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

Happy 120 years old, Urger!  I urge you  to read the note at the bottom of this post.

And . . . .Oops!  I read the timer wrong. Bidding for Grouper, in Lyons NY,  ends about six hours from now. 

Lyons is a county seat, but it’s possible to take a photo of lock E-27, right in the town,  such that it appears to be rural.  A row of buildings to the right separates the canal here from a major street, Water Street;  to the left, there’s a strip mall along NY-31.

Lyons is the home of Muralmania, and it shows;  this was one of two murals just west of lock E-27.  The next lock, E-28A, is about a mile away.

Just before getting to lock E-28A, you see the section workshop buildings.

That’s Route 31 paralleling the canal.

At the top of the lock chamber, you have a great view over into the Lyons Dry dock.  Whatever is in the dry dock during the navigation season is surplus, in need of repair, or beyond repair.  Grouper is there, its rusty stack with its yellow ring visible in the foreground.

Staged and waiting for deployment are a set of tugboats, dredges, and a quarters barge aka “floating lodging,” like the one being auctioned off with bidding ending late this afternoon.  To repeat, I’d misreported closing of bidding in an earlier post, but today it ends.

We negotiate another low rail bridge before coming up to lock E-28B, about 4 miles to the west of E-28A.

 

In the port of Newark, I catch up to Sweet Love, a small trawler I caught at the Narrows last August.  The lovely storefronts in the village disappeared thanks to the misguided efforts in the 1960s called “urban renewal.”

West of Newark at Wide Waters is the hamlet of Port Gibson, Ontario County’s only port along the Erie Canal.  During the 19th-century iteration of the canal, this was a port.

The bridge here has just been refurbished.

From there, the canal narrows as we head west.  The rain started falling as well. 

 

 

We had miles and locks to go, but we called the trip “over” when we got to the Port of Palmyra, because of a breach in a spillway ahead. 

All photos, WVD.

Sign the card here to celebrate Urger‘s 120 years.  Its future too is threatened.

In six days, the gates along the NYS Canal system will be staffed and lifting/lowering vessels across the state.  This is the third in a series of posts about the vessels that have worked to keep the canals functioning. 

Not all these vessels, like Wards Island below, remain;  it’s now over 50′ under surface of salt water on Hempstead Reef, scuttled.  The bow of the tug here, Syracuse, does continue to work as she approaches her 90th birthday.

Below you see the 88-year-old tugboat Syracuse towing a group of canal vessels late in the season back in 2014.

Tender #1, along with most of the other tenders, are now in their 10th decade.

Ditto #9.

Curvaceous boats are out, and state-of-the-art boxy ones are in. 

Boats like Waterford approach their eighth decade. 

Grand Erie and Urger, both inactive, have been featured here many times.

And boxy, mostly nameless replacements have replaced them.

Urger here exits the lower side of Lock 17 in Little Falls as the sun illuminates the chamber.

All photos, WVD, who salutes the crews who operate these boats, even the finicky old ones.  If you’re sailing the canal this summer and see these boats and crews, give a wave but also give them wide berth, as they diligently work to keep the waterway open.

Of course, if you need a guide, check out my virtual tours based on my boat transits and my one bike trip.

Here was T-23 days.  Now, in less than two weeks, the canal will be open.  Some of the vessels operated by NYS Canals to perform maintenance were featured in the T-23 post;  more are in today’s post.

Let’s start with Tender 2, T2, in Utica, nose to nose with tug Erie.

Tender #3 is tied up here just west of the dry dock in Waterford.

Left to right here are a self-propelled scow (SPS 60 maybe? the number) and Lockport.  That land derrick marks this location as Fonda.

Port Jackson is one of the new boats operated by NYS Canals.  The location is just west of lock E-13, and Grande Caribe, as well as her younger sister Grande Mariner powering her way west to Chicago will likely never be seen in the Canal again.

Tied up here in the shade east of Utica is Governor Roosevelt.

At the Utica section yard, it’s Erie again.  Note the NYS Thruway maintenance vehicles in the background.

Just west of lock E-19, the Dragon dredge gets support from Tender #4.

And on another occasion, it’s the same dredge assisted by Tender #5.  I took the photo between locks E-6 and 7.

And closing this out, how about a shot above the culvert of the tugboat that turns 120 years afloat this year, Urger.

All photos, WVD.  If you’re planning to transit the canal beginning on day 1 of the season  . . .  May 21, these are some of the maintenance vessels you’ll see. But don’t postpone a trip along the Canal because some of these could disappear any year now.

WVD is solely responsible for any errors of fact.

May Day!  It’s a busy day without access to my archives.  May 2011 . . .  Urger in Lyons NY, waiting for the dry dock to flood.

Back in the sixth boro, it’s Elk River and Siberian Sea…eastbound at Con Hook, and  

near the same location, it’s Lincoln Sea and Eastern Dawn, both westbound.

Greenland Sea . . . also westbound.

Barbara McAllister has long gone from the boro, as have some of the vessels above and below. 

Others, like Eagle Service, have been renamed. 

This Ken’s Marine Service boat I saw once, and I’d still love to know the story and current disposition.  Anyone?

Shelby Rose is still in the boro, but when I last saw her at a dock, her vivid livery was greatly faded.

Gazela is still in Philly.  She arrived here in May 2011 to dock at Atlantic Salt, I believe, in a driving rain.

And in late May, the orange Blue Marlin arrived in town for the longer-than-expected loading process of some boats sold to Nigerian interests. If I recall correctly, that Trumpy (?) yacht is still in the boro.

Happy May Day . . .  smell the flowers, work in the garden, or even dance around the pole today if you are so inclined.  Or, you might choose to adopt the May Day tradition of  University of St. Andrews students in Scotland . . .

All photos from the archives . . .  WVD. 

T minus 23 days,  that is, for all of us who remember the early days of NASA  . .  . 23 days until the NYS Canals open soon after sunrise on May 21.  If you have the opportunity, get yourself to one of the portals and see the excitement.

At several intervals before then, I will post countdown photos of NYS Canals boats;  all photos of old boats they are, ones that require lots of maintenance, but many folks find them beautiful and desire they be kept in some functioning condition, like old horses put out to clover, not the glue factory.   All these photos I took during the 2014 season, when I worked on the canal.  I won’t include a lot of text here;  besides time constraints, I’ve already included such info in previous posts and years.  Also, let me introduce a new archive, an ongoing project by a young, active Great Lakes mariner. See it here, and the root site is here.

June 2014 in Little Falls, day one of my employment, I waited on the wall for the 1901 Urger. That’s a Quarters Barge #14 (QB14) to the right, a  lodging afloat for canal workers assigned to projects far from home. I slept in the quarters on Urger.

Seneca escorted a tender across Oneida Lake and has arrived at the east end, Sylvan Beach.

Urger here passes Governor Cleveland in a previously unpublished photo.

Syracuse here near the Oswego portal illustrates

the NYS Canals connection with the Great Lakes.  This can be and is a portal to the Gulfs of Mexico and Saint Lawrence, and thence to all the watery parts of the planet. 

Derrick Barge (DB) 4 here transfers dredge spoils from a scow to a bank needing bolstering;  in the distance you can see the beauty of rural Mohawk Valley.

Tender #6, here near Albion, can no longer be seen unless you’re breathing air from a regulator 80′ down 2.5 miles off Shinnecock, a very distant corner of NYS.

Heading for the western end of the canal in Tonawanda,  the aptly named DeWitt Clinton chugs along with purpose between Medina and Middleport.

Pittsford here stands by an ancient scow on another bank near the Rochester suburb of  . . . Pittsford.

All photos, WVD, who has many more to share before the canal opens.  I’ll avoid replication as best I can.

If you want to see more of the canal now, check out my April 2020 covid project, a virtual tour, here.

 

 

This is the last Roundup I’ve attended.  Here’s another shot from the swim platform, where I’m flat on my belly. That’s Mike Byrnes, last year’s “old man of the sea” at the portside of the wheelhouse.

Downbound in the Federal lock, it’s Waterford, Governor Cleveland, and Tender #3.

 

On the northbound trip, the two smaller tugs fell in alongside Grand Erie.  Grand Erie is a 1951 build that first worked for the USACE in the Mississippi system.

Tug Buffalo heads for its berth beyond Pennsy 399 and Lehigh Valley #79, where

David Sharps bugle greets each vessel as it passes.

 

Lisa Ann was a newcomer that year, I believe.  She was built at Marine Inland Fabricators, where the “new” canal tugs like Port Jackson have also been built.

Another newbie in 2015 was Solar Sal, a solar powered newbuild that actually transported cargo later in the season.  Like Ceres the year before, these are prototypes, and  like Ceres, Solar Sal transported this cargo.

Ever so salty, it’s Ben Grudinskas, captain and builder of Atlantic Hunter.

Here Atlantic Hunter faces off against the mighty Tender #3.  By the way, Tender #3 is 43′ x 10′ and came off the ways in 1926!!  1926 . . . . 94 years ago.

It’s currently powered by a 220 hp Detroit Diesel.

In closing, the land activities include line toss, open to all comers, but won by the pros. I failed at the 15′ mark.

And I’ve not attended the Roundup since 2015, but unless I’m employed and on duty, I hope to make the 2021.

 

2014 was the year I was working on Urger.  Here she’s tied up above lock E-2 while Bejamin Elliot steams by, downbound.

Some time later we’d all steamed down to Albany, here (l to r), it’s a Lord Nelson Victory tug yacht, a tender, and C. L. Churchill, a 1964 boat built in Cohasset MA.  Chuchill is the tug that serves to move the 1862 replica canal schooner Lois McClure.

 

The parade here is moving northbound along the Troy wall…

and here above the Federal lock bound for the left turn at Waterford . . . into the canal. The photo below is credited to Jeff Anzevino, and you’ll see your narrator standing along the portside of the wheelhouse.

In 2014, the documentary by Gary Kane and myself was screened in the Pennsy 399 barge to enthusiastic roundup attendees.

Ceres, the cargo schooner was making one of its trips from Lake Champlain to the sixth boro.  Unfortunately, that endeavor has folded.  As of July 2020, the plan was to convert Ceres into a tiny home.  Details can be found at FB under The Vermont Sail Freight Project.

The official Sunday culmination of the Round involves prizes.  Churchill and McClure were the official vessels of 2014, and the

old man of the sea award went to my former crewmate, Mike Byrnes, here being awarded by Roundup director, Tom Beardsley.

All photos, WVD.

 

An omen of the future . . . in 2013, Urger was laid up, sans her problematic prop shaft.  Here she’s nez-a-nez with Day Peckinpaugh.

Gowanus Bay was looking good.

NYS Marine Highway was well represented,

as always.  And following two of the four NYS Marine Highway boats there was Cornell, Frances and Margot‘s senior by the better part of a decade.

If you’ve never attended, trust me when I say the fireworks show is extraordinary!  Here from the bulkhead a dozen or so thousand spectators

and a few on solo craft

are captivated by the show.

I can’t tell you much about Iron Chief,  except that it has nice brass, a working steam engine, and was for sale in 2012.   In that link, you hear it run.  Of course, in the distance that’s ex-Atlantic Hunter, now Little Giant.

For me personally, 2013 was my first time to see the Blount Small Ship Adventures vessels head into a lock.

 

Besides tugboats, you never know what or who you might see.

it’s bowsprite of the blog and the etsy shop on an underwater mission.

Here’s the line up.

All photos, WVD.

The 2010 post had a photo from 2009, so let me start this one with one from 2010.  This photo made the cover of a NYS Restoration publication devoted to boats, but I lent my copy to someone and it’s never returned.  If you know the publication, please let me know.

OK, let’s see one more from 2010, taken from the same bridge, but closer to the bank and less zoomed.  Lots of folks come to these Roundups, but the number of working boats that can get there is decreasing because of increasing air draft and the inflexible 112th Street bridge, which also wiped out the viability of Matton shipyard.

The Roundup always begins with a parade, and that used to be always (in my times there) led by Urger.

Cornell and spawn named Augie waited on the wall in Troy.

Buffalo is now in Buffalo, and in less good condition. Here‘s more info on her.  She’s 53′ x 16’ and worked for the Barge Canal from 1916 until 1973.  Originally steam, she was repowered after WW2.  See her engine, a Cooper Bessemer, running here back in 2007.

Wendy B was the show stealer in 2010.  She looked good and no one I spoke with knew where she’d come from.  She’s a 1940-build by Russel Brothers of Owen Sound ON, originally a steam tug called Lynn B. More info is here but you have to scroll.

8th Sea is a staple of the Roundup, probably has been since the beginning. She was built in 1953 at ST 2050 by American Electric Welding. That makes her a sister to ST 2062, now in the sixth boro as Robbins Reef, seen here if you scroll.  Here‘s a tug44 description of tug and captain.

Small can still be salty, especially with this innovative propulsion . . . . Little Toot.

As I said, one of the traditions of the Roundup is that Urger leads the way.  Here, above the federal lock, the boats muster. And traditions are important.

The active commercial boats line up at the wall nearest the Hudson River, but when a job needs doing, they head out.

Since the Roundup happens just below lock E-2 of the Erie Canal, the thoroughfare for the Great Loop,  it’s not uncommon to see some long distance boats pass by.  All I know about Merluza is that it’s the Spanish word for hake.

What happened to 2011 you may ask?  Irene happened and the Roundup was cancelled.   We’re indebted to tug44 for documenting the damage of that hurricane in the Mohawk Valley.

All photos, unless otherwise attributed, WVD.

 

 

Back in 2010, I did four posts about the weekend, which you can see here.  What I did for today’s post was look through the archives and just pick the photos that for a variety of reasons jumped out at me.  A perk is each of the four posts has some video I made.  One of these photos is from 2006.

Again, I’m not listing all the names, but you may know many of these.  In other cases, you can just read the name.  If you plug that name into the search window, you can see what other posts featured that particular vessel.

Below, here the pack that locked through the federal lock together make their way en masse toward the wall in Waterford.

You’ll see a lot of repetition here.

The photo above and most below were taken earlier than the top photo;  here, Chancellor and Decker head southbound for the lock to meet others of the procession beginning in Albany.

 

 

2020 is Decker‘s 90th year.

 

 

 

Nope, it’s not Cheyenne. Alas, Crow became razor blades half a decade back.

Technically, not a tugboat, but Hestia is special.  We may not have a functioning steam powered tug in the US, but we do have steam launches like Hestia, with very logical names.

 

 

You correctly conclude that I was quite smitten by Decker at the roundup back 10 years ago.

 

All photos, WVD.

And Shenandoah was not from 2010. It was 2009.

 

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

Join 1,479 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

July 2021
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031