Dispatches from a working tug in New York Harbor, and from my little boat at home too.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Pulaski Bridge Newtown Creek
This Bridge spans Newtown Creek in Brooklyn/Queens our dock is up past that black/red barge you can just barely make out on the left. You can see the man on the scow to the left, wearing the orange coat (just to the left and underneath the left hand bridge abutment). He's there to keep an eye on that left or port side. As we go through, I can't really see anything to my left. I need someone up there to let me know what's going on. With two scows wide like this, there's about 25 feet of clearance on the port side and about 10 feet on my side. Although it's hard to damage at slow speeds like this, it is considered bad form to hit the bridge fendering. On our left side right before the bridge is a small fleet of sailboats, what I like to think of as a floating trailer park (my kind of place!) so I'm favoring the right hand side. Sometimes there is an oil barge just on the other side of the bridge on the right side, and this can make things interesting as you're trying to stay off of that and not hit that barge further up on the left. the first couple of times I did this, it was really challenging, worrying about hitting the sailboats, or the bridge, but after a few times it becomes routine. The thing of it is to have a good man out on your blind side and to go slow enough to have time to maneuver, yet fast enough to have steerage - you need some water moving past the rudders in order for the boat to do what you want. Once we got up to the dock, we had to swap these two barges out with two loaded ones. It goes something like this: Drop the left side one off behind the first one at the dock, then slide up and grab the one in front of that, while holding onto the one we have on the nose. Then we take those two and slide them further up alongside another one sitting at the dock, leave them there and slide back to the first two, put a line on them and move them down to the spot we just opened up. Then we flip that first load back alongside the empty so that they're two wide with the empty to the dock and the load outside of it. then we go back to the other set, flip that empty into the slot we took the load out of, take that second load and put alongside the first load, put them back in push gear and get underway with both of them. That whole thing takes about 30 minutes or so, than another hour and a half or two hours back to Claremont.
From time to time, I'll be posting photos and short posts from my phone, then coming back to elaborate on them later, just so's we're all on the same page here :~)
I think I have a video of an inbound transit to this dock at home. If so, I'll post it when I get a chance.