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…aka backwards to Montreal, reprising the trip in reverse order before I return there, which I’ll do in a little over a week.

We departed the Rondout in late afternoon, bound for the sixth boro.  It’s always interesting to see what floats near the mouth of the Creek . . . as an example the former Floating Hospital!   I don’t know the current owner of this vessel.

Not floating, but splashing and gamboling about . . . these critters of God’s pastures seemed thrilled by the weather and fresh water.

Spooky is still there . . . weathered a tad.

Another deer arrived.

Gowanus Bay still floats there.

Deer checked their 12 and their 6.

EliseAnn Conners (built in 1881!!!) and the Pennsy …   399 Barge still waited.

So was the repurposed 1963 Belgian cargo motor barge now called Sojourn. . .  in in the town of Sojourner!

So it all was under the watchful eye of a somewhat camouflaged guardian.

All photos upriver by Will Van Dorp, who did this first post on the Creek back now over a decade ago.

 

I’m skipping over many miles of my road;  although I took photos, they would fit into a blog about watersheds and Poison Sea-to-Palatine history–which I haven’t created–more than here.

Here was the first installment . . . almost a decade ago, September 2009.  Of course, the Rondout has figured in many blog posts listed here.

Solaris is the followup to the solar powered vessel called Solar Sal, which tugster featured here. Recently Solaris took a six-hour night trip returning from an event down south.  Much more info on Solaris here.  Learn more on these links about the creators Dave Gerr and David Borton.  Go to Kingston and get a ride and you’ll hear only cavitation from the Torqeedo outboard.

Here’s where Solaris was built.  Come and learn to build here too.

A few years ago, I was at the school and saw this 1964 catboat Tid-Bit getting a rehab.

This John Magnus was rowed all the way up from Pier 40 Village Community Boathouse in the sixth boro.  Some years ago, I rowed alongside it on a trip up the Gowanus Canal. 

Since making its way up to the Rondout from downriver, the floating hospital has been a “dream” boat:  maybe art space, restaurant, maybe scrap, maybe hotel . . .  I believe this is the last vessel operated by an NYC institution for 150 years. Technically, it was christened as the Lila Acheson Wallace Flaoting Hospital barge in 1973.   If you click only one link in this post, let it be this one for a montage of many photos of her in a Manhattan context through those years of service.

ST-2201 Gowanus Bay was Waterford Tug Roundup tug-o-the-year in 2013.  More on the boat here.

Sojourn is currently tied up along the creek.

Rip Van Winkle . . . in all my times up here, I’ve never taken the tour.

And to end this post for today, I’ve never noticed this concrete barge here before.  This one appears to be newer and larger than the ones just above lock E9 here.  I know nothing about its history.

 

More tomorrow.  Happy Canada Day to all the friends north of the border who treated me so well last week.

. . . 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.

 

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.

 

Take a European canal/river barge . . . .  This one was built in 1963 in Moerbeke, Belgium, by Marinus Faasse.  He named it Leja, the portmanteau word for his parents’ names, Lena and Jacob.

Here’s part of the text of an email I received today from Maja Faasse:  “Leja was the second motor barge my parents have built. It is named after our grandparents, Lena and Jacob. Our father, Marinus  … knows every detail.  For about 40 years he made his living on Leja, as did our mother for 34 years after they married. My sisters Leona,  Jaccoline, and I were born and raised on the Leja, and have very good memories and had a very nice childhood on the water. Every vacation from boarding school and most weekends we spent on board. The summer vacations where the best times, 6 weeks of playing and swimming. Our parents had to sell the barge because our mother needed a pair of new knees and recovery wasn’t possible on board, so they had stopped their business with pain in their heart, and sold it to an owner in France, who renamed it Sojo.”

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We were planning a trip to France this spring to go find the barge . . . and go look for it. So we contacted the broker for information where the Sojo could be at that time and wanted to see what is still original and what is new.  But . . .

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then the broker told us that the owner had renamed it Sojourn and moved it from France to the USA. Later on we also found a picture on the Erie Canal taken in May 2013.

Our father just turned 78 years and his biggest wish is to still visit the Sojourn.”

The photos below were taken in October 2014 by Bob Stopper.  They show her being moved by Benjamin Elliot toward her current location in the Lyons.

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Stories like Maja’s move me, and I certainly hope Marinus Faasse gets to visit with his half-century-plus-years creation soon in Lyons, where snow likely covers it.

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Click here and here for photos of some other Dutch barges in the northeastern parts of the US.  There may be more, and if so, I’d love to learn about them.  For some motor barges that traveled from west-to-east on the Atlantic, click here for a post I did four years ago.

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Many thanks to Maja Faasse for writing.  Also, to Bob Stopper who sent the three photos of Sojourn back last fall.  Also, a tip of the hat to Lewis Carroll for coining the portmanteau portmanteau.

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