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Enterprise seems a great title for a post on National Maritime Day, but here’s a question answered at the end of this post:  Why–other than the 1933 proclamation by Congress–is May 22 chosen for this day?  Answer at the end of this post.

Jake van Reenen took these photos yesterday in Clayton, NY.  The title evokes my Salvor post from eight plus years ago.

Atlantic Enterprise and crane barge are headed to the sixth boro, still many sea miles ahead.

Jarrett M assists with the tow, a role it played about a month upstream through the same waters here.



I’m eager to see this Salvor twin back in the sixth boro.

This post from nearly 10 years ago features my first view of this vessel–then called Barents Sea–under way.

Many thanks to Jake for these photos.  If all goes as planned, Enterprise will arrive here in less than two weeks.  Eyes peeled?

So, May 22 . . . it’s National Maritime Day because of Savannah, that’s SS Savannah, she who began the first Atlantic crossing on this date under steam power 199 years ago . . . well, at least steam powered her wheels for a little over 10% of the trip, but you need to start somewhere, eh?  And this fact is alluded to in the 1933 proclamation, as well as in the 2017 proclamation.


Click on the photo to get the source of the photo and the story of her short life.  And the 199 years ago, that just begs for some sort of memorializing in 2018…

Did Hurricane Sandy unearth SS Savannah wreckage?  Read here.


Jake Van Reenen captured this procession yesterday on the upstream end of the Thousand Islands.  The photos are not bright, but that’s appropriate for a trip of this sort.

The you see a ship with towlines fore and aft and new paint splotches that appear to be covering something . . .

it means only one thing . . . “…Le Marc…”

towed here by Jarrett M and Lois M  (1945 and 1991)

used to be Quebec ferry Camille-Marcoux . . .

bound for Marine Recycling Corp in  Port Colborne, ON.  Maybe I’ll see parts of it there this summer when I pass the yard there.

And if you’re up at the south or upstream end of the Thousand Islands, say hi to Jake. 

Back to the jaunt in the St Lawrence watershed, specifically my itinerary was from Clayton mainland to Grindstone Island, then return to the mainland, then southwest to Cape Vincent, and then to Kingston, Ontario.  To get to Kingston from Cape Vincent involves two ferries:  one from Cape Vincent to Wolfe Island in Canada and then after a 20-minute drive across Wolfe, another ferry from Marysville to Kingston.  Here’s a map.


In an archipelago like the Thousand Islands (actually I read there are over 1800 islands fitting the parameters that an “island” remains above the water all year round AND has at least one tree), boats are ubiquitous and landing craft like these two are invaluable.  Summer populations swell the numbers of residents.  Historically, a lot of the wealthy from centers like NYC came up here and built big.  The island out beyond the two LCM-8s here is Calumet Island, and that tower is the only significant remnant of Calumet Castle, built by Charles Emery, a tobacco entrepreneur from Brooklyn. Click here and here for more info about Emery, just one of the players here during the Gilded Age.


photo taken from Grindstone Island, looking toward Calumet Island and Clayton

In this watershed, pilotage is provided by a total of five providers.  The pilot boat below is at the Cape Vincent station of the St Lawrence Seaway Pilot Association. Notice how clear the water is.


M/V William Darrell has operated as ferry between Cape Vincent and Wolfe Island since 1952!  Its dimensions are 60′ x 28,’ and later in this post you’ll understand why I’m telling you that.   Scroll through here and you’ll learn that the H on the stack stands for Horne;  the Horne family has been operating the ferry since the 1820s, . . . almost 200 years.  Click here and scroll to see this ferry with a Winnebago on it a few years ago.


M/V William Darrell entered service as a 12-car ferry.

The Wolfe Island wind farm has operated since 2009.


Wolfe Island  as seen from the ferry Frontenac II to Kingston


Frontenac II, 1962 built, has dimensions of 180′ x 45′.


as seen from onboard


as seen from the Kingston land’s edge

Island Queen and other vessels take passengers through parts of the archipelago.


Of course I found one, although there was no name.


On leg 1 of my return to Cape Vincent aboard Frontenac II, I saw four vessels like this with . . . lunker? rig.


When I got back to M/V William Darrell, there was just me,  until this bus pulled up.  But the ferry crew took in stride what would have me worried.


We crossed, and all went without incident.


The only downside was that the bus drove off first, straight to the immigration both, and I spent a good 20 minutes as the passengers’ documents were checked.  Had the immigration waved me through first, I could have been halfway to Watertown before the bus cleared.



All photos by Will Van Dorp, who might not post for a few days because the gallivant work trip downstream goes on.

Here, here,  and here are north country posts from a few years back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA0aaaabw1OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA0aaaabw4The light was present for LCM-8010 and Sarah Desgagnes, but  . . . my white whale . . . Everlast . . . passed at 0300, which made for a not very interesting photo.

Ah . . . failure breeds persistence.

For starters, yes I do feel I’ve dropped the ball and missed taking and publishing fotos of such sixth boro events as the final move of the Willis Avenue Bridge and City of Water Day.  If anyone has fotos to share, I’d love to see them.

The North Country here means the St. Lawrence and beyond.  The white-helmeted gent does seem to be leading and gentle giant on a leash, not even having to

tug as BBC Rio Grande (ex-Beluga Gravitation, 2008) traverses the Iroquois Lock.  All the Wisconsin-built Staten Island ferries had to make their way through this lock.  Anyone have a foto of a big orange ferry passing here?  I previously wrote about these locks here and here.

It hardly seems possible their beam would squeeze through.

William Darrell ferries loads of improbable size across the international border between Cape Vincent and Wolfe Island, Ontario.  86 windmills now churn in the breezes near this northeast tip of Lake Ontario, not without controversy.

The “H” on the stack stands for Horne, the family that has operated this ferry since 1861.  This particular vessel entered service in 1953.

Bowditch (ex-Hot Dog, 1954) works out of Clayton, NY; as do

Maple Grove (left) and the unidentified “landing craft/freight ship” on the right.

More upcountry workboats tomorrow.  All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

For now, some announcements:

Kudos to the ArtemisOceanRowing (scroll way down) crew who left New York in mid-June;  they broke a 114-year-old  record when they arrived at Isles of Scilly this weekend.

And finally, I’ve started a new blog called My Babylonian Captivity.  Exactly 20 years ago today, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait, the US entered the current era, and I became trapped and remained so for over four months.  It’s a different kind of blog–all text– but I plan to chunk it out day by day or week by week until December.  Please send the link along to folks who you think will enjoy it.  It’s all nonfiction, the experience as filtered by me.

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June 2023