Sunday, December 10, 2017

M/V Amber Brittany

Back when I started this blog in 2009, I had a series of my 10 favorite towboats on the Ohio River. In the years since, I have considered adding a second 10, as there have been some new boats that are worth going out of your way to get pictures of.

So let us place on the second edition of the Top 10 list the M/V Amber Brittany. I like the color scheme, the lines and the overall balance of the boat's design. How it handles or what it's like to live on for two or three weeks at a time, I have no idea, but it sure looks nice.

I had to run up to Point Pleasant today. I got to see just as it was entering the Robert C. Byrd Gallipolis locks. I figured I would catch it again if I came back down on the Ohio side, which I did as it passed Gallipolis.

Here are five pictures. The first four are pretty much straight out of the camera except for some cropping and resizing. I yielded to temptation and played with the fifth image a little bit.

One final point: The pilot wasn't letting any moss (?) grow on his propellers today.  That boat was moving.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

For your reading pleasure ...

If you haven't read either of these yet, they may be worth your time.

Here's one from  U.S. News & World Report.

And  here's one from Reuters.

Both have to do with grain shipments and dam problems on the Lower Ohio.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Reflective river

We're in another dry spell. There was no commercial river traffic and no recreational boats out there, either. The day as sunny and cloudless. River flow was practically nil. Thus, it was a perfect day for the river to function as a mirror.

These were taken from the West Virginia side looking over to Ohio just below old Lock and Dam 27.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

M/V Speedway coming down the Kanawha

I could have gotten a nice photo of the M/V Speedway this morning, but I didn't have my good camera with me, so we'll have to settle for this one taken with my low-end phone.

This is on the Kanawha River. I saw the boat as I was leaving the Capitol, so I went down the boulevard, parked at the first good spot and got off a few shots.

That's the University of Charleston in the background.  The school's president is Dr.  Edwin H. Welch, for whom an Amherst Madison boat -- one of the old Hillman boats -- in named.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Loaded barges and rough water

It sure is wet on the leading edges of those coal barges.

I'm glad I'm not the guy who has to chip the ice away when they do this in winter.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

M/V Paula Ruble

Yesterday while I was in Gallipolis, Ohio, I noticed the Crounse Corp. towboat was still tied up at the Amherst Madison fleet area.

Today it came down the river, but deadheading in the tow of another Crounse boat, the M/V Diane B. Siegel.

To the best of my memory, this was the first time I had seen the Siegel.

It was pretty cold and windy up on the bridge getting some of these pictures. I've been colder, but I still don't like it.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

M/V Alan P Hall in drydock

M/V Alan P. Hall, formerly the Vernon C. Smith. Length 168 feet, width 40 feet. Built 1965  by Dravo. One of the best-looking designs on the river even  after 50 years.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

M/V Lee Synnott passing Lock and Dam 27

An overcast autumn day it was. Warm, but clouds pushed out the last part of direct sunlight before the M/V Lee Synnott passed by.

At least it was pushing 15 loads of coal. A year ago those tows were hard to find around here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

M/V Jackie Englert

Left over from this summer.

It was waiting for another boat to add some barges to its tow.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A little cross down by the Ohio River

I have something going on in my life right now (outside the home) that's tearing me up inside. Some nights I wake up at 4 a.m. and I can't get back  to sleep because my mind is trying to work its way through something that could be permanent or only temporary.

This evening as the sun was setting I went to one of my favorite places -- Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington WV. There's a spot where I like to go to ponder the unsolvable problems of life. As I watched the wind roughen the surface of the water, I thought about how in my decades of life almost all my peaceful spots have been along the Ohio River. The entire  river is a place that I identify with, whether it's at the Point in Pittsburgh or Cairo Point at the other end or dozens of places in between.

As I sat there thinking about how mentally peaceful this place is to me as compared to another place that is far less so, I heard people walking toward me. Behind me and to my left were nine people, mostly young, carrying pillows and what looked like blankets.

"How are you doing?" one asked as I glanced at them.

"It depends on what you're carrying," I replied.

They were from a church in or near Wayne WV,  and they were looking for homeless people who might need pillows or blankets or a Bible. I said I thought the Huntington police had cleared out the homeless camp nearby, but you never know if the people who had lived there had returned.

So they left and kept walking down the river. As I stared at the water's surface again, one girl ran back  and handed  me a small  wooden cross.

I couldn't help but think about what this one symbol means to different people I know. Some have dedicated their lives to what it stands for, while others detest everything it means.

Another thought came into my head, too. Rivers have their own symbolism in secular literature and in Christian theology. On the theological side, I thought about the phrase "rivers of living water" from John 7:37-38.

After that, it was time to leave. The river is still there. The cross is in my car. And I hope the people from Wayne had a productive evening.