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Two years ago, I learned about these tugs while north of the border here. Many thanks to Paul Fehling for today’s fotos of alligator tug remains. He took the fotos while canoeing recently in western Maine. My reference book called Alligators of the North makes me believe these could be this could be what’s left of a 1923 warping tug called Alligator shipped from Simcoe Ontario to Portland Maine.
These ruins raise questions like . . . are there fotos of Alligator intact and
how did it ship from Lake Erie to here?
When was it last operational?
It lies downstream from Umbagog Lake near the New Hampshire/Maine border, not far from the town of Errol, where I haven’t been in over 20 years.
Many thanks to Paul Fehling.
For some coastal Maine delights, click here for Sally W reports from Camden.
This does not look like a highway scene, yet
it IS the stretch of Route 10 that will get you the best fuel economy and can accommodate quite oversized loads
whether they come from Manitowoc or Chengxi or
anywhere else, Badger can move backward
driven from here or
forward . . .
to get you there. It has for a long time, and we hope will continue that role.
This last foto from the Badger onboard museum. All others by Will Van Dorp, who will continue along Route 10 today. More Badger soon. Click here to learn more about the imminent threat to the ferry.
A salmon-fishing dog in a kayak being paddled by a human and tailed by a Coast Guard RIB . . . that’s intriguing, but the 50 or so folks with me at the end of the jetty were not there to greet the pooch. We were there to see the badger,
Badger entered service about the same year I did and
now she’s threatened, at least in her current state of being a coal-fired steam-powered ferry. For part of the year she shuttles between Ludington, MI and Manitowoc, WI . . . as she has for 60 years, but
take a ride, which I’m about to do. More soon from the 60-miles one-way trip between the two Lake Michigan ports.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
In Utah a few weeks ago, I saw a deer, recently dead . . . judging by the redness of some remaining tissue, but scavengers like ravens and coyotes had mostly picked clean its intact ribcage, which itself would soon be hauled away in sections by the larger beasts. Binghamton, the 1905 ferry, is dead.
Riverwater ravens and coyotes have been picking her clean but ever so slowly. I took the next three fotos last October, 2011.
Here’s a post I did with interior shots, including this
elegant staircase leading up to the bar.
Fast forward 10 months: Sally Seymour took these fotos late last week as they traveled downriver in the rain.
The river has been scavenging, but
ever so slowly, as if to say . . . I know some of this beauty could be saved but it
just “aint gonna happen.”
If one option is letting the vessel disintegrate and travel downriver piecemeal, then I hope a huge machine gets in here and devours it in a day BUT invites me in to take fotos of each bite.
But oh . . . that bar!!
Narrative by Pamela Syndercombe, sent to me as email, abridged by me. It’s winter in South Africa.
“I set off in my bakkie (small pickup) to watch the progress up the Rooi Hooghter Pass, which one climbs to enter Villiersdorp. The vintage tractors trundled slowly along to gather just outside the village to escort Alwyn Vintcent (AV). They appeared out of the cold early morning mist like pictures from the past.
By 9 o’clock the sun was starting to burn through but it was still cold. Then the ALE truck with the pole for height measuring came past. Police sirens screamed and blue lights flashed before the procession appeared around the first bend. The more intrepid of the vintage cars were there too…shining and more highly polished than the day they came out of the box! The sun shone as it only can on a winter’s day in the Cape amongst the mountains. AV soon appeared, one truck in front and one pushing from behind…and of course braking on the down hills. The tug looked simply enormous at this point. She passed me at the really quite sharp corner where the view was splendid across the deep donga (cutaway caused by erosion). I wiped my eyes blew my nose and joined the queue of vehicles back on the road to Villiersdorp.
All along the road there were little groups of farm workers, their wives and children waving and cheering. Pruning work on the orchards and vineyards came to a stop. The big Dutch Reform Church was ringing its bells and my tears came again. Andy (Andy Selfe, who wrote the narrative in the link that follows.) balanced precariously on a water tower outside the village gave me a wave and later confessed that he had been crying so hard he could hardly see to use his camera. Slowly slowly though the village, the main road lined with watchers….smiles from ear to ear everywhere. Even those who came to grumble still came to watch. All the tractors and vintage cars were leading the old lady. Then home for me to blow my nose again and reflect on the persistence of a few men….which gave me more understanding of and admiration for the character of the farmers in this area.”
Here are fotos and Andy’s account, with great details like abnormal load exits, hugging speed cops, campfire under the tug at night, getting barked at by baboons, and self-described “bunch of crazy farmers” … with references to laager (circle-the-wagons camp), lay-by (rest area) , and hooters (horns). . . . Here’s a glossary. Click here for the AV main site with lots of links and video.
Alwyn Vintcent has moved over the mountains from Cape Town. Credit here goes to Villiersdorp blog, where you can find many many more fotos. Credit also goes to some amazing farmers with a dream and then grit to make it real. I’m just putting up three fotos of the arrival, because they move me.
Here’s a post I did six weeks ago about Alwyn Vintcent.
Again, thanks to Villiersdorp Events for these fotos.
I used this title over four years ago here, although in that case, I wrote about a South African vessel in the sixth boro.
I offer this post partly as a study of how ship preservation is happening in another port city on the Atlantic, almost 8000 miles away. South African Railway and Harbours (SAR & H) had Alwyn Vintcent built in Italy in the late 1950s as part of an order of five. Find a brief history here, but basically, she retired in 1983; from 1991 until 2001 she operated as a steam excursion tug in Cape Town. Her future then became uncertain. A farmers group (most of the site is in Afrikaans ) (this one is in English) purchased her in 2010 or 2011 and is now preparing to move her 60+ miles inland for restoration and eventual use on a freshwater reservoir.
To make the trek inland, the superstructure must be cut down to a maximum of 14′ . Stack goes first. See more fotos and English text of this prep-to-trek here.
The trip was sucessful, but later she was scrapped. More fotos of that trek are here.
Part of what sent me on this virtual South African foray was learning yesterday from a reader there named Colin that bark Europa was currently in Cape Town preparing to voyage up to St Malo, and berths were still available. The St. Malo voyage will make stops in Ascension and Azores. More info on 1911 bark Europa here.
May is National Preservation Month.
All fotos used with permission.
If that wheel is working, then it can’t be anything in the sixth boro. These fotos of the steamer Natchez come from Capt. Justin Zizes.
who took them here in the proximity of the Greater New Orleans Bridge. Natchez the hull is a half century newer than her engine and machinery.
Tug in the foreground is Angus R. Cooper. I’m not sure what the pusher tug with barge is.
And a thousand miles to the northeast and fully accessible by water . . . a foto from Detroit, thanks to Ken of MichiganExposures, showing Wisconsin-built, New Jersey-powered Canadian-flagged bulk carrier Saginaw. Meeting Saginaw is mailboat J. W. Westcott.
Navigator? Sea Shuttle? Anyhow, bound from Rhode Island to Virginia.
Some of you asked what became of the faux sidewheeler that had been beside Binghamton. Here’s a foto I took in June. In July it was still this way.
Note the row of clerestory windows above the coverings on the top deck of the real Binghamton. They serve to backlight
the above ovoid on some old google maps and lots of shoreside constructs with (to newcomers) an implusible Binghamton in the name: Binghamton Raquetball, Binghaton Deli, Binghamton Plaza, Binghamton Estates . . . .
No phantasmagoria today, just the cold hard facts, or in this case . . . the wet, crumbling ones: exploring Binghamton felt like visiting a hospice. Hopes to see what remained in the engine room were dashed halfway down the companionway below the main deck. Nasty cafe au lait post-Irene river water, at least five feet of it at this point, barred the way. It didn’t seem a heathy or productive place to snorkel.
In this section of the menu, I love the last sentence of the fifth paragraph: ”She took the population of the eastern United States eight times around the world,” and she did so without leaving that section of the river between Barclay Street pier (now no more) and Hoboken. Fotos of Binghamton at work can be found in Railroad Ferries of the Hudson: and stories of a deckhand by Baxter and Adams, which I highly recommend.
The craziness of the internet where nothing dies is illustrated by this restaurant review of Binghamton. Wonder what would happen if you called that number to make a reservation.
name I’ve heard, I can’t recall it. (Note: thanks to Les, pantograph gates, they are.)
On the floor of the main deck . . . lay this 3′ x 4′ foto of an unidentified happy couple from maybe not even that long ago who chose this vehicle to take them to “that other side . . ,” a foto soon to be obliterated by . . . the river and time.