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Click here for a series of posts and photos of Wards Island from a point almost exactly four years ago, in mid November  when I spent a long day photographing the old crane ship on what was to be her last year working.   Today she lies at the bottom of Hempstead Reef, a few nautical miles of the west end of Jones Beach Island, in 50 to 70 feet of water. A map follows below.  I’d love to hear from anyone who has fished or dived on the reef during the past year, since she has graced the bottom with her hospitable presence.

Although I’ve posted some of these photos, the day I spent on her pulling Erie Canal navaids out of Oneida Lake was a magical day .  . mid November, but warm and without wind.  Enjoy this set.

Photos were taken from morning to night on November 16 and then the last one is November 17, 2015.  All are re-edited.

She ran, if not quite like a deer.

Heading eastbound into the Lake had the look of space flight.

 

For a crane ship fashioned from a double-ended ferry, she plucked buoys from the water quite efficiently,

replacing them with ice buoys, of the right color of course.

 

 

 

But for November,

it was an enviable day for photos.

Some of the navaids in the Lake rest on concrete-capped shoals, islands.

At the end of the day, all buoys were transferred to a barge so that Wards Island had cleared decks for the next day of work.

 

Click on the DEC map below to get to an interactive map.

Click on the photo below to see more of the Flickr photo stream from which it was taken.

All photos not otherwise attributed taken in November 2015 by Will Van Dorp, who is eager to see photos of her taken in her watery home.

And as a wise friend, frequent commenter here has said in relation to another vessel, “[New boats] have come along to supplant and surpass their predecessors. We should count ourselves fortunate to have known so many of the elegant and durable old-timers while they were still around, and feel privileged to help transmit their images and stories into the future.”    Thanks, Lee

 

 

November 2009 saw the USS New York (LPD-21) arrive in her namesake city for christening commissioning. Just faintly, the name is visible on the stern.

I also went up to the Lyons NY dry dock in November 2009 and caught Urger, then in seasonal layup. Five years were to go by before I did my season on this Barge Canal tugboat.  May she return!

Firefighter was still working in the sixth boro.

Stephen was working then too, and she’s still working today.

Cape Ann’s Essex Creek is hardly the sixth boro, but you can get there from here . . . . and Essex MA is one of my favorite places, although –truth be told–I’ve been there only once since 2009.

Some miles north of Essex Creek is the Piscataqua River, and back then these were the horses in Moran’s stable on Ceres Street:  Carly A. Turecamo, Mary M. Coppedge, and Eugenia Moran.  Carly‘s now in Maine with Winslow, Eugenia is maybe laid up, and Mary M. is still working there . . . but again I’ve not been there in almost two years.

And finally . . .  she who need not be named alongside a dock in Philly.

Any since we’re on the retired undefeated speed champion, let’s zoom in on the “crow’s nest” in these next two photos . . .

Not my photo although I felt like talent that day . . .   Here and here are more photos from that day, in 2014.

This last photo is by Chris Ware.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

 

Let’s go back to September 2009.  CMA CGM Marlin, launched 2007,  was the standard size back then . . .  The 5092-teu vessel has since been scrapped, after only nine years of service!!

Over a dozen sailing barges came to NYC to sail in New York waters in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Half Moon arriving here all those years ago.  Here are more posts from back then. Groenevecht, below, is a 2000-built replica of a lemsteraak.

Also in town to celebrate were Onrust and HNLMS Tromp. Here’s more on Tromp.

Old and new came.  On one end of the spectrum was Day Peck, 

her great hold still waiting to be transformed into museum.

Urger still operated, here sidling up to Lehigh Valley 79.

A different Rosemary McAllister worked here.

Irish Sea (1969) was still at work.

Yessir, stuff changes.  All photos in September 2009 by Will Van Dorp.

 

This post picks up at Illion marina, where Gradall #2 and

a scow and Governor Roosevelt  

worked.

 

A scow and a self-propelled scow waited on the dock while tug Seneca

received attentions.

A fishing kayaker demonstrated multi-multi-tasking skills.

Rebecca Ann waited at the dock.  Madison R assisted with breakwater work.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, between Illion and Oswego.

 

Now in the Erie Canal, Tender #3 was above E3,

BB 109 encountered an unidentified SPS,

Dragon dredge worked over in Crescent Lake,

an unidentified tender worked with two barges, one was QB #14,

Tuulen Tupa intrigued and I’ll tell you my understanding of that name at the end of this post,

At Fonda on the wall stood an SPS and

tug Lockport.

Will Van Dorp took these photos, and this is the end of this post.

And Tuulen Tupa is an excellent name for a sail boat, since in Finnish–at least–it means “wind hut.”

And this was Waterford to Fonda, NY.

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.

 

Several minutes ago astronomical summer began in the sixth boro, and that means tomorrow the mermaids arrive, which means I may or may not post . . . . on time.

Locations here will remain unnamed, unless you try to guess, but photo 1 here to number 4 represents an approximated 15 miles of central New York, where

time warps can be fallen into.

 

Geographical discontinuities  . .

exist as well.

All photos recently by Will Van Dorp, who will identify the locations and then do the mileage calculations afterward if needed.

If you’re new to the blog, I’ve done lots of blog posts on a NYS Canals tug called Urger.

For the past 5+ years, I’ve freelanced for a great publication called ProfessionalMariner, and this month have my first cover story.  I didn’t know my photo was on the cover until it came out!!  You can read my Urger article here.

Another piece of Urger news I have not reported elsewhere is below.  At the 2018 Waterford Tugboat Roundup, the 1901 built tug was voted “People’s Choice Favorite Tugboat,” winner of a dark horse write in campaign!  Below is the trophy.  Too bad the trophy has no boat to display it in for the public to see.

Now for big news on the political though primarily ceremonial end of things, Assembly member John McDonald III, District 108, has sponsored a bill to designate Urger as “official tugboat of the State of New York.  Read it here.

You can leave a note of thanks and support for Assembly member McDonald here.  If you vote in NYS and want to leave a note for your own rep to encourage him or her to join with McDonald in supporting this bill, you can start the connection here.

You can also write the Preservation League of New York and encourage them to continue their efforts to save this boat as a moving, floating ambassador from our state’s history.  Click here for more on their efforts.

And here’s yet another idea . . .   a 1/12 expired Urger fundraiser calendar. 

And finally, consider attending the Canal Society of New York Winter Symposium in Rochester NY on March 2.  I’ll be there.   Urger will surely come up.

And SCOW (State Council on Waterways) . . .  too bad you’ve dissolved!  There’s a reference of their Urger role at the end of this post. 

Here are previous posts in this series.  Other titles with the word hulls can be found here.

I’ve taken all these photos since the start of 2019.  The one below is a leap forward:  that’s my first view of the 1912 hull of the oft-mentioned tug I know as Grouper.  This might be the year of destiny for this 107-year-old boat, although I’ve thought that many times before. If plans are to emerge from the foundry of all possibilities, this is the time to forge them.

A decade and a half younger at 90 years young, Kentucky illustrates the draft on these tugs.

Tender #1 will also be 90 years in service this year.

Fairchild is the youngster in this set . . . launched in 1953 at Roamer Boat in Holland. MI

And finally, I don’t believe this is the 1938 Kam.  But what boat is this?  And why are those square openings in the hull just above the waterline?  And is this the Purvis scrapyard?

All photos by Will Van Dorp, in Lyons NY and the Soo.

 

According to the archives, tug Syracuse was splashed in late 1933 and completed in spring 1934 in Syracuse Inner Harbor.  The tug was certainly the oldest entity in the Lyons area of the Canal organization.

The clipping below connects the splash to early December 1933.  Some numbers on the boat:  77′ x 20.8′ x 9 with a 6′ 6″ prop.  She was first built with a 250 hp steam engine from the previous tug Syracuse;  in 1970, a Caterpillar 510 D379 8 cylinder was installed.  I don’t know if there was an intermediary power plant.  Her 1933 $40,000 cost would be just over $750,000 in 2018 dollars.

Here’s a photo of Syracuse of Syracuse NY in Oswego in July 2014. The laker in the distance is Capt. Henry Jackman of Sault Ste Marie.

I’ll do another post on Syracuse soon, but for now, let me share my favorite photos of this veteran, which I took in October 2014 as we passed her with Urger.

I don’t believe there’s ever been a tug that looks quite like Syracuse of Syracuse, except maybe Reliable of Utica, now owned and operated by Mr. Davy Jones.  Check out these trains, cars, and even some boats of this same era here.

So . . . eighty-five years working and still looking great!!

Click here for a post about a 90-year-old canal tug.

The top photo by Bob Stopper;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

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