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As the sun sets, a tow approaches the Point from under the West End Bridge moving quite slowly. The Ohio begins near that bridge formed from the Monongahela (aka the Mon) to the left and Allegheny to the right.

Because of highwater conditions on the Mon, Consol Energy’s Gabriel pushes a small tow at a ground speed of barely three miles per hour,

shooting up a rooster tail of muddy water, struggling against a current that might be eight to ten miles per hour. Those are my guesses.  Consol Energy moves a lot of coal, the other fuel.

Meanwhile Ingram‘s James E. Anderson, made to ten barges of coal and aggregates waits lower water and less current.

More on Ingram later, but inland rivers can be dangerous during highwater.

Photos, WVD.

No props, azipods, VSP units, but real functional paddlewheels that churn through milky coffee water. . .

Capstan and h-bitt like a tugboat. . .

Really ornate wheelhouse . . .

Lots of ringtones available old style . . .

the Belle of Louisville (ex-Idlewild, ex-Avalon) waits wharfside ahead of the smaller Spirit of Jefferson. Belle approaches the century mark, having shifted in mission from cargo carrier to excursion vessel.

Spirit of Jefferson (ex-Mark Twain) approaches the half-century mark. It lacks a paddle wheel, but I’m intrigued by the antlers. Reminds me of the question of why some tugboats a century back sported a carved eagle or a trotting horse atop the wheelhouse. Just logo, I suppose.

Photos, WVD.

Traffic southbound outside Louisville included Marge McFarlin with a mixed set of barges. Length of the tow might be limited by the length of the locks.

Without doing any checking right now, I’m wondering whether wheelhouse height is variable as with Erie Canal tugs like Crow and K-Sea’s Odin, which’ll show up if you use my search box.

I’m also wondering about size of a crew on Marge McFarlin and similar boats, given tug length. Are there passenger berths, long hitches? Notice the coal load on the barge directly forward the tug.

Downtown Louisville has the steam-powered Belle. More on her later. I wish the good folks at Bellarmine College would update the visitors plaque for the next 150 years.

Photos, WVD.

Quick post, fotos shot in Cincinnati from the –I kid you not–Purple People Bridge. “Northbound” refers to traffic direction, not mine.

I’m not sure what’s in the barges, covered as they are.

Cincinnati and the Kentucky environs certainly will get me back as a return visitor. More on it later.

Squarish pushboat. Notice crewman hanging out on starboard rail.

Laura Elizabeth registered in St. Louis. No links here, no research. Check comments for Jim’s info on the vessel in the first of the Ohio River series. Thanks, Jim, and cheers. We’re headed for Louisville.

Photos, WVD.

To get to Pike Island locks from sixth boro by water, you need to either “do a Water Horse” or travel thousands of miles around Florida, thru Gulf of Mexico, go up the Mississippi as far as Cairo, etc. Or drive a car west for about six hours, which is what I did. By the way, W. L. H. Moon’s “water horse” was a C-Dory that left from the Elizabeth Marina right across from Howland Hook. Below, watch the mast with radar sweep and searchlight.

It’s Brenda Rose, and yes she did!

And having risen, the throttles gets pushed forward. She sounds like an accelerating locomotive,

pushknees jamming against the barge,

she moves her load just barely through the floodgate structure

and upriver toward Pittsburgh.

Any ideas what the sections of cylindrical vessel might be? And Brenda Rose . . . her homeport and other vitals?

Photos, WVD.

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June 2023