You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Hudson watershed’ category.

Many thanks to Steve Schwartz for reminding me of still another vastly different type of February sail.  In this post, enjoy photos from over a decade of “hard-water” sailing.  

Why retro?   I took this next batch of photos in 2010 and 2011 in different locations in the Hudson Valley because ice boating conditions don’t form each year.

I learned that ice boating was on back then by word of mouth from these folks . . . you may

recognize some of them:  John, Christina, and Bonnie.

Since ice boats are not used each year, they can last a long time . . . some of these over a century old, explaining their vintage appearance.

They sport classy, antique names too.

Ice Queen and these other names here conjure up another time; beyond Ice Queen are Whirlwind and Ariel….

For more posts about February sails in 2021 and 2011, click here,

or here.

Bowsprite’s video here taken during the sail below shows the exhilaration of the moving and then the pain of crash . . .

All photos, WVD, who points you to ice boating–hard water sailing v. soft water sailing– close to the sixth boro here and in other parts of the US here

But wait, note the * in the title;  this is not all retro.  Rather, it’s hot off the press . . . or rather super-cold through cyberspace, here from Steve Schwartz, Brian Reid, with credit to the fine folks at the Hudson River Ice Yachting blog, enjoy these very recent photos and the blogpost they come from.



Again, many thanks to Steve for the reminder, the Brian and the others at the Hudson River Ice Yachting Club and blog

For an hour-long video on the sport, click here.



This title goes back almost a decade, and this schooner has been doing cargo runs on the Hudson for a while now, but I’d not seen it yet. 

Fortunate for me, I finally spotted the boat this past weekend, running

from Brooklyn side Upper Bay to Raritan Bay and the Arthur Kill.

I’ve posted photos of autumn sail here and here and in other posts like here, but this one is moving cargo.

As of this posting, she’s in the Hudson Highlands section of the river.



Cargo or not, sailing vessels have an elegance, a je ne sais quoi . . . .

Wind is the other alternative fuel.

All photos, any errors, WVD.

Apollonia has caught the attention of the NYTimes here about a year ago, and here recently in a Kingston NY paper.  Here’s a joint venture with a microbrewery up the river in Beacon.

See the man on the pier using his cell phone to get a photo?  I wonder what he imagined he was looking at, other than a group on the water on a spectacular December day.  Did he know he was witnessing the culmination of an odyssey?

The Columbia, Snake, Clark Fork, Missouri, Mississippi, [to saltwater] Mobile, Tombigbee, Tenn-Tom Waterway, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Kanawha, Allegheny, Chadakoin, Lake Chautauqua, Lake Erie, Erie Canal, Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Hudson . . .  [I may have left one out].  What do they have in common?

Neal Moore‘s paddled them stringing together a path on his 675-day canoe trip along his 7500-mile route of inland rivers from saltwater Astoria OR to the saltwater Statue of Liberty, an extreme form of social distancing during the time of Covid.   Photos of the last several miles follow.  

Note that the other paddlers traveled to the sixth boro of NYC to join him for the last few miles,

just as they–“river angels”– had during different segments of the 22-month trip.  Some elites of paddling enjoyed the sixth boro yesterday.

From Pier 84 Manhattan to the Statue and back, they rode the ebb.


Why, you might be wondering?  Moore, a self-described expatriate who wanted to explore the United States in the reverse order of the historical east-to-west “settlement” route, sought out to meet people, find our commonalities, our united strength.  Some might call that direction “the wrong way.”

After one circumnavigation of Liberty Island following his paddling up and down all those watersheds, the journey was done.  After unpacking his Old Town canoe, he scrambled

with assistance onto the Media Boat, triumphantly but humbly.


He stepped over onto a larger vessel in the NYMB fleet, for interviews and a trip back to terra firma,

22rivers’ goal completed, for now.

All photos, WVD, thanks to New York Media Boat conveyance.  I have many, many more photos.

For Ben McGrath’s New Yorker piece on Neal Moore, click here.  Also, check out Ben’s book Riverman.  Let me add two more references:  another McGrath article and a book Mississippi Solo here.

Of course, Neal’s whole epic can be traced at his site, 22Rivers.

I first learned of 22Rivers from Bob Stopper, who met Neal in Lyons NY two months ago, and I and posted about it here (scroll).

More links as follows:

Norm Miller, Missouri River guide

John Ruskey, lower Mississippi River system guide who was on the Hudson yesterday.  He’s also the founder of Quapaw Canoe Company.

Tom Hilton, Astoria-based Fisher Poet, whom I met last night.

And at the risk of leaving someone out, here’s a longtime favorite of mine, an account of a rowboat from Brooklyn to Eastport ME by way of New Orleans . . . Nathaniel Stone’s On the Water.

Who’d I leave out?

BW2M, being “backwards to Montreal” and here, it’s aggregate land.  Once it was about coal and brick coming down river and into the systems…. long before my time…. but today it’s earth products moving both ways.

You can’t have the supertall buildings of 57th etc. or the new streets and bridges without rock.

Frances stands by as the crushed Catskill is conveyed in.


Two loaded Witte barges wait for a prime mover


with what appears to be slightly different cargoes.

Meanwhile, Mister Jim pushes a barge load of sand upriver for projects there.

I’m not sure the function of this equipment.

Doesn’t this look like southern New Jersey sand?

Cement moves out and

down bound, while

salt comes upriver to nearly salt country from the ocean.

Later, Frances arrives in the sixth boro with barges from two different locations for materials for projects in the dryland boros

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes he got all of that right.


…aka backwards to Montreal, reprising the trip in reverse order before I return there, which I’ll do in a little over a week.

We departed the Rondout in late afternoon, bound for the sixth boro.  It’s always interesting to see what floats near the mouth of the Creek . . . as an example the former Floating Hospital!   I don’t know the current owner of this vessel.

Not floating, but splashing and gamboling about . . . these critters of God’s pastures seemed thrilled by the weather and fresh water.

Spooky is still there . . . weathered a tad.

Another deer arrived.

Gowanus Bay still floats there.

Deer checked their 12 and their 6.

EliseAnn Conners (built in 1881!!!) and the Pennsy …   399 Barge still waited.

So was the repurposed 1963 Belgian cargo motor barge now called Sojourn. . .  in in the town of Sojourner!

So it all was under the watchful eye of a somewhat camouflaged guardian.

All photos upriver by Will Van Dorp, who did this first post on the Creek back now over a decade ago.


I’ll explain this photo and the title at the end of this post.

The big move began yesterday on schedule, timed with the tides, I was told, to fit the cargo under some of the Hudson River bridges . . .

The cargo was gussied up with sponsors much like you’d see on a NASCAR racer.


Three tugs accompany the Mormac 400 barge.

On the stern were Daisy Mae and Mister Jim.

Underneath the entire cargo were tires;  I counted about 32 “axles,” each with with duals, and I’m not sure how many sets of duals across there are.  Maybe someone has the correct number.


After getting photos in New Baltimore, I crossed the river and got the rest of these in Hudson NY.

On the bow, CMT Pike (1979) guides the load.

Mister Jim (1982) and Daisy Mae (2017) power the tow from the stern.

Here, unfortunately backlit, the tow passes the Hudson-Athens Light.  

Hudson has quite the interesting history, and a spectator I talked with said the port missed becoming the state capital by three votes.  The architecture of the town is visit-worthy.

So you might still be wondering about the title and the top photo.  Here’s the story:  as I focused on taking the photos in Hudson, on the shore with a dozen other folks, I heard a chant.  “USA USA USA” from a group of kids who were in the park enjoying the beautiful spring weather.  I can’t say how the chanting started, but they were certainly looking at this large cargo and noticing the “union made in the USA” sign, and pumping their arms, dancing, and chanting loud enough to get a reaction from some folks on the tugs.  My guess is that it was spontaneous.  As a friend of mine would say:  “Neat!!”

And the cargo, here’s an informative article from Workboat.  It’s a heat-recovery steam generator bound for Bridgeport CT;  as of this writing (0515 Tuesday), the tow is approaching Newburgh.  The schedule has it at the GW at 1700 this afternoon and anchored at the Statue by 2000 (8 pm), departing for the East River at 0300 Wednesday.

The photo below offers a view from the stern of Mister Jim, thanks to Ashley Hutto.

For some previous interesting cargoes moved by CMT tugs, click here (for beer) and here (for a previous HRSG).

Framed by the new towers at Hudson Yards, this is NYC of an era, but still visible today, and the best vantage point is, of course, the water.  The Empire State Building and the New Yorker Hotel were completed within a year of each other.  One of these days I need to make time to walk through the lobby.

Skipping over a lot south of the TZ Bridge, here’s the North River Shipyard in Nyack. Nope, I haven’t been there either.  Anyone know which Circleline boat that is?  And there is Kenny G, the blue tug I haven’t seen in quite a few years.

Just north of the shipyard there’s a pink house and this green house.  Nope, I don’t know anything more about wither the pink or the green.  In fact, the pink defied my camera’s attempt to capture the color my eyes saw.

I took this photo of Boscobel because previously I tried in summer, and the foliage screened off most of it. Now it’s visible dead ahead if you’re northbound about to enter the S-turn at West Point.

Just south of the Tilcon quarry, Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery stupa sits high on the bank.  Again, negative on visiting either of those places.

The next two photos . . . they’re impressive domiciles, but I don’t know anything more about them, although I can report that

both are located on the west side of the river.

Fred and Louise Vanderbilt had McKim, Mead, and White design this edifice.  And yes,

I have been on the grounds here, where I took this photo last winter.

Built around the same time and situated a little farther north, this is the Mills Mansion.  

And the last edifice for this stretch of river, it’s Wilderstein, built a half century before the McKim, Mead, and White mansions just a few miles south.

And I couldn’t pass this up, Esopus Meadows Light here juxtaposed with Wilderstein.   And this suggests that it’s time for another “bright lights” post.

There’s also much more on the banks of the Hudson north of the Rondout to investigate now that  the leaves are mostly down.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who did previous riverbanks posts here and landmarks here.



Of all the area Tilcon sites, this one at Clinton Point is the most conspicuous one as seen from the river.

If you’ve taken the train northward along the Hudson, you traveled just inland from this structure.

To see the cavity quarry behind the silos, click here and go to page 57 of what has become one of my favorite books. The quarry, where rock has been dug since 1880,  dwarfs the shoreline buildings.

Buchanan 12, a regular on the river doing Mississippi style assemblages of scows, here prepares another group for travel downstream.


I wonder if Tilcon welcomes visits by reporters . . . as this one in Illinois does.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


In the drizzle, BBC Alabama awaits cargo in Port of Albany.


Pocomoke transfers cargo,


Brooklyn heads south,


Hudson Valley sentinels keep vigil no matter


how much rain falls,


Doris hangs with Adelaide,


as does Coral Coast with Cement Transporter 5300,


Strider rests from striding,


Union Dede docks at a port that 10 years ago was sleepy,


HR Pike (?) rests on rolling spuds,


Saugerties Light houses B&B guests,


not far from Clermont, home of the father-in-law of the father of steam boating on the Hudson and then the Mississippi,


Comet pushes Eva Leigh Cutler to the north,




Spooky‘s colors look subdued in the fall colors, and


two shipyard relatives meet.



Will Van Dorp took all these photos in a 12-hour period.

or I can call this Port of Albany 2, or better still Ports of Albany and Rensselaer.  Albany’s fireboat Marine 1 has been on this blog here.  Anyone know where it was built?

The port has not one but . . .


but two large cranes.


And bulk cargo is transferred through the port in both directions, whether it be solid or




Over on the Rensselaer side, scrap seems to be a huge mover.




North of Port Albany is USS Slater, about which lots of posts can be found here.  But it’s never occurred to me until now that the colors used by Slater camouflage and NYS Marine Highway are a very similar gray and blue!


Kathleen Turecamo (1968) has been in this port–135 miles inland–for as long as I’ve been paying attention, which is only a little over a decade.


This September, NYS Canal Corp’s Tender #3, which probably dates from the 1930s, traveled south to the ports of Albany and Rensselaer.


The port is also a vital petroleum center, both inbound and out.




With the container train traffic along the the Hudson and the Erie Canal, I’m only less surprised than otherwise that Albany-Rensselaer currently is not a container port.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s general info about the Port of Albany, although a lot of info there seems a bit out of date.  For a blog that visits visits the ports of Albany and Rensselaer more regularly, check here.   Here’s the port of Albany website.

And last but not least, check Mark Woody Woods’ broad sampling of ships heading to and from Albany-Rensselaer.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,567 other subscribers
If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Documentary "Graves of Arthur Kill" is AVAILABLE again here.Click here to buy now!

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.


March 2023