Tuesday, December 3, 2019

LNVT Model for Sale

Here are a few pictures of the finished Lord Nelson. It may also be useful to a boat broker as a gift or to a buyer of the real yacht. I think a fair price would be $350 which is $100 over the price of the model. 

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Gene Callahan

Monday, October 28, 2019

Fram 37VT71 goes to Newfoundland

Fram made it to Newfoundland for two weeks in September.  Plan now for  Fram is to cruise back to Belfast, Maine in June 2020.  Labrador and even more distant Greenland loom out there, beyond Newfoundland, but we probably will resist. 

We discovered the new PredictWind app this past season, and it is now my trusty tool for cruise planning.  It gives you about 1-2 days of predicted wave height and direction   Used it to decide when to make the 92 nm crossing from Cape Breton to Newfoundland.  

Roger Lee
Fram 37VT71

Jack Robert 37VT17 In the News

Surprising Connections: Travelers Dee and Lee Anderson Make Historical
Connection While Visiting Muscatine

By Margaret Stadtwald (Muscatine Journal)

In April of this year, Dee and Lee Anderson, retired and started making
plans to sail the length of the Mighty Mississippi. Boaters since the
1980s, the couple arranged to travel down the river starting from their
home port near Lake City, Minnesota, on their Lord Nelson Victory Tug, the
Jack Robert (which they named for their fathers).

As the Andersons traveled down the river, they learned that Lock and Dam
Seventeen had closed on October 13th due to flooding. Looking for a place
to stay while they waited for the water to recede, they discovered the
Muscatine Marina and chose to harbor there. Though not listed in their
travel literature, they found the marina the perfect place to dock. "This
is a great little Marina with great access to the waterfront," stated Lee.

Since the two had plenty of time to explore Muscatine, the Andersons went
into downtown to see some of the sights. Of particular interest, they
visited the National Pearl Button Museum @ History and Industry Center,
where Museum Director Terry Eagle gave them a guided tour.

While learning about the pearl button industry in Muscatine, the Andersons
discovered a surprising connection to their hometown. Back in Lake City,
the pair had seen the Lake Pepin Pearl Button Company (now an antique store
with some historical displays). They assumed it had created buttons
locally, but never investigated it. However, through their talk with Eagle,
they learned that the factory actually harvested clams locally and cut out
blanks, which they shipped down the river to Muscatine for finishing. Both
Dee and Lee felt amazed to find this link with their home, as well as the
larger history it contributed to. As Lee put it, "This town has a great
history . . .. It's as big as the gold rush!"

Along with diving into Muscatine's history, the Andersons also had several
chances to check on Muscatine's restaurant scene. The two met Mike "Boonie"
Kleist who treated them to dinner at his son's new establishment, Skinny's
Barbeque, as well as drinks at Wine Nutz on their back porch, which Lee
described as having a view worthy of a post card picture. Always looking to
try something new, the Andersons have also gotten meals from Boonie's
itself, as well as Elly's Tea and Coffee and Mamma Mia, an Italian restaurant.

Though the Anderson's never dreamed of stopping in Muscatine, their
unexpected trip has proved a truly enjoyable outing for them. "This is a
wonderful town," said Dee. "The . . . people are so welcoming and anxious
to help."

While their visit came to an end at the end of last week when the flood
waters receded, the Andersons will never forget their stop in Muscatine. As
they continue down the river, they look forward to running into more new


Tug Spotting 49VT08

From: Randy Miller, Hiaqua 37VT03

Tug sighting Aug 8, in the Octopus Islands, BC by Hiaqua. Marcus Clark on
Manito 49VT08,
Vancouver, BC.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Midwest Rendezvous Day 2

Today's lessons were:

1. How to splice your anchor line to prevent the loss of your very expensive anchor (sorry, no pictures).
2. How to quickly drop your dinghy and get it started so you can retrieve your errant umbrella before it sinks.
3. How to get your dinghy line back on the track of the Davits so you can raise it in 35 minutes or less.

Due to scheduling issues the Tug Talk titled Napping on Your Tug" has been postponed to a later date.

The bar is now open.

2019 Midwest Rendezvous

Greetings from Prescott. Tonight's meal will be hosted by Arvilla and Joe.  Tomorrow's Tug Talk topic is titled "Napping on a Tugboat".  😉

Lee Anderson

Monday, July 22, 2019

Mini Rendezvous

A mini rendezvous was recently held in Camden, ME. Salty Paws 37VT66,
Tugnacious 37VT07, Sally W 37VT42 and Loon 37VT57.

Olympia Harbor Day’s

This just in from Tom Blackwood, Thistle Dew 37VT46:

Thistle Dew is front and center on this year's handbill for Harbor Days at the state capitol.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Sold: Mocko Jumbie 37VT49

This just in from Liz Riggs-Harding:

My boat has sold... We are actually keeping a percentage of the vessel, so my info will still be valid as well.

We are hauling it out of the water for a complete overhaul and rebuild. The new owners are retired woodworkers that worked for Mark Ritchy Woodworking. The website shows the level of craftsmanship. I couldn't be happier! I will of course be documenting the entire process and will share along the way.

Take care,
Liz Riggs-Harding

Tug spotting

Salty Paws 37VT66 safe on her mooring in Linekin Bay.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tug Spotting

 Titan 37VT31 is getting ready to sail south to Hilton Head and Skull Creek Marina.  You are Invited  to follow their  adventures and travels on Titan’s  new blog:


From Owner Jerry Jones: “We have been exploring Savannah and Hilton Head for a new home for our tug, Titan, and we found it! Below is a picture of  Lorre and Kyley by the sign that says it
all! (Mile marker 555 on the ICW)”

Monday, July 15, 2019

Tug Spotting

John William 37VT68 was just seen in Buffalo NY.  Owners, John and Sue Mackie, will be crossing Lake Erie and are headed to Michigan.  

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Tug Spotting

Victorious 37VT26 is at Naushon Island, Hadley's Harbor, MA, near Woods Hole.
 It's a gathering point for boats going north, south, east and west.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Gone Cruising

(L-R Ed McChain, Conner, Piper, and Mary Ann McChain)

After hosting the very successful Urbanna LNVT Rendezvous, the McChain's decided to go cruising on the Chesapeake.  They were last seen heading up the Wicomico River to Salisbury, MD.

East meets West

(L to R Janis Bialko, Tom Blackwood, Jeanne Ewing-Koenig and Bob Ewing)

In Anacortes, WA, Tom and Janis, Thistle Dew 37VT46, hosted visiting Maine Tuggers Jeanne and Bob, Salty Paws 37VT66.  A good time was had by all.

Friday, June 14, 2019

A Little about Victory's Captain

Kenny & I got to spend last weekend with a great group of fellow Lord Nelson tug owners [at the Urbanna, VA, LNVT Rendezvous]. One of them was Bob [Allnutt, Victory 37VT02], who has been a gracious host whenever Highland Mary has passed by his dock. That reminded me - I meant to share some of his tales from his days running the National Geographic photo lab. During the Apollo moon missions, he took over the entire top floor of a Cape Canaveral motel for a makeshift lab. Nat Geo had loaned a number of full-time photographers and staff to NASA, and shared the space with Time, Life, and other publications in a pool situation. Bob remembered working 36 hours straight during and after a launch: "They would open the door and just throw bananas at us to keep us going." 😆 Helicopters would drop fresh film and other supplies. Because of the extreme heat, ice was an absolute necessity to keep the darkroom chemicals cool and usable. As an aside, Bob also mentioned: "Life magazine was notorious for burning up cameras during launches." Many thanks to Bob for his contributions documenting this amazing time in American history.

Kristen Bishop [from her Facebook page]
Highland Mary 37VT18

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Rain-X Aboard Titan 37VT31

Made it back to Manteo okay [from the East Coast Rendezvous in Urbanna].  I'm including a picture of the windscreen in a rain shower.  I treated the center and starboard window with Rain-X the port window was just cleaned with glass cleaner.   It was a noticeable difference. I hope the picture bears that out.

Jerald Jones
Titan 37VT31 

Urbanna Rendezvous makes the Sentinel

(Photo by Larry Chowning)

A trawler (tugboat) parade on Urbanna Creek and the Rappahannock River was held last Saturday as part of the East Coast Lord Nelson Victory Tug Rendezvous that brought residents out with their cell phone cameras. Seven of these recreational trawlers spent the weekend in Urbanna as part of the annual rendezvous. The Lord Nelson Victory Tug is a brand of recreational trawler produced by Lord Nelson Yachts in Seattle, Washington. A total of 86 Victory Tugs were produced from 1983 until discontinued in 1997. The boats above are making the circle in the creek as spectators looked on from Urbanna bridge and the town waterfront.

Posted 06.12.2019

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Jack Robert 37VT17 Pays Homage

What's in a tug's name?  Lee and Dee Anderson named their tug Jack Robert in honor of their fathers.  The photo above was taken in Jack Robert's wheelhouse.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Broken OEM 120V Electrical Outlet

Yesterday I noticed that the OEM Jimbo outlet, located under the saloon's middle, starboard side window was cracked.  After pulling off the wood faceplate all the broken pieces just fell out.

Apparently the 1987 electrical code didn't require the receptacle to be polarized--both upper apertures on the Jimbo ("Before" picture) are the same size.

It's nice that the shape of the outlets hasn't changed in 32 years and the wood faceplate fits the new outlet perfectly.  By the way, the teak faceplates were hand made by the Yard.

Dave Howell
Nellie D.  37VT63

Jack Robert Installs a New Throttle Cable

Today we changed the throttle cable.  Smoooooth.  I felt like a surgical nurse.  Big difference was the "surgeon" didn't throw any tools at me. 😉.  Next project, wiring for the bulge pumps.  Oh my.  

Lee Anderson
Jack Robert 37VT17

Saturday, April 20, 2019

New Stack Art

New stack art on Ed and Mary Ann McChain's Thistle 37VT47.  It was done by Creative Design in White Stone, VA,  (804) 435-2382.

The McChains are hosting the East Coast Rendezvous 7-9 June in Urbanna, VA (on the Rappahannock river).  Come join us!

Tug Spotting

From Kristin Bishop, Highland Mary 37VT18

What's better than a Lord Nelson Victory Tug? Two LNVTs at the same dock!
Bob Allnut, who owns Victory, the 2nd LNVT produced, offered his dock and
some wonderful hospitality to us. Kenny enjoyed the tour of his expansive
shop, including a multitude of tools for wood and metal working. Bob spent
34 years working for National Geographic, retiring as the head of the photo
lab. Truly a little slice of heaven in Saint Inigoes, MD.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Progress on Titan 37VT31

Jerry Jones writes:

Titan is on the hard now getting the bottom blasted and epoxy coated and new bottom paint. I hope to splash her and move her back to Manteo later this week or early next week.  Hopefully then finish the electronics upgrade and a couple other projects and get some cruising under my belt.

I'm planning the installation of a Wave WiFi MBR 550 router,
And a cellular antenna kit, and a Wave Rogue Reach WiFi antenna,

Replacing Sole Lights with LEDs

By Matt Ashenden, Miss Willoughby 37VT05

Tool and parts list:
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Hot glue gun (or other means to secure the new LEDs to black plate)
  • Solder gun – optional. 
  • Qty 2 - Red 12v 10mm LEDs (diffused) with leads – $6 for a bundle of 20 on eBay
  • Qty 2 - White 12v 10mm LEDs (diffused) with leads – $6 for a bundle of 20 on eBay
  • Qty 3 - 3M blue butt connectors 

1.  Turn off the breakers for the Sole Lights and Red Sole Lights at your DC panel

2.  Remove brass cover and lens (4 screws)

3.  Remove 2 screws (Philips head) holding black plate with bulbs

4.  Pull black plate out and cut wires (3). The wire that connects to the 4 side posts is “Ground”. The other two are “12v white”, and “12v red”. For reasons I do not understand, the unit in the V berth only had red lights – 2 wires, not 3. When cutting the wires I did not bother to label them but it would probably save a bit of time during the reinstallation.

This is the back side of the black plate after it’s removed:

5.  Cut off all of the gray wires that connect to the old hardware.

6.  Remove the sockets from the black plate.

7.  Check the LEDs to be installed by pulling on the leads to make sure that they are secure. I had a few fall off after they were glued in place. Kinda frustrating…

8.  Install the new LEDs (2 red and 2 white, diagonally across) into the black plate. I used a hot glue gun and a jig that I made by drilling holes into a 2x4, mainly to hold the LEDs at the right depth while the glue dries. I liked the glue gun approach since it hardens in minutes.

9.  Trim the insulation off the leads and connect as follows:
  • 4 black wires that will connect to ground
  • 2 red wires from the white LEDs
  • 2 red wires from the red LEDs

10.  I soldered the ends of the 3 connections so that there was no chance of them coming apart when putting them into a butt connector, but I don’t think that is an absolute necessity if a solder iron is not available.  I do recommend using 3M butt connectors because they have glue in the shrink part that seals them tight so moisture cannot get in.

11.  I also suggest testing them before installation if a 12v source is available. While the old incandescent bulbs are not polarity sensitive, LEDs are polarity sensitive. They need to be connected red to positive and black to ground (negative). If they do not work, switch the wires to see if reversing the polarity solves the problem.

12.  Connect the 3 leads to the wires that were snipped in the boat using butt connectors.

13.  After confirming that they work by turning on the breakers at your DC panel, the last step is to reinstall the black plate (2 screws) and brass lens cover (4 screws).

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Hjortie Installs a Bulwark Door

Hjortie 37VT33 is getting a bulwark door.  The work is being done by Pete and Alan Hansen, Hansen's Harbor, Lake City, MN.

The Hansen's have taken care of as many as three LNVTs at once and have done many repairs and modifications to them.  This was their comment after having cut the bulwark door:

If the manufacture would have used closed cell foam one would have a lot more strength and no water [accummulating in the bulwark]

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Beware the Brass

Steve D'Antonio's excellent article explains the deterioration being discovered in some LNVT intermediate support bearing hose fittings and plugs (see also this 14 May 2018 LNVT blog post).

In April 2018 Mike McCoy, Tug E. Bear 37VT62, found this badly corroded fitting. 

Beware the Brass

Not all copper alloys are created equal, so it's important to verify their composition when using them in raw-water applications.
A colleague recently described to me the unusual loss of a large, relatively new motoryacht that sank at the dock as a result of a failed raw-water plumbing fitting in its HVAC system. The fitting, which had been installed by the builder, was made from brass. On the strength of the contract's "corrosion exclusion," the owner's insurance company refused to pay for the loss. The owner filed a suit against the insurer, and lost. Setting the legal drama aside, the anecdote is a reminder to builders and service yards to beware of brass when selecting or replacing below-the-waterline marine hardware.


Brass is an alloy of copper, and copper has been a boatbuilding material for centuries, most notably as cladding on hull bottoms to keep teredo worms out of the timbers, and as a natural antifoulant. It is an excellent biocide, which contributes to its popularity for plumbing in onboard freshwater systems. Also, copper pipes are opaque, which denies plant-based biological growth the light necessary to proliferate.
In some engines, copper pipe carries raw water to and from cooling pumps. This usually works well, although the tubing is often of proprietary alloys and shapes, which can be expensive and difficult to source. Additionally, copper is susceptible to two forms of corrosion likely to be seen aboard seagoing vessels:
  • Impingement attack, or erosion corrosion, is caused by swiftly moving water in a copper pipe or tube. Because copper is relatively soft, it can literally be worn away by swiftly moving seawater, especially at 90° turns and restrictions, where turbulence and velocity are greater.
  • Copper can also fall prey to decay from exposure to hydrogen sulfide, a common constituent of polluted water.
Brass, a metal that is almost synonymous with the sea, is actually a family of copper alloys whose primary ingredients, in varying ratios, are copper and zinc. In fact, some brasses are composed of as much as 50% zinc. Some of the more common "seagoing" brasses are: red brass with 85% copper, 15% zinc; cartridge brass, 70% copper, 30% zinc; Muntz metal, 60% copper, 40% zinc; admiralty brass, 70 copper, 30% zinc; naval brass, 60% copper, 40% zinc; aluminum brass, 76% copper, 22% zinc, 2% aluminum; and finally, manganese "bronze," 60% copper, 40% zinc. Manganese bronze is bronze in name only; because of its zinc content, it resides squarely in the brass family.
ATD12 BewareBrass02
Regardless of labeling, pipe fittings smaller than ½" (12mm) are often brass rather than bronze. Sourcing these components in bronze is often challenging.

While brass has many familiar uses aboard—from clocks and joinerwork trim to lamps and electrical components—it should never be used in raw-water applications. It's worth noting that many small (1/4″–3/8″ NPT) plumbing fittings, such as pipe-to-hose adaptors, pipe plugs, and bushings, are made of brass, while their larger cousins are bronze. Although most bronze seacock and sea strainer drains utilize 1/8″ NPT plugs, under no circumstances should these be replaced with brass. Appropriately sized bronze plugs can be obtained from the equipment manufacturer. And if you're unsure of the plug material, avoid using it below the waterline or in raw-water applications. Another location where brass is often inadvertently used is in water injection ports on stuffing boxes. These frequently call for a threaded pipe-to-hose adaptor of 1/4″ or 3/8″.
In my experience, many chandlery clerks and marine equipment vendors cannot be relied upon to provide accurate alloy information. Many are unaware of the important distinction between brass and bronze, and prohibitions for use of the former in raw-water systems. It's up to you to know that if you replace a lost or damaged bronze plug with a brass one, you may suffer the consequences.

What's Behind the Weakness

Why is brass so susceptible to corrosion?
Because many brass alloys contain a substantial amount of zinc, they are especially susceptible to "dezincification," whereby the zinc selectively corrodes and leaves a porous copper shell that retains its shape but has little strength. A dezincified brass propeller, for instance, can be identified by its splotchy reddish or pink coloring. Many propellers (and propeller nuts) are fabricated from so-called manganese bronze, a brass alloy, and as such are especially susceptible to dezincification. That's why it's so important to protect this often-substantial investment with sacrificial anodes, and to vigilantly monitor and renew them when necessary. In a conventional assembly, which combines a stainless steel alloy shaft and a brass (manganese bronze) propeller, once the anode is gone, the metal most likely to corrode is the prop. Besides dezincification, brasses are susceptible to other forms of corrosion. Ammonia, a common ingredient in household cleaners, will readily attack brass, causing it to weaken and crack; and mercury will do the same.

By definition, brass alloys include zinc as one constituent element. When that zinc selectively corrodes, in a process known as dezincification, it is easily identifiable by the pinkish hue of the copper left behind.


Bronze, although it's a copper alloy, is different from brass in that it's free of any appreciable amount of zinc, and so is not susceptible to dezincification. Bronze's parent alloying element is copper, but its primary alloying element is tin. As a result, pound for pound, bronze is often more expensive than brass, which contains less costly zinc.
Gunmetal, as its name suggests, was employed in firearms manufacture. It is a bronze alloy of 88% copper, 10% tin, and 2% zinc. It is not especially strong, but it is corrosion resistant and perfectly acceptable for below-the-waterline use. It is often cast into items such as cleats, chocks, and shaftlogs.
This pipe-to-hose adapter on a seacock failed as a result of dezincification. Fortunately, the failure occurred during winterization, after the vessel had been hauled.

Another bronze alloy, aluminum bronze, is strong but susceptible to de-aluminification. This vulnerability is avoidable with the addition of nickel. The resulting strong, corrosion-resistant alloy, typically called nibral (nickel, bronze, aluminum), is often used to make propellers. Prop repair shops sometimes charge a premium for reworking nibral props due to the metal's tendency to take on a set, or memory. Manganese is sometimes added to this already complex soup of metals to further increase strength.
Silicon-bronze is by far the most popular alloy for underwater hardware, including seacocks. It is 96% copper, the remainder being silicon and other trace elements—sometimes very small amounts of zinc, often measured in single percentage points. Bronze hardware such as nuts, bolts, and screws is often made of this alloy and can be expected to give long, corrosion-resistant service.
Phosphor bronze is typically made up of 85%–95% copper and 5%–10% tin, with the addition of a small amount of phosphorous, which improves the hardening characteristics of the bronze, making it a good choice for bearings and springs.


Above all else, remember: particularly for generic plumbing components, brass is ill-suited for any application where it's called upon to convey, direct, or stem the flow of seawater, regardless of whether it's used above or below the waterline. This includes plumbing associated with raw-water strainers, stuffing boxes, seacocks, and sanitation and air-conditioning systems. Your clients rely on you to know what materials are suitable in which applications. While brass, bronze, and similar alloys may look the same, that's not a defense you'll want to rely on if you have to explain a catastrophic failure.

About the Author: For many years a full-service yard manager, Steve now works with boat builders and owners and others in the industry as "Steve D'Antonio Marine Consulting Inc." He is the technical editor of 
Professional BoatBuilder, and awaits publication (by McGraw-Hill/International Marine) of his book on marine systems.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Tuggers Pay Tribute to Debbie Steplock, Pet Tug 37VT60

Debbie Steplock, 14 October 1969 - 26 February 2019

On 4 March 2019 an LNVT Rendezvous was held in Casper, Wyoming, to support Lou Steplock, Pet Tug 37VT60, and to say goodbye to Debbie.

(L to R) Ted and Kim Shann, Barb Lawrence, Tom Blackwood, Lou Steplock, Bicki Howell, Janice Bialko, Mike Dunn, and Dave Howell.  Also attending, but not pictured were Pat and Ken Smith.

Lou asked Tom Blackwood, Thistle Dew, 37VT46 to speak at Debbie's memorial and to focus on her life afloat.  This is the address that Tom gave on 5 March 2019, to 400-plus of Debbie's family, friends, and shipmates.  


Good morning,

I am a tugboater like Captain Steplock.  My name is Tom Blackwood and I own a tug just like his.  As I look before me I see a man, an apparent impersonator, because the Lou Steplock I know always wears the scrubs of a doctor, sadly worn deck shoes of a poor sailor, and has a rumpled train schedule stuffed in his back pocket.   So who are you?

Inside, he has a mind of clarity, an unbridled passion to do good and a heart, that has been smashed, smashed into pieces....and if you could hear those pieces they're putting out a code, a signal:  ... --- ...     ... --- ...   S O S  Save Our Souls.   And by gosh, the code has been heard.  Here today are eight fellow Tuggers from as far east as the shores of Maryland and Atlantic waters and as far west as Seattle and Puget Sound filled with waters of the Pacific Ocean.  So all of them, and all of us, are here, and answering that same call, and because there are so many, I have absolutely no doubt we can bring function back to that broken heart.   And oh, by the way, it would be a big help in putting this repair team together: does anyone, anyone, know where we can get a good cardiac thoracic surgeon? 

Funny thing about hearts, and this is a teaching moment, so Doc, you've got to pay attention, you might learn something, is that hearts like other hearts and this one more than liked.  He, like each and every one of us, loved that massive heart of Debbie.

So let's get started on that repair.  We all know Debbie, that's why we are here.  She was the pretty girl, ahh, but more than that, she was the pretty girl that was nice to everyone.  That's rare and that is special.  She gave, gave, gave right to the last and now, though gone, she is continuing to give through all the organs and parts she was able to donate.  [If I can pause for a commercial break, I'd like to say sign up today.]

But let's go back to boating.  It took Debbie a little while to cotton up to this lot of Tuggers.  That's Tennessee talk.   Boating wasn't really her thing, but shopping was!  So, how do we put the two together?  Ah ha!  There is an upcoming rendezvous of tugs in Seattle, right downtown and directly up from the docks is   Nordstroms.

Picture this:  The boats are gathered and we're all busy crawling over tugs and checking out engines when you glance up to see Debbie, on her return, walking down the dock.  A bouquet of fresh flowers from the Pike Place Market cradled in one arm and the hand of the other toting one of those fancy, cord handled, crisp white shopping bags with gold letters on it saying....come on now....Nordstrom.   She now thinks, "Tugging is for me.  Yipee!"

In time we would see this play out again at some distant island.  Lopez I think, in Fisherman Bay.  For some reason Lou was absent and my job was to get her on an afternoon departing float plane, for some important reason, like, an opera that night in Seattle.  The plane arrived.  On this day Debbie was dressed in a summer outfit of pastel yellow, which coincidentally matched the yellow paint scheme of the awaiting Kenmore float plane, she carried a small case and sported a smart, very smart summer sun hat.  And of course, madly stylish sunglasses.  With such grace and poise she glides over the sun bleached timbers of the dock with her head high and shoulders back.   As in the image of Marilyn Monroe there is a brief catch of wind at the hemline but nary a break in stride.  Now coming her way is the Captain.  He greets her in his professional, polished and rehearsed manner, takes her case and  deftly guides her aboard.  All's well until he sees me, dragging the rest of the luggage toward the plane.  There is a bit of a sigh and he says "Oh, we have even carried canoes."

All settled in now, that throaty big radial engine of secure strength, starts up and the planes eases into a smooth water taxi.  Debbie turns to look out the window, with eyes a sparkle, and oh how we know those eyes, gives her signature wave then the engine comes to roar and once again Debbie thinks, "I like this tugging stuff."  
I must fast forward to say, in the end, she had her own, well broken in deck shoes, would get soaking wet in a dinghy ride, stand in the rain for a bus, or hop in the trunk of a Good Samaritan ashore offering a ride.   She was the best and yes, without a waiver, Debbie liked Tugging..

So, as it was when that floatplane took to flight, we now wave good bye to you, Debbie, to watch you climb to greater heights, knowing you will go on, over the horizon and out of sight, to touch the hearts of oh so many more.  Good bye.
And you, Lou, here we are, your mending team is in place.  Let the landlubbers fill your arteries with strength and will and let your Tugger buddies keep the saltwater in your veins.

I'll see you back aboard Pet Tug, Petunia Tug, where the spirit of your First Mate ever waits.  

And remember, remember.......every now and again, you're  gonna have to take her shopping, listen to some piano music at Nordstroms, and when cooking aboard, in the galley, wear your pearls..

Tom Blackwood
Presented: 5 March 2019
Highland Park Community Church
Casper, Wyoming 

A video of Debbie's memorial service.  Tom's address starts at the 29 minute mark.

Debbie's obituary, Casper Star Tribune, 4 March 2019.