Tugboats hold a fascination t only for anyone who has worked aboard a vessel or around a harbor but for many land-bound folks as well. There is something about their chunky, powerful build and their often risky but vital work that excites our interest and admiration. The captains and crews of the tugboats are justifiably proud of what they do, and they have some great stories to tell about the ships and barges they tow or push; the harbors, storms, tides, and dangerous passages they must negotiate; the unions; the pilots; the different designs and capabilties of their boats; and the way the boats and their livelihood are irrevocably changing.
Author Virginia Thorndike has long been fascinated by boats and their people. She's also a good listener and has a talent for encouraging people to explain and reminisce. Mostly she has written about boats: Maine Lobsterboats, Windjammer Watching on the Coast of Maine, and The Arctic Schooner Bowdoin. More recently, her subject matter has expanded to include life on the Maine islands, and the controversial subject of Liquefied Natural Gas.