The historic Delaware Tug was restored in 2011 then unveiled for public display in 2012, its 100th birthday. She was built by the William H. Smith in Bethel Delaware (1912) and now resides in St. Michaels, Maryland at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. When I saw the Delaware, she was sitting in the sunlight gleaming, causing me to think about all of the ship hands, Captains and others who have been associated with this vessel.
- Click any image to enlarge! -
There are basically three types of tugboats, river, like the Delaware above, seagoing and harbor. Without these workhorses of the waterways, huge ocean tankers, barges and cargo ships are unable to safely navigate the bodies of water on the planet, including the Chesapeake Bay and it's network of rivers.
The Delaware Tug is one of the last of its type from the Bethel shipyard where she was created. She represents a link to the past and stepping aboard is much like stepping back in time. I'm sure there is great similarity among stories of tugs no matter where you find them. Besides location, life on the water doesn't change very much.
As a kid I was quite fascinated with these small boats and their power, towing and pushing much larger vessels up and down the bay. I also adore the craftsmanship that has gone into the design and building of these old wooden work boats. If you've ever visited a boatyard and seen the men and women at work, a real appreciation for what they do develops.
Here is a peek inside one of the shops at the CBMM.
The work that takes place in the shops is amazing. Boats that appear ready for the scrap heap are given new life and preserved for many generations to come.
A portside view of the historic Delaware, partially obscured by the dock. Hopefully, the next time I see her she will be under full power and heading down the river.
Thanks for visiting!