Monday, February 18, 2019

Missed it by 90 seconds

When I was a youngster growing up along the Ohio River in the 1960s, there were two kinds of boats that came to mind when someone said the word "towboat". One was the Hillman series of boats nowadays identified with the M/V Charleston. The other was the series of Ohio River Company boats that are now known as turtlebacks.

Turtlebacks used to be all over the Ohio up into the 1980s at least. For three decades, there was often one when you went looking for boats. But things changed. Some of the boats were moved to other rivers. Or even to South America. Here on my part of the Ohio, about the only turtleback we see regularly is the O. Nelson Jones. It's worth a trip to the river to see when it's in the area.

There are a couple of others that come through here from time to time. This evening I learned the Charlie G, formerly known as the Wm. H. Zimmer, had been through here today. Tonight I learned it was down at South Point, Ohio, so I drove down to Catlettsburg, Ky., after dark to see if I could get a shot.

By the time I got to Catlettsburg, the Charlie G had already begun its trip downriver, and its pilot wasn't wasting any time. It was passing my spot right as I parked the car. So I drove a block down the street to attempt another shot, but I couldn't get my camera settings working in time. I managed to et off some dark photos that for now aren't worth sharing because there's not much in them.

I could have gone down to Ashland and tried to get something there, but I was already late to pick up someone. So I grabbed a few other images, none of which grabbed me, and left.

So I missed it by 90 seconds. For the photo I wanted, it was probably more like 90 minutes. I'm disappointed I missed the Charlie G tonight. Maybe next time.

I say that a lot these days.