Sep 092009

The 17th Annual Tugboat Race and Competition on the Hudson River was held this past Sunday morning at 9:30 AM. I went to last year’s races, and had such a fun time I decided to go again. There were fewer ships racing this year; I’m guessing it was because it was on Labor Day weekend. However, it was still a blast.
Ellen McAllister
Ellen McAllister was the fastest tug of the day.
The Urger looks great–it was the oldest tug at the competition and was built in 1901.
Nathan E. Stewart
Dredging vessel
The Army Corps of Engineers dredging vessel marks the finish line.
Tugboat race
The tugboats race to the finish line.

After the race, the line throwing competition begins. Tugs have to go as quickly as possible to the pier, and throw their line over the bulb on the pier. It’s incredibly difficult.
Line throwing competition from the Ellen McAllister
Line throwing competition from the Megan Ann
Line throwing competition from the Merchant Marine Academy
The Merchant Marine Academy was racing as well. The crowd had a lot of fun cheering on the cadets.

Cornell historic tug
The Tugboat Cornell was built in 1949 and is still seaworthy

The tugs also play around on the water and do pushing competitions.

After the competitions, all of the tugs tie up to the pier and each other.
Tugboat races
Tugboat races

Tugster also has some great photos from the races.

 Posted by at 9:32 am
Mar 222009

When I visit my friends Phil and Karen in Garrison, New York, one of my favorite places to hike is Mystery Point. It’s a small piece of land the juts out into the Hudson around 10 minutes north of Bear Mountain Bridge.

I’ve visited Mystery Point in the past few months. One of my visits was December 27 of last year. The tide at Mystery Point was very low, and the water level was very low. December 27 was relatively warm, but the ground was still covered with snow.
Mystery Point Panorama

A light haze covered the water, and you could see it accumulate as you looked into the distance.
Mystery Point Low tide at Mystery Point
Every now and then you see odd artifacts; this hook was embedded into a large boulder at Mystery Point. Was it used to dock small boats? Was it part of a larger structure? Around 100-200 yards north of Mystery Point is a loading dock; perhaps this was part of that infrastructure.
Hook at Mystery Point

Even in the middle of winter, there are splashes of bright colors all around Mystery Point. The bright red flowers seemingly pop out of the middle of boulders. Mushrooms and other fungi abound.
Lichen near Mystery Point Fungus near Mystery Point

My friend Anne frequently hikes up to Phil and Karen’s house.
Anne near Mystery Point
Phil has been doing quite a bit of hiking–I think he wants to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in New York.
Phil near Mystery Point

Karen, Anne and Phil on the goat trail next to Mystery Point.
Hiking near Mystery Point
Tilt-shift effects can sometimes be fun….
Fun with tilt-shift effects at Mystery Point

I went back up to Mystery Point last weekend. Spring has already arrived at Mystery Point, yet it was a bit surprising how much the weather, water, and land resembled the weather of late December.
Swamp near Mystery Point Mystery Point Trunk at Mystery Point Swamp at Mystery Point

Wildlife abounds at Mystery Point. My friend Kathy took a fantastic photo of an immature bald eagle on the Hudson next to our friends’ house. She was also kind enough to lend me her camera for this most recent trip since I had left mine at home. One of the signs that Spring was arriving were the large number of red-winged blackbirds migrating back. They had a distinctive call and a stunningly sharp and bright swatch of red and yellow on a black body.
Blackbird at Mystery Point Blackbirds at Mystery Point

Metro North and Amtrak share a train line that runs parallel to the Hudson. Near Mystery Point is a bridge where you can see the train motoring North and South. I created two stop-motion images of both trains: Stop motion #1 of train next to the Hudson Stop motion #2 of train next to the Hudson. Of course, I also have the individual photos that made each video.

 Posted by at 10:39 pm
Jan 172009

Like everyone else in New York City, I was fascinated by the miraculous ditching of US Airways 1549 on the Hudson River. Several coworkers mentioned to me that the plane was visible from the offices of the 15th floor, and they watched it float down the river. The Hudson river has a strong current, and the water was frigid, and the prompt actions of the ferries, tugboats, and emergency services saved lives. (One friend of mine walking down 10th Avenue shortly after the crash saw more ambulances at once than she had ever seen.)

Two websites caught my eye after the crash. The first was FlightAware, which provides live tracking of airplanes. You can see the minute-by-minute progress of flight 1549; I’ve also grabbed a screen-shot from

Another site that had a unique view of the rescuers was Tugster. I mentioned this website previously; Will Van Dorp had some terrific photos of the ships involved with the rescue.

Incidents like this make me proud to be a New Yorker–the city has so many heroes.

 Posted by at 12:52 pm
Nov 182008

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to visit my friends Phil and Karen at their house by the river near the Bear Mountain Bridge. I had already missed the morning train to Manitou, where they live, so I decided to take the train to Garrison and hike back to their house. It’s only four miles, and I was able to make the hike in under 90 minutes.

View Larger Map

It was a beautiful day; the leaves have just started to fall off the trees, and the last of the fall foliage was visible. The hike was very relaxing, even if most of it was along Route 9D. It’s a bit difficult hiking along a highway because the road is sloped and there are no pedestrian trails.

Hike along Route 9D in Garrison Hike along Route 9D in Garrison

After around three miles along Route 9D, I headed down a twisty road towards the Outward Bound headquarters. The headquarters is a large 10 bedroom building on 18 acres; it’s for sale for $9MM. Taxes are around $51K per year.

You cross over a bridge over the MTA tracks to get to Mystery Point.
Bridge over train tracks on Mystery Point

After walking by the Outward Bound headquarters, I walked down Mystery Point Road towards my friends’ house.
View from Mystery Point Road View from Mystery Point Road View from Mystery Point RoadView from Mystery Point Road View from Mystery Point Road
Mystery Point Road

I hung out at Phil and Karen’s house for a few hours before catching the 5 pm train back to New York City.
Hudson River
Hudson River

I also took a stop-motion video of the hike down Mystery Point Road; unfortunately, it didn’t compress well.

 Posted by at 6:25 pm
%d bloggers like this: