Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Buffalo Harbor Cruise on 'Miss Buffalo II' - Part II

Buffalo Harbor Cruise on 'Miss Buffalo' - Part II

As we travelled along the water the tour guide pointed out many of the birds that were nestled along the water's edge

A mother duck with her chicks

We actually sighted kingfishers and great blue herons, white egrets, osprey and other beautiful birds that were nesting along the water's edge. Their colors blended into the rock formations and it was difficult to take photos of them. They can be sighted between April and August when they fly southward.
There is a nesting colony on nearby Motor and Strawberry Islands.

Photographer of this bird unknown

To those who live in Buffalo have you ever wondered what this building is? It is the Emerald Channel Water Intake Building - with the Peace Bridge in the background

The 1907 building takes in 125 million gallons of drinking water for Buffalo every day. Because the intake operates by gravity, the building is rarely visited.

Water rushes into the round brick and concrete building through grates and collects in a circular pool. The water drops 60 feet to a 12-foot diameter, mile-long concrete tunnel burrowed under the river bed. It ends up at the Col. Ward Pumping Station at the foot of Porter Avenue, where it is treated at the filtration plant and sent throughout the city.

Atop the red roof is a guard light for passing ships. Around the exterior wall is a balcony embroidered by curving wrought iron.

1856 Horseshoe Reef Light

with over 1,000 cormorant nests settled on every part of the reef

Between Buffalo and Fort Erie, the International Railroad Bridge was completed in 1873; that bridge was replaced by the present one in 1900.

The Black Rock Rail Yard handled both passenger service and commercial transport of goods into and out of Canada. The railroad bridge remains in heavy usage and is one of the most important rail crossings between the United States and Canada.

The Black Rock Lock located in Buffalo is 650 feet (200 m) in length and 70 feet (21 m) in wide. There is only one chamber and the total weight of the gate is 480 tons.

The lock has been a part of Black Rock since the state of New York built the
Erie Canal in 1833.
Today Black Rock is home to Rich's Research Center and Rich Products, one of Buffalo' largest private employers

Ferry Street Lift Bridge

Because of its strategic position across the Niagara River from Canada, Black Rock was an important crossing place for African-Americans escaping slavery via the Underground Railroad. This heritage is celebrated with an annual Underground Railroad Re-Enactment at Broderick Park on Squaw Island at Niagara and Ferry Streets, the site of a ferry crossing prior to the construction of passenger bridges.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Boathouse was built more recently in 2008

As we travelled past the boathouses we could see the graffiti that was created by the West Side Rowing Club high schoolers - it seems it is the tradition that each year's winner of the rowing events record their victory on the side walls of the river.

On most days river boating, fishing, and the picturesque recreational activities of the West Side Rowing Club still continue.

Sunday morning outing

We travelled under the Peace Bridge which is an international bridge between Canada and the United States at the east end of Lake Erie at the source of the Niagara River. It connects the City of Buffalo, New York in the United States to the Town of Fort Erie, Ontario in Canada.

There are five arched spans over the Niagara The total length is 5,800 feet (1,768 m). On June 1, 1927 the bridge was opened to the public.

The Peace Bridge was named to commemorate 100 years of peace between the United States and Canada.

The bridge remains one of North America's important commercial ports - four thousand trucks cross it daily and it is still possible to walk to Canada over the bridge. However, more recently it is important to have your passport with you due to the increased security screening.


It was raining during the three hour boat ride and you will notice that most of the photos have a grey aura to them.

While on the boat I learned that port side means left and and starboard means right and that

New York offers free fishing on June 26 -27th when one can fish without a licence.

If you find yourself in Buffalo I encourage you to take a cruise around the harbor. The boat's narrator has a good knowledge of the area's flora and fauna and so many snippets of interesting information - I have recorded just a small portion of the journey here.


photos by peacesojourner


Karima said...

WOW!!!!! i have been on the miss buffalo many times over the years as a performer for parties.....i never got any of this history....i looked at your parts I and II...great photos!....lotsa NEW learning!....thanx!

Sophia said...

i always wondered about that red round building! that is really facisinating- i would love to stand on that balcony around the building watching the water rush in. i absolutely love the niagara river- i wrote an erotic poem about it once! ;)

peacesojourner said...

Thank you for your comments - they are appreciated.
It is always good to know that people are reading the blog. The next cruise is in September of this year - maybe we can go together:-)