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For reasons you’ll find at the end of this post, I’ve held these fotos in reserve since last June.   Any ideas what’s going on with   . . .  an apparently empty 70-year-old covered barge floating in the river with a bridge in the distance and some fibers in lower left corner.


Well, some crew are aboard, Joe and Paul on radio, as the transition to alongside towing is initiated.  That’s Rhinecliff, NY in the background here.


It’s a demonstration of skills day for certification purposes.   That’s my friend Brian taking fotos, and Matt Perricone, owner of tugboat Cornell making up the tow once that free-floating barge is alongside.  Here’s the official Cornell site.


To document the day, we shoot from a variety of locations and


angles.  This angle I call “elbows in water.”


And this is how to “make up on the nose.”


Designted examiner Sam Zapadinsky of Diamond Marine Services looks on as light boat is maneuvered to a dock in confined river space.


With the barge on the nose of Cornell, it’s time to head back inot the Creek.


All fotos by Will Van Dorp last June.  Here’s the rest of the story . . . and note the byline.

Unrelated:  Here’s a foto of a scene I missed:  Allie B towing dredge Columbia southbound on the Hudson recently.  The link tells some interesting previous lives of the dredger.

I owe Paul Strubeck for these fotos;  he endured the 2 a.m. cold at Crum Elbow to get them.  Kristin Poling you’ve seen here many times before.

I manipulated the fotos, squeezing out some of the darkness, enhancing the little light in the original.  The stem bitt in the lower right belongs to tug Cornell, attempting to get Kristin Poling unstuck from the ice.  What does this look like to you . . . other than the obvious ship stuck in chunk ice?

I get competing thoughts and associations:  like a submarine scene from a Jules Vernesque sci-fi movie, or

a vessel trapped in polar ice.  No disrespect for the family or vessel name . . . but “poling” could be a verb referring to exploration of the top and bottom parts of the planet . . . as in “Peary left the sixth boro in the summer of ’08 aboard Roosevelt, headed north to go poling. . . .”   My eyes could easily be convinced that the venerable Kristin P here is “poling.”

Imagine this stretch of the river six months forward or backwards.  A deck in that location could be an idyllic spot to stretch out, enjoy summer heat, watch stars, and think of love or whatever you wish; a fit swimmer could slip into the water and drift or make for shore.  However,

in January like this, the Hudson seems as inhospitable as the poles.  Frederick Cook, Peary’s physician in the 1891-2 “north poling” expedition and later a challenger to Peary’s claim to have reached the North Pole first, said this about being in the frozen north:  “We were the only pulsating creatures in a dead world of ice.”   I can imagine the crews of Kristin Poling and Cornell thinking that . . .  at least they and the reliable engines in the vessels.

Cook was a founder member of NYC’s Explorers Club.

Again, many thanks to Paul Strubeck for the fotos, which you may have seen in different format on Paul’s facebook page.

June 19 . . . from the boardwalk after the parade, and (maybe celebrating solstice inland) nary a mermaid or seamaster in sight.  An unidentified sloop plots a course between two outbound c-vessels.  See frogma’s solstice on the boardwalk pix here.

June 18 . . . a McAllister boat heads past the World Financial Center after escorting in a cruise ship.  Between the mirrored walls and sheathed in blue . . . that’s the state of construction on One World Trade.   Does the name sound a bit like a commercial version of the Bob Marley song?

June 17 . . .  crewman watches as Atlantic Coast pushes a loaded cement barge up the East River.

Earlier that day, the unit anchored in the Hudson;  barge is Cement Transporter 5300 . . . clear enough.

Crewman uses telephone on the afterdeck of Adriatic Sea.  That’s Jersey City in the background.  A year ago, Adriatic appeared here.

Left to right:  barge New HampshireScott Turecamo, Mark Miller, and Americas Spirit.  Fort Wadsworth lies in the background.

Ocean King looks to land on Pier 16 for a crew change.

I’ve never seen Ocean King (ex-David McAllister, Resolute, launched 1950) in the sixth boro before last week.

Cornell heads south past Battery Park City, hard at work in the golden hour for fotos.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp in the past 5 days.

Happy Solstice.  If you want more mermaids . . . let me know.

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