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The race may last for less than 10 minutes for (most) boats, but each participant spends hours before and after.  Here, using the power of thousands of conceptual horses and one very real donkey, all four vessels in Miller contingent make their way upriver.

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At Pier 66, crew on deck and crew below start them up.

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Lady B (read her interesting history here and here, the latter explaining that the “B” stands for either “Benazir” or Bhutto.”

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For boats that arrive on the scene early, Red Hook may have come straight from a job delivering bunker to Norwegian Breakaway, there’s time for what might look like lollygagging, and

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(in these next two shots from William Hyman) saluting the spectators or just

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being seen.  Does Seagus have another name?

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But it’s also getting acquainted time.

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Some regulars didn’t show, and other vessels arrived that I’d never seen before.

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I had to look up South River Rescue Squad attending the Great North River race . . .

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Somewhere in the attractively dressed race day crew on Jake-boat Resolute are two of the principals of tugboatinformation.com . . .  hi Birk and Craig, as well as the force majeure aka Rod behind Narragansett Bay Shipping.

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This kayaker stays well out of the stream.

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The white bowstriped vessel–Lt. Michael P. Murphy– in the distance won the prize for persistence, finishing the course in a historic half an hour . . . spending most of that time doing a mid-race-course onboard repair.

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Despite forecasts of storms–and rain north of the GW Bridge–the only lightning I saw was here and

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thunder from the crowds on the piers.  That’s the intrepid bowsprite showing us her drawing/painting arm.

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Spectators took advantage of any platform.

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More soon.   Thanks to William Hyman for his fotos, especially the one of an exuberant W. O. Decker, which I featured hard at work using Seth Tane fotos from over 30 years ago here.  Click here for John Huntington’s superb fotos from a wet place in the race . . ..

Again, my hat’s off to all who must work on Labor Day, including my son, who always works holidays for the higher hourly rate.  And if you’re inclined, read what Paul Krugman has to say about Labor Day.

Uh . . . what’s this?

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It’s Buddy, living breathing braying hoof-beglittered mascot of Debora Miller.  If you’ve never been to the New York’s race, there’s a best mascot category.  In the past there’ve been  . . . dogs, hermit crabs, even a chicken . . . but Buddy redefines the contest.

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With the threat of rain, someone made a wise decision and advanced the start of the race.  Here Resolute, Catherine Miller, Tasman Sea, and Red Hook move toward the starting line . . . feted by now-retired 1931 fireboat John J. Harvey.

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Foto thanks to William Hyman . . . the line up.

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And at 10:29:30 . . . they’re off . . . with 1930 wooden tug W. O. Decker taking an early and easy lead!!

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45 seconds later . . . W. O. Decker has dropped back.

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Here’s they are 15 seconds later.

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John J. Harvey is not a tug, but to see the speed out of this octogenarian . . . was humbling.   An engineer toiling away in the engine room later told me all four engines were driving propulsion.

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The red tug–Resolute–went on to win, although I don’t yet have the official times.  I could have written them down, but I was far too busy applauding and taking fotos.

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And here’s the crowd at the finish line.

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Part B tomorrow.  Thanks to William Hyman for foto 4.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

Many thanks to Glen Miller of Miller’s Launch for my ride this year.

Unrelated and almost forgot:  Here’s a query from Jeff S, a frequent commenter on this blog:  he saw a “very weather beaten wooden sailing vessel (hull) at the Jersey end of the Goethels Bridge, about 65-70 foot long , two deck cabins and a bowsprit.”  It was parked in the oversize lot waiting to cross the Bridge when traffic gets light.  Anyone have an idea what this may be?

 

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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Seth Tane American Painting

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