The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

caravan route

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

From the 2010 archives emerge these shots, depicting employees of the estimable Moran company displaying their knowledge of applied physics.

The two tugs, Turecamo Girls and Marie J. Turecamo, work in concert against the tidal forces of the East River and the inertia of a loaded cargo ship. The mathematics of what is going on in these photos would be staggering to work out, but the Tug crews prefer not to over think things and “just get it done”.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Maritime professionals live in a somewhat four dimensional world. It’s not necessarily about the “X, Y, and Z” axes of your current position, rather its how those three factors will contribute to your situation as you move through space over time. Where you’re headed and how fast you are moving is rather more important than where you are now. As mentioned above- applied physics.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Imagine it, coordinating the position of hundreds of tons of steel blindly, as it is simultaneously affected by tide and wind. Your goal is to move the thing into a precise position with a tolerance of less than a foot or two of the dock, and the effort needs to be seamlessly performed not just by you but by a partner vessel working in concert. This maritime sunday, your humble narrator is overwhelmed just thinking about the calculations of the forces at work.

One Response

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  1. Gotta hand it to you, Mitch – your photo images always look great!

    Jim Garrity

    January 13, 2013 at 12:22 am

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