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(Note:  Doubleclick enlarges all fotos)

What’s this . . . fiddling and dancing and taking shade near

Lower Manhattan, an intriguing hideaway in that bustling and ranted-about geography?

And this . . . same location, but doesn’t that suggest two folks standing near the forward railing

on a tug “made to” the 79 Barge, which

moves other folks as well, here photographing the Brooklyn Bridge at golden hour, as

crew stands lookout, watching two tugs–Volunteer and W. O. Decker–heading east on the river of the same name . . .

… uh . . . this meandering string started out as a question.  Forget the question, please.  And I hope you get a sense of places of peace in the bestirred land masses around the sixth boro.

Here’s the same tug and barge, clearly lashed, at Pier 6 in the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, with a late August sun setting behind the house.  You can catch Pegasus and Lehigh Valley Barge #79 at that location until Tuesday, August 31 …  and at points along the Hudson for the next 16 days after that.

After sunset . . . Pegasus heads over to homebase in Jersey City.  Hey . . . tugs and crews need sleep.

Check out bowsprite’s magical drawings of the duo here.

All fotos here taken yesterday by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated but fascinating:  Marie’s Tide & Current Taxi has been busy this month:

August 9: Coney Island Creek, with Debbie Tuch and me

August 10:  Gowanus Canal

August 12:  Staten Island “graveyard of ships

August 15:  Shooter’s Island

August 22:  “mystery tour”

First of all, for the 17th annual tug race tomorrow, here’s a schedule.

9:30 AM – Tugs gather near Pier 84
10:00 AM – Parade of tugs from Pier 84 to the start line near 79th Street Boat Basin.
10:30 AM – Race starts – From 79th Street Boat Basin to Pier 84 – one nautical mile.
11 AM – Nose to nose pushing contests and line toss competition.
Noon – Tugs tie up to Pier 84 for lunch and awards ceremony.
1 PM – Awards ceremony. Tugs depart at about 2 PM.

Below, built in Duluth in 1921, canal freighter Day Peckinpaugh.


originally a fish tug, Urger, Michigan 1901 and Lehigh Valley Barge #79, 1914.


wooden botter Janus Kok, 1934.


iron/steel centerboard schooner Pioneer, Pennsylvania 1885, oldest in this post.


tug Cornell, Oyster Bay, 1949.


If my math is right (it’s late on a long day), these vessels total 550 years!

All fotos taken today in the sixth boro by Will Van Dorp.

When Pegasus moves, you see it and you HEAR it!  At the point I learn how to embed my own  “audio files”  in this blog, the first sound will be Pegasus‘ whistle, here manually controlled by a fearless crewman.


There’s also a line toss dance ’round the bollard.


Wide-brimmed sunhat shades eyes that shift between bridge and bollard.  Watch the crewman’s shadow.


Eye and calculate,


Talk to man on barge and begin the wind-up.


Flake slack over caprail.  Talk some more to man on barge.  Coordinate with shadow.


Release.  Eye falls right over the bollard:  a ringer.


Passengers applaud, then debark.  Excited “til next time’s” get spoken.  And what happens in the barge, you ask . . .


Well, mon ami . .  all all manner of delights, for the barge is the Big Top, Madison Square Gardens, and the Met all rolled into one.  Saturday night I had the pleasure of hearing the Crimson Pirates as they claimed control of Hoboken’s territorial waters–yeah I’ve expounded on pirates before but these are those who sport the black-and-red to foment hilarity, irreverence,  and joy on the high seas.  See Old Salt’s and (of course) Bowsprite‘s posts here.


Ah . . . imagine an audio file here too with “Tom o Bedlam” . . .


. . . “Land Rover” and “Rolling Home.”

aagm3Meanwhile . . . here’s your chance to support your local historic tug and barge, June 3 TOMORROW in Hoboken.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Henry sends a message from mid-ocean;  see it also on the NY400 site, left side scroll down a tad.

Take one tug, in this case, Pegasus, launched in 1907, the same year as the completion of the Hoboken Terminal;


and one barge, in this case a wooden covered one called Lehigh Valley 79 and dating from 1914


and connect them with a hawser . . . and you’ve created the beginning of a summer tour,


the first leg of which perspicacious bowsprite documented with her one-of-a-kind camera.


Mix in  some outstanding programming in Manhattan and then, just like an old-time traveling circus, pull in the lines and travel to the next


town with the Lehigh Valley 79 on Pegasus‘ hip;  for starters,  cross over to the other side, to


Hoboken and


make fast the lines and


do more excellent programming


like staged readings of “On the Waterfront” and the Crimson Pirates (yes, that’s the Empire State Building in the background)


in an interior that looks like this . . .


and you have “summertime . . . and the livin’ is easy . . . good.”  Stop on by before June 5.

Keep your eyes open on the river this summer;  tug and barge have a schedule all the way up the river.

Unless otherwide credited, all fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Correction:  In fotos 3 and 4, the tug is NOT Pegasus but  Vulcan III, a close-up of which has appeared in this blog previously.

After 2 days at plus 90 degrees in the sixth boro, I’m recalling January on the Mohawk with fondness.

The coolest place I experienced today was NOT air-conditioned . Floating on the sixth boro, it had this interior space toward the southwest

and that to the northeast. Cooled by cross ventilation, I sat there and took in all there was to see from an Adirondack guideboat to ships’ bells and stevedores’ handtools . . . Where is this?

it’s the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook, a mere hundred yards from Ingvar Kamprad’s new store, which should never have been built where it stands, IMHO.

Cross the threshold into this 1914 barge and these bells and others welcome you.

Photos, WVD.

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