Monday, August 21, 2017

An infrequent visitor


The M/V Jackie Englert was up this way recently. Here she is downbound passing the boat ramp a few miles below the Robert C.  Byrd Locks and Dam,  formerly the Gallipolis Locks and Dam, yesterday evening.


Earlier she paused in the river a couple of miles below the locks as the M/V George R. Jones III added  four coal barges to her tow, making 19 in all.


As of this writing, the Englert hadn't made it to the Greenup Locks and Dam as far as I could tell.


Friday, August 18, 2017

A good night

You know what feels good? The twilight breeze down by the river. The sun has set and the sky is turning from orange to purple. The steel truss bridge is silhouetted against the sky. The hills are dark, but the river glows from the sky it reflects.

It’s so quiet there that you can feel the breeze better. You snap a pic of the bridge with your phone. A guy there fishing apologizes for ruining your picture. No problem, you say. He improved it. He looks at the picture and agrees.

He says his one-week vacation began when he left work today, and this is how he’s spending the first evening.

The M/V Jerry Tinkey passed a little while ago, but it’s paused upriver below the bend. He must be waiting for a boat to come down through the two curves above. Meanwhile, down the river you see another boat upbound. It looks like it’s pushing 15 empty coal barges. Then it must be a Crounse boat, you guess.

The sky darkens and the breeze continues, a fine counterbalance to a stressful work week and the realization that some things are changing. Like your favorite little girl is too old for toddler things now that she’s about to start pre-K. She’s conquered every climbing device on every playground in the city. Her mind went from age 4 to age 24 overnight, it seems. Way too soon.

Yes, it’s a Crounse boat. That distinct sound of the engines gives it away. Meanwhile, you see a boat coming around the bend up the river. It’s the boat the Jerry Tinkey has been waiting for. Because of its size and the fact it’s pushing some empty petroleum barges, you figure it’s one of Marathon’s canal boats. Or it could be the Catlettsburg.

But it’s 9 o’clock and it’s getting dark. Do they still put the chain across the floodwall gate at 10? You don’t know, and you sure don’t want your car stuck in here overnight. So you leave without learning what boat that is coming downriver.

It doesn’t matter. It’s still a good night.



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tommy H christening, Part 2

More from the christening and dedication of the M/V Tommy H on May 25:













More to come.

Tommy H christening, Part 1

It's almost three months late, as it happened on May 25. I wrote about it in the Waterways Journal. But here are some more photos for those who are interested.






More to come.

Friday, August 11, 2017

At Parkersburg

I think this is the Yvonne Conway of Crounse Corp., but I could be wrong.


It took me a few minutes to find this spot, and I was glad a boat was coming upriver when  I did. It would have been nice to have gotten the Detroit, the Linda Reed, the O. Nelson  Jones or the Hoosier State coming down the river pushing full loads or the Amber Brittany going either way, but I'm glad I got what I did.


M/V Drema G. Woods on the Kanawha

Seen yesterday evening on my drive home from work.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lost in Marietta, Ohio ... and found

I wasn't really lost yesterday. I was in Williamstown WV covering something, and I went over to Marietta, Ohio, to see if I could get a better shot of a bridge. Leaving town, I got on the wrong street in my search for State Route 7.

After taking a wrong turn, I found myself driving along the Muskingum River, and look what I found there.


Yeah, I'll have to go back someday when I have time to enjoy it.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Diversifying from building barges

Did anyone see this article on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website?

Short version: A place that once made a lot of coal barges doesn't anymore because demand fell off. So it diversified into other lines of business that require bending and welding metal. And even if the barge business picks up again, it will only do so much of it because it wants to keep and grow the new lines of business it has developed.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

You can never have too many pictures of the O. Nelson Jones

My wife and kids may disagree. Except my youngest. He would agree.



In the second photo, look at the lower right corner. Those barges were loaded to 10.5 feet. That's maybe 337 tons over the 1,500 considered normal for the usual nine-foot draft? I didn't get a good count, but I think there were 14 of them, plus an empty chemical barge at the head of the tow. Multiply 14 times 1837 and you get 25,725 total tons being pushed upstream. That's a lot of coal.