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Empire Line . . . is that a rail service?  A fashion design?

You’ve seen Erie Canal posts on this blog many, many times.  Erie Canal.  I grew up near that canal and have played and worked on it in different capacities.  Last fall, I biked along the canal from Tonawanda to Waterford, and because of the isolation of the past year, posted virtual bike and boat tour guides.  People from many countries have transited the Erie Canal;  people from even more countries know of this iconic waterway.  A friend told of visiting a classroom in China and seeing a map there that showed the Erie Canal.

Well, the governor has proposed renaming the corridor for boats and bikes through New York as  . . . the Empire Line.   What!@#$#@@!  Here’s the paragraph:  “Reimagine the Erie Canal: Building on the findings of the Reimagine the Canal Task Force, the New York Power Authority Board, which now oversees the Canal Corporation as a subsidiary, will … integrate the Empire State Trail and Erie Canal into a new “Empire Line” system … along the 360-mile spine of the Erie Canal.”

Check out tug Syracuse below.

Should that be renamed tug Empire #1933?

Or take Joncaire aka Daniel Joncaire.… 

Should it be called Empire 1979?

Rename Niagara Falls  . . .  Empire Falls?  For NYS to suggest renaming the iconic Erie Canal is a worse idea than gilding a lily or painting the abalone….  Write your NYS assembly rep.  Write your NYS senator.  Let them know how you feel.

These photos come compliments of a canal sailor.   The sentiments are entirely my own.

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.

 

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.

 

 

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