Thursday, September 3, 2015

A surprise visitor

Marathon Petroleum christened the M/V Findlay in Newport, Ky., across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, today. I was there to write about it, and I did my good deed for the week.

After the ceremony, people gathered in a dining room of BB Riverboats for what looked like a delicious buffet. One of us, however, was paid to be there to get pictures of people at the events surrounding the christening, so he had to forego the buffet so he could get as many snaps as he could in hopes of making a better sale.

I walked outside to get away from everything for a few minutes. I looked up the river and saw a boat coming down toward us. I followed its movements for a few moments, then I realized it was a Marathon boat that was similar to the Findlay. I went inside to ask David Earl, manager of operations for MPC's marine transportation (I hope I got that right), if that was part of the event, as it was too good of a coincidence to be one. No, he assured me, it was a coincidence.

So we and some others went out to see the boat coming down, and people told me it was the M/V Canton. The Marathon folks told their still and video photographers to get some shots, so they did. And so did I.

Several people came outside to see the Canton pass Great American Ball Park and the Findlay. Some folks were joking that the Canton's pilot may have been going so slow down the river because he didn't want to intrude on the ceremony, but it looked like he sped up as he got closer to the Findlay.

I'll have more on the christening itself later, after the article runs.

This was the second time this summer that I had made a trip to the Cincinnati area for a boat christening. Both times I went to this spot to see boats going through the bridges that pilots keep griping about. And this was the only boat with barges that I actually saw passing downtown in that time.

As a footnote, this was also the first time in a long time that Adam did not go with me to a christening or an open house. He had to go to school instead. I missed him. I usually get a picture of him in the pilothouse holding the steering levers, or as we call it, between the sticks. I tried getting a selfie of me doing that to carry on the tradition, but it wasn't the same.