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She was then probing the inland seas, seeing how far she could voyage, possibly looking for a passage to the Mississippi and the Gulf via Lake Michigan. OK, indulge me on that speculation.
Our paths next crossed on September 1, as she made her way through the Erie Canal,
with all the modifications that entailed and the use of sunstones to
avoid getting lost in the meandering rivers.
And late last week, Bjoern Kils of the New York Media Boat got this fabulous shot of her scoping out the sixth boro before
she slipped into a Manhattan cove for a spell.
I missed the display in the Winter Garden and hope I can get there again before the boat moves on.
Many thanks to Bjoern for use of that photo. For more of Bjoern’s photos, click here. All others by Will Van Dorp. And following up on some info from Conrad Milster, here’s a video on a Viking ship that traveled to Chicago in 1893. Yes, 1893!! And the crossing from Bergen NO to New Haven CT with Captain Magnus Andersen and 11 crew took 30 days. Then the vessel, dubbed Viking, traveled up the Hudson and through the pre-Barge Canal on its way to Chicago with stops in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Cleveland. The vessel is still there in Geneva IL. Here’s another video on the ship.
To pick up on the NY canals’ connection, as we approach the bicentennial of the start of the Erie Canal, it would be great to seek out and archive any photos–still languishing in local photo troves–of the 1893 passage there of Viking, as well as of any other outstanding vessels that have traversed the Canal throughout its history.
The canal is a magical place with its Dragon,
a rare Tug-Ski,
a new bridge,
shrines behind shrines,
the Governors and
a tender I’d call the J. Proteus Steinmetz,
a messenger Churchill,
a headless Draken,
and endlessly interesting water patterns.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
or Go North . . . or up and then down bound.It’s all better than going south ….
Anyhow, in the spirit of the first of series from earlier this past months’ peregrinations, I’ll start with the map. The red pushpins are overnights and the yellows are shorter stops. An unexpected jaunt will be from Ogdensburg to Quebec City without stopping at Trois Rivieres or Montreal, where we stop after Quebec City.
Locks there’ll be plenty–37 total I believe–because the alternative is shown below. You can descend the Lachine Rapids, but in a different type of boat. Lachine . . . that’s French for what it looks like in English . . . China, as in … the folks like Cartier thought that if only they could get past the rapids, they’d be in China.
Here’s another way to look at the St Lawrence watershed, care of an USACE diagram.
Here’s to hoping you read this and to my having wifi.
By the way, I was shocked when I learned the namesake of the St Lawrence, patron saint of the BBQ. Sizzlicious!!
I’m reprising this from Troy, and it’s Lisa Ann. I believe she’s 2012 built.
Governor Roosevelt is almost a century older, and wears 1928 on her name board now. This is Marcy NY, an Oneida County town between Utica and Rome.
Also at Lock E20, here’s a clutch of boats and floats including BB152, an unidentified and in the process of being repainted tender, a dredge barge, and BB 142.
Tug Erie is there too. Anyone know when tug Erie was built?
Farther along is 1932 tug Seneca, formerly of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Inside the H. Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego, here’s a model of a Catherine Moran.
Here’s what the label said, but according to birk’s site, she’s still alive and well under the assumed name of Sherry D. Anyone have photos of Sherry D out in the SF Bay area?
On the freshwater sea called Lake Ontario, it’s another tugboat from 1928, Karl E. Luedtke.
Tucked away in Silo City of Buffalo, it’s Daniel Joncaire II, about a year old.
In the Outer Harbor of Cleveland, it’s 1954 Duluth and fleet mate
1956 William C. Gaynor.
And here approaching the south end of the Detroit river, it’s 1982 tug Michigan pushing barge Great Lakes.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Tugster has been a work in progress, evolving organically, without a foreseen plan. So I just noticed that although I’ve done many posts on autumn sail, I’ve not used the summer sail title. Until now.
What better place to start than with SSV Oliver Hazard Perry. GCaptain calls it a 21st century ship mindful of its historic roots. It heads to Boston this weekend to pick up its first crew! I caught the photo here back on June 27, but the prescient bowsprite caught it passing through the sixth boro here over seven years ago.
I believe this is OMF Ontario, on the hard over in Lysander, NY. In the background that’s
an unidentified tender 1937 tender Dana II (Thx, JD) and Reliable, the sad (engineless) twin of Syracuse. See more of Reliable and Syracuse here.
Anyone know why OMF Ontario is still on the hard? Launched in 1994 at the site of the former Goble yard in Oswego, It purports to be the first Oswego-built schooner since 1879! I’d love to learn more.
Here’s OMF Ontario rigged and at the dock in August 2013.
Here’s Steelwinds, a wind turbine cluster built on part of a former Bethlehem Steel plant south of Buffalo and designed to take advantage of the fetch created by the prevailing SWerlies.
Here’s 1992 built Spirit of Buffalo. Does anyone have photos of her transiting through the sixth boro, the Hudson, and Erie Canal back in May 2009?
Here’s another 21st century sailing ship, also with vintage roots that go back way further than the 19th century, and a close up
of her figure head. Click here for a good starting point of this vessel’s construction.
And finally, here’s Inland Seas, anchored near the Straits of Mackinac. For more on the ship project and its late founder, click here.
All photos taken by Will Van Dorp, who is back in the sixth boro but unpacking from the Go West trip and planning a Go North trip .
To clarify this title, the first post in the series has a lead photo showing a map of our journey broken into legs marked by pins. Legs 4 through 6 took us from Waterford, shown below, to Oswego.
Urger stood by all spiffed up for the steamboat festival.
Erie Canal Cruises accommodated sightseers eastbound toward lock E18.
Tender 4, the electric motor vessel, assisted in a dredge project.
Tug Erie tied up at the end of the work day.
Here’s the cutterhead of one dredge.
Lucy H returned light past Rome, NY.
Never have I seen so
many bald eagles. This one is banded.
And leg 6 ended in Oswego.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will post again when able.
By 3:00 pm, the deck of Wards Island was at capacity with buoys. It was time to head back west to a scow on the wall in Brewerton, an accidental destination for
Champlain almost exactly 400 years ago. Champlain was a gallivanter extraordinaire, crossing the Atlantic about 25 times in those days, and a guy even better at negotiation and diplomacy than he was at traveling. But I digress.
Since there are two bridges between the Lake and the scow, the boom had been lowered and now it’s raised for the job. Attached to the scow is the larger tender known not by a number but as Dana.
It’s clearly November when 4:30 looks like this.
Boom is lowered for the several miles back to Lock 23, where a surprise
awaits me. I had assumed that only the stern propellor on Wards Island was operational, but after Syracuse uncoupled and we started the rotation to tie up,
there was prop wash from under the bow, just as you would expect from a double-ender ferry.
In order to spin the boat 180 degrees without having to make a 36-point turn, Syracuse put some pressure on the bow,
and by 5:40 we were all fast. Then it was time to
put the power of Wards Island to sleep. Below deck there were a bunch more surprises, like these port lights as seen from within and the rivets.
And two spacious accommodations, one on each side of the vessel.
Two engines, although only the Cat D353 Series E runs.
A Frankenstein knife switch board.
And mentioned in this post last year, Wards Island began life as a ferry in 1929, looking like her twin . . . Tenkenas, there were more surprises like
this speaking tube and behind it,
this brass builders plate.
Many thanks to the NYS Canal Corp and its floating plant for permission to do this series.
Unrelated and sad news: I learned yesterday that John Skelson has passed. RIP, John. Click here for some of the many posts I credited to him in the past years.
These photos were taken November 16, 2015, with temperatures in the 50s and no wind. Obviously, mid-November is not always so ideal for this operation. In fact, photos on the boat showed this work being done in 1992, with buoys heavily ice and snow covered.
Here one crewman–let’s call him the signaler– radios the tug instructions for the approach to the buoy.
Once within two yards of so, another crewman captures the buoy with a boat hook.
Besides the VHF, the signaler uses hand signals for the crane operator, who hoists the hooked buoy as high as a connector link, which gets cleated to the boat while
the cotter pin connected to the shackle gets cut.
The crane operator relies entirely on signals from the signaler.
Once the summer buoy is lifted away, the anchor chain is attached to the spar buoy, which is then
pushed overboard, where it’ll stay until the reverse process in the spring.
Meanwhile, the beacon is removed from each buoy.
Oneida Lake has floating and fixed nav aids. This is Messenger Shoals, a fixed nav aid on a concrete island poured into sheet piling. To the left of the aid in Blind Island, and as little as a foot of water.
The aid here–113–is called a cabinet.
The large size–about 6′ high–used to hold batteries.
The entire cabinet is lifted off for the winter.
On the north side of the lake is a village called Cleveland, once important for supplying passing commercial canal traffic and glass making. Now it may go out of existence.
When the foredeck is full and late autumn sun starts to go down, we headed to the west side of the lake to offload today’s work and prep the boat for tomorrow.
And that will be tomorrow’s post.
Again, many thanks to NYS Canal Corp for permission to do this story and to the crews of Wards Island and Syracuse for helping me out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s the view through the controls of the crane looking toward the east end of the lake.
To the right you see the Verona Beach Lighthouse, and buoy 106 is in sight to the left of the hook.
The tow is maneuvered into position and a crewman captures the buoy with the boat hook.
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.
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.
Buoy 107 is next on the boat, and
the first spar buoy goes in, anchored to mark the spot.
By 1130, we’re approaching buoy 109.
The crewman with the yellow sweatshirt is using a tool to hook between the buoy lift point and the crane hook.
Once a buoy is on the boat, the flashing beacon is removed and
stowed in a locker.
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.
aka GHP&W 2. Macedon only became a port when Clinton built his ditch. The ditch and subsequent iterations connected it to the sea. When I took the photo below back on Oct 21 2014, eastbound on Urger, I felt very far from salt water.
But Chris Williams’ photo below, taken October 25, 2015, shows how connected Macedon is to the sixth boro and all watery places on Earth beyond the VZ Bridge. Less than a week ago, I did a post about Margot, the tug frequently-seen in NYC that delivered this cargo to the port of Macedon.
Bob Stopper took the next set photos. The fact that a Goldhofer semitrailer of 12 axles, 48 wheels, is needed shows the weight of the cargo delivered across the state by NYS Marine Highway. The land portion of the cargo transfer is provided by Edwards Moving and Rigging.
Here’s a closeup of the hydraulics at the front of the trailer.
Transfer from barge to trailer begins with the jacking up of the cargo.
At this point, there are 96 wheels under and moving the cargo.
The next photo taken by Rob Goldman, and taken from the NYS Canal Corporation FB page, on October 31, 2015, shows how the Edwards trailer moves the cargo, one huge piece at a time, off the barge and into the port of Macedon.
Macedon is one of those place names in central NY named for places or people in classical Greek and Roman history. Others are Troy, Ithaca, Palmyra, Greece, Athens, Rome . . . and more; people memorialized in town names here include Hannibal, Scipio, Pompey, Homer, Ulysses, Brutus . . . .
Credit for these photos goes to Chris, Bob, and Rob. My personal connection to Macedon includes the fact that I bought my first car there, less than a half mile from the Canal, and at the time had no clue that it was a port, that it could be connected to the oceans.
Here are previous “port of __” posts i’ve done.
And finally, unrelated, here from another even smaller NY canal port, here’s into on an auction below.