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Wendy Marble took these photos today when her crew was preparing to cast off lines on the Erie Canal.

This is looking forward from wheelhouse of tug Syracuse towing DB6 west from Mays Point, NY.

Then another friend jogged my memory about the date, Nov 16.  The rest of these photos I took on Nov 16, 2015.  It was shirtsleeve weather, tug Syracuse was busy, and so was  . . . .

craneship Wards Island.  Yes, the one that’s currently almost 100′ down north of Long Island;  you can see it here (scroll) and no, it’s not a 115′ barge.

The above shot I got on Nov 17, 2015, but all the rest here are from Nov 16.

Syracuse speeds the crane out into Oneida Lake,

and the crane goes fishing, or buoying, replacing summer buoys with winter spars.

At the end of the day, temperatures dropped along with the sun, and the buoys were craned over to a work barge, where the buoys would be refurbished over the winter.

Syracuse is quite the unique tug.

Thanks to Wendy and Dave for jogging my memory.  Thanks to Wendy for sharing the photos from Mays Point.

 

Grouper!  This boat has been the focus of a long series of posts dating back to April 23, 2008.  I had expected resolution years ago, but so far, unresolved.  However,bg  there is some news, although it’s hardly new since Bob Stopper sent me these photos two full months ago already.  Have a long look:  she’s out of the water in the dry dock in Lyons, NY.

Launched in 1912, this is some solid craft.

The news is only that she’s out of the water right now.

Her future could well involve becoming fish habitat, deep

in salt waters.

We will follow this story.  Many thanks to Bob Stopper for these photos.

 

Here’s an expanded view of a photo from yesterday’s post here.   What you see in the distance is bridge inspection unit, 2018.

The small tug is Seaway Maid, and it’s hard to believe I’m posting a photo of it today for only the first time.  Last year this bridge inspection unit was moved through the Erie Canal by Arnold D.  Actually, Seaway Maid used to be Lil Joe.  Here is a complete page of Seaway Marine Group equipment.

Once the tugs had full facilities and transportation to and from the job site was arranged network-wide, but this is a new era.

The primer painted barge, here Fort Plain, has floated around the NYS Canals for a long time.  Note the rivets?

Judging by the dimensions of the barge, it was once Dipper Dredge #1 aka Fort Plain a by the NYS Barge Canal.  The dredge was acquired by the state in 1931.  As acquired, she was Derrick Boat #10, shown below 95 years ago!

I’m wondering what tug that was moving the derrick boat around.  Any help?

All photos by Jake Van Reenen and the archives.

And another reminder . .  . the NYS Canal Conference is happening on Staten Island next week.  I will show Graves of Arthur Kill and speak on a panel about the hidden places of the sixth born this coming Monday and Tuesday.

 

 

I caught the beginning of Jay Bee V‘s epic here, a few days after the summer solstice.  A bit later I caught her here at some different locations on the Erie Canal.

So we are all fortunate that Jake Van Reenen caught her here at a lock in central NYS that I’m not disclosing.  The voyage of the Glass Barge is complete, and at some point, the tug will return to the sixth boro and the barge dismantled and repurposed.

The color in the trees speaks to the season.

Folks upstate will talk about this epic for a long time.

And the small tug in the background?  I’ll post about that another day . . . maybe tomorrow.

All photos thanks to Jake Van Reenen.

Related:  Accompanying Jay Bee V and the Glass Barge all summer were Lois McClure and C. L. Churchill.  See them in this retro-season video under sail on Lake Champlain.

 

I’m told Moss Island has some of the oldest rocks in the world, but no one needs to tell me about the potential faces in the rocks, likely the spirits recognized by folks who lived here a half millennium or more ago.  Those spirits are likely still here, recognized or not.

But what alarmed the geese the other day was not the ancients, but rather . . . blue metal.

 

guided by a skilled crew through this dramatic section of the Mohawk gorge.

 

If not for lock E17, this tow would soon tumble over a precipice, a niagara of the Mohawk.

 

Early 20th-century technology, still efficient as ever, drops vessels over 40 feet here,

and when the guillotine door opens,

they can head downriver  . . . eventually to the sea.

 

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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And let’s start with the more . . . more photos and info on previous posts.    CCGS Samuel Risley appeared here.  She’s currently approaching the Soo.  What I didn’t know when I posted a photo of her on Lake Ontario is that she was returning from her first trip to Greenland (!!), where she was providing icebreaking support for a supply mission to Qaanaaq aka Thule.

Madison R–and I’ll do a whole post about her soon–now calls Detroit her base, I’m told.

Summer fog veils a Canadian cat and an Erie Canal buoy boat above E11.

How many folks pass by Day Peckinpaugh each summer and have no clue what she is (ILI 101… launched in May 1921!!), how long her work history  (1921–1995) has been, how wide a range of waters  (Duluth to Havana, I’m told) she covered, where her sister  (ILI 105) languishes . . . . .

She gets attention.

Here’s the blue-and-gold yard above E3!!

Yup that’s Urger among them.  And yes, the pause button on scuttling has been activated.

In the legends of Ford, a sign once marked this power plant adjacent to the Federal Lock in Troy as a Ford facility.   Could this have become the location of Ford’s imagined electric car plant?

And this brings us to Troy, these walls where construction workers have staged their equipment.

Scaffold, ladders, floats, and Jackcyn

 

 

and Lisa Ann.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s been working his way back to the sixth boro from the heartland.

If you’re local and would like to learn more about the New York State Canals, consider joining the Canal Society and coming to their fall conference . . .  on Staten Island.  I’ll be involved in two events . . .

 

And that’s not some sports scores.  This is a set of photos from a two-day run from Sylvan Beach to Waterford, locks E22 to E2.

A chart identifies locations along the Canal that are just ghosts, absences now like “USAF oil docks”

rather than presences.

Eyes outside though show presences, lots of small boats, very small like

these sculls on the summit level.

We squeeze through the guard gate just west of Rome, where

Captain Jack Graham passed us, passing the entry point of the Mohawk River into the Canal, the same area marked by the chart capture above.

Recreational boats were out on this Sunday morning, and

work boats BB 121 and BB 57 stayed tied up.  I don’t know the number of the one of the bank where, a year ago, we would have seen the now-Sound-submerged T7. 

Thistle passed, a Newport boat,

as did this one, name unknown.

Tender #2 (T2) is tied up until Monday in the Utica area,

west of lock E18.

Shooting Star seems an unlikely vessel to have come up from Peekskill.

Steeling’ Away is a classic small cabin cruiser I’d guess from the 1950s, the time of two-tone cars.  Anyone know the manufacturer?

In some thick fog above E10, it’s BB 107.

  

Below E09, it’s the bateaux of Mabee Farm, the oldest house in the Mohawk Valley.

Scotty waits with a scow below E07.

 

And below 3/5s of the flight, it’s Tender #3

and at Hudson River level, it’s Riverkeeper.

Photo #6 (of GM) by Bob Graham.  All other by Will Van Dorp, who at this point is almost home.

 

 

Bright and early, Kithy P passes Grande Mariner and enters

lock O8.

We followed Kithy P later, and departing lock O5, we met Rebecca Ann, who would enter the lock we had just vacated.

(Note:  as of today, Rebecca Ann is transiting the Welland Canal on the return trip to the sixth boro.)

On our way to Fulton, we passed some exotics.

And on our way to Phoenix, we passed my favorite docks in the system . . . repurposed flatbed trailers, three of them together.

This pontoon vessel had to exit O1 before we could enter, and

River Rose, a former sixth boro excursion boat now relocating to Michigan, had to wait for us.

 

And dead ahead, it’s Three Rivers, Clay NY, where the Oswego and the Erie Canals meet.   We will turn to port . . . east.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Let’s make this Fonda–current location of Urger— to Marcy, beginning of one of the highest sections of the Canal.

Approaching E-13 westbound, there’s a row of yellow painted bollards . . . starting from lower left here.

Each of those yellow bollards is on a sunken concrete barge. More sunken concrete barges can be seen at E-09.

We encountered lots of traffic . . .

including Dolphin, a

Canadian beaut.

Other traffic included Lil Diamond II and

Roman Holiday. 

At Marcy, Governor Roosevelt and

Erie were in the water, as were two buoy boats not shown.

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Hats off to Glenn Raymo for figuring out where to be to catch this tow at first light.

I know it’s fruitless to wonder whether any archive has photos of any previous trip Ward’s Island made on the Hudson.  The only other trip it’s made may have been northbound in the late 1930s.

Hats off to the crews who can do this safely. With the rounded bottom propped up by welded on support beams,

she looks like an animal once living.

Dimensions of the hull are 115’6″ x 38′  x  14′.

 

It’s a job and it’s a melancholy sight too., knowing the next stop on this express route is the bottom of the ocean off Fire Island.

Many thanks to Glenn for catching this.  Previous “canal reef express” posts can be found here.

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