Monday, May 03, 2010

Abandoned, but Admired.

Me, looking for the perfect shot - photo by Tugster

Fellow old-boat admirer Tugster Will - photo by me.

Actually, although they may look abandoned, they really aren't. The whole "Graveyard" is actually the storage area for ships bought for scrap by Witte Marine. I'd understood that there was a scrap metal company involved, but didn't know the name until I took Tugster Will there.

With the name, here are 2 articles I found in the NY Times giving a lot more information about this place.

1999 article which explains why so many of the boats have vanished in the last decade. I'd heard some rumour once that it was because some developer wanted to build condos & the old boats were considered an eyesore. More recently I'd heard that it was just because the hulks are actually owned by the scrap company in the area, which dismantles them as they get buyers. That actually sounded more plausible to me than the eyesore theory. The article confirms that that's the case, and also added that further dismantling of other hulks was a project that the Army Corps of Engineers was going to work on at that time because as those old ships decayed, timbers large enough to pose a hazard to navigation could come loose.

And then there's the second one - which I just realized was the same one from which Tugster Will originally learned about the place - A Lesson in History Of Old Ships, by reporter Keith Meyers.

*Yes, Will's in my Romany! I'd gotten a favor from our fleet captain in borrowing a boat to take off site - ordinarily when you do that, it's supposed to be for you, but I thought it would be so interesting to see what Will, with his research acumen, would be able to tell us about a favorite trip destination that I asked for the favor & got the OK. Then I got the clever idea in my head that Will would probably really like to paddle a handmade wooden kayak instead of a plain old plastic fantastic. Nice idea except that the handmade wooden kayak had hard chines which meant very different handling characteristics from his old kayak - plus it completely put his legs to sleep in 5 minutes flat. He was really trying to be a trouper but when you run into a situation where a boat and a physique turn out to be incompatible, it's not a battle worth fighting. Any experienced kayaker has probably experienced that for themselves with one well-regarded boat or another - for me, it's the Anas Acuta, beautiful boat but it does a number on my hip flexors. Fortunately I found that out in a quick tryout session, not a paddle! TQ can't use my Romany for similar reasons. I don't think the Romany was the perfect boat for Will either, but, thank goodness, it was just enough better to get us there & back again.

1 comment:

PeconicPuffin said...

Tugster under paddle power! Nice.