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Although I’ve never named a post after this tugboat, you have seen her prominently in posts like here, here, and here.

Margot and crew specialize in commercial cargoes to places no longer accustomed to seeing such arrive by Canal.   The cargo here is electrical generators for PSEG a pair of very heavy transformers …. for RG&E Macedon.

Here’s the lowest air draft on the Canal, about 15 feet under Bridge E-93.  I’m guessing that an egg positioned at the high point on Margot would have been crushed here.  You’ve seen this bridge before on this blog here . . . last photo.

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Notice how low the barge is.  It’s flooded with water to reduce the air draft of the top of the cargo.

0a1mPassing Poorhouse Bridge (1024x768)

All these photos were taken between Montezuma and Macedon.

0amg1Leaving Creagers Bridge (1024x853)

0a2mLock 28 A (1024x690)

 

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Here the tow is exiting Lock 27.

0amg2Margot exiting Lock 27 (1024x768)

All the above photos were taken by Bob Stopper, frequent upstate contributor to this blog.  The next two come thanks to Chris and Eileen Williams, whose work also has been featured here.  Here the tow waits to be offloaded just west of Lock 30.

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A final photo–mine–I took in March 2015;  I include it here to show what travels between the water’s surface and the canal bed.

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Bravo to NYS Marine Highway, and thanks to Bob, Chris, and Eileen for these photos.

Here was the first in this series.  This is a well-painted and lubricated wheel that won’t be seen for a while.  Even you folks who are planning a trip on Erie Canal, you’ll be close and you’ll feel the effects, but you won’t see it.  So watch carefully as  .  .

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the wagon-body valve, the rectangular portion of which measures 7′ X 9′ , gets positioned where it’ll be invisible from now until some winter maintenance season in the future.  The entire valve–with wheels– weighs about 9800 pounds. If you’re standing near the upper door when one of these opens, you see a major whirlpool created by the rush of water through the water tunnel and through the port holes into the lock chamber.

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Bob Stopper took these photos just over two weeks ago.  Looking at them now, with mild spring temperatures in place, this feels like months ago.  The valve is hoisted above the water tunnel and

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guided into position.

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Think about this as you traverse the canal this summer.

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Many thanks to Bob.  Happy spring.   I can’t wait to see what exotic traffic passes through here this summer.  Of course, I’ll be looking for work elsewhere.  Anyone know anyone looking to hire a deckhand, now holding some paper and licenses?

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.

 

This photo of Doris Joan Moran that has been circulating on FB this morning.  Sorry . . . I wish I knew who gets the credit for this unusual shot.  Anyhow, it reminded me of a post I did five years ago here.

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Here’s a Doris photo I took last week . . . uncoated.

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So one reaction to the cold is to bundle up, grit your teeth, plod on, complain a little more . . .

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But you have to admit, winter in the northern latitudes gives us new senses of hulls on snow bases, or

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levitating above it.

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Here’s roughly the same angle . . . as I took it in September 2012.

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Thanks to Bob Stopper for the photo of tug Syracuse and to Erich Amberger for the winter photo of Wendy B.  The others I took, except for the top photo, and I’d still like to know who took that.

Uh . . . I just mis-read the FB info on the frosted over tugboat above.  It was spelled j-o-a-n, and I transferred that as d-o-r-i-s.  I’m sloppy sometimes.  Maybe I need an editor.

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Thanks to Bob Stopper, these photos show NYS Marine Highway’s Benjamin Elliot moving French canal barge Sojourn into the Lyons drydock area. Sojourn has quite the history that I hope to be telling more about soon.

 

When I noticed someone standing on a bridge in this rural area, I suspected it might be Bob, a person I’d never met but  . . . click here to see how many posts he’s already contributed to.

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Anyhow, I was not surprised when later I received the following photos…

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… all taken between Clyde and Lyons by Robert Stopper.

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Thank, Bob, and great to meet you.

. . . with some digressions . . .  .  The photo below of the procession leading to the Roundup comes from Jeff Anzevino.

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Digress to the left . . . on the Troy (Lansingburgh) side through the trees is Melville Park and this sign and

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this house.  If you’re looking for a good read about Melville’s later life on the waters off Lower Manhattan, check out this Frederick Busch historical novel.

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Here’s another shot by Jeff, taken from the 112th Street Bridge.  You might recognize the crewman standing beside the wheelhouse port side.  There are many other posts with photos from Jeff, such as this one.

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From Bob Stopper, exiting lock 27, it’s Roosevelt-late 1920s built-and Syracuse-early 1930s built.   Click here for some photos Bob –and others–sent along earlier this year.

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From Jason LaDue . .  a photo of tender (?) Oneida taken in 2001.   Anyone know the disposition of Oneida?  Click here for some previous photos from Jason.

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And finally, from Fred tug44 . . .  locking through E2  . . . right behind us.  I feel grateful to have an occasional view of self to post here.   Some of you have seen some of these on Facebook.

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Thanks to Jeff, Jason, Bob, and Fred for photos here.

 

Here was the first in what could be a series.   And this foto I’m happy again to credit  to Bob Stopper, some of whose photos can be seen here.   I’m not sure what the naming system is for Canal Corporation, but some of their vessels are named for towns with locks–like Pittsford— along the Canal.

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Ditto–in this foto from my sisterWaterford.   By the way, the pre-eminent website for all things Erie Canal is fred’s at tug44.

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In push gear and looking great at 85 years old, it’s Governor Cleveland.

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If I still lived up that way, I’d get one of these, a buoy boat.

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I don’t know how many of these there once were, but they are disappearing!

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Click here for a foto of this deep looking Governor Roosevelt with her belly exposed.

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There’s Grand Erie, and then there’s just plain Erie.

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Then there are the self-propelled scows, but notice the difference in

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engine exposure between this one shot by my sister and

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SPS-54 shot by me

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in August in Lyons.

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Thanks to Bob and Lucy for these fotos.  The last two are mine.

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