You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Erie Canal’ tag.

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.

 

Grande Mariner is on its way to Chicago from NYC via the Erie Canal.  Since I’m not onboard, I have the opportunity to watch it lock through.

The lock is on the Palatine Bridge side of the Canal, across the bridge from Canajoharie, five times larger with its population of 3500.

Note the captain (see sunglasses extreme right center of the photo) coordinating with radio info from the mates (on ship extreme left center).  What the captain can’t see but needs to know is the orientation of the bow and stern with the lock wall, ie, distance from the wall.

Once inside the chamber, the lock master (nearer) determines when the mitre gate can be closed and start to fill the lock.

Lines on the bollard secure the ship inside.

When the chamber is full, the lock master determines when the upper gates can be opened,

and Grande Mariner sails west.

Chicago . . . it’s about two weeks to the west from this location.

If you’ve ever taken Amtrak west of Amsterdam NY, you passed within 200′ of this approach wall.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will be westbound on the sister ship in less than a week.

Schooner Ambergris came in from sea in mid-April, but I still don’t know anything more about her.  Anyone help?

Dolphin is truly a yacht;  it’s also likely a winter yacht down south.  Up north, we see vessels like this seasonally.  I can’t identify the burgee on the bow.

Schooner Pioneer, launched 1885!!, has never been a yacht, but in its current much-loved state, it operates only in the warmer half of the year and it’s an excursion vessel.

Passing the Hoboken/NJ Transit terminal, that unnamed trawler is truly a yacht coming north for the summer.

Care for a summer evening on a Chicago Grebe-built yacht?  Here’s the info on yacht Full Moon departures out of North Cove. If you want a full day’s amusement online, you could investigate these other Grebe-built yachts . . . .    Or you could read about this Chicago shipyard and many other topics in this great blog called Industrial History, which I’ve just added to my blogroll.

Sometimes the Erie Canal seems devoid of vessel traffic, but on this day at Lock 17, there were plenty of takers.  As I recall, these cruisers were from Texas, Michigan, Florida, and California!

By the boat name and the VHF manner as I overheard it, I can guess the previous employment of this vessel operator.

Yesterday I went to this location to meet a friend over beer and crab cakes, my first there in quite a while . . .  .  But if you’ve never hung out at Pier 66, you owe to yourself.  Advice . . . if you want a seat, go on the off hours!  It’s been way too long ago that this gathering happened there.

And although I took this photo in the fall, the reminder is clear:  be safe.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp.

 

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.

Here are previous installments in the series.  Summer sail can take the form of foil-raised GP racing as will happen in the sixth boro this weekend;  it can also happen on longer courses and require stamina and endurance as happens in some races ending in Mackinac.

All the photos in this post come from Jeff Gritsavage, as he was delivering a yacht from Florida to Lake Michigan.  Some of you will recognize that this shot was taken in an Erie Canal lock.  A few of you will name the lock.  Answer at the end of this post.

I’ll help you out here; this was taken on the Oswego Canal, a spur that was developed to connect the Erie Canal and Syracuse to Lake Ontario.  Name the town?

Another town on the Oswego Canal.  Name it?

This is the same town, and the boats are exiting the same lock as seen above.  In fact, about 500′ beyond the opening mitre gates is the location I took this photo of Urger and a State Police cruiser almost exactly 5 years ago.

This is Oswego.  White Hawk has arrived on its first Great Lake.  The masts await and will be stepped because air draft issues

no longer apply.

Welland Canal is less than 30 miles long, but it’s

 

the way around Niagara Falls in 8 easy steps.

Coexistence with larger vessels is the rule on the Welland Canal.

Above and below is one of the hardest working tug/barge units on the lakes . . . Wilf Seymour and Alouette Spirit

And on any lucky passage through the Welland, you’ll see vessels like Fednav‘s Federal Dee,

Polsteam‘s Mamry, and

Canada Steamship LinesCSL Tadoussac.

Before I give the answers to the questions above, here’s another town/Erie Canal location to identify.  Click on the photo to find its attribution AND the article that explains what’s happening with White Hawk.

So . . . the answers are lock E-23, Phoenix NY, Fulton NY, and finally above . . . .

 

that’s Rome.   Click here for a previous tugster post on the Rome to Oswego run.

Many thanks to Capt. Jeff for sharing these photos here.

And I’ll be looking for White Hawk on the Lakes this summer.

 

 

Here was the previous installment in this series, half a decade ago.

Now let’s take a high lift lock, a Thruway access road bridge, and “just my luck.”

When I arrived the other day, this double-locked unit was exiting the lower side of E-17.

CMT Pike was eastbound with barges used for a job in Syracuse Inner Harbor, I believe.

So after CMT Pike was on her way, I walked to the top of the lock to see what I could see and saw . ..

another unit eastbound and just arriving on the upper side.

Oh THAT Three Sisters.  Click here and scroll . . .  might these be the same boat just four years apart?

 

And eastbound they go.

Since I was here waiting for something else, I took the time to read signage I’d never noticed.  Double-click enlarges the text;  this sign dated 2005 gives some perspective to a high lift on the Erie Canal, albeit built a century ago, with a high lift on –say–western rivers a half century ago.

Click here and here for previous examples of commercial tugs on NYS canals.  Of course, here and here are more . . . the classic Cheyenne.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

Never did I think a report from a federal judge of United States District Court, Northern District, New York dated January 31, 1955, would make such an interesting read.  It  emerges from two separate but related incidents that occurred in the port of Albany in late September 1953.  One of the companies involved still works in the region with a different boat by the same name, Ellen S. Bouchard, the 1951 boat.  I’m sure an image could be found of that boat, since it was scrapped under a different name as late as 1953.

What emerges from the report and fascinates me is an image of the past when a different type of vessel (see image below) plied the waterways and trade patterns were quite unlike today.  Frank A. Lowery, the vessel below, is described in different places here as a steamer, a motor vessel, and a canal propeller.  It’s a wooden barge built in Brooklyn in 1918 for a company called Ore Carrying Corp and –I assume–called OCCO 101.  In 1929 it was made a self-propelled barge, presumably looking like the photo below taken in 1950 in Lyons, NY.  Lowery at the time of the incident in Albany was loaded and had six barges in tow.  Note in the photo below you see the bow of one barge.

Below you see the particulars on Lowery throughout its lives.

The other thing that intrigues me about the legal report embedded in the first sentence of this post is the trade route alluded to. Lowery, her barges, and no doubt many like them transported wheat from Buffalo to Albany and scrap from Albany to Buffalo, via the relatively newly opened Barge Canal.  Folks working on the barge Canal would have no idea what to make of traffic on the canal in 2018 such as this, this, or  this.

Yesterday’s post featured a black/white photo of the image below.  Posting it, generated the helpful background info contained in the comment by William Lafferty.  It also generated the image below.

Many thanks to Dave Lauster and Edson Ennis, who generated the initial questions and these images, and to Bob Stopper for the tireless relaying and much more.  Somewhat related to today’s post is this set from Bob in 2014.

One of the goals I’ve had for this blog for some years now has been an effort to bring into the public domain images of years past exactly like these when –to repeat the points above– vessels and trade patterns were different.  I look forward to continuing this effort.  With your assistance, more “far-flung” posts are just around the next bend.

An organization with some overlapping goals is the Canal Society of New York State.  Click here to see the list of presentations at the winter symposium planned for March 2 in Rochester NY.  I plan to be there.  They also have a FB presence where they frequently post photos similar to the ones in today’s and yesterday’s posts.  Consider joining in one or more of these.

Wendy Marble took these photos today when her crew was preparing to cast off lines on the Erie Canal.

This is looking forward from wheelhouse of tug Syracuse towing DB6 west from Mays Point, NY.

Then another friend jogged my memory about the date, Nov 16.  The rest of these photos I took on Nov 16, 2015.  It was shirtsleeve weather, tug Syracuse was busy, and so was  . . . .

craneship Wards Island.  Yes, the one that’s currently almost 100′ down north of Long Island;  you can see it here (scroll) and no, it’s not a 115′ barge.

The above shot I got on Nov 17, 2015, but all the rest here are from Nov 16.

Syracuse speeds the crane out into Oneida Lake,

and the crane goes fishing, or buoying, replacing summer buoys with winter spars.

At the end of the day, temperatures dropped along with the sun, and the buoys were craned over to a work barge, where the buoys would be refurbished over the winter.

Syracuse is quite the unique tug.

Thanks to Wendy and Dave for jogging my memory.  Thanks to Wendy for sharing the photos from Mays Point.

 

Here’s an expanded view of a photo from yesterday’s post here.   What you see in the distance is bridge inspection unit, 2018.

The small tug is Seaway Maid, and it’s hard to believe I’m posting a photo of it today for only the first time.  Last year this bridge inspection unit was moved through the Erie Canal by Arnold D.  Actually, Seaway Maid used to be Lil Joe.  Here is a complete page of Seaway Marine Group equipment.

Once the tugs had full facilities and transportation to and from the job site was arranged network-wide, but this is a new era.

The primer painted barge, here Fort Plain, has floated around the NYS Canals for a long time.  Note the rivets?

Judging by the dimensions of the barge, it was once Dipper Dredge #1 aka Fort Plain a by the NYS Barge Canal.  The dredge was acquired by the state in 1931.  As acquired, she was Derrick Boat #10, shown below 95 years ago!

I’m wondering what tug that was moving the derrick boat around.  Any help?

All photos by Jake Van Reenen and the archives.

And another reminder . .  . the NYS Canal Conference is happening on Staten Island next week.  I will show Graves of Arthur Kill and speak on a panel about the hidden places of the sixth born this coming Monday and Tuesday.

 

 

I caught the beginning of Jay Bee V‘s epic here, a few days after the summer solstice.  A bit later I caught her here at some different locations on the Erie Canal.

So we are all fortunate that Jake Van Reenen caught her here at a lock in central NYS that I’m not disclosing.  The voyage of the Glass Barge is complete, and at some point, the tug will return to the sixth boro and the barge dismantled and repurposed.

The color in the trees speaks to the season.

Folks upstate will talk about this epic for a long time.

And the small tug in the background?  I’ll post about that another day . . . maybe tomorrow.

All photos thanks to Jake Van Reenen.

Related:  Accompanying Jay Bee V and the Glass Barge all summer were Lois McClure and C. L. Churchill.  See them in this retro-season video under sail on Lake Champlain.

 

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