You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘W. O. Decker’ tag.

Really random means just that . . . so that’s start with this one, Tutahaco, YTM-524, which has recently been hauled out of the water  between Daytona and St Augustine.   Michael Schmidt took these photos back last winter.

She worked for a time in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The next two photos come from Allan and Sally Seymour, whose twotugstravelin’ blog was mentioned in yesterday’s post.  Kathleen Turecamo (1968) is a staple these days in the Port of Albany.

A bit farther north on the Hudson in Troy is the footprint of NYS Marine Highway Transportation Company.  Pictured here from r to l are Margot, Benjamin Elliot, and Betty D; built in 1958, 1960, and 1980, respectively.

The next photo is from Kyle Stubbs, who writes “the original JOVI is still around. The simple answer is yes, and she’s quite a ways from the Sixth Boro, now taking up residence in San Diego in the service of Pacific Tugboat Service as the JAG. I’ve attached an image of her I took this past September.”  Kyle sent the photo along in response to a question about Lil Rip I’d posted here some years back.

George Schneider picks up the Lil Rip‘s origins question here and sends along his own photo of Jag, to wit ”

I was very suspicious of the story she was made from part of a Liberty Ship, since hacking up something like that just to make a push boat didn’t make sense.  But somewhere along the lines, I realized the LIL RIP was registered at 54 feet long.  I found a Liberty Ship was 57 feet wide, so that’s perfect, considering they had to cut away some of the “stern” for the propellers, so the registered length would be a few feet shorter than overall.

That gave me a reason to believe the reputed origins of the boat were true.  It makes even more sense, because if you realize the scrap yards generally had no drydocks or slipways, they’d cut a ship like that down to the tank tops while it was afloat, then somehow had to dispose of the double bottoms.  Sometimes they just took them out and sank them since it took so much extra effort to clean and cut them up.  But in New Jersey, whose coastline is inland, they probably had to cut them apart and lift them ashore, and voile!  What a perfect hull to build a pushboat on!

So I’m wondering if anybody has added more to the comments on that day’s page.  If anybody has ever seen her “on the hard,” they might have measured her across the deck, and if that measures a perfect 57 feet in length, I’d say that’s pretty close to proof.  I looked up the liberty ships sold for scrap 1961-64, and none were scrapped in Elizabeth NJ, nor were any scrapped by her owner.

But several deceptive things are at play here:  1)  A ship sold for scrap was not legally reused for anything, so the title to something made out of the pieces couldn’t reflect the original vessel.   2)  If the ship wasn’t sold for scrap, was “Sold for Non-Transportation Use’ which was also sometimes authorized, she might not have been included in the list of vessels scrapped, and 3)  Vessels were often bought by distant companies, then found the vessel couldn’t practically be towed to their scrapyard, were sold or contracted to other companies for scrapping.

As for the question of the original JOVI (283905), she kept her name long after the JOVI II, working for various East Coast companies, but then made her way out here to San Diego, where she now works.  She has worked as TUG JAG, then KODAK, and now simply JAG.  I’ve attached, unfortunately, the best and only digital photo I’ve taken of her.  You can reproduce this any way you’d like.”

Now I’m wondering about Logan and Mate.  Logan shows in the NOAA registry as built in 1974 and formerly called Kodak, Jag, and Guppy.   Mate doesn’t show.

Sarah D (1975) worked for White Stack, Turecamo, and Moran (each bought out the previous company) before coming to NYS Marine Highway.

And finally, once again out and about in the sixth boro, it’s W. O. Decker, the 1930 wood-hulled tugboat of South Street Seaport Museum.

Click here for some of the dozens of posts I’ve included Decker in.

The last three photos are by Will Van Dorp;  thanks to Michael, Allan, Sally,  Kyle, and George for the other photos.

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It’s a time for the Oscars we know, like W. Oscar Decker, and

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meet some we’ve never heard of.  Some have foreign accents like Oskar IMO 7222279.  Click on the photo.

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Hans Oskar . .  click on the photo for the rest of these.

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Oskar Floa, 

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and MSC Oscar.

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But my favorite Oscar came from the pen–or voice–of this guy, Oscar Wilde.

Enjoy a few like:  “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”   “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”   “True friends stab you in the front.” and particularly applicable today:  “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”

As for the movie awards by the derivative name, I’d have to go back a few years to the first opportunity I would have had to pay attention here.

I love the clear air of winter days, better to see details, like the horizontally mounted ladder and all the trucks in the background moving containers at the Global Terminal.  See how many trucks, i.e., tractors,  you count in this post.

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And more trucks, as Erin McAllister stands by.

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Again, see the trucks, as Scott Turecamo passes.  And you wonder why I don’t do even more truckster posts.

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I happened to be down by South Street Seaport’s row of ships the other day and noticed W. O. Decker there alongside Wavertree.

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And then lots more traffic passed on the East River, like Ruth and

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Helen and 

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James.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  I counted around 18–20.

 

Actually, the full title of this book is Tugboats Illustrated: History-Technology-Seamanship with Drawings by the author Paul Farrell

I first heard of the book and Paul Farrell last February;  I got an email from an editor at W. W. Norton expressing interest in licensing one of my photos for the cover of the forthcoming book. The photo was the 9th in the post called “Helen’s Last Waltz.” I was thrilled, as you might imagine, and we arrived at a price. Then I hoped it would be an attractive, technically accurate book.

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A few months later, Norton’s publicity department sent along a five-page sampler and asked if I’d write a review of the book. The cover letter described Tugboats Illustrated as “gorgeously detailed guide to the evolution, design, and role of tugboats” from “ the earliest days of steam up to today’s most advanced ocean-going workboats” and referred to its “dynamic drawings that show how different kinds of propellers move, to explanations of the physics and engineering that allow this movement to happen.”

Mr. Farrell, an architect with almost a half century of experience, was described as having spent a quarter century researching and writing this book, his first. When someone spends that amount of time focusing on a subject, I’m impressed. But I wasn’t ready to do a review until I saw the entire 156-page book, which arrived in November.  The photo below should illustrate how comprehensive this slim but well-designed book is.

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I first paged through it and then read it cover to cover. Paging through, I noticed how many of these “dynamic drawings” there are, more than 70 of them at least, depending how you count.  Below is a sample of a set of drawings from p. 114, illustrating an evolution that always mesmerizes me . . . a flanking turn with a long tow on a winding river, and he shows it from both the downstream and upstream perspective.

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Indeed, an architect’s drawings honed by years of professional work complemented with captions, guided by the experts in the wheelhouse, illustrate complex maneuvers in this and many other instances.  Ironically, Farrell never intended to showcase his illustrations in the book; he says it began as “rough sketching intended to guide a mythical illustrator who would intuit just the right feel and content” until he realized this these sketches, such as they were, would work. He reports that doing the set of drawings to illustrate hull chines as seen from underwater were pivotal. I find them charming, below (p. 93),  a boon to the book and not just “limited” or “enough.”

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Then there are the photographs, over 80 of them in total and more than half of them in color, many of them taken by photographers whose work I know and have great respect for: Brian Gauvin, Alan Haig-Brown, and Pat Folan.  There was one photo by Rod Smith, who has so many to choose from in his albums on the shipbuilding work at Senesco. Many of the black-and-white photos come from the collections of Steven Lang and Brent Dibner. Other photos introduced me to photographers I’d like to see more of in the future.

In the “Acknowledgements,” Farrell reveals that he first sent a draft of the book to Norton in 1996, a full twenty years ago. When a book takes shape over such a long period of time as this one, it gets vetted for accuracy and thoroughness, which this one has.

Got friends who want to learn about tugboats? Want to expand your own knowledge of the history and variety of these vessels? Then order it here.

I’m just so thrilled that my photo from that July 17, 2012 move graces the cover of this fine book that I’ll digress and post three more photos from that day.

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Helen, she is a classic from 1900!   Does anyone have photos of her working out of South Carolina waters as Georgetown?  In that photo above, Helen looks just slightly like Little Toot in Hardie Gramatky’s wonderful watercolors, reproduced on p. 11 of Paul Farrell’s book.

Click here for some previous reviews.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

You may recall that back in 2014, I often juxtaposed  canal&river/rail in photos like the one below.

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This post was originally going to feature only photos of the river and canal from the rails, like the one below, but

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then I decided to pair photos from the train toward the water with the opposite:  photos from the water toward roughly the same land area where the rails lay and the trains speed.

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Train shots are difficult because of speed, coatings on the windows, trees and poles along the tracks . . .  but I’m quite sure a letter that begins “Dear Amtrak:  could you slow down, open windows, and otherwise accommodate the photographers” would not yield a positive response.

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I hope you enjoy this attempt on my part.  And if you ever have a chance to ride Amtrak along the Hudson, Mohawk, and Lake Champlain . . . sit on the better side of the car; switch sides if necessary.

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Here we’re on the Livingstone Avenue Bridge looking south and

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here we are south of it, looking north.  Yes, that’s Crow, Empire, W. O. Decker, and Grand Erie passing through the open swivel.

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Here’s the pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam

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as seen from both vantage points.

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The 1766 Guy Park Manor from a speeding train and

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from the Mohawk River/Erie Canal, where post-Irene repair has been going on since 2011.   Here’s a photo taken soon after the unusual weather.

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Schoharie Aqueduct from Amtrak,

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a slow boat, and

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the east bank of Schoharie Creek.

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Little Falls onramp to I-90 from rail and

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below.

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The rail bridge at Lock 19 from the span and

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from west of it at Lock 19.

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And these all east of Utica I can’t pair, but decided to include here anyhow:  a dairy pasture,

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a construction yard, and

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a truck depot.

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Maybe if I write that “Dear Amtrak” letter, I could just ask if the window could be cleaned a bit.  If you’re going to try this, take amtrak when the leaves are off the trees.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who embeds this post from “Good Morning Gloucester” to reveal a bit of my past . . . 1988.  Scroll all the way through to see a piece of shipwreck “treasure.”

I’m trying to catch up with the photos you all have been good enough to share on tugster.  The first five here come from some salts up on the Caloosahatchee Canal in Florida.  John Parrish was westbound here, but a week later it showed up in the sixth boro, and by publication of this post, it’s already back to Norfolk.   That’s some sea miles.  Here are some of my previous photos of John Parrish.

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Also, westbound in that Canal, it’s Brittany Beyel.  She’s Beyel Brothers equipment, who have a dramatic photo on that link.

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This one’s eastbound on the Canal with a crane.  I can’t quite make out the name, but the the steersman has great visibility.

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Boomalong was getting hauled out.  Her fine lines made me think she has a storied past, and it turns out she does.  She began life in 1944 in Owen Sound, ON as HMCS Neville, HMCS being Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship.   She’s a Russel Brothers boat that has been around, currently quite far from

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Sault Ste. Marie.

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Thanks to Jed, who previously contributed many photos, here’s a photo and text:  “it’s Stephanie S (1986) returning to Port Canaveral after escorting the bulk carrier VENTURE out of the port.”

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From Birk Thomas, it’s Barents Sea, now over in Port Newark, having moved for the first time in at least five years.  She looks rough, but I’m hoping there’s a make-over in the works for her.   If she moves again, I’d love to see some photos.

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Here’s my photo of W. O. Decker, docked at Caddell Dry Dock, being worked on  . . . or waiting for Wavertree to make her promenade back to South Street.

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From Jason LaDue, here’s a good view of the underbelly of Grouper, frequently referred to in this blog.  Such belly will be visible until the pool level of the Erie Canal is brought back up for the start of the season.  Jason’s also a frequent contributor.

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Now here’s an oldie but goodie from the other JED.  It shows Labrador Sea and Taurus, significant because now that Taurus is being phased out, Labrador Sea–which had worked on the Mississippi and Gulf for the past few years, has moved back up here into Taurus‘ place, I’m told.   And they’re in K-Sea colors.

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And I said “and more” in the title?  Here’s the more, a new dock book from Tony Acabono.  If it’s your business to know where berth 60 is in Port Elizabeth in relation to berth 61 in Port Newark, you might want to check it out.

Many thanks to the secrets salts and the not-so-secret ones for sending along these photos.

 

If there’s a shortage of any kind of stuff these days, there seems to be a dire scarcity of compassion, tolerance,  . . .  So it doesn’t matter what you believe or don’t believe, I’m sure we have common ground in thinking we need

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peace on Earth and goodwill towards everyone, especially this year.  That’s what I see in these decorations and hear in the music.

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From here in NY’s sixth boro on bows and

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sterns.

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From the south,

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the middle,

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and the north . . .

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and from this card someone sent me . . . have a happy day.  And a calm and boring day;  let

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me explain.  Click on the image below to hear a song by Capt. Josh Horton that probably captures the sentiments of crews at sea today.

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Here was 2014, and here was 2013.  Also, two years ago it thrilled me to share photos I received from the good folks at Hughes Marine to get photos from 1997 —here –of the year the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree came downriver by tug and barge.  And more good folks at Cross Sound Ferry sent along photos from 2003, here, when their ferry North Star delivered the tree that year . . . crewed in part by Rockettes!

If you’ve got time today for the background on how NORAD started reporting on Santa movements back at the height (or depth) of the Cold War in 1955, click here.  Here’s another version of the same Cold War story.

Thanks to Brendan Matton for the photo of Paul Andrew, Tali Padilla for the photo of Z-One lit up at the San Juan dock, Lisa Kolibabek of Cape Cod and Bonnie Halda for Jupiter both on the Delaware River, and Mike Magnant for the be-snowmanned Toot Toot.  Barrel sent me the photo of the red clad beard guy on the green 29. I took the photos at South Street Seaport Museum.

Finally, if you want to squelch the “red elf” mythology, check out the name of this 1963-built bulker AND its status.

 

First, for a focused statement on the importance of this vessel and Lafayette on US independence, click here  . . . from a Portland Maine publication.   More on Lafayette, click here, but skip the partisan dribble in paragraphs 3–6.  Also, here.

Most of the photos in this post I took on July 1, by which time the French shore contingent had done a great job setting up a pier display, and here’s my favorite poster.  Doubleclick on the photo to enlarge it and read the numbers.

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Soon after all lines were made fast, the ceremony started:  music, uniforms, flags, and the CASK!  It’s to be auctioned off.  I’d love to know the price.

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Thanks to Linda Roorda, Peter Boucher, and Xtian Herrou for answers about the flags and uniforms.  The uniforms here and in Wednesday’s post of the Breton bagpipers and the two matelots are French Naval summer uniforms. The flag flown below the US flag on L’Hermione is the Serapis flag–or a variation thereof– flown by John Paul Jones.

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Yesterday I stopped by and was fortunate to here speeches under the FDR.  Here, with microphone, South Street Seaport Museum Executive Director Jonathan Boulware talks about the ships, the museum, and all six boros of NYC.

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Then a parade set out from the pier and headed via Wall Street to Bowling Green, stopping

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briefly at Federal Hall.

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Happy Independence Day.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

If you have time for a little history of LaFayette, click here.  If you want more complicated history, sorting out fact and fiction about the signers of the Declaration, click here.

 

 

I will be back tomorrow with close-ups of L’Hermione and more, but Bjoern of New York Media Boat sent me the very intriguing photo below.  Recognize it?  Answer follows.  Clue:  Elizabeth Anna.

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Well, L’Hermione  (pronounced LAIR me un) will find her way into more of these photos.  Here’s the venerable W. O. Decker.  Click and scroll to see her at work a few decades back.

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It’s Pelham, power unit for Wavertree not long ago.

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And it’s James Turecamo, preparing to escort in the French frigate currently at South Street.

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And Frederick E. Bouchard, in the process of switching B. No. 264 from on the hawser to alongside.

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And my first shot of James E. Brown, brand spanking new.  I’ll devote a whole post to James E. soon, I hope.

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Laura K. Moran watches the French lion pass . . .

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as does Frances out in Gravesend Bay.

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And the answer to the question about Elizabeth Anna . . . the top photo . . . I believe it’s the erstwhile Bear, the Disch tug acquired by DonJon at an auction back in December 2014.  I wonder where she’s headed.  Anyone help out?

Except the top photo by Bjoern Kils, all photos in the past few days by Will Van Dorp.

And if I haven’t said this explicitly enough, New York Media Boat is the faster, most versatile, shallowest draft means to see whatever you want in the sixth boro.  Need waterborne support for a project or  . . .want to see or show someone the sixth boro and its borders with the other boros, check them out.

I believe I took this in summer 2005, my first view of Lincoln Sea from W. O. Decker.  Lincoln Sea is now making its way northward probably along Baja California, if not already along alta California.

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A few days ago and from the crew of Maraki–aka my sister and brother-in-law–it’s Salvatore in Santa Marta, Colombia.

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And in the same port . . . Atlantico assisting Mosel Ace into the dock.

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From Seth Tane . . . Alaska Mariner in Portland on the Columbia . . . river, that is.

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And the next few from Fred Trooster and Jan Oosterboer and taken in Amazonehaven section of the port of Rotterdam less than a week ago . . . the giant Thalassa Elpida assisted into the dock by FairPlay 21.  The two smaller boats are the line handlers.

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Click here for a post I did four years ago showing FairPlay 21 nearly capsizing.

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Tailing the giant is Smit Ebro.

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Rounding today out . . . it’s W. O. Decker, Viking, and Cheyenne . . . before the tugboat race in September 2010.

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Thanks to Fred, Seth, and Maraki for these photos.

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