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

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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 Laurentian–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.

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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.

For starters, let me say I should have visited the Chittenango Landing Canal Museum a long time ago.  And if you’re in the Syracuse area, it’s certainly worth a visit.

Now the museum is much, much more inclusive than this diorama, but the subject matter intrigues me . . .   My all-time favorite circus movie was Something Wicked This Way Comes, stemming from Ray Bradbury’s ripe imagination.  But I’d love to see a movie doing a rendering of life in central New York set in Sig Sautelle’s floating circus…   so many strands . . . 200 years of canal history, Civil War drummer boy turned circus guy, meow man cats, ventriloquism and maybe a split personality, and to

juice it up, there needs to be a murder or a sordid affair.

Maybe it involves a rival circus, and it could all get

scented up by a wayward whale . . . westbound, crossing paths with the eastbound circus!

More canal spectacle here, although additional surprises may lie around each bend.

 

 

Steel barges rules these days, although a few all wood or partly wood barges still exist as reminders of past stages of technology.  But a glass barge? And reading that it’s sponsored by Corning Museum of Glass …  that could give one pause.

As it turns out, I saw this barge opened up a bit later and took advantage to learn more.

Hot glass was in fact being shaped.

It turns out the “glass barge” is a set of kilns set up on a steel barge;  in summer 2017, the glass barge traveled to three locations in central and western NY state, as

a prep for a glass barge voyage from Brooklyn to Corning next summer.  Click here for a short intro to glass blowing, and here for a much more extensive video.

Wet newspaper . ..  yes, it’s the cheapest effective material for this stage of the process.

While researching this post, I learned that Corning already does glass blowing at sea demos on cruise ships. 

Who knew?  Stay tuned for more info on the glass barge and its visit to NYC in the summer of 2018.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Way in the distance where the waterway narrows, that’s lock E-11 and accompanying moveable dam, Amsterdam NY.  Click here for closer-ups of some of the Erie Canal locks and bank scenery.

I saw no names anywhere as this catamaran cut dynamic grooves into a calm river, where I was waiting–in vain–for a vessel in the opposite direction, hoping to get photos of it navigating through the morning mist.  By this time, that mist had dissipated.

Here Bear motorsails westward past Little Gull light . . .

Anyone help with the name of this large sloop in the sixth boro about three weeks back?

It looked to be about 60–70′  . . .

America 2.0 plied harbor waters operations

out of Chelsea Piers.

Off Croton Point, this metallic-looking catamaran headed upriver.

Again, I noticed no name, but the flag could say Bermuda.

Even as the mainsail is lowered, Clearwater is unmistakeable.

And this brings up back up to the Oswego Canal, it’s brigantine St Lawrence II;

her rig conspicuously missing tells me it went on ahead on a truck.  St. Lawrence II here was nearing Oswego.

And to close this out, here are three photos from Lake Erie, late summer.

 

 

All photos recently by Will Van Dorp, who by this time should be back on the St. Lawrence River.

 

Previous posts of Cheyenne can be found here.  But I think she never looked better than she did northbound between Fulton and Minetto the other day.

The Oswego Canal/River might be the narrowest wilds she’ll be in for a bit.

The waterfowl wheeled around to catch glimpses.

I look forward to seeing on the inland seas of the Great Lakes.

x

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

The photo below is not Lake Ontario; it’s Oneida Lake in the early morning as we outrun a storm.  If my numbers are right, Oneida is about 80′ lower than Rome NY.  Hence, the descent into Lake Ontario, which is another 200′ lower than Oneida.

If you thought we were descending–as a diver–into Ontario . . . well, that would be rewarding, but English is just ambiguous sometimes.  Anyhow, Oneida is big, not great, and that’s alright by me.

E-23 has a very friendly lock master, as do almost all the locks.  They’re happy to chat, especially when an ocean liner like Grande Mariner squeezes through.

To digress and use a photo I took near the east end of the Canal three years ago of GM exiting a lock, behold the ocean liner.

At Three Rivers, we leave the Erie, and enter the Oswego Canal, formed by the confluence of the Oneida and the Onondaga, a canal with a slightly different history.   Before lock O-1, we pass the Syracuse (Canal) Maintenance Shops, located in Lysander, another one of those classical names.

In Phoenix adjacent to O-1, we see a dam with Tainter gates, named for a Wisconsin engineer named Tainter.

Below lock O-1 also there’s a drawbridge.

Just above O-2 in Fulton, Fourth Street and Nestle Avenue cross, but the other side of the Nestle plant looks

like this, after a century of production.  Another former product of Fulton–once called the city the Depression missed–was shotguns.

As evening falls we start the first of the descents in Oswego, O-6.

O-8 is the end, and marked by tug Syracuse.

In the morning, we head out early, but not as early as folks fishing, taking part in enterprise valued at over $110 million.

There’s the lighthouse in Sodus, where I learned to swim, in spite of my best efforts to resist it.

Rochester looms beyond the ridge, and we

choose to hold up some hours in the port.

As we tie up at the dock, a charter boat from the Canadian side–we do share the Lake–heads back out.

All photos and focus and any errors attributable to Will Van Dorp.  From here and the rest of the trip, we climb again.

 

 

GWA is “going west again,” and here we start at about 130′ above sea level.  We’ve just passed the road sign included in a post here in 2006. Ahead of us is lock E-2, the beginning of the flight of five, located in the town of Waterford.

Above E-3, my former vessel waits, along with Chancellor. Those two boats alone have a combined total life of 196 years between them.   In the foreground is the business end of a cutter suction dredge.

Recreation boats come from everywhere.

Beyond the guard gate atop E-6 is Grand Erie, who also came from away, the Ohio River in her case.

Locals know how to enjoy the 200-year-old waterway.

Below E-11, we get a green light in the early morning drizzle.

Squeezing a 183′ x 39′ vessel through the locks involves a skilled crew and vigilant lock master.

Drivers on the Thruway at this point are 42 miles from Albany, 190 from NYC.

At E-15, still in the drizzle, a Florida boat —Sharon Ann–waits as we lock through.

Above E-16, the 90-year-old Governor Cleveland attends dredge pipes, maintenance dredging being ongoing.  Yes, the canal needs maintenance, and so does the Thruway, any street, RR tracks and infrastructure, my car, my body . . . .

A boxer takes its human for a run . . .

More guard gates–width is 55′–to squeeze through.

Lords of the air watch all along the waterway.

At E-17 we share a lock with Tender #5.

Since we tie off above E-18, Lil Diamond II has to maneuver around.

An SPS lands a crew on the bank for preventative maintenance … keeping dead trees from falling into the water and jamming lock gates.

More recreational boats from far-off ports.

More maintenance above E-19, this time with dragon dredge and the electric tender . .  . #4.

Reinforcement of the canal walls is a canal priority this year.

 

I always imagine the mythical Utica lies beyond the berm marked by the open tower. Central NY was once included in the “military tract,” land distributed to Revolutionary War veterans.

Above lock E-20, we are at the high point of this portion of the Erie Canal,

and Rome was the original high point/ portage in the Mohawk portion of the waterways that pre-date Europeans settlement of North america.

We are now 456′ above sea level, where we’ll pick up the journey tomorrow.

All photos by and any errors attributable to Will Van Dorp.

 

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