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Pouring On The Coal by Keith R Wahl, Made From RI Gallery

Posted By MadeFromRI on Photography - Pouring On The Coal

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Pouring On The CoalThrottling up on the M/V Block Island with initial smoke coming from the stack of the M/V Block Island

Summer kickoff has always had images of boats and ferries in my mind. These were part of my upbringing year-round. But there is something about that first trip of summer, out on the outer deck. One long blast on the horn as the vessel departs (along with three short blasts if backing away). Then a slight rumble under your feet and the ferry moves in earnest.

That smoke emitting from the stack is what most of the skippers I grew up with called, "Pouring on the coal". Now, I only worked a couple of steamers (and they were not coal-fired). But I knew some skippers who came up from the Old Fall River Line and the like. When they used the expression, they meant it. You could almost hear the bells from the enunciator echoing in their voices.

So as they move the throttles forward, there's no engineer answering bells in the engine space. The spirit of those older seamen is there as the smoke puffs and we move out of the harbor to the mainland.

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© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.





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