Thursday, September 24, 2015

Olympia Harbor Days Vintage Tug Races (Tuggers Vol. 65)

Tom Blackwood, Thistle Dew 37VT46

In the Capitol city of Washington State each year over Labor Day there is a race of vintage tugs.  That is, tugs that are over 25 years of age, have a tow bitt and have served towing.  In the past, some of the boats have been well over 100 years of age of which some were formerly steam powered.  Though not a "real tug" the powers that be have been very kind to our Lord Nelson Victory Tug community and for years we, onboard Thistle Dew, have served as the finish line boat with the official race committee and timers on board.  Last year we had our NW LNVT rendezvous here with a very nice line up of boats for the public to view and enjoy.  This year we had four LNVT tugs and were again asked to precede the racing tugs and "clear the course" for the start of the race, which we did, as Thistle Dew proceeded to the finish line to set anchor.  Because of the fun we all had just a few weeks earlier at Port Orchard, Thistle Dew, Wally, Tug E. Bear and Pet Tug mustered together and headed out.  Well, we wanted to look good so we set up in a diamond formation.  The photo below was captured by the local newspaper "Olympian" staff showing the state Capitol in the back ground.

L to R Thistle Dew, Tug E. Bear, and Pet Tug. 

The  Wally was there too, just out of view as he was pulling into the formation.  Both on the way in and the way out we did some "fancy" formation change ups much to the enjoyment of many observers.     On board one of the tugs was the local radio broadcaster doing live spots and a couple of times he referred to us saying "like the Blue Angels on the water".  Well, I 'm sure all of our LNVT stunt drivers will now be carrying Sharpies and will be happy to give autographs.  

Another fun time time on the water in the great Northwest.

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