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I’m still unpacking my head and camera from the gallivant to Algonquin Provincial Park, where these “water taxis” work the tourist trade, hauling canoes on racks to remote reaches of Lake Opeongo.  Because Canada is a bilingual country, next to “water taxi” on the sign were the words “bateaux taxis,” which Elizabeth-in spite of the fact that she knows French–decided said “battle taxis,”  an exciting

permutation.  And they raced around the lake as if they were doing battles, lances up top at the ready, jousting against phantoms.

At rest, the Giesler boats–built in Powassan between Algonquin and Lake Nipissing–are cedar–stunning-strip!  I want one!

Less beautiful, this aluminum  “battle taxi” jousts with three weapons.  The sound of these vessels racing up or down the lake was not unlike that of a floatplane, and it was easy to imagine this a floatplane traveling upside down, floats up.   We paddled our own ways around the south end of the lake, but given that the park is 10 times the area of  the six boros of New York, a little assistance helps.  If we’d taken a not-cheap lift on a “battle taxi,” we could have camped nearer to moose and bear.  Lake Opeongo is 1/3 the size of Seneca Lake and 1/6 the size of Moosehead Lake, this latter a probable future gallivant destination.

At the logging museum there I learned of “pointeaux,” very sturdy and shallow draft variation on the dory, designed by the Cockburns to

break up logjams, almost like a waterborne “log fid” that

resists crushing in log-choked rivers as its crews  “unjam.”

Thanks to Jed . . . identification of the freight vessel next to Maple Grove is a 1646 LCU, one type of vessel that HaRVeST should look into for transporting the Hudson Valley’s bounty to the five boros of consumption aka “foodway corridor.”   I wonder who came up with that garble, and further … how the francophone Canadians would transmogrify that.  Buy an LCU here.

Yes, I was transporting dry firewood from the lakeshore here, and it’s only coincidental that it appears that my canoe has a bowsprit, and I’m sticking by that story.  To digress, H. D. Thoreau said, “A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”  I’m sticking with that, too.

Less far up north–yes, this is Grouper, often written about here and still stuck just west of the Erie Canal locks in Newark, New York.  Anyone know what happened with the plans to get her to Detroit this summer?  This foto was taken in late July 2010.

Mystery boat #1 . . . seen at a marina in Cape Vincent, NY.

Mystery boat #2 . . . seen at a marina in Clayton.  This vessel has a metal hull.

The lines would say 40’s.  I don’t have any info about either of these boats.

All fotos taken by Will Van Dorp.

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August 2010