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Let’s backtrack . . .  is it only a month ago, less than a month ago, that Onrust launched?  Its inaugural trip down to the sixth boro and back evidence that Onrust the restless has reincarnated.   On that launch day, as Onrust settled to its level, tug Waterford and SPS-60 (in the distance) stood by.  Onrust‘s Deere engine waited patiently here, mere hours from propelling the sculpted oak through water for the first time.


Tug Waterford has–like Governor Cleveland–a modern Caterpillar diesel, although I know nothing about the specs for either.


Waterford arrived first on the launch site that morning dragging quite a puddening, like a grass skirt and elongated breadfruit or durians?


SPS-60 (self-propelled scow) moved in with its crew of at least five, but


not until it spun its stern toward me did I see this blue box and tube.


Clearly it drove the scow, propelled it into position next to Onrust, but I had little sense of the “heavy duty outboard” until the next day when I stopped at the dry dock in Lyons.


Older model maybe or rival manufacturer?  But no one there could tell me the name.  Of course,  the only people


around were state highway workers.


Then last week I found my answer from the captain of Governor Cleveland:  Thrustmaster . . . er Thustmaster of Texas.  Check out the company link here.  How’s that for a corporate name?

Check out the NYS Canal Corporation site.  Here’s Tug44’s Canal Corp site.  For unusual sail, check here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated: “Unusual” is the mildest adjective to describe Saturday’s Mermaid Parade.  Drive, swim, subway, cycle . . .  come any way you wish . . . you won’t regret it.


In Fitzcarraldo, they pull a steamboat up a mountain;  in Rotterdam Junction today, they lowered one from the sky . . . or so it seemed from my spot on the bank of the Mohawk.


The morning started like this, then


trucks came as did the 250-ton capacity crane and caravan of counterweights, red tape got dealt with, and


crowds cheered as Onrust left its cocoon for the first time.


All the beautiful curves seemed ready to glide and then swim.


All 20 tons of Onrust lifted upward on slings and


then down she came


keel touched the wet and


the captain was first to come aboard.


Canal Corp’s tug Waterford and self-propelled crane barge assisted in moving  the lead ballast on board.


More Onrust fotos soon.  Lots of work fitting out remains for the vessel to arrive in the sixth boro on June 6.

All fotos, Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated: I updated info on my “about” page.

I’ve already decided this is “1” of several on this photogenic topic, thanks to a comment posted by John Dupee a few weeks ago, who provided the origin of the term as “puddening [Probably fr. pudden, for pudding, in allusion to its softness.] (Naut.) (a) A quantity of rope-yarn, or the like, placed, as a fender, on the bow of a boat. (b) A bunch of soft material to prevent chafing between spars, or the like.” from Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1998.

As a kid, I would have used “beard” to describe what gives canal tug Waterford the hoary look on its bow.

St. Andrews sports an unusual color-coordinated pudding that I’d wager is some sythetic material.

The color and body of Janice Ann‘s pudding makes the vessel not only distinctive but also authoritative…well…

that might lead to rash decisions… like starting stuff with Lincoln Sea around 2200 hp to 8000 hp. By the way, airdraft on Lincoln is 86 feet, surpassing the mast top of a certain schooner.

Back to government boats puddings for now, like Urger. Check Fred’s link here to see great Urger engine shots.

Governor Cleveland‘s got its backside covered too, a smart idea that certain governors should have learned something by going down to the waterfront and looking at passing river traffic.

More on puddings soon.

Photos, WVD.

Ok… I’ll admit it: I’m spending too much time indoors looking at photos from last summer. Winter without snow is getting to me. Alice has abandoned us for the Gulf. Any idea when she’ll be back through here?

I miss being on the Hackensack and seeing the egrets feed in the tidal flats over by Snake Hill.



I miss boat projects like the tug Buffalo (sans name boards) between tug Waterford and the bulkhead. Any updates on engine restoration?


Call this a pair of colored plumes on Flag Day last June. The East River ran red and blue. Anyone know what they use to dye the water?



And this pair of cranes over by the threatened graving dock in Red Hook, I miss seeing them from the water. Will they be there in summer 2007?



All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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June 2023