Capturing the grit and essence of seafarers in action, whether in words, photographs, sketches, paintings or some other medium, is a goal more often attempted than achieved. What follows is a partial list of some worthy attempts that have succeeded.
Under Tow: A History Of Tugs And Towing , by Donal Baird, is the best general historic and photographic overview available.
Tugboats of the Great Lakes, by Franz Von Reidel, may satisfy the sweet water sailors among us.
For those who want to see and read the “real” story of how Manhattan’s Financial District was evacuated largely by water on 9/11, you need go no further than All Available Boats.
Former deep-sea merchant mariner Marek Sarba is one of us, and is also a wonderful painter who captures the seafaring experience in a very visceral way. Good oil paintings are never considered to be inexpensive by blue-collar workers like us, but his limited-edition art prints of those paintings are quite affordable and look great, so check out his portfolio.
John Stobart’s amazing maritime heritage prints and books will transport you back to the bygone eras of sail and steam. The prints will set you back a considerable chunk of money but the coffee-table books are a good value and are simply beautiful.
Brooklyn-based photographer Carolina Salguero captures New York Harbor and the tugs that ply it like no one else. Once you enter the site click tugs in the waterfront section and maritime 9/11 in the wtc section. There are some additional images here. She’s also a fierce advocate and activist for maintaining a working-waterfront and furthering local maritime heritage and education via PortSide NY.
Last, but not least, is fellow tugboater Captain Jan Tiura. Her lens has been trained on the ships and tugs of San Francisco Bay for many years and you can see some of her work here.