You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Urger’ tag.

It seats one to power nothing, but makes a good puzzle here in the PowWow River some years ago.  In dry season, you walked through the gate and sat here to fish or just sit.

Poseidon’s Sea-Bee Pusher power unit has

has no seat, so you make your own with your own, complete with a foot rest.

You notice you can’t drive Urger from a seat; but there is a seat

for the engineer of this bell boat.

If we assumed the engineer’s seat, this handle would be our major control over this 19-ton Atlas-Imperial.   You can see the seat on this youtube clip of the engine running.

Since we’re on the Erie Canal, check out the wheel and controls of Seneca, which is also steered by standing crew.

I know I know . . . this is hard to read, but tug Seneca (1930) had a career with the USN in Boston and Brooklyn before it was purchased for work in the Erie Canal, in 1960.  GE?  yes, it’s diesel electric.

I’ve got lots of helm seats (or lack thereof) from Bart Hakse aka Zee Bart, who delivers vessels around the world with Redwise.  He took the photos below on a naval vessel.  Nation?  Zee Bart also finds time to do a blog called Uglyships.

 

The seatless helm above is from an unidentified vessel of the Vietnamese Navy.  Clearly it’s not a MetalShark.

Below, it’s the helm seats of  MF Hornelen.  

Note the flag on the left shoulder of the jacket.

And another from Zee Bart, FV Alpha.

 

I have many more helm seat photos from Zee Bart, but I’d love to have others to dilute Bart’s.

All the first photos here by Will Van Dorp; the others, thanks to Bart.

It’s a non-profit devoted to the history and functioning of NY’s canals, and there have been over two dozen.  In these years of bicentennial, consider joining.  Nobody asked me to suggest this; but I’m a satisfied member.

Let me share historical photos of the boat I worked on for a season, all photos posted on CSNYS FB in the past month.

You may know, the vessel is Urger, an extraordinary boat who has likely now crossed the line from a work boat and working boat to a museum boat.  Here she is under steam power in Waterford headed for the Hudson, 1940.  At this point, Urger was already 39 years old, a product of Ferrysburg, Michigan, 1901.

Also 1940, this photo gives an idea that the colors have not always been blue/gold.  Note the extension of the superstructure forward of the wheelhouse.

Here she is in April 1941, and

back in Waterford in 1949.  Note how busy the Canal was back then with commercial tug/barge units.  That’s Day-Peckinpaugh over to the right.

Here she is in 1960.  Can anyone identify the location.  I can’t.  Of course, canal banks have changed a lot through the years.

I don’t know any of the photographers above, but I took the rest of these.

She made her last visit to the sixth boro back in 2012

July 14, 2012

Here in early September 2014 just above lock E-2, she’s being passed by Benjamin Elliot (1960).

And finally, by September 2017 she’d been tied up for almost a full year.

To close out, here was my bunk back then.  Whenever I was lying in my bunk, the distance from my nose to those angle iron beam was about 18 inches.  The bed itself was 5’11” in a bunkhouse itself about 5’8.”  I’m 6’2.”

Since this is a big Canal year, again, consider becoming a member.  And for starters, you may want to “like” them on FB.

 

GWA is “going west again,” and here we start at about 130′ above sea level.  We’ve just passed the road sign included in a post here in 2006. Ahead of us is lock E-2, the beginning of the flight of five, located in the town of Waterford.

Above E-3, my former vessel waits, along with Chancellor. Those two boats alone have a combined total life of 196 years between them.   In the foreground is the business end of a cutter suction dredge.

Recreation boats come from everywhere.

Beyond the guard gate atop E-6 is Grand Erie, who also came from away, the Ohio River in her case.

Locals know how to enjoy the 200-year-old waterway.

Below E-11, we get a green light in the early morning drizzle.

Squeezing a 183′ x 39′ vessel through the locks involves a skilled crew and vigilant lock master.

Drivers on the Thruway at this point are 42 miles from Albany, 190 from NYC.

At E-15, still in the drizzle, a Florida boat —Sharon Ann–waits as we lock through.

Above E-16, the 90-year-old Governor Cleveland attends dredge pipes, maintenance dredging being ongoing.  Yes, the canal needs maintenance, and so does the Thruway, any street, RR tracks and infrastructure, my car, my body . . . .

A boxer takes its human for a run . . .

More guard gates–width is 55′–to squeeze through.

Lords of the air watch all along the waterway.

At E-17 we share a lock with Tender #5.

Since we tie off above E-18, Lil Diamond II has to maneuver around.

An SPS lands a crew on the bank for preventative maintenance … keeping dead trees from falling into the water and jamming lock gates.

More recreational boats from far-off ports.

More maintenance above E-19, this time with dragon dredge and the electric tender . .  . #4.

Reinforcement of the canal walls is a canal priority this year.

 

I always imagine the mythical Utica lies beyond the berm marked by the open tower. Central NY was once included in the “military tract,” land distributed to Revolutionary War veterans.

Above lock E-20, we are at the high point of this portion of the Erie Canal,

and Rome was the original high point/ portage in the Mohawk portion of the waterways that pre-date Europeans settlement of North america.

We are now 456′ above sea level, where we’ll pick up the journey tomorrow.

All photos by and any errors attributable to Will Van Dorp.

 

Here’s the post I did the day my season on the Urger ended.   The boat seriously needs a reboot now, a rewind, since it will NOT been operating season of 2017.  None of the photos here have been posted before, and there’s a surprise at the end of this post, stemming from a conversation last night  I am grateful for. Here’s Urger approaches the guard gate at the top of E-6 on the last day of the 2014 season.

Here the morning of that last run, she’s docked above E-11.  May she not grow into the bank the way that fence has been consumed by the tree.

The entire four-person crew fits into this shot at E-14.

As the sun clears the horizon, Urger‘s out and running east, here under the onramp to the Thruway below E-17.

A few seconds earlier, she exited E-17.  Note the 17 at the top of the lock frame.

Bathed in the warm October sunrise, Urger waits for the guillotine door to raise before exiting the chamber.

Here’s the boat on the wall in Little Falls in midsummer 2014.

A month or so back while it was still winter, I returned to E-17, and there was ice on the wall and in the chamber, and I put my camera away quickly so that my hands could return to the pockets where I’d stuffed chemical heat packs.

This would have been the 25th season for the 1901-built Urger as an ambassador/educational vessel. This role for her was created –as I understand it– through a private/public  partnership fronted by Schuyler Meyer.  Here’s some more of the story of the boat and the program, which was initially operated by SCOW, State Council on Waterways, which appears to have had its last event in 2009.

At the start of this post, I mentioned a surprise.  Last night (finally) I uploaded to YouTube here a half dozen short recordings I made of of Urger underway, with closeups of her Atlas-Imperial engine.  Crank up the sound and enjoy them.  Please share widely.  The program and the boat  are too precious to be permanently lost.  Here is a post I did when Urger last visited NYC’s sixth boro.

All photos and opinion entirely by Will Van Dorp.  Thanks, MB, for the conversation.

 

To clarify this title, the first post in the series has a lead photo showing a map of our journey broken into legs marked by pins.  Legs 4 through 6 took us from Waterford, shown below, to Oswego.

DSCF4194

Urger stood by all spiffed up for the steamboat festival.

DSCF4197

 

DSCF4207

Erie Canal Cruises accommodated sightseers eastbound toward lock E18.

DSCF4225

Tender 4, the electric motor vessel, assisted in a dredge project.

DSCF4227

Tug Erie tied up at the end of the work day.

DSCF4237

Here’s the cutterhead of one dredge.

DSCF4242

Lucy H returned light past Rome, NY.

DSCF4253

Never have I seen so

DSCF4264

many bald eagles.  This one is banded.

DSCF4269

And leg 6 ended in Oswego.

DSCF4279

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will post again when able.

 

It’s been a few years since Lehigh Valley 79 was there, but David Sharps added a new feature to the parade–a

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

brassy salute

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

to each vessel that passed for review.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And what a potpourri of vessels that was!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Folks who from Monday to Friday work on precision instruments indoors . . . on weekends go to the physics lab on the river and experiment with vectors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Others compete shoreside commanding line to fly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

If you missed this one, make plans now for 2016.

Lehigh Valley #79 was last at the Roundup in 2010.  See it here and here.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

Click here for posts from lots of other years.  In today’s post, you’ll see almost all blue-and-gold before the parade, i.e., heading for the muster

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

entering the top of lock 2

It was great to have two covered barges for events.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lehigh Valley 79, dry dock repairs complete, heads for the sixth boro this week. 

Urger exits the low side of lock 2 and  . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

enters the Hudson.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Note the Waterford wall with the covered barges in the distance.

The federal lock at Troy leads into the rest of the Hudson . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After the dignitaries are picked up,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the flotilla heads back north into the Troy lock,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the parade has begun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Many thanks to tug44 as host and photo boat.

For more photos, check these from the Daily Gazette.

 

You can find my previous “golden” posts here.   From the first photo below until the seventh and last one, only twelve minutes pass.  The setting is lock 17 in Little Falls, NY, where the lift/descent is 40.5 feet.  .

Click here and here for some interesting historical pics.

Let’s start with 0703 hr on October 27 last.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Six minutes later . . . the chamber has drained and the sun has emerged from the clouds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The door starts to raise as the counterweight descends . . . and against the south wall, it’s Urger .  . . behind a wall of drips . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At 0715 . . . the captain has rung the forward bell and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

now squints, looking into the sun for navigational aids on the way east to Amsterdam, about six hours away.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has postponed dealing with more unfinished business until tomorrow.

 

The transformation from Erie Canal to Barge Canal involved incorporating more rivers and lakes into the canal system.   Enjoy these river and lake photos, like the one below . . . Oswego river, northbound, June 2014.  All photos were taken in 2014.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mohawk River eastbound also in June.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oneida Lake crossing eastbound, August.

0aaaarlaug

Mohawk River eastbound in August.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oneida Lake eastbound in late October.  Now contrast these photos with

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

land cut near Waterford in October and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

near Rochester about a week earlier.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All photos 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

0aaaaaaw4

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is the port of Newark.

0aaaaaaw9

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

0aaaaaaw16

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

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,212 other followers

If looking for specific "word" in archives, search here.
Questions, comments, photos? Email Tugster

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click on image below to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

Read my Iraq Hostage memoir online.

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Archives

April 2018
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30