Monday, August 5, 2013

Augusta, and More Pics of the Towboat

It's a little late and I am just getting back to my room after a glorious first day at Augusta. Teaching from 9 to 4, then a quick trip to check out a couple local junk shops (of course! You knew I would), dinner and an evening of singing, ballads, and even a crankie show. If you've never seen or heard of crankies, here's a link to one of the ones we saw tonight. Simple, low-tech fun, all handmade. I wish I had known about these when I was a librarian--we'd certainly have made some with our teen volunteers.

I'll be writing more about Augusta as the week goes on but first I wanted to finish up with the photos of the tug.

Getting on board, and looking up at the towering wheelhouse.

Inside, there is a nice lounge and exercise lounge for the crew. These guys work 30 days on, 30 days off. It's a good schedule if you can adjust your mind to it.

The kitchen was huge, and very up to date.

They even have a window over the sink. This is looking out to where we had dinner last week at the Levee restaurant.

A well-stocked pantry!

Looking down at one of the two massive diesel engines that power the boat.

Two large generators provide electricity.

This, I believe, is the steering mechanism. There was no one around to explain this part to us, so I'm guessing. Larry said the part in the back left looked like the hydraulics system.

On deck, looking downriver.

The pilot explaining the navigation tools he uses to traverse the river. Computers, a gps, radar imaging are all part of how the navigation system. A boat or even a buoy will show up on his screens and he can tell how fast an approaching craft is traveling, how deep the water is in various parts of the channel, what obstructions might lie ahead, weather conditions and more. Even so, it can be tricky to move a boat with many loaded barges through a congested area like the waters around Marietta, where there are bridges, an island, and many pleasure craft on the river.

The view from the wheelhouse. Islands, bridges, piers all seem picturesque to me but probably look a lot different to the pilot.

I missed getting photos of the crews' quarters because there were a lot of people passing through those areas, and there wasn't an opportunity. Imagine the typical college dorm room, about half the size since each man has his own room, and you get an idea. I would guess the rooms are 6x8 or perhaps 8x10, and the captain's room is larger. Everything is built in.

This tug, the Mike Weisend, has won awards as the best towboat on the river, and with good reason. It's beautiful, and it was a real treat to be able to see just what these boats are like, up close.

(You may have noticed that I use tugboat and towboat interchangeably. I heard this vessel called both, and so I looked it up. Apparently either word can be used, but I wonder if this is actually correct. Anyone know?)

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

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