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DB here expands to “derrick boat, not a term that had been in my vocabulary before this season.  Why DB #4 has been dubbed “the chief” I don’t know.

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The next two photos show DB #4 eastbound near Schenectady a few days ago, pushed by Grand Erie and

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boom resting on a scow.

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Here’s the same derrick boat working on reinforcing a canal wall east of Herkimer back in August.  The white tour vessel is Lil Diamond III operated by Erie Canal Cruises Herkimer.

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In late September, here was DB 2A working near Newark.  Note the elbow boom.   Tug Syracuse is standing by with the scows.

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Here’s another shot of those units.  I’m not sure how the nomenclature makes this DB 2A.

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Here’s DB 13 at the Genesee Crossing, i. e., the point where the Erie Canal and the Genesee make an X.  Standing by here is Tender #9.   I’m planning an encyclopedia of canal tenders soon.

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I don’t know how many other functioning derrick boats work the Canal.  One non-functioning one is here in Oswego.

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Here’s what the sign out front says.  I’m wondering if the other derrick boats above date from the same era.

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Two shore mounted derricks are this one in Fonda and

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this one at the junction lock in New London NY . .  between Rome and Syracuse.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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Remind me some day to tell the story of Schuyler Meyer, who is credited with starting Urger’s educational program back in 1991.  As of today, the season is over.  Over 4500 NYS fourth graders have experienced the “Urger program” this season.  That number and more have visited the 113-year-old vessel in festivals and other contexts  along the  Canal, now recognized as a very large location on the National Register of Historical Places.

Thanks to Chris Kenyon of Wayne County Tourism for the first and last photo here.  All other photos were taken by Will Van Dorp.

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All I know about these photos is that they were in frames in the Baldwinsville Lockmaster’s office.  He didn’t know who took them or what year they were taken.  Can anyone answer those questions or identify any of the people shown in the photos of Sheila Moran, Cheyenne, and the Great Lakes tugs (I think) called Pennsylvania and Maryland.

 

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Tug Seneca (1932) has two Cummins engines, oriented  in opposite directions for ease of control from the center passageway.  As a diesel electric power plant, the engines connect to electric motors which turn a single prop.

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Everyone has a white whale, something to obsess about.  On the canal, that might be a bridge, famous enough for its low bridges since 1825 that songs have been spawned.  One person’s white whale might be the abandoned rail bridge  known as E-93 . . about 16 feet.   We made it although the radio antenna sprang twice.  I wonder why it’s not removed and recycled.

 

0aaaats60aaaats50aaaats30aaaats10aaaats2Ex-harbor tug 15 built in Boston by Electric Boat.  Later she was YTL-479, and since 1960 has worked on the Erie Canal as tug Seneca.

0aaaa10aaaa20aaaa30aaaa40aaaa50aaaa6The stern reads “Syracuse of Syracuse.”  She’s built in Syracuse.  Two boats passing during the day, albeit a rainy one, is still a beautiful thing.

Photos were taken by Will Van Dorp between Palmyra and Newark.

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Will Van Dorp took the above photos between Pittsford and Medina.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA0aaaacb80aaaacb7OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA0aaaacb50aaaacb4OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA0aaaacb2OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Canal runs less than 400 miles across the state, but possibly because my journey has lasted over a hundred days now, it sometimes seems that I’ve crossed a continent since June, and an unfamiliar continent at that.  The countless unexpected details–in spite of  some familar ones–prompt the suggestion that these details are remnants of a lost civilization, vestiges of a culture that once valued them before those inhabitants vanished.  All photos here by Will Van Dorp, taken between Brockport and Pittsford.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver the years, many of you have inquired about her availability.  Vessel IS now available, and the owner wants to move fast.  Serious inquiries only, please.  She is NOT mine, but I will pass along needed info.

Send me an email:  parrotlect at gmail dot com

 

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My job . . . Summer AND Fall 2014

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