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To see last year’s post from August 30, click here. For info on the race next Sunday, click here. If you scroll through that previous link, way down in the fine print you’ll read that this year’s race is dedicated to the memory of Don Sutherland. Below is a short video I made at a memorial to Don held in June 2010 aboard PortSide NewYork’s Mary Whalen.
This post is dedicated to those folks who . . . on Labor Day . . . can’t make the tug race or even the family BBQ because they will labor in the house,
Happy Labor Day.
The title comes from the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem:
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crossed the bar.
I was blessed to have met you, Don.
My camera is an opportunistic feeder, and when I saw these (anyone know what they are?) on my way to the water, the camera demanded I linger. And as I did, I
noticed some orange movement, also unidentified, so I needed to have a closer
By the time I’d followed around a point, the hook seemed solidly held in place by a gargantuan bottom, and my camera had just missed a pallet of supplies hoisted off the capacious decks of ABC-1 (See it high and dry in the sixth foto in that link). Here’s a Don Sutherland article about ABC-1‘s owners.
And as I came around, I spotted another craft on the Un-Stealthy One‘s portside, but I got a clear shot only after
the man standing on the foredeck of Nicholas Miller swung outward from the ladder he had just descended. Notice in the foto above anchored off Stena Stealth‘s portside . . . Chemical Pioneer, not far from where it, as Sea Witch 37 years ago lost its steering and created its fireball and a major oil spill, by sixth boro standards.
Catchups and followups and accountclosings by the end of this month.
All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.
Monday morning I learned that journalist and photographer Don Sutherland has died. I had lunch with him just two months ago. I met him at the 2008 Waterford Tugboat Roundup. In person he proved even funnier and wiser than the persona in his articles. I had read lots of his articles and admired his photos–and always chuckled AND learned. Click here for Don’s Poling & Cutler article in the February 2007 Marine News, one of the first of his articles I read.
In March I introduced him to my good friend Bowsprite, and he told of his sitting shiva with the 1924-launched New York Central No. 16 on the night before it was dismembered by scrappers to make way for . . . . a CVS! After 20 years as a monument near a traffic circle in Bourne, Massachusetts, the tug could not be saved; efforts to raise adequate funds had failed. In Don’s words, “I had no choice but to spend the last night sitting inside the boat before the scrapping because it should not have to be alone that night.” Don would feel that. Here’s a story about No. 16 and its fate.
At the September 2009 Tugboat Roundup, I introduced him to my partner Elizabeth, who doesn’t always take part in my waterblogging efforts. As a sociologist, she studies and writes about gender and sex. She and Don got along famously; a tidbit of the evening Elizabeth’s learning from Don that the truckable tug Mame Faye was named for a Troy madame. Don knew details like that.
On his website, see examples of his great photos and even there his wit bubbles to the surface: complementing “our most frequently-published tugboat picture” was “our least-frequently published …” Don was like that.
At this link (fourth photo from the bottom) see Don atop Fred Tug44′s boat doing what he loved.
If you have a favorite Don Sutherland story, please leave a comment.
Don, you are already missed.
Wondering what didn’t fit in this shot?
Towing on short hawser made to starboard bitt of scow,
a small tug with classy lines makes
its way eastbound on the KVK
with a sizeable tow.
It’s Thomas J. Brown, something unusual in the sixth boro:
a family-business that since its creation in the unpromising year of 1929 has seen a lot of change in the harbor. Read copious details about this family business in Don Sutherland’s fine article here (starting on p. 18). Just a foretaste: Lindbergh, slaughterhouses on the East River, Normandie salvage, work on all the bridges between NJ and metro New York as well as the VZ and others, the 1939 World’s Fair, …. The tanker whose orange house shows lower left belongs to Torm Kristina.
Don, great article I’m just finding now. There’s a lot of history in the wake of that tow.
All fotos (except the last one taken two years ago) were snapped from my office one lucky day last week by Will Van Dorp.