Thursday, December 31, 2020

Friday, December 25, 2020

A new (?) boat joins my list of favorites


With more than a week since it left my area, I have to say the steamer Belle of Louisville is now among my favorite boats on the Ohio River.

It's the oldest remaining true steam-powered sternwheeler still in operation. If and when the Delta Queen returns to action, it, too, will be among my favorites, but when you get to see a boat like the Belle of Louisville up close, it changes things.

I was allowed to be at the Amherst Madison dock at Gallipolis, Ohio, last week to watch the Belle depart after about six weeks of inspections and repairs below the water line.

Here is the boat as seen about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

The weather that day was wet and cold. A few snowflakes mixed in with the rain, which at times was heavier than ideal for photography. But eventually the rain stopped, although the air was still cold.

Here she is five hours later with the M/V Reliant in the background, ready to assist the M/V Nell in taking the Belle a mile or so down the river to meet up with the M/V Buckeye State.

And here, the next morning after at stop at the mouth of the Big Sandy River, is the Buckeye State taking the Belle home to Louisville.

I had wanted to visit Louisville this past summer so I could walk across the Big Four Bridge and see the McAlpine Locks and Dam up close again. The coronavirus and the civil unrest in Louisville put an end to those plans. Maybe this coming summer I can get down there. If I do, I'll need to add a visit of some sort to the Belle of Louisville to my itinerary. She might be worth a trip just for her alone, you know?

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Sternwheel at night et al (edited)


Last night I was in Gallipolis to watch the steamer Belle of Louisville be removed from its dock at Amherst Madison and taken to the M/V Buckeye State for its voyage home. It takes time to go through all those pictures I got last night and today as the boats passed through my area. Here are a few.

First, the sternwheel as seen lit up by the local boats.

Next, the boats passing Ashland, Ky.

Last, here the boats are passing the lower end of Ironton, Ohio.

As they passed, my thoughts were good-bye and I hope to see you next year. COVID-19 and general unrest in the Louisville area caused me to cancel plans for a quick trip down to Louisville. Maybe next year and if so, I have to find a way to see one of my newest (and oldest) favorite boats on the Ohio.

# # #

I almost forgot this wave from the captain or the pilot. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Barges at morning light

When there's not much going on ...

And when you're out and about at sunrise ...

And you see the M/V Ms. Nicole pushing barges into the morning light ...

... You get some sort of picture.

Sunday, December 6, 2020


From the (recent) archives ...

The statue of Vulcan at the riverfront park at Ashland Ky.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Pushing pipe

Seen a few days ago at Catlettsburg. The M/V O. Nelson Jones in the fog as day was breaking.

I'd never seen a boat pushing that much pipe, at least not all shredded for scrap.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Old school


Let's go with an old school look for a photo I like for several reasons.

There's a Crounse boat pushing a full tow of coal. You can see a bridge in the background through the fog. You can see power lines carrying electricity that probably was generated from coal. The boat itself is a classic design for Ohio River boats. The boat is one I don't see often.

And by going with a faded black-and-white look, we get away from the sort of images most people are getting from their digital cameras or their phones. It almost looks like an old postcard.

It seemed like it was time for something different. So here it is.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Divine Mercy delivers the light


This is what you see when you're at the boat ramp when the M/V Divine Mercy is tied up across the river and using its searchlight or spotlight or whatever it's called to help the two guys who just arrived on their little boat with its outboard motor for crew change.

From what I overheard, the relief guys may have been across the river in Ohio while the departing guys were standing at the boat ramp in West Virginia waiting for them. But I could have been wrong.

Monday, November 16, 2020

M/V Milton


As seen in the late afternoon sun on a November day.

The light can be brutal for photographic purposes.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

A matter of perspective


The sternwheel of the Belle of Louisville ...

... from a different point of view.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Pardon my vanity


So I went out to get a photo of the M/V Charleston right before sunset this past Sunday evening, and I had a thought as it passed by.

Here I am, one old classic photographing another. OK, I flatter myself from time to time. The lines of my body don't look or flow as good as her lines, even if I am a few years younger.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

M/V O. Nelson Jones undergoing repairs

 I saw this beauty ...

... yesterday when I was at the Amherst Madison marine repair fleet at Gallipolis, Ohio, working on a freelance article for a publication. As I told one of the people I was with, when you get the chance to be this close to a classic, you get pictures.

The sky was cloudless and it was late afternoon, meaning the sun was brutal as far as lighting goes, but I did what I could.

I don't care what anyone says, this is a beautiful boat. I like how the Amherst paint scheme sort of mimics the old Ohio River Co. scheme. Amherst uses gray where Ohio River Co used dark green, but it works pretty good.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

M/V Charleston overtakes the M/V Jincy


This evening Adam and I were doing an after-hours search of the used car lots here in America's Best Community when we noticed the M/V Charleston was heading up the river behind a Crounse boat. By the time we got to a shooting spot, the Charleston was in the process of overtaking the other boat.

I hope I look as good at 71 as the Charleston does.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Fog and contours


Shifting gears from steamboats and such ...

Yesterday morning at Huntington WV there was a bit of fog in the valley. Not much, but enough to bring out the contours of the hills on the Ohio side.

I counted at least five ridges over there (one is difficult to see unless you zoom in at the highest resolution, so it's hard to see here). I can't tell you how many miles away the farthest visible ridge was as the crow flies, but it has to be measured in miles.

It was interesting how the damp air brought out the parallel lines in the contours of the southern Ohio hills.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

M/V Yvonne Conway at night

Anyone need a picture of the Yvonne Conway of Crounse Corp. exiting the Greenup Locks and Dam upbound at night?

Of course you do.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Str. Belle of Louisville at Greenup Locks and Dam


The Belle of Louisville is in my area for the first time, I am told, in 59 years. It's on its way to the Amherst Madison drydock at Gallipolis, Ohio, for Coast Guard inspection and whatever repair work is needed.

Tonight I caught it at the Greenup Locks and Dam. Normally the boat stops before dark, but tonight they had to make up time lost to fog this morning at Maysville, Ky. It was dark by the time the boat left the lock, but quite this dark. They got out of the lock and made for the Ohio shore where they could tie up for the night.

This is what happens when you use a lens that might not be totally suitable for night shots. But you make do with what you can afford. In my case, I can't afford $2,000 for a zoom lens with a big aperture.

Depending on the weather overnight, the boat could be in Gallipolis tomorrow (Friday) evening. It's about a 75-mile trip at 7 mph with one lock to make, but it's doable.

I have to work at my regular job (newspapering) and my irregular job (babysitting during breaks), but I hope to be able to see the boat in daylight as it passes through my area.

P.S. This is a real steamboat propelled by a real sternwheel. It's not a fakewheeler. As a true steamboat, it glides by you almost silently.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

M/V Charles T. Jones in the golden hour

Passing Huntington, W.Va., with Chesapeake, Ohio, in the background.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Lock and Dam 27, early morning


This time of year is good for fog ... if you like fog. It can be a pain to drive in, but sometimes down by the river it's a nice shooting environment if you have a camera.

This morning I went down to the river in Huntington and over on the Ohio side of Lock and Dam 27 — one of my favorite places along the entire Ohio River — to see what was there in the fog. Some good stuff, as it turned out.

The park itself looked pretty nice.

There were some guys fishing ...

This second guy left something on in his truck, so he asked me to give him a jump. As he left, he showed me a selfie with a walleye he had caught. He said he was there this morning to catch some bait fish. He didn't expect to get something that big.

And at the end I noticed the old lockwall made a happy face if you looked at it from the proper angle.

There hasn't bee a boat lock through here in almost 60 years. I'm glad the old place is enjoying its retirement.

It was a good morning in a favorite place.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

M/V Marathon at night

Events have limited my time at the river in the past few days, but last night I made time for a stop and was rewarded with this photo. It has some flaws technically, but I like it anyway.

For those wondering, this is the M/V Marathon of Marathon Petroleum Company after having locked downbound at the Robert C. Byrd Gallipolis Locks and Dam. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Let's try this again


A few weeks ago I posted an overexposed image of the Greenup Locks and Dam (Mile 341). Tonight I decided to see if I could salvage the image by getting artsy with it.

I think it worked, but I'll admit I'm a bit prejudiced here.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Monday, September 7, 2020

M/V Leslie M. Neal


More Trump flotilla pictures


Here are a few more photos from Saturday's Trump flotilla on the Ohio River from Huntington WV to Ironton OH.

The event began around 2 p.m. From the pictures I took in both directions while standing on a bridge sidewalk, I counted more than 100 boats participating. Most boats had more than one person aboard, so you can figure several hundred people participated on the water. That doesn't count how many may have watched from the shore.

To give you some idea of distances:

The parade started at the East End bridge between Huntington and Proctorville OH. That's at about Mile 305. The bridge where I got the photos after the event started is at about Mile 309. The downstream view from the bridge looks toward another bridge at Mile 311. From the speed of the boats and from what I saw, by the time boats at the back of the pack were getting started, some boats were already at the mouth of the Big Sandy River at about Mile 317. I heard that some boaters may have ended their run at the riverfront park at Ashland KY at about Mile 323. The parade ended at Ironton's Center Street boat landing at Mile 327.

Those are the numbers; these are the pictures.

From Huntington:

From Ironton:

Again, comments are moderated. Partisan comments will not be approved. There are other places for that.