The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

lifelong seclusion

with 2 comments

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Welcome, once again to Maritime Sunday at this, your Newtown Pentacle. With the return of agreeable weather, a humble narrator has been making up for lost time, and found himself on… Staten Island… last week. The vessel you see is a Bouchard tug, called Evening Tide.

Evening Tide was built in Louisiana, in 1970, and was originally called the “Captain George Edwards.” She measures 127′ x 31′ x 15′ and Evening tide is a powered by a 3,900 HP engine. Recently spotted transiting away the Kill Van Kull towing a fuel barge, the otherwise wholesome seeming Tug was involved in an accident just ten years ago.


The oil spill occurred during the afternoon of April 27, 2003, a bright and clear day. A Bouchard owned and operated tugboat, named the Evening Tide, was traveling en route from Philadelphia to Sandwich, Massachusetts. The Evening Tide was towing an unpowered barge loaded with over four million gallons of No. 6 oil, a thick, viscous and adhesive petroleum. All navigational, communications, and steering systems aboard the Evening Tide were in good working order. Navigational charts identifying all hazards in the area, which are published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, were on-board the Evening Tide in paper and electronic form.

While traveling northwards, the Evening Tide veered off course as it neared the first green buoy marking the beginning of Buzzards Bay channel. The Evening Tide and the barge traveled to the west of the first green buoy, the Information alleges, striking a series of rocks. The impact from the collision ripped a twelve foot hole in the bottom of the barge, rupturing one of the barge’s ten separate tanks containing oil.

Also- TOURS:

Glittering Realms April 20, 2013 Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills May 4, 2013 Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Hidden Harbor: Newtown Creek tour with Mitch Waxman presented by the Working Harbor Committee, departs Pier 17 in Manhattan May 26,2013 at ten a.m. Limited seating available, order advance tickets now. Group rates available.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 14, 2013 at 2:21 am

2 Responses

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  1. Hey Mitch: The Freedom Tower on the skyline. It’s really dominating lower Manhattan now. I don’t know about you and the readers, but I find it to be totally aesthetically UN-inspiring. What do you think about it? Damn, I miss the design of the Twin Towers. They had their architectural critics but at least they gave the skyline a uniqueness. The Freedom Tower looks like a run-of-the-mill flotsam and jetsam skyscraper you can see all over the world. Totally “meh”. See how architecturally interesting, and New York-defining the Empire State Building is in the background? I could have artistically lived without seeing this 2nd-rate design on lower Manhattan.

    georgetheatheist...judgmentally active

    April 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    • The design falls under my “it’s not good, its not bad, it just is” rule. Tell you the truth, I’m glad there’s a fourth structure (empire, Chrysler, Citi megalith) I can use to provide some sort of geographic context with in certain shots. Manhattan, as a rule, has become rather bland. The ring of condotecture which has risen around the east river is especially uninspiring- reminds one of the stuff you see on the Jersey side of the Hudson. Blech.

      Mitch Waxman

      April 14, 2013 at 3:24 pm

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