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I took this photo in Waterford eastern terminus of the Erie Canal on November 1, 2010, and the canal had not yet closed.  I had just returned from part of a transit, and we had met lots of boats.  Although we had been bound for the Great Lakes, most, like the intriguing Baidarka, was bound for sea.  As of this writing, Baidarka is back on the Canadian Pacific coast.

A week later, in the sixth boro, docked in front of USNS Sisler, it’s the “love it or hate it” Sea Raven, now turned into new steel.

Sea Bear was engaged in the deepening of the sixth boro, and here a crew on the sheerleg was repositioning the anchor.

Lots of dredges including GLDD New York were involved.  More later.  Captain D, currently in the sixth boro on other duties, was dredge tender.

Then, as now Atlantic Salvor, was active.   I particularly like this shot with the 0730 “golden hour” light.  A very different set of buildings then largely defined the Manhattan skyline.

Wanderbird swooped through the harbor on their way south.

Padre Island and Terrapin Island were regulars recontouring the sixth boro bed.

Beaufort Sea, 1971, is no more. 

The brilliant colored Little Bear, built 1952, became a DonJon vessel, but I’ve not seen her since the Disch auction.

Susan Witte . . . I can’t tell you anything about her either.

Back then I would spend my Thanksgivings in Philly, and the high point of that holiday was not the excellent food and drink and company, but rather seeing the big barge for the first time.

Pilot towed in La Princesa, here assisted up the Delaware by Grace and Valentine Moran.   Pilot has been sold Panamanian, and La Princesa–577′ x 105′–I’ve neither seen nor heard from.  I believe Valentine is still active, but I don’t know about Grace.

All photos, WVD, who looks at these and wonders how a decade has so quickly passed.

 

Almost exactly a decade ago I did this post.  Today I decided to add to it and broaden the geographic scope.  Stick with me to see how broadened this gets.

From the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the entrance of Delaware Bay is about 100 miles.  Near the entrance you see big water and big traffic, like a light Ivory Coast above and a working OSG Vision below.  OSG Vision is mated to OSG 350, a huge barge used to lighter crude oil tankers 342,000 barrels at a time.

Forty miles upstream from the Delaware Memorial, there’s the Ben Franklin Bridge, here with Pilot towing La Princesa and assisted by Grace and Valentine Moran.

Some Delaware River boats are rarely seen in the sixth boro like Jack Holland.

Almost 150  miles upstream from the Philly-Camden area is  Hawk’s Nest Highway, the part of the river once paralleled on the nearer side by the D&H Canal.

Of course I paddled the whole way up there. In fact, this stretch of the Delaware has enough current that a 21st century paddler would not choose to go upstream very far, and a 19th century boat-mule canaler would want to keep navigation separate from the river.

Early summer had its share of young  birds,

deer, and trout visible under the canoe.

Some mysterious paddlers shared the waters.

That New York side of the river . . .

if you look close, you can see in places that these are not natural rock formations. Rather, they support the towpath side of the D & H Canal, way up above the river.

Part of Route 97 is also known as Hawk’s Nest Highway.

To digress, the eastern end of the Canal–about a hundred miles to the NE–is in Kingston NY, and a transshipping point was Island Dock, which

has now overgrown.  I wonder if there’s ever been a project to clear the trees and undergrowth and contemplate a recreation of this important site.  Oil is today’s fuel;  coal was definitely king in this other age.

But let’s back to the Delaware.  North of Barryville, there’s this bridge. At least, it’s now a bridge, but when

John Roebling built it, it was an aqueduct for D & H coal boats bringing anthracite out of the Coal Region to the sixth boro.

 

Here’s a preserved portion of the Canal between Hawley and Honesdale PA, just upstream (water has long long) from Lock 31.   Honesdale was once the transhipping point between railroad cars and canal boats and deserves another visit and maybe a whole post, which maybe I’ll getto when the museum there opens again.

Pennsylvania has place names like Oil City, Cokeburg, and Coal Port.  The coal transported on the D & H came from aptly-named Carbondale, another place that deserves more time.  The commodity legacy is seen in these two businesses

and maybe others.

All photos, WVD, at different points over the past 10 years.  If anyone has ideas about high points along the river you’d suggest I visit, please let me know.  Since my jobs for this summer have fallen through, this might be the year to canoe and hike.

Unrelated, if you haven’t yet read this story about an Argentine in Portugal unable to get home because of cancelled flights and choosing to sail across the Atlantic in a 29′ boat to see his father turn 90, here‘s the link.

 

 

 

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