Eight years ago today I published a post I called Meet Alice.    More on that fact later.  Today we meet  . . . Alakai.

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It seems fitting that today we should meet  Alakai to the right and her sister Huakai, 

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now known as USNS Puerto Rico and

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USNS Guam.   Click here and here for more on these vessels.

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No bulbous bow here . . . and that’s a bulker docked off Alakai‘s stern.  The catamarans were a very costly mistake for Hawaii Superferry.  Here are the ship specifications from an existing Hawaii Superferry site.

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Today both vessels await their fate at the Philadelphia Navy yard,

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where I took this photo below, which has nothing to do with the HSFs, but I couldn’t pass it up.

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Soon I’ll post more from NISMF Philadelphia, a place that should be on everyone’s gallivant list.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who posted “Meet Alice” exactly eight years ago as the inaugural post on this blog.  Since then, 2,602 other posts have been sent up from my rabbit’s hole.  It’s been a fun gallivant that has shown me fascinating stuff and introduced me to literally thousands of fun and otherwise interesting folks.  If I have the stamina and time, there ARE many more places to go and ways to go there, and I hope to do another 2600+ posts over the next days and months and years .  .   .   Thanks for reading and writing back.

 

 

Here were 1 and 2 of this series, and here was a much earlier post about NYC DEP’s essential service.

Below is North River and Hunts Point as seen from Rockaway.

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Port Richmond heads into Hell’s Gate,

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Red Hook in the distance and Port Richmond passing by,

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and finally all three new boats with Red Hook in the distance.  Here are some photos of Red Hook as she appeared when first in service in early 2009.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Know the location?

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I took it from a southernmost point in the Bronx looking eastward toward North Brother Island . . . the brick chimney to the right.  I can’t identify either the Weeks tug or the current usage of the red-and-white striped stack to the left.

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What caught my attention was the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on the front of the house of Mediterranean Sea.

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By the time I got back to the sixth boro, the pink “M” on Moran tugs was once again white.  The only photo of a Moran tug I managed in the whole month of October was the one below, a photo of a photo of a Catherine Moran in the lobby of a restaurant in Lockport.  Label says . . . as you can read it . . . “Lockport 1939.”  Would this have been the vessel built by Neafie & Levy in 1904?

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As to the pink ribbon, I was happy to see it.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

The imp in my head wants to mess with the title and permutate this to “tugmotives and locoboats,” and I’m guessing way back when power began to be applied to hulls, there were those who thought they were seeing “loco boats” but I digress.  First, a historical photo to set the context.

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Just east of local 19, here’s Margot pushing a barge underneath the main line.  I don’t know the exact number, but these rails cross over the canal at least a half dozen times between Waterford and Tonawanda.

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As you’ll see in most of the next photos, it’s hard to get a photo of a complete tug and a complete locomotive if you happen to be moving on one of the other.  Difficulty notwithstanding, I kept on trying.

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With a drone I could have gotten the locomotive . . .

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or the rest of the tugboat.

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I know there’s no locomotive in sight, but the boxcars were colorful.

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Here’s an ALCO-built Genesee Valley locomotive, which may have been built at the Schenectady plant, itself once right on the south bank on the Canal.

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We had to wait at the top of lock 19 and my camera was ready, but no trains came.  As soon as we descended and started heading eastward . . . one passed.

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When one passed right near us, of course it was backlit.

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I took this shot from the upper wheelhouse.

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So at the end of the season, I had to conclude this was my loco-tug moneyshot, which had to be taken from neither.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose focus will soon be leaving the canal.  Having said that, part of me wants to get back up there when the water levels are drawn down and the snow covers the ground.   Click here for some history of the relations rail/canal in the first quarter century after the opening of the waterway.  Click here for a basic introduction to the canal levels monitoring from the state hydrologist.

 

Now this could be a productive combo, after all there was a DeWitt Clinton, which was NY’s first locomotive and it ran between two cities at the eastern end of the Erie Canal.

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What does Governor Cleveland have to do with it?

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Well, it just happened to be tied to bollards just west of Lock 14 . . .

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but no bollard will ever stop the frequently passing locomotives and cars .  . .

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

This is probably the last of this series as well.  These photos were all taken between October 2 and 19 in an area of the western canal, the extreme western portion of which is now more than a little snow-covered.  I don’t know much about this little 1985 one-off (I was told) fiberglass tugboat named Tilly.  Not the Tilly that’s currently underwater.  

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Mandalay . . . said to have down east fishing origins from the first decades of the 20th century . . . is a stunner.  Reminds me of Grayling, third photo down here.   Mandalay is on the Genesee river, not technically the canal, although their waters commingle.

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Capt. Green . . . another Genesee River denizen said to be a converted landing craft.

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Any word(s) on this?

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Truly a unique craft of western NY, cobblestone architecture–its height came during the first few decades after the completion of the Erie  Canal)  is celebrated in this museum just north of the canal in Childs, NY.

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Heidi, a 37′ 1941 Richardson, is truly a gem on the western canal.

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And this looks like almost too much fun!

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This brown “sculpture” made no sense to me when I first saw it, but then at a farmer’s market in Lockport, I notice a reference to “farm to pint” and local hops sales and tasted a range of local craft beers . . . of course . . . it’s a huge representation of a hops cone.

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Hobbit house?  dungeon?

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Try . .  outlet for a 19th century water power system in Lockport.

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And for a feat quite unimaginable to DeWitt Clinton and his cronies, here’s the Red Bull take.  Click on the photo below.

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Finally . . . I know I’ve posted a version of this photo previously, but this culvert under the canal begs a tip of the hat to that craftwork of an earlier era.

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I was truly fortunate to see this variety of craft, but for a time traveler’s view, you must read Michele A. McFee’s A Long Haul:  The Story of the New York State Canal.  One of my favorite sets of photos from the New York State Archives and featured in her book relates to Henry Ford . . . his 1922 vacation on the canal and subsequent decision to ship auto parts on the canal.  In fact, on p. 193 there’s a photo of new automobiles shipped across the state NOT by truck or train but by barge!

 

 

I’m working backwards still . . . all photos in this post were taken between October 22 and 28.  M/V Mystere . .  works the Hudson river now, but I’d never seen her before this encounter above lock 7.

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The next three photos were taken just above and just below lock 11 Amsterdam, showing use of small boats on the Canal/Mohawk River for bridge and dam work.  Click here to see what park this bridge footing some day will support.

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The repairs have been necessitated by the flooding of 2011.

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Artania II is the last wooden Matthews, built in 1970 and just restored in Michigan, headed home near lock 14.  Click here for photos of the restoration at E. J. Mertaugh Boat Works, satisfying but it loads slowly.

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Here Artania II passes Governor Cleveland.

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Zooming ahead of us is the largest Sea Ray I’ve ever seen . . . Just Because . . . but I forget the loa’

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This Honeywell boat has probably been working on the dredging of Onandaga Lake, now  declared finished.

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I don’t know the story of this vessel, although at first notice I thought it a sporty very low-slung yacht.

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Lil Joe had been doing bridge inspection earlier in the season, as are

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these guys.  I love this Harcon bucket boat and its hydraulically-actuated outriggers.

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And finally . . . taking advantage of the ambiguity of the word craft, here’s the very definition of a bucolic scene, less than 300 feet from the bed of the original Erie Canal in Lyons.

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More canal craft soon . . . maybe tomorrow.

I’ll terminate this series by identifying a zone that I’d call the “ends of the Canal.”  In other words, even though the canal has these three “ends,” what they have in common is significant enough to group them into a single zone.  At each of the ends, a flight of locks in close proximity accommodates dramatic shift in gradient.  Lock 6–not 9 as is posted to the right–is the top of the flight at the east end, bypassing

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Cohoes Falls. Fred Tug44 documents it here.  In an earlier tugster post, I do it here with the first three photos.

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The double lock in Lockport is the last and westernmost set to move westbound traffic up to the level of Lake Erie.  This level change relates to the well-known Niagara escarpment.

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The photo below was taken inside the lock 34 chamber and

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here we are west bound for Tonawanda and the Niagara River (above the falls) above lock 35.  Here’s Fred’s take on this end of the canal.

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The Oswego is the portion of the NYS Canal system that today accommodates the largest vessels.  The Oswego Canal flows north from the Syracuse area to terminate at Oswego.  Click here for the port of Oswego site.

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In the last mile of so of the Oswego Canal, locks 6 (shown far to the left below) through 8 provide a lift of over 40 feet.

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I still have a few more posts related to the canal, but this has been my attempt to identify my own six idiosyncratic but organic zones of the waterway.  Thanks for sticking with me.

 

Here’s my last canal ruins post, this one focusing on vestiges of the corridor as a dynamic industrial hub.  Day Peckinpaugh, delivered as cargo ship Interwaterways 101 in May 1921 is certainly not in ruins, as her younger sister–by two months–

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Interwaterways 105 has been since 1976, here disintegrating in the Arthur Kill.

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Below the photo shows the dock in Rome where Day Peckinpaugh used to offload cement.

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The Mohawk banks in Amsterdam . . . once a major location for carpet and rug making . . . now hold silent factories.

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Not having been up the bank here, I can’t say whether Fownes still makes gloves here.

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On the south side of the Oneida River, docks exist where no supply barges have called in many years.  Anyone help with info on when supplies last arrived in Clay via barge?

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. . . or here not far north of Onandaga Lake?

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I don’t know the number of bridges for pedestrians, trains, or automobiles that cross the canal, but this one clearly remains as scrap and carries no traffic of any sort.

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Which brings us back to the Duluth-built younger sister of Day Peckinpaugh, also depicted near the beginning of this post.  I’d always wondered about Duluth, thinking it an unlikely location for construction of vessels that came to work on the canal.  But maybe it isn’t.  President Wilson created the US Railroad Administration (USRA) in December 1917, federalizing the railroads of the US as well as the Erie Canal.  Wilson placed the USRA in the hands of his son-in-law W. G. McAdoo, who soon thereafter nationalized strategic inland waterways including the Erie Canal and placed them in the hands of a Duluth shipping executive G. A. Tomlinson.

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To reiterate what I said at the beginning, Day Peckinpaugh is not among the ruins along the canal although its future role is under study.  Meanwhile, neither is ship tourism along the canal dead, as evidenced by Grande Caribe approaching from Peckinpaugh‘s stern.  Click here for more pics of Grande Caribe.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

The difference between “really random” and just “random” is that with the former, I include photos taken in different waterways and ports.  Guess the ports/waterways here?

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All these photos have been taken during the past 30 days by Will Van Dorp, who needed to do a random __ tugs post to dispel notions that this blog has succumbed to focus creep.  Soon, maybe tomorrow, I’ll return to my zoning of the canal.  I’ll also return to some background vessels in this post.

Oh . .  the first four photos were taken near the Delaware River in Philly, the next two were in the KVK, the following was the Hudson river across from the mouth of the Rondout and the now-derelict Delaware & Hudson Canal, and the last one was between locks 7 and 6 in the Erie Canal.  I included the KVK pics to show that although I’m mostly gallivanting these days, mu roots still remain emplaned in the sixth boro.

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My job . . . Summer AND Fall 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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