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New York Power Authority, the parent organization to the Erie Canal, pays close attention to the temperature of Lake Erie.  The magic number is 39 degrees in the fall.  Why?

When that happens, Breaker and

other equipment such as Havasu II and Daniel Joncaire

start moving those rust-brown, sausage-looking objects on the bank.

Here’s a better look at those objects, floats I’ll call them.

I believe at least one new tug is now being used, although it was docked elsewhere and a photo follows.

Here you see more of the floats beyond Washington and Vermont,  launched in 1925 and 1914 respectively.

This aerial photo by Derek Gee for the Buffalo News shows those structures as an abstract pattern in summer bank storage, waiting for the temperature of the water to drop to 39.  To get the complete source and read the story, click on the photo itself.

Credit for the photo above to Derek Gee;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

Click here and  here to see installation of the ice boom on the upper Niagara River.

Above and below, this is Daniel Joncaire II, the newest NYPA tug, I believe.

And where does the Joncaire name come from?  Check here.

 

 

Not far from E. M. Cotter, the SS Columbia crew prepares for the next stage in the journey.  2015 and before had the project here, (with a clip of the actual arrival in Buffalo here) and last year I saw her from the Buffalo River here.

Last month, I had the good fortune of a tour through all the decks,

from starboard just inside the ramp looking forward,

from near the stern looking forward,

a gaze up the starboard passageway from the emergency steering,

a glance back,

a peek up the port passageway,

a coup d’oeil  back at the companionway into the engine room, where

the engine rods wait to dance again and

push the indicators as the

steam pressures.

A different companionway leads up to the main deck and then

another brings us to the ball room,

with a closer-up of the bar.

Ultimately all the way up where the once and future pilot will

guide her on delightful voyages as

her stack funnels exhausted power heavenward.

If you do FB, here’s their page.  If not, here’s the .org page.  Here’s some info on the crew.

Many thanks to the crew for the tour.

Somewhat related:  If you don’t see the clip of fireboat E. M. Cotter breaking ice on the Buffalo River yesterday in the comments, here’s a great clip, and it can lead you to many others.

Also, if you’re in Buffalo, be sure to check out the Buffalo Harbor Museum. 

 

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Check out an ancient active duty fireboat in Buffalo . .  Edward M. Cotter, built in Elizabeth, NJ, in 1900.  After I got a few, the rain started and I had to retreat to Swannies for the best-ever buffalo wings, of course.

 

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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.

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