Posted by: hudsonian | February 27, 2009

Dancing at dusk

I was fortunate tonight on my way home from work to be at the right place at the right time. 

Disappointed to find no lunchtime tugs and none at 5PM at Poughkeepsie I drove home along River Road in Esopus with my VHF tuned to Channel 13 hoping to get lucky.  As usual I pulled into Lighthouse Park and looked through binoculars northward to Kingston Point and beyond.  There I spied, off Sturgeon Point, near Port Ewen, two tugs quite close to one another. 
Driving north to get closer, a VHF broadcast between the two crews indicated that one of the tugs, the Solomon Sea, was running on just one engine.  A discussion ensued between her crew and that of the other tug, Maryland, whether Solomon Sea could continue with the barge down the icy river.  Finally, it was decided that without both engines she could not and that the barge would be transferred to Maryland.
I parked my car across a driveway along the narrow road and shot these images with my camera on a tripod and the shutter set to a self timer to try to minimize camera shake.  I kept snapping away and without really knowing what was happening I managed to capture the entire operation.     
Posted by: hudsonian | February 8, 2009

The hastily melting Hudson



I went down to the Hudson River today–and the river was hastily melting. It was a violent place in a very subtle way. That sound is not breaking glass, but the weight of gravity stressing perilously stacked sheets of clear ice, that fall upon one another and shatter.

The northwest wind, a constant presence, whips an oak leaf, brown and brittle of autumn. It glides across the ice and alights in water.

But it was also peaceful.

Out on the floe that small mound of snow encrusting chuncks of clear ice looks from here as if I was looking down from 10,000 feet above the mountains of Antarctica.

Geometric patterns hang above the still chill water. Drip drip dripping ice breaking dropping into the Hudson’s tide.

Two pair of common merganzers lazed in a small patch of open water near the channel.

Posted by: hudsonian | February 7, 2009

BBC Gibralter southbound

At about 11:20AM the BBC Gibralter passed southbound. I viewed her from Charles Rider Park.

Posted by: hudsonian | February 7, 2009

Tug Potomac “southbound to the harbor and sea.”

I was scouting Turkey Point as a new tugspotting location when a security call broadcast over the VHF radio:  

“Potomac with a barge at Turkey Point southbound to the harbor and sea.”

I started walking up the trail through the deep snow, but after five minutes topped a hill and saw the river was still quite a distance to the east.  I knew that potomac had already passed.  I’ll come back to Turkey Point, next time with snowshoes, a map, and more time.

I turned back down the tail to my car and drove to Kingston Point, where I shot this sequence of photos at approximately 12:30PM

Posted by: hudsonian | February 3, 2009

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