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More than a week ago, these tanks entered the Erie Canal system at lock E-2 in Waterford.  Sunday afternoon they tied up for the night in Lyons below E-27.  Let’s call the first nine photos here Batch 1.

 

This morning early, they made their way through E-27 and then on to E-28A.

Here’s a view back toward E-27 and the village of Lyons . . . around the bend.

The forward most barge gets pushed in, unmade from the second barge, and then CMT Otter reverses out with that second barge.

The unaccompanied barge is moved out the upper gates by means of the capstan, a machine as old as the Barge Canal and very infrequently used.

After this barge is moved forward and secured to the wall, the gates close, the lock is drained, the lower gates opened, and the rest of the tow enters to be raised to the level of the forward barge.

These next photos taken west of Newark . . . E-28 B . . . show just how narrow this part of the Canal is, and

silt that’s lain on the bottom gets stirred up.

Here’s an article from the NYTimes, but I wish the author had spoken with a wider range of informants.

Many thanks to Bob Stopper (1,2, 6, 7) , Jason Ladue (8, 9) , and John Van Dorp (3, 4, 5) for these photos.

Now Batch 2, thanks to Bob Stopper.  Bob took this batch this morning very near my “upstate home,”  between Newark and Widewaters.  Note that this batch is moved by HR Pike.  

For a long tow, this part of the Canal  (same as here) is very narrow.

It’s mind-boggling that these inland waters are directly connected to the Pacific Ocean and China, but it’s the case.

The school bus here is crossing the Whitbeck Road Bridge, a span I’ve crossed probably a thousand times . . .

Many thanks to all, especially to Bob Stopper, who was unstoppable in getting these photos just this morning.

 

 

 

Here are previous posts with this title.  Another unusual cargo that passed through here were these barged US, British, and Russian jets five years ago also in May.

I owe all these shots to Mike Pelletier and other folks who were at E2 in Waterford yesterday, as the Erie Canal opened for its 200th consecutive season.  It’s cause for celebration that Day 1 brings significant commercial cargo into the Canal.

The job will entail moving a total of 12 identical tanks from the Hudson River level to the Rochester level. At the end of this post, I share a photo I took at the Rochester area a few years ago in the fall.  Can you imagine what that part of the Canal looks like?  But I digress.

If you don’t know the story, let me highlight some details, although you can read more here.  The cargo here consists of three tanks, each 20′ x 60′ and fabricated of stainless steel.  If each tank holds 2000 barrels, or 661,000 cans, and if I drink an average of two six-packs a month, one tank holds a 4,500 year supply of Genesee for me….  Another way to think of it . . . if a party was held and each guest had three beers, all twelve tanks would contain enough beer for 2,644,000 guests!  That would be enough beer @ two or three beers each for every 21+ person in Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, and Alaska . .  and quite a bit more left over.  But I’ve really digressed.

Here the tow lies alongside the wall below E2. #Toast the tanks is the tag Genesee wishes “social media makers” to use to group-document this journey.

Here CMT Otter pushes the tow into the opened lower gates of E2.  Here is a previous post featuring Otter and fleet mates.

So, here the tow is inside and the lower gates closed. The shot above was shot from midpoint on the catwalk over the gates beyond the stern of the tug.   The lock chamber valves are now set to fill. The two crew lower photo are radioing distances to the captain.

 

Now the camera is back to that same catwalk.  What else do you see?   I missed it the first times I looked at this photo….

See the drone?  It’s between the catwalk rail and the portside stern of CMT Otter.  I’m guessing this is CMT’s camera team.

Believe it or not, this is the Canal through which these tanks will travel near the end of their journey to Gates . . . Rochester, beyond E33.   From the Canal, Rochester is mostly invisible.

Now some speculation . . . I believe the tanks arrived in the US aboard Wladyslaw Orkan on a voyage that began in Shanghai around March 13.  My guess would be that the manufacturer is Lehui, possibly in Xiangshan Ningbo.  If all this is true, I’m curious about this stated goal on the Lehui site:  “During a two-decade-plus journey, Lehui exercises “European Quality, Chinese Price” philosophy, which won Lehui “the most outstanding beer/beverage equipment manufacturer” in China.”  Where were previous Genesee tanks fabricated?  With concerted several decades effort, a 21st century plan to return more manufacturing to the US might be held on course with a mantra something like ““European Quality, Chinese Price, US Essence, ”    . . . concerted effort . . .

Click here to see the tentative schedule.

Thanks again to Mike Pelletier.

 

Here’s the post I did the day my season on the Urger ended.   The boat seriously needs a reboot now, a rewind, since it will NOT been operating season of 2017.  None of the photos here have been posted before, and there’s a surprise at the end of this post, stemming from a conversation last night  I am grateful for. Here’s Urger approaches the guard gate at the top of E-6 on the last day of the 2014 season.

Here the morning of that last run, she’s docked above E-11.  May she not grow into the bank the way that fence has been consumed by the tree.

The entire four-person crew fits into this shot at E-14.

As the sun clears the horizon, Urger‘s out and running east, here under the onramp to the Thruway below E-17.

A few seconds earlier, she exited E-17.  Note the 17 at the top of the lock frame.

Bathed in the warm October sunrise, Urger waits for the guillotine door to raise before exiting the chamber.

Here’s the boat on the wall in Little Falls in midsummer 2014.

A month or so back while it was still winter, I returned to E-17, and there was ice on the wall and in the chamber, and I put my camera away quickly so that my hands could return to the pockets where I’d stuffed chemical heat packs.

This would have been the 25th season for the 1901-built Urger as an ambassador/educational vessel. This role for her was created –as I understand it– through a private/public  partnership fronted by Schuyler Meyer.  Here’s some more of the story of the boat and the program, which was initially operated by SCOW, State Council on Waterways, which appears to have had its last event in 2009.

At the start of this post, I mentioned a surprise.  Last night (finally) I uploaded to YouTube here a half dozen short recordings I made of of Urger underway, with closeups of her Atlas-Imperial engine.  Crank up the sound and enjoy them.  Please share widely.  The program and the boat  are too precious to be permanently lost.  Here is a post I did when Urger last visited NYC’s sixth boro.

All photos and opinion entirely by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks, MB, for the conversation.

 

Unlike the sixth boro waters, freshwater New York changes state.  As illustration, here is a color photo I took yesterday, and

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below is roughly the same view (looking down from E-5 in the Flight) taken in late September 2016, almost five months ago.   What’s departing lock 4 was reported here.

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But I digress.  Here’s what tenders look like in February.

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And the long-suffering Chancellor, after the pool level has been lowered.

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Floating and working, it’s the art deco tug Syracuse.   She has been working since December 1933!

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And can you identify the vessel in the foreground?

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Indeed, it’s the 1912-launched Grouper sustaining yet another season in Niflheim.

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All photos taken by Will Van Dorp this week except the first one.

I shouldn’t be surprised to find pricey boats in a city like NYC, but I still am.  I took the first two photos here in Chelsea Piers, and I imagined their understated elegant lines meant they were affordable.  Well, maybe they are easily affordable by the incoming executive branch standards, but for most folks, not so much.  Look them up . . . Van Dutch boats.

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I also shouldn’t be surprised how fast some boats travel on the Hudson, but this one flew past at

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least 35 knots, and it wasn’t small.  I’ve no idea who the manufacturer is.

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Traveling in the canal makes for a slower pace, with people going for the distance, like

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Pioche.  They must know about some new navigation canal infrastructure plans I’m not privy to.  And I wonder who they hope to meet in Pioche.

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If I bought another cruising boat, I’d want something like this . . .

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here upbound the St Lawrence.  I’m not positive it’s a pleasure boat, but PCF does not mean patrol craft, fast.  It could be Provincial C___  for Fisheries?

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I’m not sure what this is, besides a boat.  Anyone know the story?  She was up north of the Scarano barns in Albany.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

If Margot were a fish, I guess you’d classify her as catadromous, sort of.  And no tug that I’ve followed has switched between salt (where she was launched) and fresh (where she frequents as a working niche) water as often as Margot does.   Last week she was sixth boro bound and exiting the low side of lock 9.  Here’s a post I did almost two years ago about some very unusual bollards at the top side of lock 9.   But I digress.   Recognize the cargo on the barge?

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It’s a different barge, but those are two more fancy Canadian shoes–size 110-tons– for the legs of the NY Wheel, that repeat of what George Ferris built for the big Chicago fair in 1893.  And George Ferris . . . where did he get his inspiration to build such a wheel?  Well, it’s a Troy and Hudson Valley concept from the start, from Henry Burden and his industry.   Here’s a post I did in 2010 related to the dock Mr. Burden built upriver for his metal export.

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The lower Mohawk has a stark beauty this time of year, so different from its beauty in other seasons.

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I wonder why so many components of the NYWheel are sourced outside the US.  I guess I know, and it’s NOT my intention to make this a political post, and there’s no Jones Act for shore shoe/leg structures.

Bravo to the crew of Margot.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

. . . aka the leap between the seasons.  Call this photo, taken on Saturday dusk, the last moments of autumnal daylight.

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I was here waiting as a slight November blush lingered in the central NY trees, hoping this

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vessel, Sojourn, would pass before daylight faded and before those storm clouds caught up.

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She eased into the lock.  Some of you, I know, can guess this lock by the structure far left.

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And here at sunrise was a new season.  Winter isn’t just coming anymore.  It came in the night. By the way, thanks to Xtian’s comment here, I understand the significance of the registration numbers.

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Here the converted freighter eases into Lock 17, the highest lift lock in the Erie Canal system.

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Watch the descent.

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The gentleman below built this barge 53 years ago in Belgium, then used it to transport cargoes, including animal feed, through all the canals in the low countries, and in this case that included France and Germany too.  He’s riding along on the trip, his first visit to the United States.  Imagine the joy, being reunited with your handicraft in this way after a half century and halfway around the world!  His daughter, Maja, who was literally born on this barge and who as a kid jumped from hatch cover to hatch cover while the vessel–loaded to the coamings–was underway, is accompanying him.

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When the water level is lowered by almost 41′, the counterweight (almost) effortlessly raises the guillotine-style door.

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Click here to see photos I took of Urger from the same vantage point two years ago.

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And in the snow falling at a faster rate by the hour, Sojourn journeys eastward toward the Hudson.

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And from the road I took back to the sixth boro, here’s what has already accumulated east of the Hudson . . .

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All photos taken in the past 24 hours by Will Van Dorp.

For many other posts I’ve done about Dutch canal barges, click here.

 

Here are the previous posts in this series.

What’s unique about these photos is the season, the gray of November and absence of colors in the trees set off by the vibrant paint on Erie,

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the two Governors shown together here so that you can see the difference in paint scheme–Cleveland and

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Roosevelt, which different even

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in nameboard.

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Waterford, I’d guess, got too close to a dredge pumping operation.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

You may remember the Sojourn story here, about a Belgian freight barge that the original owner and builder sold, lost track of, and then rediscovered in upstate New York?  Here was how she arrived in upstate NY.

Well, after two years of work, she’s under way–just ahead of winter storm Argos.  These photos were taken yesterday (Thursday) by Bob Stopper up in Lyons, NY.  Below, Sojourn is easing not Lock 28A,

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heading for Lock 27, and

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and out of the canal before it closes, draw-down takes place, and ice invades.

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Calling all eastern Erie Canal watchers and Hudson River photographers, here’s Bob’s short background to the vessel:

“First arrived in Lyons on November 12, 2013 . The boat was built in 1963 and originally used as a coal and materials barge. It was used for over 40 years by the same family, but eventually because of family illness, the barge was sold. The barge was purchased by Paula Meehan, founder of Redken Cosmetics, renamed the Sojourn, and converted in 2006  to a Hotel Barge and used for high style cruises in France. Ms Redken shipped the barge via freighter to America with the intention of cruising American waters, especially the Erie Canal. Unfortunately, Ms Redkin died in 2014, and the barge returned to the Lyons Dydock on October 15, 2014. It sat  in the Lyons Drydock and began to deteriorate  until purchased by a young hi-tech  internet entrepreneur from the state of Washington. The newly renovated barge, 126′ x 18′,  left Lyons on November 17 headed for its new home in the NYC Harbor.”

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All photos by Bob Stopper.

You may recall that my connection with Lyons is that it’s the county seat of the county where I grew up.  It’s also the county where Grouper languishes, about to freeze into another canal winter.

 

What happens if you build a pilot boat in Massachusetts to be used on the Great Lakes?  It needs to get to its place of use.

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Thanks to the NY Media Boat, I got these photos this week as the Huron Spirit hurried through

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the sixth boro.   North of the watery boro, I was invited to ride through the Erie Canal  before it closes on November 20.

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Above is the wall above lock 16 and below, it’s the approach to lock 19, where you have to first duck under the triple-track rail bridge.

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The photo below, taken at lock 21, was Wednesday afternoon.  By now, the newest Gladding Hearn pilot boat has exited the Canal and is making its way up the Great Lakes chain.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wrote this story on the Lakes Pilots.

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