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See a statement at the end of this post.

The next vessel headed for the reef is Reliable of Utica, once a twin of Syracuse of Syracuse, which has been featured here in many previous posts. Fred of tug44 has also gotten some photos I have not.

For years–I’d estimate about two decades–Reliable has languished out of the water, as seen in photo below, which I took in June 2014.  Click here (and scroll to the third photo) for a photo of the bow while on the hard.

Its approximately 100-ton shell was lifted from the bank and placed in this  . . . coffin  (well, what else?) for a final journey, likely its only journey to the salt water.

As of publication today, Reliable –in its cortege–is being pushed by Rebecca Ann in proximity of the GW Bridge.

Lucy H pushed her through 22 locks–if my count is right–on her way to the flight, where I took these photos.

Many have said reefing might not be the best “re-purposing” of Reliable and other boats, but, as you can see, the migration of these vessels seaward has begun.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been here yesterday in this glorious light to see

Reliable make her final exit from the NYS Canal system.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wishes there’d been at least a single bagpiper for solemnity as Reliable sank into the chamber, foreshadowing the descent she’ll make soon into the briny not-so-deep but from which she’ll never emerge.

For last month’s first post in this series, Canal Reef Express 1, click here.

For a sense of how that bagpiper would sound and look, click on the YouTube link near the end of this tugster post from 2010.

What follows is a statement from Tom Prindle and posted on the Canal Society of New York FB page.

This comment was in the post with the Reliable photos, but it should be read on its own here, with no photos. Tom Prindle is a leader in preserving canal history. #savetheurger

“The scuttling of the Reliable and other canal vessels and the impending beaching of the venerable and much beloved Tug URGER begs the question with all due respect : who is making these decisions and how are they qualified to decide what is historic and what is not ? What should be saved and what should be destroyed ?These vessels need to be evaluated by those professionals charged with protecting the historic resources of our state. The Reliable may not look like much as she now is but she and the other vessels slated to be sunk are unique artifacts of New York State history. What is being planned for the 117 year old URGER is horrible. Her destruction was first proposed some 30 years ago. Instead John Jermano and Schuyler Meyer “re-imagined” the old tug as a floating classroom and ambassador of the NYS Canal System. Thousands of school kids from Harlem to Tonawanda have been welcomed aboard her. Now somebody has decided that for some reason must stop, Surely we can do better than that.”

Hats off,  Thanks, Tom.

 

 

May 15, 2018 was the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Barge Canal.  That fact was mentioned at the ceremonies opening the Canal to recreational traffic yesterday, and quite a diverse and international flotilla of recreational boats waited, like racers on the starter’s blocks.

But first, do you recognize this captain?

Well, he waved at all these school kids who serenaded him and all the other boats, first of the season, leaving lock E2.  For prices on similar Hinckley 36 picnic boats, click here.

Sonically greeting them also were two Canal vessels:  Governor Cleveland and Grand Erie.

But let’s step back about 15 minutes.  The lower gates of E2 open to reveal the queue.

The nearest boat to the left was driven by the gentleman I asked whether you could identify.  The large vessel to the right — a 78′ Azimut Benetti Spa registered in Grand Rapids MI–was rumored to belong to a well-known professional basketball player.

 

It was the second batch locking through that brought the more unique westbound boats.

The green vessel —Oliver Plunkett-– Canadian registry, was returning from a stint in the Bahamas.  Her PEI fishing pedigree is quite noticeable.

Troll–hailing from Elburg NL– intrigues me, but I can’t point out anything besides an unusual name and bright hull color, both of which you’ve already noticed.

Broadsword, German registry, is a 58′ New Zealand-built Artnautica LRC 58 motoring around the world to the east, although here headed west.

Each of these boats has a story, many stories, I’ll never know.

 

And finally, this Florida-registered Axopar caught my attention too late and too far from the camera.  But, check out these Finnish boat designs.

To see some unusual recreational boat designs, lock E2 is the place to be on opening day.  I would be remiss, however, to leave out reference to commercial vessels . . . several of whom have already locked through, and that may be a story I pick back up in a few days.

The first boat here–a Nordhavn 62– was an unusual vessel to see up in Waterford.

And the person at the helm of the Hinckley, it was Geraldo Rivera, whom you’ve likely heard of.  But, check out his info on this wiki page for lots of tidbits you probably don’t know, eg, he attended SUNY Maritime, he’s a lawyer, he went to West Babylon High School, and some scandals . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’d love to hear more about any of these boats at points farther west . . .

 

 

On May 4, 1928 this “oil-burning” tug was launched at Buffalo Marine Construction Co.  The 1928 price for the 74’1″ x 19’6″ x 8’2″ tug was $44,250, which is (adjusted for inflation) $644,318.82 in 2018 money.  Here are some photos over the few years I’ve followed her.  Starting below, September 2008.

September 2010 here

and here.

October 2013.

June 2014

August 2017.  Yes, she’s a working boat.

Now clearly this is not Cleveland, but her sister Governor Roosevelt.  That is a deep hull.   I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Cleveland hauled out.  According to Michele A. McFee’s A Long Haul, the two Governors were purchased by NYS DPW in the late 1920s to break ice, and proved their worth in the dramatic November 1936 deep freeze.

Thanks to Chris Freeman who put her “birth certificate” on FB this morning and alerted me to this day for ceremony for the Cleveland.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who leaves you with this obscure story of Cleveland (later POTUS 22 AND 24) getting incarcerated in Medina NY on a suspected “corruption of a minor female” charge . . .  all a mistake.  Read it below:

It’s a non-profit devoted to the history and functioning of NY’s canals, and there have been over two dozen.  In these years of bicentennial, consider joining.  Nobody asked me to suggest this; but I’m a satisfied member.

Let me share historical photos of the boat I worked on for a season, all photos posted on CSNYS FB in the past month.

You may know, the vessel is Urger, an extraordinary boat who has likely now crossed the line from a work boat and working boat to a museum boat.  Here she is under steam power in Waterford headed for the Hudson, 1940.  At this point, Urger was already 39 years old, a product of Ferrysburg, Michigan, 1901.

Also 1940, this photo gives an idea that the colors have not always been blue/gold.  Note the extension of the superstructure forward of the wheelhouse.

Here she is in April 1941, and

back in Waterford in 1949.  Note how busy the Canal was back then with commercial tug/barge units.  That’s Day-Peckinpaugh over to the right.

Here she is in 1960.  Can anyone identify the location.  I can’t.  Of course, canal banks have changed a lot through the years.

I don’t know any of the photographers above, but I took the rest of these.

She made her last visit to the sixth boro back in 2012

July 14, 2012

Here in early September 2014 just above lock E-2, she’s being passed by Benjamin Elliot (1960).

And finally, by September 2017 she’d been tied up for almost a full year.

To close out, here was my bunk back then.  Whenever I was lying in my bunk, the distance from my nose to those angle iron beam was about 18 inches.  The bed itself was 5’11” in a bunkhouse itself about 5’8.”  I’m 6’2.”

Since this is a big Canal year, again, consider becoming a member.  And for starters, you may want to “like” them on FB.

 

The photo below I took on October 14, 2017 from the O-7 lock chamber, looking toward O-6.  Notice the red tug in the distance along the right side wall, which is the Leto Island side.

Here’s a close-up of the tug.

Below is a photo I took on March 24, 2018 from a cofferdam built where the tug above was, looking back toward Lock O-7.

Yes, the canal bed there is dry enough.  Who knows what besides bicycles lie in the mud . . .  guns, cell phones, flung away wedding rings . . .

 

The green bridge beyond lock O-7 is Utica Street.  All the compromised concrete of O-7 has been removed and

form and rebar installed.

Note the blue lift-basket in the photo below and use it as a reference in the following photos.

x

My position in the photo below is less than 30′ from the initial photo in this post.

These are the mitre gates at the top (south) side of O-7

And here’s that same tug Endeavor we saw above.  Now the pressures . . .?  Think of all the work that needs to be done by opening day in the NYS Canal system!  Crews here were working hard, and I was there on a Saturday, but opening day in less than 50 (??) days away.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp.  These locks are within Oswego city limits, right along East River Road, aka 481.

 

Here we are in 2018, and Grouper is still in purgatory,

aground on a soft smooth bottom created when the Canal is drained,

when the waterway looks like a brook.  I’m told that portions of the Canal in Oswego have been drained as of last week, and I hope to see for myself one of these days.

Grouper, if you are new to this blog, is a stranded Great Lakes tug–sibling to these in Cleveland, and launched in 1912!!

Many thanks to Bob Stopper for these photos.

 

 

I took this photo of Buffalo on September 12, 2010 in Waterford NY.

It will be auctioned off, with bidding ending on December 4, 2017 at 7:40 pm ET.  Current bid is $220.00

If you are interested, click here for more info.   If you think you know someone else interested, please pass this link along.

Here are all the previous “pairs” post, a direction I glanced at after seeing Bouchard Boys and Linda Lee Bouchard rafted up last weekend . . .  I’m not sure why the formation, but it certainly showed their relative size.

And once I see a pattern in one place, I start to notice it in others.  Here Otter and Pike almost appear to be in the right lane for Exit 10.   I’m eager to see Muskie and Gar.

Over in Hudson Yards below “the vessel” a pair of Schenectady’s finest EMDs hold a place in the rotation out east.

Between Montreal and Trois-Rivieres lies Lac St. Pierre, where I saw this pair.  To the right, I’ve already commented that Espada used to call in the sixth boro as Stena Poseidon.  Now I look up Laurentia–to the left–and discover she used to call in our watery boro as Palva!   If it’s about the witness protection program, the effort would be foolproof.  I’d never have seen Palva in her new color, suggesting to me that paint and color trump lines.

A report that continues to fascinate me about Lac St. Pierre is that it spawns “ice rocks,” which are rocks that become embedded in the winter ice in the shallow portions of the lake that freeze solid all the way to the lakebed, until these rocks are carried downstream encased in floating ice and become lethal targets for fast spinning propellers.  Ice rocks, what a concept!

Pairs of dug canal banks, as seen in midSeptember west of Rome, show how surveyor straight some parts of the waterway are.

Guard gates are essential canal infrastructure.

And I’ll conclude with a pair of liberty statues, one pointed east and the other west.  A few of you will know immediately where a pair of these “crowns” a building, and I’ll just wait for someone to make the identification.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who asks as treat that you share your favorite tugster post or obsession or vessel  . . . today with some friends.  Be safe.

Oh, and one of my favorites is this post I did about a Halloween-escape trip seven (!!) years ago.

 

As a long-term gongoozler–or whatever such a person is called in the US–I wonder what workboats will maintain the NYS Canal system in 2117 . . ..  As a small waterway by today’s standards, small tugs like Erie and tenders like T2 are appropriate size.  But they are old, more than half a century old.  For more tenders, click here.

.

I can’t tell for sure, but the 1928-built T4 looks even shorter, yet that’s not even the most unique feature of this tug.  What distinguishes her from all the others is the power plant . . . less than five-year-old all electric power plant from Elco Motor Yachts.

So . . . what will we see when we tumble into the haze of years to come?

Here’s a clue right now.  Scotty is 24′ built in 2007.  I’m not sure what the draft is, but for trucking to the next job, I’m supposing the wheelhouse can be removed.

 

Here Scotty works on the Rexford Bridge, and as a tender on the project,

there’s the open boat with push knees to the right.

Is this the future?  What would Scotty look like painted in Canal colors?

All photos and conjecture by Will Van Dorp.

 

We came across this bridge inspection operation

between E-13 and E-12 eastbound on the Canal

in the town of Fonda, NY, not far from the speedway, which has hosted motor racing for 90 (!!) years,  and the fair, which is way older.

But the other day, Arnold D, of Seaway Marine Group, stood by and placed inspectors in the basket where they need to put eyes on the infrastructure.

 

For context on Fonda and lands immediately to the east, enjoy these shots.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, one of whose previous Seaway Marine posts involved stocking fish

here.

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