Curiosity About The Life Of A Towboat Crew

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Towboat 31219” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

The morning sun is climbing high as I stopped by the Kanawha River for a few minutes of peaceful contemplation. Above me the large trucks are shifting gears as they slow down for the stoplight on the Chelyan bridge. I stopped here for two reasons. One, to catch a few breaths on the water’s edge and to look for a photo op. It wasn’t long before one of the Towboats came powering upstream. For me time on the river is a way of getting out of the office chair and enjoying life as God intended. But for the crew of a towboat the river is their office. It’s kinda surprising to me that I never considered a job as a deckhand since I like being on the river. I have to admit that I don’t really know much about the job. I presume there’s much more to it than waiting to reach the delivery point. As I understand it the boat is their home and that they’re on duty for long hours. I’m told that it’s as dangerous as being an underground miner. Not only is there a danger of falling into swift current but there’s stories about people slipping into a void in the payload of coal and being burried alive. However I do find the idea of traveling down the Kanawha River to the Ohio River and beyond interesting. Aside from the actual work that goes along the river jobs the views they have of spots seldom seen from the highway must be amazing if they have time to see them.

As the towboat maneuvers itself into position to accomplish the task at hand I am thankful for the work ethic of people in the coal industry. The fuel they provide not only keeps the lights on but also becomes the steel and aluminum in our infrastructure.

I’m also interested in the stories that a towboat crew might have. So if you’re reading this and happen to work on one these boats I’d love to hear about your memories in the comments section below.

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Little But Mighty

Today is a busy day on the Kanawha River. The coal barges were all over the water moving massive amounts of coal up and down the river. The little tug in tonight’s feature image was pushing three barges and all three are the size of office buildings. The ones here are riding high on the water which means that they are empty but I’ve seen these little boats move full barges and more than three of them at once. I’m told that the men who work the river live on the boat for months at a time and are home for a couple of weeks before embarking on another journey. In a previous post I remarked that electricity is delivered by train but it travels by boats too! It impressive to see the little tugs at work moving huge amounts of mass with ease. And that brings me to the point of tonight’s post. Never judge anyone by their size. Especially yourself. When a person pushes their limits they might fail the first time. And the second and third and so on. But eventually something happens and the weight budges. That’s when you really dig in and push with all your might. Once the weight is moving it’s easy to keep it moving. Once it’s been done it’s easier to do it again. And it’s all in the heart. Not the muscle but the spirit. The core of our being that empowers us to never give up. What’s more is when two tugs team up and work in synchronicity. They don’t just move twice as much but three or maybe even four times the mass. Like the little tugs we are capable literally moving mountains when we’re equally yoked. Two people who are in sync compound their strengths. They can cheer each other on and keep that spirit energized. I was encouraged to watch the little tugs at work today and I hope you are too.