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Decked out in canvas for the postponed move last week, it’s the venerable Margot.  She’s appeared on this blog many times, house up as below and house down as here.

Believe it or not, Saint Emilion appears here for the first time, although she’s been here as Arabian Sea and Barbara CThe fisherman in the background was catching too many fish to vacate that spot.

Franklin Reinauer . . . she’s a classic.

Lincoln Sea . . . for me is a different kind of classic.

Gulf Coast is an infrequent visitor in the sixth boro.

Crystal Cutler has appeared here many times since her first arrival as a newbuild in 2010.

Cape Henry is one of three

Kirby boats of the same design.

Could Lincoln Sea look any better?

And to end . . . have a look at Thomas D. Witte, a 1961 tug that looks great.

All photos, WVD.

 

 

As you know from some earlier posts, those red morning skies . .  they mark my favorite times.

Here Coral Coast with Cement Transporter 5300 has just departed the dock with Ruby M‘s assistance.

 

Soon afterward, Sapphire Coast arrived with Cement Transporter 1801, and assisted

by Stephen Dann.

Later in the morning, Sarah Ann pushes scow Michelle D.

Durham moves deck barge Arlene, bound for some work in the East River.

Harry McNeal returns with barge 1962 to IMTT to continue the job there.

Nicole Leigh stands by with RTC 135.

Pathfinder delivers empty garbage containers from the railhead to the marine transfer station.

Charles D. returns from Earle.

And finally, departing IMTT,

Genesis Victory gets an assist from Normandy.

All photos, WVD.

We’re past the big 300 and on our way to the 400, maybe.   Nine tugboats appear in this post.  Can you arrange them greatest to least in horsepower?  Longest to shortest?  To make it easier, you can rank them in top group of three to bottom group.

Ruby M eastbound one early morning,

 

Sarah D entering,

Sarah Ann with a flotilla of crane barges,

James E Brown going to work,

Larry J Hebert and the the dredging operation near MOTBY,

Mister Jim departing the Kills by the Back Channel,

John Joseph entering the Kills,

William Brewster heading for the fuel dock,

and finally, East Coast entering the Kills.

She’s generally moving the sugar barge.  Has anyone seen Sea Robin recently?

Ranked in three groups by horsepower, it’s Larry J Hebert (3600), John Joseph (3400), and Sarah Ann (2700).  Next group are Mr Jim, East Coast, and Sarah D. Third group is Ruby M, William Brewster, and James E. Brown (1000).

Ranked in length . . . East Coast (120′), John Joseph, Ruby M.  Sarah D, Larry J Hebert, Sarah Ann.   Mister Jim, James E. , William Brewster (65′)

Info comes from Birk Thomas’s fantastic database.

All photos, WVD.

 

The sixth boro, like any location, offers infinite perspectives, compounded by equally countless nuance of season, hour, weather, and activity variation.  This view of Kimberly in the stalls at Caddells the other day differs considerably from the dynamic ones of the past 18 months.

Kust a few days different but quite different location and atmospherics . . .  Weddell Sea came into the Narrows the other day as we began feeling the effects of Fay.   She had Penn No. 90 on a wire.

Further to the west in another spot, Discovery Coast was on the outside, mostly blocking Brooklyn, who’s been in here for a few months already.

In clear weather, land would be visible beyond the tug, but Fay changed that for a while.

Dace Reinauer was high and dry in Dry Dock No. 7.

 

And finally, just west of Dry Dock No. 7, stacked up were at least seven Bouchard boats, sadly waiting.

All photos, WVD, who’s starting to think about random tugs three hundred.  If you have a photo of a tug never depicted on this blog, send it along. The big three hundred COULD be all never-here-before tugboats.

Almost exactly a decade ago I did this post.  Today I decided to add to it and broaden the geographic scope.  Stick with me to see how broadened this gets.

From the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the entrance of Delaware Bay is about 100 miles.  Near the entrance you see big water and big traffic, like a light Ivory Coast above and a working OSG Vision below.  OSG Vision is mated to OSG 350, a huge barge used to lighter crude oil tankers 342,000 barrels at a time.

Forty miles upstream from the Delaware Memorial, there’s the Ben Franklin Bridge, here with Pilot towing La Princesa and assisted by Grace and Valentine Moran.

Some Delaware River boats are rarely seen in the sixth boro like Jack Holland.

Almost 150  miles upstream from the Philly-Camden area is  Hawk’s Nest Highway, the part of the river once paralleled on the nearer side by the D&H Canal.

Of course I paddled the whole way up there. In fact, this stretch of the Delaware has enough current that a 21st century paddler would not choose to go upstream very far, and a 19th century boat-mule canaler would want to keep navigation separate from the river.

Early summer had its share of young  birds,

deer, and trout visible under the canoe.

Some mysterious paddlers shared the waters.

That New York side of the river . . .

if you look close, you can see in places that these are not natural rock formations. Rather, they support the towpath side of the D & H Canal, way up above the river.

Part of Route 97 is also known as Hawk’s Nest Highway.

To digress, the eastern end of the Canal–about a hundred miles to the NE–is in Kingston NY, and a transshipping point was Island Dock, which

has now overgrown.  I wonder if there’s ever been a project to clear the trees and undergrowth and contemplate a recreation of this important site.  Oil is today’s fuel;  coal was definitely king in this other age.

But let’s back to the Delaware.  North of Barryville, there’s this bridge. At least, it’s now a bridge, but when

John Roebling built it, it was an aqueduct for D & H coal boats bringing anthracite out of the Coal Region to the sixth boro.

 

Here’s a preserved portion of the Canal between Hawley and Honesdale PA, just upstream (water has long long) from Lock 31.   Honesdale was once the transhipping point between railroad cars and canal boats and deserves another visit and maybe a whole post, which maybe I’ll getto when the museum there opens again.

Pennsylvania has place names like Oil City, Cokeburg, and Coal Port.  The coal transported on the D & H came from aptly-named Carbondale, another place that deserves more time.  The commodity legacy is seen in these two businesses

and maybe others.

All photos, WVD, at different points over the past 10 years.  If anyone has ideas about high points along the river you’d suggest I visit, please let me know.  Since my jobs for this summer have fallen through, this might be the year to canoe and hike.

Unrelated, if you haven’t yet read this story about an Argentine in Portugal unable to get home because of cancelled flights and choosing to sail across the Atlantic in a 29′ boat to see his father turn 90, here‘s the link.

 

 

 

Preface: The title 1W indicates this is a west-to-east trip, almost 200 miles between Lake Erie and the cut into Onondaga Lake, not far from Three Rivers, where previously we left the Erie and headed north on the Oswego.  Many smaller recreational boats traveling between the Lakes and the Atlantic follow this west-to-east via Lockport route to avoid using the Welland Canal. Click here for regulations regarding smaller craft in the Welland Canal, considered one section on the Saint Lawrence Seaway and entirely in Canada.

I have to be frank; I’ve traveled this part of the Erie Canal much less frequently than the portion we just finished, and most of my photos are from 2014, so if you’ve been through here more recently and stuff has changed, please update me.  Also, I’ve not been on the water between Black Rock Lock and Pendleton NY.  There may be gaps, omissions of key features in this part of the guide.

That being said, thanks for booking another trip. Virtual trips can magically re-position you; even time travel is possible.  For food, drinks, or a more comfortable pillow, though, you’re on your own.  Remember, doubleclick on a photo to enlarge it.

 

Welcome to Lake Erie, the lake with the seiches,

now looking east toward Buffalo. The Canal is named for this body of water.  It could have been named the DeWitt Clinton Canal, the New York Canal, or anything else.  But mercifully it was not.  “Erie” is an abridged name for a Haudenosaunee people whose more complete appellation was closer to “Erieehronon,” meaning people of the cat, possibly a long-tailed cat.  I add as much info as I do about First Peoples because so many places bear references,e.g., Lakes Erie and Ontario, Lackawanna, Tonawanda, Niagara . . . etc.

 

If we were heading west, here‘s some of what we’d see.  But the rainbow attracts us to look east.  See the white structures on the horizon near the center of the photo?

That’s Steel Winds, an energy project built on a former brownfield, technically in Lackawanna,  where part of the Bethlehem Steel plant was once located.

Grain elevators were invented in Buffalo and made the city rich, a past place of the future.  Since 1959 when grain shipments out of the midwest began to bypass the city via the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence Seaway to anywhere in the watery parts of the globe, much of this infrastructure was left empty, left to be reimagined.  Oh . . . that white vessel shrunk by the elevators of “silo city . . .”  yes, that’s SS Columbia, a project that plans to bring this steam vessel to the Hudson River.

Some elevators still operate;  not far from the General Foods/Gold Medal Tower is the plant where to this day, as your nose will tell you, they make Cheerios and other breakfast cereals.  I learned this by walking there one day and smelling, Cheerios. Another day, it was clearly Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Buffalo has a lot of interesting architecture, but the Liberty Building, one of my favorites, is germane to our virtual tour;  twin Statue of Liberty replicas on the roof face one east toward the eastern terminus of the Erie Canal and one west toward the Great Lakes.  Buffalo is a boom and bust city of the canal, reflected by its population size:  1820–2k people, 1850–40k,  1900–350k,  1950–580k, and now declining and approaching 250k.  There really is so much in Buffalo, which in 1900 was the eighth largest city in the US;  today it’s around #50.

Of course, we’re getting ahead of the history here;  none of this would have happened if Buffalo had not become the original “western gate” of the Erie Canal, aka the back door of the Atlantic.  Things could have turned out differently if a town to the north had been chosen.

Everyone knows about “wedding of the waters,” but I want this ceremony, performed on Seneca Chief‘s return to Buffalo, to be as well-known.  One of the confusing aspects of historical research is that names like Seneca Chief get adopted widely, as with this steamboat not long afterward.  As an aside, given what DeWitt Clinton expressed about the Iroquois, of which the Seneca were part, I’m puzzled by this choice of name, unless by that time the name of the Lake had already been divorced from the people.

Calusa Coast, once a regular in the sixth boro, now works the Great Lakes.  Here she passes Buffalo’s Erie Basin and heads for the Black Rock Lock, an entry point for our eventual turn east into the Erie Canal.

The western terminus of the Erie is in the Tonawandas.  Remember my caveat about my relative unfamiliarity with this part of the state, relative to the other side of the state.  Here‘s a summary of some attractions of the area, although even I know they’ve skipped the carousel museum, the Wurlitzers, and the Richardson boatyard.  At the beginning of the boating season, new Richardson boat owners would take part in a mass “sailaway” transiting the canal to salt water, as shown in this delightful video from 1935.  A 1941 Richardson docked alongside the canal back in 2014.

Pendleton is a few miles east, and then a bit farther, it’s the deep cut,

one of the hardest sections of the canal to dig, and it was dug before 1825, i.e., without materials and technology available for the Barge Canal.  As soon as this part of the canal opened in 1825, the Seneca Chief procession departed for New York City. More on the rubble removed here later.

 

See the locks ahead, beyond Lockport’s “big bridge,” which should be called the wide bridge.

 

Once east of the big bridge, we are at locks E-35 and E-34.

We started this leg of the trip on Lake Erie, currently above average height, . . . at 570′ or so above sea level.

We’ll end this post here, above E-35, heading east.  Using the distance table from part 1 of this series, Syracuse lies 146 miles ahead and at 370′ above sea level, and Waterford, 319 miles . . . and 15′.

All color photos by Will Van Dorp, unless otherwise stated.

 

On this glum April 1 and  the 25th month in a row, the blog looks back 10 years on day 1 of a new month . . .  and sometimes day 2 as well, with a selection of photos from exactly a decade back, 120 months ago.  What’s particularly interesting for me about this look back is the degree of change in the boro, replacement and realignment otherwise going almost unnoted, like movement only visible in slow motion.

Allied Transportation and their tug Socrates were still around; the company got absorbed into Kirby, and the tug was sold and transported to Nigeria almost eight years ago already.  Here she passed the statue on her way to Florida with the barge Sugar Express.

On this Easter morning, Patapsco hurried eastbound in the KVK.  Patapsco has been sold out of Vane and now carries Steven Wayne nameboards.

I recall that same Easter morning;  Ivory Coast appeared to float in the air as she headed into the Kills. She still carries the same name and livery.

A bit later that morning, the 3800-teu Al-Mutanabbi, launched 1998, headed out with her containers;  since then, the ship has been broken up on the south bank of the Yangtze in Jiangyin, upstream from Shanghai. Since then, UASC has merged with Hapag-Lloyd.  And Al-Mutannabi, he was a poet who lived well but died young because of the power of his poetry.

Al-Sabahia was the same class/size container ship;  she too has been broken up in Jiangyin, just two years ago.  Count the number of containers across to understand the dramatic difference in size of some container ships;  also, note the top of the wheelhouse is nearly at the deck level of the ship, compared with here or here. If you count carefully, that’s 20 across, rather than 13.  Laura K Moran, escorting her in, has been reassigned to another port.

A unique flat-fronted tug,  locally-built tug called Houma, 1970, was still around. She’s been scrapped.  Beyond her is an interesting and eclectic cluster of lower Manhattan architecture, with one of my favorites, the former Standard Oil Building, just to the right of the black pyramid.

We’ll pick up on more April 2010 photos tomorrow.  With increasing restrictions on movement around the boro, I might be digging into my archives a lot for a while.  If you want to help by dipping into your own archives for photos and stories, I would greatly appreciate that.  Maybe it’s time for new permutations of truckster, teamster, bikester, autoster, planester, hutster, hikester, storyster,  . . .  let’s help each other out.

All photos taken by and stories researched by . .  . WVD, who wishes you all health.  Hat tip to you performing essential services out there.

 

 

How’s this as an unusual perspective, East Coast coming through the Narrows and under the VZ Bridge, barely visible at top of photo,  with a sugar barge, not sure which one. I believe that’s a Sandy Hook antenna and West Bank Romer Shoal Light off starboard.

Kimberly Poling heads into the Kills past Robbins Reef Light.

James William has been moving garbage containers these days.

The intriguingly named Iron Wolf passes the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

Mary Alice moves Columbia New York.

A few hundred yards ahead of Iron Wolf is Sea Fox.

Andrea departs the Kills to pick up a fuel barge.

Mary H returns from a run with barge Patriot.

And finally, Fox3 heads southbound;  that’s the southern tip of Manhattan behind her.

All photos, WVD.

Coastline Girls and many other names including Gage Paul Thornton and  ST-497, the 1944-build now sleeps deep in Davy Jones locker,  and was not an intentional reefing.

It’s been a while since I last saw Mcallister Sisters, shown here passing the Esopus Meadows light.  If I’m not mistaken, she’s currently based in Baltimore.

Ten years ago, this boat had already been painted blue over orange, but she still carried the June K name board.

Socrates, classic lines and a classic name, has since gone off to Nigeria, riding over in mid-2012 on a heavy lift ship called Swan.

Urger on blocks in Lyons . . . one would have thought then that she’d run forever.  These days she’s back on blocks at the eastern end of the Canal.

And February 2010 was the time of prime iceboating, and that’s Bonnie of frogma.

James Turecamo, with its wheelhouse down as I rarely saw it, works these days upriver as far north as Albany.  Photo by Allen Baker.

Brandywine and Odin these days spend most of their time on Gulf of Mexico waters.

Gramma Lee T Moran straining here as she pulled the tanker off the dock.  She now works in Baltimore.

In the foreground, East Coast departs the Kills;  I can’t say I recall seeing her recently,but AIS says she’s currently northbound north of the GW.    In the distance and approaching, June K, now Sarah Ann, and she regularly works in the sixth boro.

All photos, except Allen’s, WVD, from February 2010.

I have to share back story about getting that top photo.  I was on foot on Richmond Terrace walking east toward Jersey Street when I saw the Coastline tug and Hughes barge.  I didn’t recognize the profile and realized I could get the photo ONLY if I ran.  At the same time, I noticed an NYPD car had pulled over another car, and you know, it’s never a good idea to run for no apparent reason when the police are nearby.  But . . . you understand my dilemma:  walk and miss the shot, or run and maybe attract the curiosity of the police officer.  I ran, got the shot, and sure enough, the police called me over and wanted to know what I was doing.  Since I knew I’d done nothing wrong except appear suspicious, I gave him my business card and launched full tilt into my “new yorkers are so lucky because they are witness to so much marine business traffic, and why didn’t he too have a camera and join me watching and taking photos of the variety of vessels . . . .”  You can imagine the stare I got.  My enthusiasm failed to move him.  No handcuffs, no taser, not even a ticket, but an impassive gaze from a weary officer of the law possibly wondering  if I’d escaped from an institution or a time warp.  He wrote up a report and left me with this advice:  don’t run when you see a police officer nearby.  “Yessir,” I said, thinking . . . well sure, but I’d likely do it again if I again noticed something unusual transiting the waterway.  Since then, though, I’ve not had any further encounters with the LEOs, at least not on the banks of the sixth boro.

For your quick peruse today, I offer the inverse of yesterday’s post:  I went to my archives and selected the LAST photo of something water-related each month of 2019. So if that photo was a person or an inland structure, I didn’t use it;  instead, I went backwards … until I got to the first boat or water photo.

For January, it was Weeks 226 at the artificial island park at Pier 55, the construction rising out of the Hudson, aka Diller Island.

February saw Potomac lightering Maersk Callao.

March brought Capt. Brian and Alex McAllister escorting in an ULCV.

April, and new leaves on the trees, it was CLBoy heading inbound at the Narrows.  Right now it’s anchored in an exotic port in Honduras and operating, I believe, as Lake Pearl.

A month later, it happened to be Dace Reinauer inbound at the Narrows, as seen from Bay Ridge.

June it was MV Rip Van Winkle.  When I took this, I had no inkling that later this 1980 tour boat based in Kingston NY would be replaced by MV Rip Van Winkle II.  I’ve no idea where the 1980 vessel, originally intended to be an offshore supply vessel,  is today.

July  . . . Carolina Coast was inbound with a sugar barge for the refinery in Yonkers.

Late August late afternoon Cuyahoga,I believe, paralleled us in the southern portion of Lake Huron.

Last photo for September, passing the Jersey City cliffs was FireFighter II.

October, last day, just before rain defeated me, I caught the indomitable Ellen McAllister off to the next job.

November, on a windy day, it was Alerce N, inbound from Cuba. Currently she’s off the west side of Peru.

And finally, a shot from just a few days ago . . .  in the shadow under the Bayonne Bridge, the venerable Miriam Moran, who also made last year’s December 31 post.  Choosing her here was entirely coincidental on my part.

And that’s it for 2019 and for the second decade of the 21st century.  Happy 2020 and decade three everyone.  Be safe and satisfied, and be in touch.  Oh, and have an adventure now and then, do random good things, and smile unexpectedly many times per day.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will spend most of tomorrow, day 1 2020, driving towards the coast.  Thanks for reading this.  Maybe we’ll still be in touch in 2030.

 

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