Thursday, February 7, 2019

One more day of fog

This morning I headed down to Virginia Point Park, at the mouth of the Big Sandy River at Kenova, W.Va., to get a photo of the M/V Ginger Moller in the fog. It was foggy where I lived, and the weather hadn't changed much in the two days since I got those other fog shots, so it was worth a try.

By the time I got to the park, the access road was blocked and the park was closed by order of the Kenova Police Department. Maybe it was because the river was coming up. At that point, I didn't care. I wanted to get a shot of a boat in the fog before the weather changed, so I turned around and headed to Catlettsburg, Ky., on the other side of the Big Sandy.

While crossing the Billy C. Clark Bridge (more on that later) over the Big Sandy, I saw a towboat headed toward the Ohio. Seeing boats on the Big Sandy isn't odd, considering there's a refinery, a chemical plant and at least a couple of coal docks still on business on the lower few miles. The odd thing was that this looked like an Ohio River line haul boat, not a local harbor boat.

Despite the slow pickup in front of me, I got to the boat ramp at the mouth of the Big Sandy and waited. I was hoping the boat had not beaten me out. When I heard its engines, I knew it hadn't. I was surprised to see it was the M/V Bill Tullier of Florida Marine.

Here is a shot where I zoomed in ...

... and one where I zoomed out.

After the Tullier had passed, I went back up the hill, where I saw the Ginger Moller with a bunch of coal loads looking like it was getting ready to depart. I got this one as the fog got heavier. Within a few minutes, I couldn't the West Virginia side of the Big Sandy, and the river is not that wide.

After I left Catlettsburg, the drizzle that had started was getting heavier and heavier. When the rain stopped, the air was noticeably warmer. In a couple of hours, the fog that had covered the river for a few days was gone and the river had risen. My guess is that the cold water from upriver had passed us, plus the water from the rain that had fallen in the watershed was warmer, so the temperature of the river was to the point where its contact with warm air would not create any more fog.

Too bad for camera nerds, but good for people who work on the river, I guess.