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Launched a month before the big stock market crash,  drafted into submarine hunting duty during World War 2, and here three years back sailing past the sugar dome no more in Red Hook, it’s Shearwater, a product–like some of the new Moran tugs–of Boothbay, Maine.

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Below, she exits the northern end of Arthur Kill, after no doubt returning from post-New York sailing  season maintenance.  Unlike Lettie G. Howard, also a New England-built schooner, Shearwater was never a fish boat.  Oyster Bay of the Gatsby-era was her first port, and any oysters aboard were harvested by another vessel.  I’m told there’s a spiral staircase leading below.  I must make a point to sail aboard her next season.

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Anyone know where she winters this year?  Anyone have fotos of Shearwater as a gray-painted sub chaser?

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

It took a few months before I could identify this tug, which I’d seen in Kingston last spring.  No one was talking maybe.

When I saw the vessel again in Waterford, it bore a name:

But why . . . Nor did I know that it had arrived upriver via anything but its own propulsion.  The prominent broom in foto is a distractor.

It’s time to play . . . Samhain!  See neversealand‘s play here.

Sorry . . . the hallowdayeen spirit intruded.  All fotos that follow come via Harold, whose foto collection and expertise are immense.  Spooky traveled to the Roundup on the hip of . . .

Gowanus Bay, whose previous shots here can be seen using the search window upper left.

Before acquiring a patina of fright by lurking in the waters of Amityville (Long Island), the spooky one had been just plain Josie, pushing sand by means of her own propulsion.

Enjoy the weekend;  I’m off haunting the river of my my forebears.  See a halfmoonthly installment here later Friday.  More on that next week.

Sometimes I find I just misunderstood–and forget– stuff.  Like the story of Benjamin Elliot and Margot.  Margot is at the half century mark and Benjamin Elliot will be there in two years.  And they work as a major portion of New York State Marine Highway.

Margot came off the ways at Jakobson’s in Oyster Bay, NY, and Benjamin Elliot, Gladding Hearn.  Contrast Margot’s wheelhouse in the foto below with the one at the NYS link here.

I took the two fotos below in 2006.  Last weekend I spoke with a crewman of Margot, who corrected my erroneous assumption that these were semi-retired boats.  No way . . . on the most recent voyage, Margot traveled from Norfolk, VA to Duluth, MN, over 1500 miles away!    And after the Roundup, she would run a similar load to coastal Ohio.   Oh, what I forgot was my foto here of Margot following the highway through the sixth boro last winter.

I’d be happy to post either of these NYS Marine Highway vessels in any distant ports.  If you have one, pass it along.

Benjamin Elliot is ex-El Jean.  Margot is ex-Hustler II, ex-Jolene Rose, and ex-Margot Moran.

Fishnets get dragged by different forces around the world, but what’s remarkable is the similarity of modern commercial fishing boats. Scroll through this “December holiday” series taken by the master of yacht Nolwandle to see net boats from South Africa.

I’ll be really surprised to see a net boat called after the Norse sea goddess Rán, an original “fisher of me” and this Sunday’s siren. Above are some Jersey shore boats.

By the name, you’d guess this photo to have been taken in Asia, but . . . Jersey shore, again, although the boat’s registered in Pennsylvania. Check out this great post showing Galician boats from El Mar.

Here are two shots, above and below, of boats from Long Island and New Jersey.

What makes people who fish commercially part of a global brother- and sisterhood is the constant danger; it’s one of the most dangerous professions, whether nets or traps are used.

Anyone out there can send fotos or shout out blogs of fish boats in Asia, Europe, the Pacific, Australia? South America?

Finally, unrelated except through the danger factor, read cruelkev‘s April 5 report on–and foto of –a French sailing yacht taken by pirates off Somalia.

Check the quote at the end of the previous post in this series here.

I saw this orange vessel zooming toward me the other day and was certain someone from the homeland intended to secure me . . . I escaped only to learn (two days later) a dear friend was aboard. Hi g. g. ! In the background that’s remnants of a wooden floating dry dock, itself dry-docked on a bank west of Shooter’s Island, ex-yacht building site for the rich and famous.

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If I misread security for survey on the as-yet unnamed (that I know of) vessel at the top, markings are clearer on Smoke II, a 1958 Fire Department tender. I love the lines on this boat. Read a Smoke II rescue story here.

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Redfish, below, based in Greenport, was the winner of the 2007 Workboat Race there. See her as a speck in the last foto.

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Survey vessel Red Rogers sleeps at a marina on Arthur Kill, but I now nothing about RR.

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Thinking back on this post . . . fotos of red boats without much to read.

Speaking of names, look what’s got “Steve Irwin” on its stern now.

In two days tugster begins year 2 of blogging. Hence, some retrospection these days. Stories I missed include the biggest, I mean biggest! tanker to enter NY harbor possibly ever, a VLCC aka Malaccamax named Centennial Jewel ex Courtenay Bay 300,000 dwt! This compares with an average tanker dwt of under 70,000 in NY harbor. And, you might ask, where was tugster?

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Uh . . . on a bridge over the Mississippi with his eye focused on a big snapping turtle drifting closer to a clueless duckling, maybe? Friends told me about the VLCC, but well, I missed it. And then there was Proteus. Not the seagod or any of the other meanings. But where was I, you might ask?

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Uh, at the beach watching boa constrictors where they oughtn’t be. This boa’s eyes transfixed me, and I couldn’t break away, I confess.

Anyhow, while we’re on big unusual things, beasties and such, here’s another monster I missed. Before–long before–I was born, believe it or not . . . a whale shark was caught off Fire Island, August 9, 1935. Damn! I missed that one too. Check this out. A better picture hangs in White Caps in Islip. Don’t click on the link at the end of this sentence if you wish to avoid seeing more–this time from National Geographic–about the Japanese humpback hunt. It’s disturbing.

I missed many more stories, too. So I’m hoping in year 2, tugster evolves into more cameras and eyes. Email me: I’d love the collaboration and multiple PsOV.

Speaking of other points of view, click here for Peter Mello’s coverage of the sinking off Antarctica.

Thanks to the tillerman, this post, long enough gestated, gets published. Over two months ago I posted about wheels, and if you look at the last foto in that post of Cornell’s wheel sans projecting spokes, you’ll understand what modifications are made to protect the helmsman’s face/teeth during quick maneuvers associated with docking assists.

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Scroll thru to nautical etymologies here to “tiller” to see the crossbow connection. Sorry, not alphabetical. While looking there, is there a difference in usage today between scow and barge?

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Most assuredly the helmsman on Rosemary Ruth is handling a tiller. Read the saga of Orbitlog here.

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Note the tiller/rudderpost connection here. Scroll down for the rest of the vessel.

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Here’s the front section driven by that tiller/prop farther above. No mast? Why the low freeboard? Come back tomorrow. The two fotos immediately above were taken in southern Long Island.

Btw, happy thanksgiving. And thanks for reading the blog.

Posting for the 300th time entitles me to some ecstatic indulgence, doesn’t it?

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‘Nets gets my attention anytime…

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Any color or design . . .

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On or off the dragger . . .

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Even lacey gillnets and float flags inspired by Christo. Lucky for me I’m not a fish. I’d rush in, and . . .

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I’d become someone’s omega-3. Where has she been netting?

All kidding aside: this news and this about the offensive against humpbacks really disturbs me.  And–as conflicted as we are all sometimes–how do you call this scientific?

This series — 5, 4, 3, 2, and the original— has looked at vessels whose function has changed significantly enough to say it has a second life. Here’s a slight twist on that . . . this one went from work boat to work boat in its 127-year life. Look closely at the fotos and see if you can detect the change before I reveal it.

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Anadramous?

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Catadromous?

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Hermaphroditic?

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Metamorphic?

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Shout it out, Charlotte!

“I began my life as a sandbagger sloop, maybe a cat.” Read her bio here.

Look at the speeding government boat below. Imagine what it might be doing in–say–2035.

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I love some of the design features like the built in side boarding steps. I’d gladly then, when it looks like an antique, buy it in order to give it a second life.

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Someone appears to have “privatized” this 44-foot self-righting surfboat. Scroll through the link to see both the 44- and the 47-foot boats.

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And this vessel, enjoying a new career, appears to be a repurposed 25-foot motor surfboat. Fred has a much better shot of it here.

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