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If Lyons NY sounds familiar to you, either you have lived near there (like me, 14 years) or you may have read references to the town on this blog, partly because it’s where Grouper has spent its past decade and where it still languishes.

All photos in this post were taken in Lyons NY, and are arranged from west to east.  Lyons is home to two locks, the one below is E-28A and the rest of the photos were taken around E-27, right in the village.  I’m not sure who the photographer(s) were. 

Headed west out at the top of E-28A, an unknown tug (“c a m e r o” is written on the front of the wheelhouse) pushes a classic and well-painted wooden barge Martha Harrington, which is mentioned in a 1956 lawsuit here.

Moving a mile or so to the east, we’re looking eastward as Margaret Feeney heads west into the bottom of E-27.  Looking through the open hatch of her barge, I conclude she’s moving scrap.

Now crossing to the opposite side of the canal and looking NW, that’s Margaret Feeney again with a long string of wooden barges.  Recall that in previous installments of this series, the tugboats were almost exclusively moving steel tank barges with petroleum cargoes.  Anyone recognize the fleet of tan-with-red-lettering delivery trucks on the bank?

These photos show the degree to which the canal–at least here–is behind the town, not what the town and its enterprises fronts upon.  Another way of saying that is this:  the space between the canal and the buildings is parking lot off the street where more traffic happens.  Buildings don’t face the canal; they face the street.

This photo was taken from the Route 14 bridge.  As Crow heads west with Hygrade No. 8, it waits for a string of at least a half dozen eastbound barges to clear.  I can’t be sure, but there might be another tugboat in the lock and another above it.  Hygrade No. 8 was involved in a 1938 lawsuit here.

The photo above and the one below appear to be taken only minutes apart, but from different vantage points.  Feeney Girls seems to be clearing out that string of eastbound wooden barges while Crow waits.  There is a current Feeney Girls, but that’s not the same boat.

Maybe a friend in the Lyons area can take some photos from the same vantage points to show how much the north bank of the canal near lock E-27 has changed.  And maybe someone can help us out with a list of Feeney tugboats over the years.

While I’m asking for research help, here’s another request.  I may have a “false memory” moment here, but I recall seeing photos of the many Poling tankers through the years. Tugboatinformation has some, but I thought I once stumbled onto more of them.  I have information on some of them, but where would I have seen these photos?

Tugster did a series of Groundhog Day posts some years back, but they referenced the movie.  For the rodent reference to today, watch this amusing but informative five-minute documentary. 

Many thanks to the Canal Society of New York for permitting me to post these photos.

Today’s a good day to complete my Rondout Creek post, begun here.

Three bridges up the Creek leads you to Feeney’s Shipyard, a quite busy place.  Last Saturday when I was there, two Vane Brothers boats and Johannsen Girls–the shipyard tug I believe–were docked.   Click here for a photo of the Girls nine years ago when she was still called Dolomite II.


W. R. Coe awaits ice season.


It’s not only towing and towed vessels that you might see up there.

Over at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, a worthwhile stop, Clearwater is tied up, staying east of the 9W Bridge. That’s Mathilda on the landside of Clearwater.

Above and below, a Great Harbour 37 yacht.


Across the water and a ways back up the Creek, it’s wooden yacht Choctaw, which I’d have loved to see in its prime.  Anyone know the story?

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who encourages you to stop in at the Hudson River Maritime Museum and buy tickets for solar-powered passenger vessel Solaris.


I’ve mentioned before about my people the Dutch celebrating “old years day” on December 31.   As the child of immigrants, I’m blessed by this one of many ways they see the world differently, a perspective I’m happy to share.  So here is a retrospective of the year, the result of a process of scanning through photos in the blog library, not overthinking it.

January.  Gunhilde Maersk with James, Kirby, and JRT plus Miriam Moran.  the year of the 1200-footers aka ULCVs becoming commonplace in the sixth boro.

February.  Ocean Henry Bain serves as a safety boat during  the ice canoe race I documented in my Carnavalons posts.

March. Cerro Grande here escorted a Caribbean-bound LNG ship, one of all the Panama Tugs posts

April. When I saw this section of drained canal bed between O-6 to O-7 in Oswego, I thought the work’d never get done before the season began, but I was wrong.  Of all my 2018 NYS Canals posts, this and this posted with the greatest urgency.

May.  Reliable pushed seaward by Lucy H.  As of today, Reliable lies under the sea gathering fishes and entertaining Davy Jones near Shinnecock.

June.  Jay Bee V headed out on a high-profile mission.  Has she returned to the sixth boro yet?

July.  I missed Rosemary‘s christening because that’s what happens when you don’t look at your calendar. First come first serve for a few tugster lighthouse calendars.  Send me an email with your mailing address.   As I said, I ran a few extra when I made up my Christmas gifts.

August.  Kimberly Selvick with AEP barges was one of the treats I saw in Calumet.  This day south of Chicago planted a seed of curiosity about the Lake Michigan/Mississippi River link I hope to be able to explore in 2019.  Many thanks to Christine Douglas.

September.  J. W.  Cooper delivers a pilot in Port Colborne at the Lake Erie end of the Welland Canal.  Because I hadn’t a satisfying enough fix from the canal earlier, I returned there in October.

October.  One Stork, a pink ULCV,  came into town.  It wasn’t her first visit/delivery, but it was the first that I caught.  She’s currently in the sixth boro.

November.  Morton S. Bouchard IV rounds Shooters Island light, Bouchard celebrated a big anniversary this year.

December.  Ruth M. Reinauer heads west into the Kills in December, the start of heating oil season.

And that’s it for the year, time for me to securely lock up Tugster Tower and prepare myself to meet 2019.  The older I get, the more profound is my awareness that although I make many plans for a new year, I might not see the end of it.  It’s just how it is.  Every day is a blessing.  Last year had my own personal ultima thule; I pray that 2019 brings its new ones.

Thanks to everyone who read, commented, and assisted me in 2018.  Happy and constructive new year day by day to you all.

Bananas.  An accident?  One waiting to happen?


Actually, besides being tasty and nutritious, they are a non-polluting lubricant to the rails.  All but the last photo here come from Jeff Anzevino, who captured  Thursday’s launch of the latest barge up at Feeney Shipyard on the Rondout up in Kingston.   Click here for some of Jeff’s photos used previously in this blog.


After the launch, the new barge was towed to owners along the Hudson by Fred Johannsen.  Click here for previous photos of Fred Johannsen.


I’m not sure who took this photo, which I took from Jeff’s FB stream, but it shows Jeff in the small green and white boat to the left taking the photo above.  The dramatic shot was taken from the Walkway over the Hudson.


Here’s Fred Johannsen light.


The photo below–taken from the Walkway– shows Ocean Tower delivering framework for the new TZ Bridge.


And the same tugboat and cargo, here taken by Mark Woody Woods.



Many thanks to Jeff and to Mark for use of their photos, which iId seen on FB, which I know some of you don’t do.

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