Friday, March 26, 2010

Passing through

The fleet of boats destined for rebuilds or scrapping in Pittsburgh got back moving again Thursday after being laid up by high water for a few days. I saw it while coming down Ohio Route 7 in the afternoon. I turned around and got a few photos from Athalia OH ...

... then I went home.

First, I called Chuck Minsker at the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I explained what the scrap fleet was, and he made a call to allow Adam and me inside the security area at the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam so we could see the fleet as it went through the locks.

Then I had to wait for Adam to get off the school bus. When he found out where we were going, he jumped up and down in joy like I hadn't seen out of him for a while, since maybe back in September when I told him we were going to Point Pleasant WV to tour the mv. Mountain State.

The fleet was moving at maybe 4 mph, so we had plenty of time once we got to the locks. We arrived as the mv. Oliver C. Shearer was leaving upbound. And we got to see the Steven J. Mason lock through downbound. Adam had been waiting a while too see that one, ever since he read its history on Dick's Towboat Gallery. As we watched it lock through, Adam told me when it was built and when it was rebuilt.

We had to wait maybe another half hour before he saw the scrap fleet come into view around the bend downriver. We got in the car and drove down the fishing road to the far end of the public access area there on the West Virginia side. I knew the fleet would have to pass close to shore to enter the locks, so we went down to the river level to shoot some photos.

Then it was back to the locks. As we watched the boats enter, it looked like the mv. Evan Wharton was doing the pushing and the mv. Tater Bug was helping  out with the steering.

We stayed there until the boats left the lock.

(I may put up three photos of the Steven J. Mason and its tow later on).