28 April 2006


So while I was in Washington I read an article in the Washington Post about the Volvo Ocean Race. The boats were coming to visit to Baltimore, and were going to have some supporting events, including a regatta inside the Harbor. The boats race around the world stopping in a few choice ports (like NYC, Rio, and, uh, Baltimore). Next week (on Monday and/or Tuesday) the boats will be coming in to New York City for a break. To get ready the city had to dredge the North Cove because the boats draw too much water. The North Cove is usually host to the Manhattan Yacht Club and the Manhattan Sailing School (where I took my kids sailing, way back in 2003 - check out the video link on the left hand side of Persuasion's page). Last autumn the North Cove was host to Ellen MacArthur's boat as she waited for favorable weather for an attempt at the Atlantic crossing record. Compare the background of the boat basin with B&Q in it with the emptiness as they prep for the Volvo boats. (Thanks to Zephyr for reminding me about Volvo coming to Baltimore and NYC.)

I rode my bike down there to check out the dredging. When I got there the only thing there, literally, were two Coast Guard boats tied to a floating dock. I spoke to one of the Coasties about the race, the boat basin, and the preparations and learned that I missed the Dredger and tugs by about 15 minutes. I have a tugboat fetish so I look for them whenever I am near the water. I had spied them already from the bike path on my way down to the Cove. So I snapped a few pictures of the empty boat basin, the Coasties, and the Statue of Liberty. Then I raced back north and caught up with the dredging machines and the tugs. There was also a barge with them (probably full of poison/dredged material). They docked right by the Intrepid Air & Space Museum, at Pier 88-ish. (What's cool about the Intrepid space is the Intrepid itself of course, but also that there is a submarine from the Cold War there (smells just like the real thing!). But wait, there's more – one of the Concordes is there too. A plane on a boat! If you haven't been to the Intrepid, you should go. I went there with my dad for a class trip. When I was in college.) And while I was checking out the docking of the tugs and Dredger (while another stood off with the barge of muddy poison) the Coasties from North Cove came by. As the tugs docked, two kayakers (the two tiny dots behind the tug) came by. I mention this here for the benefit of Fraulein Frogma

There are articles in the paper every once and a while about how clean NY Harbor is and how the Hudson is making a rebound. I have no doubt it's true, but here, along the sea wall, is a parasite you can catch if you fall in.

I often think that I should have joined the Coast Guard instead of the Navy. I'd probably still be in, maybe. The Coast Guard is dope.

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