Monday, November 9, 2009

Ohio River macro

Despite all the photos of boats, bridges and other large objects, I point my camera downward, too. Here are a few pics I've gotten in the past few weeks.

Favorite towboats, part 3: The small Crounse boats

(This is the third in a series of my 10 favorite towboats on the Ohio River. They are presented in no particular order).

For a while this past summer, whenever I needed a towboat to fill out a landscape photo of the Ohio River here in the Huntington WV area, it seemed like I just had to wait five minutes and a Crounse Corp. boat would come along.

Yes, that's an exaggeration, but not by much. Crounse does a lot of work on this section of the Ohio, usually pushing coal. And the most distinctive of its boats are those small, one-engine vessels that have been around for a while.

I'll admit I don't know much about them. I can read about them in the Inland River Record, but that's not the same as setting foot on one or knowing someone in the company. The closest I've come was when I was walking along the river bank in the fall of 1983, I think it was. The main lock at Gallipolis was out, and towboats were tied up for miles along the river bank waiting their turn to use the small lock. I came across two guys who said they worked on the Crounse boat tied up across the river. They were sitting on the bank drinking their beer, and we made small talk, but nothing memorable.

The sound made by the engines on these boats was distinctive when I lived along the river. I didn't have to look toward the river to see who was passing when I heard it.

More information on these boats can be found here, including some interesting history of the overall design.

If I ever get the chance to get one of those boats or talk at length with someone who works on one, I'll take it.


Photo at top: The mv. Jincy passes Maysville Ky. That's Ohio in the background.

Here, the mv. Barbara runs lightboat as it passes Huntington WV.

Here's the Jincy again, about to enter the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam on an upbound trip this past April.