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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.

 

I’m told Moss Island has some of the oldest rocks in the world, but no one needs to tell me about the potential faces in the rocks, likely the spirits recognized by folks who lived here a half millennium or more ago.  Those spirits are likely still here, recognized or not.

But what alarmed the geese the other day was not the ancients, but rather . . . blue metal.

 

guided by a skilled crew through this dramatic section of the Mohawk gorge.

 

If not for lock E17, this tow would soon tumble over a precipice, a niagara of the Mohawk.

 

Early 20th-century technology, still efficient as ever, drops vessels over 40 feet here,

and when the guillotine door opens,

they can head downriver  . . . eventually to the sea.

 

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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And that’s not some sports scores.  This is a set of photos from a two-day run from Sylvan Beach to Waterford, locks E22 to E2.

A chart identifies locations along the Canal that are just ghosts, absences now like “USAF oil docks”

rather than presences.

Eyes outside though show presences, lots of small boats, very small like

these sculls on the summit level.

We squeeze through the guard gate just west of Rome, where

Captain Jack Graham passed us, passing the entry point of the Mohawk River into the Canal, the same area marked by the chart capture above.

Recreational boats were out on this Sunday morning, and

work boats BB 121 and BB 57 stayed tied up.  I don’t know the number of the one of the bank where, a year ago, we would have seen the now-Sound-submerged T7. 

Thistle passed, a Newport boat,

as did this one, name unknown.

Tender #2 (T2) is tied up until Monday in the Utica area,

west of lock E18.

Shooting Star seems an unlikely vessel to have come up from Peekskill.

Steeling’ Away is a classic small cabin cruiser I’d guess from the 1950s, the time of two-tone cars.  Anyone know the manufacturer?

In some thick fog above E10, it’s BB 107.

  

Below E09, it’s the bateaux of Mabee Farm, the oldest house in the Mohawk Valley.

Scotty waits with a scow below E07.

 

And below 3/5s of the flight, it’s Tender #3

and at Hudson River level, it’s Riverkeeper.

Photo #6 (of GM) by Bob Graham.  All other by Will Van Dorp, who at this point is almost home.

 

 

What is that? asked one gentleman standing at beside a lock.  The geese took no chances and scurried as it approached.

From this angle, its ferry origins are quite evident.  Scroll to compare with SS Columbia and SS Astoria.

This is the bow of Ward’s Island;  she’s departing the way she arrived around 1937 but stern first, leaving under duress.

Here the tow departs E-12 for Amsterdam.

That’s E-11 in the distance, and from this vantage point, I see

the hull as a sounding board for an as-yet invented instrument.   I believe that before she goes to the reef, her crane and wheelhouse will be once again mounted.  For show.

From one of her former crew, here’s what a working Ward’s Island looked like late in a season, replacing summer buoys with winter buoys.

The next batch I took near E-10, a lock allowing photos from the sunny side.

As you can see, she was certainly rotund.

 

To close out this post,  . . . to that gentleman who couldn’t identify the blue rotund hulk, I’d say  this reefing plan is obliterating some NYS history that could be repurposed.  Eradicating context destroys a dimension of the Canal. What do you think?

For more about the photo below by Jon Crispin,  click here.

The photo above by Jon Crispin.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

It occurs to me that someone might want to start a website using the slogan above.

Click here for previous canal reef express posts.  For Urger posts responding to and with the same urgency, click here.

 

The last time we saw Jay Bee V, she was solo and reportedly beginning an epic.  That was nine days ago, and now Jay Bee V (JBV) has taken over this large white barge from larger river tugs and is heading west with a a flotilla that began over a month ago in Brooklyn.  Click here for specifics on this journey as well as sponsors, and there are many.

Arguably, the epic began in 1868, and I quote here from the link above:  “1868, the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company relocated to Corning, via the New York Waterways, and evolved into the company that is today known as Corning Incorporated. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of this pivotal journey, CMoG will launch GlassBarge—a 30’ x 80’ canal barge equipped with CMoG’s patented all-electric glassmaking equipment—in Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 17, 2018.”

What’s pushing the “glass barge?”

Here’s a top down view of JBV, and

the boats of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Way in the distance, that’s the glass barge and beyond that, lock E-11.   Here from tug44 a few years back is more info on lock E-11.

If this photo illustrates nothing, it shows how JBV‘s  captain relies on understanding and communication from the watch stander on the barge.

 

Above and below, the flotilla passes Fonda, NY,

before locking up through E-13.

 

The glass barge flotilla had given its 8th set of shows (by my count)  in Amsterdam the day before.  To understand the impact of these shows, think canal-traveling circus of the 19th century.  Here they were heading for a set of shows in Canajoharie.  

 

More to come.  Again, if you have not checked out this link for their schedule–the water portion of which ends in Watkins Glen on September 16, click here.   Below is a vase I witnessed a glassblower make in less than 15 minutes!

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who reiterates that I take all the photos credited to me on this blog;  any photos taken by anyone else–collaboration I encourage–I attribute accordingly.

More photos of the Great Race soon.

 

 

See a statement at the end of this post.

The next vessel headed for the reef is Reliable of Utica, once a twin of Syracuse of Syracuse, which has been featured here in many previous posts. Fred of tug44 has also gotten some photos I have not.

For years–I’d estimate about two decades–Reliable has languished out of the water, as seen in photo below, which I took in June 2014.  Click here (and scroll to the third photo) for a photo of the bow while on the hard.

Its approximately 100-ton shell was lifted from the bank and placed in this  . . . coffin  (well, what else?) for a final journey, likely its only journey to the salt water.

As of publication today, Reliable –in its cortege–is being pushed by Rebecca Ann in proximity of the GW Bridge.

Lucy H pushed her through 22 locks–if my count is right–on her way to the flight, where I took these photos.

Many have said reefing might not be the best “re-purposing” of Reliable and other boats, but, as you can see, the migration of these vessels seaward has begun.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been here yesterday in this glorious light to see

Reliable make her final exit from the NYS Canal system.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wishes there’d been at least a single bagpiper for solemnity as Reliable sank into the chamber, foreshadowing the descent she’ll make soon into the briny not-so-deep but from which she’ll never emerge.

For last month’s first post in this series, Canal Reef Express 1, click here.

For a sense of how that bagpiper would sound and look, click on the YouTube link near the end of this tugster post from 2010.

What follows is a statement from Tom Prindle and posted on the Canal Society of New York FB page.

This comment was in the post with the Reliable photos, but it should be read on its own here, with no photos. Tom Prindle is a leader in preserving canal history. #savetheurger

“The scuttling of the Reliable and other canal vessels and the impending beaching of the venerable and much beloved Tug URGER begs the question with all due respect : who is making these decisions and how are they qualified to decide what is historic and what is not ? What should be saved and what should be destroyed ?These vessels need to be evaluated by those professionals charged with protecting the historic resources of our state. The Reliable may not look like much as she now is but she and the other vessels slated to be sunk are unique artifacts of New York State history. What is being planned for the 117 year old URGER is horrible. Her destruction was first proposed some 30 years ago. Instead John Jermano and Schuyler Meyer “re-imagined” the old tug as a floating classroom and ambassador of the NYS Canal System. Thousands of school kids from Harlem to Tonawanda have been welcomed aboard her. Now somebody has decided that for some reason must stop, Surely we can do better than that.”

Hats off,  Thanks, Tom.

 

 

May 15, 2018 was the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Barge Canal.  That fact was mentioned at the ceremonies opening the Canal to recreational traffic yesterday, and quite a diverse and international flotilla of recreational boats waited, like racers on the starter’s blocks.

But first, do you recognize this captain?

Well, he waved at all these school kids who serenaded him and all the other boats, first of the season, leaving lock E2.  For prices on similar Hinckley 36 picnic boats, click here.

Sonically greeting them also were two Canal vessels:  Governor Cleveland and Grand Erie.

But let’s step back about 15 minutes.  The lower gates of E2 open to reveal the queue.

The nearest boat to the left was driven by the gentleman I asked whether you could identify.  The large vessel to the right — a 78′ Azimut Benetti Spa registered in Grand Rapids MI–was rumored to belong to a well-known professional basketball player.

 

It was the second batch locking through that brought the more unique westbound boats.

The green vessel —Oliver Plunkett-– Canadian registry, was returning from a stint in the Bahamas.  Her PEI fishing pedigree is quite noticeable.

Troll–hailing from Elburg NL– intrigues me, but I can’t point out anything besides an unusual name and bright hull color, both of which you’ve already noticed.

Broadsword, German registry, is a 58′ New Zealand-built Artnautica LRC 58 motoring around the world to the east, although here headed west.

Each of these boats has a story, many stories, I’ll never know.

 

And finally, this Florida-registered Axopar caught my attention too late and too far from the camera.  But, check out these Finnish boat designs.

To see some unusual recreational boat designs, lock E2 is the place to be on opening day.  I would be remiss, however, to leave out reference to commercial vessels . . . several of whom have already locked through, and that may be a story I pick back up in a few days.

The first boat here–a Nordhavn 62– was an unusual vessel to see up in Waterford.

And the person at the helm of the Hinckley, it was Geraldo Rivera, whom you’ve likely heard of.  But, check out his info on this wiki page for lots of tidbits you probably don’t know, eg, he attended SUNY Maritime, he’s a lawyer, he went to West Babylon High School, and some scandals . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’d love to hear more about any of these boats at points farther west . . .

 

 

On May 4, 1928 this “oil-burning” tug was launched at Buffalo Marine Construction Co.  The 1928 price for the 74’1″ x 19’6″ x 8’2″ tug was $44,250, which is (adjusted for inflation) $644,318.82 in 2018 money.  Here are some photos over the few years I’ve followed her.  Starting below, September 2008.

September 2010 here

and here.

October 2013.

June 2014

August 2017.  Yes, she’s a working boat.

Now clearly this is not Cleveland, but her sister Governor Roosevelt.  That is a deep hull.   I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Cleveland hauled out.  According to Michele A. McFee’s A Long Haul, the two Governors were purchased by NYS DPW in the late 1920s to break ice, and proved their worth in the dramatic November 1936 deep freeze.

Thanks to Chris Freeman who put her “birth certificate” on FB this morning and alerted me to this day for ceremony for the Cleveland.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who leaves you with this obscure story of Cleveland (later POTUS 22 AND 24) getting incarcerated in Medina NY on a suspected “corruption of a minor female” charge . . .  all a mistake.  Read it below:

Here we are in 2018, and Grouper is still in purgatory,

aground on a soft smooth bottom created when the Canal is drained,

when the waterway looks like a brook.  I’m told that portions of the Canal in Oswego have been drained as of last week, and I hope to see for myself one of these days.

Grouper, if you are new to this blog, is a stranded Great Lakes tug–sibling to these in Cleveland, and launched in 1912!!

Many thanks to Bob Stopper for these photos.

 

 

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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