Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Two boats at Mile 317, 10/22/19

In the past when we've seen boats with retractable pilothouses on my part of the Ohio River, the pilothouses have been in the raised position, With the M/V Patoka in our area now, I guess we'll get used to seeing them like this.

And on this particular morning I got to see the M/V Duke fairly close for the first time.

It was a gray morning, but a good one.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

M/V Roger W Keeney

Yesterday I was sitting in my office in beautiful downtown Huntington WV (America's Best Community) when a photographer at the paper emailed me with a photo she had taken of a towboat that was Harris Riverfront Park. She had the photo but no information.

As the park entrance is only three blocks from the paper, I walked down there and saw the M/V Roger W Keeney there. As I gazed at it and got some pictures with my phone, a guy on the boat struck up a conversation with me. I introduced myself and we talked. A few minutes later another guy came out of the pilothouse and joined the conversation.

I was told the Keeney was at the park awaiting a part it needed before it could go back, pick up its tow and resume its trip. Soon Capt. Randy Chapman, manager of linehaul operations, showed up to tell the crew they would have to wait a little longer for the part to be delivered. Chapman and I sat and talked for maybe 20 minutes about the industry, the companies he's worked for, the boats he's worked on and such. We exchanged some funny river-related stories before my lunch hour ended.

As it turns out, I was glad I texted my younger son to tell him the Keeney was at the park. He had gone with me Pittsburgh in spring 2017 to attend the christening of the M/V Tommy H, a boat similar if not identical to the Keeney.

Adam arrived and got a photo of the Keeney with his phone while I was back at work. He texted to tell me another tug-and-tow combination was coming up the Ohio and I had time to walk down there to see it. Too bad I had to stay at my desk and finish my work day.

I got home and my phone would not let me download the photos I took. And it would not connect to the internet. This is a problem I've had for a few weeks. Lucky for me Adam had emailed me a photo he took of the Keeney.

So tomorrow I'll probably get a new phone I'll be a responsible citizen and recycle the old one, although it would interesting to see how far I could throw it from a bridge. But I won't do that.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Charles Jones passes

Charles Jones, who as head of Amherst Madison was one of the most recognizable names in the marine industry in the Ohio Valley, died yesterday at the age of 101.

It's difficult to describe how well known and liked Jones was.

I did a feature on him in 2017 for The State Journal of Charleston, W.Va. Alas, I cannot find that article anywhere so that I may link to it. Jones was a Navy veteran who served in Japan immediately after World War II. He grew up in the family's coal and transportation businesses. Of late Amherst Madison has been involved in transportation and construction.

Back in 2012, I wrote an article for The State Journal when a towboat pilot simulator was named in honor of Jones' late son, O. Nelson Jones. I likewise cannot find that article to link to, but I did have a blog entry about it.

More to come as other articles are written that I can link to.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Pier shadows

Ever notice how shadows move over the course of a day? Take the Sixth Street Bridge here at Huntington, West Virginia. The bridge runs north-south, so the piers face the south. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun tracks across the southern half of the sky, so the shadows of the bridge against the pier move in a counterclockwise direction throughout the day.

I like this angle myself.

Because we're in the western half of the Eastern time zone and because we're still on Daylight Savings Time, the shadows aren't vertical until after noon ... even around 1 p.m. or so.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Auto photography beside the Ohio River

I went down to the river around noon and what did I see but a couple of guys with cars bearing dealer tags getting photos.

There are worse places for getting car photos than beside the Ohio River.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Foggy morning at Big Sandy harbor

Warm river plus cool air plus a wannabe photographer equals pictures.

A boat at the Marathon Petroleum (or to be technical, MPLX) dock.

The M/V Jincy.

The M/V Energy at Virginia Point Park in Kenova, W.Va.

Finally, from the wall at old Big Sandy Lock and Dam 1, which I think was taken out of service in 1961, when the Greenup Locks and Dam raised its pool.

It had hoped to get a harbor boat coming out of or going into the Big Sandy, but it was not to be.

Monday, October 14, 2019

A good story and a photo

If you would like to read a good story about a land-based river business in Wellsville, Ohio, try this one out. It tells the story of Pier 48, which handles steel and bulk commodities in a barge-to-truck dock. The details of Pier 48's soybean business surprised me. It's the kind of story I like to write.

And if you're in need of a towboat picture ...

The Patoka will spend most of its time on the Ohio and the Mt Vernon on the Mississippi, so it's hard telling when the two will be side-by-side at the same dock again.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

1 down, 57 to go

Sometimes I let my photos marinate in my head for a few days before I decide which to sell and which to post on my free sites (here and my Ohio981 Faccebook page). I shot around 260 photos during the triple christening at Marathon Petroleum the other day, and I've narrowed that list down to about 58. Some of them are still repetitive, but I had to see how some images looked at slightly different angles or different exposures.

Here is one. It's smokestack of the M/V Mt. Vernon as seen from the M/V Kenova, with a Kenova stack blocking part of the view.

As I said, it will take me some time, probably on Sunday, to winnow this list down more. I'll probably put up some later next week in a series of several posts here, and I'll link those on the Facebook page. If you want to see higher-resolution versions of some of those photos, check out my Flickr page (Ohio981) later in the week.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Not in Kenova but on Kenova (Updated)

Marathon Petroleum christened three towboats today — the Mt Vernon, the Kenova and the Patoka.

All three were purchased from Florida Marine Transporters. I have a lot of notes to go through and a lot of photos to process for the Waterways Journal. I can tell you Marathon put on a pretty good party.

Tomorrow morning, I'll edit this post to include links to coverage from a local newspaper and a couple of TV stations that were there.

# # #

Here are a couple of stories from the local media on the christening.

First, one from The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington.

Second, one from WOWK-TV of Charleston-Huntington.

I'll be writing my own story over the weekend to submit to the Waterways Journal.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Belle of Cincinnati

There's an unwritten rule among river photographers that states when the Belle of Cincinnati is in your area, you must endeavor to get at least one photo of it. So I did.

However, to comply with the spirit of the law, here's another one.

Seriously, as I watched the boat sail past me, I remembered I had been on it twice before. And both times I was paid to be there. It's the best way.

As I write this, I think I may have paid to be on like a one-hour or 90-minute cruise here in Huntington about ten years ago. It was a very good day.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

M/V Kyova

Today I caught it coming out of the Big Sandy toward the Ohio. These were taken from the West Virginia shore.

I believe it made the left turn to go up the Ohio once it reached the mouth, but I'm not sure.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

I didn't get his name

I shoot a lot of pictures: river scenes, family, nature, attempts at artsy stuff ... you know. I don't go through them all, and I post a number of them all over the place. Some I put here, some I put on my Ohio981 page on Facebook, some I put on my Flickr account, and some I just forget about.

Today while going through some pictures from this summer I found this one. I was up at the Robert C. Byrd Gallipolis Locks and Dam on July 4 when this fellow struck up a conversation with me.

I seem to remember he said he was from Portsmouth, which is about 75 miles down the river by highway. We talked about a lot of things there and here.

I didn't get his name, but he seemed to be having a good time fishing at a popular spot.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

M/V Brees

Three weeks old, and I just now started working on it.

Better late than never, I guess.

On second thought, I could have gotten the crop or the composition a bit better.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

It's starting to sprinkle

So we'll go home now ...

... if that's okay with you.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Late afternoon at Greenup

We were on an expedition looking for school buses. We had a little time, so we stopped at the public use area at the Greenup Locks and Dam and ...

One or two family reunions had broken up as people noticed it was almost half past 6. They said good-bye all the way to their cars and trucks.

While I was there, I had to get a shot of the Galveston Bay exiting the main lock upbound.

And if you were wondering, we did find some school buses.

It was a good evening.

Backup at Gallipolis, er, Robert C. Byrd

Yesterday I noticed that two tug-and-two combinations headed for Monaca were tied off to the West Virginia bank because of a backup at the Gallipolis Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam, so in the evening I drove up hoping to get some photos without having to trespass on private property. These are what I got.

First, the Tristen and the Brittany Lynn. There often are utility lines in the way of good river photos, it seems.

And the Lady Loren and the Stephen L.

The Kentucky was in line to go up. I assume it was sitting here while helping another boat with its double cuts.

All five boats got through overnight, so they're headed toward Racine as of this writing.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Drift barge still there

Tuesday morning I went down to Harris Riverfront Park here in Huntington WV in part to see more action in removing several years worth of drift that had accumulated behind the Huntington police and fire boat house. There wasn't much activity if any at all, but I did get off a few snaps.

And in this one, I can say that at least I got the pigeons in focus.

Sometime I'll ask what happens to all that wood. My boys would love to have a bonfire with it, but we don't have a fire pit that big.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

M/V Mary Ellen Jones gets souged

I think that's the proper term. If not, I'm sure someone will correct me.

The boat passed Huntington this morning. The clear sky, the angle of the sun and the boat's white paint made me wish I had adjusted my camera settings a little differently. That's what happens when you change your settings when you're getting shots in certain light and forget to change them back right away.

As it passed me, I got a photo of it from the side. When I got home and uploaded it to my computer, I noticed these two guys. At first I thought they might be painting, but on further review it looks more like they're giving the boat's exterior a good cleaning.

I think that's called souging or sougeeing or something like that. You guys who do this for a living can set me straight.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Fishing at the Greenup Locks and Dam

Adam and I arrived shortly before the sun set following an hour or so of looking for school buses he's interested in.

This guy walked away pleased, I guess.

Maybe more later. It's getting late and my computer's getting cranky.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Digging out driftwood

This past Sunday, Sept. 15, I was down at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington (America's Best Community, according to Frontier Communications) and saw the Earl Franklin docked at the upper end. That's where a marina used to be and where the city's police and fire department boats are housed. The Franklin was tied up there with a crane barge and at least two empties. My best guess was that we would see some dredging there later in the week.

Wednesday, I was back down there and saw the Franklin's crane barge up behind the marina dock pulling something off the bank.

Thursday, I went back down there because my six-year-old granddaughter wanted to go to the park. I didn't want to go, but we hadn't been there in a long time and the day will soon come when she's too old to want to do things like that with me.

She fell asleep on the way there, so I couldn't really get out of the car to get pictures of the Franklin working. As it turned out, it was digging a lot of logs and similar drift out of the boat dock area. These pictures I got either in the car or standing just outside it with my granddaughter asleep in the back seat.

This is how the action looked from the edge of the playground.

And here is a shot with the Franklin framed by playground equipment.

I have no idea what Amherst Madison will do with all that wood they pulled off the bank or out of the water. It would probably make a good bonfire.

One fine day at Willow Island

A photo without comment.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

M/V Diane B. Siegel

Seen here shoving out of the auxiliary lock at the Gallipolis Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam the morning of Sept. 5.

Taken while I was up there working on a story and getting photos for the Waterways Journal.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

On further review ...

I like this one better.

At first I didn't because I thought the camera was too close to the ground (actually, the old lock wall), but the more I looked at how the elements blend, the more I liked it.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Another load for Monaca

Sometimes when you're fishing, you pay attention to the unusual load passing you by, and sometimes you don't.

The boat is Marquette's M/V J.A. Ward, by the way.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Article on Port of Huntington/Tri-State

The Waterways Journal has a piece in its most recent issue about trends in what is known as the Port of Huntington/Tri-State, and it's not written by yours truly. It's written by staff writer David Murray. Check it out here.

Monday, September 2, 2019

A half hour at Sand-O harbor, part 2

Pictures of boats not named Capt. Kirby Dupuis

The Kenova and two other boats of Marathon Petroleum.

I tried channeling my inner Steven Spielberg by using the frame-within-a-frame technique. Didn't quite work.

A smaller boat pushing three coal barges. I didn't get a positive ID.

A couple of floating things where Crounse used to tie up empty coal barges.

And two of the M.K. McNally southbound.

I was going to add a couple of videos, but I don't have a directional microphone. Traffic noise ruined a couple of shots. Someone remind me why I'm supposed to enjoy listening to motorcycles roaring by at 130 decibels.