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Let’s start here as a quiz.  Name that tug?  Answer follows.  The blurriness is a clue to the vintage . . . of the photo.  More oldies at the end of this post.

Here’s an unusual treatment of name boards.  Can anyone clarify why the 6140 hp J. George Betz is the only Bouchard boat wit this treatment?

 

I suspected it was Betz when I noticed her here, but had to look more closely to verify.  I believe this is the first time for me to label–if not see–the B. No. 235 barge.

Gulf Venture . . .I’ve not often seen this 5150 hp boat light.  Question:  Does Gulf Venture currently work for John Stone?

Ernest Campbell departs MOTBY here, her mast perfectly shown against the Putin monument . . .  he did come here for the dedication.

Gabby L. Miller .  . she’s not been on the blog in a while.   This 660 hp tug gives the right push at the right time in the right place sometimes.

The 2000 hp Eric R. Thornton dates from 1960, making her the oldest tug in this post except

More oldies.  This is Marion, although I have no information on where and when it was built.  Marion was one of two tugs operated by Disston and June Marine Construction, previously called Burcroft Marine Construction Company. Their other tug was Constructor. Marion sank in Weedsport, although I can’t find that date.

This tug may still be afloat.

It’s Morania No. 8 pushing Morania No. 170 barge.  Has anyone seen her in Port-au-Prince Haiti?  I wonder if this was a company slogan or something displayed more widely.  I’ve never heard it.

The mystery tug, believe it or not, is Buffalo, somewhere in the Erie Canal.  Click here for a few good photos of Buffalo taken by Tim Hetrick back in 2014.   Maybe someone can put a date of the photo by taking into account the color.

All photos except Buffalo by Will Van Dorp.   All the oldies here are by Steve Wunder.

 

More than half a year ago, Buffalo was auctioned off, and in my circles, no one knew what had become of her.  Some were speculating she had gone for scrap.  She lay against the wall in the dry dock all winter, but when spring came, she disappeared and some thought she had been scrapped.

It turns out she recently headed for Buffalo, and is currently making her way across the state of New York.  These photos from Jason LaDue show her westbound at Lock E28A in Lyons NY.

She ran on her own power at the RoundUp in 2012, but right now her power unit is this crew boat.

 

Here she passes through the center of Newark.  The weather now is so much more comfortable than a week ago.  Can you read the banner atop the deck house  . . .”bringing the Buffalo back to Buffalo.”  Yes!!

Here’s a closer up of the banner showing the Lardon Group web address, and

on the push boat, Union Concrete . . . .

Now on to the next town .  . Palmyra, and the next three photos were taken by Jim Hastings.

 

Tomorrow, I gather, the flotilla continues westbound.

And finally, two more from Jason LaDue.  As to the slogan on Waterford’s logo, I’d raise the point that just as Waterford is a gateway to the New York State Canal System, so is Buffalo, and so are Whitehall, Troy, and Oswego, for that matter. It just depends on your direction and coordinates of entrance.

As attractive as this shot is, my guess is that the boats have already moved west.

Many thanks to Jason and Jim for taking these photos.  I’ll be looking for Buffalo in Buffalo this August or September.

For many more photos of her taken some years back by Fred of tug44, click here.

 

When I woke up this morning, I realized I had more Buffalo photos, and my boss (??) could be convinced to post them ASAP.  All photos of this boat to be auctioned off I took in September 2012. Here she’s approaching the Troy lock, and

 

this is above it.  Buffalo leads the pack .  . . .

with a handsome complement crewing her.

All comments are always welcome, but if any of her crew wish to add anything about the project and the history of the boat, here’s space.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who around that same time made this video and this one of the event, unfortunately NOT showing Buffalo underway.  But HERE is Buffalo‘s engine running thanks to Nobby’s magic.

Not far from E. M. Cotter, the SS Columbia crew prepares for the next stage in the journey.  2015 and before had the project here, (with a clip of the actual arrival in Buffalo here) and last year I saw her from the Buffalo River here.

Last month, I had the good fortune of a tour through all the decks,

from starboard just inside the ramp looking forward,

from near the stern looking forward,

a gaze up the starboard passageway from the emergency steering,

a glance back,

a peek up the port passageway,

a coup d’oeil  back at the companionway into the engine room, where

the engine rods wait to dance again and

push the indicators as the

steam pressures.

A different companionway leads up to the main deck and then

another brings us to the ball room,

with a closer-up of the bar.

Ultimately all the way up where the once and future pilot will

guide her on delightful voyages as

her stack funnels exhausted power heavenward.

If you do FB, here’s their page.  If not, here’s the .org page.  Here’s some info on the crew.

Many thanks to the crew for the tour.

Somewhat related:  If you don’t see the clip of fireboat E. M. Cotter breaking ice on the Buffalo River yesterday in the comments, here’s a great clip, and it can lead you to many others.

Also, if you’re in Buffalo, be sure to check out the Buffalo Harbor Museum. 

 

With digressions behind us, let’s resume the journey.  In part 4 we descended from the level of the Mohawk at Rome NY into Lake Ontario, approximately 248.’  Canadian pilot boat Mrs C meets us not far from the entrance to the Welland Canal at Port Weller, so named for the lead engineer in building of the first iteration of the Welland Canal.

Below lock W1,  Alouette Spirit tied at a dock.  The mover is Wilf Seymour, a Canadian-flagged former Moran-owned Texas-built tug I’ve met on most trips here since 2015. I’ve seen her on locations between Lake Huron and the St Lawrence just up from Quebec City.   Click here to see her being loaded with ingots.

 ITB Presque Isle  occupied the Port Weller Dry Docks.

So that you can get a sense of how ungainly this ITB looks out of the notch, I’m sharing this photo thanks to Jeff Thoreson of Erie Shipping News.  Usually she’s in the notch and considered a 1000-footer.

Exiting lock W1 was China-built  Algoma Mariner, whose bow shows the effect of operating in ice.

Notice how narrow the Welland is here, with less than 100′ between Grande Mariner and Algoma Mariner.

For more info on the Welland, click here.

I drove through Port Colborne–at the 571′ level of Lake Erie–a few years ago, but seeing the names of the shops here, I’d love to stop by and wander.  I’m not fanatical about pies, but Jay the Pie Guy sounds too tasty to pass up.  Check him out on FB.

Four months ago, I posted photos from Clayton NY on the dead ship tow of the former traversier aka ferry Camille Marcoux.  Here’s what she looks like now after the

 

skilled carving tools of the workers at Marine Recycling Corp in  Port Colborne.

See the scrapping in the upper right side of the photo, here the pilot steps off and we enter Lake Erie, turning to port for Buffalo.

After an hour-and-a-half run, the grain elevators of Buffalo welcome us. Seeing the blue G, I can already imagine the smell of the Cheerios plant.

Near the entrance to the Buffalo River, I spot NYPA’s Joncaire II tied up near the merry-go-round.  I’d love to see her at work managing the ice boom.  I don’t see Daniel on the bow, but I believe the full name is Daniel Joncaire II.  ??

Over in Silo City, two older Great Lakes tugs–Washington and Vermont— await between jobs.  Of course, they still work.  The combined age of those two tug is 195 years.  YEARS!!

Silo City may not sound all that exciting, especially for folks who know farms, but this complex made Buffalo and forged a link with another boom city . . . . the six boros of NYC.  I like the quote here that it was grain elevators and the nexus of the Great Lakes and the Erie Canal that led Buffalo to surpass London, Rotterdam, and Crimea as then the #1 grain handling port in the world.  I also recently learned about the influence the grain elevator form had on modern architecture a la Gropius. 

Check out this Gropius design.

A few years ago, I’d never consider exploring Buffalo, and I have so many other photos that I might revisit the city on tugster, but for now, I suggest you go there too and

stop at Buffalo Harbor Museum, Pierce Arrow Museum, and Swannie’s, for starters.  I started from Erie Basin and walked to all of these in the same day.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

I paddled up Buffalo River, and saw West Wind and a smaller twin screw,

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G-tugs Vermont and Washington,

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and my goal . . . SS Columbia.

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Retracing my path, I had to pay respect to Edward M. Cotter, BFD and built in Elizabeth NJ.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has no time to embed links because he is headed for Cleveland.

 

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