The river was extremely low in October, 1900; 7 inches on the Wheeling gauge, 21 inches at Marietta. Capt Jesse joined a group of 8 other pilots on a posting trip to see the bottom of the river at this extreme low water. The pilots were mostly Combine pilots who wanted to see the sand bars, rocks and ledges that they sailed over with their huge coal tows in better stages of water. The took copious notes. The miniature steamer "with cylinders near the size of oyster cans) HARBOR TWENTY-FIVE pushed a shanty boat where the visiting pilots rode, ate and slept.
As Jesse described it; " the pilots were taking a "post graduate course", combing business and pleasure, preparing for the day when real navigation should again be resumed. Once more going over the route of which they had already made a life study."
Writing the account of this trip in the post canalization days, Jesse wrote; "Of the life study of these older pilots, seemingly not much is now needed. Improvements and changes thus come over the world in general, and much of yesterday's needs will hardly be wanted tomorrow; but to the new navigator should be given this friendly advice, "keep a full pool'.
I thought that was interesting and in today's world pretty good advice.