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On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote this to his wife Abigail:  “The day will be most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival…It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade…bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”

I wonder if Abigail believed him.

Last night around 1900 hr, Brendan Turecamo (above) and Catherine Turecamo pushed their Macy’s loads upriver.  I think two other Macy’s barges  were pushed by Kimberly Turecamo and Jennifer Turecamo.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that the Macy’s 34th Street megastore had embarked on short sea shipping of goods.   Do you know that as a teenager, R. H. Macy  worked on a Nantucket whaling ship, Emily Morgan, during which time he got a tattoo, which is the star that still today in the company logo.

A motley crew of spectators ventured into the river for the show,

a very motley crew indeed.

Other tugs took some time off as well . . . Maurania III here, and Quantico Creek and the other Pegasus over on the other side of the river.  Maybe others too.

The two Harley tugsHMS Liberty and St Andrews–hung out with 1907-built Pegasus at the sanitation pier.

It appears here that a contingent of the  NYC Air Force is escorting in Hornblower Infinity.  As it said, it APPEARS that way.    Anyone I know working there?

343 summons the safety spirits.

Lots of spectators wait on a contingent of NYC’s passenger/dinnerboat fleet.

Darkness falls. Tension builds as thunderstorms do their own illumination to the north and the south.

Around 2130 h . . . opening salvo.

These fotos do not capture that percussive blasts and echoes off the sanitation pier . . . so use your imagination.

Too bad John and Abigail and all the other signers weren’t here.

Well, maybe they were.

I did hear some creaking and squeaking on the pier.

Happy

Independence

all the time.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

AND Pegasus and you have something else to celebrate.  Remember the Partners in Preservation voting lots of you all did back in May?  Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 ended in 14th place, and I thought that meant they got no money.  Au contraire, they DID get a hefty sum . ..  $140,000 to split!   . . .to be used for preservation, and on a 1907-built vessel, there’s a lot of preservation to be done.  So thanks much for voting.  If you want to see Pegasus close-up, come down to Pier 25 west side of Manhattan . . .

Once these were wooden barges, which

were towed around the harbor with a wide range of cargoes.  In the foreground … disintegrating … is one a tug that once could have done the towing, now unidentifiable and impotent.

The sixth boro has many such tugs and barges, although given the efficient advance of decrepitude, fewer each season.

Once there was even a sixth boro barge called Periwinkle, no doubt painted in that color, a popular nightspot.

Here’s another barge called Driftwood, whose paint scheme and additional storage transformed a coffee (or whatever else commodity)  transporter into an off-off-Broadway-even-off-the-island entertainment palace.  Only stories remain and can be told by David Sharps, who

created the Waterfront Museum out of a wooden barge he literally dug and pumped out of the Hudson River mud, saving it from the fate of those barges above.    The two fotos above come courtesy of David Sharps.   Now the barge, the 1914 Lehigh Valley 79 tours with 1907 tug Pegasus, and other

vessels like the 1901 Urger, featured in many posts on this blog, help us visualize what those ruins in the top fotos once looked like and serve as places of entertainment even today.   Here’s one set of fotos of Urger high, dry, but cold.

Anyhow, with five minutes of your time, you can help  LV-79 and Pegasus collect a $250,000 grant for ongoing repairs.  Just click here–AND each day until May 21 on the icon upper left side of this blog to vote.  Partners in Preservation has chosen to award $$ by grant applicants demonstrated ability to use social media.  So please vote . . . and ask a handful of your friends to do so as well . . . .

Unless otherwise attributed, all fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Since I woke up this May morning from a dream about attending a meditation session, the logical choice is to start my day writing a post that reflects upon–well–preservation.  Two weeks ago I wrote about the Alwyn Vincent project.  To quote the site, “she’s finally out,” and on the steel wheels ‘n rails of a synchrolift.

She was getting her “haircut and a shave” even before she stopped moving.  When all logistical arrangements converge, the late 1950s tug will travel over-the-road 60 or so miles to its new life, as a functioning steam tug on a freshwater reservoir.

To support the self-described  ‘Bunch of Crazy Farmers’ (personified by Andy, in orange below) who now own the tug, the Alwyn website says they “selling space for banners of about 1 metre square, at R5 000 ($US 639.30). The advertisements are mostly in connection with agricultural products and services, partly because everybody knows who are responsible for saving this historic vessel! Partly also, it’s because those are the firms we know, support and can ask!”

I suppose they’d accept US sponsors as well;  book your space on the hull! Contact Elma on dvijoeningwerke@telkomsa.net

Which brings me to South Street Seaport, and this sight that greeted me two days ago.   After at least 20 years of deterioration, work is happening.

Spongy wood was being removed, and

I got my first ever look inside, after 10 years of wondering . . . .

Jim and Glen peeled away tired materials from the 1980s.

Installed inside the windows years ago was this captioning that

told some of the story.  A sister vessel–New York Central #16–was saved only to end tragically at the Bourne Bridge rotary in Massachusetts, just six years ago.

The late Don Sutherland told of spending the last night aboard #16 . . .  I wish I’d recorded his telling that story. I have recorded Norman Brouwer telling the story of buying this pierside house from #16 from the late John J. Witte, and I hope to share details of that project soon.

Not everything can be preserved . . .  On Friday I caught Cheyenne –a current Witte (officially DonJon Marine) tug–heading from the East River into the Upper Bay pushing a load of (I believe) fine scrap, chopped up pieces bound for recycling.  Just a week ago, Cheyenne was pushing some  preserved vintage jets.

Some valuable artifacts might not be saved much longer unless dreams convert into reality and $$;  others like Liemba and Yavari seem to live way beyond their expected lifespans in spite of their being out of the spotlight.

Which brings up this part of a dream:  Partners in Preservation is dangling cash  $US 3 million, and  . . .<<<Tug Pegasus (1907) and Waterfront Museum Barge aka Lehigh Valley 79 (1914)  have teamed up in a grant application for $$ for preservation work each vessel needs.  As a component of the decision-making about who gets the $$, Partners in Preservation have a “socialmedia-meter” running from now until May 21.  To help Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 register high on this “meter,” you can do two things from wherever on the planet you may be:  1)  befriend them on Facebook and get dozens of your friends to befriend them as well, and 2)   vote DAILY here.    DAILY!  Seems like a crazy way to run an election, but  . . . that’s social media and in this case, the cause is worthy.>>>

And later this afternoon–1300–1700h  I’ll be down on Pier 25 minding the plank between 79 and Pegasus, as part of Partners in Preservation “open house” weekend.

Thanks to Colin Syndercombe for the Cape Town fotos;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Sort of related, here’s a “tale of two projects” post from about a year ago.

Le vie navigabili  . . . is what you could call “sesto borgo” or “the sixth boro.”  And it’s navigated by creatures small as these canadagoslings,

greater,

numerous . . . unwanted or

scruffy but perennially utilitarian.

Say hello to 3/4 of the painting crew on Pegasus last Saturday.  Vote daily for Pegasus here–so that she might benefit from a huge grant of $250,000–and

starting from THIS weekend, come and visit Pegasus on board at Pier 25 in the boro called Manhattan.    The schedule now calls for Pegasus to leave this “canale” within the sixth boro tomorrow . . . Thursday, pick up Lehigh Valley 79, and move back over to Pier 25.    In reference to the canales di venezia, Pegasus would look good exploring there . . .  By the way, here’s a log of Pegasus’ last visit to the drydock for work.

Here you’re looking east  at Manhattan and its tallest building from the Morris Canal in New Jersey.  Il canale di morris è una delle vie navigabili del sesto boro.

See you some hours this weekend on Pegasus at Pier 25.   And please . . . vote daily, no mater which continent you are on.

Parting shot . .  a foto of Pegasus leaving the tour dock in Yonkers 11 months ago.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

By the way, the tugboat shown most completely in the 4th foto is the 1943 46.5′ Linda G.   I don’t know where she was built.  Pegasus is 96′ and 1907-built in Baltimore.  The goslings, hatch of 2012, were about 4″ long.

Tugboats in the sixth boro of New York City vary not quite infinitely, but almost.   Consider Pegasus (1907)here with Lehigh Valley 79 (1914) alongside.  And my social medium tells me they’re about to link up and travel again soon.    Watch Pier 25.

And Coral Coast (1970) versus its fleetmate,

and newest tugboat in the boro .  .  . Discovery Coast (2012).

Amy C. McAllister (1975) and

Bohemia (2007).

Taurus (1979) and

James Turecamo (1969) along assisting Scott Turecamo (1998).

Thornton Brothers (1958),

Caitlin Ann (1961), and

Maria J (1958).

Rounding it all out . . . is JoAnne Reinauer III (1970), here passing the unmistakeable Torm-orange house of Torm Thames (2005), and see this spotlight by selfabsorbedboomer.

Having called this set almost infinitely varied, I must say there’s NOTHING operating in the sixth boro quite an unusual as Joseph Thompson Jr. (portions from 1944), the tug portion of an ATM unit currently working the North Coast between US and Canadian ports.   Thank’s to Isaac Pennock aka tugboathunter for introducing me to this vessel;  For the dizzying set of transformations, read the bio by boatnerd here . . . and follow the fotos, especially the ones by Mark Vander Meulen, Steve Hause, Lee Rowe, and Rod Burdick.

Foto of Discovery Coast by Joel Milton;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Although I have many more “oldcarcity” fotos to share soon, John Watson got the following fotos from his sixth boro cliff yesterday, and they must go up.  Kudos , John!

John’s fotos are physical manifestations of the renaissance of South Street Seaport Museum.  Lightship Ambrose (LV-87), built 1908 . . . a year after  Pegasus, is headed to Caddell’s for some love aka life support.

She made her way across this stretch of the sixth boro escorted

by the gracious Charles D. McAllister.

as well as Elizabeth McAllister.  I can’t identify the smaller boat out front.

Again, thanks much, John.    Here’s a question from a tipster . . . not me! in ny.Curbed.  This is very promising news for the renascent museum; however, like all newborns AND reborns, it needs ongoing support . . . benjamins and members and volunteers.

My last fotos of a lightship in the sixth boro came here exactly two months ago.

Meanwhile, tugster continues a gallivant in the south . . . today off to a high point between Nickajack Lake and Chickamauga Lake.

Unrelated to this post but to one previously, here’s (thanks to Michele) is an interview/TV report from on-board Giulio Verne.

Working Harbor Committee win an award for perpetuating this event and calling it race AND competition.  And at the expense of making this post almost as long as some of those cinema and music award shows, I’d like to add some aditional awards . . .

like for “best improvised bowsprit on a tugboat” . . . Ross Sea,  [doubleclick enlarges all fotos]

“most spirited better-late-than-never”   . . . The Bronx,   [more The Bronx soon]

“best press boat disguised as a tugboat”  again, The Bronx,

“best connection to the cliff at Weehawken”  Sea Wolf,

“best crew-to-crew face off . . .

 . . . over a series of two fotos”  to Pegasus and Ross Sea,

“most crew rallying on the foredeck” Maurania III.

Next we have many line handling awards.  First up, “best right-hand follow through form” to Quantico Creek,

“best send the whole coil at once” to Sea Wolf,

“best hand and leg follow through form”   also to Sea Wolf,

“best mascot with cute purple antennae” also to Sea Wolf . . .  might this BE THE sea WOLF?

“biggest line-thrower cheering section”  Maurania III,

“best facial expression”  to Susan Miller,

“best overall posture award”   Ross Sea,

and now a break from line-throwing awards . . . best photographer-aloft . . . Shipshooter on Ross Sea.

“best  ‘make-that-line-walk’”   . . . also Ross Sea,

“most earnest line thrower expression”   . . . Catherine C Miller,

“best ‘looks-like-that-was-overhand’”   Freddie K Miller,

“best ‘over-the-bollard-and . . .

…put-turns-on-the-quarterbitt’”  Pegasus,

“best and longest lariat twirling followed by the

longest throw”  Growler.  Note for next year . . . the Growler crew might decide to dress as rodeo folk, given that the 30-second lasso-demonstration prompted a comment from some unnamed person behind me . . . “Next year for Growler we should replace that bollard with a fiberglass cow.”  Great showmanship!!

“best winch-matching costume” the inimitable Jeff Schurr, frequent and erudite commenter on this blog.

“best Lab mascot” . . .  Peaches on Ross Sea,

“best mascot with a hat and pin”  Salty of The Bronx,

And “my favorite mascot and name,”  goes to the bantam fowl named Jack E. Sparrow . . . of the mighty Sea Wolf crew.

You’re all winners in my book . . .  Get in touch if you want higher-res version of your foto.

Finally and last but not least  . . . two technical awards  . ..  for “best dredger”  Maurania III, and

“best watercolor creation” . . .  Sea Wolf.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Here’s 2010, 2009, and 2008.  And here’s 2007, when I got the best race start foto but with a less good camera.  September 2006 predated the blog although I posted 2006 race fotos here, my third EVER post.

Many thanks to Working Harbor Committee and all their volunteers and sponsors as well as to the towing companies and their crews for making this event possible, even a week after Irene whirled through here.  Here’s my favorite action shot from today, Quantico Creek neck and neck with Maurania III as FDNY Three Forty Three misted them.   I’m not sure what the results of the race were, but my bias says everyone who participated or spectated–even before hurrying to baseball, tennis, picnicking, or what have you– won.

By 9:15 the table had been set;  bowls at the ready for the gourmet spinach tasting ritual, which I will spare you out of concerns for propriety and delicate palates.

The most prestigious cup in water sport waits.

By 10 am, 0n the safety boat, Capt. John Doswell, calls the parade to order.

The race committee checks radios, stopwatches and imaging devices.   Capt. Jerry Roberts stands on the bench.

NY-1 is there with camera;  here’s their reportage.

Crews waved as they passed the dais;  my special “enthusiastic wave” awards go to the crews of Ross Sea and

Susan Miller.

Nine tugs in all this year paraded

up to the start line,

just south of 79 Street.

Sea Wolf, tug nine this year, enthusiastically raced up to the start line.

From Pier 84 at precisely 10:33:56, I witnessed those puffs of smoke, evidence that the great race had begun.

Here a half minute later,  frothy “bones in the teeth” demonstrate that RPM as well as SOG and probably adrenaline levels have risen.

Vessels left to right are Ross Sea, Quantico Creek, Maurania III, and Pegasus.  As evidence of investment in the sixth boro towing industry, these boats were launched 2003, 2010, 2004, and 2006, respectively.

Top horsepower boats were (l. to r. ) Ross Sea (3400), Quantico Creek (3000), and Maurania III (4000).  As to design and function, the two tugs on the left push oil barges, and Maurania III does mostly ship assists.

Here are the smaller boats, l. to r. Pegasus, Growler, Sea Wolf, Catherine C. Miller, and Freddy K. Miller.  Type any of these names in the search window upper left and you’ll see what I’ve written about them before.

For Quantico Creek  and Maurania III  it was indeed

a foto finish.  This is NOT an official foto-finish foto.  Check back here for official “processed” results.

Vessel on the extreme right is Susan Miller.

Pegasus passes, and

as does the

rest of the field.

Check back here for results.

Tomorrow more reportage of the rest of the competitions.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who reminds you that unlike the farm tugs I put last month, these boats might already be back on the job this evening, Labor Day weekend notwithstanding.

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.

Ace . . . never seen it before.  Can you guess its location?  Answer follows.  I’d love to know the story.  Mebbe she’s the 1949er formerly known as Oil King?  And what of the collapsed rail bridge lower left?

Is that Michael Cosgrove sashayed eastbound on the East River with the 2006 Pegasus?

Here’s Franklin Reinauer headed for Erie Basin.

 Note the crewman portside between the two scows as

Thomas J Brown heads for Gowanus.

Is it true that Shawn Miller pushed a barge to  transport Our Lady for some R & R?

Foto of Ace was taken by will Van Dorp in the Wallabout Channel today.

And important news from Reuters, the escaped peacock has voluntarily returned to its home;  my speculation is that a love match had frayed and said-cock needed some time away.

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