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First, two photos from Jason LaDue, up in Lyons on the Erie Canal.  Click here to see some of the many photos Jason has sent along over the past years from Lyons and the Great Lakes.  The vessel Lyons, below, has been painted NY blue and gold since it last appeared here two plus months ago.

0aaaagb1Lyons ex buoy tender 5 3 2015 J LaDue

Docked astern of Lyons is Salem, which has also gotten some new paint recently.

0aaaagb2lyons and salem Lyons dd erie canal 5 3 2015  Jason LaDue

From the Canal to the sixth boro, here’s the sight I caught last week from the MediaBoat, as we entered North Cove.  The vessel is the New York Naval Militia’s 440 Moose boat.   Click here to see some of NYNM’s previous vessels.

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I’m not sure where the group was headed.  The schooner is Clipper City, which I really need to get out on one of these days soon.

Top two photos . . . thanks to Jason LaDue;  last three by Will Van Dorp.

 

You may recall my wondering about a Canal Corp boat I saw last year while I was working on the canal.  Alan Nelson sent the photo below showing the type of vessel while it performed ATON (aids to navigation) service.

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Here’s what Alan wrote:  “It’s a 45’ buoy boat. Designation was “45 BU”. They were built 1957-’62 and in service through the 1980s. Used extensively on inland waters, they were powered by a GM 6-71 main engine and small Onan generator. Max speed approx. 8.5 knots.  Although they had a small galley and berthing area, they weren’t often used for overnight operations, and didn’t have a permanent crew assigned.   They were usually assigned to an ATON team to service small inland buoys and day markers. I ran one on the Delaware River around Philadelphia in the mid-1970s, until we took it up to New York for assignment to Lake Champlain. A slow and long trip, towed by the Coast Guard 65’ Tug Catenary.   The one in the attached photo is numbered 45301-D, the first one built. The one I ran was the 45306-D.”

Below is a further edited photo of the boat I saw.

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And here are some photos by Bob Stopper last month in the dry dock in Lyons.

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Alan and Bob . .  thanks much for your photos and information.

Now if you look closely at the subtitle of this blog, you’ll see a longer phrase there.  It now ends in “gallivants by any and all the crew.”  We are the blog crew . . .  you and me.  I’ve long stated in the “About Tugster” page drop-down just below the header of the Bayonne Bridge that “I like the idea of collaboration and am easy to get along with.”  I am thrilled by the amount of collaboration you all have offered.  So thank and let’s keep group-sourcing this blog together.

 

Summer and fall 2014 this blog posted lots of lock photos, a sample of which is here, but today there’s a treat.  Winter work on the canal requires that the water level be drawn way down for maintenance inside the locks.  Bob Stopper, a regular canal contributor and much more, took these photos inside lock 27, basically a machine that’s worked in the same way for a range of different traffic for over a century.

0aaaLock date 1913

To get a sense of what we’re seeing here . . . the “door” at the far end is 300′ away and the width here is 44.’  The “steps” we are looking at are the upper sill.  When Urger would sail into this lock, we needed eight feet of water above that concrete sill . . . or we’d hit with the keel.  In the distance notice the port holes on both sides along the “floor” and the minimum water “scum” lines.

0aa1Lock 27 upper sill, port holes, water lines

Here is a close up of the port holes and water lines.

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Here we are behind the port holes in the water tunnel now iced over.  Through here, the lock fills and dumps.

0aa3Lock 27 Southside water tunnel with ice (1024x765)

Now from the top of the lock looking at the same scene:  the “door” is called a mitre gate and again, for scale the lock is 300′ by 44′.  Notice again the water line and the port holes.

0aa4Lock 27 entering miter gate, miter sill, 300 ft long x 44 ft wide (768x1024)

Here we are inside looking back at the sill,  upper mitre gates,  and “ribbon rail” dam that’s been temporarily installed across the canal to do winter maintenance.

0aa5Lock 27 Mitre sill (upper) , mitre gates, dam (1024x768)

Here from farther outside the ribbon rail dam.  Notice the repainted mitre gate.

0aaaars2Lock 27 Bubblers ahead of ribbon rail dam

Here’s a close up of the bottom of a mitre gate showing the sill rubber seal and the white oak mitre timbers where the gates meet in canal center, and .

0aa6Lock 27 Miter sill, sill seal rubber, white oak miter timbers

along each edge there’s a quoin timber attached to needle sill gate.

0aa7Lock 27 Quoin timber attached to needle sill gate

These grates are called trash racks at the entrance to water-fill culvert.  In reality, they keep debris like large trees from entering.

L0aa8ock 27 Trash rack and entrance to water fill culvert (1024x738)

And the is a wagon-body valve in situ on z-rails in a fill culvert.  How large is it?

0aa9Lock 27 Wagon body valve on Z rails in North fill culvert (1024x768)

I took this photo at lock 2 last summer.  This wagon-body valve was waiting the arrival of a crane for installation deep inside the lock.  My estimate is that each of the wheels is greater than three feet in diameter.  Maybe someone can help confirm that estimate.

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Here’s a view of the lower gates of lock 19 I took in late June 2014.  Lock operators were clearing water-logged tree branches jammed between the bottom of the mitre gate and the sill.  Remember that there’s at least eight feet below their rowboat.

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Much gratitude to Bob Stopper for sharing his photographic journey inside lock 27.  Here, here, and here are links to Bob’s article in three parts from Wayne County Life on this inside out look at a lock.

 

If you’ve seen Graves of Arthur Kill, you know my fascination with ruins.  There are so many canal ruins in central NYS stretching from Buffalo to Albany that I’m actually dividing this post into two.  When you see the batch of photos following this one, you’ll see why I split the two on this zone.

Below is the aqueduct at Schoharie Crossing, not far from where Schoharie Creek flows into the Mohawk River aka Erie Canal.   And besides ruins in this zones, there’s copious

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signage, which I greatly appreciate.

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Less than a quarter mile away, here’s walls of the original Canal.  Note the recesses where the lock doors would retract to when the chamber was open.

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And here’s signage.

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No more than three miles–by water–away, here’s an old lock with

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satisfying signage.

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“Putnam’s Grocery” is just out of the frame . . . to the left, and

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signage.

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This sign with a map puts the whole area together.

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More than 150 miles to the west, here’s more ruins of a double-chamber lock near Lyons.

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More Canal Zones 5 ruins in tomorrow’s post.

All of these photos were taken by Will Van Dorp.

 

In a previous post, I mentioned I was very subjectively dividing the canal into zones from west to east, and I continue that here, and this post is the most personal.  Place a compass needle in the place I did kindergarten through grade 12,  and make a circle around it with a radius of about 2o miles.  All these photos were taken inside that circle.  Although I did move away from there almost 50 years ago, I’m still surprised how little I recognize.  Of course, the water perspective here is one I never had as a kid.  Start here, I’ve driven on that road .  .  . Route 31 between Macedon and Palmyra a hundred plus times, but I did feel like an amnesiac seeing it this way.

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Leaving lock 29, there were a lot of folks, but I didn’t know them.

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This is the beginning of the “spillway” I needed to cross when I walked to first grade.  The bridge–much like the one in the distance–had an open grate deck, which terrified me the first few days.

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I was happy that a friend waved from the Galloway Bridge on the westward trip and another on the eastward trip.

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Route 31, travelled many times,  lies just a hundred feet of so off the right side of the photo.

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Port Gibson, population less than 500 in 2010.  New York state must have a few dozen towns, cities, hamlets, and/or villages with “port” in the name.

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I know this farm on a drumlin well in Newark, NY.  Although the population less than 10,000, Newark is what I considered a big town.

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Beyond those trees to the right is a principal street in Newark.

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This is the port of Newark.

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Just outside Lyons, NY, population under 4000 and shrinking, awaits Grouper, subject of many posts including this recent one.

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Inside the village of Lyons . . . a mural on a wall that borders the location of the previous iterations of the canal depicts what might once have been here.

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Outside of town, these “wide ditches” are the actual “enlarged canal” of the 19th century.

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And ruins like these . . . I never knew existed even though I knew the place name “Lock Berlin.”

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Why did I never know the railroad through my world then crossed in places like this  . . .?

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I’d seen these grain bins from the road but never imagined the canal lay right behind–or “in front of” –them

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Quoth the eagle . . . you can’t go home again if you never really knew your home to begin with.

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Al photos by Will Van Dorp.  Many thanks to Bob Stopper who showed me what I should have seen a half century ago.

 

Some areas along the NYS Canals evoke tropical forests . . .

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Some bridges are so low even today that we approach dead slow, jackstaff–our measure of minimum clearance–ready to signal full astern.

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Many places along the canal offer a parallel path for the railroad like

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this automobile train pulled by Union Pacific locomotives.

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If it seems I have paid more attention to these canal banks than others, it’s true, because these are in the county where I grew up and first caught a fish.  Click here for close-ups of this former Agway and beet refining complex.

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These abandoned scows lie within 250 feet of Rte. 31, but I’d never seen them until I took the canal.

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Click here to see the large number of posts I’ve done on this 1912 tug I call Grouper.

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When this creature stands at the end of a dock like this, I’m happy to comply.

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So far, west of Palmyra, I’ve seen the most fabulous bike trails.

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More trains and

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And finally, just east of Fairport, I love this garden with repurposed metal “sculpture” that includes two harps.

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All photos taken by Will Van Dorp.

 

Labor Day in the sixth boro . . . and now at Lock 28A, Urger‘s winter port.    Near Lyons.  Near my “grow-up” years, where I enjoyed my 40th high school reunion last night.

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Urger from the other side of the lock.  Notice the plastic hoods over vent and mast and

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weather cap added atop and bronze plaque removed from the stack.

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Nose to nose with Urger is HD-1, the cutter head dredge that sank last July in Palmyra and was raised by Titan.

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Closer and

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closer-up shot of that head.

aau8Lyons . . . farm country.  I just had to.

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Here are some fotos I took last spring in the Lyons Canal Corp. yard.

Last foto by Elzabeth Wood;  all previous by Will Van Dorp.

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