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aka  . .  pastries pasties and paint, starting with the self-described  “naked cowgirl.”







put up






See you at south Brooklyn aka Isle of Coney next year.

Happy summertime.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Today shows on most calendars as the winter solstice, and that makes me smile.  In my neck of the woods … er … cove in the boro, it’s just another workday.  But at many times in as many places, it’s been a BIG day.  For me, the  winter solstice conveys more hope.  So here’s a question . . .  do you prefer the winter solstice or

the summer?  Summer solstygians or

winter ones?  It fits that these red-thirsty ones hang out at a LIGHT ship in the dark season.  Unrelated, see some great lightship fotos from Oyster Bay at the end of this post.

Summer solsisters ashore from the sea or

or wintry ones who

just can’t satisfy their thirst?

Hope I gave you enough data for making up your mind.  My position is . . . yin and yang;  one means nothing without the other.  Meanwhile,

happy solstice!  From today, daylight starts lengthening again.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

As promised, a lightship Nantucket gets ready to move from Long Island to Salem, MA.  See great fotos here and here.

Adam so tugged on the imagination of Bowsprite with his April 22 Robin Knox-Johnson Day that we decided to plan a Swim Day.  (I HAD to get “tug” into this post somehow.)  July 1 got the honors as Swim Day  because, other than being peak summer in the northern hemisphere, the month gets its name from someone known for his swimming prowess.  Click here to find more about swimming, Julius Caesar, Plato, King Xerxes, and others.  Here’s more interesting history and a foto of ancient Etruscan swimmers.

The weird foto below shows tugster about 45 years ago getting it wrong and about to learn the searing, stinging pain water can inflict if you attempt to fly over rather than dive into it.   Kind of like Icarus.  The location is the pier near where I learned to swim . . . Lake Ontario.


We are our own first boats.  Thanks to my mother, I flourished as my own vessel before I was born, but I forgot how to swim after that.  I almost drowned when I was three because someone twice my size shoved me off a bridge.  My father dove in, wearing Sunday best, to drag me ashore.    When I turned six, my parents enrolled me in Red Cross swimming lessons in Lake Ontario, but I failed the beginner class three years in a row, refusing to believe even the no-doubt beautiful high school girls instructing the classes, telling me to relax, breathe deliberately, and feel my own buoyancy.  If we are our own first boats, then I was like the title of the Farley Mowat book:  The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float.  I didn’t float and hated water because it frustrated me.  And I’m grateful that my parents never let me give up.

The foto below (Lake Francis in New Hampshire, circa 1997)  shows my most utilitarian stroke, even now.  I call it the otter.  It’s also the Ben Franklin, explained at the end of this post.


I’ve swum over a mile at a stretch doing the “otter,” doing some distance on my belly before turning and swimming on my back.

Swimming exercises all parts of the body and refreshes the spirit.  As my body floats, so does my mind, travels through its own medium.  During an intensely difficult time in my life (See March 2008 post here.), I fought to get access to water, used swimming as a means to maintain fitness, swam as a mental preparation for a possible escape by water, and spend time under water imagining a less threatening location.  Swimming there provided the key to my very survival.

The foto below was taken in Noank last weekend, and given the water temperature (below 60 degrees), I would not have lasted a mile.


Here’s Mage’s preliminary swim post.  I suspect she may do more, maybe much more tomorrow.

Finally . . . Ben Franklin was an unrepentant skinny-dipper, as were John Quincy Adams and Teddy Roosevelt.

Did you ever suspect you’d see nude tugster fotos on this site?  Summer’s here and I guess  the mind turns to mush.

Seriously, if you know someone who does not know how to swim, encourage that person to learn, or you be the teacher yourself.  It’s more than a case of fun, refreshment, exercise, and inspiration . . ..  it could be a matter of life and death.

Dive in!!  Tell me one of your swimming stories.

Thanks to Scott for sending this foto. Cool! Little Toot’s for sale. If interested, email me and I’ll pass your info on to Scott. I’m using the “nudity” tag here though since this shameless little creature has posed–gasp–sans tires, fenders, pudding!! Just shiny gelcoat and bottom paint!



Here’s a Nordic Tug? sneaking around the Battery past the Staten Island ferry docks.



Oh the season for these beauties is almost gone up here again til spring.

Until then, brush up on your Italian and read this blog.  Otherwise, check it anyhow for fantastic fotos and impressive blogrollees.

Photos, WVD.

Yes, it’s a former island, truly unique, and the Mermaid Parade this year carried a subtext of fighting words. Btw, the wiki link embedded in “island” does a fantastic job of the full story from Narrioch to the Thor development controversy. It fails to mention the yellow submarine of Coney Island Creek, however.



My best costume award goes to the Goth mermaids calling for unionizing barristas. Just seeing them compensated for my otherwise poor viewing location at the very end of the parade. Although “nets” might have been a better word choice than “chains” maybe?



Weariness after too many years of war even manifested itself. Maybe someone with more years at the parade than I have can recall if a previous parade had an anti-war component.


“Save” [Coney Island as we know it] and “fight” [development] appeared in many places.


The blog linked here captures a lot but possibly only a few captured this demonstration of weird powers… a real 8-foot boa constrictor minded by a shadow and slithering the sand in search of… a sampling of the rabbits that gave the island its name? a lost silver pendant? dialog with the woman in the lime gown? wildlife in an arboreal habitat?



Here’s wildlife in the form of Sea Lion that prowls just offshore. Maybe Sea Lion was in search of a reed boat to tow as it had a few weeks ago off Morris Canal.



Save Coney Island!! For a smattering more fotos of the day, check “special mermaid edition;” you may have to scroll down.

All fotos here … Will Van Dorp

Some get cut up, and only a few get saved. I don’t know what tug this is, but steady restoration progress is being made.
Belly plates were missing a year ago.

Those that don’t survive to float in restored beauty have at least been preserved in very interesting photos here (see Rossville) and here, if you fancy nudity.


What regal ship this once was and which exotic ports she entered will never be known.

Photos by frogma and Will Van Dorp.

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June 2023