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At the end of the Oneida Lake series, you’ll see why this could also be called “second lives 15 part b.”

Technically, this post starts out early morning in Clay, NY, with tug Syracuse and crane ship Wards Island tied to the east end of Lock 23.

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Wards Island–and her sister ship Tenkenas–were built in 1929 by Electric Boat of Groton CT.  Later in the series I’ll show you the brass builder’s plate.   By 1937, both were listed as abandoned.  For some of the history of intervening years, check out A Long Haul starting on p. 128.

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Here Syracuse pushes Wards Island under the rail bridge just west of Route 11 heading for the lake.  A key to the location is the Brewerton Range Rear lighthouse, visible in the trees along the right side margin of the photo.

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The lake is unusually glassy for November and the fall task of replacing the summer navigation buoys with winter “placeholder” spar buoys, seen here below between the crane boom and the spud.  Wards Island is fully self-propelled in the manner you’d expect of a former double-ender ferry, just very slow, a time waste on a large lake like Oneida.  Click here for info on tug and barge wrecks in the lake.

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Type Syracuse into the left side search box and you’ll find many more posts featuring this 1933 workhorse.

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Here’s the view through the controls of the crane looking toward the east end of the lake.

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To the right you see the Verona Beach Lighthouse, and buoy 106 is in sight to the left of the hook.

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The tow is maneuvered into position and a crewman captures the buoy with the boat hook.

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The crew make the connection and 106 gets raised. In part b and c of this series,  I’ll show the crew actions step by step.

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Since no spar buoy replaces 106, anchor and all are brought up.  In the distance to the left you can see the Route 13 bridge between Verona and Sylvan Beach.   Click here for one of many posts I did in 2014 with photos from near the Route 13 bridge.

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Buoy 107 is next on the boat, and

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the first spar buoy goes in, anchored  to mark the spot.

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By 1130, we’re approaching buoy  109.

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The crewman with the yellow sweatshirt is using a tool to hook between the buoy lift point and the crane hook.

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Once a buoy is on the boat, the flashing beacon is removed and

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stowed in a locker.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  More of Oneida Lake tomorrow.

Many thanks to the NYS Canal Corporation for granting permission to photograph the work of Wards Island.

 

 

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