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It’s hard to believe, but I’ve not been to the Great North River Tugboat Race since 2014, but in normal times, September 5 would see the next race.  But we’ve dispensed with the “normal times” concept for the time being.

In selecting the batch for this post, I wanted splash, froth, bubbles, and the effervescence the river can react with when tons of steel and thousands of horsepower push through the ever changing water.   The next two photos are from that 2014 race. 

It was overcast during the race, but an hour or so later, when pushing contests were happening and

the wakes flattened out and we sized up USAV MGen. Anthony Wayne, patches of blue appeared.  I should leave you in suspense about how this push went.  Let me put it this way;  they left town not long after the push-off.

2013 was an equally overcast day, and again, not to identify every tugboat in that lineup, it appears that W. O. Decker has either jumped the gun or activated its jet drive and will soon rise up out of the Hudson on her hydrofoil assists. I’d guess the latter.

See what I told you . . . Decker has gone so far ahead that it’s already over the horizon.

Second lap maybe for Decker?

It’s starting to appear that in 2012, as in ’13 and ’14, it was overcast.

It was great to see Buchanan 12, usually burdened with a half dozen stone barges, disencumbered and frothing up the river.  That’s the 1907 Pegasus back there too.

In 2011, I was able to get a photo of the racing craft along with sky spray by one of the fireboats present, likely 343.  What’s remarkable comparing the photo above with the one below is the color of the water;  hurricane Irene had dropped a lot of rain upstate and all the tributaries sent that into the Hudson with tribute in the form of silt.

Quantico Creek and Maurania III did an excellent job of stirring up the water.

But again, it was overcast and hazy over silty water.

However, in 2010, we had blue skies that really accentuated the DonJon boats like Cheyenne and

the harbor colossus, Atlantic Salvor.

In 2009, there were wispy clouds, allowing the “queen of the day” to be Ellen McAllister. But look who else showed up!!!!

Urger.   Urger would EASILY have won the race, but she was doing what she does best . . .  urging all the other boats and crews to be fleeter than she, holding herself back, allowed herself to be that day.

All photos and commentary, WVD. See you at the races in 2022.

 

 

soon to be determined . . . less than 48 hours from now.  Here’s a schedule from the race organizers.

Will the winner be blue . . . like Atlantic Salvor or

formerly blue like Greenland Sea or Lincoln Sea?

Maybe it’ll be blue and miraculously restored . . . like Crow?

Or will it be red, like this Pegasus or

. . . the not-to-be underestimated Augie?

Or maybe a blue and gold government boat?

Or it might be some shade of white like Susan Miller or Gabby L Miller?

On the other hand, it may be a stealth competitor, like the one these gents have been refurbishing since late spring?

Cosmetic work has been visible on the outside, but

Glen had this grin straight off the cheshire cat when he told me they’d installed huge power down below and

as they’ve worked on the surface, above decks, rendering a beautfully restored New York Central No. 31 house.  Who

knows whether Glen was kidding or not about that power plant and about the hull they cleverly built below the dock which be free with a few minor cuts of the Saw-zall.

New York Central No 31 might turn its competitors green with envy once they steam out onto the course.  And if she were flying a Canadian flag, she’d be an international entry.     And

with all that jabber about competitors red and blue at the beginning of the post, you might have wondered if I was talking about something else.  Maybe a spokesperson for red or blue might be interviewing a stealth version of a leading member of the competition?

Check page four of this 1952 issue of Towline for an action foto of one of the winners of the race exactly 60 years ago.  And on page 5, you’ll see that the 1952 race was in fact a revival of a pre-WW2 International Lifeboat Race.  Click on the image below to watch a two-minute video of the rowing race, some time between 1930 and 1939.

In 1952, after the tugs raced, oarsmen took to the same course.  Hmmmm….  Might that portion of the race be revived too?  I wonder what happened to that trophy.

So if you’re not tied up with your labor on Labor Day Sunday, see you at the tug race.  It’s a festive waterfront event, where vessels that come to compete are the ones not engaged at that hour.  It’s part Labor Day picnic.  Here are the details.

Will Sarah Ann be there?

Or Laura K.

Meagan Ann?

Maurania III,

Greenland Sea,

or Craig Eric?

Here’s some of my posts from the event in 2009, 2008, 2007,  and 2006.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  See you Sunday.

Because of last night’s rain, you have one last chance to see “Seven Deadly Seas” TONIGHT at 8 pm.  Go early and catch this hard-to-replicate combination:  left to right Cape Race, Gazela, and Mary A. Whalen … as seen from the entrance to the Brooklyn Passenger Terminal in Red Hook.

Big doings also are happening for Pegasus, here with a happy tour group.  Pegasus and Lehigh Valley 79 will be docked in Brooklyn Bridge Park starting later this week.

Uh . . . shoes of future mariners?

Contemporary mariners work aboard such vessels as

JoAnne Reinauer III

and (right to left) Twin Tube— a supply boat–and CSL Atlas, cousin of my longlost Alice O.  By the way, Atlas brought in the beginnings of the upcoming winter’s supply of road salt .  . or was that table salt??

Colleen McAllister and other vessels labor away at the sisyphusian task of dredging.

R/V vessels like Blue Sea do their own research/education work.  Here RV Blue Sea is on the high and dry as a preparation for a new season.

Jay Michael frequents the sixth boro, and

in parting, this sloop (Margaret A ?)  passes a fuel barge.

Unfortunately, I missed yesterday’s lobsterboat races up in Portland, Maine, and I have to wait til 2011 to see them.  But you can still get to the 18th Annual Great North River (aka sixth boro) Tugboat Race on September 5.  See you there.

Tomorrow … yes … another few days’ gallivant.  Details later.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Check out this Newtown Creek shipping post by Restless.

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