Everyone loves an adorable tugboat!

Theodore Too – Source: github.com

From Canada to Australia, from Russia to the United Kingdom, and from South Africa to the USA, the entire world loves an adorable tugboat. The varied images of youth-oriented book covers, animated television series, poems, and motion pictures provided below are proof of this. Perhaps, our lifelong love and admiration for tireless, hard-working tugboats is best described by this brilliant poem penned by Joseph Brodsky in 1962.

A Ballad About a Small Tugboat
Баллада о маленьком буксире

Joseph Brodsky

“This is – me.
Anteus – my name.
I’m no ancient hero by fame.
I’m – a tugboat.
I work in this port.
Over here.
It’s my nature, of sort.
There is water beneath.
Up above – open sky.
In between,
All the smoke from the towboats drifts by.
In between,
All the shrill of the towboats rings high.
I’m – a tugboat.
I work in this port.
With a cigarette there
Is my captain, my lord.
He stands by the rudder
(as they say – in control).
That’s the stoker beside him
He feeds me with coal.
Then, the boatswain
And sailors.
It’s a frenzy, you see.
Those two are mechanics –
They’re my medics at sea.
But who’s that, in a cap,
On the stern, at the end?
That’s the cook,
With a beautiful ladle in hand.
I’m – a tugboat.
These men are my crew.
We are moving ahead.
There’s a beautiful view:
Up ahead – all is blue,
And behind – all is blue,
And the lace of the lifting cranes
Starts to show through.
On the desolate islands,
The grass is all green,
Underneath me – the bay,
Where the Neva is seen.
The clouds float by
In the puffs from the boat,
Reflected in water.
In the clouds, I float
Through the beautiful places
where I had grown up,
By the seagulls and there,
Where all the clouds stop.
As the sun is just rising,
While the rest are reposed,
I, enclosed in the haze
From my head to my toes,
Leave the quay in a rush,
As my dream is cut short,
Since I’m told that a SHIP
Has appeared in the port.
From the far away seas,
It appeared here at last,
From the seas, where my anchor
Will never be cast,
Where the coast, in a dream,
Is tranquil and calm,
And only the parrots
Cry out from the palms.
The ship crossed the ocean
And appeared from the blue.
Good day to you, foreigner,
We are welcoming you.
You have traveled to us
From a land far away.
Pull up to the moorage,
And rest in our bay.
Please forgive me, I fear,
I must take it from here.
Though, you’re casting your gaze
From the deck happily,
I’m afraid in this place
You can’t do without me.
I will leave you among
All the other ships here,
In their company surely
You’ll be feeling up cheered,
On your left is the Neva,
A tall bank – on your right.
And the lifting crane spreads
All its lace from its height.
… They will feed me some coal,
And soon later, again,
I will make my way down
To greet one more friend.
Thus I live, thus I work,
Without taking a break,
In my dreams I forget
Who I am when awake,
Always running somewhere,
Rushing off in the din,
Always sending ships off
Always pulling them in.
Thus I work every day,
Hardly standing in place.
First I’m here, then away,
And at times, I feel dazed.
As I glide by the moorage,
When it’s time to return,
And the hurrying sunset
Is chasing the stern,
And the Neva is gleaming
In a silvery dress,
I hear words being spoken
As I’m being addressed.
As though, all together,
Right behind the bend,
all the ships say to me:
– Good evening, dear friend
Or, having loaded its freight,
From the dark, quietly,
The Frenchman is speaking,
‘Bon soir, mon ami’
And the German, nearby:
‘Guten abend, kamerad’.
Or perhaps, a ‘Good-bye!’
From a young English lad.
Farewell, my dear pals.
Farewell, my dear friends.
Don’t pity me, please,
But I cannot advance.
Sail off into morning,
Away from these parts,
And to our native ocean
Pass on my regards.
Though we’re feeling this strain,
We must part once again.
Someone has to remain
By this beautiful land.
It is I, my dear friends,
Yes, it’s certainly I.
On your journey, you’ll see
Other lands, drifting by,
Where the coast, in a dream,
Is tranquil and calm,
And only the parrots
Cry out from the palms.
Though I grieve all the time,
-I’m no seaman, alas,
And sometimes I may pine
For the places you pass,
Though each parting brings pain
That I feel for my brothers,
-And one day, I’ll get old,
In the bay of the past,
And the chimneys will tower
High over my mast,
Then, my captain will order
“Up ahead, to the right.
”And the stoker will toss me
A bit of coal for the night,
The boatswain in his raincoat
Will steer me once more,
Push the stern from the moorage
With his leg, as before,
– And then I shall drift,
And my dreams will unfold,
Past the trees with blue leaves
To a country of gold.
As the legends proclaim,
Based on all that I’ve learned,
From this country no tugboat
Has ever returned.”

Source: sites.google.com/site/poetryandtranslations/joseph-brodsky/a-ballad-about-a-small-tugboat

Source: “Tug Tug” by Jerome Damey on Dribble

Enjoy the images and memories provided below. They are presented in alphabetical order and list the year each was first published and/or released. See how many you remember reading or watching in your youth, as a teenager, or in adulthood. If any similar tugboat media was missed, please feel free to pass them along so they can be added.

Peace and enjoy!


A Pug Boat Family (USA – 2019)

Source: etsy.com

Ballad of a Small Tugboat (Russia – 1962 poem/1990 book)

Source: pinterest.com

Chubby Tugboat (USA – 1984)

Source: thriftbooks.com

Doug the Tug (USA – 2020)

Source: amazon.com

Hercules the Harbor Tug (USA -1995)

Source: amazon.com

Little Toot (USA – 1939)

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Little Tug (USA – 2012)

Source: thirftbooks.com

Mavis the Amazing Tugboat (Australia – 2011)/Mavis, the Little Tugboat, Saves the Bridge (Australia – 2012)

Source: materhealtycommunity.wordpress.com

Mighty Tug (USA – 2018)

Source: target.com

Noah the Tugboat (UK – 2014)

Source: amazon.com

Pip the Tugboat (USA – 1978)

Sam the Tugboat (USA – 2018)

Source: amazon.com

Scout the Mighty Tugboat (USA – 2020)

Source: amazon.com/Scout-Mighty-Tugboat-Charles-Beyl/

Scuffy the Tugboat (USA – 1946)

Source: amazon.com

Spike the Tugboat (USA – 2014)

Source: ebay.com

Tambov the Tugboat (USA – 2018)

The Adventures of Tessie the Tugboat (USA – 2014)

Source: play.google.com

The Littlest Tugboat (USA – 2011)

Source: amazon.com

The Little Tugboat that Sneezed (USA – 1990)

Source: twinsisters.com

Theodore Tugboat and His Friends Hank, Emily, George & Foduck (Canada – 1993)

Source: amazon.com

Source: tvropes.com

The Tugboat Twins (Australia – 2011)

Source: amazon.com

Three Boys and a Tugboat (USA – 1953)

Source: goodreads.com

Timmy the Tugboat (USA -1991)

Source: amazon.com

Toby the Big Little Tugboat (South Africa – 2009)

Source: facebook.com

Tommy the Tugboat (UK – 1971)

Source: amazon.com

Toot and Pop (USA – 2012)

Source: amazon.com

Toot the Tiny Tugboat (UK/Canada – 2015)

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Tough Tug (USA – 2018)

Source: amazon.com

Tubby the Forgotten Tugboat (USA – 2011)

Source: goodreads.com

Tuffy the Tugboat (USA – 1947)

Source: amazon.com

Tugboat Annie (USA – 1933)

Source: en.wikipeida.org

Tugboat Bill (USA – 2017)

Source: goodreads.com

Tugboat Mickey (1940)

Source: imdb.com

Tugboat Tank (USA – 2019)

Source: amazon.com

Tugboat Tubby (USA – 2013)

Source: amazon.com

Tugga Tugga Tugboat (USA – 2006)

Source: abebooks.com

Tuggy the Tugboat (USA – 1973)

Source: etsy.com

Walter and the Tugboat (USA – 1990)

Source: thirftbooks.com


While the images above are from books written and published for a youth audience, here are a couple of visual links to tugboat books for grown-ups available through Amazon.com*

http://  http://

*A small commission is earned from purchases that are made using these links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This entry was posted in archaeology, art, book reviews, books, Canada, civility, Communications, culture, education, entertainment, environment, fun, geography, Great Lakes, historic preservation, history, humanity, infrastructure, Language, movies, pictures, planning, Poem, rivers/watersheds, Russia, shipping, Television, tourism, Trade, traffic, transportation, Travel, tugboats, UK, underwater preserves, urban planning, water trails and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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