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.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

M/V Hoosier State

Someday I will get a good HDR of one of the new AEP boats. Today was not that day. So I settle for a decent  black and white.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Tommy H christening (coming soon)

A reader has reminded me that I had forgotten to post photos of the Tommy H christening in Pittsburgh back on May 25. I will try to rectify that soon. Meanwhile ...

... here is a black-and-white of one photo I got.

And here's another

My goal is to have at least some pictures up this weekend -- in color.

Gianna Hull Uh-Oh

So I was getting pictures of some boats and noticed too late that a couple of my camera settings were not what they should be. This was one of my worst offenses. I played around with it to see what it would look like if I got all artsy, which for me is a rarity.

I call it "Gianna Hull Uh-Oh" in honor of the boat in the picture.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

M/V Daniel T. Martin

Seen from the Ohio side below Crown City yesterday afternoon.

This is one of my favorite boat designs from a photography perspective. I don't know what it's like to live on one, steer it or maintain it, but it looks nice.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

M/V Gianna Hull

Seen today about to pass under the East End  bridge at Huntington WV.

I had an unusually good evening for finding boats during a drive up the Ohio for some research in family history (I'm having trouble at the moment spelling that G-word). I saw five. Yep, a good evening.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Dresden Belle

This sternwheeler tied up at Harris Riverfront Park at Huntington yesterday. This was how it looked as a light drizzle fell.

As I turned to go back up the hill, the downpour started. I got soaked. But I also got a couple of picturesof the Dresden Belle. It was a fair trade.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

M/V Randy J. Trosclair

Passing Huntington upbound late this afternoon.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

M/V Catlettsburg

Seen here northbound at old Lock and Dam 27.

It had been a while since I had seen this boat. It was nice to see it again in my part of the river.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Two sternwheels

Just a reminder that I'm going to be playing catchup for a while ...

Here are two sternwheels from this month. The first is the American Queen and the second is the Lady Lois, as seen downbound on the Kanawha River at Charleston WV pushing a crane barge.

More to come as I process and organize them. It will take a while. I appreciate your patience.

Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm back

My new  computer has arrived, so now I can catch up on two months of photos. Highlights are the christening of the Tommy H in Pittsburgh back on May 25 and my boarding the American Queen last week during a stop here in Huntington, now known as America's best community.

Here's a quick one to whet your appetite. It's the American Queen heading down the river past Ashland, Ky., this past Thursday.

It will take a few days to catch up. But now I can work on it.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Returning soon

It's been a while, and it may be a bit longer.

My computer has died, and I'm trying to get a new one at the same time I'm working a few more hours and other needs around the house keep me busy.

If all goes well, I'll be back on July 1. Realistically, I'm shooting for July 8.

The good news is that I have a backlog of photos to deal with -- towboats, bridges, dredges ... you know, the good stuff.

I'll see you then.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A few pictures from recent days

Between working and trying to get stuff done around the house and dealing with a computer that is about ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge, I've been negligent in blogging. I was planning to give a nonpolitical analysis of President Trump's infrastructure speech in Cincinnati, but who cares what I think, especially at this late date, you know?

I can't say when I can get back on here, so let's share four photos I've taken recently to let you all know I'm still alive.

First, every marina needs a guard duck.

Second, here's an Amherst Madison boat passing Huntington after the sun had set.

The Earl Franklin Jr. and the Lucedale were doing dredging work in the lower approach of the Robert C. Byrd Gallipolis Locks and Dam today. It looked like the Franklin handled the barge and clamshell bucket that were doing the scooping and the Lucedale was dumping the mud where the water coming through the dam could disperse it. I started singing "Sedimental Journey," but Adam groaned. That means the pun worked.

And here's the M/V Tommy H as it was about to exit the lock.

This was the first time I had seen the Tommy H since Adam and I attended its christening in Pittsburgh on May 25. I have a ton of photos, but they will have to wait until I learn whether the Waterways Journal is using any of them.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Two items in the news

President Trump will visit Cincinnati this week to urge investment in rebuilding the nation's lock and dam system.

Meanwhile, up the river, work on repairing and rebuilding part of the bridge connecting the town of St. Marys to Middle Island, the largest island in the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, has been delayed until next year at the earliest. The bridge now in use was part of the original Hi Carpenter Bridge, which was of the same design as the Silver Bridge at Point Pleasant.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A birthday party for Charlie Jones

From what I can tell, Charlie Jones of Amherst Madison is the most liked and respected person in the river industry in these parts. Today they had a 99th birthday celebration for him at the company headquarters. I was able to attend, and I wrote about it here.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two from Pittsburgh

Here are a couple photos of The Point as seen from the water on a day that could not decide if it was going to be overcast or sunny for more than five minutes at a time.

More later.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A day in Pittsburgh

Adam and I went to Pittsburgh yesterday to cover the christening ceremony of the M/V Tommy H for the Waterways Journal.

It was a long, tiring day. Tonight he had to be in his high school band to play music for graduation. Sometime this weekend, I might be able to post a little more about the trip. More will come after the WJ decides if it wants to use any of my photos.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Three Crounse boats

So tonight instead of going to bed at a realistic time I figured I would stay up a few minutes and play with some photos of Crounse boats that I have gotten the past month or so. So here goes.

From last month, the Mary Artie Brannon as the sun was low enough on the horizon to light her up real good.

Here is the Enid Dibert. I figured I would see what would happen if I got all artistic. Eh.

And here is the Yvonne Conway.

It's a good thing I like the design and color scheme of Crounse boats, because when I need a boat pushing 15 barges, there's usually one around.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Pledge drive

Tonight and tomorrow there's a pledge drive going on to raise money to help the ferry at Sistersville WV. To pledge you can call 304-771-8835, 304-771-1334, ...or 304-758-9007. You can stream the 24-hour event, lasting until 4 p.m. Saturday, and listen to Greg Goodfellow and Alex King at

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sunset through the wheelhouse

A couple of days ago maybe I saw a photo on a Facebook river group and I got so envious, sort of. It was from an area that was flat -- no hills -- and someone got a sunset shot of the sun through the pilothouse glass. The boat was from ACBL, I think.

I figured I would never get a chance at that shot because of all the hills around here. However, yesterday evening the Coast Guard buoy tender Osage tied up at Harris Riverfront Park here in Huntington. I happened upon it and decided to get some pictures. Then I noticed I could shoot upward and get the sun through the pilothouse windows. Here are a couple of samples. The first is the sun unobstructed. In the second, I think there was a guy walking around inside the pilothouse because the size of the sun was changing.

As long as I was there, I figured I may as well get a photo of some buoys.

It doesn't surprise me the Osage was in the area. From what I have seen and heard, several buoys on the middle and upper Ohio are not where they should be.