Thursday, April 30, 2015

Classics Week 2015 - Have You Hugged Your Tuggy Today

The Flying Buzzard is a ocean going tug built in 1951.  According to last years Classics Week Program She worked until 1987 when she was retired to the Maryport Steamship Museum in Cumbria, Northwest England, where she languished for 20 years.  In 2002 Mike Nelder and Julie Jessop saw her and fell in love with her.  They had no previous experience but gave up their careers and set about bringing her back to life in their own way.  Which means she is a livable tug with whimsical paintings all over her, art made from salvage jobs, bean bags, and eleven big solar panels.
Deck chairs

Tug dog, tug cat was below

Solar panels

Bean bags and paint make a fun deck
They departed in 2008 on a prolonged journey that will eventually take them to Vancouver British Columbia but they don't seem to be in any hurry to get there.  They do deliveries and small salvage jobs.

They were the Committee Boat for Classics again this year and after all the racing was done, they graciously held an open.....tug for anyone that wanted to see.  We did.

Flowers on the boom arm - love it
Did I mention they make art with things they salvage?

Tuggies?  Oh, you want to know about the title - "Have you hugged your tuggy today."  Tom came up with that.  Let me back up.  The first night of Classics we meet four of the crew of the Flying Buzzard at the Volunteers thank you party.  They were off to the side and not really mixing with anyone.  "We don't really fit in." said Doug in his thick Scottish accent.  "We're the tuggies." said Angie in her thick German accent.  And that is how Tom and I came to know the tuggies.  We assured them that if we fit in, they fit in and we started chatting.  See, the Flying Buzzards attracks some interesting characters as she travels long.  Some stay for a week, some a month and others for a year or so.  Each with their own unique story and talents.
Severn, Tom, Doug, Angie
Tuggy and engineer James
Over the next several days, we kept running into the tuggies out at night, off to the side here and there so we had a chance to get to know them all a little better.  This is how Tom finally came up with the phrase "Have you hugged your tuggy today."  Remember all those bumber stickers....have you hugged your kid today?  Have you hugged your dog today?  Have you hugged your bike today?  We shared Tom's idea with the tuggies at the open house and they liked it (especially Doug) but the official t-shirts were already at the printers.  Darn.
An old Irish lifeboat is their sailing dinghy

Sailing around the anchorage

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