Thursday, December 30, 2021

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Mid afternoon at the Greenup Locks and Dam

 A few photos ...

The Greenup Locks and Dam at Mile 341.0 is one of two on the river with a bridge on it, the other being Markland. When the dam was designed in the early 1950s, the Commonwealth of Kentucky paid the Corps of Engineers $300,000 to design and build the dam piers strong enough to bear the weight of a two-lane bridge. The dam was finished in 1960 or so. Construction on the bridge didn't begin until the early 1980s. The Jesse Stuart Memorial Bridge, named for a famous Kentucky author who lived nearby, opened to traffic in 1985.

FWIW, that $300,000 would be about $3.1 million today.

The motor vessels Garry Lacey and Patoka had left the locks and were rounding the bend below the dam when I parked on the Ohio side.

The river was running high and fast. I don't know how many feet of gate the dam was running, but the gates were higher off the sills than I normally see them.

There were a lot of these whirlpools near the Ohio shore, probably from the hydrolectric power plant on the Ohio side of the dam. It was difficult to judge the size of these vortices, but I would say they were oone to three feet across. As to how deep, no idea.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Catching the last few rays of sunlight

 The Glenn A. Hendon upbound passing Glenwood, W.Va.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Olmsted's wickets

From the Waterways Journal, some maintenance work being done at the relatively new Olmsted Locks and Dam.

When I visited the then-construction site back in 2018, they said the wickets would be replaced every 10 years on a rotating basis. I wondered how long it would be before they started, and now we know.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Those last few minutes before sunset ...

 ... can light up a boat real good.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

M/V Robinson

 From back in September ...

Sunday, October 10, 2021

When the light it right ...

 ... you have to take the shot.

The M/V Kentucky was looking pretty good this evening an hour or so before the sun went down.

Friday, October 8, 2021

M/V Findlay

 When I saw this boat last night, I was thinking about how I attended its christening ceremony six years ago.

Time flies, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

M/V Tri State, Part 3

 Here is the photo from Part 1 of this trilogy:

How would it look if it had been edited differently? First, here's the same photo in black and white.

Now here's what one of my pieces of editing software calls "Glamour Glow":

Finally, if I take HDR (high dynamic range) too far:

Or maybe you like this sort of image. If so, that's cool, too.

The HDR photo showed  a big bunch of black spots on the image, which means I need to get out the sensor cleaning kit and get that gunk off my sensor.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

M/V Tri State, Part 2


So here's the back story of the photo of the M/V Tri-State that I took and posted this morning.

For a variety of reasons, I had to drive my wife to her job. I had a little while before I had to be somewhere, so I went to Virginia Point Park in Kenova, West Virginia, at the mouth of the Big Sandy to see if there were any boats in camera range. I knew the Martinsville was moving around that area, but I figured it would be out of range for a good photo by the time I got there, and it was.

But I did see a small Marathon boat approaching from upriver, and it didn't look like the MAP Runner, so it had to be the Tri-State. I had seen the Tri-State up close back in the winter. It was moving lightboat close to shore where I was standing. The guy steering the boat saw me, so he slowed down and moved the pilothouse up and down for my photographic pleasure before moving on, for which I was grateful then and still am.

Since that time, I've wanted to get a closeup of the Tri State, but it just hasn't worked out. The Tri-State is the first retractable pilothouse boat built by Superior Marine across the river near South Point, Ohio, so it's been a bit frustrating to not be able to get a good shot of a boat that doesn't leave the area.

Anyway, this morning — cloudy, cool and gray — I saw the Tri State coming toward me pushing one loaded barge. From the angle it was taking, it looked like it might go up the Big Sandy near me, so I went down to the shore. Sure enough, it did.

I got off lots of photos and narrowed them down to a few.

First, as the boat came near to me, I had to be aware of the background. Across the river was a residential area of South Point, and the cluster of houses didn't necessarily make a good background for a good boat photo. So I waited until the boat started its turn into the Big Sandy, and I got these with cleaner backdrops.

Next, I got some as it passed close to me but still toward the other side of the river, as the pilot may have been paying attention to a pleasure boat that was in the river near the boat ramp on my side.

One thing about the Tri State I have noticed has been its relatively large prop wash when it's pushing hard. At least, it looks large to me. Now I need to dig up some technical info on it.

And that's about it.

UP NEXT: Same shot, four ways to edit.

M/V Tri State close up, Part 1

 I happened to be at Virginia Point Park when I was blessed to get some photos of the harbor boat Tri State (right; no hyphen).

When the pilot turned from the Ohio River into the Big Sandy, I assume he saw me with a camera and slowed down so I could get some beauty shots. Which reminds me, there is a glamor glow filter on some software I have that has worked with another Marathon boat. Anyway, my thanks to the pilot who allowed me to get my first closeups of this boat in months.

I have a lot more to say about the Tri State. That will probably be tonight at the earliest after I have processed about a dozen more images (give or take a couple) .

Monday, September 13, 2021

Off topic (sort of)


I don't know much about shared e-scooters, but apparently they're a thing in Louisville. A study published in an academic journal studied the effects of shared e-scooters in that city on transit bus ridership. The conclusion: not much.

Another study that came up in a routine search deals with "The Social Life of the 'Forever Chemical': PFAS Pollution Legacies and Toxic Events" that appeared in Environment and Society: Advances i Research 12 (2021). There a couple of paragraphs related to events at a factory along the Ohio River below Parkersburg, West Virginia:

Beginning in 1999, Rob Bilott led a series of lawsuits against DuPont that helped reveal the extent of PFOA contamination around Parkersburg as well as how the company dodged regulation. His book Exposure (2019) details how DuPont covered up in-house occupational health and toxicity studies, the emissions from its Washington Works plant, and ongoing leaching from illegally dumped hazardous waste. DuPont spent years buying up contaminated wells and land adjacent to the plant for in situ emissions and dumping, but the waste leached into nearby creeks, rivers, and other wells, eventually contaminating the drinking water of tens of thousands of people in West Virginia and Ohio. As scrutiny increased, DuPont followed the familiar playbook of other twentieth-century hazardous industries (Markowitz and Rosner 2002; Oreskes and Conway 2010). Their lawyers and representatives destroyed documents, threatened lawsuits and gag orders, engaged in smear campaigns, stifl ed whistleblowers, deployed sophisticated public relations campaigns to defend its corporate image, partnered with politicians and regulators to undermine oversight, labeled the results of independent scientifi c studies as “junk science,” and fought and dragged out litigation for nearly two decades (Bilott 2019; Lyons 2007; Lerner 2015).

Bilott denounces the revolving door between government regulators and industry, in one example describing collusion in forming a joint investigative panel to deflect further inquiry. An EPA investigation into the mysterious deaths of dozens of cows on the Tennant farm near Parkersburg—the case that served as the detonator of the PFOA/C8 scandal—revealed no company wrongdoing. Flexing its political muscle, DuPont negotiated who would serve on the Cattle Team panel, which subsequently did not test specifically for PFOA as it was not a registered substance dumped at the nearby Dry Run landfill, even though internal company documents later revealed full cognizance of toxic dumping at that site (Bilott 2019; Lerner 2015).

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Nice light for the M/V West Virginia

 I wasn't planning on getting any river picrtures today, but when I saw this light on this boat and these barges, what could I do?

Sunday, September 5, 2021

A busy night at the mouth of the Big Sandy

I went down to the boat ramp at the mouth of the Big Sandy yesterday evening before dark so I could get out of the house for a while. I got a few photos of boats. I knew a couple of boats were heading my way, but it was getting dark. I decided to stay anyway to see what I could get. This is one photo that I got last night.

So, yeah, things were busy at Catlettsburg, Kentucky, Kenova, West Virginia and South Point, Ohio.

A threatened species


Another species of mussel is in danger of disappearing from the Ohio River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed protecting the pyramid pigtoe mussel as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

From the supporting documentation, it appears some of the most vulnerable remaining populations of the pyramid pigtoe mussel are in Ohio River tributaries instead of the big river itself. The culprits this native mussel must contend with the usual ones: invasive species such as the zebra mussel, black carp and Asian clam; development of rivers for navigation and transportation; and pollution from human activities.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

One sternwheeler, four variations


The Tribute to the River festival at Point Pleasant WV was canceled this year because of high water. I was up that way Sunday evening and saw this sternwheeler and a couple of others had already arrived. The sun was setting, so I got off a few shots of the sun behind the M/V Kanawha.

I picked one to see how it would look under different edits.

First, the baseline version with the color of the sky enhanced to compensate for how the sun treated the exposure meter.

Next, partially desaturated color to mute some of the extremes.

And then the full black and white.

Finally, I took the first version and went full HDR (high dynamic range) to see how it would look.

Who won? You decide.

I had thought about writing a long post detailing how I did these variations and why. If you all want to read something like that, let me know. Otherwise I'll save such thoughts for another time and another photo.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Fishing on the Big Sandy

Thursday evening I needed some time out in this heat so I headed down to the river. The mouth of the Big Sandy River at Catlettsburg seemed like the best place to be.

I had been waiting for the M/V West Virginia of Amherst Madison to come by, which it did. Before it got to where I was, I had noticed a boat coming down the Big Sandy with a barge. It was the Blessey Marine Services boat M/V Pat Voss. It must have waited until the West Virginia passed by, because it seemed to have stopped. After the West Virginia passed, the Pat Voss came down, but not before two guys in a fishing boat decided to try their luck on the Big Sandy.

As you can see, the two guys wisely yielded the right of way to the bigger boat.

The Pat Voss took this empty barge over to the Marathon Petroleum fleeting area at South Point, Ohio.

Here's a photo of it on the Ohio as night fell.

I learned a lot about twilight photography and my equipment that evening. It was a very good evening.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

M/V Deana Woosley at Maysville

 Going under the bridge as the sun sets.

Nice bridge. I need to get down there and get more photos on a day when I don't have a schedule to keep.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

M/V Joe S heading to its new home

This evening after work I went down to the boat ramp at Ironton, Ohio, to see the sternwheeler Joe S (formerly Columbia) tied up to the port side of the M/V Andrew Antrainer. C.R. Neale from up at Vienna, WV, is bringing his new boat home. The 968-mile journey started Aug. 10 down on the Tennessee River under the sternwheeler's own power. A day or so after it got out on the Ohio, it hitched a ride with the Andrew Antrainer.

Here the two boats are as they approach beautiful downtown Ironton ...

... accompanied by a guy on a Sea-Doo who decided to enjoy the Antrainer's prop wash a time or two.

The light wasn't the best this evening, thanks to the light rain.

And here the boats are passing by and heading under the Ironton-Russell bridge.

I was thinking about getting more pictures at South Point, Ohio, as the boats passed the mouth of the Big Sandy River, but that would be a wait of about 90 minutes to two hours in weather that could get worse or could get better, so I went home and had dinner with the family.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

A turtleback and a Viking

 It was almost like 1981 all over again with the motor vessels Robert E. Wagenblast and Show Me State coming down the Ohio River today.

Other than names, the difference was that those barges weren't loaded with coal.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Three boats

Today I had one of those feelings where it was too hot to work outside and I was tired of spending so much time inside lately, so I headed to the Ohio River bank with my camera and one lens. I got photos of several boats, but here are three.

First, the M/V Miss Jackie Brown seen as someone on a personal water craft buzzed by.

Then there was the M/V MAP Runner bringing a couple of barges out of the Big Sandy River over to the Marathon Petroleum fleeting area at South Point, Ohio.

Then the M/V Cincinnati heading upriver to pick up barges for an upbound trip.

Being down by the river lifted some of the dark cloud from my mind. It usually does.