Posted in bridges & boats, tagged connecticut, connecticut river, cumberland, ferry, glastonbury, history, hollister iii, rocky hill, transportation on January 7, 2013|
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On our frequent drives up to Massachusetts we pass a sign on I-91 that says, “Connecticut River Ferry, April 1 to October 31,” and one of us always says, “We should check that out someday.” This past October, just a couple of weeks before the ferry closed for the season, we finally did it.
The ferry is the Rocky Hill–Glastonbury Ferry, and it’s the oldest continuously operating ferry in the United States. Vessels of various sorts have been providing service at this site since 1655. Today the towboat Cumberland pushes the Hollister III back and forth.
The Cumberland controls the barge with just two lines that run from the towboat’s bow to two points along the side of the barge. In the picture above, the barge is being held against the Glastonbury bank waiting for another car to board.
Now the Cumberland has begun to pull the barge off the bank:
In the next two pictures she’s turning around and preparing to push the barge across the river:
Full speed ahead:
That’s Glastonbury up ahead:
If you find yourself in this part of Connecticut, the chance to step (or drive) into history is totally worth the three-dollar fare to take your car on the ferry.
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New York Harbor is not Puget Sound. We don’t have mountains, and we don’t have as many big ferries.
We also don’t have conditions like this:
(For more pictures from this series, click here.)
One of the shortest (if not the shortest) ferry trips you can take in New York City is from the Battery to Governors Island. It takes about ten minutes, but it’s totally worth it. You get to see the water side of the recently restored Governors Island ferry terminal:
You get to ride on a vessel with all sorts of nice details that show the captain runs a tight ship, like this line, neatly coiled and ready for use:
And even if it’s raining you get a view of the East River and its bridges:
For a close-up view of another New York City ferry, click here.
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Traveling far from the coast we inhabit—on a summer road trip to the middle of the country—we did not expect the opportunity to get on a boat. But one day in Wisconsin Karen was studying the tourism guide and discovered a car ferry across the Mississippi River. It was, perhaps, not the most efficient way to get to Mason City, Iowa (the farthest west we made it on this trip), but we knew we had to take it. Looking southwest toward Iowa, we saw the ferry approach the landing on the Wisconsin side:
The Cassville car ferry holds fewer than a dozen cars (or one tractor-trailer) and makes the one-mile trip to Nowheresville, Iowa, in about 15 minutes. Instead of your typical ferry that goes back and forth without turning around, this one has a jointed wheelhouse/engine combo that pivots 180 degrees. Here’s a close-up of the joint that attaches the wheelhouse to the car float:
And this is a view of it once the ferry is straightened out and headed for the other side:
On the Iowa side of the Mississippi, waiting for some upriver traffic to clear, was Marquette Transporation‘s Myra Eckstein (140 feet long, 4200 horsepower, built in 1974) pushing several loaded barges:
This was the view downstream toward Dubuque, Davenport, Muscatine and beyond:
The motto on the Iowa state flag sums it up neatly:
Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain
You can read all about the Cassville car ferry here (click to enlarge):
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