Sunday, September 30, 2018

M/V G. Allen Oldham

When the light is this good ...

... you have to take the shot.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Rain today

The M/V Winnie C passing Huntington.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Live and learn

I left the house today to go to my copyediting class at Marshall, and before I got to the end of the driveway I realized I had forgotten my good camera. No problem, I said. There would be nothing worth shooting today.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

After class, I went down to Harris Riverfront Park, and there was this guy cleaning the mud off a parking lot with a firehose, and all I had on me was my extra wide angle camera on my cheap cell phone.

A good lens would have gotten a close up without running the risk of getting wet and muddy. I mean, look at how much work the guy had left to do. The high water of recent weeks had left a good layer of mud on the concrete and asphalt on the lower levels of the park.

Then I had to leave to go to the mall for a few things. I took the scenic route up the river, and what did I see but an Ingram boat coming around a bend pushing 15 loaded coal barges. I love getting that kind of shot, but my phone was not up to it. To add insult to my self-inflicted injury, the boat was the Daniel P. Mecklenborg. I had been wanting to see that boat since I met Mecklenborg back in July.

Now that I think about it, I probably could have gotten a decent shot of the Mecklenborg from the Sixth Street bridge, but I was too down on myself to think about it.

Live and learn. Live and learn.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018

M/V Steven J Mason

The former turtleneck boat passed through my area today, so I thought I would get a picture or two.

Like this one.

These guys saw me and waved. Sorry, but this was as far as my lens could reach.

Hey, guys.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Old photos found

A few days ago I found a box of old photos I had taken in the 1980s. I thought they had been discarded and lost forever.

As I went through them, I was reminded of the many river photos I took in the film era. I have hundreds of photos of boats, bridges, dams, river workers, floods, rocks, trees, weather and such that are related to the Ohio River and its tributaries.

Here is one of my old film-era photos. I think it was taken in early September 1983. It would  have been after the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta, held on the Kanawha River on Labor Day weekend. Those are the Lady Lois of Merdie Boggs and Son and the Virginia, which I think was owned at the time by a man known as Tubby Lewis, heading back home to Catlettsburg, Ky.

Although I cannot make a positive identification on the Ohio River Co. boat in the background,  I think it was the L. Fiore, now known as the O. Nelson Jones, but I could be wrong.

I really need to figure out what I'm going  to do with all these pictures. This is not one of my better archived photos. There are many that are much better than this one, but I found it interesting anyway.


Monday, September 17, 2018

More boats at Catlettsburg

First, the Matthew T.

The Galveston Bay downbound.

The Galveston Bay in the foreground and the Louisville in the background, with a Norfolk Southern train passing through South Point, Ohio, behind them.

And before these boats, the Marathon came through.

That's about it from Saturday, I think.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Four more boat photos

A few more from Saturday.

The Louisville at the Marathon dock at Catlettsburg.

The Bill Seymour passing through.

The Louisville and the Seymour in the same shot.

And the O. Nelson Jones comes through, too.

One or two more to come.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Two boats

I had a training session for one of my two part-time jobs today, after which I was able to get lots of pictures of several boats.  Here are two photos.

More to come as I can process them.

Monday, September 10, 2018

High water, but not so high

It's nice to see this morning that the National Weather Service has lowered its predicted high-water crests for this week, but a lot of fishing spots and walkways along the river are going to be under water this week. And when the water goes down, there will be mud to wash off.

Stay safe out there. But if you need someone like me to tell you that ...

Sunday, September 9, 2018

M/V Winnie C

While we're waiting for the next update of estimated river levels this week, here's the M/V Winnie C in the rain.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Winter-type flood coming?

Usually in this part of the Ohio Valley — Mile 308 give or take 100 miles — we get our highest high water in the December-March time frame. I can remember a couple of big high water events in summer, but they've been rare.

If you look at the National Weather Service of river stage forecasts from Wheeling to Cincinnati, it appears we may have high water that comes within a few feet of what we had back in February.

Judging from the hydrographs, if these predictions are accurate, the high water won't last long. The river will go up fast, and it will go down just as fast.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Thursday, September 6, 2018

M/V Harry R. Jacobson

M/V Glenn W. Jones and Locks and Dam 52

This may mean nothing, or it may mean something.

As noted yesterday, the Ohio River is closed to navigation today as the wickets at Locks and Dam 52 are lowered. That’s because the new Olmsted Locks and Dam is raising its pool.

The last boat to complete a lockage before the river was closed was the Glenn W. Jones, downbound with 15 barges. It started its lockage at 10:09 a.m. CDT today and ended at 11:19.

By coincidence, or maybe not, the Glenn W. Jones was the boat in the lock at Olmsted last week during the ribboncutting and dedication ceremony.

I don’t know if the Corps of Engineers plans to keep 52’s wickets down if Olmsted holds its pool or if the Corps plans to lower Olmsted’s wickets and raise them again as a test. If it’s the first, the Glenn W. Jones could be the last boat to have locked through Locks and Dam 52, making it also the last boat to use a lock at the last remaining low-lift wicket dam on the Ohio.

Perhaps another boat will have that honor. We’ll have to see.

As for the decommissioned Locks and Dam 53, I don't know. I'll try to get that info in the next few days.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Locks and Dam 53 — past tense

It looks like we can refer to Locks and Dam 53 in the past tense now.

Yesterday the Louisville District of the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers posted on its Facebook page that the final 43 wickets at the Olmsted Locks and Dam had been raised. Last week, the Waterways Journal article on Olmsted mentioned that the deconstruction of 53 had begun.

Today the Louisville District issued a navigation notice that at 9 a.m. Central Daylight Time tomorrow, the Ohio River at Locks and Dam 52 will be closed to traffic for about 48 hours.

The closure will allow dam workers to lower the wickets and transition the pool to Olmsted. The navigation pass will open to traffic once the Olmsted pool has stabilized, the corps says.

Locks and Dam 52. At least 13 percent of the dam is inoperable.

Before I found this information, I had been checking the lock and dam tonnage reports. Traffic had been moving through the Olmsted locks for several months as work on the navigable pass was completed, but no tonnage statistics were compiled and released. But sometime late last month, the tonnage and queue reports for 53 ended and they began at Olmsted.

At the Olmsted media day availability back in July, Corps personnel said 53 would have to be removed as soon as possible, as it would be a hazard to navigation. Removing 52 will have to wait until next year or 2020 perhaps 2022, they said.

I asked the colonel for permission to visit 53 to get photos before it was taken out of service. The dam was down, so there would be nothing to see. But 52 was up, and I was allowed inside the fence to get the photos that have were the centerpiece of several entries on this blog.

Perhaps this is the end of 52 as well. Mariners will rejoice. We river history fans will root for whoever comes up with a viable plan to preserve the buildings and other remains at 52 and 53 as much as possible for posterity’s sake.

Monday, September 3, 2018

A tale from the Kanawha River

As many of us recover from our three-day holiday weekend, here's a tale of physical endurance from the Great Kanawha, as it was once called.

I remember the old Sternwheel Regatta. In 1986, I think it was, some friends and I ventured into the Regatta on a Saturday night to be among thousands to hear a live concert by the Beach Boys.

My memory may be faulty, but what started as a tribute to the sternwheelers that once plied the Great Kanawha became a festival so large that sternwheelers were no longer welcome. And so it died.