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Preface: The title 1W indicates this is a west-to-east trip, almost 200 miles between Lake Erie and the cut into Onondaga Lake, not far from Three Rivers, where previously we left the Erie and headed north on the Oswego.  Many smaller recreational boats traveling between the Lakes and the Atlantic follow this west-to-east via Lockport route to avoid using the Welland Canal. Click here for regulations regarding smaller craft in the Welland Canal, considered one section on the Saint Lawrence Seaway and entirely in Canada.

I have to be frank; I’ve traveled this part of the Erie Canal much less frequently than the portion we just finished, and most of my photos are from 2014, so if you’ve been through here more recently and stuff has changed, please update me.  Also, I’ve not been on the water between Black Rock Lock and Pendleton NY.  There may be gaps, omissions of key features in this part of the guide.

That being said, thanks for booking another trip. Virtual trips can magically re-position you; even time travel is possible.  For food, drinks, or a more comfortable pillow, though, you’re on your own.  Remember, doubleclick on a photo to enlarge it.

 

Welcome to Lake Erie, the lake with the seiches,

now looking east toward Buffalo. The Canal is named for this body of water.  It could have been named the DeWitt Clinton Canal, the New York Canal, or anything else.  But mercifully it was not.  “Erie” is an abridged name for a Haudenosaunee people whose more complete appellation was closer to “Erieehronon,” meaning people of the cat, possibly a long-tailed cat.  I add as much info as I do about First Peoples because so many places bear references,e.g., Lakes Erie and Ontario, Lackawanna, Tonawanda, Niagara . . . etc.

 

If we were heading west, here‘s some of what we’d see.  But the rainbow attracts us to look east.  See the white structures on the horizon near the center of the photo?

That’s Steel Winds, an energy project built on a former brownfield, technically in Lackawanna,  where part of the Bethlehem Steel plant was once located.

Grain elevators were invented in Buffalo and made the city rich, a past place of the future.  Since 1959 when grain shipments out of the midwest began to bypass the city via the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence Seaway to anywhere in the watery parts of the globe, much of this infrastructure was left empty, left to be reimagined.  Oh . . . that white vessel shrunk by the elevators of “silo city . . .”  yes, that’s SS Columbia, a project that plans to bring this steam vessel to the Hudson River.

Some elevators still operate;  not far from the General Foods/Gold Medal Tower is the plant where to this day, as your nose will tell you, they make Cheerios and other breakfast cereals.  I learned this by walking there one day and smelling, Cheerios. Another day, it was clearly Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Buffalo has a lot of interesting architecture, but the Liberty Building, one of my favorites, is germane to our virtual tour;  twin Statue of Liberty replicas on the roof face one east toward the eastern terminus of the Erie Canal and one west toward the Great Lakes.  Buffalo is a boom and bust city of the canal, reflected by its population size:  1820–2k people, 1850–40k,  1900–350k,  1950–580k, and now declining and approaching 250k.  There really is so much in Buffalo, which in 1900 was the eighth largest city in the US;  today it’s around #50.

Of course, we’re getting ahead of the history here;  none of this would have happened if Buffalo had not become the original “western gate” of the Erie Canal, aka the back door of the Atlantic.  Things could have turned out differently if a town to the north had been chosen.

Everyone knows about “wedding of the waters,” but I want this ceremony, performed on Seneca Chief‘s return to Buffalo, to be as well-known.  One of the confusing aspects of historical research is that names like Seneca Chief get adopted widely, as with this steamboat not long afterward.  As an aside, given what DeWitt Clinton expressed about the Iroquois, of which the Seneca were part, I’m puzzled by this choice of name, unless by that time the name of the Lake had already been divorced from the people.

Calusa Coast, once a regular in the sixth boro, now works the Great Lakes.  Here she passes Buffalo’s Erie Basin and heads for the Black Rock Lock, an entry point for our eventual turn east into the Erie Canal.

The western terminus of the Erie is in the Tonawandas.  Remember my caveat about my relative unfamiliarity with this part of the state, relative to the other side of the state.  Here‘s a summary of some attractions of the area, although even I know they’ve skipped the carousel museum, the Wurlitzers, and the Richardson boatyard.  At the beginning of the boating season, new Richardson boat owners would take part in a mass “sailaway” transiting the canal to salt water, as shown in this delightful video from 1935.  A 1941 Richardson docked alongside the canal back in 2014.

Pendleton is a few miles east, and then a bit farther, it’s the deep cut,

one of the hardest sections of the canal to dig, and it was dug before 1825, i.e., without materials and technology available for the Barge Canal.  As soon as this part of the canal opened in 1825, the Seneca Chief procession departed for New York City. More on the rubble removed here later.

 

See the locks ahead, beyond Lockport’s “big bridge,” which should be called the wide bridge.

 

Once east of the big bridge, we are at locks E-35 and E-34.

We started this leg of the trip on Lake Erie, currently above average height, . . . at 570′ or so above sea level.

We’ll end this post here, above E-35, heading east.  Using the distance table from part 1 of this series, Syracuse lies 146 miles ahead and at 370′ above sea level, and Waterford, 319 miles . . . and 15′.

All color photos by Will Van Dorp, unless otherwise stated.

 

Today’s post takes us from Port Colborne to Cleveland.

I’ll do another post about the MRC yard later.  You can click here to see what these two looked like last year.

Algorail is nearly gone and work has already begun on Algoway.

At the Buffalo breakwater, Kathy Lynn was standing by with barge to receive concrete rubble, I think.

NACC Argonaut departs the Buffalo River for Bath, ON.

Manitoulin heads west.

Paul L. Luedtke tows scow #70. Is that Ashtabula in the background?

GL Cleveland assists barge Delaware out of the Cuyahoga…

until Calusa Coast clears the RR bridge and Cleveland returns to the barn.

 

 

All photos Will Van Dorp

 

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.

 

Daylight on leg 10 saw us near the Ontario, Ohio, and Michigan border, where we met GL Ostrander pushing Integrity.

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We pass the abandoned amusement park at Bois Blanc,

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Canadian Coast Guard’s Caribou Isle,

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and ferry Ste. Claire moving cars between the Amherstburg, ON and Bob-lo “island marina community.”

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Here’s the channel looking south.

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Furuholmen heads north to Sarnia,

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and our vessel’s twin, Grande Caribe, meets up in Wyandotte.

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Meanwhile traffic continues down bound–like Sam Laud and John D. Leitch.

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This post closes out with a regular down in the sixth boro . . . Calusa Coast pushing Delaware.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

Following up from yesterday’s post . . . tug Chesapeake is larger, more powerful than the other Patapsco-class tugs.  It also has more windows in the wheelhouse.  In addition, the photos of Chesapeake and Susquehanna were taken in Baltimore and Savannah, resp.; not in NYC’s sixth boro as were the others.

For today I’ll start with a mystery tug, one I’ve not found any info on.

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I’d love to know more.

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Also, in Baltimore, it’s Annabelle Dorothy Moran.

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Click here to see my first shots of Annabelle almost three years ago as she sailed underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.

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And another boat I know nothing about . . . McL?

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Donal G. McAllister is Baltimore’s McAllister ex-YTB.

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New England Coast is another boat I’d never seen before . . . docked here at the Dann Marine base in Chesapeake City, MD.

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And approaching Chesapeake City from the south, it’s Calusa Coast, a frequent visitor to the sixth boro. I photographed her first here, over eight years ago.

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All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

It surprises me sometimes what titles I’ve not re-used.  This blog has little grand design;  I choose to let to drift serendipitously according to what I see or what you choose to share, and I am grateful to you all for sending along photos and suggestions.  Rock Juice the title came out of a conversation some time back with one of you;  thanks and I think you know who you are.  Here was the first in the series.

Diane B pushes a load of it in John Blanche.

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Magothy . . . and  . . .

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and I missed the barge info.

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Dory and Port Chester . . . .  And notice just forward of Dory‘s wheelhouse, it’s

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Navigator . . . doing something at an oil dock.

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Ditto Mary H, over between the Empire State Building and BW Kronborg.

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Ditto Kimberly Poling.

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And McKinley Sea . . . with the icicle hanging from a scupper hole as evidence that oil is going for heat.

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Last one for now . . . Calusa Coast getting ready to hook up to a barge to take . .  well . . . down the coast.

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All photos yesterday by Will Van Dorp, who has to run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random, recent, and variously sourced.

The closeup of Nanticoke pushing Doubleskin 57 toward the Goethals Bridge below comes compliments of Allen Baker.

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I took this foto of Robert E. McAllister.

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Marie J. Turecamo here assists Barney Turecamo, pushing

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the 118,000 barrel barge Georgia.

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Four of the Dann Marine tugs:  l to r, Emerald, Chesapeake in the distance, First,  and Calusa . . . all Coast.

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Pegasus . . . the former John E. McAllister and so much more . . . the only tug in the sixth boro that today still excurses (yup . .  that’s a word!) for the public.

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First Coast, the former

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Morania No. 18 . . .  See the traces of “R–A–N” in the painted metal?

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Over in the East River, it’s Bruce A. and

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Charles D. McAllister.   See the McAllister striped Rosenwach wooden water tank on the building upper skyline left?

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From l’amiga .  .  it’s another shot of Patricia, a 1963 tug built in Port Deposit, MD.

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And last but not least . . .  just cellphone-snapped by chance by Birk Thomas yesterday, it’s Miss Lis, which at this writing is about to steam past Sandy Hook on her way out of the sixth boro.  What’s remarkable about this foto is that Birk caught this Tradewinds tug in the last two miles of a journey that started in LA!   I feel like there should be a brass band playing or some other celebration of completion.   Click here to my previous “seeing” of another Tradewinds tug.

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Click on this foto below . . . and if you have a Facebook account, you should be able to see Tradwinds Towing’s FB page.

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Fotos should be credited as I tried to indicate;  non credited ones by Will Van Dorp.

Taken about 10 days ago . ..  Lyman headed south towing Sea Shuttle.

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Lyman used to sport a red star on its stack.

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Harry McNeal (1965) escorts Clyde, whose vintage I don’t know.  Here’s a very similar scene (foto 4)  from almost four years ago.

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Atlantic Coast dates from 2007.

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Perennial “repeater” on this blog, Gramma Lee T Moran, waiting to retrieve the pilot.

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34-year-old Emerald Coast used to answer to the name Maggie Swann.

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Calusa Coast first appeared here six and a half years ago.

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Jill Reinauer and Kimberly Turecamo westbound in morning light.

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As I went into work this morning, there was no more than 10 minutes of spectacular dawn light, before the clouds dulled it.

Disclosure: I’ve never claimed to be in the tug industry although I’ve often considered trading in my profession to start a new life as a deckhand and go up the chain. Too bad life is so short or I’d do it. There is a precedent: in 1986, I resigned from a college teaching position to learn to drive semi, and I ended up a few weeks later hired to teach student drivers the intricacies of double clutching and backing. Anyhow, I’m dredging up this ancient history to make a point: namely, tugs excite me. They have power and style. Politicians and CEOs, who are reputed to have a power and style, do not excite me in the same way. Check out Hornbeck‘s incomparable Patriot Service below, one of my favorite recent fotos.

 

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Or in their fleet check out Gulf Service

 

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or Stapleton Service escorting Calusa Coast . . .

 

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or Sea Service.

 

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Style and power! Nowhere could those qualities better be witnessed. To you all in the industry, my hat’s off. That’s why I fotograf and blog. Had I been born on Staten Island rather than farm country, I might be at the helm. Other fleets soon.

Photos, Will Van Dorp.

See new search feature on upper left. Type in a vessel name there to see if I’ve included it in a post already. I’ve added this in response to my own fallible memory and a recent email suggesting I do a post of a specific boat he works on, and I already had months ago. Enjoy searching.

Also, enjoy the fotos from gcaptain, new on the blogroll to the left.

A friend asked why I write this obsessive blog. Well, it serves me as a writing starter sometimes: if I’m blocked on some non-blog writing, I look through my fotos, fingering them like oracle bones, allowing an idea to surface, coaxing it into shape, writing the post, and using the resulting momentum to dislodge the block.

With the blog I’ve met so many people. Thanks for the generosity of taking time to read, comment, question, inform, etc. For example, Fred helped me solve the Grey Shark puzzle,

 

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of a few days ago. She was named Fast Navigator until less than a month ago. So in Grey… I located so little info because Grey Shark has been the name of this vessel only the past few week of her 27-year history. Egyptian livestock hauler was a previous application.

 

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The above picture is especially for “she who was concerned about my relationship with all the Alices in my life.” Sister, there’s even more to tell. The blue beauty above is Mary Alice, dancing a gangly partner toward the Kills.

 

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Finally, this tug is named Calusa Coast. I’d no association with that word until I found the Calusa are a native people of Florida.

 

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Notice the protective grillwork covering the aft-facing window on the after pilothouse. Imagine what ripped-out blocks, cables, and other gear that safety feature is intended to protect someone sitting there from.

Photos by Will Van Dorp.

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