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If Margot were a fish, I guess you’d classify her as catadromous, sort of.  And no tug that I’ve followed has switched between salt (where she was launched) and fresh (where she frequents as a working niche) water as often as Margot does.   Last week she was sixth boro bound and exiting the low side of lock 9.  Here’s a post I did almost two years ago about some very unusual bollards at the top side of lock 9.   But I digress.   Recognize the cargo on the barge?

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It’s a different barge, but those are two more fancy Canadian shoes–size 110-tons– for the legs of the NY Wheel, that repeat of what George Ferris built for the big Chicago fair in 1893.  And George Ferris . . . where did he get his inspiration to build such a wheel?  Well, it’s a Troy and Hudson Valley concept from the start, from Henry Burden and his industry.   Here’s a post I did in 2010 related to the dock Mr. Burden built upriver for his metal export.

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The lower Mohawk has a stark beauty this time of year, so different from its beauty in other seasons.

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I wonder why so many components of the NYWheel are sourced outside the US.  I guess I know, and it’s NOT my intention to make this a political post, and there’s no Jones Act for shore shoe/leg structures.

Bravo to the crew of Margot.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

. . . aka the leap between the seasons.  Call this photo, taken on Saturday dusk, the last moments of autumnal daylight.

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I was here waiting as a slight November blush lingered in the central NY trees, hoping this

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vessel, Sojourn, would pass before daylight faded and before those storm clouds caught up.

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She eased into the lock.  Some of you, I know, can guess this lock by the structure far left.

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And here at sunrise was a new season.  Winter isn’t just coming anymore.  It came in the night. By the way, thanks to Xtian’s comment here, I understand the significance of the registration numbers.

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Here the converted freighter eases into Lock 17, the highest lift lock in the Erie Canal system.

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Watch the descent.

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The gentleman below built this barge 53 years ago in Belgium, then used it to transport cargoes, including animal feed, through all the canals in the low countries, and in this case that included France and Germany too.  He’s riding along on the trip, his first visit to the United States.  Imagine the joy, being reunited with your handicraft in this way after a half century and halfway around the world!  His daughter, Maja, who was literally born on this barge and who as a kid jumped from hatch cover to hatch cover while the vessel–loaded to the coamings–was underway, is accompanying him.

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When the water level is lowered by almost 41′, the counterweight (almost) effortlessly raises the guillotine-style door.

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Click here to see photos I took of Urger from the same vantage point two years ago.

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And in the snow falling at a faster rate by the hour, Sojourn journeys eastward toward the Hudson.

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And from the road I took back to the sixth boro, here’s what has already accumulated east of the Hudson . . .

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All photos taken in the past 24 hours by Will Van Dorp.

For many other posts I’ve done about Dutch canal barges, click here.

 

Here are the previous posts in this series.

What’s unique about these photos is the season, the gray of November and absence of colors in the trees set off by the vibrant paint on Erie,

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the two Governors shown together here so that you can see the difference in paint scheme–Cleveland and

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Roosevelt, which different even

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in nameboard.

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Waterford, I’d guess, got too close to a dredge pumping operation.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

You may remember the Sojourn story here, about a Belgian freight barge that the original owner and builder sold, lost track of, and then rediscovered in upstate New York?  Here was how she arrived in upstate NY.

Well, after two years of work, she’s under way–just ahead of winter storm Argos.  These photos were taken yesterday (Thursday) by Bob Stopper up in Lyons, NY.  Below, Sojourn is easing not Lock 28A,

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heading for Lock 27, and

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and out of the canal before it closes, draw-down takes place, and ice invades.

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Calling all eastern Erie Canal watchers and Hudson River photographers, here’s Bob’s short background to the vessel:

“First arrived in Lyons on November 12, 2013 . The boat was built in 1963 and originally used as a coal and materials barge. It was used for over 40 years by the same family, but eventually because of family illness, the barge was sold. The barge was purchased by Paula Meehan, founder of Redken Cosmetics, renamed the Sojourn, and converted in 2006  to a Hotel Barge and used for high style cruises in France. Ms Redken shipped the barge via freighter to America with the intention of cruising American waters, especially the Erie Canal. Unfortunately, Ms Redkin died in 2014, and the barge returned to the Lyons Dydock on October 15, 2014. It sat  in the Lyons Drydock and began to deteriorate  until purchased by a young hi-tech  internet entrepreneur from the state of Washington. The newly renovated barge, 126′ x 18′,  left Lyons on November 17 headed for its new home in the NYC Harbor.”

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All photos by Bob Stopper.

You may recall that my connection with Lyons is that it’s the county seat of the county where I grew up.  It’s also the county where Grouper languishes, about to freeze into another canal winter.

 

What happens if you build a pilot boat in Massachusetts to be used on the Great Lakes?  It needs to get to its place of use.

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Thanks to the NY Media Boat, I got these photos this week as the Huron Spirit hurried through

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the sixth boro.   North of the watery boro, I was invited to ride through the Erie Canal  before it closes on November 20.

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Above is the wall above lock 16 and below, it’s the approach to lock 19, where you have to first duck under the triple-track rail bridge.

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The photo below, taken at lock 21, was Wednesday afternoon.  By now, the newest Gladding Hearn pilot boat has exited the Canal and is making its way up the Great Lakes chain.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wrote this story on the Lakes Pilots.

I have many more Gmelin photos, but as an indication that I still inhabit the present-day sixth boro, I’ll show some sign of life for a few days.

For outatowners, Gowanus Creek (now Canal) is one of the most polluted waterways in the US, which is no secret to locals.  By the way, Gowanus rhymes with “you want us” with a silent “t.”

I took this photo this week just upstream of the 9th Street Bridge.  In fact, when a man swam down the Canal last year, he wore some serious hazmat protection, as the Media Boat shows here.

What I was not aware of is how much effort is going into addressing the accumulated pollution of more than a century.

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This barge holds several excavators at work in the Fourth Street Turning Basin, one of the dead ends in the Canal.

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As needed, the barge is moved by this small tug/pushboat that might be called 1337E.

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Besides black goop that I might photograph next time, wood and other detritus is being plucked from the bottom.

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Gowanus, there’s hope.  I’ll be back.

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Click here and here for some posts I did when I last visited the Canal . . . in 2011 and 2013.

As to connections between the Gowanus area of Brooklyn and the Erie Canal, click here.  For a photo of the Gowanus Bay New York State Canal Freight Terminal, click here and scroll to p. 22.

As we progress toward winter as well, the daylight hours shorten, making less to photograph, but I was happy we passed lock E8 in daylight to capture the crane GE uses to transship large cargos, like the rotor of a few weeks ago.

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The changing leaves complement the colors of the vintage floating plant,

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locks,

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and even Thruway vessels.

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Venerable Frances is a tug for all seasons as is

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the Eriemax freighter built in Duluth,

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both based near the city of the original Uncle Sam, which splashes its wall

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with additional color and info.

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Once this Eriemax passenger vessel raises its pilot house, we’ll continue our way to the sixth boro.

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Will Van Dorp took all these photos in about a 12 hour period.

These photos I took over three different days as we entered Oswego and then overnighted in Amsterdam, NY . . .  that is.

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Robert S. Pierson arrived after we did, discharged over a dozen thousand tons of salt, and left soon after dawn.

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A horseshoe dam at Minetto was swollen.

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The morning departing Sylvan Beach was

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red, a warning, and yes it rained much of the day.

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Dredging went on near Rome–BB 153, T2, and Hydraulic Dredge No. 5.

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And at Utica, the was T4 and the dragon (?) dredge.

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There were two eagles in this tree, but they refused to fit nicely in a single frame.

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Will Van Dorp took all these photos.

 

 

Here was Whatzit 32.  And what is it?

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Well, it’s big…

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and it’s unusual in that it came from overseas all the way to Lock E8, where a crane has been set up to transfer oversize cargo …  I look forward to getting a photo there in a few weeks.

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Here’s what this piece is.  This particular one was built in Japan by JCFC.  This link makes for interesting reading about the absence of heavy forging capacity in the US.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Here’s the series that this follows, a series that shows how busy this craneship still is at certain times of the year.  Of course, this could also be called what do you do with an obsolete New York City ferry, a vessel delivered by Electric Boat on October 14, 1929 and replaced by a bridge in fewer than 10 years.

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Yes, this is the bow of the craneship, and until I spent a day on board last fall, I assumed the bow wheel was non-functioning if even present.

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Excuse the rain spot.

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Closeups of bow and

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stern.

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Here’s a shot from the deck of Wards Island from the incredible warm late November day last year when we pulled a day’s worth of buoys from Oneida Lake, and at the

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end of the day, getting a glimpse of the builders plate in the engine compartment.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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