Today two Chesapeake tribs, each beginning with the letter 'S,' floated down the Hudson River. I am talking, of course, about Baltimore-based Vane Brothers tugboats, most all of which are named after Chesapeake Bay tributaries.
One pulled and the other pushed barges. The first, at 464 miles long, is the Susquehanna, the source of which flows is Otsego Lake near Cooperstown, NY. Its waters spill from the lake and flow through New York's hilly Southern Tier, winding on through Pennsylvania, and then cutting the Delmarva Peninsula from the rest of Maryland before finally emptying into the Chesapeake Bay's northern reaches. The other is the antithesis of the mighty Susquehanna. The brief Sassafras, just 22 miles long, rises in Delaware and flowing short north then west into Maryland and the bay.
I had known Sassafras was on her way. Since I had never photographed this particular tug, I braved the mid-30s temperatures, fog, and a light but steady drizzle.
But first came Susquehanna. I've seen her before, photographing the tug bathed in golden light years ago from the Mid-Hudson Bridge. Today, I'd get something completely different--a study in monochrome from river level at the shore between Walkway Over the Hudson and the Mid-Hudson Bridge.
The 98-gross ton Susquehanna is 94 feet long and was launched in 2007. Her twin caterpillar diesels generate 4,200 hp.
Susquehanna at Walkway
Susquehanna and barge approaching the Mid-Hudson Bridge
For a change of pace I dressed for rain, saddled up my bike and rode out onto Walkway for Sassafras. Surprisingly, I was not the only person on Walkway. About a half dozen others walked--some with their dogs--in the light drizzle. I arrived at the center of the span early and waited about 10 minutes in the rain.
Sassafras, launched in 2008 is 99 gross tons, 90 feet long powered by twin 1,500 hp diesels.
SUSQUEHANNA in better light
Back on November 2, 2008, Susquehanna pushed the light Double Skin 52 southbound at Poughkeepsie. I caught her from the Mid-Hudson Bridge in brilliant light with peak fall colors. The old Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge, awaiting resurrection as Walkway Over the Hudson, stood in the distance
More on Susquehanna
More on Sassafras
All photos Jeff Anzevino c2013; All rights reserved.