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Along the Lakeshore: Oct. 30

Preventing damage to the lakeshore, the USS Slater

On several occasions I have seen a flock of mallards that includes a duck that flies and moves like a mallard, but is white with an orange beak. Charlie’s duck is the first black mallard I’ve seen, but I guess it is common in park and farm ponds.

Dave Graham called Oct. 24 to report the first sighting of a bufflehead. They usually return around Oct. 15, so they are a bit late this year.

My friend in Virginia sent me a clipping from a veterans’ magazine, advertising that the destroyer escort USS Slater is home-birthed in Albany. I called the number and Mr. Tim Rizzuto the executive director of the nonprofit group that is restoring this boat, returned my call. The Slater escorted five convoys to Europe in World War II, then was sold to the Greeks. They used it in their navy from 1951 to ‘91. It was brought back by a vets group and put on display on Manhattan’s west side, along with the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. $200,000 was raised by enthusiasts and the ship came to Albany in 1997.

Tim reports that 17,000 hours of volunteer time is spent every year working on the boat. They’re about to get the turrets and other heavy gear in working order. The website is ussslater.org. I hope to visit for a few hours on one of my trips to New England and I’ll give you a full report. In the fall, the ship is open Thursday through Sunday for visits. It is tied up to a pier and you can just walk aboard rather than being ferried out in a boat.

Joseph Spalding is a long-time Skaneateles resident who enjoys sharing his observations about the Skaneateles lakeshore and community. He can be reached at 685-6937.

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