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Rebecca Ann, shown here just above E28A,  has served as Donjon’s Erie Canal tug recently. Nearby is Witte 1407, which she delivered, and [Daniel] Joncaire, formerly of the Niagara River.

 

My question was . . . what will this “reef run” on the Canal pick up for the reef?  Here’s the background on this reef business.

This question is especially acute since the dry dock is fairly empty.  Although the large rectangular openings make it clear that this barge in the foreground will go, currently between that barge and Rebecca Ann is the venerable [and vulnerable] Grouper.

While I was at the lock, these canoeists appeared from the direction of lock E28B, and when the lock master opened the gate, I concluded I might witness my first time seeing canoes lock through.

Without fanfare,

valves allow about two million gallons of water move downstream and lower the water level for these paddlers.

Happy trails!

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Many thanks to Bob Stopper for the heads up.

 

Local government boats  . . .  NYPD actually are out all year ’round training, patrolling, for whatever purpose.  If I were differently ambitious, I’d develop a crime fighter television series based on the lives and work of the marine unit of the NYPD.  But one impediment to fulfilling that goal is that I know very little about the marine unit.

This blog is not so much an end result of content research as a starting point for me, so besides putting up recent photos of NYPD boats, here are some facts that I just located:  NYPD employs 55, 304   people, of whom 38,422 were officers in 2018.  They operate 9624 cars.

Here is info on some of the boats in the harbor unit.

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The harbor unit, established in 1858, is made up of 150 officers today, of whom 31 specialize in scuba operations.

Since they cover the 576 miles of water’s edge as well as the 146 square miles of NYC navigable water, I’d call them the sixth boro police.

Here’s a previous government boats post I did.

For more historical info, click here.

Doing this post has given me some ideas for some sort of project.  To be continued . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Thanks to Steve Wunder for the photo below taken yesterday in Fonda NY.  To the right, it’s a new 2018 Marine Inland Fabricators 25′-3″x14′x5′ Clydesdale pushtug, either hull 323 or hull 324.

BUT, to the left and much more significant, it’s Urger, a few miles east of where the 1901 (!!) tug is said to be intended as a land display, sans integral hull, i.e., it’ll never float or tour the waterways again.

I intend this post as a followup to last week’s here, where I wanted to illustrate what we New Yorkers stand to lose, if this lock 13 park plan gets carried out.   In following up, my intention is to underscore our potential loss.

The photo below shows Urger in 1940 in Waterford, operating as a steam tug. At that point, the tug was already 39 years old.

Urger was launched in 1901 as fish tug  Henry J. Dornbos, by Johnston Brothers, a fact still visible on the bitt below.  The company was founded in 1864 by J. W. Johnston, a direct descendant of the none other than James Watt.

The rest of the photos here come from the archives of Bob Stopper, canal ambassador extraordinaire based in Lyons, NY.

Urger has likely been seen and touched by many more people than any other Canal tug or other New York State symbol, particularly because from 1991 until 2016, it crisscrossed the state’s waterways from May until October, doing programs for 4th graders and festivals for the general public.  Schools bused kids to the canal parks to learn about NYS history, technology, and the environment.  Before any program, crew cleaned, painted, and polished.

 

Think about 1901.  Life expectancy for US men was 47.6 years, and for women, 50.6!  Companies like Harley Davidson and Ford wouldn’t form until 1903, also the year the Wright Brothers made their first flight.  There were 15 automobiles registered in the 45 states of the US, where the population was all of 75 million; Utah had been the last state to enter the union in 1896.  The world’s tallest building was Philadelphia City Hall at 548.’  US Steel had not yet been created, and Standard Oil would go another decade before being broken up.  RMS Cedric was the world’s largest ship, and Titanic was not even on the drawing board. The US was involved in a shooting conflict in China. 

Literally thousands of New Yorkers of all parts of the state and ages have benefitted from Urger at a canal port near them, like this future mariner.

Time is critical here.  Unless minds get changed, we could be days or even hours away from Urger‘s life as a boat permanently sunk, which IMHO, would be a significant loss.  Please share this post with friends, local schools, and other networks.  Also, contact your federal, state, and local political leaders.

Click here for most of my previous Urger posts.

I’m back near the sixth boro now and have photos for at least through early October, at which time I leave on another gallivant.

So here’s step one in catching up.  Up the meandering Cuyahoga, here are Iowa (1915) and Oklahoma (1913);  these boats were built to work and last.

 

The vintage GL tugs may just be replaced for the next century by this design:  Cleveland, launched less than six months ago . . . 2017.

Click here for a recent article on Cleveland.

Cleveland in this series was doing assist for 610′ x 78′ sand barge Ashtabula powered by 142′ tug Defiance

Here’s Elizabeth Anna in the Lake Erie port on Erie PA.

Elizabeth Anna (ex-Bear) last appeared on this blog here.

In the entrance to the old Buffalo River, here’s Daniel Joncaire II, a NYPA tug

launched in late 2015 by Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland. NYPA uses the tug for ice boom installations near its hydropower units on the Niagara River. I’m curious now about Niagara Queen II and William H. Latham

I’ve always had misgivings about my series title “freshwater tugs” and here’s a good illustration why:  Calusa Coast–here with Kirby barge Delaware–was until a few years ago a regular in the saltwater and brackish , in and out of the sixth boro.   Here she is in the Niagara River headed for Black Rock.

Beyond her stern here is the combination Buffalo Intake Crib Lighthouse. 

And to close out today’s post, it’s Sarah Andrie, another tug that’s made the transition from saltwater to fresh . . . the former Caribe Service.

She’s making her way here upstream into Lake Erie from the Welland Canal.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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