You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Don Sutherland’ tag.

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,

on the bridge,

on deck,

following the border,

in the service,

pushing oil around, or

trying to clean it up.

Happy Labor Day.

This just in from the NYTimes.  Click here for the rest of the story.  Here’s my tribute to Don.

The title comes from the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem:

Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,    When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,    Too full for sound and foam,
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

look.  Hardly, I thought.

High and wet, it was–I supposed–headed for

sea.  Except . . . why the rumble

of chain, I asked, hoping the crewman had his feet firmly planted.

Or was he trolling for some gargantuan surface feeder?

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.

Services need to be rendered before the conspicuous tanker heads for sea.

I hope my camera captures some real stealth in the next post.

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.

I . . . illusion.  [I know I skipped “H” and trust you’ll understand in a few days.]  Remember, click on a foto to enlarge it.

Illusion . . . bedevils me . . . and lots of other folks.  I sometimes create pain for myself by believing the “truth” I want rather than what my senses (including hearing) tell me.  Clinging to such illusions might confound lots of people;  illusions might also doom groups of people.  “Group-think” has led more than one vessel–real or metaphorical–onto the rocks.

This post is then intended to have fun with potential illusions of the optical sort.  The tall white chimney directly above the house of Pilot No. 1 New York stands at least 300 feet from the vessel.  I tend not to photoshop my fotos, but if I removed the hint of foliage between vessel and chimney set back on the shore,  I could get SeaBart kind of excited.  By the way, what is that chimney?   And, anyone know the place/date of construction of Pilot No. 1 and 2?


While on the topic of pilot boats, recently I caught Yankee and USCG Wire (WYTL 65612)  milliseconds from what appeared to be collision.


Some Native American myth calls the North America continent “turtle island,” since the “bedrock” of the  continent was in fact a gigantic turtle where a hapless “sky woman” had created a new life for herself.  In the foto below, a clamshell dredge seems to fill a vast barge on which a metropolis with a skyline greatly resembling Manhattan’s also exists.  I guess that could suggest “barge island” as a synonym for that boro.


I’m an admirer of Don Sutherland’s fotos and sense of humor.  Twice in the past year, using the magic (ok . .  illusion) of juxtaposition, he has created fun compositions.  In one, Ruth Reinauer seems to have the Statue of Liberty loaded onto its afterdeck.  In another, an unidentified tug seemed to carry a zigzag ladder on its boatdeck to reach grant access to the Weehawken cliff.  Here’s my version:  a ladder from the top of buoy 13 almost directly to Franklin Reinauer‘s upper house.


Finally, (and NO this blog is not transforming into a pet gallery but if my friend Peter can link to a LOLcats version of Moby Dick, then I feel licensed to proceed) the foto below shows the same green bird that appeared so regal and calm in yesterday’s post.  The image is a video still showing said-bird’s displeasure with a video camera.  Might this illusion give rise to a sixth boro version of the Montauk monster?  Which is the true nature of the bird–this view or yesterday’s.  Or . . . am I my truer self on one of my best–or worst–days?  Maybe the possible choice is just the real illusion.


All fotos here by Will Van Dorp except the one of the illusory evil parrot, taken by Elizabeth.

While researching this post, I stumbled upon a blog that seems to have ceased after a quite promising start.  Check out this Norrie Point pilot boat along the Hudson here.  Tom, I’d love to hear from you.  I believe the foto below (I took it a year ago in Tottenville) shows a Hudson River Pilot boat of the sort I’ve seen from a distance at Norrie Point.  Besides Ambrose,  many vessels do  Hudson River Pilots operate?  Is this the 1979 Gladding Hearn Ambrose?


Below is the a foto showing the closest I’ve ever come to Norrie Point, with pilot boat on station.  Is the building the Norrie Point Environmental Center?


Sandy Hook pilots recently acquired two Derecktor-built 53-foot pilot boats.


Coming or going or


holding station with a famous marine photograher (not me!)  on the foredeck,


I’m impressed by these vessels.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  today is EVR Day.

Jeff Anzevino posted these shots of fotorazzi extraordinaire atop tug44 on his picasa page about the Waterford Tug RoundUp.  Jeff is giving a slide show in White Plains on Sept 15 (That’s THIS Monday)  at the “Color Camera Club.” For directions and program, click here.  According to Jeff,  his show will feature aerials of the Hudson River (Yonkers north to Columbia County), tugspotting photos he’s made over the past decade, and brand new NYC and Waterford fest photos.

I’m glad Jeff’s didn’t capture my expression just after Fred sounded his airhorns and I almost thought to dive for safety into the Hudson.

Below,  inside a Hudson River barge below, Jack Casey debuted rousing songs from his play called “The Trial of Bat Shea,” to be performed in Troy, NY, on Sept 19, 20.  For more info, scroll through the Renssalaer County Historical Society site.  Deft musicianship, rousing then haunting lyrics, unflinching emotional presence . . . that’s how I’d describe the pieces Jack played in the barge.  “… Bat Shea” tells a true story of a rigged election, unjust murder conviction, and callous execution of a man known to be innocent.  And Jack . . . hope you make a CD soon.

Also, coming up soon, it’s Riverkeeper’s NY Waterfest . . . a celebration of the sixth boro as a place to play and work.  Sept 28: 3rd annual Waterfest in New York City’s Battery Park City.   A day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of the Hudson River to New York’s history, commerce, arts, and culture, as well as the sources of and threats to NYC’s drinking water supply.  Speakers, water sports, hands on activities for all ages, a green village and more!

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