavor  face peril.

aaarb3Community:  it takes a strong bond between several rivertowns and watersheds to build a boat.  If I squint, I see this motely corps of volunteers literally carrying Onrust to the water on their shoulders.    Ok, I squint hard.

aaarb4Comraderie:  Harold and a thousand other folks have acted as comrades in my life, and I am grateful to you all.  Gracias y merci buckets!

aaarb5Contentment:  or “peace” if you will.  What matters it that this man is sitting where he finds it;  it matters not that he’s across from a huge oil depot and a dredged waterway allowing ingress and egress for dozens of billions of dollars or ducats of goods each year.  Here he is content.  Like someone I know who spent weeks living beside refinery and tolerating it by imagining the hiss and roar emanated from a pristine jungle waterfall.

aaarb7Charm:  the Hudson River Valley happens to be a place of profound beauty and it mesmerizes me.  But the eye of the beholder generates a portion of that charm.  Open eyes will find it anywhere and in everything.  A resident of this Valley published THAT BOOK on this date in 1851 . Know which one?  Answer at end.

aaarb6Curiosity:  the sixth boro is a complex place geographically, historically, … you or I could continue this list.  Here, like anywhere, it seems the more you notice, the less time remains to wonder about all the new things.  What is this cove called over just north of Fresh Kills?  Writing on vessels from foreground to back say RTC1, Crow, Relentless, and Cedar Marina.  Does a road lead here?


More curiosity:  What is this vessel that traversed to the north in front of Bowsprite’s cliff this summer?  What cargo did it transport?  What time warp did it emerge from?


Craziness: since writing about faces as prompted by the Robert brothers tome, I’ve had a blast with this.  This one . . . an orange boar (not bore) with tusks in place of dolly partons.  May some craziness–and a sense of humor about it– be evident everywhere.


Constancy:  1965  Near the St. Lawrence Seaway my father took this foto of a 13-year-old who became tugster.  I was already out tracking down info for the yet-to-be blog back then, way before blogs, digital cameras, computers of the ilk we know.  Some stuff doesn’t change.  Shouldn’t disappear.


It’s unrealistic to stop after a half dozen fotos, but . . . discipline is imposed.

My last post fer a while . . .gone fishing for something.  See you in a few with new tales.  Sindbad calls us to muster.   I tried unsuccessfully to find a Gordon Bok video-version of this, but this and this . . . a nice  innocent feel too.

All fotos, except the ones by bowsprite and my father, by Will Van Dorp.

Moby Dick. Thanks, Herman.  And apropos of nothing in particular except nature, see this video.

Literally it means “equal night.”   NOX has lots of associations.  More Hestia soon, I promise.


Half-half symmetricality, or almost so;


dark and light . . .  river and land . . .  fog and clarity;


summer cedes the stage to fall.


Time to think of harvests, baskets, thanksgiving;  Sam Plimsoll marked just how full these floating cornucopias should ever get.  The viscous wine of our civilization can submerge the vessel carrying it.


Brightness and shadow envelope Elise Anne Conners, who has spent most of its almost 13 decades above the surface.


Night and light make

aaeq3odd silhouettes of 958′ ships like Maersk Montana.


Happy hot equinox in the sixth boro.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

M . . . mast.  I love the wikipedia disambiguation pages, where a range of contexts for words like mast or masthead defies expectation.

Cornell sports its mast toward the stern; running lights there convey information about vessel size, type, and activity.


Clearwater, a sloop, has a one mast topping out at about 110 feet.


On City of Water Day, USACE Drift Collection vessel Hayward sports code flags on its mast and a sampling of collected debris on its foredeck.


Pioneer, a schooner, has two masts, the mainmast topped out at just under 77 feet.


Sandy Hook Pilots vessel Yankee has units (besides the radar and GPS) on its mast I can’t identify.


Bunkering tanker Capt Blog‘s foremast carries a red flag, signaling fuel.


So does barge DBL 76.  Mast height on Adriatic Sea is 85 feet, if airdraft equals height of the highest mast or antenna.  I fear I might be blurring a definition here.

Volunteer, air draft of 114 feet and pushing DBL 105, meets Turecamo Boys assisting Seven Express out to to sea.


USCG WPB67356 Sailfish, not surprisingly, carries mast gear not readily identified by a civilian like me.


Miriam Moran, assisting with docking, keeps the upper portion of its mast safely lowered where flaring bows cannot damage it.


Masts can signal information but of course sometimes signaling is optional or even undesired.  Masts allow things to be seen, but one has to know what should remain unseen.  An effective mast needs strength, and sometimes that means it is flexible.

Both submarines and whaling ships have masts.  For some good fun, check out this six-minute video of  a struggle between Captain Ahab and Moby Das Boot.

Also, just for fun:  How might you complete this sentence:


All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Send me your original sentence completions.

Closed fist . . . not a monkey’s fist . . . evokes many, many  things.  It could signal a stop, a hold, a dramatic pause in the music, but this fist happens to be the forward portion of the tiller on Clearwater, a vessel synonymous with music.  Just over exactly 40 years ago  Clearwater came off the ways in Maine named as a wish, the thing desired itself:  clear water, in the Hudson and elsewhere.   Just clear enough water to swim in, at least.  To drink . . . and the shellfish of which to eat . . .


Captain Nick welcomes passengers on board . . .  To me his stance suggests a conductor gathering the focus of the band.


Raising Clearwater‘s 3,000lb main sail requires  “Many hands make light work,” says Pete Seeger.


Like a nautical still life . . .  all lines taut . . . let the music  . . .


begin.  I once had a dream about living in a house that transformed itself into the sounding box of an immense piano.  All the lines involved in handling Clearwater sail–were they strings of an instrument–would charming music make.  How her hull would resonate.   Pick a key . . . sort of like  . .  jib and bowsprit point to Teller Point at the south end
of Croton Point Park.


Line flemish coiled like a treble clef?   I’ve never understood clefs yet admired their curves.


The Captain’s face focused on


the space to fill with music. Tack toward Hook Mountain, looking south from Haverstraw Bay.  Let the


music begin–Rich Hines and The Hillbilly Drifters.  Check out their schedule here.


Photo credit to Rene Arnessen.  Fotos #2 and 8 by Jeff Anzevino,  who provides the ideas for the post.  Jeff is second from left above.

Final shots below are mine.


I’ve never sailed Clearwater, though I’ve surely sailed near her enough. Here canal tug Governor Cleveland chugs between us.


I guess it’s high time I step aboard.

Mark your calendars for July 23 . . . at Barge 79 in Red Hook . . . Waterfront Museum hosts a talk by Clearwater captains on her 40 years.

By the way, Clearwater‘s maiden voyage from South Bristol, Maine, involved a stop at South Street Seaport.  Does anyone have fotos of her at the Pier there?  Any recollection of the cermony there?

I still find it strange to call this Day 5 of River Day:  I’d feel better calling it hours 97 through 120 of the Day.  Regardless, Day 5 ended in the former capital of the state of New York, a city today of 22,000.  Saying Kingston lies about 80 miles north of the Battery does not address how different it feels from New York City.  And yet this brings up  Heraclitus:  No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.   In other words, the water in Kingston today will flow through the sixth boro maybe only a few dozen hours later, so . . . by my own fuzzy logic, Kingston could be considered part of the sixth boro.  Here’s Cornell and Governor Cleveland, equally at home in Kingston’s Rondout Creek here or the Upper Bay of NYC.


From a distance, the Day 5 flotilla looks similar to other days, a stretched out procession impossible to photograph well in its entirety.  From a different perspective, I wonder whether during the upriver trip of the Half Moon 400 years ago, canoes may have accompanied it for parts of the way:  use your imagination here to transform fiberglass runabouts to canoes.  The shore here may appear today as it did in Hudson’s day.


Onrust, Governor Cleveland, and John J. Harvey are in this procession for the duration,


as is Clearwater, here with the sloop Woody Guthrie.


More Woody Guthrie soon, I promise.  By the way, the singer Woody used to live on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island, location of the mermaid parade NEXT weekend!  That’s cutter Ridley in the background, named for a turtle!


Meet Owl, who came to greet.  Anyone help with info on Owl?


So did a host of small steamers, a unique throwback to an earlier Kingston.


Also, this cabin cruiser sports an exotic propulsion system:   an outboard clamped onto the swim platform;  now that’s something you’d never seen 80 miles to the south.


The same is true for Willi Bohrmann.  More Willi fotos tomorrow.


Even the wildlife came along the creek, as had deer of 100 generations earlier when Hudson first sailed in.


Thanks to Jeff for this concluding foto for today:  a cyclopean tugster happily perched on tugboat Cornell.


All fotos except the last one here by Will Van Dorp.

For a different take on the end of Day 5 of River Day, see Old Salt here.

River Day is eight days if you want to be technical.  I’d like to do all of them, but . . .  The fotos here are roughly chronological and exclude relatively new active duty government boats.  Most of these vessels have appeared on this blog before;  use the search window if you wish to locate these posts.  Minimal prose today.  First, the raison d’etre, Half Moon passing Robbins Light.


The “other” Dutch boat Onrust, not actually a replica of a boat made in the Low Countries.


Shearwater passing in front of MOT (or MOTBY) and Explorer of the Seas.


Fireboat John J Harvey.


Vintage sky traffic.


Mystic Whaler


Clipper City




R. Ian Fletcher


Governor Cleveland




Harvey again


Onrust again


OK, this is the quiz portion of the post.


Quiz continues. . . .


. . .


A little over 25 miles (and six hours)  from the starting point, Half Moon passes the Tarrytown Light.


And judging from the “face” in the stern of Onrust, launched less than a month ago, she’s a happy yacht.


River Day will give Bowsprite so much fodder for continuing her sailing ship guide that she might not know where to begin!  Tomorrow’s itinerary is the 30 miles approximately between the Tappan Zee and Newburgh.

Many thanks to ExploreNY400 for the press passes and to Nicole for going the extra mile so that we got got the best fotos as well as to the staff of Circle Line who ran the very hospitable but unpictured vessel we were on.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp on River Day 1.  More to come.

So . . . can you think of any sixth boro schooners NOT depicted here?  I can think of a handful.  I wonder why they didn’t participate . . . .

Also, given the dearth of historical detail on the real Henry Hudson, Bowsprite and I have been reading his mate–R Juet’s log–and “interpreting/extrapolating Henry’s thoughts here.

No more sails using this jib.

All these shots were taken in a 24-hour period recently, the one above and all those below.

Four kids in this small sailboat seemed to cut dangerously close to Buchanan 12 pushing eleven gravel barges toward Haverstraw. By the way, at 3000 hp, the big Buchanan 12 generates less horsepower than the MK V (Mako’s) featured in Speed and 1 and 2 posts, not torque, just horsepower.

Lettie G. Howard sails past the Hess tanks in Edgewater, NJ. Check this link for a 1989 shot of Lettie!

Pride of Baltimore 2 with only the topsail set takes passengers toward Ellis Island. Check this in case you wonder about the 2.

Clearwater sails northward toward Tappan Zee Bridge. The festival this year coincides with the solstice in case you’re not going to Coney Island.

Mystic Whaler heads past Storm King toward West Point. Support your local sail.

Thornton Bros has appeared on this blog before but never such a close-up.


John B. Caddell has maybe a dozen appearances already,


A different shot of this still-unidentified tug stuck in March canal ice was here last week. Any identifiers? Near Lock 28B.


This is Dania‘s debut, although I’m unable to learn much about this tanker with a fairly common name.


and when Clearwater is included in this list, who’s greenest of all? And yup, happy that day! Cheers.


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Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.


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