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I’m praying for perfect light on Sunday afternoon when a public viewing of the barges is scheduled on Governors Island.  PortSide NewYork offers this downloadable guide to the barges, Red Hook, and its Dutch history here.  If you have a chance to get there, the details of these vessels will reward you.  For this month from an on-barge perspective, check out the blog maintained by Arjen Wapenaar, captain of Sterre, the 1887 tjalk;  although the text is in Dutch, the pics are great.

I’ve always been taken by leeboards (aka zwaarden), but I’ve developed a new interest in the rudders:  large and exuberant.  And it seems the Dutch themselves love the rudders, transforming a component that could be just functional to  Rudders with a passion for  . . . being rudders.  Notice the size the rudder (aka roer) on the 1888 tjalk Vrouwe Cornelia (Lady Cornelia).

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And the decoration, which I offer to the readers over at Neversealand.

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The rudder on Lemsteraak Sydsulver includes a boarding ladder and a flag bracket.

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The rudder on Groenevecht dwarfs the tillerman.

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And all that beautiful wood begs for paint and carving tools.

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I’d like to know the various types of wood used in these rudders, like this dark wood on Groenling (green finch).

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I’m looking forward to the viewing on Sunday not only for more rudders but also other details:  mast, rigging, houses, blocks, bowsprits, etc.  Check out the boom (giek) support on Windroos, the hoogaars.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Off to Waterford now.

So here is most of the rest of the fleet.  Of course, Half Moon was the flagship, the raison d’etre of the event.  Following behind is Onrust, its first season teaching history.  Use the search window to find more on both.  For a creative-nonfiction account of Henry Hudson’s journey channeled across 400 years, click here.

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Tjalk Hoop en Vertrouwen (Hope and Trust, Confidence) dates from 1913!

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Check out the four rows of reef points in the sail!

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Lemsteraak LE89 dates from 2005. Partly obscured is Windroos, the hoogaars from 1925.

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Check out the crew shirts that read “Touch of Dutch.”

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Ommeswaaij is a Lemsteraak from 1995.

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First in this pack is the tjalk De Tijd zal t Leeren (Time Will Learn It), dating from 1912.

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All in all it was a lovely parade.  Standing on Pier 84 I was moved to tears, especially during the gun salute as I heard background chatter mostly in my mother tongue.  Given all the preparation that went into these festivities, I have a complaint:  the outermost portion of that pier has been incomplete for some time.  Almost finished but NOT.  That outer portion would also have been the best platform for fotos, which a lot of people recognized to be true.  Since no signs prohibited access, a few dozen folks stepped over the fence and started snapping fotos and cheering friends and relatives–yes, relatives–on the boats.  Until various authorities arrived, threatening $100 fines.  It troubled me to hear threats used against tourists who might have marginal control of English.

My question is . . . why is this decking work not complete in time to be used for such high-profile events as this.  After all, less than 300 feet away were the Mayor, the US Secretary of State, and the Crown Prince and Princess of the Netherlands?

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And when a certain boat blocked these fotografers, some of them were unhappy, especially that tall guy, arms akimbo.

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And what view was this certain boat blocking . . . you ask?  Check this out!!  And please finish the pier decking!  I’ll even volunteer to help with the installation.

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I have a request:  certain folks would like the opportunity to photograph and sketch these classic and exotic boats in all their lush detail.  There is a viewing scheduled on Governors Island on Sunday, but the time is short.  Also, might there be a back-up time if –say–it rains?  For specifics on each of the Dutch boats, click here.

Arms akimbo-guy . . . oh, that’s tugster.

All fotos except the last two by Will Van Dorp.  The last two come from Bernard Ente.  Thank you!

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